File Size: 1602 KB
Print Length: 434 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 22, 2013)
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
"This Explains Everything" is a wonderful book of works from the Edge that addresses a question that inspires unpredictable answers. Typically the Edge is an corporation that presents original ideas by today's leading thinkers from a wide variety of scientific fields. Typically the 2012 Edge question is, "What is your preferred heavy, elegant, or beautiful justification? " This interesting 432-page book contains 148 quick essays that addresses the question. The caliber of the works range from the 3-word absurdity of "Keep It Simple" to the sophisticated and profound essay that addresses why the skies is blue through a brief history of converging sciences.
For my reason, I a new spreadsheet of all the essays and graded them from absolutely no to five stars based on quality. Five star works are that provide a great description of the author's favorite explanation. Upon the other hand, those receiving a one or even a zero represent essays that were not worthy of this book. Associated with course, this is merely one reviewer's personal opinion.
1 ) Typically the book starts with a great premise, "What is your preferred deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation? "
2. A great range of scientific topics. Challenging ideas.
3. Generally well written, well organized essays. Top quality value.
4. You don't have to read the essays in purchases, you can just bounce to your preferred authors or topics.
5. The theory of evolution shines brightest between the celebs; regardless of the field of expertise these writers have a great admiration for indeed one of the most beautiful, elegant explanations in every of science.
6. There were eleven outstanding essays deserving of five stars for me personally. In order of composition, the first by Gerd Gigerenzer, "Unconscious Inferences". It discusses the nature of perception. Excellent illustration to bring it all together.
7. Sixth is v. S. Ramachandran's "Genes, Claustrum, and Consciousness". He argues that the same strategy used to crack the genetic code might prove successful in cracking the "neural" code. And which why I read textbooks of this ilk...
8. David Meters. Eagleman's "Overlapping Solutions" explains beautifully the overlapping ways the brain deals with the world.
9. Andrew Lih's "Information is the Resolution of Uncertainty" introduces us to Claude Shannon the man behind the elegant theory of information.
10. Helen Fisher's "Epigenetics- Typically the Missing Link" provides the reader with the dare I say it emerging field of epigenetics in which the environmental forces can affect gene behavior.
11. John Tooby's "Falling into Place: Entropy and the Desperate Ingenuity of Life" provides a trio of elegant scientific ideas: entropy, natural selection, and frames of refernce.
12. Richard R. Kandel's "Placing Psychotherapy on a Scientific Schedule: Five Easy Lessons" talks about the very topical need of treating mental health problems. Great essay!
13. Randolph Nesse's excellent "Natural Selection is Easy nevertheless the Systems it styles are Unimaginably Complex" makes it specific that there is a distinction between machines and organisms.
14. My favorite essay belongs to Nicholas A. Christakis, "Out of the Mouth of Babes". It starts with an easy question from childhood. Why is the sky blue? A question so simple a child can ask but requires most of the greatest minds over time to converge to a satisfactory answer. Philosophy and science as you, now that's beautiful!
15. Alison Gopnik's well-timed and fascinating "Developmental Time Explains the Woes of Adolescence.
16. The great Jared Gemstone completes the great eleven with the "Origins of Biological Electricity". Interesting, nice interspersed with some great data.
17. Great authors regularly provide great essays, you are able to count on: Dawkins, Pinker, Steinhardt, Carroll, Zimmer, PZ Myers, Atkins, Krauss, and Shermer. They all provided excellent works.
18. Alan Turing, Galileo, and of course Einstein deserve a special mention. Turing's life is fascinating and I suggest reading his biography. The truly amazing Darwin goes without saying.
19. Excellent editing.
1. Some works weren't worthy of this book. It's not my intent to denigrate any of these great heads so I'm not going to talk about them by name. Fortunately only a few received absolutely no stars.
2. I'm disappointed that no one mentioned Henrietta Swan Leavitt the astronomer who learned how to calculate the distance from the superstars. Or Barbara McClintock's innate transposition. And of course one can never go wrong with Marie Curie. You understand where I'm going with this... just an observation.
