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Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction (Best of Edge Series) Paperback – October 29, 2013

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

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Product Details

  • Series: Best of Edge Series
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062258540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062258540
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,504 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 online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of The Universe, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes. He is the founder of the literary agency Brockman, Inc., and lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Depth and range are outstanding.
Daniel Atlan
The book will Probable have a reader, Thinking differently when reading.
D. Diderot
Some of the chapters are very good and easy to read.
Michael Hatmaker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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35 of 37 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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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2013
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joaquin Azpiroz on December 26, 2014
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I didn't realize that these books were from a series of talks or seminars from the EDGE organization. The subject is interesting, and the chapter authors are well-recognized professionals in their field. However, the subjects go all over the place and the book itself is not too coherent.
Having said that, it is a passable introduction to all of the authors, who have a lot more to say in their own books and publications.
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3 of 3 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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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 Amazon Customer on October 13, 2014
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This book spans a diverse spectrum of science, philosophy, and statistics. It contains tremendous insight into human thinking and behavior. I will be re-reading it shortly as there is far too much material to absorb on one pass. This collection of transcribed talks and essays is like a mile-long buffet full of exotic and delicious foods... so don't expect to get it all on one plate (or even 3 or 4 for that matter). The only reason I stop short of 5 stars is that a small minority of the authors (2 or 3) have atrocious writing skills that really do detract from the readability of the book. Some of it reads like a stream-of-consciousness journal entry written by an 7th grader. I wish the book editor had either made them clean it up, or cleaned it up for them! Then it would have been perfect. I have been recommending this book to all my thinking friends with the caveat that some of the grammar and form stinks. But the content is amazing and definitely worth reading. It should be required reading for anyone that works with other member of the human race.
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Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction (Best of Edge Series)
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