EDGE World Question 2011: "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?"

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Each year, über-big-think-literary-agent and EDGE founder John Brockman poses a question, and collects and publishes the answers. This year:

WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY'S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT?
The term 'scientific"is to be understood in a broad sense as the most reliable way of gaining knowledge about anything, whether it be the human spirit, the role of great people in history, or the structure of DNA. A "scientific concept" may come from philosophy, logic, economics, jurisprudence, or other analytic enterprises, as long as it is a rigorous conceptual tool that may be summed up succinctly (or "in a phrase") but has broad application to understanding the world.
My response to the EDGE 2011 Question is here ("Ambient Memory And The Myth Of Neutral Observation").

Here is the index of all participants, more than 150 of them, including Brian Eno, J. Craig Venter, George Dyson, Kevin Kelly, Clay Shirky, Evgeny Morozov, Linda Stone, and Richard Dawkins (who will be returning soon as a Boing Boing guestblogger, I'm happy to report!).

News coverage so far includes: The Atlantic, Wired UK, New York Times, Sueddeutsche Zeitung , Newsweek, Die Welt, The Guardian , Publico.

(Image: RUDBECKIA, Katinka Matson)