Thursday, April 30, 2020

this idea must die book report

This Idea Must Die, written by John Brockman, brings together over 100 extraordinary scientists, artists, psychologists, economists, and philosophers to ask an overall question of "what scientific idea is ready for retirement?". This book is interesting and attention-grabbing in its own way by not being your typical, storyline book. Each page interests the reader in a new topic to keep the mind flowing. As one reads the book, they'll find topics such as String Theory, Associationism, Behavior, Natural Selection, Nature Versus Nurture and so much more. This book is an easy read for anyone who has trouble paying attention, like myself.
One topic in the book that struck my interest is the idea of "things are either true or false" submitted by Alan Alda. The passage goes into detail that not everything is entirely true, as well as not everything is entirely false. Alan Alda states in the passage that the first rule of logic was that a thing cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. He gave examples such as death is not "definite". He means this by explaining that the body actually goes into a transitional phase while it gradually decomposes, thus the body is capable of living in another way. This topic really opened my eyes by comprehending that there's a possibility of another aspect to truth and falseness.
"Altruism" by Tor Norretranders, is another passage that I found most interesting. The author of this article explains that we should retire the idea of altruism. Altruism is the concept of doing something for someone else, not just for yourself. He is not saying that doing kind for other people should go away, just the idea that helping others is selfish. He goes on to explain that helping others is innate and we're influenced by the well-being of others. "It's not altruistic to be an altruist, just wise. We don't need a concept to explain our behavior".
David M Buss submitted a passage titled, "Beauty Is in the Eyes of the Beholder" was attention gabbing because we have all heard that phrase at least once in our lives, maybe even more than once. We were always told this when the attraction to a person isn't seen by others. He goes on to explain that many people still hold onto the concept of beauty being superficial or arbitrary. However, if beauty is based on personal whims, then they can easily be changed. So, it really should be that beauty is "the adaptions of the beholder".
Overall, This Idea Must Die brings together various discussion topics that truly get the mind going. Each page or a few pages being a different topic is also what attracts its appeal. At first glance, the book may seem lengthy, however, once you start reading, you'll want to keep reading to know what topic is next. Since i have already reccommended this book to my brother, I would definitely suggest it to someone who enjoys reading, or anyone who has an interest in learning new information. My only disclaimer about the book would be stopping every few sentences to look up the definition of a word, considering the book was comprised of passages written by some of the smartest people. Other than that, there are so many different appeals to this book that make it unique, intriguing, and worth the 500 pages.
$12.00 on amazon

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