Mind and madness

The Tides of Mind by David Hillel Gelernter argues that human consciousness is not a fixed entity, but a field of attention, in which we range from computer-like efficiency to free-ranging creativity.  These “down-spectrum” realms of dreams and emotion allow for the creative thinking “ that will always separate humans from machines.”   The Mystery of the Lone Wolfe Killer by Unni Turrettini strives to explain the phenomenon of mass killers.  He makes a case that  such killers are “so disconnected from the world that killing is the only form of self-expression they think is left to them.” Kirkus Reviews found this account “an evenhanded treatise that deserves a wide readership.”   Imbeclies by Adam Cohen revisits an ugly chapter in American history: the 1920s mania for eugenics, which led to the forced sterilization of defenseless persons, acts which were upheld in courts of law. Cohen points out the  weak science underlying the eugenics cause and the outrageous legal rulings by some of the country’s best minds.

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