The "user illusion" of this book's title comes from computer design and refers to thesimplistic mental image most of us have of our PCs. Our consciousness, says . The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness down to Size. By Tor Nørrentranders ( translated by. Jonathan Sydenham). Published by Penguin. Books, New York. Get this from a library! The user illusion: cutting consciousness down to size. [Tor Nørretranders] -- The author asserts that "what our consciousness rejects.
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The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – August 1, As John Casti wrote, "Finally, a book that really does explain consciousness." He is the author of The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size and The Generous Man. The user illusion by Tor Nørretranders, , Viking edition, in English. The user illusion: cutting consciousness down to size. byNørretranders, Tor For print-disabled users. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.
At any rate, not properties like color, smell, and sound. Consciousness is based on an enormous discarding of information and the ingenuity of consciousness consists not of the information it contains but of the information it does not contain. A mass of sensory information has been discarded before conscious awareness occurs — and this sensory information is not presented. I learned alot about myself through this book and it helped to shape my phylosiphy. Your request to send this item has been completed.
Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. The user illusion: New York: English View all editions and formats Summary: The author asserts that "what our consciousness rejects constitutes the most valuable part of ourselves," and that "we have to get outside and live life fully with all our senses to experience it more fully.
Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Details Additional Physical Format: Print version: User illusion. Document, Internet resource Document Type: This text looks at the relationship between action and consciousness, between what the author refers to as the conscious "I" and the preconscious "me", in a wide-ranging synthesis of psychology, computer science, physics and biology.
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Cancel Forgot your password? English View all editions and formats. View all subjects. Similar Items. They can be seen only when there are so many parts that collective influences, group properties, can occur.
Temperature for example is a property that yields no meaning if we observe very few molecules. A large number is required before temperature is present. We cannot see from the individual molecules what temperature it is part of, for temperature is a collective property manifested as a statistical relation: A temperature describes the distribution of velocities among lots of molecules It is like fast food: There is almost nothing to digest, no bones and fibre to discard during and afterward.
Vores bevidsthed er enormt facinerende i dens ubeskrivelighed. Beregning, Betydning, Bevidstehed og Besindelse. Rejsen bringer dig forbi emner som termodynamik 2. Der er kildeanvisninger gennem hele bogen. Der er godt nok allerede i 1. Og det er virkelig et betagende billede. Alt i alt, en sublim bog. Dec 31, Nicholas rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an explanation of consciousness via a tour of;entropy,information theory,thermodynamics,philosophy,computing,Godel's theorem and experimental neuroscience,to name but a few of the subjects employed.
The result is an understanding of consciousness that is compelling,informative and which is entertaining enough to overcome any dryness caused by some of the more technical areas covered. The author is a Danish science writer and seems to know his readership well and I didn't find his style as This is an explanation of consciousness via a tour of;entropy,information theory,thermodynamics,philosophy,computing,Godel's theorem and experimental neuroscience,to name but a few of the subjects employed.
The author is a Danish science writer and seems to know his readership well and I didn't find his style as trying as other reviewers claim to have, although some paragraphs need to be reread from time to time, but one would expect this when reading this type of material. Overall an enlightening read that causes you to shift your viewpoint and gain insight into the mechanisms of reality simulation and information transferal. The only thing that stopped me giving it 5 stars was that the final chapters,although interesting, tended to veer towards philosophy and personal viewpoint, which was somewhat at odds with the rest of the book.
May 25, J. Mason rated it it was amazing. Fabulous book that cuts the primacy of our opinion of what we think. Turns out what we think is mostly a story we create depending on how aware we are of what we feel through the body.
In fact the body is shown to be the REAL source of our intelligence. Dense, interesting and highly recommended read that could radically transform your life. If this book convinces you that your body and movements is the source of intelligence then another book called Move to Excel shows you how to cultivate body Fabulous book that cuts the primacy of our opinion of what we think. If this book convinces you that your body and movements is the source of intelligence then another book called Move to Excel shows you how to cultivate body intelligence to think better.
