Know This

Know This

Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments

Book - 2017
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"The latest volume in the bestselling series from Edge.org-- dubbed 'the world's smartest website' by The Guardian-- brings together 175 of the world's most innovative and brilliant thinkers to discuss recent scientific breakthroughs that will shape the future. Scientific developments radically alter our understanding of the world. Whether it's technology, climate change, health research, or the latest revelations of neuroscience, physics, or psychology, science has, as Edge editor John Brockman says, 'become a big story, if not the big story.' In that spirit, this new addition to Edge.org's fascinating series asks a powerful and provocative question: What do you consider the most interesting and important recent scientific news?"--Amazon.com.
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780062562067
0062562061
Characteristics: xxviii, 573 pages ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Brockman, John 1941-- Editor
Edge.org.

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c
callig
Sep 19, 2017

The usual collection of science essays. Yes, even laymen now know that the standard model of physics has big problems, has been stalemated for decades (the higgs boson being the only twitch of progress for a long time).
The only essay that introduced significant new research to me was "Inequality of wealth and income: a runaway process", by S. Raza. We all know that liberal democracies are collapsing under the weight of their own greed, that the poor are voting for populist ignoramuses like Trump because they know damn well that their pious leaders are just shills for the rich- but Raza, introducing Piketty's research to us, shows us how.
I personally liked the essay, "Religious Morality is Mostly Below the Belt": 'It is sex, marriage, and reproduction - and not trust, honesty, and generosity- that lie at the core of moralization for most practitioners of the world religions.", but then science is great at accurately pointing out the foibles of religion(s) but is conspicuously silent at criticizing its own feet of clay [extinction of human race? powered by technology, but not our responsibility, oh goodness no!] Scientists are virtually all completely oblivious to their own madness. A beautiful illustration is the end of a piece on a new algorithm to solve graph isomorphism that apparently may accelerate quantum computing. He ends, "the point goes beyond that, and has to do with the dignity of the human race. If, in millions of years, aliens come across the ruins of our civilization, and dig up our digital archives, i'd like them to know that humans killed themselves off, at least we managed to figure out the graph-isomorphism problem is solvable in quasi-polynomial time and that there exist Boolean functions with superquadratic quantum speedups. So i'm glad to say that they *will* know these things...."
Well, whoopee! Now i know there's an extremely tiny chance that aliens will recover this and similar research from our ruins i feel so much better about our collective suicide.

r
rameshn116
Jun 20, 2017

A short collection of fascinating reads

s
stewstealth
May 16, 2017

A collection of short essays from various scholars, journalists and celebrities on their view of the most fascinating news story of 2015. There is a great deal of topics covered in this book, including but not limited to Physics, Biology, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Sociology, Neuroscience, Anthropology, Astronomy etc. Though the topics are varied and some complex for the most part the essays are easy to follow.Worth it if you are interested.

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