Science

What Should We Be Worried About?

Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062296248

Category: Science

Page: 528

View: 4514

Drawing from the horizons of science, today's leading thinkers reveal the hidden threats nobody is talking about—and expose the false fears everyone else is distracted by. What should we be worried about? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the planet's most influential minds. He asked them to disclose something that, for scientific reasons, worries them—particularly scenarios that aren't on the popular radar yet. Encompassing neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, and more—here are 150 ideas that will revolutionize your understanding of the world. Steven Pinker uncovers the real risk factors for war * Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi peers into the coming virtual abyss * Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek laments our squandered opportunities to prevent global catastrophe * Seth Lloyd calculates the threat of a financial black hole * Alison Gopnik on the loss of childhood * Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why firefighters understand risk far better than economic "experts" * Matt Ridley on the alarming re-emergence of superstition * Daniel C. Dennett and george dyson ponder the impact of a major breakdown of the Internet * Jennifer Jacquet fears human-induced damage to the planet due to "the Anthropocebo Effect" * Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul * Nicholas Carr on the "patience deficit" * Tim O'Reilly foresees a coming new Dark Age * Scott Atran on the homogenization of human experience * Sherry Turkle explores what's lost when kids are constantly connected * Kevin Kelly outlines the looming "underpopulation bomb" * Helen Fisher on the fate of men * Lawrence Krauss dreads what we don't know about the universe * Susan Blackmore on the loss of manual skills * Kate Jeffery on the death of death * plus J. Craig Venter, Daniel Goleman, Virginia Heffernan, Sam Harris, Brian Eno, Martin Rees, and more
Science

This Explains Everything

150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062230182

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 7793

In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions that the world's best scientific minds answer with elegant simplicity. With contributions from Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Nassim Taleb, Brian Eno, Steven Pinker, and more, everything is explained in fun, uncomplicated terms that make the most complex concepts easy to comprehend.
Science

This Will Change Everything

Ideas That Will Shape the Future

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061960675

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 3736

“This Will Change Everything offers seemingly radical but actually feasible ideas with the potential to change the world.”—Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel Editor John Brockman continues in the same vein as his popular compilations What Are You Optimistic About and What Have You Changed Your Mind About with This Will Change Everything. Brockman asks 150 intellectual superstars “what game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” Their fascinating responses are collected here, from bestselling author of Atonement Ian McEwan to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek to electronic music pioneer Brian Eno to writer, actor, director, and activist Alan Alda.
Science

This Will Make You Smarter

150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062109405

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 3880

Edge.org presents brilliant, accessible, cutting-edge ideas to improve our decision-making skills and improve our cognitive toolkits, with contributions by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Richard Dawkins, Brian Eno, Steven Pinker, and more. Featuring a foreword by New York Times columnist David Brooks and edited by John Brockman, This Will Make You Smarter presents some of the best wisdom from today’s leading thinkers—to make better thinkers out of the leaders of tomorrow.
Science

This Idea Must Die

Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062374354

Category: Science

Page: 592

View: 9015

The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world’s most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org’s 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress? Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org—”The world’s smartest website” (The Guardian)—challenges some of the world’s greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating. In : Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a “Theory of Everything” Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth and much more. Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, This Idea Must Die will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today . . . and tomorrow.
Science

What Are You Optimistic About?

Today's Leading Thinkers on Why Things Are Good and Getting Better

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006187003X

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 552

The nightly news and conventional wisdom tell us that things are bad and getting worse. Yet despite dire predictions, scientists see many good things on the horizon. John Brockman, publisher of Edge (www.edge.org), the influential online salon, recently asked more than 150 high-powered scientific thinkers to answer a vital question for our frequently pessimistic times: "What are you optimistic about?" Spanning a wide range of topics—from string theory to education, from population growth to medicine, and even from global warming to the end of world—What Are You Optimistic About? is an impressive array of what world-class minds (including Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, and Harvard professors, among others) have weighed in to offer carefully considered optimistic visions of tomorrow. Their provocative and controversial ideas may rouse skepticism, but they might possibly change our perceptions of humanity's future.
Science

