15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (Penguin Press Science) (Paperback)
I agree that the comments on religion are baseless, but nevertheless this is one of my favourite books ever. Its insights into consciousness, psychology and, not to beat about the bush, what it's like being human, have made a practical difference to the way I see things. I find it most liberating to realise that I'm not really in control of my life. Responsible for it, certainly, but it's extremely reassuring to find out that the best advice is often to simply do what you are inclined to do, with as little worry and doubt as you can. Not that I would give that advice to smokers, sociopaths, paedophiles, suididal people or the chronically indolent - but the message that you can trust your unconscious mind to do a better job of living than your conscious cogitation is an opportune rehabilitation of the irrational. It's not all obsession, greed and violence. It is also where the richness of life resides.
I have also picked up in various New Scientist articles notions about 'the universe as information' that I confess I do not yet understand but might make a fascinating extension of the information-theory sections of the book.
Yes, it could have been much shorter, but I was sometimes glad to be told the same thing three times. If I got it the first time, I would skim over the re-presentations, but for difficult concepts I think it's better to give the reader a few different ways of looking at a subject than to leave them to pore over a tangled paragraph until spots form before their eyes - which is the usual modus operandi of philosophical writers.
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Initial post: 13 Apr 2008 07:19:20 BDT
G. Morgan says:
'Not that I would give that advice to smokers, sociopaths, paedophiles, suididal people or the chronically indolent'... hey, I smoke!!!
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