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Preview — This Explains Everything by John Brockman
This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works
In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions...more
Sadly, there are like a lot of brilliant people in this book who have ideas I would love to h ...more
"This Explains Everything" is a wonderful book of essays from the Edge that addresses a question that inspires unpredictable answers. The Edge is an organization that presents original ideas by today's leading thinkers from a wide spectrum of scientific fields. The 2012 Edge question is, "What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?" This interesting 432-page book conta ...more
This is the second Edge collection I've read (there's a new one every year). In some sense, the question really isn't that important. What's these books are great for is getting samples of the thinking on big ideas from thinkers and practitioners from across a swath of disciplines. I use them to get exposed to conc ...more
In dit geven verschillende topwetenschappers - sommigen bekend, anderen in Nederland tot nog toe onbekend - zoals Susan Blackmore, Richard Dawkins, Leonard Susskind, Steven Pinker, Max Tegmark, Martin Rees, Freeman Dyson, Daniel Dennett e ...more
1. Sensory adaptation (by Richard Dawkins): "The world at time t is not greatly different from the world at time t-1. Therefore it is not necessary for sensory systems continuously to report the state of the world. They need only signal changes, leaving the brain to assume that everything not reported remains the same."
2. Opinion segregation (by David G.Myers): "Group interaction ...more
Lots of duplication. Sometimes an essay did not seem to answer the question (but rather talked about the question) or their favorite theory was not explained adequately.
After about the 20th mini-essay I got annoyed with the book and returned it to the library unfinished.
The idea sounded intriguing and so did the various essay titles: so I checked it out. Maybe 20 longer more developed dive ...more
Printre răspunsuri se regăsesc multe idei interesante dar în cea mai mare parte,Teoria Evoluției și ...more
The contributors—from Alan Alda to esteemed physicists to sociologists to mathematicians—ponder elegant and beautiful explanations of our universe. Readers may be challenged by the science, inspired by the history, and intrigued by Hamlet's notion: "There are more things in he ...more
It it fundamental principle of economics that a person is better off if they have more alternatives to choose from. But this is not the case. More than often by restricting my choices I tend to commit myself to the cause better and thus succeed. Commitment way to go!
can sometimes be the best strategy, it is the rational response to the Prisoner's dilemma.
Beauty is tr ...more
This book would make a great first science book for the listener since it covers wide areas of science by making the listener feel the topic but not enough to fully understand or assimilate. As for me, the book makes a great last book in sc ...more
In "This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works", John Brockman has asked influential minds all around the world one question:
"What is your favourite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?"
The book is a compilation of answers (into essay form) to the above questions from biolog ...more
The book shouldn't be viewed as a guide or a treatise, it is merely an index, a starting point for further reading, research and reflexion.
I definitely recommend this book to all my friends.
As Paul Saffo no ...more
I was surprised by Marcel Kinsbourne, who wrote How To Have a Good Idea [ref], solely for his ideas on the evolution of non-human species.
All in all, I find kindbourne's essay very gripping and thought-provoking, to say the least. Actually, my current nickname is rooted in one the above ...more
Evolution by means of natural selection / Susan Blackmore —
Life is a digital code / Matt Ridley —
Redundancy reduction and pattern recognition / Richard Dawkins —
The power of absurdity / Scott Atran —
How apparent finality can emerge / Carlo Rovelli --
The overdue demise of monogamy / Aubrey de Grey —
Boltzmann’s explanation of the second law of thermodynamics / Leonard Susskind --
The dark matter of the mind / Joel Gold —
"There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your ...more
And candidly, that may be why I rated it only a 3 - not because it lacks value, but because reading it takes some work.
In the book, researchers, other academics and experts tell us things like: how electricity and magnetism are two sides of the same coin, and why it's cool; why species with two sexes tend to h ...more
As usual, the editor roughly collects and juxtapose them for broad topic correlation when not for coincidence---which happens to be interesting as well, as it is normally not intended that two of the invited writers have the same response, and even when they do they always present it in a personal way with different shades of details and perspective. Here the question was about a simple, deep and beaut ...more
Specifically, Brockman publishes a book, on a semi-annual basis, which is essentially a compilation of many short ess ...more
The essays are lovingly ordered so that you flow from biology to physics to neuroscience to psychology in a way that never feels forced or jarring. One writer will expound about, say, the Pigeonhole Theory and the next will use it as a jumpi ...more
I lost count at the number of essays that started "I would talk about evolution but I'm sure someone else will." Those essays were not wrong. Quite a few of the entries were about evolution and natural selection.
Because this book is a collection of short essays it was very easy t ...more