Edge in the News

La Nacion [4.7.13]

The Edge.org: "Excellent training environment and global scientific discussion" ...

The Kyunghyang Shinmun [4.5.13]

The multimedia artist, publisher, representative, American John Brockman has the most expensive "address book" in the world. Edge was established in 1996 as a foundation to both the humanities, science, art, business, and he was recruited throughout his outstretched connections. Special lectures, annual dinners and the conversations convey a world where knowledge is produced. Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Daniel Kahneman are some of the members of the Foundation.

Of the 'Best of Edge Series' by Edge Foundation, CULTURE is the second volume. By several intellectuals, it introduces the key issues and trends in the field....

N Culture Magazine [3.29.13]

Since last October I'm in San Sebastian, Spain, as a writer in residence at the DIPC (Donostia International Physics Center and Center Donostia International Physics), led by physicist Pedro Miguel Echenique. Participated crossbreeding project, which seeks to move the boundaries between art, science and humanities, and aims-to-share deal is a transdisciplinary perspective. In particular, we are currently working on the borders between literature and science: what CP Snow (a famous lecture in 1959) called "the two cultures". In recent times, inspired by that debate I installed Snow, thinkers like John Brockman coined and popularized concepts such as "third culture" towards greater communication and understanding between the scientific and humanistic culture. ...

The Malaysian Times [3.28.13]

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama)—The Maylasian government, pushing for the adoption of the English language throughout the country and the imporvement of English proficiency, has implemented MUET, "The Malaysian University English Test", which is being administered to all university students. 

To test reading comprehension,  the  material chosen includes "adaptations from the Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, and a book entitled This Will Change Everything, [edited] by John Brockman" [i.e. Edge].

Edge [3.27.13]

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller's original Edge essay, "Chinese Eugenics", a response to the 2013 Question"What Should We Be Worried About?" has gone viral on the Web, picked up by a range of publications: ViceSlateBBC FutureAmerican ConservativeReddit, among others. Click here to read Miller's original essay.

Pagina|12 (Buenos Aires) [3.24.13]

He spent the 2012 and the world did not end: now what? That same uncertainty overflew the site Edge.org when called on its members to respond, as every year, the same question. That's how some of the scientific minds, brightest artistic and journalistic research centered on the world faced the big question after the apocalypse that was not: "Why should we fear in the coming years?". As it has done every year, selected and translated Radar best (and most terrifying) answer: the end of the individual and the technology transfer to the mysteries of the mind and the risks of living too. …

El Periodico.com [3.22.13]

Maybe he can criticize Kosmopolis 13, the feast of the amplified literature (translation: here amplified means in relation to other disciplines and technologies), the absence of illustrious visitors. And the crisis is pressed.

But you can not deny the ideas and proposals. So, this seventh edition, which opens tomorrow with a conversation between the writer and the critic Jaume Cabre Xavier Pla, and runs until Saturday at the CCCB, drive shaft is the relationship between science and science fiction humanities. Kosmopolis uses the concept of third culture, coined by John Brockman, to launch a series of events inspired by recent scientific developments, such as the arrival of the robot Curiosity to Mars or the probable existence of Higgs Hicks. And at a more popular level, the director Nacho Vigalondo and critic Jorge Carrion marked dialectical pulse face their respective defenses of film and television in the field of science fiction.

The Globe and Mail [3.21.13]

But they do like to talk about beauty, a lot, at least when mass media are listening. Edge.org, a gathering point for celebrity scientists and public intellectuals, spent the whole of 2012 mulling over a question proposed by Canadian psychologist Steven Pinker: “What is your favourite elegant, deep or beautiful explanation?” The 194 submissions, which included quantum theory and Einstein’s explanation of gravity, were recently published by Harper Perennial under the title This Explains Everything. 

The New York Times [3.21.13]

In 2006, Philip E. Tetlock published a landmark book called "Expert Political Judgment." While his findings obviously don't apply to me, Tetlock demonstrated that pundits and experts are terrible at making predictions. …

… Tetlock is now recruiting for Year 3. (You can match wits against the world by visiting http:www.goodjudgmentproject.com.) He believes that this kind of process may help depolarize politics. If you take Republicans and Democrats and ask them to make a series of narrow predictions, they'll have to put aside their grand notions and think clearly about the imminently falsifiable.

[ED NOTE: See: "How To Win At Forecasting: A Conversation with Philip Tetlock" on Edge http://bit.ly/14aZrqQ]

The Tyee [3.19.13]

However, Tetlock found two distinguishable groups of thinkers among the experts: hedgehogs and foxes.

...These findings taught Tetlock, the author of Expert Political Judgment, a few lessons about pundits. They "were hard pressed to do better than chance, were overconfident, and were reluctant to change their minds in response to new evidence. That combination doesn't exactly make for a flattering portrait of the punditocracy," he recently told Edge.org

La Repubblica [3.13.13]

"...if it bleeds it leads, if it bleeds then sells. The good news is not news. Even the best of all, that we live in a more peaceful era of all time. If it seems otherwise, we change the lenses. Assume the long perspective and realize that the extraordinary disasters today are nothing compared to ordinary pandemonium yesterday.

"Professor, why did you decide to write a book so counterintuitive?"

