That’s probably because of this book. It’s about how the brain works, told through 100 little experiments or demonstrations. We still have a couple of minutes to run on this experiment, so I’ll tell you a story about this.

I wrote this book by accident, while I was working at the BBC as it happens. I’d been to a conference, had an idea about a book about the brain. I told a bunch of people about the idea, and ran into an old school friend who I hadn’t seen for 6 or 7 years. It turned out he’d gone and got a doctorate in cognitive psychology in the meantime, so I set to him: Great, I’ll help you pitch the book, you write it, and I’ll look forward to reading it, thanks very much. It was one of those ideas.

Anyway. There was a misunderstanding in the pitch, and the publishers, O’Reilly, assumed I’d be co-authoring it. So, you know, go with the flow, I did. For a year I read a ton of journals and books about neuroscience, psychology, and all the rest. I ended up having a tiny understanding of the tiniest part of it. But what I did learn influences the design I do everyday.

So I want to tell you about why I care about this.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-04-13 (talk on 2006-02-08)