Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Brains Make Up Their Minds by Walter J. Freeman.

How Brains Make Up Their Minds by Walter J. Freeman.  Hardcover book published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1999.

“The erosion of Descartes’ concept of the soul in the machine by recent developments in neuroscience leaves us with the challenge of understanding how we control our behaviour and make sense of the world around us.”

I can just tell by reading the beginning of the publishers blurb that this book is a fun read.  Actually, after reading the publishers blurb I can’t tell whether this book is of any interest at all. It’s probably my complete lack of any knowledge or understanding of Descartes let alone neuroscience, that has left my mind a blank.  In this particular instance it was the title that grabbed my attention and not the publishers blurb… and it’s got an interesting design on the dust jacket and as we all know, you can ALWAYS judge a book by it’s cover. 

I’m like a lot of people… probably like most people… I have trouble making up my mind.  A good example is my business name, Huc & Gabet.  This took at least 3 years to think up and when the light bulb finally switched on, the name, which came from my personal book collection, had been in front of me for the entire time.  So why did it take so long?  I have no idea.  It just took a lot of deliberating and back and forthing.  My brain couldn’t make up its mind.  Maybe this book has the answers, not necessarily to my specific issue as to why I couldn’t decide on a business name, but in a more general sense.

I like these sort of books… I don’t always understand them… but I like them.  I don’t really need to understand them, I just need to understand that someone else is interested in understanding them or that they already have some sort of understanding re the subject matter and are possibly interested in expanding their knowledge.  If I did understand what all the books I sold were about, I probably wouldn’t be a bookseller.  I could be anything.  I could be a scientist.  I could be a doctor.  I could be a nuclear physicist… But you know what?  I probably wouldn’t be able to make up my mind so I’d have to read this book first and get some sort of understanding as to how my brain doesn’t make up its mind.

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