EDGE VIDEO ARCHIVE 3

EDGE VIDEO ARCHIVE 3

Event Date: [ 1.1.07 ]
Location:

 

EDGE CONVERSATION 

CHANGING LIFESTYLE CHANGES GENE EXPRESSION 
Dean Ornish

Founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Even if your mother and your father and your sister and brother and aunts and uncles all died from heart disease, it doesn't mean that you need to. If you are willing to make big enough changes, there is no reason you need ever develop heart disease, except in relatively rare cases.


EDGE CONVERSATION

LIFE IS THE WAY THE ANIMAL IS IN THE WORLD 
A Talk with Alva Noe

Professor of Philosophy at the University of California; Author, Out of Our Heads

The problem of consciousness is understanding how this world is there for us. It shows up in our senses. It shows up in our thoughts. Our feelings and interests and concerns are directed to and embrace this world around us. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. To me that's the problem of consciousness.


 

EDGE CONVERSATION

A RULE OF THE GAME
A Talk with Hans Ulrich Obrist

Curator, Serpentine Gallery, London; Editor: A Brief History of Curating; Formulas for Now

These are exhibitions which are not material, but which are more virtual, virtual in the sense of them always being able to be reactualized. They can be revisited and reactualized and updated, and they are also not related to a place. The exhibition can go to where the viewer is. Anybody in the world can download these formulas and pin them on the wall, or they can do their own and trigger their own formulas. We are in the very early days of understanding how the Internet can be used for exhibitions.


EDGE MASTER CLASS 2008

A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS


IMPROVING CHOICES WITH MACHINE READABLE DISCLOSURE (CLASS 2) 
A Talk By Richard H. Thaler,  Sendhil Mullainathan

THALER: Father of Behavioral Economics; Director, Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; Co-Author, Nudge

At a minimum, what we're saying is that in every market where there is now required written disclosure, you have to give the same information electronically and we think intelligently how best to do that. In a sentence that's the nature of the proposal.

 

 


THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SCARCITY (CLASS 3)
A Talk By Sendhil Mullainathan

Professor of Economics at Harvard

Nathan Myhrvold, Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman, France LeClerc, Danny Hillis, Paul Romer, George Dyson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sean Parker

Let's put aside poverty alleviation for a second, and let's ask, "Is there something intrinsic to poverty that has value and that is worth studying in and of itself?" One of the reasons that is the case is that, purely aside from magic bullets, we need to understand are there unifying principles under conditions of scarcity that can help us understand behavior and to craft intervention. If we feel that conditions of scarcity evoke certain psychology, then that, not to mention pure scientific interest, will affect a vast majority of interventions. It's an important and old question.


TWO BIG THINGS HAPPENING IN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY (CLASS 4)
A Talk By Daniel Kahneman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

Danny Hillis,Richard Thaler,Nathan Myhrvold,Elon Musk, France LeClerc, Salar Kamangar, Anne Treisman, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jeff Bezos,Sean Parker

There's new technology emerging from behavioral economics and we are just starting to make use of that. I thought the input of psychology into economics was finished but clearly it's not!

THE REALITY CLUB

W. Daniel Hillis, Daniel Kahneman, Nathan Myhrvold, Richard Thaler on "Two Big Things Happening In Psychology Today"


THE IRONY OF POVERTY (CLASS 5)
A Talk By Sendhil Mullainathan

Professor of Economics at Harvard

I want to close a loop, which I'm calling "The Irony of Poverty." On the one hand, lack of slack tells us the poor must make higher quality decisions because they don't have slack to help buffer them with things. But even though they have to supply higher quality decisions, they're in a worse position to supply them because they

 

 

 


EDGE CONVERSATION

MODELING THE FUTURE 
A Talk with Stephen Schneider

Climatologist, is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences

Warming is unequivocal, that's true. But that's not a sophisticated question. A much more sophisticated question is how much of the climate Ma Earth, a perverse lady, gives us is from her, and how much is caused by us. That's a much more sophisticated, and much more difficult question.


