Sunday, March 13, 2011

Joshua Foer: Moonwalking with Einstein

I finished this delightful, fun book. As I believe I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the book was condensed into a NYT Magazine article a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't resist the book. If you've read much about memory before, I don't know that you'd learn much new. But if you agree with St. Augustine that sedi anima est in memoria ("the seat of the mind is in the memory"), then you realize that remembering is no small thing. Of course, different events or sources of information have different degrees of inherent memorability and value, so we can pick and choose to some degree. But what we are as persons is in some sense simply the sum of our history, our memory. Some of this history is genetic, some personal, what happened to me from infancy until now. Well, this books goes more to issues of remembering information, but even in this age of instant computers, having knowledge in one's head has value that we can't off-load onto computer disc. The review that I've linked to provides a fair assessment of the book, so you can determine if you'd like it.

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