Everything answers to the rule of law. Nature. Science. Society. All of it obeys a set of codes...It's the thinker's challenge to put words to these unwritten rules. Do so, and he or she may go down in history. Like a Newton or, more recently, a Gordon Moore, who in 1965 coined the most cited theory of the technological age, an observation on how computers grow exponentially cheaper and more powerful... Recently, John Brockman went looking for more laws.
..."It's interesting to sit back and watch this crowd move the question in different directions that I hadn't intended," says Brockman, who has been posting answers to the annual question online since 1997... This year's results, published on edge.org, run the gamut from brainy principles to homespun observations in the tradition of Murphy's Law...If all this theorizing sounds a little high-flown, it's not, says Brockman. The important questions of life aren't restricted to an exclusive club - this just happens to be the intellectual company Brockman keeps.
" They're not sitting around looking at their work in awe and wonder," he says. "They're looking at experiments and empirical results and asking, `Where do we go from here?'"
... As for choosing a favorite among the crop of submissions, Brockman invokes a law of his own: "Nobody knows, and you can't find out."