What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night (Edge Question Series) (Paperback)
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
About the Author
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.
“Compelling. . . . Brockman offers an impressive array of ideas from a diverse group that’s sure to make readers think.”
— Publishers Weekly
“From a cohort of highly influential people ... you will be surprised, you will learn a lot, and indeed, you will have a higher quality of things to worry about.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Edge.org has become an epicenter of bleeding-edge insight across science, technology and beyond, hosting conversations with some of our era’s greatest thinkers”
“Substantial and engrossing. . . . Brockman and the Edge contributors offer fresh and invaluable perspectives on crucial aspects of our lives.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Reads like an atlas of fear.”
— New York Times
“This collection helps us see the myriad possible concerns laid out before us, articulating the various elements of fear that we need to fear.”
— Washington Post
“An interesting collection of food for thought.”
— Iron Mountain Daily News