"Working on previous texts I had accumulated data in the dramatic reduction of violent deaths by non-state players today, as well as other advances such as the end of slavery and the abolition of corporal punishment. So when Edge.org asked me 'what I was optimistic about?, I said 'the decline of violence'. Other scholars commented, adding various other evidence in favor. It convinced me that it was not yet a well-known story."

Brian Eno, Joop/Opinies [3.13.13]

We sometimes tend to think of ideas and feelings that our intuition shooting, intrinsically superior to feelings that are based on reason and logic. Intuition - the 'underbelly' - is deified as the noble savage of mind, those intrepid short shrift to the pedantry of reason.

Especially artists, who often operate intuitively, are prone to this belief. By a number of experiences I have become skeptical.

This piece is taken from the book "This explains everything. John Brockman, founder of the website edge.org , prepares an annual demand of a selection of the most interesting scientists and artists in the world.

Adevăru (Romania) [3.11.13]

Question: "What should worry us in the future?" Answered 150 of the most respected people for their research or their remarkable intelligence. And how many people, so many answers about what people should pursue in the future.

List of people interviewed includes winners of Nobel prize, authors of science fiction and a lot of scholars in psychology, physics or biology. Below is a short list of the most interesting answers ...

smartdatacollective [3.8.13]

For every successful “Big Data”  case study listed in Harvard Business Review, Fortune or the like, there are thousands of many failures. It’s a problem of cherry-picking “success stories,” or assuming that most companies are harvesting extreme insights from Big Data Analytics projects, when in fact there is a figurative graveyard of big data failures that we never see.

“Big Data” is a hot topic. There are blogs, articles, analyst briefs and practitioner guides on how to do “Big Data Analytics” correctly. And case studies produced by academics and vendors alike seem to portray that everyone is having success with Big Data analytics (i.e. uncovering insights and making lots of money).

In an Edge.org article, author and trader Nassim Taleb highlights the problem of observation bias or cherry-picking success stories while ignoring the “graveyard” of failures. It’s easy to pick out the attributes of so-called “winners," while ignoring that failures likely shared similar traits. ...

GRUPO REFORMA (Mexico) [3.6.13]

Some fifteen years John Brockman, a restless promoter of culture, an intellectual entrepreneur, organizes a strange Christmas party. Brockman, who said that it is one of the great intellectual enzymes of our time, does not meet his family for dinner Turkey or opening gifts from Santaclos. It invites some of the brightest minds in the world to virtually meet at edge.org, your Internet homepage, to answer a provocative question. The party is the conversation that is woven from the responses. The annual celebration of edge is a bridge between two cultures that are ignored. Arts and Sciences sharing the delicacy of a good question. Among his regular guests can be found to Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Craig Venter, Brian Eno, Daniel Dennet, Samuel Harris. Yes, little diversity. Many English men or Americans — but, in the end, a group with things to say.

British Psychological Society [2.26.13]

Edge.org, the online soapbox for scientists and other intellectuals, has published the answers to its latest annual question - What should we be worried about?  …
At the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore believes we should be concerned about the effect of environmental factors on the development of the adolescent brain, something she says we know little about. She highlighted the possible adverse effects of excessive gaming and social networking, and the UNICEF estimate that 40 per cent of teenagers worldwide lack access to secondary education. 'Adolescence represents a time of brain development when teaching and training should be particularly beneficial. I worry about the lost opportunity of denying the world's teenagers access to education,' she said.

Wall Street Journal [2.25.13]

Computer scientist David Gelernter answering the 2013 annual question of Edge.org, "What should we be worried about?"

If we have a million photos, we tend to value each one less than if we only had ten. The internet forces a general devaluation of the written word: a global deflation in the average word's value on many axes. As each word tends to get less reading-time and attention and to be worth less money at the consumer end, it naturally tends to absorb less writing-time and editorial attention on the production side. Gradually, as the time invested by the average writer and the average reader in the average sentence falls, society's ability to communicate in writing decays. ...

Steve Lohr, bits.blog, the New York Times [2.25.13]

...Up to now, the focus on the power and implications of Big Datatechnology has been involved social media, business decision-making and online privacy. Those are big subjects in their own right. So it’s not surprising that the notion of a data-driven society has not been much considered.

But someone who has was host of the meeting: Alex Pentland, a computational social scientist at the Media Lab. He put his intellectual stake in the ground last year in a presentation posted on Edge.org, "Reinventing Society in the Wake of Big Data." 

San Francisco Chronicle [2.24.13]

10. THIS EXPLAINS EVERYHING: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works John Brockman (Harper Perennial; $15.99)

On Campus [2.20.13]

They're two different brains. I started as an academic, and I thought that was all I was ever going to be. As for the media career, it was all just a complete accident. I was at Berkeley, and there was a fight over the ban of affirmative action. I thought that affirmative action—the way they had done it—had become obsolete. Not wrong, but enough time had passed and it was time to base affirmative action on socioeconomics. Saying that in the late 1990s in Berkeley and Oakland—you were not supposed to say that as a young black professor. I wrote an essay on the website edge.org, and the publisher of my linguistics book suggested that I expand it into a book. At first I said no: Why would anybody care what some linguist thinks about race issues? But I wrote it [Losing the Race] because I felt very passionate about the issue, and I just love writing.