[ED. NOTE: Last year the German Weekly News Magazine Der Spiegel, ran a multi-part series (see above), featuring excerpts from the Edge Annual Question book, What We Believe But Cannot Prove, published in Germany by S. Fischer. We are pleased to announce that, begnning this week, Der Spiegel will begin publishing an ongoing series based on the Edge 2009 Question, What Wll Change Everything?, which will consist of a mix of responses from Edge contributors and notable German scientists and thinkers.]
The artist and composer responds to this year's Edge.org question: What will change everything?
[PHOTO: BRIAN ENO/EAMONN MCCABE]
What would change everything is not even a thought. It's more of a feeling.
Human development thus far has been fueled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. The world was rich compared to its human population; there were new lands to conquer, new thoughts to nurture, and new resources to fuel it all. The great migrations of human history grew from the feeling that there was a better place, and the institutions of civilisation grew out of the feeling that checks on pure individual selfishness would produce a better world for everyone involved in the long term.
Every year, John Brockman — who runs the nonprofit Edge Foundation in New York — asks a gaggle of forward-thinking people a provocative question.
Leading thinkers - includingCraig Venter and Ian McEwan - have marked New Year 2009 by predicting what will be the next big thing to shape the future.
[PHOTO: IAN MCKEWAN/PHILIP HOLLIS]
[Caption: Ian McEwan: predicts the full flourishing of solar technology as one of the next 'big things']
A 150-strong group of scientists, authors, musicians, philosophers and other respected experts were posed the question "What will change everything?"
Their task was set by Edge, an online intellectual discussion group, which claims its membership comprises "the most interesting minds in the world".
The responses spanned new methods of energy production, the dawn of telepathy, freely available artificial intelligence and the colonisation of the Milky Way."
Dawkins speculates about how a human-chimp hybrid or the discovery of a living Homo erectus would change the way we see the world. — James Randerson
Inspired by them 2009 Edge Annual Question "What Will Change Everything?", EsquireRussia has dedicated their June issue to "the future", more specifically, to ideas about the future and those things that will "change everything." The issue features translations of fifteen essays from Edge.
Contributions included in the magazine are:
David Berreby - Post-Rational Economic Man
Leo Chalupa - Controlling Brain Plasticity
Austin Dacey - Carniculture
Freeman Dyson - "Radiotelepathy";
Brian Eno - The Feeling That Things Are Inevitably Going To Get Worse
Juan Enriquez - Homo Evolutis
Alison Gopnik - Never-Ending Childhood
Sam Harris - True Lie Detection
Robert Shapiro - A Separate Origin For Life
Rupert Sheldrake - The Credit Crunch For Materialism
Kevin Slavin - The Ebb Of Memory
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Idea Of Negative And Iatrogenic Science
Sherry Turkle - The Robotic Moment
Frank Wilczek - Homesteading In Hilbert Space
Anton Zeilinger - The Breakdown Of All ComputersThere is no online version, but copies are available at newstands everywhere...in Russia, that is, and at international newsstand as well.
NONFICTION (STARRED REVIEW)
This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
Edited byJohn Brockman. Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper (416p) ISBN 9780061899676
Part of a series stemming from his online science journal Edge (www.edge.org), including What Have You Changed Your Mind About? and What Is Your Dangerous Idea?, author and editor Brockman presents 136 answers to the question, “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” Milan architect Stefano Boeri responds with a single sentence: “Discovering that someone from the future has already come to visit us.” Most others take the question more seriously; J. Craig Venter believes his laboratory will use “digitized genetic information” to direct organisms in creating biofuels and recycling carbon dioxide. Like biofuels, several topics are recurrent: both Robert Shapiro and Douglas Rushikoff consider discovering a “Separate Origin for Life,” a terrestrial unicellular organism that doesn’t belong to our tree of life; Leo M. Chalupa and Alison Gopnik both consider the possibility resetting the adult brain’s plasticity—its capacity for learning—to childhood levels. Futurologist Juan Enriquez believes that reengineering body parts and the brain will lead to “human speciation” unseen for hundreds of thousands of years, while controversial atheist Richard Dawkins suggests that reverse-engineering evolution could create a highly illuminating “continuum between every species and every other.” Full of ideas wild (neurocosmetics, “resizing ourselves,” “intuit[ing] in six dimensions”) and more close-to-home (“Basketball and Science Camps,” solar technology”), this volume offers dozens of ingenious ways to think about progress. (Jan.)
Printing – electricity – radio – antibiotics: after them, nothing was the same. Intellectual impresario John Brockman asks a select group of thinkers, “What will change everything?”...
Who Are We?
Third Culture was born as a podcast in August 2009. Our idea was to spread the extraordinary findings, illuminations and epiphanies that we had throughout this decade in our studies of science of the mind.
Our ideas was to spread the extraordinary findings, illuminations and epiphanies that we had throughout this decade in our studies of science of the mind."Coming from the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Chile, we had the experience of being a somewhat rare beasts: interested in science in a humanistic environment. We found, in the concept of Third Culture (developed in CP Snow in the late fifties and sponsored by John Brockman in the nineties), a space where we could move easily and at the same time, share our experience students and our academic colleagues. ...
...We believe we can build a community around the issues of mind, not only among specialists of the six disciplines founding (if we ignore the hexagon of the Sloan Foundation in the seventies): Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics and Anthropology, but also between those who come from the humanities, which, as you said people like Jonah Lehrer or Ian Richardson, have been turning the problem of the mind since time immemorial.
We know that the others can be seen as a kind of "sensationalism" intellectual, or syncretism, even as accommodationist: we believe that this is one of the greatest dangers. We also know that you can see the third culture as "selling the system" in the humanities, dominated by epistemological pessimism, not relying on scientific research. Finally we know that on that same line of reasoning, the third culture can be seen as an unconditional surrender to the dominant ideas of the traditional right, the market, and so on. We put it bluntly, we are people with leftist values, but we are not the guerrilla left ... we are from the Darwinian left (... that is, at bottom, we are only interested in sex ).
The page / blog terceracultura.cl is our third step in the dissemination of the Third Culture in Chile and Chilean in this space will links to programs, more extensive post blogs, discuss recent articles, open the door to debate and establish links with elsewhere. We expect maximum contact.
[ED. NOTE: A new podcast website from Chile on The Third Culture with entries aboutDanlel Gilbert, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Guns Germs and Steel, Darwin in Chile, among others. — JB]
"The planet's overheating, the icecaps are melting, the population is exploding, there's a bird-flu epidemic waiting to get us and even if we avoid a terrorist Armageddon, there's bound to be an asteroid up there with all our names on it. We are, to quote Private Frazer, doomed.
"Nonsense, say the 150 leading scientists assembled by John Brockman in this uplifting anthology.
"Asked the title's question, the world's best brains examined our prospects - and all of them found reasons to be very cheerful indeed. Once again, the scientific community seems to challenge our instinctive, common-sense assumption. First they told us the Earth isn't flat. Then, that solid objects are made up of empty space. ...
"...This is an enthralling book that delivers two very significant truths: we've never had it so good and things can only get better. Global warming — and asteroids — permitting."