Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky: Why Simple Solutions Don't Work in a Complex World” as Want to Read:
The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky: Why Simple Solutions Don't Work in a Complex World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky: Why Simple Solutions Don't Work in a Complex World

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Bryan Appleyard uses a combination of memoir, reportage and cultural analysis to examine a critical moment in our history. Drawing on his experience as an acclaimed writer on science, new technology and the arts, he charts the tantalising choices we now face and the questions we should be asking ourselves.
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by George Weidenfeld & Nicholson
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
M.G. Harris
Oct 18, 2012 M.G. Harris rated it it was amazing
I bought this book after becoming acquainted with the author's writing via Twitter. His early morning tweets of news articles make terrific reading, cutting across areas of education, philosophy, science, religion, technology and humour. You get a sense of a genuine 'renaissance man', and that's very much the delivery of 'The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky'.

"The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky" has a simple concept at its heart too; that simple solutions don't work for a complex world. Anyone who's spe
...more
Paul
Nov 23, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2013
In lots of ways this is an interesting book, as it looks at the links between art, culture, artificial intelligence, humanity and the power of the mind.

In a series of chapters Appleyard looks at the promises of advertising that offer a solution to your complicated life. To see how his brain works he undergoes a fMRI scan and analysis by the doctors,, he speaks to doctors who look at people with brain damage to see how they relate to normal people. He meets with a series of influential people; B
...more
Amy
Dec 15, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Appleyard has articulated and fleshed out exactly what I have been thinking about on a basic level for months. As Appleyard states in the prologue: "This book is about, in roughly this order, neuroscience, machines, and art." It is primarily a passionate response to our technology-loving culture's over-simplification of ourselves. He doesn't condemn technology, but he patiently spells out the dangers of being seduced by our simple gadgets and scientific achievements so much that we throw away ou ...more
Andrew Langridge
May 14, 2012 Andrew Langridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a fascinating book whose multidisciplinary attack on scientific reductionism and technological determinism is subtle and well executed. Appelyard is a perceptive cultural critic, who seems as at home in the world of science and technology as in the world of art and literature. His subject matter is timely. A profound unease about all-embracing technology is widespread and necessary to articulate.
My only reservation is the lack of an overarching thesis. The subtitle "why simple solutions
...more
Vicky
Jun 12, 2012 Vicky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book! I had to stop reading and think about some of the ideas, to open my mind, to try to understand. It is my first book by Appleyard and I found only one more in my library. But there is a great website, with many of his articles and I plan to read a lot of his work. Appleyard analyses the contemporary culture, looks at modern life from multiple angles, be it neuroscience, finances, technology or art. Chapters on creativity and genius, and others on where we are all moving in co ...more
David Cheshire
Dec 27, 2011 David Cheshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always this author takes the reader on a heady journey into exciting realms, here how digital media affect our consciousness and sensibilty. He touches on insight, the two modern states (on or off line), the birth of cybernetics (good to see Alan Turing staking get another claim to be the Newton of our age) and other stuff like art, being human and creativity. I loved "vuja de" and also the importance of disciplining yourself to get off line, read something extended and hard (a book, say), an ...more
Karan Singh
Fabulous! And again: fabulous! A clarion call against the pitfalls of myopic, break-it-down thinking. Using examples from, among others, anthropology (rice farming in Bali), art (David Hockney), poetry (Emily Dickinson), mathematics (Paul Wilmott), Appleyard incessantly champions the more-ness that makes us human. Complexity, interiority, originality, imagination: there is so much to being human that machines can neither replicate nor replace. If you read one book before the end of 2011, make it ...more
Daniel
Oct 23, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it


Wonderfully warm and informed argument against the dangers of reductionism, over simplification and technological utopianism. The author is at home discussing the arts as he is the sciences makes for a well rounded and thought-provoking discussion of complexity, humanity and creativity.
John Kaye
A wrapping round a good few of his recent journalistic pieces. In the end I'm not sure if there really was a thesis. But a decent read.
Camila Farias
Camila Farias rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2015
Joanne Mcdougall
Joanne Mcdougall rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2012
Horst Simon
Horst Simon rated it it was ok
Jul 03, 2015
Neil Forbes
Neil Forbes rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2013
ger
ger rated it liked it
Jun 09, 2016
Elanor
Elanor rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2015
Marcus
Marcus rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2014
Jack
Jack rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2014
Feignedsobriquet
Feignedsobriquet rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2014
Kim
Kim rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2012
Suzanne
Suzanne rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2014
Philip
Philip rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2014
Rmh
Rmh rated it liked it
May 05, 2015
Andy Biggs
Andy Biggs rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2015
EK
EK rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2016
Darius
Darius rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2014
Emairi
Emairi rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2015
Michael
Michael rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2013
Bridget
Bridget rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2012
Marc Andrew
Marc Andrew rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2013
Ross
Ross rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book



“The Brain – is wider than the Sky – For – put them side by side – The one the other will contain With ease – and You – beside –” 0 likes
More quotes…