After returning the lost wallet, we conclude that we're honest. In reality, many pressures shape our behaviour..."
In spite of his serious expression, his friends and acquaintances say that he is a man of enviable rhetoric, able to hold the attention of anyone. Brockman is the name behind the Edge (edge.org), the virtual forum that brings together big names of Global Science — such as Craig Venter, one of the greatest, who is responsible for sequencing the human genome, Steven Pinker, the Canadian psychologist named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, and Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, famous for his defense of atheism.
...This makes the website clear, direct, and without arrogant elitism. The ideas linking to knowledge are not there to be popularized but to be explored. Members are admitted by invitation and include scientists Richard Dawkins and Craig Venter, composer Brian Eno, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and author Ian McEwen. Brockman: "all members are distinguished by the fact that they generate new ideas. They are not people who are only discussing new things".
Pentland argues that big data—in this case, analyzing details of social interactions and behaviors on a wide scale—will reinvent what it means to have a human society. He compares the impending transformation to the historical development of writing, education, and the Internet.
In trying to overcome between the two cultures in 1991 the writer and American literary agent John Brockman threw a cultural movement called the "third culture": his intention was to unite intellectuals and scientists in a transversal logic can illuminate the deep meaning of 'human existence starting from the consideration that the development of science had become interdisciplinary. ... Brockman's ideas are outdated - only a recognition of separate cultures and looking for a constant comparison between them can guarantee a correct evolution of knowledge.
According to an interview with Ryan Phelan, executive director of a project called Revive and Restore, at the Science Foo conference at the Googleplex earlier this month, there are now three techniques that may someday give scientists that ability: backbreeding (trying to work evolution backward, basically, to select for the traits of a related species), cloning (if enough genetic material exists), and genome editing (selectively manipulating the genome of a related species).
Delving into this book is like overhearing a heated conversation in a lab. It captures the preoccupations of top scientists and offers a rare chance to discover big ideas before they hit the mainstream.
We will decipher DNA ship at lightning speed around the world, where it is necessary. Yesterday evening you could hear these prophecies by Craig Venter in Turin, in an event known as the "Edge Dinner", one of the many dinners between scientists and assorted guests organized around the world by John Brockman, the literary agent American stars of science.
Think of the Origin of Species and the emotional expressions of Darwin, in fact almost all his books, to those of Galileo an In the last century that the custom seemed to be lost, but it has been given new life by a literary agent, John Brockman, and authors such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Francis Crick, Eric Kandel, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking.
Cage was preparing dinner and discussed.Those evenings were great opportunities for cultural enrichment. It was there that I heard for the first time of McLuhan. Unlike writers, scholars and artists were very interested in the sciences.
It is perhaps time to be afraid. Very afraid, suggests the science historian George Dyson, author of a recent biography of John von Neumann, one of the inventors of the digital computer. In “A Universe of Self-Replicating Code,” a conversation published on the Web site Edge, Mr. Dyson says that the world’s bank of digital information, growing at a rate of roughly five trillion bits a second, constitutes a parallel universe of numbers and codes and viruses with its own “physics” and “biology.”
Where do cool ideas come from? Every year, the online salon Edge.org poses one question and gets a bunch of smart people to answer it.
Note, he asked contributors how the internet has changed the way ''you'' - not ''we'' - think. Brockman's aim is not treatises. He wants personal responses, and to a satisfying degree he gets them. ... The question for his 2010 edition (even the internet has not sped the arrival of this print-format book to our shores) produces little consensus. This proves a central strength.
What scientific concept would most improve everybody’s ability to think? ... As Brockman points out, the “tools” in his book are like magic hammers in that they can help you now and through life to make the world better and to allow readers to see their biases more accurately.
These are people who live at the outermost frontiers of human knowledge -- thinkers who spend their lives using what we do know to discover what we don't. Their words are inspiring, comforting and occasionally alarming. Their wisdom is great. But their tone is never arrogant or elitist.
He compiled the results in "This Will Make You Smarter" (Harper Perennial), a provocative, wiz bang collection of essays by experts in fields as wide ranging as neuroscience and economics, philosophy and biological anthropology, addressing such topics as collective intelligence and the paradox of daydreaming.
As is usual at Edge, the whole article is speculative, yet fascinating.