*** Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness is basically a love letter to the octopus, written by a philosopher who also sent hours diving to a magic spot off the coast of Australia where multiple octopuses live, making meticulous observations, and taking magical pictures, some of them included in the book.

It seems that the author was not too sure of how to organize the book, as it starts much like a textbook, navigating the tree of life and relating some in-lab experiments with octopuses (wily guests: they seem to recognize individual experimenters and play mind games and splashing games with them!). Eventually it settles into an extended description of the goings-on at Octopolis (the dive site) and I bet that by the end, you will be as sorry as I was to realize that octopuses have short life spans. If they lived longer, they may take over the under-the-sea world!

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