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Is Your Mind Wide Open?

Posted Oct 23 2008 9:03pm

I'm not going to thoroughly review Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson; you can read about it on Amazon. Better yet, if you want to know how your own brain affects you and acquire greater self-understanding, buy it and read it.

Johnson has a second book out right now, Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. Now that's a title that attracts me, and others who are a bit rebellious. Maybe in some ways TV and games are the 'dumbing down' of the USA, but in some ways computers and other tech gadgets are improving our minds. I'll read that one next, with my mind wide open.

Anyway, there are two things I like about this book even though I'm only 1/4 way through it. First, he starts out with his personal experience of his own brain as he cracks a joke while wired up to a neurofeedback machine. Perhaps out of boredom, perhaps out of habit of his own personality, Johnson was able to see how his humor gave him a rush, all the more powerful because he could see it being charted out on a graph.

And in that instant he acquires deep self knowledge about his drug of choice: humor, and how he uses it - often inappropriately - whenever bored, just to get that rush.

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