01/05/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Wiley-Blackwell. 155 page indexed illustrated enlarged paperback. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4443-3709-9.
check out website: www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell
Martin Cohen’s books are designed to make you use the grey matter in your head to think with and the tests are designed in this book, ‘Mind Games’ for you to do one a day. I tried to keep to that regime but consequently multiplied up, especially on tests that I actually do do on a regular basis to keep my mind occupied. These tests are pretty straight forward like thinking outside of the herd to seeing how long you can go without speaking to anyone (I do that all the time) or to do in a group and how much you go along with a consensus. Some of them are a bit impractical without children available to test their behaviour. There are even details about how to go firewalking or napping on a bed of nails although fortunately, you can use other means to test your self-control. There are things you can discover, too, like what images are impregnated in your mind although I must be an odd type in that his examples didn’t really register on mine.
It’s a bit difficult to say too much about the problems and thoughts Cohen sets out in this book but they are flexible enough to be adaptable to what you can take out of them. The back of the book does give explanations as to what they all mean and I think I ended up spending more time thinking about these in the long run. Something that will be come frequently obvious is things he’s asked you to do are never straight forward nor quite what you expect. After all, would you think to be healthy you need equal measures of negativity as well as being positivity. Well, some of the time. If you waver too much on the former, it’s not always that healthy. Likewise, as children we only see from our own perspective and this changes to seeing others as we become adult.
I have some mixed feelings to this book. I’ve been reading books that are supposed to be challenging me for some time. After all, if you can survive someone like Martin Gardiner’s books then this is simpler in comparison. The fact that I do some of Cohen’s daily projects regularly anyway might suggest that the book might not necessarily be the best one for me but better for a novice to explore their own heads. The book will make you think but how deep is up to you.
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