This Idea Must Die by John Brockman

This Idea Must Die

Reporting from the cutting edge of scientific discovery, today's visionary thinkers target the greatest roadblocks to innovation.Few truly new ideas are developed without first abandoning old ones. In the past, discoveries often had to wait for the rise of the next generation to see questions in a new light and let go of old truisms. Today, in a world that is defined by a rapid rate of change, staying on the cutting edge has as much to do with sh...

Details This Idea Must Die

TitleThis Idea Must Die
Release DateFeb 17th, 2015
PublisherHarper Perennial
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Writing, Essays, Psychology

Reviews This Idea Must Die

  • Gary Beauregard Bottomley
    This book was a lot like the TED conferences. While you're watching them you think they're the most brilliant thing you've ever seen and just wonder why you didn't come up with thinking about the problem that way on your own. But, when it's over you start to think maybe that wasn't worth my time after all. This book was fun while doing it, but I strongly suspect it wasn't worth my time.Some essays were very good. I really liked Alan Alda's on why...
  • Crystal Starr Light
    Bullet Review:This was a Goodreads Giveaway win. That didn't influence my review one bit.So. This took nearly 2 years to finish - why? Perhaps because it suffered from being too long with too many voices saying the same thing (two essays have the exact same title and subject matter as well as opinion).That said, when the essays were good, they were VERY good. I can't seem to find any off the top of my head, but they were there. Unfortunately, due...
  • Terence
    The problem with books of this nature is that either the "death of an idea" is such a no-brainer that it doesn't deserve an essay or it's the bete noire of the author. For example, in this volume one can find essays that call for the final interment of String Theory alongside others that as vigorously defend it. Or materialists who deny that consciousness persists after death alongside others who argue for the opposite.The best essay in the colle...
  • Gendou
    This book is a collection of essays; answers to the question What scientific idea is ready for retirement? This format is like placing a soap box in the middle of a town full of cranks, quacks, sophists, pseudo-intellectuals, and contrarians. The result is not really a book so much as a colossus of nonsense hewn from contradictory essays.I can't fault John Brockman his choice in ordering these essays, however. They flow together smoothly as a riv...
  • عبدالرحمن عقاب
    قرأته ببطء، وببطءٍ أكثر كان يجب أن يُقرأ!بدايةً أحبّ الحديث سريعًا عن مشروع (جون بروكمان) المميّّز، وهو مشروع يهدف إلى حثّ أهم العلماء والمفكّرين على كتابة إجابات مختصرة (في 1- 4 ورقات) لسؤال علمي فلسغي عميق ومحدد. ويجيب كلّ عالم أو مفكّر على السؤال م...
  • Troy Blackford
    Another Brockman-curated sampling of thought from his roster of scientists, this collection explores scientific ideas that are blocking progress. Interestingly, many of the contributors to this book are opposed to research that is championed by other contributors, and the counterpoints were often striking. This one kind of grated on me at times, because some of the essays were arguing against things that interest me, but it was nevertheless inter...
  • Book
    This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress (Edge Question Series) by John Brockman “This Idea Must Die" is the thought-provocative book of scientific essays brought to you by The Edge. The Edge is an organization that presents original ideas by today's leading thinkers from a wide spectrum of scientific fields. The 2014 Edge question is, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” This interesting 592-page book p...
  • Todd Stockslager
    Review title: Death Wish VIThe Death Wish movie franchise was a series of movies (up to V) where Charles Bronson's wife/daugter/mother/girlfriend would be attacked/kidnapped/tortured/raped/murdered by a lone psycho/gang/cult where upon Bronson would exact revenge. Kind of like Taken without Liam Neeson's voice. I have entitled my review as the next in the franchise because this collection of essays by scientists talks a lot about death and involv...
  • Michael
    This book was a chore to plow through. The title and the concept intrigued me, yet I was disappointed in the overall outcome.Some of the contributors used the question as an opportunity to rant on their own personal pet peeve, such as the lady who went off on the phrase "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to ...."One of my greatest disappointments with the book was that so many of the contributors took it upon themselves to ridicule a belief in a...
  • Emerson Banez
    It took a while to get through this book - the sum of 175 essays to answer the question "What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance?"I've always had an acute professional and intellectual envy of those working in the hard sciences - their fields seem to be so put together. So it's guilty pleasure to find out that things aren't as neat as they seem from the outside:* String theory (or 'M' theory) is a...
  • Beverly Hollandbeck
    I think I got the recommendation to read this book from a magazine review, but I can't remember which one. Maybe Smithsonian. The idea is a question put forth to scientists: Which scientific idea is ready for retirement? The book is 555 pages of 2-4 page essays answering this question, each essay from a different scientist. Unfortunately, the editor put the answers from the physicists first, so quantum mechanics, string theory, and the like made ...
  • Ed Erwin
    Utterly exhausting. There are lots of interesting authors here with lots of interesting things to say. But the format -- hundreds of tiny essays -- is beyond tiring. If you went onto your social media feed and found that 150 of your friends had each posted a link to one article about something interesting, you wouldn't click on all those links, would you? You would? Well then, you can go to this page and click on all these links, which contain th...
  • Denis Vasilev
    Есть любопытные доводы, есть сомнительные. Очень разный уровень эссе. Сборник, разные авторы, не понятно кому верить.
  • Darren
    Essays identify old ideas that may be stalling scientific progress. Brain plasticity, godlessness, Malthusian notions - all should go according to the responses to John Brockman's latest question.“Science advances by a series of funerals,” writes Brockman, founder of the online discussion forum Sometimes, he says, old ideas have to be put to bed before new ones can flourish. With that in mind, he asked researchers, journalists and o...
