The User Illusion : Cutting Consciousness Down to Size
As John Casti wrote, "Finally, a book that really does explain consciousness." This groundbreaking work by Denmark's leading science writer draws on psychology, evolutionary biology, information theory, and other disciplines to argue its revolutionary point: that consciousness represents only an infinitesimal fraction of our ability to process information. Although we are unaware of it, our brains sift through and discard billions of pieces of data in order to allow us to understand the world around us. In fact, most of what we call thought is actually the unconscious discarding of information. What our consciousness rejects constitutes the most valuable part of ourselves, the "Me" that the "I" draws on for most of our actions--fluent speech, riding a bicycle, anything involving expertise. No wonder that, in this age of information, so many of us feel empty and dissatisfied. As engaging as it is insightful, this important book encourages us to rely more on what our instincts and our senses tell us so that we can better appreciate the richness of human life.
- Paperback | 480 pages
- 136 x 198 x 21mm | 292g
- 01 Aug 1999
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Part 1 Computation: Maxwell's demon; throwing away information; infinite algorithms; the depth of complexity. Part 2 Communication: the tree of talking; the bandwidth of consciousness; the bomb of psychology; the view from within. Part 3 Consciousness: the half-second delay; Maxwell's Me; the user illusion; the origin of consiousness. Part 4 Composure: inside nothing; on the edge of chaos; the nonlinear line; the sublime.
About Tor Norretranders
Tor Norretranders is a Danish writer, speaker, thinker, and self-identified "science storyteller" who writes with "a sophistication rarely seen in popular science writing" (New York Times). He is the author of The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size and The Generous Man: How Helping Others Is the Sexiest Thing You Can Do.