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061844802

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 765

The world's leading scientific thinkers explore bold, remarkable, perilous ideas that could change our lives—for better . . . or for worse . . . From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true. What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers. From using medication to permanently alter our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone, to the idea that the universe might be fundamentally inexplicable, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? takes an unflinching look at the daring, breathtaking, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter our world and the way we live in it. Contributors include Daniel C. Dennett • Jared Diamond • Brian Greene • Matt Ridley • Howard Gardner and Freeman Dyson, among others
Science

Thinking

The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction in Life and Markets

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062258567

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 9324

Unlock your mind From the bestselling authors of Thinking, Fast and Slow; The Black Swan; and Stumbling on Happiness comes a cutting-edge exploration of the mysteries of rational thought, decision-making, intuition, morality, willpower, problem-solving, prediction, forecasting, unconscious behavior, and beyond. Edited by John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), Thinking presents original ideas by today's leading psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers who are radically expanding our understanding of human thought. Daniel Kahneman on the power (and pitfalls) of human intuition and "unconscious" thinking • Daniel Gilbert on desire, prediction, and why getting what we want doesn't always make us happy • Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the limitations of statistics in guiding decision-making • Vilayanur Ramachandran on the scientific underpinnings of human nature • Simon Baron-Cohen on the startling effects of testosterone on the brain • Daniel C. Dennett on decoding the architecture of the "normal" human mind • Sarah-Jayne Blakemore on mental disorders and the crucial developmental phase of adolescence • Jonathan Haidt, Sam Harris, and Roy Baumeister on the science of morality, ethics, and the emerging synthesis of evolutionary and biological thinking • Gerd Gigerenzer on rationality and what informs our choices
Science

What to Think About Machines That Think

Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062425668

Category: Science

Page: 576

View: 3408

Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.” Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
Science

This Idea Is Brilliant

Lost, Overlooked, and Underappreciated Scientific Concepts Everyone Should Know

Author: John Brockman

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062698222

Category: Science

Page: 544

View: 2877

Brilliant but overlooked ideas you must know, as revealed by today’s most innovative minds What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of the acclaimed science salon Edge.org (“The world’s smartest website”—The Guardian), presented to 205 of the world’s most influential thinkers from across the intellectual spectrum—award-winning physicists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, novelists, artists, and more. From the origins of the universe to the order of everyday life, This Idea Is Brilliant takes readers on a tour of the bold, exciting, and underappreciated scientific concepts that will enrich every mind. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND on the lost brilliance of common sense * Oxford evolutionary biologist RICHARD DAWKINS on how The Genetic Book of the Dead could reconstruct ecological history * philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN on how to extend our grasp of reality beyond what we can see and touch * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI on the interconnected fabric of information * Booker Prize–winning novelist IAN McEWAN on the Navier-Stokes equations, which govern everything from weather prediction to aircraft design and blood flow * cosmologist LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS on the hidden blessings of uncertainty * psychologist STEVEN PINKER on the fight against entropy * Nobel Prize–winning economist RICHARD THALER on the visionary power of the “premortem” * Grammy Award–winning musician BRIAN ENO on confirmation bias in the Internet age * advertising guru RORY SUTHERLAND on the world-changing power of sex appeal * Harvard physicist LISA RANDALL on the power of the obvious * Wired founding editor KEVIN KELLY on how to optimize your chances at success * Nobel Prize winner FRANK WILCZEK on the creative potential of complementarity * Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter JOHN MARKOFF on the synthetic metamaterials that soon will transform industry and technology * euroscientist SAM HARRIS on the lost art of intellectual honesty *Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNIK on the role of life history in the human story, and many others.
Science

The Universe

Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos

Author: Mr. John Brockman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062296094

