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THINK ABOUT NATURE

Conversation:
[5.14.13]
Topic:

Feynman once told me, "Whatever you do—you're going to have to do crazy things to think about quantum gravity—but whatever you do, think about nature. If you think about the properties of a mathematical equation, you're doing mathematics and you're not going to get back to nature. Whatever you do, have a question that an experiment could resolve at the front of your thinking." So I always try to do that

 

DISFLUENCY

Conversation:
[2.25.13]
Topic:

"We've shown that disfluency leads you to think more deeply, as I mentioned earlier, that it forms a cognitive roadblock, and then you think more deeply, and you work through the information more comprehensively. But the other thing it does is it allows you to depart more from reality, from the reality you're at now. .."

 

ENCAPSULATED UNIVERSES

Conversation:
[2.19.13]
Topic:

"Think about it this way. We have 7,000 languages. Each of these languages encompasses a world-view, encompasses the ideas and predispositions and cognitive tools developed by thousands of years of people in that culture. Each one of those languages offers a whole encapsulated universe. So we have 7,000 parallel universes, some of them are quite similar to one another, and others are a lot more different. The fact that there's this great diversity is a real testament to the flexibility and the ingenuity of the human mind."

 
 

THE NORMAL WELL-TEMPERED MIND

Conversation:
[1.8.13]
Topic:

"The vision of the brain as a computer, which I still champion, is changing so fast. The brain's a computer, but it's so different from any computer that you're used to. It's not like your desktop or your laptop at all, and it's not like your iPhone except in some ways. It's a much more interesting phenomenon. What Turing gave us for the first time (and without Turing you just couldn't do any of this) is he gave us a way of thinking about and taking seriously and thinking in a disciplined way about phenomena have, as I like to say, trillions of moving parts. Until late 20th century, nobody knew how to take seriously a machine with a trillion moving parts. It's just mind-boggling."

 

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