Jun 27, Eric rated it really liked it. The hard science version of Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink. An absolutely mind-blowing book no pun intended and must-read for anyone interested in brain science and perception. I read this years ago and thought it engrossing and fascinating. It was blurbed along the lines of "if you read a single book about consciousness, make it this one.
Didn't read it through completely. It is interesting, but it didn't really grab me. I think it is the journalistic style, the style of an uninvolved observer, which makes it difficult to stay with the narrative for a long time. Maybe I will come back to it in the future. Oct 22, Mr. Twinkie marked it as to-read.
Oct 01, Yevgeniy Brikman rated it it was amazing. A spectacular book that has completely changed my understanding of the mind and consciousness. The critical arguments in this book are: Research shows that your unconscious processes a huge amount of sensory information; your conscious, on the other hand, processes only a tiny fraction of it roughly 1 millionth.
This implies that the unconscious is responsible for an enormous percentage of your thinking: A large part of our life experience - what we enjoy, how we learn, etc - is completely unconscious e. In fact, the unconscious may even decide what actions you will take: This is hard to believe, right? However, the studies have been replicated many times. The implication is that the unconscious not only feeds a highly filtered view of the world to your conscious - it also feeds actions and decisions to it.
The conscious can veto the decisions, but not initiate them! There is also ample evidence that the conscious is not fed a filtered list of raw data, but rather, a simulation of the real world. That is, the unconscious receives tons of raw data, figures out what to keep or discard, produces a simulation, and feeds the simulation but not the process of how it was created!
Think over what it means for your conscious to be exposed to a simulation rather than raw data. This has deep ties to optical illusions, humor, sleeping, perception, learning, and more. But it is merely our internal model of it: I can't recommend this book enough. And now, a huge list of quotes from the book.
I had to force myself to not stop every 5 paragraphs and write these down, as the book is full of insight that changes how you think. Especially in detail. Yet it may be invisible.
Making things look easy is hard. What is more interesting is all the deliberations and emotions that take place simultaneously during conversation in the heads and bodies of the conversers.
If they were, they would not work. For the true power of the fairy tale comes because children and grown-ups can together experience the wonder of the narrative. Live concerts are not about music but about what the music does to people. Football matches watched at the stadium are not about football but what football does to people.
In a sense the statue stood there from eternity. But there were a thousand different ones beside it, and the sculptor alone is to thank for having extricated this one from the rest.
The man pulled a snapshot of his wife out of his wallet and said, 'That's my wife. But it is precisely a picture of the surrounding world it presents us with, not a picture of the superb work the brain does.
Now it is the first. It is recognized as being primary because, to novices and professionals alike, what is presented to one's senses is one's computer. The 'user illusion' as my colleagues and I called it at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, is the simplified myth everyone builds to explain and make guesses about the system's actions and what should be done next.
Kay and his colleagues realized that it does not really matter whether this picture is accurate or complete, just as long as it is coherent and appropriate. We simulate; make models so that we can compare. We visualize something and understand often weird connections in it. Knowledge becomes scientific knowledge only after it is told in a way that allows other people to reproduce that knowledge. In an unambiguous way. But this raises the problem that such a totally exhaustive description necessarily contains just as much information as what it describes; a complete description of the world takes up just as much room as the world itself.
Everywhere that person has been, we must have been; everywhere that person has acted, we must have acted. But in that case we must necessarily be that person ourselves. A completely implemented version of a set of simple rules can display properties we cannot find in the rules themselves; the reason we cannot find the properties in the rules is a general condition of the world that is described in Godel's theorem and Chatin's extension of it.
Nov 29, Tom McLaughlin rated it it was amazing. The best book!
Not an easy read though, but nicely written science. Often this type of books draws rather paranoid view on this topic or lack of fair arguments. But this one is not only rich of facts, but also delivers the message of how human is connected to the planet and how conscious mind is deriving the world.
