Buffing Up Your Brain: This Will Make You Smarter by John Brockman
According to the UK’s The Guardian, Edge.org, “the influential online think tank,” is the “world’s smartest website,” a reputation that must be laborious to maintain. John Brockman, Edge.org’s publisher, had a question that he posed to 150 of the world’s “brightest and most influential minds.” Since the question, “What scientific concept would most improve everybody’s ability to think?,” pertains to…well…everybody…the resulting book, This Will Make You Smarter, must be a resource that everyone who thinks will read. Who wouldn’t want to think more clearly, independently, and scientifically?
Among those questioned by Brockman are experts in economics, academia, science, journalism, sociology, psychology, and more. They all have answers for the question and—unsurprisingly—they all have different opinions. Since they express views on a variety of things people think about, there is not too much conflict in This Will Make You Smarter.
Smarter or not, This Will Make You Smarter will definitely make you think. Some of Brockman’s respondents issued calculatingly witty answers, others offered deeply scientific theories. They wrote about the difficulty of getting a cab in New York, procrastination, perceptions of time, and depth, and they freely cited Albert Einstein. Brian Eno wrote about “Ecology,” and Rudy Rucker shared his views on the world’s unpredictability.
This Will Make You Smarter includes articles that elevate homo sapiens and articles that humble them. The articles are short, some only a single page, and wonderfully diverse. Will you be smarter if you read This Will Make You Smarter? It worked for me.