Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow

If you have recently read any books on human behavior, you know that the human brain is really two machines in one. There is the “newer” brain; this is our deep-thinking, conscious brain. There is also the “older” brain; this is our animalistic, automatic brain. It is amazing how both of these systems can function simultaneously without too much interference.

We need both systems. The automatic brain keeps the system running while the conscious brains can develop complicated ideas and abstracts, this is what separates us from animals. While the animal kingdom is (for the most part) simply reacting, we are able to be proactive.

Now, it’s far from a perfect system; no system is without its bugs. Our subliminal selves can make very irrational choices, however humans compensate by having their conscious brain rationalize it. This is why we always seem to find the facts that support our beliefs instead of facts to develop our beliefs.

If you want a quick introduction to these concepts, this is the book for you. If you want something more in depth, then look at works by Daniel Kahneman.

I will always be infatuated with the human mind. As a different author once said (paraphrased): the human brain is the most powerful computer ever made, and it is built by unskilled workers.