Shimon Edelman was brought up in the USSR during a golden age that valued science geekdom, encouraged sci-fi addiction, and fostered general dissidence among the thinking classes. After emigrating to Israel, he aspired to study optoelectronics and laser engineering, but was turned by a clever book about AI and obtained instead a degree in computer science. His research interests, which range across many areas of cognitive science, led to publications in animal and machine vision, robotics and motor control, learning and learnability, theoretical neuroscience, neuroimaging, memory, computational linguistics, acquisition of language and of birdsong, consciousness, and metaphysics. He is the author of Representation and Recognition in Vision (1999), Computing the Mind: How the Mind Really Works (2008), The Happiness of Pursuit (2012), and Beginnings (2013). He is Professor of Psychology at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and is married to Esti, a psychotherapist. They have two children, Ira and Itamar. Born in a middlingly evil empire from which for decades the only way out was into an exile of the mind, and educated in a would-be utopia that failed to stay put in its pretend universe, Shimon Edelman feels lucky to be able to make a living trying to understand what minds are and how the universe uses them to get a kick out of its own existence.