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This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific…
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This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your… (edition 2012)

by John Brockman

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286639,411 (3.57)6
Member:RachelHaas
Title:This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking
Authors:John Brockman
Info:Harper Perennial (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 448 pages
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This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman (Editor)

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» See also 6 mentions

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This book formed the basis of a discussion group consisting of eight two-hour sessions. Before each class, members had to read 50 pages (i.e., about 20 essays). During the class, we’d discuss each essay as well as the professional career of the person who wrote the essay. The members of our discussion group were mostly very bright seniors retired from professions that required doctorate or masters degrees (e.g., aerospace engineers, doctors, physicists, mathematicians, high-tech professors, academic librarians, high school science teachers, etc.).

The book provided a good framework for social and intellectual interaction among people who are used to finding pleasure through improving their minds. Most of the ideas in this book were not new to this group, but each was presented in a manner that caused us to think differently about the idea, especially as we explored them in a group context with a variety of different types of people from widely different science-related backgrounds.

Everyone in the class agreed that the editor had “frontloaded” the best essays at the beginning. As we got toward the end of the class, the essays got significantly duller and less inspiring. For the most part, we enjoyed the book. In general, as a springboard for discussion, it was good--not stellar, just good. Many people in the class said that had they not taken the class, they’d still have enjoyed buying this book and having it around the house to read an essay now and then as a form of cerebral pleasure.

Buying the book contributes to the online Edge organization (a private nonprofit foundation) dedicated to an important human endeavor, namely: to arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, by seeking out the most complex and sophisticated minds, putting them in a room together, and having them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves. Reading the book is akin to participating in the conversation…albeit at a less lofty level. I enjoyed the book and most of all, our classroom discussions about the book. ( )
  msbaba | Dec 22, 2013 |
neuroscience
  tilke | Dec 1, 2013 |
This is the best one of these yet ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
" This is a good, rich primer of many of the dominant discourses in today's world across the many disciplines of science which includes archaeology, curation, and architecture as well as quantum mechanics, mathematics, and astronomy. Thanks to the short bursts and skillful editing the ideas flow from one to the other making this a surprisingly quick read. "
read more: likeiamfeasting.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/this-will-make-you-smarter-ed-john.html ( )
1 vote mongoosenamedt | Aug 2, 2013 |
Collections like this (particularly when they make the kinds of bold assertions this title does) usually seem to fall pretty flat. This one's pretty good, though. There are some stinkers, but other essays are really peculiar, and askew, and brain-stirring (and fun!). (see: Rushkoff, Zweig, Jacquet, Blackmore, Stone) ( )
  bnewcomer | Apr 2, 2013 |
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This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant but accessible ideas to expand every mind. What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world's most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.… (more)

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