A Fan’s Notes: Ray Rice’s amazing run and what it says about conscious decision making

I’m a big Ray Rice fan. Last Sunday Ray made an amazing run on 4th and 29; some have called it the play of the season. I watched re-runs many times (he said, sheepishly).ray

A few hours later I watched the press conference interview, where he describes what was going thru his mind. Fascinating.

There is debate in Neuroscience about free will and conscious decision making. When we think we are making a deliberative choice, are we fooling ourselves? I believe, generally not.

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Great Book on Memory

memorybookI just finished reading Memory: Fragments of Modern History by Alison Winter. Simply, its a great book. My only problem was that I spent most of yesterday reading it when I had other stuff to do. I read about the book yesterday morning from a TLS review by Jonathan Sutton. In this web era, I read the review yesterday morning, bought the kindle book for about $5 a few minutes later and started reading within minutes. As noted, my day was redirected.

Sutton’s review is mixed and, I think, grossly unfair. “Memory” is about 250 pages long. A serious, complete, encyclopedic treatise on memory would be 10s of thousands of pages (I have one such book: Encyclopedia of Memory. Unreadable). What Alison Winter does, and what she says she is going to do, is take a few jumping off points and proceed. While these are clearly linked, they can be read as independent essays. I loved two of the topics (Penfield and Bartlett) and liked the rest. This is not because these two are better, but because I’m just not as interested in PTSD or childhood sexual abuse.

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