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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
by Timothy D Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars illuminating and persuasive, 30 Oct. 2002
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The unforced conversational writing style of this book shouldn't be allowed to mask the audacity of its scope. Wilson, a social psychologist, starts with a friendly but forceful invitation to psychoanalysis to reconsider its methods and metaphors in the light of psychology's research-based advances in understanding the relationship between the conscious and non-conscious selves.
Using anecdotal evidence and research results, some of which are intriguingly counter-intuitive, he then builds up an interesting and ultimately convincing description of what the adaptive unconscious is actually doing, and why. This in turn leads to some practical recommendations about how best to use your own non-conscious. And in a final section on judging the "goodness" of a self-story he even attempts to trim one corner of the post-modernist briar-patch of endless relativity.
This is an enlightening and optimistic book which will stay in my mind. I'm glad to have read it.

Look To Windward
Look To Windward
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars back to the Culture, with style, 13 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Look To Windward (Hardcover)
I started and finished this in one morning - a full blast, mainline Culture novel. The plot has the usual drive and complexity with multiple strands unfolding new lights on each other.
I found the cast more interesting than "Excession", if not as gripping as "Consider Phlebus" or "Use of Weapons". Ultimately there was no one I *really* cared about (though a several of the minor characters are superb), but this is perhaps forgiveable in a novel which majors in plot and ideas.
As Culture fans would expect, Iain M Banks' imagination is still a force to be reckoned with - the behemothaurs make Tolkien's Ents look like mayflies, and the Chelgrian Soulkeepers and Heaven are new to me. The alternative political analysis continues to power the overall freshness of his unique brand of space opera.
If you are a Culture fan, or tired of the sameness of too much science fiction, get this.

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