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new book – ‘In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis’ by Casey Schwartz

August 25, 2015

In the Mind Fields

In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis by Casey Schwartz (Pantheon, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

“Everywhere I looked it seemed that we were being defined by what our brains were doing . . . Everywhere, there were hucksters and geniuses, all trying to colonize the new world of the brain.”

“I’d never been a science person,” Casey Schwartz declares at the beginning of her far-reaching quest to understand how we define ourselves. Nevertheless, in her early twenties, she was drawn to the possibilities and insights emerging on the frontiers of brain research. Over the next decade she set out to meet the neuroscientists and psychoanalysts engaged with such questions as, How do we perceive the world, make decisions, or remember our childhoods? Are we using the brain? Or the mind? To what extent is it both?

Schwartz discovered that neuroscience and psychoanalysis are engaged in a conflict almost as old as the disciplines themselves. Many neuroscientists, if they think about psychoanalysis at all, view it as outdated, arbitrary, and subjective, while many psychoanalysts decry neuroscience as lacking the true texture of human experience. With passion and humor, Schwartz explores the surprising efforts to find common ground. Beginning among the tweedy Freudians of North London and proceeding to laboratories, consulting rooms, and hospital bedsides around the world, Schwartz introduces a cast of pioneering characters, from Mark Solms, a South African neuropsychoanalyst with an expertise in dreams, to David Silvers, a psychoanalyst practicing in New York, to Harry, a man who has lost his use of language in the wake of a stroke but who nevertheless benefits from Silvers’s analytic technique. In the Mind Fields is a riveting view of the convictions, obsessions, and struggles of those who dedicate themselves to the effort to understand the mysteries of inner life.

Google Books preview:

See also: When Freud Meets fMRI, The Atlantic

Comments (0) - cognitive science,new books,psychology

new book – ‘Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking’ by Richard E. Nisbett

August 18, 2015

Mindware

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nisbett (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

Scientific and philosophical concepts can change the way we solve problems by helping us to think more effectively about our behavior and our world. Surprisingly, despite their utility, many of these tools remain unknown to most of us.

In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard E. Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail. Nisbett has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing the best methods for teaching others how to use them effectively in their daily lives. In this groundbreaking book, Nisbett shows us how to frame common problems in such a way that these scientific and statistical principles can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most essential tools of reasoning ever developed-tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business, and personal decisions.

Google Books preview:

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new book – ‘Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will’ by Geoff Colvin

August 17, 2015

Humans Are Underrated

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin (Portfolio, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

As technology races ahead, what will people do better than computers?

What hope will there be for us when computers can drive cars better than humans, predict Supreme Court decisions better than legal experts, identify faces, scurry helpfully around offices and factories, even perform some surgeries, all faster, more reliably, and less expensively than people?

It’s easy to imagine a nightmare scenario in which computers simply take over most of the tasks that people now get paid to do. While we’ll still need high-level decision makers and computer developers, those tasks won’t keep most working-age people employed or allow their living standard to rise. The unavoidable question—will millions of people lose out, unable to best the machine?—is increasingly dominating business, education, economics, and policy.

The bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated explains how the skills the economy values are changing in historic ways. The abilities that will prove most essential to our success are no longer the technical, classroom-taught left-brain skills that economic advances have demanded from workers in the past. Instead, our greatest advantage lies in what we humans are most powerfully driven to do for and with one another, arising from our deepest, most essentially human abilities—empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and expressing ourselves with greater power than logic can ever achieve. This is how we create durable value that is not easily replicated by technology—because we’re hardwired to want it from humans.

These high-value skills create tremendous competitive advantage—more devoted customers, stronger cultures, breakthrough ideas, and more effective teams. And while many of us regard these abilities as innate traits—“he’s a real people person,” “she’s naturally creative”—it turns out they can all be developed. They’re already being developed in a range of far-sighted organizations, such as:

• the Cleveland Clinic, which emphasizes empathy training of doctors and all employees to improve patient outcomes and lower medical costs;
• the U.S. Army, which has revolutionized its training to focus on human interaction, leading to stronger teams and greater success in real-world missions;
• Stanford Business School, which has overhauled its curriculum to teach interpersonal skills through human-to-human experiences.

As technology advances, we shouldn’t focus on beating computers at what they do—we’ll lose that contest. Instead, we must develop our most essential human abilities and teach our kids to value not just technology but also the richness of interpersonal experience. They will be the most valuable people in our world because of it. Colvin proves that to a far greater degree than most of us ever imagined, we already have what it takes to be great.

Google Books preview:

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currently $1.99 kindle ebook on Amazon – ’13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do’ by Amy Morin

August 14, 2015

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Over 70 “Top-Rated Reads” in Today’s Kindle Daily Deal (Sunday 8/9)

August 9, 2015

Browse the complete list

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