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Every so often an author makes a stab at, "what makes humans special from all other animals". Michio Kaku does his best through defining humans through their ability to simulate the future both in space and time. He uses this definition for human consciousness and specialness and goes about explaining all phenomena arising from the brain. There's almost no topic he doesn't touch, hypnosis, outer-body-experience, abnormal psychology, BMI (brain machine interface), and so on.
For each topic, he gives the history, the current state of the art and then some wild speculations about the topic. Each topic is covered widely but he doesn't have a chance to delve into in depth with the exception of the final chapter on Artificial Intelligence. He gives his all on that topic, and he even explains the Kurzweill's Singularity better than Kurzweil does.
I learned more about the right/left mind dichotomy in this book than I have from books dedicated to that topic because that kept popping up in most of the different topics he was covering. That part of the story was more interesting to me than the author's special definition of what makes humans special.
It's hard not to like an author who seems to know every episode of Star Trek or Twilight Zone and knows how to relate that to what he is writing about. If your anything like me, you probably love it when Michio Kaku appears on the Discovery Channel because he's going to give you a sound bite you will understand and can make your own.
Unfortunately, for me, the book is more sound bite than depth, but for some that will be why they like the book more than I do.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
Dr. Kaku does a good job presenting the latest scientific experiments and research concerning the brain. There are some very good chapters explaining consciousness from a scientific perspective which I found quite insightful. This book is well organized, and maybe a little over simplified. To me it reads as a summary of research papers from the last 5 to 7 years or so. Overall educational for people not in the field.
To this there are some creative viewpoints added here and there to make this book feel somewhat more dynamic to listen to than dry information which is nice.
Narration was a bit flat, but appropriate for the subject matter.
Overall an okay book, may not age very well so if you are thinking of reading it I'd suggest to do it sooner rather than later.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful