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.
This Will Make You Smarter features 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; and Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty.
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This has to be pretty close to, if not at the top.
I found the section on collective intelligence to be the most interesting.
The title really does deliver, but beware, there is a lot of hugely differing ideas in this book that moves very quickly. Take your time reading and processing this, and maybe give it 2 reads. Well worth it.
This will not make you smarter.
The whole idea of "what will improve your cognitive toolbox" sounds like a good one but the pieces themselves are disjointed and wander around from topic to topic with no apparent connection. After a while it degrades into just another "this is what the future will bring" piece of fluff.
The reading was fine and the use of more than one reader is good.
Most of them.
- Rob C.