What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night

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Harper Collins, Feb 11, 2014 - Science - 528 pages
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Drawing from the horizons of science, today's leading thinkers reveal the hidden threats nobody is talking about—and expose the false fears everyone else is distracted by.

What should we be worried about? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the planet's most influential minds. He asked them to disclose something that, for scientific reasons, worries them—particularly scenarios that aren't on the popular radar yet. Encompassing neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, and more—here are 150 ideas that will revolutionize your understanding of the world.

Steven Pinker uncovers the real risk factors for war ● Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi peers into the coming virtual abyss ● Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek laments our squandered opportunities to prevent global catastrophe ● Seth Lloyd calculates the threat of a financial black hole ● Alison Gopnik on the loss of childhood ● Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why firefighters understand risk far better than economic "experts" ● Matt Ridley on the alarming re-emergence of superstition ● Daniel C. Dennett and george dyson ponder the impact of a major breakdown of the Internet ● Jennifer Jacquet fears human-induced damage to the planet due to "the Anthropocebo Effect" ● Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul ● Nicholas Carr on the "patience deficit" ● Tim O'Reilly foresees a coming new Dark Age ● Scott Atran on the homogenization of human experience ● Sherry Turkle explores what's lost when kids are constantly connected ● Kevin Kelly outlines the looming "underpopulation bomb" ● Helen Fisher on the fate of men ● Lawrence Krauss dreads what we don't know about the universe ● Susan Blackmore on the loss of manual skills ● Kate Jeffery on the death of death ● plus J. Craig Venter, Daniel Goleman, Virginia Heffernan, Sam Harris, Brian Eno, Martin Rees, and more

 

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User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

A few years ago I decided I didn't have as much time to live on edge.org like I'd like to so I stopped reading the site every day. I pretty much stopped altogether and try to fit into my too long ... Read full review

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User Review  - MartinBodek - LibraryThing

What could I be happier about? Seriously, this was right up my alley. Bite-size nuggets from the world's greatest thinkers? Discussing earth's problems? Ina manner unique one from the other? Sign me ... Read full review

Contents

Safe Mode for the Internet
Capture
Smart
Augmented Reality
Incompetent Systems
What Is a Good Life?
That We Wont Make Use of the Error Catastrophe Threshold
Science by Social Media
Putting Our Anxieties to Work
Losing Our Hands
Close Observation and Description
Is Idiocracy Looming?
Global Cooperation Is Failing and We Dont Know
The Death of Mathematics
Internet Silos
The Unavoidable Intrusion of Sociopolitical Forces into Science

The Opinions of Search Engines
Crisis at the Foundations of Physics
Our Increased Medical KnowHow
The Belief or Lack of Belief in Free Will Is Not a Scientific Matter
The Fourth Culture
Excellence
Who Gets to Play in the Science Ballpark
Systematic Thinking About How We Package Our Worries
Worryingthe Modern Passion
Books by John Brockman
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About the author (2014)

The publisher of the online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes.

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