7.The Organized Mind by Daniel J. LevitinBuy it from Amazon
Inattention is one of our greatest modern problems. We know cigarettes and alcohol are addictive; we’ve come to terms with opioids. Sugar is a killer, one few give up. Yet we seem light years from admitting what technology is doing to our brains. Neuroscientist Dan Levitin’s insightful book will change how you view tech—and your life. Fortunately it’s all for the better, should you heed his advice.
“Evolution doesn’t design things and it doesn’t build systems—it settles on systems that, historically, conveyed a survival benefit (and if a better way comes along, it will adopt that). There is no overarching, grand planner engineering the systems so that they work harmoniously together. The brain is more like a big, old house with piecemeal renovations done on every floor, and less like a new construction.”
8.Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey SmithBuy it from Amazon
Australian philosopher and professor Peter Godfrey Smith has exposed the unworldly reality of the octopus in such candor that we’ll never view this incredible cephalopod the same way. In the process he offers keen insights into the development of sentience and intelligence throughout the animal kingdom, humans included.
“To some degree, unity is inevitable in a living agent: an animal is a whole, a physical object keeping itself alive. But in other ways, unity is optional, an achievement, an invention. Bringing experience together—even the deliverances of the two eyes—is something that evolution may or may not do.”
9.The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel LiebermanBuy it from Amazon
To wrap your head around any facet of human biology, anatomy, and physiology, start with Harvard paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman. This eye-opening masterpiece explores the intricate details of digestion as well as our posture and feet, forcing us to reconsider movement patterns and cognitive habits that are actually killing us. His deep dive into mismatch diseases will inspire you to change the course of your day.
“By developing through myriad interactions between genes and environments, organisms are able to build extremely complex, highly integrated bodies that not only work well, but also can adapt to a wide range of circumstances.”
10.The Well-Tuned Brain: A Remedy for a Manic Society by Peter C Whybrow, MDBuy it from Amazon
Scouring through the innumerable books with “brain” in the title is challenging, as neuroscience has become a catchword for every possible agenda. English psychiatrist Peter C. Whybrow takes a truly unique and essential take when discussing capitalism’s effects on our behavior. He argues that many technological advances are actually enslaving us; our survival as a species is under threat due to our reliance on what’s being sold.
“We find ourselves rewarded less in the role of concerned citizen than in that of self-seeking consumer. Through habituation, we have grown indifferent to those aspects of human culture that fall outside market reference.”