In summary, this is an interesting and fun book of essays for inquisitive heads. Philosophy is about inquiring the right questions and good science is about answering them. A perfect balance of elegance is attained when the right question is responded in turn with an audio, succinct scientific response. This guide consists of a wide range of responses from my favorite eleven to some not worthy of the book, but overall a fun and enjoyable read. I recommend it!
Additional suggestions: " A Universe From Nothing " by Lawrence Krauss, " The Greatest Show on Earth " by Richard Dawkins, " The Vanishing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness BYKean " by Sam Kean, " The Tell-Tale Brain " by V. S. Ramachandran, " The Believing Brain " by Jordan Shermer, " Just how to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human being Thought Revealed " by Ray Kurzwell, " The Blank Slate: The present day Denial of Human being Nature " by Steven Pinker, " Guns, Germs and Stainlesss steel " by Jared Diamond, " The reason why Evolution Holds true " by Jerry A. Coyne, and " Subconsciente: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior " by Leonard Mlodinow., This is one of the best textbooks I've read within the last pair of years, and I have read some pretty good ones.
If you're an chair scientist like myself, imagine being invited to a dinner party. After the meal, dozens of scientists tell you that they feel on a particular concern, one after the other. Only at that party they inform you what scientific theory theory they like, and why. Plus they rarely use any deep scientific lingo, and if they are doing, you can pick it upward from the context.
You finish reading this guide and thinking "Wow! " You learn that you have people light-years ahead of you in intelligence yet they can make it clear in a few pages what they're thinking about. Some individuals don't even need a page to express themselves. Just about every few pages you come across ideas that will strike your mind.
This guide comes from John Brockman, who runs an online site called Advantage. org. He uses the site to solicit responses to his question of the entire year. The answers come from those people who are usually college or university teachers and also have written books, Yet there are other, better-known people, like Richard Dawkins, Jared Gemstone, and Sherry Turkle, alongside with Nobel prizewinners like Frank Wilczek and Richard Kandel. The standard is uniformly excellent.
Going back to that Dinner celebration - Brockman has done this before, and each time a book was performed from it. You can read the contents of everything he's published on his web site, but I prefer reading a guide.
And I think you will too. Get this or one of Brockman's earlier books. I'm positive you'll have the same feelings as me and stay really glad you read it., I found the title of this book to be unfortunate but not a surprise. I see the detailed description of the book so I failed to expect an explanation for everything. Knowing that I would still give the name a two; however the 'saving grace' were the essays inside.
The participants were questioned to give their viewpoint of a "favorite deep, sophisticated, or beautiful explanation. "
The theories range from economics, math concepts, biology, psychology to stardust and why the Greeks painted red figures on a black background. Not all of the essays must do with the sciences though a lot of them are about scientific answers. The authors state the explanation they like best and then explain the idea. I wondered if most of these authors were teachers because they did a very good job with their explanations. The writers seem to understand their audience might not have the same interest or background. While I have a degree in Biology, I don't know economics or physics as well.
One of the reasons I would give this book a several, the contents, is because it made me food cravings for more. Some of these theories I only knew in passing and a few I experienced not heard of at all. I don't know much about social psychology, but I want to find out about several of the theories I read about and I think that's an amazing thing for a book to do to someone.
The essays were a nice mixture of older theories which lead to modern theory and modern theory.
I found most of the essays, about 150, to be very interesting. I didn't find the language difficult. One was just silly, a politically correct word for stupid: Retain it simple. The author simply didn't try. But one of my favorite was Michael Sherman's "The Basic principle of Empiricism, or See for Yourself. " Mister. Sherman reduced the reason to the most basic form as well as in so doing his elegant, favorite theory explains everything every science appears for and exactly how culture transformed.
This is a very good guide and i also would recommend it to any reader. You may have to have a math or science history to get a lot out of this work. The essays are quick and give the readers time to digest. For those that do have a background in technology, math, etc . it will be a nice refresher course.
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