"Question 2010"
Katinka Matson
[click to enlarge]


The Edge Annual Question — 2010

HOW IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK?

Read any newspaper or magazine and you will notice the many flavors of the one big question that everyone is asking today. Or you can just stay on the page and read recent editions of Edge ...

Playwright Richard Foreman asks about the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the "instantly available". Is it a new self? Are we becoming Pancake People — spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.

Technology analyst Nicholas Carr wrote the most notable of many magazine and newspaper pieces asking "Is Google Making Us Stupid". Has the use of the Web made it impossible for us to read long pieces of writing?

Social software guru Clay Shirky notes that people are reading more than ever but the return of reading has not brought about the return of the cultural icons we'd been emptily praising all these years. "What's so great about War and Peace?, he wonders. Having lost its actual centrality some time ago, the literary world is now losing its normative hold on culture as well. Is the enormity of the historical shift away from literary culture now finally becoming clear?

Science historian George Dyson asks "what if the cost of machines that think is people who don't?" He wonders "will books end up back where they started, locked away in monasteries and read by a select few?".

Web 2.0 pioneer Tim O'Reilly, ponders if ideas themselves are the ultimate social software. Do they evolve via the conversations we have with each other, the artifacts we create, and the stories we tell to explain them?

Frank Schirrmacher, Feuilleton Editor and Co-Publisher of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has noticed that we are apparently now in a situation where modern technology is changing the way people behave, people talk, people react, people think, and people remember. Are we turning into a new species — informavores? — he asks.

W. Daniel Hillis goes a step further by asking if the Internet will, in the long run, arrive at a much richer infrastructure, in which ideas can potentially evolve outside of human minds? In other words, can we change the way the Internet thinks?

What do you think?


This year's Question is "How is the Internet changing the way YOU think?" Not "How is the Internet changing the way WE think?" We spent a lot of time going back on forth on "YOU" vs. "WE" and came to the conclusion to go with "YOU", the reason being that Edge is a conversation. "WE" responses tend to come across like expert papers, public pronouncements, or talks delivered from stage.

We wanted people to think about the "Internet", which includes, but is a much bigger subject than the Web, an application on the Internet, or search, browsing, etc., which are apps on the Web. Back in 1996, computer scientist and visionary Danny Hillis pointed out that when it comes to the Internet, "Many people sense this, but don't want to think about it because the change is too profound. Today, on the Internet the main event is the Web. A lot of people think that the Web is the Internet, and they're missing something. The Internet is a brand-new fertile ground where things can grow, and the Web is the first thing that grew there. But the stuff growing there is in a very primitive form. The Web is the old media incorporated into the new medium. It both adds something to the Internet and takes something away."

This year, I enlisted the aid of Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator of the Serpentine Gallery in London, as well as the artist April Gornik, one of the early members of "The Reality Club" (the precursor to the online Edge) to help broaden the Edge conversation — or rather to bring it back to where it was in the late 80s/early 90s, when April gave a talk at a "Reality Club" meeting, and discussed the influence of chaos theory on her work, and when Benoit Mandelbrot showed up to discuss fractal theory and every artist in NYC wanted to be there. What then happened was very interesting. The Reality Club went online as Edge in 1996 and the scientists were all on email, the artists not. Thus, did Edge surprisingly become a science site when my own background (beginning in 1965 when Jonas Mekas hired me to manage the Film-Makers' Cinematheque) was in the visual and performance arts.

172 essayists (an array of world-class scientists, artists, and creative thinkers) have created a 132,000 document. (Click here to go directly to the responses). The are:

Maria Abramovic, Anthony Aguirre, Alan Alda, Alun Anderson, Chris Anderson, Noga Arikha, Scott Atran, Mahzarin R. Banaji, Albert-László Barabási, Simon Baron-Cohen, Samuel Barondes, Thomas A. Bass, Yochai Benkler, Jesse Bering, Jamshed Bharucha, Nick Bilton, Sue Blackmore, Paul Bloom, Giulio Boccaletti, Stefano Boeri, Lera Boroditsky, Nick Bostrom, Stewart Brand, John Brockman, Rodney Brooks, David M. Buss, Jason Calacanis, William Calvin, Philip Campbell, Nicholas Carr, Sean Carroll, Leo Chalupa, Nicholas Christakis, George Church, Andy Clark, June Cohen, Tony Conrad, Douglas Coupland, James Croak, M. Csikszentmihalyi, Fiery Cushman, David Dalrymple, Richard Dawkins, Aubrey De Grey, Stanislas Dehaene, Daniel Dennett, Emanuel Derman, Keith Devlin, Peter Diamandis, Chris DiBona, Eric Drexler, Jesse Dylan, Esther Dyson, George Dyson, David Eagleman, Olafar Eliasson, Brian Eno, Juan Enriquez, Daniel Everett, Paul Ewald, Hu Fang, Christine Finn, Eric Fischl, Helen Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Richard Foreman, Fabrizo Gallanti, Howard Gardner, David Gelernter, Neil Gershenfeld, Ralph Gibson, Gerd Gigerenzer, Ian & Joel Gold, Nigel Goldenfeld, Alison Gopnik, April Gornik, Joshua Greene, Haim Harari, Judith Rich Harris, Sam Harris, Daniel Haun, Marc Hauser, Marti Hearst, Virginia Heffernan, W. Daniel Hillis, Donald Hoffman, Bruce Hood, Nick Isaac, Xeni Jardin, Paul Kedrosky, Kevin Kelly, Jon Kleinberg, Brian Knutson, Terence Koh, Stephen Kosslyn, Kai Krause, Andrian Kreye, Jaron Lanier, Joseph LeDoux, Andrew Lih, Seth Lloyd, Gary Marcus, Lynn Margulis, John Markoff, Marissa Mayer, Tom McCarthy, Jonas Mekas, Thomas Metzinger, Geoffrey Miller, Dave Morin, Evgevny Morozov, David Myers, Tor Nørretranders, Hans Ulrich Obrist, James O'Donnell, Tim O'Reilly, Gloria Origgi, Neri Oxman, Mark Pagel, Gregory Paul, Irene Pepperberg, Clifford Pickover, Stuart Pimm, Steven Pinker, Ernst Pöppel, Emily Pronin, Robert Provine, Steve Quartz, Lisa Randall, Raqs Media Collective, Martin Rees, Ed Regis, Howard Rheingold, Matt Ridley, Matthew Ritchie, Rudy Rucker, Douglas Rushkoff, Karl Sabbagh, Paul Saffo, Scott D. Sampson, Larry Sanger, Robert Sapolsky, Roger Schank, Peter Schwartz, Charles Seife, Terrence Sejnowski, Robert Shapiro, Michael Shermer, Clay Shirky, Barry Smith, Laurence Smith, Lee Smolin, Galia Solomonoff, Linda Stone, Seirian Sumner, Tom Standage, Victoria Stodden, Nassim Taleb, Timothy Taylor, Max Tegmark, Frank Tipler, Fred Tomaselli, John Tooby, Arnold Trehub, Sherry Turkle, Eric Weinstein, Ai Weiwei, Frank Wilczek, Ian Wilmut, Eva Wisten, Richard Saul Wurman, Anton Zeilinger.

John Brockman
Editor & Publisher

PERMALINK



A BIG QUESTION: 'HOW IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK?'
Edge posed this question; discover how a wide range of thinkers responded.

By John Brockman

As each new year approaches, John Brockman, founder of Edge, an online publication, consults with three of the original members of Edge—Stewart Brand, founder and editor of Whole Earth Catalog; Kevin Kelly, who helped to launch Wired in 1993 and wrote "What Technology Wants," a book to be published in October (Viking Penguin); and George Dyson, a science historian who is the author of several books including "Darwin Among the Machines." Together they create the Edge Annual Question—which Brockman then sends out to the Edge list to invite responses. He receives these commentaries by e-mail, which are then edited. Edge is a read-only site. There is no direct posting nor is Edge open for comments.

Brockman has been asking an Edge Annual Question for the past 13 years. In this essay, he explains what makes a question a good one to ask and shares some responses to this year's question: "How is the Internet changing the way you think?" 


It's not easy coming up with a question. As the artist James Lee Byars used to say: "I can answer the question, but am I bright enough to ask it?" Edge is a conversation. We are looking for questions that inspire answers we can't possibly predict. Surprise me with an answer I never could have guessed. My goal is to provoke people into thinking thoughts that they normally might not have. 

The art of a good question is to find a balance between abstraction and the personal, to ask a question that has many answers, or at least one for which you don't know the answer. It's a question distant enough to encourage abstractions and not so specific that it's about breakfast. A good question encourages answers that are grounded in experience but bigger than that experience alone. 

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ON THE COVER
INTERNET ERGO SUM

The network has changed our
way of thinking? Meet artists, intellectuals and
Scientists around the world. From Kevin Kelly to Brian Eno, from
Richard Dawkins, to Clay Shirky, to Nicholas Carr

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The Times
January 28, 2010

In 1953, when the internet was not even a technological twinkle in the eye, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously divided thinkers into two categories: the hedgehog and the fox: "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

Hedgehog writers, argued Berlin, see the world through the prism of a single overriding idea, whereas foxes dart hither and thither, gathering inspiration from the widest variety of experiences and sources. Marx, Nietzsche and Plato were hedgehogs; Aristotle, Shakespeare and Berlin himself were foxes.

Today, feasting on the anarchic, ubiquitous, limitless and uncontrolled information cornucopia that is the web, we are all foxes. We browse and scavenge thoughts and influences, picking up what we want, discarding the rest, collecting, linking, hunting and gathering our information, social life and entertainment. The new Apple iPad is merely the latest step in the fusion of the human mind and the internet. This way of thinking is a direct threat to ideology. Indeed, perhaps the ultimate expression of hedgehog-thinking is totalitarian and fundamentalist, which explains why the regimes in China and Iran are so terrified of the internet. The hedgehogs rightly fear the foxes.

Edge (www.edge.org), a website dedicated to ideas and technology, recently asked scores of philosophers, scientists and scholars a simple but fundamental question: "How is the internet changing the way you think?” The responses were astonishingly varied, yet most agreed that the web had profoundly affected the way we gather our thoughts, if not the way we deploy that information.

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January 19, 2010
The Age of External Knowledge

Today’s idea: Filtering, not remembering, is the most important mental skill in the digital age, an essay says.
But this discipline will prove no mean feat, since mental focus must take place amid the unlimited
distractions of the Internet.


Internet | Edge, the high-minded ideas and tech site, has posed its annual question for 2010 — "How is the Internet changing the way you think?" — and gotten some interesting responses from a slew of smart people. They range from the technology analyst Nicholas Carr, who wonders if the Web made it impossible for us to read long pieces of writing; to Clay Shirky, social software guru, who sees the Web poised uncertainly between immature "Invisible High School" and more laudable "Invisible College." David Dalrymple, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thinks human memory will no longer be the key repository of knowledge, and focus will supersede erudition. Quote:

Before the Internet, most professional occupations required a large body of knowledge, accumulated over years or even decades of experience. But now, anyone with good critical thinking skills and the ability to focus on the important information can retrieve it on demand from the Internet, rather than her own memory. On the other hand, those with wandering minds, who might once have been able to focus by isolating themselves with their work, now often cannot work without the Internet, which simultaneously furnishes a panoply of unrelated information — whether about their friends’ doings, celebrity news, limericks, or millions of other sources of distraction. The bottom line is that how well an employee can focus might now be more important than how knowledgeable he is. Knowledge was once an internal property of a person, and focus on the task at hand could be imposed externally, but with the Internet, knowledge can be supplied externally, but focus must be forced internally.

