January 23, 2013
John Brockman Helps To Explain Everything
|In his latest book, This Explains Everything, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), asked the world's most influential minds what their favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?. Flowing from the horizons of physics, economics, psychology, neuroscience, and more, This Explains Everything presents 150 of the most surprising and brilliant theories of the way of our minds, societies, and universe work.|
The Edge.org, is a site he founded as a continuation of what he describes as "a failed art experiment" by his late friend, performance artist James Lee Byars. Byars believed, Brockman recalls, "that to arrive at a satisfactory plateau of knowledge it was pure folly to go to Widener Library at Harvard and read six million books. Instead, he planned to gather the 100 most brilliant minds in the world in a room, lock them in and have them ask one another the questions they'd been asking themselves. The expected result – in theory – was to be a synthesis of all thought."
Drawn from the cutting-edge frontiers of science his latest book is, This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works.
What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?
This is the question Brockman, posed to the world's most influential minds at the Edge.org site.
Flowing from the horizons of physics, economics, psychology, neuroscience, and more, This Explains Everything presents 150 of the most surprising and brilliant theories of the way of our minds, societies, and universe work.
• Jared Diamond on biological electricity
• Nassim Nicholas Taleb on positive stress
• Steven Pinker on the deep genetic roots of human conflict
• Richard Dawkins on pattern recognition
• Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on simplicity
• Lisa Randall on the Higgs mechanism
• BRIAN Eno on the limits of intuition
• Richard Thaler on the power of commitment
• V. S. Ramachandran on the "neural code" of consciousness
• Nobel Prize winner ERIC KANDEL on the power of psychotherapy
• Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on "Lord Acton's Dictum"
• Lawrence M. Krauss on the unification of electricity and magnetism
• plus contributions by Martin J. Rees
• Kevin Kelly
• Clay Shirky
• Daniel C. Dennett
• Sherry Turkle
• Philip Zimbardo
• Lee Smolin
• Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
• Seth Lloyd
• Stewart Brand
• George Dyson
• Matt Ridley
A sampling of the critical response to This Explains Everything includes:
"Offers a rare chance to discover big ideas before they hit the mainstream"
— The New York Times
"The world's smartest website ... Edge is a salon for the world's finest minds"
— The Guardian
"Edge.org has become an epicenter of bleeding-edge insight across science, technology and beyond, hosting conversations with some of our era's greatest thinkers"
— Atlantic Monthly
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