Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the 8 Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read


How to “glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.”

In December of 2011, Neil deGrasse Tysonchampion of science, celebrator of the cosmic perspective, master of the soundbite — participated in Reddit’sAsk Me Anything series of public questions and answers. One reader posed the following question: “Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?” Adding to history’s notable reading lists — including those by Leo Tolstoy, Alan Turing, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Stewart Brand, and Carl Sagan — Tyson offers the following eight essentials, each followed by a short, and sometimes wry, statement about “how the book’s content influenced the behavior of people who shaped the western world”:

  1. The Bible (public library; free ebook), to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself
  2. The System of the World (public library; free ebook) by Isaac Newton, to learn that the universe is a knowable place
  3. On the Origin of Species (public library; free ebook) by Charles Darwin, to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth
  4. Gulliver’s Travels (public library; free ebook) by Jonathan Swift, to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos
  5. The Age of Reason (public library; free ebook) by Thomas Paine, to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world
  6. The Wealth of Nations (public library; free ebook) by Adam Smith, to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself
  7. The Art of War (public library; free ebook) by Sun Tzu, to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art
  8. The Prince (public library; free ebook) by Machiavelli, to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it

Tyson adds:

If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.

(What has driven it, evidently, is also the systematic exclusion of the female perspective. The prototypical “intelligent person” would be remiss not to also read, at the very least, Margaret Fuller’s foundational text Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which is even available as a free ebook, and Betty Friedan’sThe Feminine Mystique. But, of course, the question of diversity is an infinite one and any list is bound to be pathologically unrepresentative of all of humanity — a challenge I’ve addressed elsewhere — so Tyson’s selections remain indispensable despite their chromosomal lopsidedness. My hope, meanwhile, is that we’ll begin to see more such reading lists by prominent female scientists, philosophers, artists, or writers of the past and present; to my knowledge, none have been made public as of yet — except perhaps Susan Sontag’s diary, which is essentially a lifelong reading list.)

Complement with Nabokov on the six short stories every writer should read, then revisit Tyson on genius and the most humbling fact about the universe.

Original Source – Brain Pickings (Maria Popova)
Maria Popova

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Conversations with Tomorrow: World Technology and Energy in 2064

World Technology and Energy in 2064

Gigaom

This article is part of the ‘Think Further’ series, sponsored by Fred Alger Management, Inc. For more ‘Think Further’ content and videos, visit thinkfurtheralger.com.

In 2064, the global use of fossil fuels will fall to less than half its current level, as resource exhaustion leads to higher extraction costs and higher prices than consumers can pay.

If humanity is smart, and takes firm action to grapple with resource exhaustion and climate change, renewable energy use will grow 10-fold until it provides roughly half the total primary energy supply. Electrified rail, plus a small share of electric cars, will dominate surface transportation. Coal and nuclear power will be nearly phased out. More than 80 percent of global electricity will be provided by renewables. Natural gas plants will provide most of the remaining 20 percent of power generation. The current grid power architecture, with its reliance on big, centralized “baseload” generators…

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The 10 Most Livable Countries in the World


TIME

This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247WallSt.com.

Based on the most recent release of the Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Programme, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most and least livable countries. Data from the Human Development Index is based on three dimensions of human progress — having a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable, and having a good standard of living. According to the index, Norway is the most livable country in the world, while Niger is the least livable.

One factor that influences a country’s development is its income. The U.N. used gross national income in its calculation of the Human Development Index to reflect the standard of living in a country. In the most developed countries, gross income per capita is generally quite high. All of the world’s 10 most livable countries had among…

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The Future: Battle Between Google and Wikileaks


TIME

Last weekend, I participated in an event that grabbed headlines around the world, even making it into Jimmy Fallon’s opening monologue on “The Tonight Show.” Yet the real cover story has to date gone unreported. The fourth annual Nantucket Project (co-sponsored this year by TIME) is a weekend of TED-style talks for the luminary set that hobnobs off the Massachusetts coast. I interviewed notorious Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by hologram, beamed in from his place of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. News coverage the next day focused in one way or another on the spectacular and mischievous angle that Assange had, in effect, managed to escape his quarantine and laugh in the face of those who wish to extradite him by appearing full-bodied in Nantucket before a packed house of exhilarated conference attendees.

Beyond the spectacle, though, what got less attention was what the interview was actually…

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TED Talk: How not to be ignorant about the world


Hans Rosling, global health expert and data visionary, one of the greatest speakers ever on TED, right beside Ken Robinson, Shawn Achor, and so many more.

How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know.

Mobile Advertising Rockets In India, World’s Fastest-growing Smartphone Market


Abogado Aly

Mobile advertising volume in India grew the fastest in the world, climbing a record 260% since July 2013, even as the larger Asia-Pacific region where ad impressions delivery rose 70% this year, emerged the fastest-growing region globally.

from Forbes – Business http://ift.tt/1tpE4eC
via Abogado Aly Business Consulting

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Every Single Device Connected to the Internet


TIME

A map of every device connected to the Internet shows the wealthiest parts of the world flush with connections, while poor and sparsely populated parts of the world are blacked out — as well as a few head scratchers in between.

The map was created by John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine that probes the Internet’s backend for connections to all sorts of devices from routers to refrigerators. Matherly said it took about five hours to ping every IP address on the Internet and store every positive response. It took another 12 hours to plot the responses on a heat map which glows bright orange in densely connected areas and blue and black in sparsely connected areas.

The United State and Western Europe are, not surprisingly, awash in connectivity. Africa and central Asia have islands of connectivity centered on urban areas. Then there are head-scratchers like Greenland…

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What Can Our Education Systems Learn from Classrooms in the Developing World?


TED Blog

A group of students in Karakati, India, research the answer to a big question at one location of Sugata Mitra's School in the Cloud. According to Mitra and Adam Braun, there's a lot that Western schools can learn about education from students in India. Students in Karakati, India, research the answer to a big question at a location of Sugata Mitra’s School in the Cloud. According to Mitra and his Microsoft Work Wonders Project partner, Adam Braun, there’s quite a bit that Western schools can learn from classrooms in the developing world.

Adam Braun went to school in the US and now runs a nonprofit that builds schools in Ghana, Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala. In contrast, Sugata Mitra—the winner of the 2013 TED Prize—went to school in India and now is a professor in the UK, where his research on self-directed learning routinely brings him into elementary schools. Both of these education activists have seen how typical classrooms function in the Western world, and both have seen how typical classrooms function in the developing world. And both say, the West isn’t always better.

Braun and Mitra have teamed up through Microsoft’s Work Wonders Project to…

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17 Maps That Will Change How You See the World


TIME

1. The map that will scare most coffee snobs.

More info via Euromonitor International

2. The map that proves how much Bhutan loves archery.

Earl Andrew / Wikipedia

More info here

3. The map that pinpoints the hairiest populations.

Undress 006 / Wikipedia

More info via Undress 006 on Wikipedia

4. The map that shows Asia prefers spirits to beer.

More info via ChartsBin

5. The map that says people in the Philippines feel the most loved.

More info via the Washington Post

6. The map that suggests more divorce lawyers should move to Spain.

More info via imgur

7. The map that proves you’re driving on the wrong side of the street (or not).

More info via ChartsBin

8. The map that reveals the “black holes” of Internet censorship.

Reporters Without Borders

More info via Reporters Without Borders on Ads of the World

9. The map that…

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