When Geniuses Worry
Edge.org might be the smartest site on the internet. It’s where many of today’s top thinkers first air the things they’re thinking about. And every year Edge.org creator John Brockman asks them all a big question. This year’s question is “What *Should* We Be Worried About?” You can find all their answers here, but start with Sherry Turkle on shiny objects, Steven Pinker on the causes of war, and Barbara Strauch on the decline of science journalism.
Around the World at 3 Miles Per Hour
Journalist Paul Salopek just started a 7-year, 21,000-mile walk around the world. He’s tracing the route that anthropologists believe the first humans took out of Africa as they colonized the world, ending up at the tip of South America in 2020. He wants to move through global stories “at about 3 miles per hour” in order to understand our world better. Listen to this interview and follow his journey here.
The Goal of the Universe
The universe has goals, philosopher Thomas Nagel argues in his latest book, Mind and Cosmos. He says that consciousness, our personal experience of living, can’t be explained by blind, materialist evolution, so there must be something else at play. That something is called Teleology, the idea that there are goals, undiscovered thus far, that everything is working towards. Biologist H. Allen Orr is unconvinced. (For more on consciousness, here’s David Barash on the latest (mis)understandings.)