The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness provided me with one of the more interesting reading trips I have had. I am somewhat skeptical of books that discuss happiness. Dan Gilbert, a psychologist from Harvard, has written a clever, scientific explanation of how our brains work. He draws on research from the field of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy to talk about the brain and how it functions.

According to Gilbert, it is when we try to predict the future that our brains make mistakes. Our inability to fully imagine the future finds us surprised by what transpires. Just as we have trouble rememering the past, we can only see the future in today's terms. Our brains desire to control is so powerful, it believes it can control the uncontrollable. I was surprised to find how hard our brains work to protect us--something of which we are not concious.

Gilbert is a witty writer, able to keep us entertained as we learn why the conjoined twins we might pity, feel as happy as the rest of the population. He pressents wonderful examples of what happens when our eyes don't agree with our brain.

If we really want to understand what the future holds--which for some people translates into happiness, Gilbert suggests that rather than relying on the brain we would be better off to ask people who are in like circumstances how they feel.


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