This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress

Category: Book
By (author): Brockman, John
Series: Edge Question
Subject:  PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
  SCIENCE / Cognitive Science
  SCIENCE / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 2015
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 592
Size: 8.00in x 5.31in x 0.94in
Our Price:
$ 21.99
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Reporting from the cutting edge of scientific discovery, today's visionary thinkers target the greatest roadblocks to innovation.

Few truly new ideas are developed without first abandoning old ones. In the past, discoveries often had to wait for the rise of the next generation to see questions in a new light and let go of old truisms. Today, in a world that is defined by a rapid rate of change, staying on the cutting edge has as much to do with shedding outdated notions as adopting new ones. In this spirit, John Brockman, publisher of the online salon Edge.org ("the world's smartest website"-The Guardian), asked 175 of the world's most influential scientists, economists, artists, and philosophers: What scientific idea is ready for retirement?

Jared Diamond explores the diverse ways that new ideas emerge * Nassim Nicholas Taleb takes down the standard deviation * Richard Thaler and novelist Ian McEwan reveal the usefulness of "bad" ideas * Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior * Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism * Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence * Physicist Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think * Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal * Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe * Sam Harris argues that our definition of science is too narrow * Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek disputes the division between mind and matter * Lawrence Krauss challenges the notion that the laws of physics were preordained * plus contributions from Daniel Goleman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Nicholas Carr, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Matt Ridley, Stewart Brand, Sean Carroll, Daniel C. Dennett, Helen Fisher, Douglas Rushkoff, Lee Smolin, Kevin Kelly, Freeman Dyson, and others.

From The Publisher*

The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world's most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org's 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress?

Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org-"The world's smartest website" (The Guardian)-challenges some of the world's greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating. In :

  • Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior
  • Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism
  • Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence
  • Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a "Theory of Everything"
  • Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think
  • Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal
  • Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race
  • Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth
  • and much more.

Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, This Idea Must Die will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today . . . and tomorrow.

Review Quote*Praise for This Idea Must Die:"Take a look. No matter who you are, you are bound to find something that will drive you crazy."
Review Quote*"Garrulous and argumentative. ... Brockman's formula is tried and tested. Better still, it shows no sign of getting old."
Review Quote*"This Idea Must Die is an excellent gathering of thoughts, rants and lamentations to add to your book list."
Review Quote*"Discern[s] the zeitgeist of ideas with which some of our era's greatest minds are tussling. ... Profound. ... Provocative. ... Mind-stretching."
Review Quote*"Fascinating. ... Thought-provoking."
Review Quote*"A fascinating smorgasbord of 175 short essays about every field and facet of research."
Review Quote*"Brockman succeeds in presenting scientific work that will appeal to a variety of readers, no matter their background."
Review Quote*Praise for Edge:"Physics, statistics, robotics, linguistics, medicine-all are zestfully scrutinized in this exuberant, mind-blowing gathering of innovative thinkers."