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ATLANTIC WIRE
January 14, 2010

Deep Thinkers Debate: 'How Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

By Heather Horn

Edge is an organization of deep, visionary thinkers on science and culture. Each year the group poses a question, this year collecting 168 essay responses to the question, "How is the Internet changing the way you think?"

In answer, academics, scientists and philosophers responded with musings on the Internet enabling telecommunication, or functioning as a sort of prosthesis, or robbing us of our old, linear" mode of thinking. Actor Alan Alda described the Web as "speed plus mobs." Responses alternate between the quirky and the profound ("In this future, knowledge will be fully outside the individual, focus will be fully inside, and everybody's selves will truly be spread everywhere.")

Since it takes a while to read the entire collection--and the Atlantic Wire should know, as we tried--here are some of the more piquant answers. Visit the Edge website for the full experience. For a smart, funny answer in video form, see here.

  • We Haven't Changed, declares Harvard physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis. Our brains "likely evolved ... in response to the demands of social (rather than environmental) complexity," and would likely only continue to evolve as our social framework changes. Our social framework has not changed: from our family units to our military units, he points out, our social structures remain fairly similar to what they were over 1000 years ago. "The Internet itself is not changing the fundamental reality of my thinking any more than it is changing our fundamental proclivity to violence or our innate capacity for love."

  • Bordering on Mental Illness Barry C. Smith of the University of London writes of the new importance of "well-packaged information." He says he is personally "exhilarated by the dizzying effort to make connections and integrate information. Learning is faster. Though the tendency to forge connecting themes can feel dangerously close to the search for patterns that overtakes the mentally ill."

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a cura di Clara Caverzasio Tanzi e Gaetano Prisciantelli


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il Venerdi di Repubblica (Friday Magazine)
January 8, 2010

Science THEORY AND PRACTICE

BRAIN TRUST
Forward thinking and other ideas for the future described by today's greatest scientists

"Between Possible and Imaginary" is the theme of the Science Festival which opens in Rome next week. The American popularizer John Brockman collected the forecasts of the greatest living minds about ideas that will change everything during their lifetime. From DNA to education, the book illustrates surprising and provocative discoveries from the world that await us.

[GAETANO PRISCIANTELLI]

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ART NEWS — RAI.IT
January 19, 2010


Interview at Rome Science Festival [@6:56 minutes]
Beatrice Zamponi, Art News — Rai.it



FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
O8 Januar 2010
FEUILLETON—DEBATTE

The Question of 2010
HAS THE INTERNET CHANGED YOUR THINKING? [Google Translation]
(German Original: Wie hat das Internet Ihr Denken verändert?)
By Frank Schirrmacher


[click on pdf images to enlarge]

On that Friday in January 2010 published by the American literary agent John Brockman, the question of 2010: How the Internet and networked computers to change the way we think? At the core of the debate lies the question asked by science historian George Dyson: "Is the price of machines that think, people who will not do?"

Brockman, who counts some of the most important scientists of our time as his authors, this vision orbits on Edge.org with one hundred twenty-one answers. We print the most interesting in the features section. Unlike Germany, where the debate about the information age is still focused on palaver about media, Edge debates the target in depth.

Who is planning what, where, by what means?

If one takes the digital revolution seriously , one must ask to what degree the communication of the industrialized twenty-first century will change our thinking. The computer pioneer Daniel Hillis describes how even such a simple procedure such as the programming of the time on networked computers is now barely understood by many programmers. And he concludes, with regard to climate change and financial crisis: "Our machines are embodiments of our reason, and we entrust them with a large number of our decisions. In this process we have created a world that is beyond our understanding. Experts no longer talk about data, but about what computers predict with the data."

Neurobiological effects of constant multitasking lead, as Nicholas Carr writes about outsourcing, for ever-increasing dependence on computers. What if not only decisions about loans and budgets were subject to the use of computers, but also those regarding resumes? After the recent incidents in America, profiling is an even more important means of web-based "pre-crime" analysis: Who is planning what, where, by what means? But profiling what works with terrorists can also be applied to in enterprises and workplaces as Cataphora.com has shown.

Been overtaken by reality

Some of those authors presented by Brockman do not find that the Net has changed their thinking. Others see it differently. Nobody, not even the skeptics, long to return to a time before the Internet. But many make it clear that what we experience as a user is in fact only a "surfing", a movement on the surface. The German Internet debate is stuck in the nineties. Brockman's question this year sets the chord for questions that take us beyond this set of attitudes.

Frank Schirrmacher
Editor, The Feuilleton & Co-Publisher, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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FRONT PAGE

PUBLICO (LISBON) — WEEKEND MAGAZINE — COVER STORY
Technology

IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK?

By Ana Gerschenfeld

Do you think the Internet has altered you mind at the neuronal, cognitive, processing, emotional levels? Yes, no, maybe, reply philosophers, scientists, writers, journalists to the Edge annual question 2010, in dozens of texts that are published online today

Click here for PDF of Portuguese Original

In the summer of 2008, American writer Nicholas Carr published in the Atlantic Monthly an article under the title Is Google making us stupid?: What the Internet is doing to our brains, in which highly criticized the Internet’s effects on our intellectual capabilities. The article had a high impact, both in the media and the blogosphere.

Edge.org – the intellectual online salon – has now expanded and deepened the debate through its traditional annual challenge to dozens of the world’s leading thinkers of science, technology, thought, arts, journalism. The 2010 question is: “How is the Internet changing the way you think?"

They reply that the Internet has made them (us) smarter, shallower, faster, less attentive, more accelerated, less creative, more tactile, less visual, more altruistic, less arrogant. That it has dramatically expanded our memory but at the same time made us the hostages of the present tense. The global web is compared to an ecosystem, a collective brain, a universal memory, a global conscience, a total map of geography and history.

One thing is certain: be they fans or critics, they all use it and they all admit that the Internet leaves no one untouched. No one can remain impervious to things such a Wikipedia or Google, no one can resist the attraction of instant, global, communication and knowledge.

More than 120 scientists, physicians, engineers, authors, artists, journalists met the challenge. Here, we present the gist some of their answers, including Nicholas Carr’s, who is also part of this online think tank founded by New-York literary agent John Brockman. If you have more time and think your attention span is up to it, we recommend you enjoy the whole scope of their length and diversity by visiting edge.org.

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SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (MUNICH)
JANUARY 10, 2010
TECHNOLOGY

Thinking in the Internet Age
AS THE NETWORK FORMS US (Wie das Netz uns formt)
By Jonannes Boie

The online magazine Edge asked scientists, writers and artists, such as the Internet has changed their thinking. The answers are remarkable. ...

Two billion people worldwide use the Internet. The debates about the new technology, however, are not the same everywhere. In Germany, for example, the discourse is limited on the subject of the net, as it is especially focused on media and copyright debates.

The publication of the book "Payback", co-editor Frank Schirrmacher, co-editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung presents the German debate, giving the topic the the depth it deserves.

Prior to the publication Schirrmacher 's book, the American literary agent John Brockman, interviewed him for Edge.org, the online science and culture magazine.

Schirrmacher, in his book, also asked the question — Has the Internet changed thinking? Brockman has now taken up this issue, and formulated it as his fundamental question, which he asks at the end of each year of the scientists and authors who discuss and publish on Edge.

The answers have now been published on Edge.org. The authors are 131 influential scientists, authors and artists.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST
January 11, 2010


FRONT PAGE


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NPR — ON POINT

WHAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING?
Friday, January 8, 2010

Big science thinker John Brockman asked scientists around the world one question: what breakthrough will change everything? We’ve got their answers.

-Tom Ashbrook

John Brockman joins us from New York. He’s the founder of the Edge Foundation, which runs the science and technology website Edge.org. Every year, Edge asks scientists and thinkers a “big question,” and publishes the answers in a book, which Brockman edits. The latest, just out, is “This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future.” It’s based on the 2009 question: “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” The 2010 question, “How is the internet changing the way you think?,” has just been posted.

From Cambridge, Mass., we’re joined by Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and professor of physics at MIT. His response to the 2009 Edge question discusses coming technological advances resulting from deeper understanding of quantum physics. He’s the author of several books on physics for the lay reader, most recently “The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces.”

And from Berkeley, Calif., we’re joined by Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC-Berkeley and an expert on cognitive and language development. Her response to the 2009 Edge question discusses the extension of human childhood. Her latest book is “The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life.”


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Newsweek
January 8, 2010

Sharon Begley
YOUR BRAIN ONLINE
Does the Web change how we think?

Shortened attention span. Less interest in reflection and introspection. Inability to engage in in-depth thought. Fragmented, distracted thinking.

The ways the Internet supposedly affects thought are as apocalyptic as they are speculative, since all the above are supported by anecdote, not empirical data. So it is refreshing to hear how 109 philosophers, neurobiologists, and other scholars answered, "How is the Internet changing the way you think?" That is the "annual question" at the online salon edge.org, where every year science impresario, author, and literary agent John Brockman poses a puzzler for his flock of scientists and other thinkers. ...

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Arts & Letters Daily

Articles of Note: John Brockman’s Edge question for 2010 asks over a hundred intellectuals, “Is the Internet changing the way you think?”... more»


'CHANGE' LOOKS AT POSSIBILITES OF OUR FUTURE

BY CARLO WOLFF

I flunked a physics test so badly as a college freshman that the only reason I scored any points was I spelled my name right.

Such ignorance, along with studied avoidance of physics and math since college, didn’t lessen my enjoyment of This Will Change Everything, a provocative, demanding clutch of essays covering everything from gene splicing to global warming to intelligence, both artificial and human, to immortality.

Edited by John Brockman, a literary agent who founded the Edge Foundation, this is the kind of book into which one can dip at will. Approaching it in a linear fashion might be frustrating because it is so wide-ranging. ...

...Overall, this will appeal primarily to scientists and academicians. But the way Brockman interlaces essays about research on the frontiers of science with ones on artistic vision, education, psychology and economics is sure to buzz any brain.

Stewart Brand, the father of the Whole Earth Catalog, a kind of hippie precursor of hypertext and intermedia (the last term is a Brockman coinage), calls Brockman "one of the great intellectual enzymes of our time” at www.edge.org, Brockman’s Web site. Brockman clearly is an agent provocateur of ideas. Getting the best of them to politicians who can use them to execute positive change is the next step.

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THE EDGE ANNUAL QUESTION BOOK SERIES
Edited by John Brockman

"An intellectual treasure trove"
San Francisco Chronicle





2010

HOW IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK?


