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

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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, ...

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This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

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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

From Barnes & Noble

When world renowned thinkers like Richard Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Kahneman share pithy essays about their specialties, bright readers take notice. Moderated by Edge.com founder John Brockman, this trade paperback and NOOK Book original will heighten your understanding of several subjects. Editor's recommendation. (P.S. The contributors list includes three Nobel Prize winning brainiacs, but also the likes of Alan Alda, Irene Pepperberg, Lisa Randall, and Brian Eno.)

Vicki Powers

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”
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.”
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”
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: 2/14/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 147,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Brockman, a cultural impresario, is founder of Brockman, Inc., a literary agency. He is author of The Third Culture, founder and editor of the highly acclaimed website Edge, and editor of the Edge Annual Question book series, and the Best of Edge book series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Random thoughts................

    If you like random thoughts, by random people, about random subjects…………..you may enjoy this book.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    So cool

    This is a great book for class

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Great book for the right person

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Love it

    So far it is good

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    Hokey title, fastinating content

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Dum

    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

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Jdjgsjdjd

    Hi my name is idhgjsgd how r u skgdkhdjdgdnmjdudjd

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Funny

    Ok
    Ok

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Horid

    I hate it

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Yo!

    T

    0 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

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    Posted December 31, 2013

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    Posted June 12, 2014

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    Posted December 14, 2012

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    Posted January 12, 2013

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    Posted January 12, 2014

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    Posted January 12, 2013

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    Posted December 29, 2013

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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