"Our sense of wonder grows exponentially; the greater the knowledge, the deeper the mystery."

-- E.O. Wilson

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Steven Pinker Stuff

Book blurb: "The Stuff of Thought" by Steven Pinker

Harvard's Steven Pinker may be the Warren Beatty of psycholinguistics, or even of cognitive psychology in general; not just because he looks a tad like the actor, but because he is a rock star in the field of cognition; one of the most creative, thoughtful, provocative, interesting, challenging, and often persuasive thinkers, and explicators of academic thought, in the marketplace of ideas today.
I usually read his books as soon as they appear, but only just now am getting around to reading this 2007 offering. My bad... This may be the best popular work he has done yet (amongst his own stiff competition). Probably a must-read for anyone interested in the workings of mind, and language in particular. "The Stuff of Thought," like all Pinker writings, is filled to the brim with thoughtful stuff.

An LA Times review of the book
And a more critical review here, from New Scientist.

Pinker has several video talks available on the Web including these two:



On a different topic, a couple months back, he wrote this essay for the NY Times on having his own personal genome sequenced.

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