What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world's most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.
This Will Make You Smarter features Daniel Kahneman on the “focusing illusion”; Jonah Lehrer on controlling attention; Richard Dawkins on experimentation; Aubrey De Grey on conquering our fear of the unknown; Martin Seligman on the ingredients of well-being; Nicholas Carr on managing “cognitive load”; Steven Pinker on win-win negotiating; Daniel C. Dennett on benefiting from cycles; Jaron Lanier on resisting delusion; Frank Wilczek on the brain's hidden layers; Clay Shirky on the “80/20 rule”; Daniel Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world; V. S. Ramachandran on paradigm shifts; Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence; John McWhorter on path dependence; Lisa Randall on effective theorizing; Brian Eno on “ecological vision”; Richard Thaler on rooting out false concepts; J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life; Helen Fisher on temperament; Sam Harris on the flow of thought; and Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty.
©2012 Edge Foundation, Incorporated (P)2013 Tantor
This has to be pretty close to, if not at the top.
I found the section on collective intelligence to be the most interesting.
The title really does deliver, but beware, there is a lot of hugely differing ideas in this book that moves very quickly. Take your time reading and processing this, and maybe give it 2 reads. Well worth it.
I'm finding this series habit-forming. I like the quickness of each little vignette: it introduces an idea or new phrasing or view of things that may be novel to me (great!) or not (fine, it's not too long). From time to time one hears a very gifted explainer: it introduces me to authors whose full-length books I also read.
be more broad and not be stuck with the idea that science is know-all
The sadness that steams from the idea that a limited man-made science with limited vocabulary is capable of answering the limitless.
the intellectual arrogance of the scientists quoted in the book was so narrow minded and out of touch with reality that makes the book monotonically unreadable.
The ideas discussed are only related to small and insignificant species (humans) whom trying desperately make sense of things so to compartmentalize them and to make sense of the only in that fashion.
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