Book Review : How To Create A Mind

How To Create A Mind - Ray Kurzweil

I’m reading Ray Kurzweil’s “How To Create a Mind“.

Back in medical college, I spent an incredible amount of time reading Snell’s ‘Neuroanatomy’ to understand the structure and function of the human brain.

It’s a myriad of nerve connections, with different bits being hooked up to others, some nearby, others almost halfway across the brain. What’s more, there are redundancies galore. And keeping track of what links to what, through diagrams that showed sweeps of colored arrows pointing both ways, was mind boggling.

I read all of this, not because it’s so fascinating, but because we had an exam to pass at the end of a semester. About the lateral geniculate nucleus, or the caudate nucleus, or the red nucleus. And the insula, colliculi or corpus callosum. Without quite understanding how relevant, useful or practical it would all be.

It wasn’t. At all.

For the next twenty five years, I have never once had to use ANY of that information in my medical practice!

So, was it all a waste?

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When Arrogance Is Bliss

Arrogant Surgeon

“I am an arrogant guy,” I wrote on a Facebook post.

And it’s true.

Most people think of arrogance as an undesirable trait. Not me.

I have a slightly different perspective. And believe there are certain roles it’s practically impossible to play well unless one is. Like being a paediatric heart surgeon.

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Study, Research, Publish

Heart, Guts & Steel - The Making of an Indian Surgeon

(This is an unpublished chapter from the manuscript of my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)

One summer, I took a few days off to surprise my parents on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

To keep me engaged on the 24 hour journey, I picked up a popular bestseller from the library. For good measure, I also carried along a medical journal. I hopped into an upper berth shortly after the train left Dadar station, opened the book, and fell asleep within minutes!

I slept through the night – and all next day… waking up briefly only to gobble down the sandwiches our cafeteria manager had thoughtfully packed for me!

As our train crawled into Basin Bridge station, a few minutes from the terminus at Madras Central, I finally got down from my berth.

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Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth - Heart, Guts & Steel

(This is an excerpt from my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)

The bleeding slowed down.

“It’s better now, Ramesh. But I can’t hold on for long. Let me know when he’s stable and I’ll clamp the artery.”

“Hold on a minute,” said the anaesthesiologist. “I’ll rush in some more blood.” A moment later, he reported. “Pulse is stronger. Pressure’s coming up slowly.”

And then, “Whenever you’re ready.”

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything Review

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It’s just one mindgasm after another!

Many years ago, I noticed this book on my shelf… and ignored it. Over time, it vanished from sight. I don’t know what happened, or where it went. And didn’t much care.

For my last birthday, my sister gifted me another copy. Once again, it languished for almost a year on my long list of ‘books to read’… until one fine day, two weeks ago, I opened it to start reading.

And that was that. I was hooked. Instantly. Irretrievably.

CONTINUE READING
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