Kylewong's Reviews > Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Incognito by David Eagleman
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U_50x66
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Jul 11, 12


** spoiler alert ** 1. there's someone in my head, but its not me
introduction

2. the testimony of the senses: what is experience really like?
optical illusion to show that experience is not as reliable as we have thought
exp: when talking, changing person, no being noticed
exp: when looking at a painting, the eye has a different movement when asked to notice different things
blind spot
using other senses to substitute one another, e.g. using tongue or back

3. mind: the gap
Listing intuitions (or things that we consciously cannot notice)
e.g. chicken sexer and the plane spotter
exp: checking racist (related words on screen and ask you intuitively whether its positive or negative)
e.g. names attraction (jane and jack) implicit egotism
implicit memory, e.g. after reading the book, you will think of chicken sexer when seeing chi___se__
e.g. you are more likely to believe that a statement is true if you have heard it before
**when dont know how to decide, flip a coin, and observe our own reaction towards the outcome
after repeated practice, your unconsciousness dictate the reaction (tennis or tetris)

4. the kinds of thoughts that are thinkable
We are accustomed or more adept at thinking things that useful to us
Synesthetic perception (a blending of perceptions)
e.g. the logic game of flipping cards is better played if changed to (alcohol-age)
one problem of AI is the "simple problem", which is seen easy but in fact complicated

*5. the brain is a team of rivals
the brain is a team of rivals, e.g. reason and emotion (example being the trolley pushing and killing philosophy problem)
the present and future ulysses (contract between now and future)
theres a particular region in brain resolving the conflicts (when damaged leads to contradiction)

***6. why blameworthiness is the wrong question (highlight of the book)
Leading case: a man became a murder because of a tumor in his brain
change the brain, change the person (chemical or surgery examples)
genetic correlation to certain abusive acts
a small discussion of free-will (biological determination vs others)
blameworthiness (law perspective)
MAIN ARGUMENT:
blameworthiness is the wrong question to ask;
the right one should be "moving forward, what do we do with an accused criminal?"
i.e. the author rejects the notion of punishing for the sake of punishing (retrospective)
evidence to support the argument: actuarial calculation / correlation of sex-offenders as a successful analogy
counter-evidence: historical fact of trying to cut the frontal lobotomies (as exemplified by one flew over...)
suggestion: prefrontal workout (training of willpower)
suggestion: sentencing based on neuroplasticity

7. life after the monarchy
conclusion
discussion of biological reductionism / materialism (as an understanding of ourselves), mainly rejecting the notion because neurons should be looked in groups instead of individually
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