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Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction Paperback – October 29, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0062258540 ISBN-10: 0062258540

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062258540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062258540
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“For ... readers interested in keeping up with what serious thinkers are thinking about thinking, this book offers nourishing food for thought.” (Kirkus)

Thinking is excellent and mind-expanding in its entirety.” (BrainPickings)

About the Author

The publisher of the influential online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of Thinking, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes. He founded the literary agency Brockman Inc., and lives in New York City.


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Customer Reviews

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See all 23 customer reviews
LOL He is in college and wanted this book.
Pamela Dustin
This book will help you understand both your self and others.
Larry K. Mason
Some of the chapters are very good and easy to read.
Michael Hatmaker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a surprising book! After being a fan of John and Edge dot org for years, as well as thoroughly enjoying Fast and Slow (Thinking, Fast and Slow), I expected great things from this, especially given the "Edge" contributors, and was not disappointed. However, the range of topics is so much greater than neuro/computing, and some of the more technical topics on Edge, that I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead of only looking at the usual "cutting edge" theories of Bayes, Markov, utility functions vs. probabilities, etc. the authors actually challenge nearly all of the "status quo" ideas from stats and emotion to neuro. Frankly, I sometimes get a bit tired of the "brain as computer" as well as "brain not as computer" tug of war, and this refreshing collection is so creative, innovative and pro/con that it leaves many of the "popular neuro" books in the dust. The selection of contributors is breathtaking, not just from credentials, but the pace and quality of the writing and range of topics, keeping us turning the page without writing down to us.

If you check out the contents you'll find a wide range of topics, from developmental to neuro, decision theory, linguistics, problem solving, and much more. Hannah Arendt wrote Thinking, Willing and part of Judging, and I think she would have been impressed with this collection (which also adds Feeling and Acting/Deciding) even from a more philosophical frame. The pace is lively and John/ Daniel's editing is consistenly well done, so the quality and "page turner" nature doesn't vary by author.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2013
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I like the series of books associated with Edge.org, and this particular book has several prominent contributors, but I was disappointed. The problems are twofold. First, some of the contributions are simply too rambling and uninteresting, and to make matters worse, too long as well. Second, other contributions, especially those from the more prominent contributors, are more worthwhile, but even these tend not to have the same density and conciseness of content as can be found in other writings by the same authors, so the contributions are considerably 'lower yield' than I expected. Overall, I think this book is a good concept which wasn't well executed, so I unfortunately can't recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Way on November 26, 2013
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This book contains much interesting, up-to-date information, but it largely consists of unedited transcripts of informal discussions or presentations. As such it displays stream of consciousness rambling, unnecessary and irritating repetition, lack of depth in the development of many of the ideas, and a host of irritatingly poor grammar. I understand that Professor Brockman may have wanted a fast turn-around, but that surely could have been accomplished with a modicum of "condensation and editing for clarity."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hatmaker on March 31, 2014
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This book is split into chapters that are each a separate essay about cognition, intuition, morality, and other topics. Some of the chapters are very good and easy to read. Some are very good but a bit obtuse. And a few weren't that interesting. But overall, you will walk away from this book with a better understanding of how we think, and it introduces some concepts that will make you ask novel questions about yourself and others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Entraya Crosshill on May 14, 2014
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If you can't decide what you feel like learning or reading about, or just want to gather some more knowledge about whatever, you may like the idea of this book. It is a collection of different papers on different subjects, including synesthesia and phantom limb pain (which i found especially interesting), so you may very well learn something new. It is easy to read, can be picked up by most, and will do a nice job as appetizer or dessert, should you want a quick little treat. Chances are that it will open new doors of interest, as it reaches broadly
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I think it's fair to say that I am a total John Brockman fan - I now have pretty much all the books in this collection and they are my absolute go-to source of Brain Food.

I first came to this collection through the book This Will Make You Smarter, a collection of predominantly 2-page essays from some of the world's greatest thinkers on all sorts of issues.

The discussions are challenging, thought-provoking and interesting and make me revisit what it is I know or think I know - and Thinking is much the same.

These should be in the school curriculum - they are the cutting edge of thinking.
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By J Renee Baker on April 30, 2014
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I used this book for a Judgement & Decision Making class and it was a great read. Also the price was righteous.
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By D. Diderot on April 26, 2014
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John Brockman and his EDGE.org operation, is comprised hundreds of our societies leading scientists and intellectuals. All of his participants, live, work and think, from locations along cultural and societal's cutting EDGE. The wisdom of renowned and leading minds, investing their better ideas in the text on Thinking; with the New Science of Decision-Making theory, complex Problem Solving, and the utility of Predictions. The book will Probable have a reader, Thinking differently when reading.
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