Printer Version

172 Contributors

132,000 words

 
Maria Abramovic
Anthony Aguirre
Alan Alda
Alun Anderson
Chris Anderson
Noga Arikha
Scott Atran
Mahzarin R. Banaji
Albert-László Barabási
Simon Baron-Cohen
Samuel Barondes
Thomas A. Bass
Yochai Benkler
Jesse Bering
Jamshed Bharucha
Nick Bilton
Sue Blackmore
Paul Bloom
Giulio Boccaletti
Stefano Boeri
Lera Boroditsky
Nick Bostrom
Stewart Brand
John Brockman
Rodney Brooks
David M. Buss
Jason Calacanis
William Calvin
Philip Campbell
Nicholas Carr
Sean Carroll
Leo Chalupa
Nicholas Christakis
George Church
Andy Clark
June Cohen
Tony Conrad
Douglas Coupland
James Croak
M. Csikszentmihalyi
Fiery Cushman
David Dalrymple
Richard Dawkins
Aubrey De Grey
Stanislas Dehaene
Daniel Dennett
Emanuel Derman
Keith Devlin
Peter Diamandis
Chris DiBona
Eric Drexler
Jesse Dylan
Esther Dyson
George Dyson
David Eagleman
Olafar Eliasson
Brian Eno
Juan Enriquez
Daniel Everett
Paul Ewald
Hu Fang
Christine Finn
Eric Fischl
Helen Fisher
W. Tecumseh Fitch
Richard Foreman
Fabrizo Gallanti
Howard Gardner
David Gelernter
Neil Gershenfeld
Ralph Gibson
Gerd Gigerenzer
Ian & Joel Gold
Nigel Goldenfeld
Alison Gopnik
April Gornik
Joshua Greene
Haim Harari
Judith Rich Harris
Sam Harris
Daniel Haun
Marc Hauser
Marti Hearst
Virginia Heffernan
W. Daniel Hillis
Donald Hoffman
Bruce Hood
Nick Isaac
Xeni Jardin
Paul Kedrosky
Kevin Kelly
Jon Kleinberg
Brian Knutson
Terence Koh
Stephen Kosslyn
Kai Krause
Andrian Kreye
Jaron Lanier
Joseph LeDoux
Andrew Lih
Seth Lloyd
Gary Marcus
Lynn Margulis
John Markoff
Marissa Mayer
Tom McCarthy
Jonas Mekas
Thomas Metzinger
Geoffrey Miller
Dave Morin
Evgevny Morozov
David Myers
Tor Nørretranders
Hans Ulrich Obrist
James O'Donnell
Tim O'Reilly
Gloria Origgi
Neri Oxman
Mark Pagel
Gregory Paul
Irene Pepperberg
Clifford Pickover
Stuart Pimm
Steven Pinker
Ernst Pöppel
Emily Pronin
Robert Provine
Steve Quartz
Raqs Media Collective
Lisa Randall
Martin Rees
Ed Regis
Howard Rheingold
Matt Ridley
Matthew Ritchie
Rudy Rucker
Douglas Rushkoff
Karl Sabbagh
Paul Saffo
Scott D. Sampson
Larry Sanger
Robert Sapolsky
Roger Schank
Peter Schwartz
Charles Seife
Terrence Sejnowski
Robert Shapiro
Michael Shermer
Clay Shirky
Barry Smith
Laurence Smith
Lee Smolin
Galia Solomonoff
Linda Stone
Seirian Sumner
Tom Standage
Victoria Stodden
Nassim Taleb
Timothy Taylor
Max Tegmark
Frank Tipler
Fred Tomaselli
John Tooby
Arnold Trehub
Sherry Turkle
Eric Weinstein
Ai Weiwei
Frank Wilczek
Ian Wilmut
Eva Wisten
Richard Saul Wurman
Anton Zeilinger


2009


WHAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING?



EL MUNDO
January 3, 2009

Impíos deseos al empezar el año
By Arcadia Espada

Al rito solar del Año Nuevo, el concierto de Viena (me paso las dos horas de valses, fantaseando con el frío de fuera, y la choucroute caliente y morosa que le espera al primer concertino: todo lo que me gusta me da hambre) y los saltos en Garmisch Partenkirchen se ha unido ya la pregunta de Edge. Al despuntar el alba, y con todas las ilusiones intactas, Brockman&Guests sacuden la resaca, preguntan y se responden. Lo hacen desde 1998 y este año proponen: BEl subtítulo lleva una consoladora precisión: se trata de cambios y desarrollos científicos que podamos ver en vida. El resumen de las ideas de Edge, la navajita más afilada de la cultura contemporánea, siempre es complicado. Excepto, claro está, en el caso de los dos o tres artistas que figuran cada año a modo de sansivieras: todas sus respuestas se pueden ignorar. Deberás fiarte, pues, de mi gusto y de mis obsesiones. También de las limitaciones del formato de la carta. Y, principalmente, de mis límites: no entiendo todas las respuestas. En todo caso, aquí tienes el catálogo completo....

SPANISH TEXT
GOOGLE TRANSLATION


DER SPIEGEL ONLINE
January 10, 2009

HEUTE IN DEN FEUILLETONS

Das Versagen der Linken im Gaza-Krieg

In der "SZ" erinnert sich Sibylle Lewitscharoff an ihre Zeit bei der Gruppe Spartacus Bolschewiki-Leninisten. Die "NZZ" hat in Detroit in die vielen Gesichter des Nichts gesehen. Und die "FAZ" erkennt in der chinesischen Markenpiraterie die Intelligenz des Volkes.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.01.2009...Weiteres: Wie es aussieht, "wenn die Intelligenz von sich selber träumt", weiß Thomas Thiel seit der Umfrage des Magazins edge.org unter hochdekorierten Naturwissenschaftlern zu der Frage: "Welche Entwicklung könnte könnte zu Ihren Lebzeiten alles ändern?"


FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
January 10, 2009

Visionen der Wissenschaft
Wenn die Intelligenz von sich selber träumt
Von Thomas Thiel



Man steigt, heißt es, nicht zweimal in denselben Fluss. Aber man hofft doch, als derselbe ans Ufer zurückzukehren. Nur im Horizont dieses Bildes zeigt sich die Radikalität der Frage, die der Literaturagent John Brockman von der Organisation "Edge" (Edge — die Website) der wissenschaftlichen Gemeinschaft vorgelegt hat: „Welche Entwicklung könnte zu Ihren Lebzeiten alles ändern?" Wie zu jedem Jahreswechsel fordert Brockman mit seiner Frage auf der Website von Edge die Phantasie der Wissenschaftler heraus, den Mut zum großen Gedanken. Es antworten oft hochdekorierte Forscher wie Ian Wilmut, Craig Venter oder Daniel Dennett, die in (Natur-)Wissenschaftlern und Technikern und nicht mehr im Literaten oder Historikern den zeitgemäßen Typus des Intellektuellen sehen.

Fasst man den Grundtenor der mehr als einhundertfünfzig Antworten zusammen, so gehört die Zukunft den Genetikern, Neurobiologen und Informatikern oder jedenfalls solchen Wesen, die sich die Ergebnisse neurobiologischer, informationstechnologischer und genetischer Forschung zunutze machen. Ob sie noch sinnvollerweise Menschen genannt werden sollten, ist dabei eine berechtigte Frage. ...

GOOGLE TRANSLATION


Letras Libres
December 16, 2008

Science in the Street

By Ramón González & Férriz Y Diego Salazar

Humanism today limps as Andalusia ostensibly despises science. Gonzalez and Salazar Férriz indicate a new and commendable effort to remedy that Soanish ignorance: Culture 3.0.

In the preface to the recent reissue of The betrayal of the intellectuals, 1927 Julien Benda (Galaxia Gutenberg), Fernando Savater stated that "perhaps the greatest paradox of the paradoxes of the twentieth century is this: there has never been a time in human history in which more developed the ability to produce tools and knowledge the inner structure of reality in all fields. So, never was more scientific and technical brilliance. But neither had ever so many ideological movements based (or better, desfondados) as irrational, dogmatic or unverifiable, above all, never was such a wealth of supporters of rapture or intuitive certainty blood among the elite of servers for high spiritual functions. "In the words of Benda," men whose function is to defend and selfless eternal values such as justice and reason, and I call intellectuals have betrayed that role for practical interests, which often result in the conversion of a mere intellectual ideologue who aspires to a space power...

...Following the wake of Snow and probably trying to repair the betrayal of Benda-speaking, John Brockman in 1988 founded the Edge Foundation (www.edge.org), an organization that seeks to reintegrate, under the idea of a "Third Culture "scientific and humanistic discourse and contribute to that science has a key role in the discussion of public affairs. ...

SPANISH ORIGINAL
GOOGLE TRANSLATION


NEWS-OBSERVER
January 4, 2009

Science visions, dark and bright

By J. Peder Zane

Talk about change was more plentiful in 2008 than loose coins in an old couch.
Despite all the lip-flapping, that place where gods and devils dwell -- the details -- was largely unexplored.

The Obama administration will soon offer its ideas for reviving the economy and reshaping America's foreign policy. But politicians aren't the only ones who can remake the world.

Scientists have at least as much power to transform our lives and history. What "game-changing scientific ideas and developments" do they expect to occur during the next few decades?

That's the question John Brockman, editor of the Web site edge.org, posed to about 160 cutting-edge minds in his 11th annual Edge Question. As in years past, they responded with bold, often thrilling, sometimes chilling, answers.


THE GUARDIAN
January 2, 2009
SCIENCE BLOG

Richard Dawkins: How would you feel about a half-human half-chimp hybrid?

Dawkins speculates about how a human-chimp hybrid or the discovery of a living Homo erectus would change the way we see the world. — James Randerson

In a late response to Edge.org's annual New Year challenge to the world's leading thinkers, Prof Richard Dawkins has submitted his entry. Edge.org asked scientists, philosophers, artists and journalists "What will change everything?"

Dawkins — author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion — muses on the effect of breaking down the barrier between humans and animals, perhaps by the creation of a chimera in a lab or a "successful hybridisation between a human and a chimpanzee".

Here's what he had to say.


THE TELEGRAPH
January 2, 2009

New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of 'next big thing'

By Jon Swaine

Leading thinkers — including Craig Venter and Ian McEwan — have marked New Year 2009 by predicting what will be the next big thing to shape the future.

[PHOTO: IAN MCKEWAN/PHILIP HOLLIS]

[Caption: Ian McEwan: predicts the full flourishing of solar technology as one of the next 'big things']

A 150-strong group of scientists, authors, musicians, philosophers and other respected experts were posed the question "What will change everything?"

Their task was set by Edge, an online intellectual discussion group, which claims its membership comprises "the most interesting minds in the world".

The responses spanned new methods of energy production, the dawn of telepathy, freely available artificial intelligence and the colonisation of the Milky Way."


NPR
January 2, 2009

THE BIG STORY
Weekend reading

ANALYSIS
The Big Question Of The Year

By Linton Weeks

Every year, John Brockman — who runs the nonprofit Edge Foundation in New York — asks a gaggle of forward-thinking people a provocative question.


THE GUARDIAN
January 2, 2009
SCIENCE BLOG

Brian Eno: The feeling that things are inevitably going to get worse

The artist and composer responds to this year's Edge.org question: What will change everything?

[PHOTO: BRIAN ENO/EAMONN MCCABE]

What would change everything is not even a thought. It's more of a feeling.

Human development thus far has been fueled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. The world was rich compared to its human population; there were new lands to conquer, new thoughts to nurture, and new resources to fuel it all. The great migrations of human history grew from the feeling that there was a better place, and the institutions of civilisation grew out of the feeling that checks on pure individual selfishness would produce a better world for everyone involved in the long term.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
January 2, 2009

OPINION PAGE

THE BIG STORY
Weekend reading


Edge World Question 2009: What will change everything?

Annual science survey asks: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" Among the answers:

• West Antarctica and sleeping giants
• Quantum laptops
• Mind-reading ...


GLASCOW HERALD
January 2, 2009

Top thinkers divided on whether future is bright

Chris Watt

The predictions range from miracle cures and world peace to economic ruin and nuclear war. If there is a theme to the World Questions 2009, an online survey of some of the world's top thinkers, it would seem to be inconsistency.

Published yesterday on intellectual Website edge.org, the survey asked 150 leading scientists, artists and commentators for their views on the single biggest change likely to affect the world during their lifetimes.

