The Prophets of the Third Culture

[ Fri. Jan. 23. 2015 ]

[Translation:] The young stars of the new culture and a very optimistic vision of changing the world.  Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, said: "My goal was never to just create a company ... but that something to do with that creates a very large change in the world ... a social mission, our goal was to make the world a more open place and one that brings people closer together...

 Apple's former leader, Steve Jobs was equally ambitious: "Everyone has the impression that this is a moment which influence the future ... who is quite foolish to think that they can change the world, they should also be changed! "

Larry Page, Google's co-founder, said: "We want to build a technology that everyone will be using, and which will affect everyone ... I'm trying to focus on the results: What will be the future? And how do we do this we will create the future? ... If you just change the world, it is important things you deal with - and why are you going to get up in the morning your bed excitedly ... "Sergey Brin, Google's other founder is thinking as follows:" We want you to Google the human brain third future of work would ... Eventually I want to see the world as a whole communicates knowledge available to our brain would want ... As a man, to see who has created a great change in the world ... "

Stars and Thinkers

The third culture stars are generally inclined to be gnostics or atheist. But who and what are the authoritative thinkers of this new culture?

The term "third culture" originally comes from American writer John Brockman, who, in 1995* presented this set of ideas in his book The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution.  According to Brockman: "The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

The book presents the work of 23 scientists and philosophers, who are the central third culture thinkers. In the 1980s and '90s, these thinkers were presented and discussed their views, and Brockman has followed up and created a popular portal (meetings of The Reality Club ), on which the discourse has continued.

"Unlike previous intellectual pursuits, " he writes, the achievements of the third culture are not the marginal disputes of a quarrelsome mandarin class: they will affect the lives of everybody on the planet....  

"Unlike previous intellectual pursuits, the achievements of the third culture are not the marginal disputes of a quarrelsome mandarin class: they will affect the lives of everybody on the planet."—insists Brockman. The formation of the universe, the origin of life , of human consciousness are central issues explored by the third culture intellectuals. Scientific topics include molecular biology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, chaos theory, the strong parallelism, artificial neural networks, the inflationary universe, fractals, biodiversity, nanotechnology, virtual reality, cyberspace, quantum computers, cloning and robotics. … The third-culture thinkers are the new public intellectuals."… [MORE

Original Hungarian language version

[* ED. NOTE: My essay "The Emerging Third Culture", was first published by the Los Angeles Times on November 28. 1991 along with an accompanying profile. The essay is reprinted on Edge as is the entire book, The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution (1995). The paperback edition of the book (Simon & Schuster) is in print and availabe. (Amazon | B&N).