EDGE CONVERSATION

ANTS HAVE ALGORITHMS 
A Talk with Iain Couzin

Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

Another example that we've been investigating are huge swarms of Mormon crickets. If you look at these swarms, all of the individuals are marching in the same direction, and it looks like cooperative behavior. We investigated this collective decision, and what really makes this system work in the case of the Mormon cricket is cannibalism.


EDGE CONVERSATION

SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE LIKE THE EYE 
A Talk with Nicholas A. Christakis

Physician and Social Scientist, Harvard University; Coauthor, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

It is customary to think about fashions in things like clothes or music as spreading in a social network. But it turns out that all kinds of things, many of them quite unexpected, can flow through social networks, and this process obeys certain rules we are seeking to discover.


EDGE CONVERSATION

ENGINEERING BIOLOGY 
A Talk with Drew Endy 

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford University

The only thing that hasn't been engineered are the living things, ourselves. Biotechnology is 30 years old; it's a young adult. Most of the work is still to come, but how do we actually do it? Let's not talk about it, let's actually go do it, and then let's deal with the consequences .


EDGE CONVERSATION

THE IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST 
A Talk with Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald 

ANTHONY GREENWALD is Professor of Psychology at University of Washington

MAHZARIN BANAJI Psychologist; Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

"What is remarkable about this test, which is called the Implicit Association Test—the IAT—is that it allows you to be a subject in your own experiment." Most scientists do not have the remarkable experience of being the object of study in their own research. — Mahzarin Banaji

"The IAT provides a useful window into some otherwise difficult-to-detect contents of our minds. It may be "an inconvenient truth" that what's there is not what we thought was there or want to be there. But I think it is generally something we can come to grips with." — Anthony Greenwald


EDGE MASTER CLASS 2007

A SHORT COURSE IN THINKING ABOUT THINKING
Daniel Kahenman


SESSION ONE
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

I'll start with a topic that is called an inside-outside view of the planning fallacy. And it starts with a personal story, which is a true story.


SESSION TWO
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

When you ask who is more likely to take the two million for sure, the one who has one million or the one who has four, it is very clear that it's the one with one, and that the one with four might be much more likely to gamble. When you draw real demand curves, they are kinked where the person is. Where you are turns out to be a fundamentally important parameter.


SESSION THREE
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

People are not good at affective forecasting. We have no problem predicting whether we'll enjoy the soup we're going to have now if it's a familiar soup, but we are not good if it's an unfamiliar experience, or a frequently repeated familiar experience.


SESSION FOUR
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

The puzzle of well-being is related to the affective forecasting that most people believe that circumstances like becoming richer will make them happier. It turns out that people's beliefs about what will make them happier are mostly wrong, and they are wrong in a directional way, and they are wrong very predictably. And there is a story here that I think is interesting.


SESSION FIVE
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

Life serves us problems one at a time; we're not served with problems where the logic of the comparison is immediately evident so that we'll be spared the mistake. We're served with problems one at a time, and then as a result we answer in ways that do not correspond to logic.


SESSION SIX
Daniel Kahenman

Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

The question I'd like to raise is something that I'm deeply curious about, which is what should organizations do to improve the quality of their decision-making? And I'll tell you what it looks like, from my point of view.


EDGE SEMINAR 2007

LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!


LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
Freeman Dyson

Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study; Author, Many Colored Glass; The Scientist as Rebel

The essential idea is that you separate metabolism from replication. We know modern life has both metabolism and replication, but they're carried out by separate groups of molecules. My version of the origin of life is that it started with metabolism only.

 


LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
George Church

Professor, Harvard University, Director, Personal Genome Project

Many of the people here worry about what life is, but maybe in a slightly more general way, not just ribosomes, but inorganic life. Would we know it if we saw it? It's important as we go and discover other worlds, as we start creating more complicated robots, and so forth, to know, where do we draw the line?

 

 

 

 


LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
J. Craig Venter

Leading scientist of the 21st century for Genomic Sciences; Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO, Co-Chief Scientific Officer, Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; Founder, President and Chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute; author, A Life Decoded

We're just at the tip of the iceberg of what the divergence is on this planet. We are in a linear phase of gene discovery maybe in a linear phase of unique biological entities if you call those species, discovery, and I think eventually we can have databases that represent the gene repertoire of our planet.

