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Steven Pinker (1999): How the mind works

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  • Petteri Hiisilä
    Hi, I d highly recommend Steven Pinker s How the mind works to anyone, who s in the field of usability or interaction design. Many developers would like it
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2004
      Hi,

      I'd highly recommend Steven Pinker's "How the mind works" to anyone, who's in the field of usability or interaction design. Many developers would like it too. It's an ernomous reading effort, but it's propably the best book you'll ever read about what kind of computer the human mind actually is, and what makes it tick. This is a landmark book. It'll help you every day.

      Here's chapter one: http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/Courses/Ed232(Learning)/pinker_s01.htm

      Here's a short except:

      "... The gap between robots in imagination and in reality is my starting point, for it shows the first step we must take in knowing ourselves: appreciating the fantastically complex design behind feats of mental life we take for granted.

      The reason there are no humanlike robots is not that the very idea of a mechanical mind is misguided. It is that the engineering problems that we humans solve as we see and walk and plan and make it through the day are far more challenging than landing on the moon or sequencing the human genome. Nature, once again, has found ingenious solutions that human engineers cannot yet duplicate.

      When Hamlet says, "What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable!" we should direct our awe not at Shakespeare or Mozart or Einstein or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar but at a four-year old carrying out a request to put a toy on a shelf."

      Here's the book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0393318486/qid=1093987987/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/104-3369659-4515919?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

      About the author:

      "Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Until 2003, he taught in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as theNew York Times,Time, andSlate, and is the author of six books, includingThe Language Instinct,How the Mind Works,Words and Rules, andThe Blank Slate."

      http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/about/index.html
      http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/pinker.html

      Best,
      Petteri

      -- 
      Petteri Hiisilä
      Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
      Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
      +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila@...

      "I know what I believe. I will continue to believe
      what I believe and what I believe - I believe what
      I believe is right."

      - George W. Bush


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