Moira interviews Zack Lynch, co-author of the Neuro Revolution. The book reviews how history has already progressed through an agricultural revolution, an industrial revolution, and an information revolution. The Neuro Revolution foretells a fast approaching fourth epoch, one that will radically transform how we all work, live and play.
Tagged with “cognition” (3)
In this heady conversation, noted cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers a number of questions about phrases, languages, and other topics pertaining to The Stuff of Thought.
Subjects Discussed: The Starbucks coffee cup size hierarchy, L.A. Story, “divorce project” and unusual noun phrase connotations, perceptive illusions in language, connotation and denotation, polysemy, campus slang and being hip, euphemisms, the unpredictable nature of words and terminology, the origins of “spam,” the absence of specific terms, locative elements of verbs, meanings and brute memorization, “giggle” vs. “Google,” profanity, offensive language, the difficulties of the surname “Koch,” groups adopting pejorative terms, Lenny Bruce’s infamous routines, dysphemisms, whether the Internet truly reflects language, Overheard in New York, William Safire’s columns, linguists being forever behind the language curve, the origins of “not” (from Wayne’s World) and “my bad,” Jerry Fodor’s extreme nativism vs. reductionism, cultural colloquies vs. cultural status, George Lakoff and language as metaphor, the inevitability of metaphor within certain occupations, language and politics, the brain as a computer, the Declaration of Independence, syntactical memes just under the radar, spatial elements and morphemes, memorization, rigid designators and Saul Kripke, given names that are already in the human continuum, and causation within language.
Jonah Lehrer is editor-at-large for Seed Magazine and a contributing editor at NPR`S Radio Lab.
Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the minds black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, theyre discovering this is not how the mind works.
Jonah Lehrer, author and editor-at-large for Seed Magazine, suggests that our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation. The trick is to determine when to lean on which part of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think.