(1) Sun Jan 20 2008 10:02 Question Center Roundup:
If you're like me, you probably lack the attention span neccessary to
read through seventeen pages of the World Question
Center finding out what eggheads have changed their minds
about. You're stymied by the fact that there's no consistency whether the headline of an entry is the proposition the author changed their mind to, the proposition they changed their mind from, or just the topic on which they changed their mind.
But you're probably not enough like me to decide to go through
the whole thing anyway and post a best-of, the entries that stuck in my mind as
telling me something new and interesting. Which I just did. Enjoy!
- If you only read one entry, you're probably a very impatient
person, so I recommend you read the shortest entry, which is Alan Krueger's.
- There are many, many entries about religion and atheism. The only
one with new ideas is Clay
Shirky's. I'd also like to point out Patrick
Bateson's and Alan
Alda's, because they're right next to each other on the same page,
and although they agree with each other, their changes of mind
involved exchanging labels.
- Also many entries on how to do science. I think the best one is George
Church's. Related is falsifiability, and for that the entry to
read is Rebecca
Goldstein's. Robert Shapiro has the flip side, on "Smothering
Science with Silence". Geoffrey
Miller is good too.
- The "awwwww" prize goes to Daniel
Gilbert. His is also the most interesting of the many
meta-entries: entries about the act of changing or ability to change
- Also a lot of ones about climate change, but the best one is
probably Stephen H Schneider's. If
you just want to hear how screwed we are, try Steve Connor.
- Daniel Dennett has the best out
of many entries on the origin of consciousness.
- Oliver Morton's entry on manned
spaceflight had more effect on my own opinions than any other
entry. Linda Stone's entry on
breathing exercises was a close second.
- Most interesting answer from the Dyson family: George Dyson on Russian America.
- People I've met: John McCarthy,
Tim O'Reilly, Chris DiBona.
- People mentioned in Future Stuff: Jaron Lanier
- There were several entries on the mind-body problem, and John Horgan's is the one to read.
- Denis Dutton has the most
interesting entry on evolutionary biology: a discussion of teleology.
- Miscellaneous hit parade:
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