This experiment came to an end at the start of December - but here for your reading pleasure are the most enjoyed features of 2012 as digested by you, our readers: [list includes] Technology - John Brockman: the man who runs the world's smartest website
Humans are born with genes that reward us with intense pleasure when we punish traitors. Punishing traitors is the group’s way of enforcing cooperation. We evolved cooperation by evolving a congenital delight in punishing sinners. See Dyson Edge Conversation (http://bit.ly/QKdg9m)
THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER (Planeta) The editor John Brockman has assembled some of the most influential thinkers of the time and pose a question: What scientific concept would help us improve our cognitive abilities? The book collects the response of such interesting characters as Richard Dawkins, Martin Selingman, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker and Craig Venter. Just for that collection of names, and worth it.
Over the last several years, I’ve become familiar with the work of Thomas W. Malone and the Center for Collective Intelligence, the lab he directs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The center is studying, and trying to make the most of, the human species’ fast-growing capacity to think outside the box — with the box in this case being an individual’s skull and cerebral cortex.
Malone discussed his goals, work and background in a session recorded and transcribed by Edge.org, the Web site developed by the literary agent and intellectual impressario John Brockman as something of an online science salon.
[The book] gives exactly what it promises: intelligence. Assembled by intellectual impressario John Brockman, we find "a set of molds generally applicable conceptual" abstraction that revolutionize the structure of our perception, concepts that vent topical storm, false clichés and archetypes.
The cream of the international scientific intelligentsia ...We will not find here the intellectual vision of letters (and if there are philosophers, they have a deep scientific background.) Here you can read the most influential thinkers of cognitive science, evolutionary psychology and information technology. That is, fields of knowledge that are experiencing a breakthrough in the twentieth and twenty-first and already incorporated all fields of knowledge, even the lliterary... A kaleidoscope of wisdom. A puzzle spinal activity at its best from authors I read for years and have been able to learn more things than I ever have imagined.
The responses of the researchers can identify trends that will shape the science in the coming years. This year marks a major trend: the importance of cooperation. Since the 1960s have biologists and social scientists disputed stubborn that among animals and human altruism admit, writes about the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia: "Any form of altruism has been explained away as a disguised form of egoism, the natural end of Selection serve. "Only slowly set by the realization that this" biological reductionism "was false, so Haidt.
Here is one about online identity. Here is one on Atlantic.com commenting on Nicholas Carr's article, 'Is Google Making Us Stupid?' ... The conversations on edge.org are generally very high quality..."
After returning the lost wallet, we conclude that we're honest. In reality, many pressures shape our behaviour..."
In spite of his serious expression, his friends and acquaintances say that he is a man of enviable rhetoric, able to hold the attention of anyone. Brockman is the name behind the Edge (edge.org), the virtual forum that brings together big names of Global Science — such as Craig Venter, one of the greatest, who is responsible for sequencing the human genome, Steven Pinker, the Canadian psychologist named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, and Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, famous for his defense of atheism.
...This makes the website clear, direct, and without arrogant elitism. The ideas linking to knowledge are not there to be popularized but to be explored. Members are admitted by invitation and include scientists Richard Dawkins and Craig Venter, composer Brian Eno, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and author Ian McEwen. Brockman: "all members are distinguished by the fact that they generate new ideas. They are not people who are only discussing new things".
Pentland argues that big data—in this case, analyzing details of social interactions and behaviors on a wide scale—will reinvent what it means to have a human society. He compares the impending transformation to the historical development of writing, education, and the Internet.
In trying to overcome between the two cultures in 1991 the writer and American literary agent John Brockman threw a cultural movement called the "third culture": his intention was to unite intellectuals and scientists in a transversal logic can illuminate the deep meaning of 'human existence starting from the consideration that the development of science had become interdisciplinary. ... Brockman's ideas are outdated - only a recognition of separate cultures and looking for a constant comparison between them can guarantee a correct evolution of knowledge.
According to an interview with Ryan Phelan, executive director of a project called Revive and Restore, at the Science Foo conference at the Googleplex earlier this month, there are now three techniques that may someday give scientists that ability: backbreeding (trying to work evolution backward, basically, to select for the traits of a related species), cloning (if enough genetic material exists), and genome editing (selectively manipulating the genome of a related species).
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.
We will decipher DNA ship at lightning speed around the world, where it is necessary. Yesterday evening you could hear these prophecies by Craig Venter in Turin, in an event known as the "Edge Dinner", one of the many dinners between scientists and assorted guests organized around the world by John Brockman, the literary agent American stars of science.
Think of the Origin of Species and the emotional expressions of Darwin, in fact almost all his books, to those of Galileo an In the last century that the custom seemed to be lost, but it has been given new life by a literary agent, John Brockman, and authors such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Francis Crick, Eric Kandel, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking.
Cage was preparing dinner and discussed.Those evenings were great opportunities for cultural enrichment. It was there that I heard for the first time of McLuhan. Unlike writers, scholars and artists were very interested in the sciences.
It is perhaps time to be afraid. Very afraid, suggests the science historian George Dyson, author of a recent biography of John von Neumann, one of the inventors of the digital computer. In “A Universe of Self-Replicating Code,” a conversation published on the Web site Edge, Mr. Dyson says that the world’s bank of digital information, growing at a rate of roughly five trillion bits a second, constitutes a parallel universe of numbers and codes and viruses with its own “physics” and “biology.”