The wide range of answers they gave provides a snapshot of the hopes — and fears — that may come to define our times.


BLOGGINGHEADS TV
January 3, 2009

JOHN HORGAN/
GEORGE JOHNSON

Science Saturday: The More Things Change... (27:45)

• Edge contributors answer "What will change everything?"

GJ: We were talking abut great thiigs on the Internet in science...so you read Edge.org' question of the year?

JH: Yes, the annual question from John Brockman, the science book impressario. He's got this great site edge.org 2hich we've talked about before and every year he asks this question and he's asks this ever-growing stable of people, primarily scientists but a of of quasi-scientist pundits to respond this question. The question this year is "What will change everything".

GJ: Yes, Good New Year's Day reading.


PHARYNGULA
January 2, 2009

PZ MYERS

Brockman asks, we answer

GRIST
January 2, 2009

We're gonna need a bigger boat

Scientists and other experts rattle off options for averting climate catastrophe


Meanwhile, the mysterious Edge Foundation released its annual question for 2009, asking smart folks of all disciplines to name what new idea or technology will "change everything." Responses range all over, but there are a few climate-related responses, including British novelist Ian McEwan's prediction that solar technology will really take off and Stanford climatologist Stephen H. Schneider's guess that rapid melting of Greenland's ice sheets will wake up the world to the need to take concerted action on curbing C02 emissions.


BELIEFNET
January 2, 2009

CRUNCH CON BLOG/
RON DREHER

Edge 2009: What will change everything?

If you're familiar with The Edge's annual survey of scientists, science writers and scientific types, you know how fascinating the answers are. Follow the link above to get started reading them -- and then share in the comboxes your own answer to the question, and how you reached that conclusioN


O'REILLY RADAR
January 1, 2009

What Will Change Everything?

By Brady Forrest
Regular Radar contributor Linda Stone sent this in to be posted today.

...Venter imagines creating life from synthetic materials and expects that our view of life, itself, will be transformed.

Nobel Laureate, Frank Wilczek, believes everything will continue to become smaller, faster, cooler, and cheaper -- with its implications of an Internet on steroids and exciting new designer materials.


ARTS & LETTER DAILY
January 1, 2009

Essays and Opinion

Printing — electricity — radio — antibiotics: after them, nothing was the same. Intellectual impresario John Brockman asks a select group of thinkers, "What will change everything?"... more»


THE GUARDIAN
January 1, 2009

Leading thinkers predict technologies that will turn the world upside-down

James Randerson, science correspondent

[Caption: Ian McEwan muses that we will look back and 'wonder why we ever thought we had a problem when we are bathed in such beneficent radiant energy'. Photograph: Getty]

Flying cars, personal jetpacks, holidays on the moon, the paperless office — the predictions of futurologists are, it seems, doomed to fail. The only thing predictable about the future is its unpredictability.

But that has not stopped edge.org — the online intellectual salon — asking which ideas and inventions will provide humanity's next leap forward. In its traditional New Year challenge to the planet's best thinkers it asks, "What will change everything — What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"


THE TIMES
January 1, 2009

Science minds reveal vision of life, the universe and everything

Mark Henderson, Senior Editor

Most scientists like to dream about what will change the world — even if they understand that their own work is never likely to have quite the impact of a Copernicus or a Darwin.

The fascinating breadth of their visions of the future is revealed today by the discussion Website edge.com, which has asked some of the world's finest minds the question: "What will change everything?"


Xconomy
January 1, 2009

What Will Change Everything?

Linda Stone
 

What game-changing ideas can we expect to see in OUR lifetimes?

As each year winds to a close, John Brockman, literary agent representing some of the finest minds in science and technology and the founder of Edge Foundation, poses a provocative question to an international community of physicists, psychologists, futurists, thought leaders, and dreamers. Brockman is a master convener, both online and in real life. This year's annual Edge question, What will change everything?, generated responses from Freeman Dyson, Danny Hillis, Martin Seligman, Craig Venter, and Juan Enriquez, to name a few. Here are a few highlights.


NEWSWEEK
December 31, 2008

LAB NOTES

Crystal-Ball Time

By Sharon Begley

Every December the online intellectual salon called Edge, presided over by literary agent John Brockman, asks a select (virtual) assembly of scientists to ponder a question, such as what they are optimistic about (2007), what "dangerous" ideas they have (2006) and what they believe is true but cannot prove (2005). As the bell tolls on 2008 and rings in 2009, Edge is unveiling this year's: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"

As usual, the offerings vary as much in quality as a cheap spumante does from Dom Perignon. Predictably, contributors foresee space colonization and the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. More intriguing, there are predictions that a new human species will evolve from Homo sapiens, and that we will discover how to identify the brain pattern that indicates a person is about to commit a violent act (and will also discover how to suppress that pattern).



THE GUARDIAN
January 1, 2009

SCIENCE BLOG

Which technological wonders are set to change everything?


The world's greatest thinkers have revealed the ideas and technologies they think will change the world forever. Now it's our turn ...

James Randerson, science correspondent

Futurology is notoriously hit-and-miss. According to 2001: A Space Odyssey, we should already be using suspended animation to send humans to Jupiter

"Through science we create technology and in using our new tools we recreate ourselves." So says the intro to edge.org's annual New Year challenge to the world's greatest thinkers.This year it is asking "What will change everything — What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" And as ever, the great and the good have responded to the call. ...


2008


WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?




The splendidly enlightened Edge Website (www.edge.org) has rounded off each year of inter-disciplinary debate by asking its heavy-hitting contributors to answer one question. I songly recommend a visit.


A great event in the Anglo-Saxon culture

As fascinating and weighty as one would imagine

They are the intellectual elite, the brains the rest of us rely on to make sense of the universe and answer the big questions. But in a refreshing show of new year humility, the world's best thinkers have admitted that from time to time even they are forced to change their minds

Even the world's best brains have to admit to being wrong sometimes: here, leading scientists respond to a new year challenge

Provocative ideas put forward today by leading figures

The world's finest minds have responded with some of the most insightful, humbling, fascinating confessions and anecdotes, an intellectual treasure trove. ... Best three or four hours of intense, enlightening reading you can do for the new year. Read it now.

As in the past, these world-class thinkers have responded to impossibly open-ended questions with erudition, imagination and clarity.

A jolt of fresh thinking...The answers address a fabulous array of issues. This is the intellectual equivalent of a New Year's dip in the lake — bracing, possibly shriek-inducing, and bound to wake you up


Answers ring like scientific odes to uncertainty, humility and doubt; passionate pleas for critical thought in a world threatened by blind convictions


For an exceptionally high quotient of interesting ideas to words, this is hard to beat. ...What a feast of egg-head opinionating!.

2007


WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?



What Are you Optimistic About?
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by Daniel C. Dennett



Was läuft hier richtig?
Der neue Optimi
smus der Wissenschaften kommt gerade zur rechten Zeit

RALF BÖNT


C'est la double question posée par John Brockman, éditeur de Edge à plus de 160 "penseurs de la troisième culture, ces savants et autres penseurs du monde empirique qui, par leur travail ou leurs écrits prennent la place des intellectuels traditionnels en rendant visibles les sens profonds de nos vies, en redéfinissant autant qui nous sommes que ce que nous sommes".

Ça change des unes constamment catastrophiques de nos médias habituels.


But when the scientific thinkers look beyond their own specializations to the big picture, they continue to find cause for cheer — foreseeing an end to war, for example, or the simultaneous solution of our global warming and energy problems. The most general grounds for optimism offered by these thinkers, though, is that big-picture pessimism so often proves to be unfounded.
Global warming, the war on terror and rampant consumerism getting you down? Well, lighten up: here, 17 of the world's smartest scientists and academics share their reasons to be cheerful

Brockman's respondents were forward-looking, describing cutting-edge research that will help combat global warming and other looming problems.


How Doomed Are We?

Edgie's Chris Anderson of TED and Robert Provine of University of Maryland as the proponents of optimism on program concerning Optimism and the Doomsday Clock


a titillating compilation

Peering into their crystal telescopes, the world's leading scientists see a magnificent future

El foro virtual Edge propone buscar razones, no simplemente deseos, para el optimismo. Edge es un club que reúne, segén ellos mismos, algunas de las mentes más interesantes del mundo. Su propósito es estimular discusiones en las fronteras del conocimiento. La intención es llegar al borde del conocimiento mundial, acercándose a las mentes más complejas y refinadas, juntarlas en un foro y hacerlos que se pregunten las preguntas que ellos mismos se hacen. La fundación actúa, de este modo, como surtidora de problemas y alojamiento de réplicas. Cada ano se constituye como Centro Mundial de Preguntas.

God bless those upbeat scientists

Looking through rose-colored microscopes
Why some scientists are optimistic about the future

One way or another the answers should give you a warm glow — either because you agree, or because they make you angry.


Edge's future-themed article is making some news....
From the lips of contributors to the online magazine Edge to God's ears (one wonders if She or It may be listening): dozens of scientists and other thinkers have looked ahead to the future.


a Web site that aims to bridge the gap between scientists and other thinkers

[E]ven in the face of such threats as global warming and religious fundamentalism, scientists remain positive about the future.

People's fascination for religion and superstition will disappear within a few decades as television and the Internet make it easier to get information, and scientists get closer to discovering a final theory of everything, leading thinkers argue today.

What are you optimistic about? Why? Tons of brilliant thinkers respond.

What Are You Optimistic About?

Posted by Hemos on Monday January 01, @08:43AM
from the explain-yourself dept.

Intellectual impresario John Brockman puts his annual Edge question to
leading thinkers.


What are you optimistic about? Intellectual impresario John Brockman puts his annual Edge question to leading thinkers...


[A]ccording to Edge — the heady Website for world-class scientists and thinkers, and the brainchild of author and entrepreneurial idea man, John Brockman, there's good news ahead.

2006


"WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?"



What Is Your Dangerous Idea

Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by Steven Pinker
Afterword by Richard Dawkins



KYUNG HANG (Soeul)
The great world-wide scholars talk about their 'dangerous ideas'.


Most of the contributors appear to have interpreted "dangerous" as meaning something like "subversive," challenging to one or another received orthodoxy.

Meine gefährlichste Idee. Seit nunmehr neun Jahren startet die Stiftung Edge mit einer Umfrage zu einem großen generellen Thema ins neue Jahr.

Crónicas Bárbaras Ciencia racista, atractiva pero muy peligrosa.

(Sydney) Into the minds of the believers. With the aim of gathering ideas from the world's leading thinkers on intellectual, philosophical, artistic and literary issues, US writer John Brockman established The Edge Foundation in 1988.

Royal Society president Martin Rees said the most dangerous idea was public concern that science and technology were running out of control.

Audacious Knowledge. What is a dangerous idea? One not assumed to be false, but possibly true?What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

Seductive power of a hazardous idea. The responses to Brockman's question do not directly engage with each other, but they do worry away at a core set of themes.

Academics see gene cloning perils, untamed global warming and personality-changing drugs as presenting the gravest dangers for the future of civiliztion

Risky ideas; What do scientists currently regard as the most dangerous thoughts?


Be Afraid. Edge.org canvassed scientists for their "most dangerous idea." David Buss, a psychologist at the University of Texas, chose "The Evolution of Evil."

The most dangerous idea. Brockman's challenge is noteworthy because his buddies include many of the world's greatest scientists: Freeman Dyson, David Gelertner, J. Craig Venter, Jared Diamond, Brian Greene.

Dangerous Ideas About Modern Life. Free will does not exist. We are not always created equal. Science will never be able to address our deepest concerns.

Genome sequencing pioneer Craig Venter suggests greater understanding of how genes influence characteristics such as personality, intelligence and athletic capability could lead to conflict in society.

The wilder shores of creativity. He asked his roster of thinkers [...] to nominate an idea, not necessarily their own, they consider dangerous not because it is false, but because it might be true.

From cloning to predetermination of sex: the answers of investigators and philosophers to a question on the online salon Edge.

Who controls humans? God? The genes? Or nevertheless the computer? The on-line forum Edge asked its yearly question — and the answers raised more questions.

La pregunta de l'any. La Web Edge.org penjarà l'1 de gener la pregunta de l'any. La del 2005 va ser resposta per 120 ments de l'anomenada 'tercera cultura', que van reflexionar sobre l'enunciat "Què creus que és veritat tot i no poder-ho demostrar?"

THE HANKYOREH (Seoul)

The 117 respondents include Richard Dawkins, Freeman Dyson, Daniel Dennett, Jared Diamond — and that's just the D's! As you might expect, the submissions are brilliant and very controversial.

Gene discoveries highlight dangers facing society. Mankind's increasing understanding of the way genes influence behaviour and the issue's potential to cause ethical and moral dilemmas is one of the biggest dangers facing society, according to leading scientists.

Why it can be a very smart move to start life with a Jewish momma: There is one dangerous idea that still trumps them all: the notion that, as Steven Pinker describes it, "groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments". For "groups of people", read "races."

The Earth can cope with global warming, schools should be banned and we should learn to love bacteria. These are among the dangerous ideas revealed by a poll of leading thinkers.

Science can be a risky game, as Galileo learned to his cost. Now John Brockman asks over a hundred thinkers, "What is your most dangerous idea?"

"Our brains are constantly subjected to the demands of multi-tasking and a seemingly endless cacophony of information from diverse sources. "

Very complex systems — whether organisms, brains, the biosphere, or the universe itself — were not constructed by design; all have evolved. There is a new set of metaphors to describe ourselves, our minds, the universe, and all of the things we know in it.

John Brockman Blogs Edge's Annual Question on Huff Po

2005


"What Do You Believe Is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?"



What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by Ian McEwan


The natural gift of consciousness should be treasured all the more for its transience.

The answers...exert an un- questionable morbid fascination — those are the very ideas that scientists cannot confess in their technical papers.

"Fate largo alle «beautiful minds» di Roberto Casati;;
"La terza cultura di John Brockman" di Armando Massarenti

God (or Not), Physics and, of Course, Love: Scientists Take a Leap: Fourteen scientists ponder everything from string theory to true love.

Space Without Time, Time Without Rest: John Brockman's Question for the Republic of Wisdom — It can be more thrilling to start the New Year with a good question than with a good intention. That's what John Brockman is doing for the eight time in a row.
What do you believe to be true, even though you can't prove it? John Brockman asked over a hundred scientists and intellectuals... more» ... Edge

That's what online magazine The Edge — the World Question Center asked over 120 scientists, futurists, and other interesting minds. Their answers are sometimes short and to the point

Science's Scourge of Believers Declares His Faith in Darwin...
Singolare inchiesta in usa di un sito Internet. Ha chiesto ai signori della ricerca di svelare i loro "atti di fede". Sono arrivate le risposte piu' imprevedibili i fantasmi dello scienziato: non ho prove ma ci credo.
To celebrate the new year, online magazine Edge asked some leading thinkers a simple question: What do you believe but cannot prove? Here is a selection of their responses...
Scientists dream too — imagine that
"Fantastically stimulating ...Once you start, you can't stop thinking about that question. It's like the crack cocaine of the thinking world." — BBC Radio 4
Scientists, increasingly, have become our public intellectuals, to whom we look for explanations and solutions. These may be partial and imperfect, but they are more satisfactory than the alternatives.

Bangladesh — The cynic and the optimist, the agnostic and the believer, the rationalist and the obscurantist, the scientist and the speculative philosopher, the realist and the idealist-all converge on a critical point in their thought process where reasoning loses its power.

Il Sole 24 Ore-Domenica Segnalate le vostre cuioosita, chiederemo riposta alle persone piu autorevoli


2004


"What's Your Law?"


"So now, into the breach comes John Brockman, the literary agent and gadfly, whose online scientific salon, Edge.org, has become one of the most interesting stopping places on the Web. He begins every year by posing a question to his distinguished roster of authors and invited guests. Last year he asked what sort of counsel each would offer George W. Bush as the nation's top science adviser. This time the question is "What's your law?"
"John Brockman, a New York literary agent, writer and impresario of the online salon Edge, figures it is time for more scientists to get in on the whole naming thing...As a New Year's exercise, he asked scores of leading thinkers in the natural and social sciences for "some bit of wisdom, some rule of nature, some law-like pattern, either grand or small, that you've noticed in the universe that might as well be named after you."
"John Brockman has posted an intriguing question on his Edge Website. Brockman advises his would-be legislators to stick to the scientific disciplines."
"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 1905 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."

2003


"What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?"


"In 2002, he [Brockman] asked respondents to imagine that they had been nominated as White House science adviser and that President Bush had sought their answer to 'What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?'Here are excerpts of some of the responses. "
"Edge's combination of political engagement and blue-sky thinking makes stimulating reading for anyone seeking a glimpse into the next decade."
"Dear W: Scientists Offer
President Advice on Policy"
"There are 84 responses, ranging in topic from advanced nanotechnology to the psychology of foreign cultures, and lots of ideas regarding science, technology, politics, and education."

2002


"What's Your Question?"

"Brockman's thinkers of the 'Third Culture,' whether they, like Dawkins, study evolutionary biology at Oxford or, like Alan Alda, portray scientists on Broadway, know no taboos. Everything is permitted, and nothing is excluded from this intellectual game."
"The responses are generally written in an engaging, casual style (perhaps encouraged by the medium of e-mail), and are often fascinating and thought — provoking.... These are all wonderful, intelligent questions..."

2001—9/11


What Now?


"We are interested in 'thinking smart,'" declares Brockman on the site, "we are not interested in the anesthesiology of 'wisdom.'"
"INSPIRED ARENA: Edge has been bringing together the world's foremost scientific thinkers since 1998, and the response to September 11 was measured and uplifting."

2001


"What Questions Have Disappeared?"


"Responses to this year's question are deliciously creative... the variety astonishes. Edge continues to launch intellectual skyrockets of stunning brilliance. Nobody in the world is doing what Edge is doing."
"Once a year, John Brockman of New York, a writer and literary agent who represents many scientists, poses a question in his online journal, The Edge, and invites the thousand or so people on his mailing list to answer it."

2000

"What Is Today's Most Important Unreported Story?"


"Don't assume for a second that Ted Koppel, Charlie Rose and the editorial high command at the New York Times have a handle on all the pressing issues of the day.... a lengthy list of profound, esoteric and outright entertaining responses.

1999

"What Is The Most Important Invention In The Past Two Thousand Years?"



The Greatest Inventions of the Past 2,000 Years
Edited by John Brockman


"A terrific, thought provoking site."
"The Power of Big Ideas"
"The Nominees for Best Invention Of the Last Two Millennia Are . . ."
"...Thoughtful and often surprising answers ....a fascinating survey of intellectual and creative wonders of the world ..... Reading them reminds me of how wondrous our world is." — Bill Gates, New York Times Syndicated Column

1998


"What Questions Are You Asking Yourself?"


"A site that has raised electronic discourse on the Web to a whole new level.... Genuine learning seems to be going on here."
"To mark the first anniversary of [Edge], Brockman posed a question: 'Simply reading the six million volumes in the Widener Library does not necessarily lead to a complex and subtle mind," he wrote, referring to the Harvard library. "How to avoid the anesthesiology of wisdom?' "
"Home to often lively, sometimes obscure and almost always ambitious discussions."



subscribe

"Open-minded, free-ranging, intellectually playful ...an unadorned pleasure in curiosity, a collective expression of wonder at the living and inanimate world ... an ongoing and thrilling colloquium." — Ian McEwan, Author of Saturday


"Astounding reading."


"An unprecedented roster of brilliant minds, the sum of which is nothing short of visionary


"Fantastically stimulating...It's like the crack cocaine of the thinking world.... Once you start, you can't stop thinking about that question."


"Wonderful reading."


"One of the most interesting stopping places on the Web"


"Brilliant! Stimulating reading."


"Today's visions of science tomorrow."


"Fascinating and thought-provoking ...wonderful, intelligent."


"Edge.org...a Web site devoted to dis- cussions of cutting edge science."


"Awesome indie newsletter with brilliant contribu-tors."


"Everything is permitted, and nothing is excluded from this intellectual game."


"Websites of the year...Inspired Arena...the world's foremost scientific thinkers."


"High concept all the way...the brightest scientists and thinkers ... heady ... deep and refreshing."


" Deliciously crea-tive...the variety astonishes...intel-lectual skyrockets of stunning brill-iance. Nobody in the world is doing what Edge is doing."


"A marvellous showcase for the Internet, it comes very highly recom-mended."


"Profound, esoteric and outright enter-taining."


"A terrific, thought provoking site."


"...Thoughtful and often surprising ...reminds me of how wondrous our world is." — Bill Gates


"One of the Net's most prestigious, invitation-only free trade zones for the exchange of potent ideas."


"An enjoyable read."


"A-list: Dorothy Parker's Vicious Circle without the food and alcohol ... a brilliant format."


"Big, deep and ambitous questions... breathtaking in scope."


"Has raised electronic discourse on the Web to a whole new level."


"Lively, sometimes obscure and almost always ambitious."


MORE PRESS


- INDEX -

172 Contributors
132,00 words

- PAGE 1 (BEGIN READING HERE) -  

JOHN BROCKMAN
Publisher & Editor, Edge; Author, By The Late John Brockman, The Third Culture

THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUS


W. DANIEL HILLIS
Physicist, Computer Scientist; Chairman, Applied Minds, Inc.; Author, The Pattern on the Stone

THE DAWN OF THE ENTANGLEMENT


STEWART BRAND
Founder, Whole Earth Catalog, cofounder; The Well; cofounder, Global Business Network; Author, Whole Earth Discipline

ONE'S GUILD


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

EDGE A TO Z (PARS PRO TOTO)


CLAY SHIRKY
Social & Technology Network Topology Researcher; Adjunct Professor, NYU Graduate School of Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP); Author, Here Comes Everybody

THE SHOCK OF INCLUSION



RICHARD DAWKINS
Evolutionary Biologist; Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford; Author, The Greatest Show on Earth

NET GAIN


DAVE MORIN
Senior Platform Manager; Facebook; Internet Entrepreneur; Co-Inventor, Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect

CONTEXT IS KING


NASSIM N. TALEB
Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU-Poly; Principal, Universa Investments; Author, The Black Swan

THE DEGRADATION OF PREDICTABILITY — AND KNOWLEDGE


JONAS MEKAS
Film-Maker, Critic; Co-founder, Film-Makers' Cooperative, Filmmaker’s Cinematheque, Anthology Film Archives

I AM NOT EXACTLY A THINKING PERSON — I AM A POET


KEVIN KELLY
Editor-At-Large, Wired; Author, New Rules for the New Economy

AN INTERMEDIA WITH 2 BILLION SCREENS PEERING INTO IT


- PAGE 2 -

GEORGE DYSON
Science Historian; Author, Darwin Among the Machines

KAYAKS vs CANOES


BRIAN ENO
Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Cold Play, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist

THE 'AUTHENTIC' HAS REPLACED THE REPRODUCIBLE


MARISSA MAYER
Vice President, Search Products & User Experience, Google

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT'S WHAT YOU CAN FIND OUT


MARTIN REES
President, The Royal Society; Professor of Cosmology & Astrophysics; Master, Trinity College, University of Cambridge; Author, Our Final Century: The 50/50 Threat to Humanity's Survival

A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD


ANDRIAN KREYE
Editor, The Feuilleton (Arts and Essays), of the German Daily Newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

THE GREATEST OF ALL TRAITS: THE INTERNET HAS BECOME INHERENTLY BORING


PHILIP CAMPBELL
Editor-in Chief, Nature

NIGHT-TIME IDEAS


HOWARD RHEINGOLD
Communications Expert; Author, Smart Mobs

ATTENTION IS THE FUNDAMENTAL LITERACY


ESTHER DYSON
Catalyst, Information Technology Startups, EDventure Holdings; Former Chariman,Electronic Frontier Foundation and ICANN; Author: Release 2.1

INFORMATION METABOLISM


LARRY SANGER
Co-founder of Wikipedia and Citizendium

THE UN-FOCUSING, DE-LIBERATING EFFECTS OF JOINING THE HIVE MIND


GEORGE CHURCH
Professor, Harvard University, Director, Personal Genome Project.

