Culture: Leading Scientists Explore Civilizations, Art, Networks, Reputation, and the Online Revolution (Best of Edge Series)

Culture: Leading Scientists Explore Civilizations, Art, Networks, Reputation, and the Online Revolution (Best of Edge Series)

John Brockman

Language: English

Pages: 307


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"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 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,’s Culture is not to be missed.

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not tethered to any particular physical medium of transmission.* Unconscious Selection of Memes On with our Just-so Story. Some of the drummers begin to hum, and of all the different hums, a few are more infectious than the rest, and those hominids who happen to start the humming in these ways become the focus of attention, as sources of humming. A competition between different humming patterns emerges. Here we can begin to see the gradual transition to unconscious selection. Suppose that being

precise estimates of how I’ll make something and what it’ll be like. I can use all of the purely rational tools for that. But then there’s a whole continuum, which is actually unbroken as far as I can see, where at the one end I can be entirely rational, then I can be pretty logical but I have to make a few guesses, and right down to another end here where it’s pure hunch. It’s absolutely pure hunch. EDGE: How does it all come together? Or does it come together at all? ENO: Mostly we’re given

figure out which e-mails (for example) or social updates or news stories you are likely to find important and interesting. It will therefore be easy for software to highlight the stream elements you’re apt to find important, and let the others rush by quickly without drawing your attention. 22. Lifestreams will make it even easier than it is today for software to learn the details of your life and predict your future actions. The potential damage to privacy is too large and important a problem

the culture, it will be because people perceive advantages to these novelties. The people, in this model, are seen as having an autonomous rationality: Deprive a person of his goods, and he stands there, naked but rational and full of informed desires. When he clothes himself and arms himself and equips himself with goods, he increases his powers, complicates his desires. If Coca-Cola bottles proliferate around the world, it is because more and more people prefer to buy a Coke. Advertising may

waiting for the economies to fall apart. I think that to the degree that citizens can communicate with each other, that actually matters much more than access to information, or than communication with the outside world. What we should be worrying about is freedom of speech, lower case f, lowercase s, not as a political right, but as just a daily capability. To what degree is that flourishing? Because in countries where that flourishes I think that the world would be better off even if

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