What is your obvious, dull or unlikely idea?

John Brockman at edge.org asked scientists what their “dangerous idea” is, meaning something they believe may be true but might create a stir of everyone accepted it. Their answers are collected in What Is Your Dangerous Idea?, a book that is far less interesting and provocative than the title implies. Cultural differences is one cause, “there is no such thing as the soul” is not my idea of a provocative proposition, (next you’ll tell me we’re related to chimpanzees!) Other dangerous ideas are not all that profound, many are a bit silly, (not as in “how dare they say this!” but “eh .. nah I don’t think so”), or they’re interesting but not the right kind of interesting for a book like this. Some are. I especially like the ones that deal with the unpredictability of technological, scientific and cultural change, meaning we have no idea and no possible way of knowing if we’re headed for a world that is better or worse than the current one. (Here’s my views on this, and here’s Hayek’s.) The book as a whole though didn’t interest me much – buy it to browse through the pages, or better just read the answers online.

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