Weekend Roundup: Connecting Minds Across Cultures

"Forty years of crisscrossing the planet has led me to suspect that the world isn't growing smaller," the inveterate traveler and literary journalist Pico Iyer laments. "If anything, the differences, the distances between us, are growing greater than they've ever been. In the Age of Information, many of us know less about other perspectives and other cultures than ever before." This week, the Berggruen Institute announced the launch of a philosophy and culture center that responds to this rift by connecting minds across borders through an exchange of scholars from East and West that will be hosted at prestigious universities from Cambridge and Harvard to Stanford and Tsinghua in Beijing. In order to promote foundational concepts for the future, the center will co-sponsor an ideas contest with the Aspen Institute as well as establish an annual $1 million Nobel-like prize for philosophy. Behind this unique endeavor is the notion that what is least material most endures. Power wanes, buildings crumble and people die. But ideas, paradigms, worldviews and narratives live on. They shape the world by cultivating the soul, organizing the intellect and animating the will. In our exponential technology series this week, neuroengineer Miguel Nicolelis tells us that "the brain is not a mechanism" but "an organism" that evolves. He worries that "if we keep relying so much on computers, we will begin to resemble our machines." In our "Following Francis" series, S├ębastien Maillard rec...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news