Tonight I was lucky to watch a conversation between Jay Ingram, Discovery Channel Canada dude and Hal Wake, CBC producer. Ingram told stories from his new book, Theatre of the Mind (hurrah for a dedicated website). It’s about a very complex and controversial subject: what is consciousness? Here’s the spiel:
In Theatre of the Mind, popular science writer Jay Ingram looks at some of the most fascinating and baffling cases in consciousness research: what the world looks like to a man whose vision is restored after 50 years of blindness; how a roomful of people missed seeing a man in a gorilla suit walk through their midst; what bats think about when they’re hunting for insects; whether split-brain patients have two separate consciousnesses; if dreams are rehearsals for the waking world or merely neural noise; and how we might reach a higher level of consciousness.
Ingram (and, presumably, the book is too) was full of tales of experiments into the mind. He discussed the myth that we only use 10% of the brain, the curious results of severing the corpus callosum, and the bizarre phenomenon that is childhood amnesia. On the latter point–at two years old, we can apparently remember things from when we were one. However, by the time we’re roughly four years old, we’ve forgotten everything from before the age of three.
Ingram’s a good, if meandering storyteller. If the book is the same way, it’ll be fascinating.
The session was part of UBC’s Talk of the Town series. They’re free, but be sure to pre-register if you’re going to attend–we barely got in. The session was recorded, but I don’t see any audio files or streams from previous sessions on the website. Too bad, it seems like a natural podcast.
The session was in the same theatre as the main sessions at Northern Voice. I liked the interview style, with a host and an expert. It wasn’t as random as a panel, but more informal than a regular keynote.