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 5983

John Brockman brings together the world's best-known physicists and science writers—including Brian Greene, Walter Isaacson, Nobel Prize-winner Frank Wilczek, Benoit Mandelbrot, and Martin Rees—to explain the universe in all wondrous splendor. In The Universe, today's most influential science writers explain the science behind our evolving understanding of the universe and everything in it, including the cutting edge research and discoveries that are shaping our knowledge. Lee Smolin reveals how math and cosmology are helping us create a theory of the whole universe. Benoit Mandelbrot looks back on a career devoted to fractal geometry. Neil Turok analyzes the fundamental laws of nature, what came before the big bang, and the possibility of a unified theory. Seth Lloyd investigates the impact of computational revolutions and the informational revolution. Lawrence Krauss provides fresh insight into gravity, dark matter, and the energy of empty space. Brian Greene and Walter Isaacson illuminate the genius who revolutionized modern science: Albert Einstein. And much more. Explore the universe with some of today's greatest minds: what it is, how it came into being, and what may happen next.
Science

What We Believe But Cannot Prove

Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty

Author: John Brockman

Publisher: Pocket

ISBN: 9781416522614

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 713

"What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" This was the question posed by John Brockman to a group of leading scientists and thinkers via his Edge.org website. The subsequent answers created a media storm and prompted a fiery debate about all aspects of science, technology and even the nature of "proof". WHAT WE BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE brings together the very best answers from the most eminent contributors. Here is Ian McEwan on the absence of an afterlife; Richard Dawkins on the relationship between design and evolution; and Jared Diamond on when humans first reached the Americas. Other contributions from luminaries like Steven Pinker, John Horgan and Martin Rees span the whole range of scientific endeavour and human experience, from the future of computing to the origins of intelligence; from insights into childhood behaviour to cutting-edge cosmology. Thought-provoking and hugely compelling, this collection is both a fascinating insight into the instinctive beliefs of some of the most brilliant minds alive today -- and an invitation to answer the question yourself . . .
Fiction

The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Emblem Editions

ISBN: 1551994968

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 8267

In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.
Self-Help

Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime

Secrets of Calculated Questioning From a Veteran Interrogator

Author: James O. Pyle,Maryann Karinch

Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser

ISBN: 1601634935

Category: Self-Help

Page: 288

View: 655

The secret to finding out anything you want to know is amazingly simple: Ask good questions. Most people trip through life asking bad questions—of teachers, friends, coworkers, clients, prospects, experts, and suspects. Even people trained in questioning, such as journalists and lawyers, commonly ask questions that get partial or misleading answers. People in any profession will immediately benefit by developing the skill and art of good questioning. Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime will give you the power to: Identify and practice good questioning techniques Recognize types of questions to avoid Know the questions required when hearing unconfirmed reports or gossip Practice good listening techniques and exploit all leads Determine when and how to control the conversation Gain real expertise fast Within professional interrogation circles, author James Pyle is known as a strategic debriefer—meaning there is no one around him more skilled at asking questions and getting answers. He has been training other interrogators in questioning techniques since 1989.
Fiction

Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0307887456

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 7278

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read The worldwide bestseller—now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Fiction

Fahrenheit 451

A Novel

Author: Ray Bradbury

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743247221

Category: Fiction

Page: 190

View: 7745

A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.
Juvenile Fiction

The House of the Scorpion

Author: Nancy Farmer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471120384

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 400

View: 6034

Matt is six years old when he discovers that he is different from other children and other people. To most, Matt isn't considered a boy at all, but a beast, dirty and disgusting. But to El Patron, lord of a country called Opium, Matt is the guarantee of eternal life. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself - for Matt is himself. They share the exact same DNA. As Matt struggles to understand his existence and what that existence truly means, he is threatened by a host of sinister and manipulating characters, from El Patron's power-hungry family to the brain-deadened eejits and mindless slaves that toil Opium's poppy fields. Surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards, escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But even escape is no guarantee of freedom… because Matt is marked by his difference in ways that he doesn't even suspect.
Social Science

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 8733

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
Humor

The Zombie Survival Guide

Complete Protection from the Living Dead

Author: Max Brooks

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 1400049628

Category: Humor

Page: 254

View: 443

An illustrated, comprehensive guide to surviving an attack by hordes of the predatory undead explains zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective weaponry and defense strategies, how to outfit one's home for a long siege, and how to survive in any territory or terrain. Original. 35,000 first printing.
Abenaki Indians

Second Glance

Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416549196

Category: Abenaki Indians

Page: 514

View: 8098