Redeem this review

August 21, 2011

A completely worthless article: Maria Popova’s review of Brain Culture: Neuroscience and Popular Media:

Phrenology ChartWhat makes Thornton’s take most compelling is the lucidity with which she approaches exactly what we know and don’t know about the brain. Every day, we’re bombarded with exponentially replicating headlines about new “sciences” like neuromarketing, which, despite the enormous budgets poured into them by the world’s shortcut-hungry Fortune 500, remain the phrenology of our time, a tragic manifestation of the disconnect between how much we want to manipulate the brain and how little we actually know about its intricately connected, non-compartmentalizable functions.

Creative writers: Redeem this book review.



  1. Gentle Reader:
    I liked Brain Culture: Neuroscience and Popular Culter. It told me more about brains than I ever wanted to know.

  2. I admit I’ll likely read the book; it’s right up my alley, I think. But as I put it for another blog, “if e’er there was a book review that made me not want to read something I otherwise might find compelling, this would be it.”

    You know how people always criticize the snotty obscurity of art critics? This seems to be one of those. The review, it seems, was more about Popova’s ability to spin sentences than the actual book.

    I’m probably being too hard on Popova, though. Looking around at some of the other stuff I posted around the web, I was in a snarling kind of mood when I wrote that.

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