Friday, August 05, 2011

Mona Lisa Sells Books?

As usual, when a book talks about Mona Lisa but it's not really relevant, my BS detectors get very busy. In the NYT book review, "Sex, Lies and Data Mining" by Wesley Yang discusses a new book by two neuroscientists, Ogas and Gaddam.

The reported results in the sensationally titled A Billion Wicked Thoughts sound very much like a bunch of cliches: "Men like pornography. Women like romance novels. 'Men’s brains are designed to objectify females,' Ogas and Gaddam write. Since men’s only concern is with the biological fitness of women for child­bearing, everything they need to know to feel desire is visible to the naked eye: 'The shapely curves of female ornamentation indicate how many years of healthy childbearing remain across a woman’s entire lifetime.'”

And where's Mona? Oh yes, "The enigma of the Gioconda smile; the technologically engineered 'crave­ability' of fast food; the alluring, 'alpha among alphas' quality of the paranormal hero; that climactic moment beamed to watchers on a hundred million laptop screens: all rely on the artful manipulation of our brains."

Really. I think we've seen all this before. Just because they were using internet search data as their source evidently doesn't mean we get any new ideas. I think I'll skip reading the book itself, though maybe that's unfair.

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