Don's Reviews > The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives

The Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam
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's review
Nov 20, 11

Read in October, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Shankar Vedantam makes some startling assertions, backing them up with research and expository narrative. Vedantam points out that the human brain is a trained pattern recognition machine. This does not come as any surprise to those of us laypeople to have studied the subject in various capacities, myself as an programmer in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The unsettling and unreported side-effects of our supreme pattern-tuned brains is the ability to so efficiently coalesce information from sources both fact and allegorical, into representational suppositions rendering a toddler an unwitting racist.

The shock of these studies is, of course, the inevitable application in socio-political fields to subtly manipulate us the electorate into surrendering our supposed principals to fiction. Shankar expertly weaves his facts through applied political situations with both researched efficiency and compelling conclusions.

All of that aside, I find Shankar Vedantam a more than capable author, willing to slow down for us pedestrians without compromising the potency of his overall message: We are all salves to our inner voice, the unconscious or hidden brain but there is something that we can all intellectually do to mitigate the inevitable. Think critically; be creative; listen intently; and act thoughtfully.
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