Saturday, March 17, 2012

FUTURE SCIENCE by Max Brockman

In FUTURE SCIENCE by Max Brockman essays from various scientists are read by alternating narrators, and include insights into virology, neuroscience, physics, computers, and psychology.  More in depth than the History Channel (which must be dumbed down), the audiobook will appeal not just to geeks but to anyone with an interest in the way things work, and why we make the choices we do.  Most intriguing is research showing that we tend to compare things automatically, needing a point of reference to make value judgments.  So we are not always rational or logical.  Opinions can be changed, too, by wording the problem differently.  For example, if someone tells you there is a 1% chance of your dying on the operating room table, you are less likely to opt for surgery than if they tell you there's a 99% chance of your survival.  Financial bubbles occurred because gains were touted and losses ignored as group think overwhelmed sanity.  We say we want change and new things, but then we eat at McDonalds because a Big Mac is familiar and comforting.  Advertisers know more about us than we do, and they use that information in targeting us.  What we say we will do and what we actually do are often completely different.  Here's why, and also why the universe can be both finite and infinite at the same time.


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