Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer

An entertaining work that actually proves that even the most brilliant of minds can mess up the work of Cupid while at the same time gives some measure of hope to the lovelorn. A collection of 37 great Western thinkers, detailing the sometimes graphic yet always disastrous ways their love lives imploded. These love specefic micro biographies elucidates the pitfalls of marriage, dating, and love.

Highlighting the hypocrisy and downright ineptness of those who too often counted as our ‘greatest thinkers’ in this crucial, if so often overlooked, area of sexual politics…” (Martin Cohen, editor of The Philosopher )

Even if you do not have a great interest in philosophy. This book is a must read it covers several dozen philosophers prepared to be entertained and perhaps even shocked at how so many well-respected philosophers and literary figures were so scandalous and depraved!

A very quick, touching and amusing read might give you a new look on human nature.

Juicy excripts!

Albert Camus divorced his wife after discovering she was sleeping with a doctor in exchange for morphine, Friedrich Nietzsche engaged in sexual intercourse on several occasions “on doctor’s orders”,
Martin Heidegger discovered his son was the product of an affair between his wife and a family friend (Ouch)
St. Thomas himself—who, Shaffer tells us, once chased a prostitute out of his room with a hot poker.

Just about anyone will feel better about his or her love life.

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer

Peter Abelard

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Peter Abelard

Louis Althusser

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Louis Althusser

Saint Thomas Aquinas
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Saint Thomas Aquinas

Aristotle
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Aristotle

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Saint Augustine of Hippo

Simon de Beauvoir

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Simon de Beauvoir

Henery Ward Beecher

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Henery Ward Beecher

John Calvin

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, John Calvin

Albert Camus
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Albert Camus

Nicholas Chamfort
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Nicholas Chamfort

Auguste Comte

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Auguste Comte

Rene Descartes
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Rene Descartes

John Dewey

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, John Dewey

Denis Diderot

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, 
Denis Diderot

Diogenes the Cynic
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Diogenes the Cynic

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Friedrich Engles

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Friedrich Engles

Johann Wolfgang von Gothe

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Johann Wolfgang von Gothe

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Martin Heidegger

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Martin Heidegger

Davind Hume

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Davind Hume

Immanuel Kant

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Immanuel Kant

Sorin Kierkegaard

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Sorin Kierkegaard

John Loke

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, John Loke

Titus Lucretius

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Titus Lucretius

Friedrich Nietzsche

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, 
Friedrich Nietzsche

Plato
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Plato

Ayn Rand
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Ayn Rand

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Bertrand Russell

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Bertrand Russell

Jean-Paul Sartre

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Jean-Paul Sartre

Arthur Schopenhauer

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Arthur Schopenhauer

Seneca the Younger

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Seneca the Younger

Socrates

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Socrates

Emanuel Swedenborg

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Emanuel Swedenborg

Henry David Thoreau

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Henry David Thoreau

Leo Tolstoy

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, Leo Tolstoy

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The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran

Ramachandran a modern wizard of neuroscience who enlightens us in his new work The Tell-Tale Brain, we see his genius at work, dealing with many extraordinary cases, some of which mark turning points in neuroscientific knowledge. He hypothesizes, experiments, fails, experiences epiphanies, and succeeds as well. In this fantastic account, we see how these cases fit together, and how from a Darwinian point of view our brains, though evolved from those of other animals, become neurologically distinct and fundamentally human.

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran has certainly set a new standard with his newest book, The Tell-Tale Brain. He has reffered to some case histories that have been covered in his earlier books, Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind and A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers. Readers will be pleased to see that he has new things to say about his earlier findings and observations. Riding the wave of astonishing advances in Brain science over the past fifteen years, lending fresh perspectives on pretty much the entire shepards pie of earlier “hard” sciences. The age of neuroscience has truly dawned and who better Ramachandran to be our Neuro Vasco de Gama or Columbus?

Ramachandran’s modus operandi is to discover how the normal brain works by studying individuals with abnormal neurological conditions. One might find similarities to Oliver Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales and The Mind’s Eye). Some of the ailments Ramachandran covers are: Agnosia (a-gnosis, or loss of knowledge), Anosognosia (being unaware of the existence of his or her disability), Autism (impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills), Capgras Syndrome (delusions that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor – Qui estis?), Cotard Syndrome (belief that they are dead-either figuratively or literally), and Synesthesia (stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway), and many other merry conditions.

