24 January 2011

On The Edge

What question would you ask if you knew the world's smartest people would answer?

Well, that's exactly what The Edge Foundation does at the beginning of each year.  Or as they put it, "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves."

This year's question: "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?"  The answers are pretty intriguing--Antifragility, Pragmamorphism, Externalities, Cumulative Error, Pareto Distributions-- if you ever wanted to drink from the science firehose, this is it.  Responses are generally 4-5 paragraphs, and I can pretty much guarantee that you will learn something new if you read more than one.

Past questions include:
  • "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"
  • "What is your dangerous idea?"
  • "What are you optimistic about?" 
  • "What have you changed your mind about?"
  • "What Will Change Everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"
  • "How has the Internet changed the way you think?"

No comments: