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This Will Make You Smarter
Cover of This Will Make You Smarter
This Will Make You Smarter
150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

Featuring a foreword by David Brooks, This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant—but accessible—ideas to expand every mind.

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.

Contributors include:
  • 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 Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world
  • Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence
  • Lisa Randall on effective theorizing
  • Brian Eno on "ecological vision"
  • J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life
  • Helen Fisher on temperament
  • Sam Harris on the flow of thought
  • Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty
  • Featuring a foreword by David Brooks, This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant—but accessible—ideas to expand every mind.

    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.

    Contributors include:
  • 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 Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world
  • Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence
  • Lisa Randall on effective theorizing
  • Brian Eno on "ecological vision"
  • J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life
  • Helen Fisher on temperament
  • Sam Harris on the flow of thought
  • Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty
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    About the Author-
    • The publisher of the online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes.

    Reviews-
    • Kirkus

      Starred review from November 15, 2011
      Edge.org founder and publisher Brockman (Culture: Leading Scientists Explore Civilizations, Art, Networks, Reputation, and the Online Revolution, 2011, etc.) asks a group of eminent scientists and writers their views on the question, "What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody's Cognitive Toolkit?" The thematic question was actually proposed to the editor by Harvard professor Steven Pinker, who urges the need for people to recognize the value of win-win bargaining based on cooperation rather than competition--positive rather than zero sum games. New Scientist editor Roger Highfield writes humorously that "one way to win the struggle for existence is to pursue the snuggle for existence: to cooperate." In a similar vein, astronomer Marcelo Gleiser suggests that since humans may be unique in the universe, "[we] might as well start enjoying one another's company." Psychologist Daniel Goleman examines the seeming indifference of most people about the risk of "planetary meltdown." In the same vein, science writer Alun Anderson suggests changing the name of our species to Homo dilatus because of our inability to face up to the consequences of global warming. Physicist Lawrence Krauss looks at the importance of scale in determining how precise an answer must be, and Lisa Randall argues the need for understanding both the "robustness and the limitations" of scientific results. Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky warns against too much reliance on anecdotal evidence, and several contributors touch on the theme of how to evaluate risk and the tendency of people to over-focus on the immediate in estimating dangers. Other notable contributors--there are more than 150--include Stewart Brand, Richard Dawkins, Jonah Lehrer, Nicholas Carr, David Eagleman, Alison Gopnik, Jaron Lanier, V.S. Ramachandran, Brian Eno, Amanda Gefter and Clay Shirky. A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns.

      (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

    • DAVID BROOKS, from the Foreword "This Will Make You Smarter gives us better tools to think about the world and is eminently practical for life day to day. The people in this book lead some of the hottest fields."
    • The Guardian "The world's smartest website ... Edge is a salon for the world's finest minds"
    • Atlantic Monthly "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"
    • KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review) "A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns."
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    150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking
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