I cannot put into words the way this book has opened my eyes. I don't even know where to begin. I was overwhelmed by the realizations i experienced as I read.
Like i said, i just don't know where to begin. I guess i will start by thanking prof. pinker for having the mind that he does. I've never felt more in tune with an author while reading their work. I'm not a biologist or anything even close to one... just a weird, odd person who has always heard the overtones of human nature through every interaction with another human i've ever had.
To put things into perspective, i was a vocal performance major at a conservatory of music. I could never quite grasp what it was about music that sort of... bothered me... after 2 years i dropped out, unable to keep/put up with what i like to call the 'performer's attitude.'
years later i picked up How the Mind Works and, as i said before, my eyes were opened. i finally understood what it was that had bothered me... in school i was surrounded by these people constantly stating that they were "following their dream, their life's undying passion, BLAH BLAH BLAH" but all the while something about those statements had irked me. here, in these Pinker books, I finally learned what my mind had been trying so hard to tell me.
I consider myself to be a fairly friendly, sociable person, but after reading these books i just can't look at even my daily interactions with other people in the same light that i used to...
i'm having such a hard time explaining what i'm feeling and what i've learned. The Blank Slate was a great book, too, i recently finished it. I continue to read the chapters in both books on the arts.
I just can't believe that for all those years of my life I sort of... knew. i knew that the arts dealt with the psychology of status... my mind somehow knew that, and was bothered when people tried to pass their interest off as a "passion..." does anyone here understand what i'm trying to say?
i'd really like to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience... i just find it an odd thing when i think about it. I look forward to hearing from other fans of the book.