SORRY, JOHN, NO TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE EDGE QUESTION 


LISA RANDALL
Physicist, Harvard University; Author, Warped Passages

"THE PLURAL OF ANECDOTES IS NOT DATA"


GERD GIGERENZER
Psychologist; Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin; Author, Gut Feelings

OUTSOURCING THE MIND


- PAGE 3 -

SCOTT ATRAN
Anthropologist, National Center for Scientific Research, Paris; Author, In Gods We Trust

THE FOURTH PHASE OF HOMO SAPIENS



STEPHEN M. KOSSLYN
Psychologist, Dean of Social Sciences, Harvard University;Co- Author, Fundamentals of Psychology in Context

A SMALL PRICE TO PAY


KAI KRAUSE
Software Pioneer, Author 'I think... there... 4am'

REAL ETHEREAL ETHER: A MILLION LEMMINGS CAN BE WRONG


W. TECUMSEH FITCH
Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna; Author, The Evolution of Language

EVOLVING A GLOBAL BRAIN


JAMES O'DONNELL
Classicist; Provost, Georgetown University; Author, The Ruin of the Roman Empire

MY FINGERS HAVE BECOME PART OF MY BRAIN



SETH LLOYD
Quantum Mechanical Engineer, MIT; Author, Programming the Universe

MOVE ASIDE, SEX


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

BY CHANGING MY BEHAVIOUR, OVER AND OVER AGAIN


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

MEET THE NEW BRAIN, SAME AS THE OLD BRAIN


- PAGE 4 -

NERI OXMAN
Architect, Researcher, MIT; Founder, Materialecology

ONCE I WAS LOST, BUT NOW I AM FOUND, OR HOW TO NAVIGATE IN THE CHARTROOM OF MEMORY


ALUN ANDERSON
Senior Consultant (and former Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of New Scientist); Author, After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic

IF YOU DON'T CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK, YOU RISK EXTINCTION


ALBERT-LÁSZLÓ BARABÁSI
Complex Network Scientist; Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University's Center for Complex Network Research; Author, Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else

MY SIXTH SENSE


LEE SMOLIN
Physicist, Perimeter Institute; Author, The Trouble With Physics

WE HAVE BECOME HUNTER GATHERERS OF IMAGES AND INFORMATION


TOM MCCARTHY
Artist & Writer; Author: Remainder, Men in Space

THE INTERNET REIFIES A LOGIC THAT WAS ALWAYS ALREADY THERE


JOHN MARKOFF
Journalist; Covers Silicon Valley for The New York Times; Author, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

WHO SAID IT WAS GOING TO GET BETTER?


SAM HARRIS
Neuroscientist; Chairman, The Reason Project; Author, Letter to a Christian Nation

THE UPLOAD HAS BEGUN


PETER H. DIAMANDIS, MD
Chairman/CEO, X PRIZE Foundation

INSTANT GRATIFICATION


NICK BOSTROM
Philosopher; Professor, Oxford University; Director, Future of Humanity Institute; Editor, Human Enhancement

MOST STILL TO COME


DAVID G. MYERS
Social psychologist, Hope College; Author A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss

THE INTERNET AS SOCIAL AMPLIFIER


- PAGE 5 -

RUDY RUCKER
Mathematician, Computer Scientist; CyberPunk Pioneer; Novelist; Author, Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul

SEARCH AND EMERGENCE


LINDA STONE
Hi-Tech Industry Consultant; Former Executive at Apple Computer and Microsoft Corporation

NAVIGATING PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL LIVES


BARRY C. SMITH
Professor & Director, Institute of Philosophy School of Advanced Study University of London

THINKING MORE ABOUT LESS OR LESS ABOUT MORE?


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

PUBLICATIONS CAN PERISH


CHRIS DIBONA
Open Source and Public Sector, Google

EPHEMERA AND BACK AGAIN


ANDY CLARK
Philosopher and Cognitive Scientist, University of Edinburgh. Author: Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

WHAT KIND OF A DUMB QUESTION IS THAT?


EVGENY MOROZOV
Commentator on Internet and politics "Net Effect" blog; Contributing editor, Foreign Policy

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT? WHO GETS TO DO THE THINKING?


VIRGNIA HEFFERNAN
Columnist ("The Medium"), The New York Times

THE INTERNET IS A CULTURAL OBJECT: READ IT


SHERRY TURKLE
Psychologist, MIT who studies the culture of the Internet; Author: Life on the Screen; Alone Together

THE INTERNET DISCONNECT


SIMON BARON-COHEN
Psychologist, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University; Author, The Essential Difference

1000 HOURS A YEAR


PETER SCHWARTZ
Futurist, Business Strategist; Cofounder. Global Business Network, a Monitor Company; Author, Inevitable Surprises

MY THOUGHT PROCESSES ARE NOT BOUND BY THE MEAT MACHINE THAT IS MY BRAIN, NOR MY LOCALITY NOR MY TIME


- PAGE 6 -

JASON CALACANIS
Internet Entrepreneur; Founder, Mahalo.com

TRUST NOTHING, DEBATE EVERYTHING


JOSHUA GREENE
Cognitive Neuroscientist and Philosopher, Harvard University

THE DUMB BUTLER


MARTI HEARST
Computer Scientist, UC Berkeley, School of Information; Author, Search User Interfaces

I NOW EXPECT TO HEAR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK


SCOTT D. SAMPSON
Dinosaur paleontologist and science communicator; Author: Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life

THE EXTINCTION OF EXPERIENCE


HAIM HARARI
Physicist, former President, Weizmann Institute of Science; Author, A View from the Eye of the Storm

HARMFUL ONE-LINERS, AN OCEAN OF FACTS AND REWIRED MINDS


DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF
Media Analyst; Documentary Writer; Author, Life, Inc.

THE INTERNET MAKES ME THINK IN THE PRESENT TENSE


TERRENCE SEJNOWSKI
Computational Neuroscientist, Salk Institute, Coauthor, The Computational Brain

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON INTERNET


DONALD HOFFMAN
Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine; Author, Visual Intelligence

THE SCULPTING OF HUMAN THOUGHT


THOMAS METZINGER
Philosopher; Author, The Ego-Tunnel

PUBLIC DREAMING


GREGORY PAUL
Independent Researcher; Author, Dinosaurs of the Air

HELL IF I KNOW


- PAGE 7 -

AUBREY DE GREY
Gerontologist; Chief Science Officer. SENS Foundation; Author, Ending Aging

HOW THE INTERNET IS RESCUING ME FROM CHANGING THE WAY I THINK


PAUL KEDROSKY
Editor, Infectious Greed; Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation

THE LARGE INFORMATION COLLIDER, BDTS, AND GRAVITY HOLIDAYS ON TUESDAY


ROBERT R. PROVINE
Psychologist and Neuroscientist, University of Maryland; Author, Laughter

INTERNET SOCIETY



WILLIAM CALVIN
Neuroscientist; Professor, University of Washington; Author, Global Fever

INTERNET ENHANCEMENT OF THE THOUGHT PROCESS


LEO CHALUPA
Ophthalmologist and Neurobiologist, University of California, Davis

THE GREATEST DETRACTOR TO SERIOUS THINKING SINCE TELEVISION


MARK PAGEL
Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Reading University, England and The Santa Fe Institute

BRAIN CANDY AND BAD MATHEMATICS


PAUL SAFFO
Technology Forecaster; Consulting Associate Professor, Stanford University

A THIRD KIND OF KNOWLEDGE


MATT RIDLEY
Science Writer; Founding chairman of the International Centre for Life; Author, Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code.

THE COLLECTIVE BRAIN


FRANK J. l
Professor of Mathematical Physics, Tulane University; Coauthor, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle; Author, The Physics of Immortality

WILL THE GREAT LEVELER DESTROY DIVERSITYOF THOUGHT?


BRIAN KNUTSON
Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Stanford University

HIJACKING THE FUTURE SELF


- PAGE 8 -

ARNOLD TREHUB
Psychologist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Author, The Cognitive Brain

EXPOSING THE LANDSCAPES OF DEEP SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS


DAVID EAGLEMAN
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine; Author, Sum

SIX WAYS THE INTERNET MAY SAVE CIVILIZATION


SAMUEL BARONDES
Director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco; Author, Better than Prozac

BETTER NEUROXING THROUGH THE INTERNET


TOM STANDAGE
Business Affairs Editor, The Economist; Author, The Edible History of the Humanity

IT HAS SHARPENED MY MEMORY


JOHN TOOBY
Founder of field of Evolutionary Psychology; Co-Director, UC Santa Barbara's Center for Evolutionary Psychology

I SEEM TO BE METADATA 


MARCEL KINSBOURNE
Neurologist & Cognitive Neuroscientist, The New School; Coauthor, Children's Learning and Attention Problems

APOCALYPSE TOMORROW: THE GREAT ARMS RACE TAKES OFF INTO WEB SPACE


NICK ISAAC
Macroecologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Biological Research Centre (BRC), Oxfordshire

THE EVOLVING GIANT


EVA WISTEN
Journalist, SEED Media Group; Author, Single in Manhattan

THE INCREASED NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHOSE THOUGHTS ARE IN MY HEAD


ERIC WEINSTEIN
Mathematician and Economist; Principal, Natron Group

"GO VIRTUAL YOUNG MAN"


THOMAS A. BASS
Professor of English at the University at Albany; Author, The Spy Who Loved Us

MY INTERNET MIND


HELEN FISHER
Research Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University; Author, Why We Love

TAKE LOVE


- PAGE 9 -

BRUCE HOOD
Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre in the Experimental Psychology Department at the University of Bristol; Author, Supersense

I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET


LERA BORODITSKY
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

HOW I THINK ABOUT HOW I THINK


RALPH  GIBSON
Art Photographer

"TIME" AND AGING


KARL SABBAGH
Writer and Television Producer; Author, The Riemann Hypothesis

"IF YOU HAVE CANCER, DON'T GO TO THE INTERNET"


HU FANG
Writer, Co-founder OF Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou and the shop in Beijing, China

NOTES FROM A FILM DIRECTOR


JON KLEINBERG
Professor of computer science, Cornell University

THE HUMAN TEXTURE OF INFORMATION


ALISON GOPNIK
Psychologist, UC, Berkeley; Author, The Philosophical Baby

THE STRANGERS IN THE CRIB


JESSE BERING
Psychologist, Director, Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queens University, Belfast; Columnist, Scientific American ("Bering in Mind"); Author, Under God's Skin

A RETURN TO THE SCARLET-LETTER SAVANNAH


JARON LANIER
Musician, Computer Scientist; Pioneer of Virtural Reality; Author, You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto

THE FLAWS OF THE LATEST POP VERSION OF THE INTERNET HAVE MADE ME MORE OF A BIOLOGICAL REALIST, AND IN PARTICULAR HAVE MADE ME MORE SENSITIVE TO NEOTENY


KEITH DEVLIN
Executive Director, H-STAR Institute, Stanford University; Author, The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern

"IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN BY"


DANIEL HAUN
Director, the Research Group for Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

REPETITION, NOT TRUTH


- PAGE 10 -

MICHAEL SHERMER
Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American; Author, The Mind of the Market

LEVELLING THE INTELLECTUAL PLAYING FIELD


LYNN MARGULIS
Biologist, Distinguished University Professor, UMass, Amherst; Coauthor (with Dorion Sagan), Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species

BY AFFORDING ME NEW WORLDWIDE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATION ACCESS


OLAFUR ELIASSON
Artist

THE INTERNET AS REALITY PRODUCER


IRENE M. PEPPERBERG
Research Associate & Lecturer, Harvard; Adjunct Associate Professor, Brandeis; Author, Alex & Me

I THINK, THEREFORE I AM — STILL ME


EMANUEL DERMAN
Professor, Financial Engineering, Columbia University; Principal, Prisma Capital Partners; Former Head, Quantitative Strategies Group, Equities Division, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Author, My Life as a Quant

MORE EFFECIENT, BUT TO WHAT END?


