In The News

Edge Editor [5.16.11]
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NPR
May 12, 2011

3 WAYS THE BRAIN BETRAYS US 
Jacob Goldstein

Over at Edge, they're asking a bunch of big thinkers a big question: "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?"

They've collected more than 150 responses, and it's fun and interesting to read (or at least skim) through all of them. ...

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WASHINGTON POST
May 12, 2011

 


NPR
May 12, 2011

3 WAYS THE BRAIN BETRAYS US 
Jacob Goldstein

Over at Edge, they're asking a bunch of big thinkers a big question: "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?"

They've collected more than 150 responses, and it's fun and interesting to read (or at least skim) through all of them. ...

....continue



WASHINGTON POST
May 12, 2011

BETTER LIVING THROUGH SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS
Ezra Klein

The Edge magazine asked 159 thinkers a great question: “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The first reply is from Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, and he says, “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” The second comes from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who nominates the double-blind, controlled experiment. Behavioral neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran says to focus your attention on anomalies that the establishment ignores because they can’t think of a good way to explain them. Economist Richard Thaler proposes attaching the word “aether” to substitute for any variable that is asserted rather than proven -- so, “business aren’t investing because of aether,” as opposed to “businesses aren’t investing because of uncertainty.”

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THE DAILY HERALD
May 12, 2011

BENEDICTINE LAUNCHES CENTER FOR LIFELONG LEARNING
William J. Carroll

Last month, I was happy to announce the launch of Benedictine University’s Center for Lifelong Learning.

The center opened with an event attended by more than 150 potential participants from many walks of life and corners of the world. Their interests varied from international events to philosophy to trips just for the fun of it. It was a lively and energetic group that seemingly has great expectations for the center. ...

... As time was running out for our first session, I wanted to set the stage for the next. I presented a list of five questions, four of which were from edge.org, an online philosophers’ site. The questions were: 1. What do you believe is true, even though you cannot prove it? 2. What have you changed your mind about? Why? 3. What questions have disappeared? 4. What questions are you asking yourself? And 5. Why?



TIA SANG (Vietnam) 

May 11, 2011

THE TIME HORIZON
Li Lan

... For over a decade, each year a question was posed to the intellectual world-guided discussion. Organization that asks Edge Foundation, the debate comments set then compiled into a book.

Question in 2011 was made in January, now has 164 of 164 comments scholars from many different academic field. The question is how will scientific concept of development tools for people to realize? (What would the scientific concept Improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?). Can read all the comments on the website of the Edge (edge.org). Many different opinions, not all new, unique or extraordinary, but each reader can see these ideas would suggest a strong inspiration for his own. For example to me is the concept of "Deep Time" by Martin Rees. ...

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THE NEW YORK TIMES
May 6, 2011

IS A HUMAN "HERE AND NOW" BIAS CLOUDING CLIMATE REASONING?
Andrew C. Revkin

Tanenbaum’s commentary on climate risk and response, or lack thereof, leads back to the recent Edge.org question: Do we need to bolster our cognitive toolkit?

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INDIAN EXPRESS
May 8, 2011

I BELIEVE ART CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Nadine Kreisberger

So it is about being a catalyst, a conduit ?

Yes, it is about being a catalyst, an interaction maker, a facilitator. To curate comes from the Latin word ‘curare’, which means to take care of. In the 19th century curating used to mean being a caretaker of objects in a museum, and it still is one aspect of my work. But I see an extended notion of art. I work with all the arts, engaging with visual artists, novelists, poets, architects. It is important for me to be a bridge not only between artists, or between artists and the public, but also between all those disciplines.

And also between art and science ?

Yes, that is the next step. We are somehow a two culture system with the arts and humanities on one hand, & hard sciences on the other. Yet, I have always believed in a third culture idea, in developing a third space. A great model is John Brockman and his www.edge.org.

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WIRED
May 4, 2011

THE REASON WE REASON WE DIFFER
By Jonah Lehrer

... And this leads me to a fascinating and provocative new theory of reasoning put forth by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber. In essence, they argue that human reason has nothing to do with finding the truth, or locating the best alternative. Instead, it’s all about being able to argue with others:

Reasoning is generally seen as a mean to improve knowledge and make better decisions. Much evidence, however, shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests rethinking the function of reasoning. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade.

In the most recent edition of Edge.org, there’s a great conversation with Mercier, now a post-doc at Penn. Mercier begins by explaining how the argumentative theory of human reason can explain confirmation bias:...

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