 

LIFE WHAT A CONCEPT
Robert Shapiro

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Senior Research Scientist, New York University; Author, Planetary Dreams

ISuppose you took Scrabble sets containing every language on Earth and you heap them together and you then took a scoop and you scooped into that heap and you flung it out on the lawn there and the letters fell into a line which contained the words “To be or not to be, that is the question,” that is roughly the odds of an RNA molecule, given no feedback, appearing on the Earth.


LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
Dimitar D. Sasselov

Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University; Director, Harvard Origins of Life Initiative

Together with the realization of our changing universe, we are now facing a second, seemingly unrelated realization: there is a new kind of planet out there which have been named super-Earths, that can provide to life all that our little Earth does. And more.


LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
Seth Lloyd

Professor of Quantum Mechanical Engineering, MIT; Author, Programming the Universe

If you program a computer at random, it will start producing other computers, other ways of computing, other more complicated, composite ways of computing. And here is where life shows up.


EDGE CONVERSATION

RECURSION AND HUMAN THOUGHT
A Talk with Daniel L. Everett

Linguistic Researcher; Dean of Arts and Sciences, Bentley University; Author, Language: The Cultural Tool 

The research question that has motivated my work for the last 25–30 years has been, what is the nature of language. This is the question that motivates most linguistics research. But I started off asking it one way and came to the conclusion that asking it that way was probably wrong and I now have a different way of approaching the problem.

 


EDGE CONVERSATION

SONG OF SONGS 
Armand Leroi

Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Imperial College; Author, Mutants

Songs can survive hundreds of years of geographical and cultural separation.


EDGE CONVERSATION

A COOPERATIVE FORAGING EXPERIMENT: LESSONS FROM ANTS 
Seirian Sumner

Research Fellow in Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

You are a leaf-cutting ant from South America. You will compete against the humans across the aisle in a foraging activity. You're task is to collect as much forage as possible. There's a reason ants are so successful.


EDGE CONVERSATION

HOW OUR LIMBS ARE PATTERNED LIKE THE FRENCH FLAG
Lewis Wolpert

Professor of Biology, University College London

I've spoken to these eggs many times and they make it quite clear...they are not a human being.


EDGE CONVERSATION

SO WOMEN HAVE BETTER EMPATHY THAN MEN?
Simon Baron-Cohen

Psychologist, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University; Author, Zero Degrees of Empathy

In this Edge Video, psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen looks at one test he's developed to see if there are differences between males and females in the mind.

"It turns out that when you test newborn babies—this experiment was done at the age of 24 hours old, where we had 100 babies who were tested looking at two kinds of objects—a human face and a mechanical mobile. And they were filmed for how long they looked at each of these two objects. What you can see here is that on the first day of life, we had more boys than girls looking for longer at the mechanical mobile and more girls than boys looking at the face. So you can see that these differences when they emerge, first of all they seem to emerge very early—at birth—suggesting that there may be a biological component to a sex difference in, in this case, interest in faces; and secondly, they don't apply to all males or all females, these differences emerge as statistical trends when you compare groups."


EDGE CONVERSATION

A FULL-FORCE STORM WITH GALE WINDS BLOWING
A Talk with Robert Trivers

Evolutionary Biologist; Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University; Author, The Folly of Fools

For the last ten or fifteen years, I've been trying to understand situations in nature in which the genes within a single individual are in disagreement—or put differently, in which genes within an individual are selected in conflicting directions. It's an enormous topic, which 20 years ago looked like a shadow on the horizon, just as about a hundred years ago what later became relativity theory was just two little shadows on the horizon of physics, and blew up to become major developments. In genetics it's fair to say that about 20 years ago a cloud on the horizon was our knowledge that there were so-called selfish genetic elements in various species that propagated themselves at the expense of the larger organism. What was then just a cloud on the horizon is now a full-force storm with gale winds blowing.