STEVEN PINKER
Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology; Harvard University; Author, The Stuff of Thought

NOT AT ALL


CHARLES SEIFE
Professor of Journalism, New York University; formerly journalist, Science magazine; Author, Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking

I HAVE OUTSOURCED MY MEMORY


JOSEPH LEDOUX
Neuroscientist, New York University; Author, Synaptic Self

THE MOST ACCURATE MEMORIES ARE THE ONES NEVER REMEMBERED


STANISLAS DEHAENE
Neuroscientist; Collège de France, Paris; Author, Reading in the brain

THE ROTATING PROBLEM, OR HOW I LEARNED TO ACCELERATE MY MENTAL CLOCK


ANTHONY AGUIRRE
Associate Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz

THE ENEMY OF INSIGHT?


RICHARD FOREMAN
Playwright & Director; Founder, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater

THE DAZED STATE


- PAGE 11 -

JUDITH RICH HARRIS
Independent Investigator and Theoretician; Author, No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality

THE JOY OF JUST-ENOUGHNESS


CLIFFORD PICKOVER
Author, Archimedes to Hawking

THE RISE OF INTERNET PROSTHETIC BRAINS AND SOLITON PERSONHOOD


FIERY CUSHMAN
Post-doctoral fellow, Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative, Harvard University

THE NEW BALANCE: MORE PROCESSING, LESS MEMORIZATION


GEOFFREY MILLER
Evolutionary Psychologist, University of New Mexico; Author, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

MY JUDGEMENT ENHANCER


CHRIS ANDERSON
Curator, TED conferences, TED Talks

THE REDISCOVERY OF FIRE


CHRISTINE FINN
Archaeologist, Journalist; Author, Artifacts

PARALLEL COMMUNICATIONS


TOR NØRRETRANDERS
Science Writer; Consultant; Lecturer, Copenhagen; Author, The Generous Man

DARE, CARE AND SHARE


SUE BLACKMORE
Psychologist; Author, Consciousness: An Introduction

A THIRD REPLICATOR


STUART PIMM
Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology; Author, The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth

THINKING WITH OTHERS SO CLOSE THAT YOU CAN SMELL THEIR SPIT


SEAN CARROLL
Theoretical Physicist, Caltech; Author, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

CALLING YOU ON YOUR CRAP


- PAGE 12 -

ED REGIS
Science writer; Author, What Is Life?

A MIRACLE AND A CURSE


GIULIO BOCCALETTI
Physicist, Atmospheric and Oceanic scientist, and Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company

COLLECTIVE ACTION AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT


ANDREW LIH
USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism; Author, The Wikipedia Revolution

THE REFINEMENT OF INFORMATION


JUNE COHEN
Director of Media, TED Conference; TED Talks

THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS REALLY A REPRISE


IAN GOLD
Neuroscientist; Canada Research Chair in Philosophy & Psychiatry, McGill University

JOEL GOLD, M.D.
Psychiatrist; Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine

TWEET ME NICE


STEVE QUARTZ
Neuroscientist; Associate Professor of Philosophy, Caltech; Coauthor, Liars, Lovers, and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are

WE KNOW LESS ABOUT THINKING THAN WE THINK


LAURENCE C. SMITH
Professor of Geography and Earth & Space Sciences, UCLA

INFORMED, TIGHTFISTED, AND SYNTHETIC


TONY CONRAD
Experimental Filmmaker; Musician/Composer

A QUESTION WITHOUT AN ANSWER


PAUL W. EWALD
Professor of Biology, Amherst College; Author, Plague Time

CONCEPTUAL COMPASSES FOR DEEPER GENERALISTS


JAMES CROAK
Artist

ART MAKING GOING RURAL


- PAGE 13 -

MAX TEGMARK
Physicist, MIT; Researcher, Precision Cosmology; Scientific Director, Foundational Questions Institute

BENEFACTION & DISTRACTION


ROGER SCHANK
Psychologist & Computer Scientist; Engines for Education Inc.; Author, Making Minds Less Well Educated Than Our Own

THE THINKING PROCESS HASN'T CHANGED IN 50,000 YEARS


TIMOTHY TAYLOR
Archaeologist, University of Bradford; Author, The Buried Soul

THE INTERNET IS NOT CHANGING THE WAY I THINK, BUT IT HAS CHANGED WHAT I THINK


NEIL GERSHENFELD
Physicist, Director, MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms; Author, FAB

THE INTERNET'S INSIGHTS


Daniel L. everett
Chair of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, Illinois State University; Author, Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes

THINKING AND LIVING WITH THE INTERNET'S HELP


Marc D. Hauser
Psychologist and Biologist, Harvard University: Author, Moral Minds

CONNECTING THROUGH CONTACT, NOT ELECTRICITY


NICHOLAS CARR
Author, Does IT Matter?; The Big Switch

DEPTHS AND SHALLOWS


DAVID GELERNTER
Computer Scientist, Yale University; Chief Scientist, Mirror Worlds Technologies; Author, Mirror Worlds

THE VIRTUALIZATION OF THE UNIVERSE


RODNEY BROOKS
Panasonic Professor of Robotics, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; Author, Flesh and Machines

IN SEARCH OF THE DIET-INTERNET


PAUL BLOOM
Psychologist, Yale University; Author, Descartes' Baby

I AM REALIZING HOW NICE PEOPLE CAN BE


- PAGE 14 -

HOWARD GARDNER
Psychologist, Harvard University; Author, Changing Minds

"GO NATIVE"


DANIEL C. DENNETT
Philosopher; University Professor, Co-Director, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University; Breaking the Spell

POWER CORRUPTS



FABRIZO GALLANTI
Architect and writer; editor at Abitare magazine.

MY BODY, MY MIND


MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI
Psychologist; Director, Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University; Author, Flow

I MUST CONFESS TO BEING PERPLEXED


YOCHAI BENKLER
Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard; Author, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

TAKING ON THE HABITS OF THE SCIENTIST, THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, AND THE MEDIA CRITIC


GARY MARCUS
Cognitive Scientist; Author, Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind

CHANGING THE WAY WE TEACH


ERNST PÖPPEL
Neuroscientist, Chairman, Human Science Center and Department of Medical Psychology, Munich University; Author, Mindworks

THINKING AS THERAPY IN A WORLD OF TOO MUCH


ANTON ZEILINGER
University of Vienna and Scientific Director, Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences

THE AGE OF (QUANTUM) INFORMATION?


JUAN ENRIQUEZ
CEO, Biotechonomy; was Founding Director, Harvard Business School's Life Sciences Project; Author, The Untied States of America

IMMORTALITY


STEFANO BOERI
Architect, teaching at Politecnico of Milan, visiting professor at Harvard GSD, editor in chief of the Abitare monthly/magazine

internet is wind


RICHARD SAUL WURMAN
Architect, Cartographer; Founder, TED Conference; Author, 33: Understanding Change & the Change in Understanding

TO DREAM THE WAKING DREAM IN NEW WAYS


- PAGE 15 -

ROBERT SAPOLSKY
Neuroscientist, Stanford University; Author, Monkeyluv

FORGET WISDOM OF THE CROWD


FRED TOMASELLI
Artist

CUT AND PASTE


EMILY PRONIN
Associate Professor of Psychology, Princeton University

AN IMPENETRABLE MACHINE


GALIA SOLOMONOFF
Architect; Solomonoff Architecture Studio

OF KNOWLEDGE, CONTENT, PLACE AND SPACE


DAVID M. BUSS
Professor of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin; Coauthor: Why Women Have Sex

INTERNET MATING STRATEGIES


NOGA ARIKHA
Historian of ideas; Author, Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours

THE INTERNET AND SLOWNESS


GLORIA ORIGGI
Institut Nicod, Paris; www.interdisciplines.org

THE POWER OF CONVERSATION


VICTORIA STODDEN
Computational Legal Scholar; Fellow, Yale Law School Internet and Society Project

COGITAMUS, ERGO SUM? THE "DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWING THE NAME OF SOMETHING AND KNOWING SOMETHING"


IAN WILMUT
Chair of Reproductive Biology, Director Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh; Author, After Dolly

THE INTERNET HAS NOT CHANGED THE WAY THAT I THINK


JAMSHED BHARUCHA
Professor of Psychology, Provost, Senior Vice President, Tufts University

THE INTERNET PROMOTES THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF MINDS


MATTHEW RITCHIE
Artist

THE INTERFACE I WANT IS THE REAL WORLD


- PAGE 16 -

JESSE DYLAN
Film-Maker; Founder, free-form.tv; Lybba.org

FROM JACK KEROUAC TO THE PENTATONIC SCALE


MAHZARIN R. BANAJI
Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

A VEHICLE FOR LARGE-SCALE EDUCATION AND LEARNING ABOUT THE HUMAN MIND


TIM O'REILLY
Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc.

PATTERN RECOGNITION


FRANK WILCZEK
Physicist, MIT; Recipient, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics; Author,
The Lightness of Being

LET US CALCULATE


ERIC DREXLER
Researcher; Policy Advocate; Author, Engines of Creation

THE WEB HELPS US SEE WHAT ISN'T THERE


DAVID DALRYMPLE
Researcher, MIT Mind Machine Project

KNOWLEDGE IS OUT, FOCUS IS IN, AND PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE


RAQS MEDIA COLLECTIVE
Artists, Media Practitioners, Curators, Editors and Catalysts of Cultural Processes

NO ONE IS IMMUNE TO THE STORMS THAT SHAKE THE WORLD


XENI JARDIN
Tech Culture Journalist; Partner, Contributor, Co-editor, Boing Boing; Executive Producer, host, Boing Boing Video

I DON'T TRUST ALGORITHM LIKE I TRUST INTUITION


NICK BILTON
NYU/ITP Adjunct Professor; Lead Technology Writer, The New York Times Bits Blog.

