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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human IntelligenceDragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Carl Sagan is a big name, or at least he used to be. But other than the series Cosmo or the movie with Jodi Foster, he was known for his speculation in... everything. :)

In this case, it's consciousness. By the title, he's referring to the lizard brain. And considering the fact that he was writing this out of the 70's and he disclaimed the hell out of it, it's meant to be a conversation starter for laymen.

All good.

And it's good, too. If I was reading this 40 years ago or even 30 years ago, I'd nod energetically at a lot of the ideas. The writing is good, the ideas sound, and the subject is still obviously open today.

So what did I have a problem with?

Actually, my complaint is rather prosaic.

It's just dated. HEAVILY dated. It's like the line from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where Prosser still thinks that digital watches are a good idea.

There are better books that do the job of this one, but for the time I'm sure it was pretty fantastic. Not everything was dated. Philosophy and basic math and the broad strokes were good. But the fields of mental health, computers and computer games, the current development of cloning, AIs, and a huge extra list WAS.

Alas. Time marches on.

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