This book is about
- Our kinship with animals.
- What it means to be intelligent.
- The difference between subjective and objective reality.
- The battle between the rational mind and the emotional mind for control of your behavior.
- Becoming more self-aware.
- The fundamental importance of the pursuit of knowledge.
- The need for better leadership and ways to find it.
- The advantages and dangers of machine intelligence.
- How to become a better you, a better us.
Human intelligence is all we need to be able to cure cancer, colonize Mars and establish peace and prosperity for all. But what happens when it feels better to behave impulsively, emotionally instead of using our smarts? Finding the motivation to cure cancer is hard for someone specializing in partying, watching sports or playing video games.
Animal behavior is largely guided by emotion. We inherited our emotional foundation from our distant evolutionary ancestors. But our more recent ancestors developed a brave new means of controlling our behavior—a high level of intelligence. So now we have two separate sources of behavioral control? If your behavior is like a car being operated by two different drivers, what are the odds it won’t end up in a ditch? If this situation isn’t bad enough, we’re having so many little problems – like making correct change or forgetting to set the alarm – that we are busily inventing artificial intelligence to do our thinking for us.
Emotional Beauty and the Limits of Human Intelligence explores the behavior of animals and people by contrasting wants versus needs. Sometimes our emotional desires strengthen our efforts by reinforcing what we know we should be doing. But often (more often?) we respond to desire even when it conflicts with what we know we ought to do, like eating those dangerous donuts, downing too many light beers, or putting urgent tasks off till later. And then there are the really dangerous things like driving while intoxicated, committing theft, rape, murder, starting a war or cheating on your income taxes.
So here we are, relying on our occasionally useful intelligence to prevent nuclear wars, snuff out deadly pandemics, and forestall potentially catastrophic climate change. With serious problems like these, isn’t it about time we took a close look at whether humans are really up to these tasks? In Emotional Beauty and the Limits of Human Intelligence, Dr.Thomas Atwood takes a fresh new look why you feel the way you do and do the things you do, and what you and all the rest of us ought to do about it.
For a fresh new way of looking at what you already know about animals, about people, about yourself, order your copy today! Expect to be stimulated.
Meet Thomas L. Atwood
Following service in the 299th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam, Thomas Atwood returned to his studies and was awarded a PhD in high-energy physics from the University of Maryland for his participation in an experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. His thesis involved measuring what happens when electrons are collided with their positron anti-particles at the highest energies then available. As computer technology advanced and computers became more widely available, Thomas moved into the private sector as a software engineer. He wrote software to improve down-hole oil exploration and production and oil refining. He has experimented with speech recognition and machine intelligence software. More recently he wrote the program used by the CDC to interpret chest X-rays.
Thomas served as a youth soccer coach and director of coaching. He has been a volunteer firefighter, and served 17 years as a volunteer fire and EMS commissioner in Travis County, Texas. He has always read extensively in history and science. With his broad knowledge, his background as a curious and discriminating scientist and his wide-ranging life experiences, Thomas was ready when Mother Nature threw him a curve ball in the form of a seriously mentally handicapped Labrador retriever named “Beauty”.