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Publisher's Summary

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

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Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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  • Phil O.
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 03-19-14

A sampler of spicy ideas to liven up the mind

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • B
  • 04-23-13

Amazing book!

Where does This Will Make You Smarter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This has to be pretty close to, if not at the top.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I found the section on collective intelligence to be the most interesting.

Any additional comments?

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not What I expected

Any additional comments?

I would not recommend this book. I thought it had an interesting idea, but after listening to the content it was a bit bland. It wasn't anything new that I could use as within an educational standpoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashanti
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • 04-18-15

The stories of everthing!

This book is full with short chapters off good point's scientist discovered. famous and not so famous. A great addition to your library!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent.

This book Opened many doors to other excellent books which is helping me understand the world from a geological, biological, physical perspectives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This will not make you smarter.

Would you try another book from John Brockman and/or John Allen Nelson and Khristine Hvam ?

Maybe

What could John Brockman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The whole idea of "what will improve your cognitive toolbox" sounds like a good one but the pieces themselves are disjointed and wander around from topic to topic with no apparent connection. After a while it degrades into just another "this is what the future will bring" piece of fluff.

What about John Allen Nelson and Khristine Hvam ’s performance did you like?

The reading was fine and the use of more than one reader is good.

What character would you cut from This Will Make You Smarter?

Most of them.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Science is incapable of answering everything

Would you try another book from John Brockman and/or John Allen Nelson and Khristine Hvam ?

unlikely

What could John Brockman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

be more broad and not be stuck with the idea that science is know-all

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

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.

3 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Reza
  • Carmichael, CA, United States
  • 07-17-13

Science is incapable of answering everything

Would you try another book from John Brockman and/or John Allen Nelson and Khristine Hvam ?

unlikely

What could John Brockman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

be more broad and not be stuck with the idea that science is know-all

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

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.

3 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Immanuel
  • 04-28-14

I do feel smarter

Would you consider the audio edition of This Will Make You Smarter to be better than the print version?

Not seen the print version

What was one of the most memorable moments of This Will Make You Smarter?

The black swan principle.

Any additional comments?

As the book progressed I was drawn into the different princliples and thoughts. This is one of those books that fits the person who is facinated in life and by extention facinated by everything.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Neil
  • 06-14-14

sorry but the narrator kills this audio book

What disappointed you about This Will Make You Smarter?

John Allen's voice. it distracts me, annoys me and sounds computer generated. complete waste of a credit. I'll have to go read in an old fashioned kind of way

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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