- Master Classes
In July, Edge held its annual Master Class in Napa, California on the theme: "The Science of Human Nature": Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman on the marvels and the flaws of intuitive thinking; Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak on the evolution of cooperation; Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on the history of violence; UC-Santa Barbara evolutionary psychologist Leda Cosmides on the architecture of motivation; UC-Santa Barbara neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga on neuroscience and the law; and Princeton religious historian Elaine Pagels on The Book of Revelation. In the coming weeks we will publish the complete video, audio, and texts. For publication schedule and details, see below.
Spring Mountain Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa, CA
Friday July 15 to Sunday, July 17th
DANIEL KAHNEMAN: "THE MARVELS AND THE FLAWS OF INTUITIVE THINKING"
The power of settings, priming, and unconscious thinking, all are a major change in psychology. I can't think of a bigger change in my lifetime. You were asking what's exciting? That's exciting, to me.
Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Princeton University; Recipient, the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow (forthcoming, October 25th).
MARTIN NOWAK: "THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION"
Why has cooperation, not competition, always been the key to the evolution of complexity?
Mathematical Biologist, Game Theorist; Professor of Biology and Mathematics, Director, Center for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University; Author, SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed
What may be the most important thing that has ever happened in human history is that violence has gone down, by dramatic degrees, and in many dimensions all over the world and in many spheres of behavior: genocide, war, human sacrifice, torture, slavery, and the treatment of racial minorities, women, children, and animals.
Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology; Harvard University. Author, The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Better Angels Of Our Nature: How Violence Has Declined (forthcoming, October 4th)
Recent research concerning the welfare of others, etc. affects not only how to think about certain emotions, but also overturns how most models of reciprocity and exchange, with implications about how people think about modern markets, political systems, and societies. What are these new approaches to human motivation?
Professor of Psychology and Co-director (with John Tooby) of Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara
MICHAEL GAZZANIGA: "NEUROSCIENCE AND JUSTICE"
Asking the fundamental question of modern life. In an enlightened world of scientific understandings of first causes, we must ask: are we free, morally responsible agents or are we just along for the ride?
Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychology & Director, SAGE Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara; Human: Who's In Charge? (forthcoming, November 15th)
ELAINE PAGELS: "THE BOOK OF REVELATION: PROPHECY AND POLITICS"
Why is religion still alive? Why are people still engaged in old folk takes and mythological stories — even those without rational and ethical foundations.
Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University; Author The Gnostic Gospels; Beyond Belief; and Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (forthcoming, March 6, 2012)
"Open-minded, free ranging, intellectually playful ... an unadorned pleasure in curiosity, a collective expression of wonder at the living and inanimate world ... an ongoing and thrilling colloquium."— Ian McEwan in The Telegraph
Stewart Brand, Biologist, Long Now Foundation; Author, Whole Earth Discipline
John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge; CEO, Brockman, Inc; Author, The Third Culture
Max Brockman, Literary Agent, Brockman, Inc; Editor, Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge
Jaron Lanier, Computer Scientist, Musician; Author, You Are Not A Gadget
Salar Kamangar, CEO. You Tube; Google's ninth employee; Former VP. Google Web Applications
Sean Parker, The Founders Fund; CoFounder, Napster & CoFounder & Founding President, Facebook
Nicholas Pritzker, Hyatt Development Corporation
John Tooby, Founder, Field of Evolutionary Psychology; Co-Director, UC Santa Barbara's Center for Evolutionary Psychology
Anne Treisman, Research Psychologist, Princeton
Benedict Carey, Journalist, New York Times
Jim Giles, News Correspondent, New Scientist
Greg Miller, News Correspondent, Science
Lucy Odling-See, News Correspondent, Nature
Eva Wisten, Journalist, Dagens Industri
The Edge Master Class 2011 was held at Villa Miravelle at Spring Mountain Vineyard in St. Helena, California.
"Built 1884 in Saint Helena, CA, by Mexican-American Tiburcio Parrott, the majestic residence dominates the surrounding vineyards and includes spires, wraparound verandas, a conservatory, a grand stone tower, massive front double doors with exquisite stained glass, and a six-story high cupola. Miravalle was designed by architect Albert Schroepfer, who had designed acclaimed structures at Inglenook and Beringer Wineries, and San Fransisco's Orpheum Theatre. ... Tiburcio died within ten years, and Miravalle remained empty for the next seventy. In 1974 Spring Mountain Vineyard and winery were established on the surrounding property."
The Vineyard was bought by Edge member Jacqui (Jacob) Eli Safra in 1992, after which he consolidated several properties into the current 900-acre property, the largest contiguous vineyard in Napa. Safra, a Swiss investor, is a descendant of the Lebanon-Swiss Jewish Safra banking family. In addition to Spring Mountain Vineyards, his other investments include Encyclopædia Britannica and Merriam-Webster. The entire Edge community wishes to thank him for his thoughtfuness and generosity. And we wish to express our appreciation to General Manager George Peterson, and Customer Relationship Director Leah Smith for their help in organizing a memorable weekend.
"Edge is the greatest virtual research university in the world." — Denis Dutton, Arts & Letters Daily
"We'd certainly be better off if everyone sampled the fabulous Edge symposium, which, like the best in science, is modest and daring all at once." — David Brooks, New York Times column
Future Science, edited by Max Brockman
18 original essays by the brightest young minds in science: Kevin P. Hand - Felix Warneken - William McEwan - Anthony Aguirre -Daniela Kaufer and Darlene Francis - Jon Kleinberg - Coren Apicella - Laurie R. Santos - Jennifer Jacquet - Kirsten Bomblies - Asif A. Ghazanfar - Naomi I. Eisenberger - Joshua Knobe - Fiery Cushman - Liane Young - Daniel Haun - Joan Y. Chiao
"A fascinating and very readable summary of the latest thinking on human behaviour." — [More]
"Cool and thought-provoking material. ... so hip." — Washington Post
The Best of Edge: The Mind, edited by John Brockman
18 conversations and essays on the brain, memory, personality and happiness: Steven Pinker - George Lakoff - Joseph LeDoux -Geoffrey Miller - Steven Rose - Frank Sulloway - V.S. Ramachandran - Nicholas Humphrey - Philip Zimbardo - Martin Seligman -Stanislas Dehaene - Simon Baron-Cohen - Robert Sapolsky - Alison Gopnik - David Lykken - Jonathan Haidt
For the past 15 years, literary-agent-turned-crusader-of-human-progress John Brockman has been a remarkable curator of curiosity, long before either "curator" or "curiosity" was a frivolously tossed around buzzword. His 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 (and, once a year, asking them some big questions). Last month marked the release of The Mind, the first volume in The Best of Edge Series, presenting eighteen provocative, landmark pieces—essays, interviews, transcribed talks—from the Edge archive. The anthology reads like a who's who ... across psychology, evolutionary biology, social science, technology, and more. And, perhaps equally interestingly, the tome—most of the materials in which are available for free online—is an implicit manifesto for the enduring power of books as curatorial capsules of ideas.
"(A) treasure chest ... A coffer of cutting-edge contemporary thought, The Mind contains the building blocks of tomorrow's history book—whatever medium they may come in—and invites a provocative peer forward as we gaze back at some of the most defining ideas of our time." — [More]
The Best of Edge: Culture, edited by John Brockman
17 conversations and essays on art, society, power and technology: Daniel C. Dennett - Jared Diamond - Denis Dutton - Brian Eno -Stewart Brand - George Dyson - David Gelernter - Karl Sigmund - Jaron Lanier - Nicholas A. Christakis - Douglas Rushkoff - Evgeny Morozov - Clay Shirky - W. Brian Arthur - W. Daniel Hillis - Richard Foreman - Frank Schirrmacher
We've already ravished The Mind -- the first in a series of anthologies by Edge.org editor John Brockman, curating 15 years' worth of the most provocative thinking on major facets of science, culture, and intellectual life. On its trails comes Culture: Leading Scientists Explore Societies, Art, Power, and Technology—a treasure chest of insight true to the promise of its title. From the origin and social purpose of art to how technology shapes civilization to the Internet as a force of democracy and despotism, the 17 pieces exude the kind of intellectual inquiry and cultural curiosity that give progress its wings. (A) lavish cerebral feast ... one of this year's most significant time-capsules of contemporary thought." —[More]