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This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (Edge Question Series) Original Edition
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“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.” (DAVID BROOKS, from the Foreword)
“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)
“A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns.” (KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review))
From the Back Cover
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.
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 C. Dennett on benefiting from cycles • Jaron Lanier on resisting delusion • Frank Wilczek on the brain’s hidden layers • Clay Shirky on the “80/20 rule” • Daniel Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world • V. S. Ramachandran on paradigm shifts • Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence • John McWhorter on path dependence • Lisa Randall on effective theorizing • Brian Eno on “ecological vision” • Richard Thaler on rooting out false concepts • 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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Top customer reviews
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And as a site online where you might click on ten or so, it is wonderful. But in a book collecting all 150? No so much.
First off a lot of the post don't really talk about concepts as such - more along the "wow it would be kinda cool..." Lines of late night discussions. Of those that do, some just tease it in less than a page, whilst others seem on a mini crusade and go on into minutiae of their pet project.
So, a book bringing the 10/25/50 best or most popular or most controversial might be a lot better. Leaving the rest of the "thanks for taking the time" online. Then I'd have understood the "edited by" on the cover.
But still four stars?
Yes, because here are a lot of nuggets here, and a lot of books to look into and people to explore further. I have a. Feeling I might have crept close to the max numbers if highlights in a single kindle book. And, as a time capsule it will be fun to have a look at in 20+ years time.
The message very concise, that can be extracted from this book, is that a big part of modern scientific though is about metacognition. About the way we think. Naturally also this may be one of the many biases, because the question that was posed was thought up by Pinker and Kahneman, who themselves are the ideologist of cognitive biases.
Personal suggestion: this book is what was once the Reader's Digest: an instrument to know things, or what was going on, without having to really dig through all the books one was supposed to have read. Very useful in our fast paced world. However, insufficient to really explore modern scientific thought. So read it, let it sparkle your curiosity, but then go out and get the texts, explore the profiles of the authors, look up the words and concepts you like most. This is the best way to get the best out of this opus magnum and probably what Brockman wants you to do.
If the interest in these topics is sincere I believe Daniel Kahnemans "Thinking fast, thinking slow" must be the first read.