Author Topic: What is your dangerous idea?  (Read 755 times)

What is your dangerous idea?
« on: May 07, 2007, 08:03:51 PM »
When I was on holiday in the US I thought I'd buy a book to prevent the usual brain atrophy that normally happens when I try to relax.  The book I picked was the following:

Yes, it is a fuck ugly cover, but quite a thought provoking read.  The Edge, an online forum sent out this question to a number of leading scientists, thinkers, etc and recorded their responses.  The idea of posing such a question, I guess, was to come up with a modern "dangerous thought", equivalent to that of, say, evolutionary theory, or the earth orbiting the sun.  Sometimes these ideas are uncomfortable, such as those theorising about different behaviour between ethnic groups being attributable to genes, etc, sometimes they are doom mongering, sometimes optimistic.

The chapter titles alone are fairly interesting.  Here are some of my favourites (if anyone needs me to expand on what the chapter titles are about, let me know, hopefully they should be fairly self-explanatory):

Being alone in the universe
The idea that we understand plutonium
Think outside the Kyoto box
We will understand the origin of life within the next five years
The multiverse
The end of insight
Science must destroy religion
Science will never silence God
Tribal peoples often damage their environments and make war
Free will is going away
Democracy may be on its way out

The book also addresses whether it is healthy or desirable to publicly air some dangerous ideas as, by doing so, unpleasant viewpoints such as racism may be seen to be given scientific credence.

I had thought of a couple of these ideas independently (the cyberdisinhintion and plutonium ones in particular), but a hell of a lot of the book was fascinating reading.  Those interested in government mind control may be interested in the theorising of free will in particular.

Anyone else read the book.  If not, do you have a dangerous idea*?

For those who want to read up a bit on this, check out this section of the Edge's website.

*no comedy ones please, that's why this thread is in GD and not GB

edit - 50 views and not one reply!  This will teach me to deviate from the football thread.

The Plaque Goblin

What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 09:06:14 PM »
Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of those.

What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 09:45:02 PM »
Why aren't we allowed to make jokes again?  Oh no, wait...I get it.