This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works (Paperback)
Emily K's Staff Pick (July 2013): To scientists, a theory that is “elegant” or “beautiful” is one that explains a deeply puzzling question with a simple set of principles, in a simple way. This book is a collection of essays written by scientists, economists, and mathematicians in response to the question: “what is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?” From Darwinism to déjà vu, these essays revisit classic theories and point to new intellectual frontiers. Because each essay is short and simple—“beautiful,” if you will— I was able to fly through the book and learn quite a bit in the process.— From Emily Katzman’s Staff Picks
In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions that the world's best scientific minds answer with elegant simplicity.
With contributions from Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Nassim Taleb, Brian Eno, Steven Pinker, and more, everything is explained in fun, uncomplicated terms that make the most complex concepts easy to comprehend.