I am not the one who reads same book again, but The best book! Sep 29, Shobha Deepthi rated it really liked it. Are you more than your Consciousness?
Is human a conscious, rational being? Can we explain everything that happens to us or around us? Are all our re actions, decisions, choices in life done consciously?
One would be taken aback if I were sorry if the author and the science were to tell you that consciousness plays hardly any role in our lives. Am sure all of us would have at least one dream that came true. Not Are you more than your Consciousness?
Not day dreams, but dreams - things that we saw, felt or perceived when we were asleep - unconscious. How do you explain that? How about De Ja Vu? What about the first impressions that we frame of people? Without knowing a thing about a person, what is it that tells us about the person that lets you perceive and frame an impression?
When we see a thing or place, how much of it is from our memory or from first hand perception? Are we consciously driving all the time? The moment we become conscious, we in fact falter that is what happens when we are under pressure.
Say if you were to consciously speak in a foreign language that you recently learnt, you would fumble. All these happen without your conscious. You are conscious of only the problem and the solution, but the process of arriving at solution is not through conscious. That is consciousness is only an implementer, there is something else, a silent, hidden observer that really is taking decisions.
But the filtering is not done by consciousness. If things were so simple, Artificial Intelligence could have handed over mental activities from human to machines.
No machine is as intelligent as a man is. All they are good at is "Computation". Too many questions. I happened to stumble upon this book through Quora. I was following a post on a lazy day and many mentioned how insightful this book "The User Illusion" by Tor Norretrandes is.
And happened to get hands on this book in a completely unexpected way. This books is very intriguing, though at times it gets into too much theory, science and even history. The book is divided into four parts - Computation, Communication, Consciousness and Composure. First two chapters are tough to get through.
Many a times it was too much for me to read or process all that data. The author tries to explain about consciousness from different scientific fields - Thermodynamics, Information Theory, Psychology, Chaos Theory etc. He explains about Consciousness, the half-a-second delay, how much time the consciousness lags behind. Our reactions, decisions are lot quicker but till we are aware of them we cannot act. There is a hell lot of information that gets into the brain through different senses over 11 millions of bits of information every second , eye, skin, ear, nose, and mouth whereas our consciousness can only process 40 bits per second.
Hence the brain processes all these information filters most of it, and gives us consciousness only what is important to us. And the process of this ex-formation filtering information happens unconsciously. Most of our what we experience, and most of what we do is unconscious. As humans we tend to seek predictability.
We want to have a theory to everything, reason out and if possible find a formula which can be applied to give expected results.
But this is not true. Consciousness is gating the tremendous possibilities. Consciousness is everything put in order, Subconscious is chaos. Can we manage Chaos? Is a human being more than what he thinks he is, is he more than what is his consciousness? Is consciousness an evolution to cope up with the complex world? Whether you want to or not" Oct 26, Dec Lloyd rated it liked it.
But like many others I find it far too digressive, and what's more, there's no real or original argument being made here, it is essentially just a very lengthy commentary on an array of topics which vaguely centre around consciousness.
Dec 18, Jonathan rated it it was amazing. I still talk about this book almost fifteen years later. The key takeaway that I have is that consciousness, free will as we commonly think of it, is an illusion.
Our subconscious may have free will and our consciousness justifies our decisions after they've already been made. Aug 17, Mike S rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book will change your understanding of yourself, and of consciousness in general. It draws from many fields of study including psychology, biology, information theory, philosophy, and physics. The author supports his ideas extremely well. It's easy to read, presenting complex ideas in very practical terms. You may find the first section of the book a bit slow and wonder how it relates to the main subject, but if you keep reading you'll appreciate why the author devoted so much time to those This book will change your understanding of yourself, and of consciousness in general.
You may find the first section of the book a bit slow and wonder how it relates to the main subject, but if you keep reading you'll appreciate why the author devoted so much time to those concepts. The book blew my mind, I found it impossible to argue with the main ideas, and I will never think of myself, or the conscious awareness of anybody, in the same way. I am amazed at the amount of research the author did, and am very impressed at how well he presented so much information in a way that flowed very nicely.
