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Thread: What book are you reading?
03-08-2013, 12:36 PM #11
Blink: The Power of the Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, a very popular psychology book.
Learning this book from a Coursera course "Social Psychology" by Prof. Scott Plous while introducing concept of "social judgement in blink of an eye", that we make our judgement on a person within a very short interval -- really short, how short? ONE SECOND to predict which senator candidate will win an election. Our brains seem to process and make decision with a speed much more remarkable than we perceive ours to. Our brains may not be able to output all the reasoning of a judgement to our consciousness, but they definitely are capable to output a judgement by analyzing the input information in light speed. To compare this situation with a digital computer, maybe a computer with a high end CPU and many system ram is powerful enough to compute a task, "to make judgement in blink of an eye", but you still need to buy a highend GPU to be installed to visualize that computation result.
I just begin to read this book. It begins with a story about an art museum in California received an offer by a mysterious art dealer, a "kouros" (a sculpture of a nude male youth from ancient Greece). The museum performed a 14 months of period of some very scientific study on the statue to determine that it in deed was a true Greek antique (some fancy lab work, like analyzing the materials on its surface), so the museum paid for it. Yet soon after it started to display this new collection, some experts of Greek art (not scientists, just some artists), with just a look a the work, some of them started to question the validity of the statue being a true antique. The museum was forced to pay for another more thorough examination (yes, more thorough than the already very thorough original scientific examination with had lasted for 14 months), only to finally determined that that indeed was a forgery. So how those artists are capable to determine the answers of a large team of lab scientists who had spent 14 months of careful laboratory work to find and failed to?