"Theway Brockman interlaces essays about research on the frontiers of science withones on artistic vision, education, psychology and economics is sure to buzzany brain." —Chicago Sun-Times, on This Will Change Everything Launchinga hard-hitting new series from Edge.org and Harper Perennial, editor JohnBrockman delivers this cutting-edge master class covering everything you needto know about Culture. With original contributions by the world’sleading thinkers and scientists, including Jared Diamond, Daniel C. Dennett,Brian Eno, Jaron Lanier,Nicholas Christakis, and others, Culture offers a mind-expanding primeron a fundamental topic. Unparalleled in scope, depth, insight and quality, Edge.org’s Culture is not to be missed.
John Brockman, founder and publisher of the online think tank Edge.org, compiled some of the site's best essays into this dense, but thought-provoking examination of technology, the impact of groupthink, and the evolution of culture. One of the stronger essays is Jared Diamond's "Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?" which is accessible, insightful, and informative even for a general audience. A sizeable chunk of the book is given to computer scientist Jaron Lanier's "Digital Maoism," and the fallout that resulted after its publication in 2006. In Lanier's intriguing essay, he examines the positive and negative impacts of the "hive mind." Nine others were inspired to chime in with their thoughts, edits, and refinements on Lanier's concept. The essays aren't all winners professor David Gelernter's 2010 essay "Time to Start Taking the Internet Seriously," is a 36-point circular discussion with few conclusions but the hits outnumber the misses. Readers hoping for an easily digestible Gladwell-esque take on the evolution of culture will likely be frustrated by the book's academic slant, but those who enjoy philosophical dissection will find a few essays that strike a chord.