By Yoram Har-Lev
Reviewed by Roy T James
The book begins with an apt thought: “..failures are more due to the inability to presuppose the others’ reactions.” It then goes on to discuss the human mechanisms behind thinking and forming opinions. Next chapter analyzes the community’s role in all this, with religions taking the prime spot. How it introduces a non-linearity in our affairs, and colors our reaction. We think freely, but end up providing a response that is always a modulated one, religion being the most significant and expansive regulator. I agree: this is quite in line with the working of a machine.
I liked the thesis of this book: humans are just sophisticated machines with an organic computer called a brain. Naturally, there is no room for other incomprehensible entities like soul, whose actions cannot be anticipated. Therefore we can estimate the thoughts, feelings, and reactions, if we can collect sufficient data. Machines are not mysterious beings. It is easy to understand those, only need is a try. But, we are not able to do it, since we are not able to recognize those machines. We close our eyes to it, when we are living in a group. Since, here, many a time we need to suppress inconvenient facets and invent convenient ones, altering the original composition and characteristics of whatever we are busy with. Consequently, we see the real physical world through filters that effectively hide the machines in us.