If you have barely been keep up so far donot be alarmed, Ramachandran does not go on and on rolling out one bizarre disorder after another. He approaches the subject matter from a variety of angles – anatomically, evolutionarily, psychologically, and philosophically without groping at straws, Ramachandran commands a deep knowledge of all these topics in regards to mind, brain, and consciousness. Ramachandran presents all of this in without leaving your head spinning.

In his own words “I presume some degree of interest in science and curiosity about human nature, but I do not presume any sort of formal scientific background or even familiarity with my previous works. I hope this book proves instructive and inspiring to students of all levels and backgrounds, to colleagues in other disciplines, and to lay readers with no personal or professional stake in these topics.”

Strongly recommended reading this book for minds curious about the Brain in all its awesomeness. The writing is entertaining and anything but dry. Major issues in contemporary Mind,Brain,Consciousness literature are covered.

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

The Tell-Tale Brain By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (Author),

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

This is a must-read-must-have for every music student, music teacher, wannabe musician (my badly off key neighbour included) and composer, and is a easily readable guided tour through the creative and neurological workings of the human mind.

Daniel Levitin, professional musician and sound engineer turned neuroscientist, is in a unique position to write this fascinating, flabbergasting, entertaining & enlightening exploration of the human mind and the human-created experience that is music.

Levitin’s love for music illuminates each page, and he effortlessly interweaves brain-scan findings with a line-by-line lyrical breakdown that explains exactly why ‘JailHouse Rock” really rocks. His diagrams and explanations of which different areas of the brain are engaged by specific musical instruments are worth the price alone. The perfect gift book for anyone interested in music and its effects on the mind. Start with even a quick skim and you’ll find yourself drawn along, ultimately experiencing music in a whole new way.This is a well documented, thoroughly footnoted and seminal text which is such a great read it’s almost impossible to put down.

Fans of V. S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain please take full serving of Levitin’s appetizer.

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

The top 10 Killer Thrillers:

NPR’s audience nominated 600 novels to its Killer Thrillers poll of the best all-time mystery novels, and then cast more than 17,000 votes to reach the final top 100 list of “fast-moving tales of suspense and adventure” and unexpected darkness.

“Even the [Agatha] Christie pick, And Then There Were None, is one of her creepier novels,” said NPR’s book critic Maureen Corrigan, who served on the advisory panel for the project. Why are we not surprised that Harris is right on top? and a a little dissapointed that Clive Barker is not on this list?

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
7. The Shining by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The entire top 100 Killer Thrillers list!

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. The Shining, by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt tor Red October, by Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
11. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
12. The Stand, by Stephen King
13. The Bone Collector, by Jeffery Deaver
14. Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
15. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown
16. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
17. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
18. Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane
19. The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth
20. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

21. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
22. It, by Stephen King
23. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
24. The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
25. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
26. The Alienist, by Caleb Carr
27. Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris
28. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
29. The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson

Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

Rosemary’s Baby

31. No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
32. Gone Baby Gone, by Dennis Lehane
33. Gorky Park, by Martin Cruz Smith
34. Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin
35. Subterranean, by James Rollins
36. Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy
37. Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King
38. Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane
39. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carre
40. The Poet, by Michael Connelly

Pet Sematary
 Stephen King Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

41. The Boys from Brazil, by Ira Levin
42. Cape Fear, by John MacDonald
43. The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker
44. Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
45. Dead Zone, by Stephen King
46. The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon
47. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carre
48. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
49. Tell No One, by Harlan Coben
50. Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn

61 Hours
 Lee Child Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

51. The 39 Steps, by John Buchan
52. Blowback, by Brad Thor
53. The Children of Men, by P.D. James
54. 61 Hours, by Lee Child
55. Marathon Man, by William Goldman
56. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
57. 206 Bones, by Kathy Reichs
58. Psycho, by Robert Bloch
59. The Killing Floor, by Lee Child
60. Rules of Prey, by John Sandford

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

61. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
62. In the Woods, by Tana French
63. Shogun, by James Clavell
64. The Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
65. Intensity, by Dean Koontz
66. Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming
67. Metzger’s Dog, by Thomas Perry
68. Timeline, by Michael Crichton
69. Contact, by Carl Sagan
70. What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

71. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
72. The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
73. Charm School, by Nelson DeMille
74. Feed, by Mira Grant
75. Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child
76. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay
77. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
78. The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders
79. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
80. The Brotherhood of the Rose, by David Morrell

Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

Goldfinger

81. Primal Fear, by William Diehl
82. The Templar Legacy, by Steve Berry
82. The Hard Way, by Lee Child [tie]
84. The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
85. Six Days of the Condor, by James Grady
86. Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
87. Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith
88. The Eight, by Katherine Neville
89. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
90. Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming

Bangkok 8, by John Burdett Best Killer thrillers crime fiction

Bangkok 8

91. Bangkok 8, by John Burdett
92. The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva
93. Hardball, by Sara Paretsky
94. The Club Dumas, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
95. The Deep Blue Good-by, by John MacDonald
96. The Monkey’s Raincoat, by Robert Crais
96. Berlin Game, by Len Deighton [tie]
98. A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith
99. Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
100. Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain

What are you optimistic about? (Todays leading thinkers lighten up) Edited by John Brockman

The outcome of a 2007 EDGE question, put by the editor to prominent scientists all over the world:

“As an activity, as a state of mind, science is fundamentally optimistic. Science figures out how things work and thus can make them work better. Much of the news is either good news or news that can be made good, thanks to ever deepening knowledge and ever more efficient and powerful tools and techniques. Science, on its frontiers, poses more and ever better questions, ever better put. What are you optimistic about? Why? Surprise us!”

There are 153 essays. most with only a half-page to four pages each, not greatly detailed. Certain themes stand out from many contributors:

1. Organized violence is hitting an all time low. One may not believe it by listening/watching the brinwashing happening in the press and on the sensationalized network news channels, but the statistics are clear. In the future, live internet access to anywhere on earth by GPS will cause exploiters of all cloths to have to resort to the Grouch Marx line “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes.”

2. We’re on the threshold of an era of unbelievable abundance. We will be able to make a self-replicating machine that will absorb energy through solar cells and be working for humanity by the millions. We will figure out ways to harness solar energy more efficiently and not need to use carbon/nuclear energy sources that pollute the environment.

3. Research in physics has been dominated by string theory in recent years which so far is untestable. New technologies will produce astounding insights very soon. The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) will advance the Standard Model and will find the Higgs boson or perhaps something unexpected. The new LIGO detectors may find gravitational waves. Arrays of wide-field telescopes on earth are being programmed to rapidly scan the universe. PLANCK is Europe’s first space mission to study the relic radiation from the Big Bang, cosmic microwave background radiation. The AUGER array in Argentina will collect and quantify this same radiation. The GLAST satellite placed in orbit in May, 2008 to study the extreme universe without having to deal with earth’s atmosphere. All these projects involve multiple nations and are guaranteed to provide astronomers and physicists with a new plethora of evidence to glean over for years.

4. On the many mentions of religion, a few of which are sympathetic, all of them seeing a decrease in the conflict between science and religion: “The number of people who realize how much of religious belief is non-sensical will continue to grow…I expect to live to see the evaporation of the powerful mystique of religion…a final scientific enlightenment will deal an overdue deathblow to religion and other juvenile superstitions…we will learn to shed the unessential dogmas, rules, definitions, and prejudices that religions have built up over the centuries and millennia…people will begin to see science as a vehicle for mutual understanding and for respecting life. Science will teach people these lessons, instead of simply trying to rob them of their faith and offering nothing in return.”

5. Climate change and its solutions draw much attention. The consensus is that technology exists now to reverse the trend with fairly simple engineering techniques. Unfortunately, getting the politicians to steer the world in the correct direction will be like herding cats. At the same time, the political winds are blowing the right way thanks to tragedies like the BP Oil spill and the onset of the current economic crisis, people are beginning to see the benefit of more efficient systems and once we pass a tipping point, we will solve the problem. Solar power capturing technologies of the future will eventually do away with the need for polluting fuels.

Every reader will undoubtedly find some articles that might seem too optimistic, too unrealistic, too uninteresting, or just wrong. However, most provide good food for thought and every third or fourth one provides a nice “aha!”. The book covers such a wide plethora of topics, I have barely touched the surface in this review. Most anyone should find parts of it fascinating and this book is especially meant for cynics who are in need of a realistic dose of optimism from minds that will shape a better cleaner more thinking future.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Beautiful clean energy Solar Array Nellis

Higgs Boson

Satellite