Posts from 21st March 2007

Mar 07

Top 5 Science Books You May Not Have Read – #4 Julian Jaynes ‘The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind’

Proven By Science13 comments • 2,611 views

Crazy title, crazy book. And for a while Jaynes was painted as a crackpot too — he had committed the sin of publishing his theory as this popular and accessible book instead of in the technical language of a peer-reviewed journal. The book received a sort of Von-Daniken vibe, but it gradually became a bit of a cult best seller and was widely discussed in the many relevant academic communities.

There are not many science books like this, which is perhaps why it took on cult status. Most science books take a close look into a narrow niche of science – expanding what can be found outwards, showing you why it matters. TOOCITBOTCM, as everyone is calling it, is quite the reverse. The theory at the book’s core provides a new perspective and a broad panorama showing connections between archaeology, literature, neurology, psychology, philosophy and all the sights inbetween. The occasionally florid prose clues the reader to the author’s eclectic knowledge and the wide roaming ideas that pack out this book.

Quickly then… Jaynes theory is that consciousness is not an innate feature of the brain – but it is a trick that we learned. The trick is now learned by children in modern societies, but was only hit upon in historically recently times – specifically some time around 1000BC.


Man Crisps

FT + Pumpkin Publog24 comments • 3,072 views

A manly mealThe latest Real McCoy’s branding wheeze is “MAN CRISPS”. “McCoy’s are unashamedly for men.” says the brand director (who is A WOMAN), “We want to celebrate all that’s great about them, by giving them a crisp they deserve and can share with their mates when they’re enjoying being blokey.” Supporting this push are various NO NONSENSE flavours like “Cheese and bacon”, and an ad campaign in which McCoys are removed from men who are expressing an interest in the UNMANLY likes of Donny Osmond and ballet.

When I mentioned this to my fellow MAN LOLLARDS the other week the response was “But all crisps are for men”.