John Brockman is a literary agent, which is like saying that Sachin Tendulkar is a batsman. Brockman also runs one of the most thought-provoking and important salons around today – Edge. Basically, the idea is this – gather together the smartest people around (scientists, authors and other kinds of thinkers) and have them dialogue with each other. Though the actual process of discussion are restricted, the results of them are open for our reading pleasure, at the above site.
Each year, Brockman challenges his collection of thinkers with one Big Question that they then talk about. For 2006, the question is:
WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?
Some fascinating reading here. Might even be some “disruptive ideas” that you might see reflected in business plans – though that isn’t the main reason I read edge. It is sheer brain candy, and major-league food for thought.
Be warned, though – do not start reading this if you have any urgent work that needs to be done. 🙂