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The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness…

The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (Penguin Press… (original 1991; edition 1999)

by Tor Norretranders

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Title:The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (Penguin Press Science)
Authors:Tor Norretranders
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1999), Edition: New Ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:consciousness, thermodynamics, Maxwell's Demon, information theory, Godel, Julian Jaynes, tpb, *4.3

Work details

The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size (Penguin Press Science) by Tor Nørretranders (1991)

  1. 00
    The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick (Popup-ch)
    Popup-ch: Both books address the fundamental problems of communication, but in a slightly different manner. Where Gleick concentrates on the encoder, and Shannon's coding efficiency, Nørretranders instead looks at how this is perceived by the receiver, and ultimately at how the human brain makes sense of the world around us.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger (bertilak)

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A bizzare non musical review of maybe two dozen other popular science books ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tor Nørretrandersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Faerch-Jensen, HansIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wahlén, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What is done
by what is called myself is, I feel,
done by something greater
than myself in me.

James Clerk Maxwell
on his deathbed, 1879
First words
Consciousness is at once the most immediately present and the most inscrutably intangible entity in human existence.
"War es ein Gott, der diese Zeichen schrieb?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140230122, Paperback)

The "user illusion" in computing is the desktop graphical user interface (GUI): the friendly, comprehensible illusion presented to the user to conceal all the bouncing bits and bytes that do the actual work. Tor Nørretranders writes that "our consciousness is a user illusion for ourselves and the world ... one's very own map of oneself and one's possibilities of intervening in the world." Much of Nørretranders' evidence comes from comparing the wide bandwidth of experience to the narrow bandwidth of consciousness, and from examining how much of our brain function is never consciously acknowledged. Although slightly out of date (the book was written in 1991; it was a bestseller in Europe), The User Illusion has been well translated and gives a refreshing, non-Anglophone take on a problem that is not likely to go away anytime soon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:25 -0400)

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The author asserts that "what our consciousness rejects constitutes the most valuable part of ourselves," and that "we have to get outside and live life fully with all our senses to experience it more fully."--Jacket.

(summary from another edition)

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