Journey of the Mind

Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos
by Ogi Ogas & Sai Gaddam 2022

About the Authors
Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University and a research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He coauthored Dark Horse, The End of Average, and Shrinks, which was longlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Sai Gaddam PhD, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Adaptive System at Boston University. He coauthored A Billion Wicked Thoughts. He lives in Mumbai.

About the Book
Journey of the Mind is a page-turner that helps us understand the incomparable work of one of the most brilliant of all neuroscientists. This is the book I would take with me if stranded on a desert island.”
― Barbara Oakley, best-selling author of A Mind for Numbers

“What Sapiens did for our understanding of the evolution of the human race, Journey of The Mind has done for the evolution of complex thought and consciousness itself.”
― Annie Duke, winner of the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and best-selling author of How to Decide

“Every page of Journey of the Mind is packed with fascinating insight. This is a brilliant book that will change the way you think about thinking.”
― David Epstein, best-selling author of Range and The Sports Gene

“In an intellectual tour de force they offer an imaginative tale of who we are and how we came to be that will keep you reading into the wee hours until the last page.”
― Jeffrey Lieberman, author of Shrinks

Two neuroscientists reveal why consciousness exists and how it works by examining eighteen increasingly intelligent minds, from microbes to humankind—and beyond.

Why do you exist? How did atoms and molecules transform into sentient creatures that experience longing, regret, compassion, and even marvel at their own existence? What does it truly mean to have a mind—to think? Science has offered few answers to these existential questions until now.

Journey of the Mind is the first book to offer a unified account of the mind that explains how consciousness, language, self-awareness, and civilization arose incrementally out of chaos. The journey begins three billion years ago with the emergence of the universe’s simplest possible mind. From there, the book explores the nanoscopic archaeon, whose thinking machinery consists of a handful of molecules, then advances through amoebas, worms, frogs, birds, monkeys, and humans, explaining what each “new” mind could do that previous minds could not. Though they admire the triumph of human consciousness, Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam argue that humans are hardly the most sophisticated minds on the planet. The same physical principles that produce human self-awareness are leading cities and nation-states to develop “superminds,” and perhaps planting the seeds for even higher forms of consciousness.

Written in lively, accessible language accompanied by vivid illustrations, Journey of the Mind is a mind-bending work of popular science, the first general book to share the cutting-edge mathematical basis for consciousness, language, and the self. It shows how a “unified theory of the mind” can explain the mind’s greatest mysteries—and offer clues about the ultimate fate of all minds in the universe.

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