  • William Schram
    Meh. This book is one that I should not have bought, but you know what they say about fools and money I guess. I really should have looked through it beforehand, but I was charmed by the title. What is even more aggravating is the fact that I was in the bookstore when I bought this and could have looked through the physical copy I was holding.This book is a collection of essays with a common theme; "What Ideas should be shelved to aid progress?" ...
  • Michelle
    In this collection of essays, scientists around the globe answer the question "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?", and their responses give us an interesting glimpse at where our scientific understanding is today and where it is headed. This book contains over 170 short, concise essays covering a wide range of topics and disciplines. In general, the essays are well written, interesting, and easy to understand; although, I think it is ...
  • Nicholas
    Goodreads win. Will read and review once received.A different type of book than I am usually used to. It was an interesting read but I will admit it isn't a book I would pick up and buy by myself. I was happy to have received this book for free through goodreads. The writing in this book is good and the book had a good flow to it. I will say this book was engaging and thoughtful. I can see many people finding this book interesting.
  • Jack Oughton
    This is the book that I did not know I had been waiting for.I found it undermining some things I thought were scientific 'tenets'. And ain't that what science is all about?
  • Jennifer
    2014's question.I am trying to read one of these every year now - well, 2017's bled into 2018, but not by much. Anyway, why did this particular title stand out to me? I suppose most humans fear failure. Modern Western culture may have exascerbated this trend, especially for intellectuals, perhaps, because in school good performance is measured by how often you don't fail. But in the real world, there is alot of uncertainty. You can stick...
  • Dschreiber
    This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories that are Blocking ProgressJohn Brockman, ed.In 1948 physicist Max Planck described the progress of science as a battle between newly discovered truths and old ideas championed by senior scientists who fight stubborn, rear-guard actions until they die. It has been summed up in the memorable phrase, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” This Idea Must Die attempts to rectify the process, if not by spe...
  • anna b
    This book is a collection of essays from thought leaders from various fields on how the usual way to view and do things may not be the optimal way that will lead to breakthroughs and new innovations. I find it is too much science and physics but there are some really good essays being curated that will make you think twice about using formulae for theorems and other philosophical stuff. I think it will appeal to people who are in the science fiel...
  • Lisa Butterworth
    Lots and lots of short essays by scientists about ideas they hate (including, incidentally-meta, the idea that ideas must die). I kinda love having a group of really smart educated passionate people dissing on the ideas of other really smart people, they all know so much and there is so much disagreement. They disagree on the answers, the questions, the tools used to measure, the underlying philosophy, not to mention all the statistical methods u...
  • Marielle
    The essays in this collection are superficial and repetitive.
  • Greg Nigh
    This Idea Must Die gets a firmly ambiguous rating from me. It is a collection of short-ish responses from 50-or-so "prominent thinkers" in various fields who were asked, "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?" Answers to this question range from string theory and human nature, to universal grammar, "artificial intelligence," evolutionary exceptionalism, and one physicist suggests retiring the idea that "The Higgs Particle Closes a Chapter...
  • Sean Goh
    Things I learnt:So much of our society still operates on a paradigm of simplification, compartmentalisation and boundaries, when we need a paradigm of diversity, complexity, relationships and process.A triumphalist scientism needs philosophy to support itself. Philosophy is joined to science in reason's project. Its mandate is to render our views and attitudes maximally coherent.A modest proposal (by Alan Alda): Scientific truth should be identif...
  • Grady McCallie
    Other books I've read in this series have not impressed me, but this year's question - what one idea is holding back progress and should be retired? - does well in this format. Editor John Brockman collects one to six page answers to the question from 174 academics, researchers, science writers, and a handful of non-scientist cultural figures. In general, the non-scientists' pieces are a little fuzzy and embarrassing. A handful of really well kno...
  • Teo 2050
    ~8h @ 2x. Contents:(view spoiler)[Brockman J (ed.) (2015) (16:25) This Idea Must Die - Scientific Theories That Are Blocking ProgressDedicationAcknowledgmentsPreface: The 2014 Edge Question001. Geoffrey West :: The Theory of Everything002. Marcelo Gleiser :: Unification003. A. C. Grayling :: Simplicity004. Seth Lloyd :: The Universe005. Scott Atran :: IQ006. Leo M. Chalupa :: Brain Plasticity007. Howard Gardner :: Changing the Brain008. Victoria ...
  • Jay Green
    I read the Edge books every year and always find something of interest. This year in particular - or rather, for the 2014 edition, I was pleasantly surprised to see so much scientific orthodoxy brought into question given the lay perception of science as close to completion and composed of immutable, universally agreed-upon laws. I only give four stars because the Edge community still appears unable to extend its philosophical community beyond a ...
  • Brian Beatty
    There are so many terrific essays in this volume that I don't know where to start!Favorites:Citizen ScienceScience = Big ScienceNature = ObjectsBias is always badMouse ModelsMultiple regression as a means of discovering causalityAltruismMoral blank slateismFree willScience makes philosophy obsoleteRaceThe rocket scientistNew ideas triumph by replacing old onesThe pursuit of parsimonyLeast favorites:Scientific Method - I was sorely disappointed in...