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The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind
 
 

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind [Kindle Edition]

Michio Kaku
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Review

[Praise for Michio Kaku]: One of the gurus of modern physics (Financial Times)

Summons up the sheer wonder of science (Daily Telegraph)

Product Description

Recording memories, mind reading, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis - no longer are these feats of the mind solely the province of overheated science fiction. As Michio Kaku reveals, not only are they possible, but with the latest advances in brain science and recent astonishing breakthroughs in technology, they already exist. In The Future of the Mind, the New York Times-bestselling author takes us on a stunning, provocative and exhilarating tour of the top laboratories around the world to meet the scientists who are already revolutionising the way we think about the brain - and ourselves.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1454 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 038553082X
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EXYFDAG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not one of his best 26 Feb 2014
By B. M. Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Physicist Michio Kaku, an expert in string theory, might not seem the obvious person to take us on a tour of what the subtitle describes as ‘the scientific quest to understand, enhance and empower the mind.’ But Kaku is a very experienced science communicator and though I didn’t feel the same deep connection with, and love for, his subject as comes across in his physics-based books, there is certainly a lot to ponder in this reasonably chunky bit of scientific futurology.

Of all the great science popularisers – and I don’t hesitate to put him in that bracket – Kaku is the most deeply immersed in the science fiction tradition. For every example of a scientific idea he has a story to put it into context, which if you like SF, as I do, is a great asset. The only slight problem this makes for is that when Kaku extrapolates a piece of current technology into the future he tends to oversimplify the problems and goes far too far. So, for instance, an experiment where monkeys are led to feel the sense of touch from a remote sensor leads us to Kaku prompting an interviewee to say ‘I think this is the first demonstration that something like the [Star Trek, the Next Generation] holodeck will be possible in the near future.’ This is almost the definition of hyperbole. My suspicion is that physicists make better science fiction writers than futurologists.

Throughout the book we visit different aspects of the brain and the mind and how they might in the future be enhanced. This often involves finding out more about current brain conditions and injuries, as these have frequently resulted in discovering more about the workings of this most remarkable organ. Kaku quotes a mind-boggling example of a patient with a split brain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 13 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is something of a ragbag ranging far and wide over neuroscience, consciousness, intelligence, mental illness, mind control, dreams, NDE, robotics/artificial intelligence, aliens and a good deal of futurology. Any one of these topics might have justified a book from this author, but what we get here is mainly a series of superficial commentaries.

As far as any persistent themes can be detected, these seem to revolve round consciousness and the development of robotics/artificial intelligence. The theory of consciousness suggested here is really only half a theory, giving consciousness the function of providing models of the future, without explaining either why such models require consciousness, or how consciousness might arise in the first place.

The exploration of robotics and artificial intelligence is similarly unsatisfactory. The lack of any progress to date in producing properly autonomous robots is detailed. It is noted how the much-hyped Watson computer appears to lack any capacity for appreciating its own sucess, or socialising with the humans around it. Nevertheless, after describing all this, the author still follows the party line of projecting forward to the triumph of AI/robotics without much suggestion of why the future will be more successful than the past.

Perhaps these shortcomings are at least partly redeemed by an insight at the very beginning of the book, where it is suggested that the introduction of brain scanning since the 1990s is as significant as the invention of the telescope for the scientific understanding of our world.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Summary and Review 5 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
*A full executive summary of this book is available newbooksinbrief dot com.

The main argument: Up until 15 to 20 years ago the instruments and methods used to study the brain were still somewhat primitive. Since this time, however, advances in brain-scanning and brain-probing technology have gone into overdrive--as have the computers needed to make sense of the data from these new technologies. The deluge began in the early to mid 1990's with the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, and it's more powerful cousin the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, and it hasn't stopped there. In addition to the MRI and fMRI, we now have a host of advanced sensing and probing technologies from the positron emission topography (PET) scan, to magnetoencephalography (MEG), to near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), to optogenetics, to the Clarity technique, to the transcranial electromagnetic scanner (TES), to deep brain stimulation (DBS) and more. In addition to these new scanning and probing technologies we have also advanced greatly in understanding how genes are expressed in the brain.

The result of these new advances is that we have learned more about the brain and how it works in the past 15 years than in all of history put together. And we are beginning to see real-world applications of this new understanding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Future of the Mind
In The Future of the Mind, Michio Kaku (author of the hugely impressive Physics of the Future and Physics of the Impossible amongst other popular science titles) provides an always... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Erin Britton
5.0 out of 5 stars Packaging !
Hi,

I received my book today. I haven't read it yet, but it looks very promising.

I don't think I have ever seen such a great and strong packaging. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lise
4.0 out of 5 stars The future of your business
What is the relevance to business? It was the first question my girlfriend asked, when I told her about this book? Read more
Published 3 months ago by BookBuzz
4.0 out of 5 stars Science, sci-fi or fantasy?
As a theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku may not be the obvious choice to tackle the subject of the science of the brain, but he undoubtedly has a gift for writing about complex... Read more
Published 3 months ago by FictionFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommed
It was very insightful. Would definatley recomend it to others. Not as good as his others but still very much worth reading.
Published 3 months ago by David Butterfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Offers some unimagined and exciting opportunities that await in near...
‘The Future of the Mind’ written by popular physicist Michio Kaku is a great vision about the human future, which unlike usually encountered, is not at all dark, but offers some... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Denis Vukosav
3.0 out of 5 stars Ohhh not again.......... interesting audiobook read by what sounds...
Its a very interesting audio book but its not read by the author which is very disappointing as listening to the guy who reads it is causing my ears to bleed..... Read more
Published 4 months ago by gunnersafc
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