I'm pretty busy, and this is a thick book at pages, but I couldn't stop reading it, I wouldn't be surprised if you have the same reaction. And there's a bonus, you will almost assuredly be reminded that your awareness is quite incredible. Man is primarily nonconscious. The idea of a conscious I as housekeeper of everything that comes in and goes out of one is an illusion; perhaps a useful one, but still an illusion. We do not experience the enormous mental work we do when we experience.
We experience sensation as an immediate, direct sensation of the surface of things, but sensation is really the result of a process that gives depth to the sensory data experienced. Consciousness is depth but experienced as surface. This simulation is what we experience. We do not experience things themselves. We sense them. We do not experience the sensation.
We experience the simulation of the sensation. As the British biologist Richard Dawkins put it, "Perhaps consciousness arises when the brain's simulation of the world becomes so complete that it must include a model of itself.
They are things we experience. This does not mean that there is no world, for indeed there is. The world just is. It has no properties until it is experienced.
At any rate, not properties like color, smell, and sound. What would happen if we could experience the world directly, without simulating it first, without requiring half a second to digest the experience, which is then presented as if it were contemporaneous with the material being experienced? I'm afraid I annoyed my co-workers talking about it too much, maybe people here will like it more.
Nov 26, Carolyn rated it really liked it Shelves: This large book covers a broad range of science, including physics both Newtonian and quantum , information theory, psychology, and computer science, but its central message is the startling fact, well supported by the author's arguments, that the bandwidth of consciousness is a mere 16 bits per second of the 10 million bits per second or more that flood into our sensory systems.
As we all know, apparently intelligent systems in the body control our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digest This large book covers a broad range of science, including physics both Newtonian and quantum , information theory, psychology, and computer science, but its central message is the startling fact, well supported by the author's arguments, that the bandwidth of consciousness is a mere 16 bits per second of the 10 million bits per second or more that flood into our sensory systems.
As we all know, apparently intelligent systems in the body control our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digestion, sleep cycles, etc. The author here posits that intelligent systems also control nearly everything else, too.
Just as animals function nearly perfectly without "I-consciousness," so too, says the author, did humans until around BCE. It's a fascinating study, published in One wonders how much further these ideas have progressed since then, due to fMRI and other brain research tools.
Unfortunately, not much of Norretranders's work has been translated from the Danish. Dec 25, Juan rated it liked it. When the author finally gets around to talking about consciousness, he does a really good job. The ideas are clear, there are plenty of references to back up his arguments and everything like that. The problem is the author really only talks about consciousness for the middle third of the book.
The first third of the book talks about quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. While some of the ideas are used and referred to in the part about consciousness, the rest just seems like a personal journal When the author finally gets around to talking about consciousness, he does a really good job. While some of the ideas are used and referred to in the part about consciousness, the rest just seems like a personal journal of what he found to be interesting in physics and quantum mechanics.
The last third of the book was the author taking the ideas of consciousness and expanding it to the larger universe, which is interesting but borders on pseudoscience although I know plenty of people who would put psychology in that same realm, so to each their own.
The book is interesting overall, but if you are looking for something that is straight to the point, you will be disappointed. If you're okay with going on long tangents to explore the idea of consciousness, then this book is for you. Apr 13, Richard rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Jul 25, Leila rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This be a profoundly enlightening book; my all time favorite read, ever.
It starts with a fantastically simple overview of the development of science, physics and technology. It then begins to talk about entropy versus order, and what they really mean to us when we talk about information. It then explains what information actually is and how much of how we communicate is based on what is not said "exformation". The author then draws an analogy to the way our bodies process so many trillion Yo.
The author then draws an analogy to the way our bodies process so many trillions of bits of information that never actually reaches our consciousness, even though our consciousness does a good job of making it seem like its describing all of reality.