Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This Will Make You Smarter edited by John Brockman

Each year, the Edge Foundation poses a question to the world's scientists; people that lead the world in various fields. The answers get edited and then printed and bound as a book. A very interesting book I might add. When I first chose to read this book, I wondered if I would understand the question , let alone the answers. I think that scientists talk amongst themselves and are understood, but talking to a layman is another thing completely!

The questions for 2011 was: What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?  (So I understood this as a concept that would improve our powers of reasoning)

The thing I liked about this book was that you didn't have to jump in and read uninterrupted the many different answers. Each answer is given it's own chapter and title, each is a short essay. Some answers will be useful in your everyday life, some may be useful with something you are struggling with but all will provoke thought. Isn't that what a good book does?
I found some insight into fear/risk with two essays on uncertainty. Another essay , "Each of us is ordinary, yet one of a kind"  by Samuel Barondes is particularly interesting. By being ordinary, we find compassion for others. By being one a kind, we find creativity and pride. 
So, I can easily recommend this book, it will definitely make you smarter. 

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