Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sum



Although I hate the phrase, you know how various industries like to have their "rock-stars"? Those men or women who maybe work in an industry that normally doesn't receive much attention but gains some notoriety because of an individual being gregarious and engaging as well as creating brilliant work? Like a Jacques Cousteau or a Carl Sagan, for instance. Even now, you think of underwater exploring, you think of ole Jacques.

I think the field of neuroscience has that guy right now. He is David Eagleman, the author of this book. He has a book out on the brain called Incognito which is receiving some press and as far as being gregarious and engaging, I'll let you make the call:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
David Eagleman
www.colbertnation.com
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This aired after I had read Sum. Sum is a collection of....visions? They are too short to label them essays or stories. Each is about three (small) pages in length, Forty in all. Each one depicts the possibility of what the afterlife looks like. What happens at the end of life depends, in part, on how life came to be so there's some ideas as well as to how we came to exist as human beings and what it might mean.

Eagleman's imagination is mind-boggling. How many possibilities of an afterlife can you come up with? Forty? They are well thought out and described and it really makes one wonder about organized religion and religious belief systems.

Want some examples? How about the possibility that "God" is a married couple? Or that he is the size of a bacteria making us so small as to be completely insignificant to him.

Science, religion, neuroscience - all tied together in a tidy, entertaining bundle. And even though the idea of reading a book about the brain doesn't interest me, I expect I will end up reading Incognito.

Update: The answer to my "Who's that Astromon" question should be obvious now. David Eagleman, while he might be capable of posting a better OPS than some of the guys on the Astros, is a neuroscientist and not a AAA baseball player.

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