Monday, August 2, 2010

A to Read List for My Reference When I Reach Seattle

Today in the bookstore with Rob I saw all kinds of books that I wish I could buy and read, but it would be foolish to do so. So here is a list of books I plan on checking out from their library or ordering when I get there.

Hayden White - Metahistory and The Content of the Form
The other day I finally felt like I was starting to penetrate White's jargony prose. Now, however, I am inclined to think of it less as jargon, because it makes sense, he just has a specific set of technical terms he uses. I would love to tackle his monographs, ie those two books, because I have been going for his essays in 'Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism'.

Nicholas Carr - The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains - A recently published book by a Harvard educated English scholar who is drawing on the new sciences of neuroplasticity to make and argument about how the technological age is effecting the brain. I look forward to reading this because it blends my interest in neuroplasticity with my concerns about contemporary culture. I have often speculated about these same ideas. Just look at some of my old posts, I love talking about how contemporary culture would be effecting our plastic brains.

Sharon Begley - Train Your Mind Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves- Neuroplasticity is undoubtedly one of my biggest interests, especially as it relates to history, philosophy, and many of the humanities and social sciences. More interestingly, this book has a preface by the Dalai Lama and is explicitly aimed at linking Buddhism and neuroplasticity. Further, Begley actually co-wrote Jeffrey Schwartz's book The Mind and The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force which I thought was incredibly compelling and felt like it elevated my thinking to another level.

Richard Brodie - Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme - Looks fascinating, my last essay was on tacit mental theory, and meme's, as I (loosely) understand, are elements of culture that are transmitted from person to person and eventually begin to exist on an unconscious level. In other words, I think that understanding how meme's work may help me clarify my discussion of tacit theory. When I talk about tacit theory I am talking about the things that we think on an unconscious level that guide our thoughts and actions without our knowledge. Thus, meme's, and the imitation associated with their internalization, would be an avenue for discussing the existence of tacit theory. Furthermore, Brodie's description of meme's as a virus of the mind gives me an opening to talk about the pedagogical aspect of tacit theory/meme's. It would give me new terms in which to specify how it is that we can or should try to educate the unconscious.

Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics - Richard Shusterman -

- This might be a legit connection between Foucault and mindulness

That is all I wrote on my hand for now. But there are lots more. Perhaps I'll add to this. Either way. These books all look fascinating and I plan on working with them when I get out West.

Booya. Over and out.

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