This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

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by John Brockman
     
 

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Featuring a foreword by David Brooks, This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant—but accessible—ideas to expand every mind.

What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world’s most influential thinkers. Their visionary

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Overview

Featuring a foreword by David Brooks, This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant—but accessible—ideas to expand every mind.

What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world’s most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.

Daniel Kahneman on the “focusing illusion” • Jonah Lehrer on controlling attention • Richard Dawkins on experimentation • Aubrey De Grey on conquering our fear of the unknown • Martin Seligman on the ingredients of well-being • Nicholas Carr on managing “cognitive load” • Steven Pinker on win-win negotiating • Daniel C. Dennett on benefiting from cycles • Jaron Lanier on resisting delusion • Frank Wilczek on the brain’s hidden layers • Clay Shirky on the “80/20 rule” • Daniel Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world • V. S. Ramachandran on paradigm shifts • Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence • John McWhorter on path dependence • Lisa Randall on effective theorizing • Brian Eno on “ecological vision” • Richard Thaler on rooting out false concepts • J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life • Helen Fisher on temperament • Sam Harris on the flow of thought • Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty

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Editorial Reviews

David Brooks
"This Will Make You Smarter gives us better tools to think about the world and is eminently practical for life day to day. The people in this book lead some of the hottest fields."
DAVID BROOKS
This Will Make You Smarter gives us better tools to think about the world and is eminently practical for life day to day. The people in this book lead some of the hottest fields.”
The Guardian
“The world’s smartest website ... Edge is a salon for the world’s finest minds”
Atlantic Monthly
“Edge.org has become an epicenter of bleeding-edge insight across science, technology and beyond, hosting conversations with some of our era’s greatest thinkers”
Kirkus Reviews
Edge.org founder and publisher Brockman (Culture: Leading Scientists Explore Civilizations, Art, Networks, Reputation, and the Online Revolution, 2011, etc.) asks a group of eminent scientists and writers their views on the question, "What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody's Cognitive Toolkit?" The thematic question was actually proposed to the editor by Harvard professor Steven Pinker, who urges the need for people to recognize the value of win-win bargaining based on cooperation rather than competition--positive rather than zero sum games. New Scientist editor Roger Highfield writes humorously that "one way to win the struggle for existence is to pursue the snuggle for existence: to cooperate." In a similar vein, astronomer Marcelo Gleiser suggests that since humans may be unique in the universe, "[we] might as well start enjoying one another's company." Psychologist Daniel Goleman examines the seeming indifference of most people about the risk of "planetary meltdown." In the same vein, science writer Alun Anderson suggests changing the name of our species to Homo dilatus because of our inability to face up to the consequences of global warming. Physicist Lawrence Krauss looks at the importance of scale in determining how precise an answer must be, and Lisa Randall argues the need for understanding both the "robustness and the limitations" of scientific results. Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky warns against too much reliance on anecdotal evidence, and several contributors touch on the theme of how to evaluate risk and the tendency of people to over-focus on the immediate in estimating dangers. Other notable contributors--there are more than 150--include Stewart Brand, Richard Dawkins, Jonah Lehrer, Nicholas Carr, David Eagleman, Alison Gopnik, Jaron Lanier, V.S. Ramachandran, Brian Eno, Amanda Gefter and Clay Shirky. A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns.
The New York Times Book Review
Delving into this book is like overhearing a heated conversation in a lab. It captures the preoccupations of top scientists and offers a rare chance to discover big ideas before they hit the mainstream.
—Jascha Hoffman
From the Publisher
"A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns." —Kirkus Starred Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062109392
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
158,548
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

David Brooks
This Will Make You Smarter gives us better tools to think about the world and is eminently practical for life day to day. The people in this book lead some of the hottest fields.”

Meet the Author

John Allen Nelson's critically acclaimed roles on television's 24 and Vanished are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of Zoo Story by Thomas French.

Khristine Hvam is a professional voice artist whose work includes audiobooks, video games, and voice-overs. Among her narrations are the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and Dare Me by Megan Abbott.

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This Will Make You Smarter: 150 Concepts That Will Improve Everyone's Cognitive Toolkit 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for those who would like to think about different ways to look at life. It involves different outlooks by many different people. Various philosophies are used and I believe this book is great for people who would like to expand their mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like random thoughts, by random people, about random subjects…………..you may enjoy this book.
Aerryx More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Each essay discusses (in simple terms) a scientific concept, and how that concept can be applied in everyday life. This book sparks great discussions as well, and I definitely recommend for anyone who is looking to "think" a little more in their daily life. I'll be picking up more in the series soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each essay in this collection focuses on one scientific principle that can be used in everyday life. I recommend reading one a day to really get your brain in gear and either learn a new concept or learn something new about a concept you thought was familiar to you.
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Read this book. It is awesome!!
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This is a great book for class
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book ls stupid .The stuff they talk is not real and they said there was 5eaths aand that makes no senes so if you read this book it is not real
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far it is good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T