The Mind's Sky: Human Intelligence in a Cosmic Context
Ferris (Timothy)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Inside Cover Blurb

  1. In this new book, Timothy Ferris, bestselling author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way, brilliantly synthesizes inner and outer space with a penetrating examination into the nature of the universe and the human brain that perceives it. Through the lenses of two innovative fields of scientific research — neuroscience and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, or SETI — Ferris brings into focus a startling new vision of the relationship between mind and universe.
  2. Whether he is contemplating the possibility of otherworldly life-forms or pondering the consequences of virtual reality computer technology, Timothy Ferris captures our sense of wonder with a lucid and imaginative look at one of modern science’s greatest challenges: how we can understand, interpret, and, ultimately, reconcile the equally mysterious realms of mind and universe. From ancient Stone Age burial mounds to today’s state-of-the-art laboratories, solving this eternal riddle has been the goal of philosophers and mystics, occultists and poets, alchemists and scientists. In The Mind's Sky, Ferris examines the "dance” between mind and cosmos, showing how the universe is partly a construct of the mind itself and asking whether intelligence — far from being a product of our world alone — may have universal currency. Ferris considers the intriguing complexity of the human brain and what constitutes real intelligence. Laughter, near-death experiences, athletic performance (“Joe Montana’s Premotor Cortex"), the neurobiology of mystical experience, and a subtle mental program called “the interpreter" are all part of his freewheeling quest into the nature of consciousness.
  3. Ferris advances the provocative thesis that SETI, our current search for life on other planets, could reward the human race with the fruit of cosmic knowledge — or prove as cataclysmic as Eve’s desire for the apple. And he gives us an eye-opening look at IT — information theory — a new philosophy of knowledge and communication.
  4. Filled with the combination of scientific fact, human anecdote, and provocative insight that has become his trademark, Timothy Ferris’s The Mind's Sky offers a life-enhancing perception of our world and our cosmos and underscores the unique choices we face as a species capable of deciding our own fate on the planet—and among the stars.
  5. Timothy Ferris is the author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Galaxies, The Red Limit, and other popular books on astronomy and physics. He has received the American Institute of Physics Prize, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize, the Klumpke-Roberts Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Books by Ferris have been nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Professor Ferris lives with his wife and family in San Francisco and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

BOOK COMMENT:

Bantam Books, February 1992. Hardback.




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