WE ARE CHANGING THE WAY THE INTERNET THINKS


ALAN ALDA
Actor, Writer, Director; Host of PBS program The Human Spark

SPEED PLUS MOBS


AI WEIWEI
Chinese Artist; Curator; Architectural Designer (The Bird's Nest); Cultural And Social Commentator; Activist

I ONLY THINK ON THE INTERNET



Chicago Sun-Times
January 3, 2010

'Change' looks at possibilities of our future
By Carlo Wolff

I flunked a physics test so badly as a college freshman that the only reason I scored any points was I spelled my name right.

Such ignorance, along with studied avoidance of physics and math since college, didn’t lessen my enjoyment of This Will Change Everything, a provocative, demanding clutch of essays covering everything from gene splicing to global warming to intelligence, both artificial and human, to immortality.

Edited by John Brockman, a literary agent who founded the Edge Foundation, this is the kind of book into which one can dip at will. Approaching it in a linear fashion might be frustrating because it is so wide-ranging. ...

... Most of the writing in this dense book is serious, even academic, however, there are pieces that tickled my funny bone or my anger bone. Artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s suggestion of a “worldwide collective decision to genetically miniaturize future generations” so humanity doesn’t run out of resources is wonderfully fanciful; Alan Alda’s thoughts on our inability to live together eloquently despairing.

Overall, this will appeal primarily to scientists and academicians. But the way Brockman interlaces essays about research on the frontiers of science with ones on artistic vision, education, psychology and economics is sure to buzz any brain.

Stewart Brand, the father of the Whole Earth Catalog, a kind of hippie precursor of hypertext and intermedia (the last term is a Brockman coinage), calls Brockman “one of the great intellectual enzymes of our time” at www.edge.org, Brockman’s Web site. Brockman clearly is an agent provocateur of ideas. Getting the best of them to politicians who can use them to execute positive change is the next step.

[...]


"Full of ideas wild (neurocosmetics, “resizing ourselves,” “intuit[ing] in six dimensions”) and more close-to-home (“Basketball and Science Camps,” solar technology”), this volume offers dozens of ingenious ways to think about progress"

NONFICTION (STARRED REVIEW)

This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
Edited byJohn Brockman. Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper (416p) ISBN 9780061899676
Part of a series stemming from his online science journal Edge (www.edge.org), including What Have You Changed Your Mind About? and What Is Your Dangerous Idea?, author and editor Brockman presents 136 answers to the question, “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” Milan architect Stefano Boeri responds with a single sentence: “Discovering that someone from the future has already come to visit us.” Most others take the question more seriously; J. Craig Venter believes his laboratory will use “digitized genetic information” to direct organisms in creating biofuels and recycling carbon dioxide. Like biofuels, several topics are recurrent: both Robert Shapiro and Douglas Rushikoff consider discovering a “Separate Origin for Life,” a terrestrial unicellular organism that doesn’t belong to our tree of life; Leo M. Chalupa and Alison Gopnik both consider the possibility resetting the adult brain’s plasticity—its capacity for learning—to childhood levels. Futurologist Juan Enriquez believes that reengineering body parts and the brain will lead to “human speciation” unseen for hundreds of thousands of years, while controversial atheist Richard Dawkins suggests that reverse-engineering evolution could create a highly illuminating “continuum between every species and every other.” Full of ideas wild (neurocosmetics, “resizing ourselves,” “intuit[ing] in six dimensions”) and more close-to-home (“Basketball and Science Camps,” solar technology”), this volume offers dozens of ingenious ways to think about progress. (Jan.)




THE YEAR'S BEST BOOKS

"brilliant ... captivating ... overwhelming"

Books to read (and give) now
SEED PICKS DECEMBER 1, 2009

The latest prophetic collection from John Brockman of Edge.org invites scores of the world's most brilliant thinkers, including Richard Dawkins, Lisa Randall, and Brian Eno, to predict what game-changing events will occur in their lifetimes. Their speculations run the existential gamut, as some predict deliberate nuclear disaster or accidental climatic apocalypse and others foresee eternal life, unlimited prosperity, and boundless happiness. Between such extremes of heaven and hell lie more ambiguous visions: An end to forgetting, the creation of intelligent machines, and cosmetic brain surgery, to name a few. Pouring over these pages is like attending a dinner party where every guest is brilliant and captivating and only wants to speak with you—overwhelming, but an experience to savor.




CRYSTAL BALL FOR STAR INTELLECTUALS

"a stellar cast of intellectuals ... a stunning array of responses"

HOLIDAY BOOKS: This Will Change Everything edited by John Brockman; John Brockman's annual question draws a bewildering array of responses from a stellar cast of intellectuals

by Michael Bond

LITERARY agent John Brockman assembles a stellar cast of intellectuals each year to answer a boundary-pushing question. His latest poser — "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" — has drawn a stunning array of responses, from nuclear terrorism to in-vitro meat.

Some ideas are predictable (immortality, intelligent robots, designer children), some world-saving if they happened (oil we can grow) and some we'd be better off without (neuro-cosmetics). Many are self-indulgent technological fantasies. With contributions from Ian McEwan, Steven Pinker, Lee Smolin, Craig Venter, Richard Dawkins and 130 others of their ilk, the book is like an intellectual lucky dip.

Perfect for: anyone who wants to know what the big thinkers will be chewing on in 2010.

THE EDGE ANNUAL QUESTION BOOK SERIES
Edited by John Brockman

"An intellectual treasure trove"
San Francisco Chronicle


THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING: IDEAS THAT WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE (*)
Edited by John Brockman
Harper Perennial

NOW IN BOOKSTORES AND ONLINE!


[click to enlarge]

Contributors include: RICHARD DAWKINS on cross-species breeding; IAN McEWAN on the remote frontiers of solar energy; FREEMAN DYSON on radiotelepathy; STEVEN PINKER on the perils and potential of direct-to-consumer genomics; SAM HARRIS on mind-reading technology; NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB on the end of precise knowledge; CHRIS ANDERSON on how the Internet will revolutionize education; IRENE PEPPERBERG on unlocking the secrets of the brain; LISA RANDALL on the power of instantaneous information; BRIAN ENO on the battle between hope and fear; J. CRAIG VENTER on rewriting DNA; FRANK WILCZEK on mastering matter through quantum physics.

"a provocative, demanding clutch of essays covering everything from gene splicing to global warming to intelligence, both artificial and human, to immortality... the way Brockman interlaces essays about research on the frontiers of science with ones on artistic vision, education, psychology and economics is sure to buzz any brain." (Chicago Sun-Times)

"11 books you must read — Curl up with these reads on days when you just don't want to do anything else: 5. John Brockman's This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future" (Forbes India)

"Full of ideas wild (neurocosmetics, "resizing ourselves," "intuit[ing] in six dimensions") and more close-to-home ("Basketball and Science Camps," solar technology"), this volume offers dozens of ingenious ways to think about progress" (Publishers Weekly — Starred Review)

"A stellar cast of intellectuals ... a stunning array of responses...Perfect for: anyone who wants to know what the big thinkers will be chewing on in 2010. " (New Scientist)

"Pouring over these pages is like attending a dinner party where every guest is brilliant and captivating and only wants to speak with you—overwhelming, but an experience to savor." (Seed)

(* based On The Edge Annual Question — 2009: "What Will Change Everything?)



WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT
Edited by John Brockman
With An Introduction By BRIAN ENO


[2008]

Contributors include: STEVEN PINKER on the future of human evolution • RICHARD DAWKINS on the mysteries of courtship SAM HARRIS on why Mother Nature is not our friend NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB on the irrelevance of probability ALUN ANDERSON on the reality of global warming ALAN ALDA considers, reconsiders, and re-reconsiders God LISA RANDALL on the secrets of the Sun RAY KURZWEIL on the possibility of extraterrestrial life BRIAN ENO on what it means to be a "revolutionary" HELEN FISHER on love, fidelity, and the viability of marriage…and many others.

"The splendidly enlightened Edge Website (www.edge.org) has rounded off each year of inter-disciplinary debate by asking its heavy-hitting contributors to answer one question. I strongly recommend a visit." The Independent

"A great event in the Anglo-Saxon culture." El Mundo

"As fascinating and weighty as one would imagine." The Independent

"They are the intellectual elite, the brains the rest of us rely on to make sense of the universe and answer the big questions. But in a refreshing show of new year humility, the world's best thinkers have admitted that from time to time even they are forced to change their minds." The Guardian

"Even the world's best brains have to admit to being wrong sometimes: here, leading scientists respond to a new year challenge." The Times

"Provocative ideas put forward today by leading figures."The Telegraph

"The world's finest minds have responded with some of the most insightful, humbling, fascinating confessions and anecdotes, an intellectual treasure trove. ... Best three or four hours of intense, enlightening reading you can do for the new year. Read it now." San Francisco Chronicle

"As in the past, these world-class thinkers have responded to impossibly open-ended questions with erudition, imagination and clarity." The News & Observer

"A jolt of fresh thinking...The answers address a fabulous array of issues. This is the intellectual equivalent of a New Year's dip in the lake — bracing, possibly shriek-inducing, and bound to wake you up." The Globe and Mail

"Answers ring like scientific odes to uncertainty, humility and doubt; passionate pleas for critical thought in a world threatened by blind convictions." The Toronto Star

"For an exceptionally high quotient of interesting ideas to words, this is hard to beat. ...What a feast of egg-head opinionating!" National Review Online



WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?
Today's Leading Thinkers on Why Things Are Good and Getting Better
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by DANIEL C. DENNETT



[2007]

"The optimistic visions seem not just wonderful but plausible." Wall Street Journal

"Persuasively upbeat." O, The Oprah Magazine

"Our greatest minds provide nutshell insights on how science will help forge a better world ahead." Seed

"Uplifting...an enthralling book."The Mail on Sunday



WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?
Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by STEVEN PINKER
Afterword by RICHARD DAWKINS


[2006]

"Danger — brilliant minds at work...A brilliant bok: exhilarating, hilarious, and chilling." The Evening Standard (London)

"A selection of the most explosive ideas of our age." Sunday Herald

"Provocative" The Independent

"Challenging notions put forward by some of the world's sharpest minds" Sunday Times

"A titillating compilation" The Guardian

"Reads like an intriguing dinner party conversation among great minds in science" Discover



WHAT WE BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE?
Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by IAN MCEWAN


[2006]

"Whether or not we believe proof or prove belief, understanding belief itself becomes essential in a time when so many people in the world are ardent believers." LA Times

"Belief appears to motivate even the most rigorously scientific minds. It stimulates and challenges, it tricks us into holding things to be true against our better judgment, and, like scepticism -its opposite -it serves a function in science that is playful as well as thought-provoking. not we believe proof or prove belief, understanding belief itself becomes essential in a time when so many people in the world are ardent believers." The Times

"John Brockman is the PT Barnum of popular science. He has always been a great huckster of ideas." The Observer

"An unprecedented roster of brilliant minds, the sum of which is nothing short of an oracle — a book ro be dog-eared and debated." Seed

"Scientific pipedreams at their very best." The Guardian

"Makes for some astounding reading." Boston Globe

"Fantastically stimulating...It's like the crack cocaine of the thinking world.... Once you start, you can't stop thinking about that question." BBC Radio 4

"Intellectual and creative magnificence" The Skeptical Inquirer


Harvard Coop, December 24, 2007

 


John Brockman, Editor and Publisher
Russell Weinberger, Associate Publisher

contact: [email protected]
Copyright © 2010 By Edge Foundation, Inc
All Rights Reserved.

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