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This Explains Everything

Edge Question Series - 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of, 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 11, 2013 – In this latest volume of erudition from founder John Brockman (This Will Make You Smarter), the question "What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?" serves as the prompt for over a hundred concise essays. The topics cover the gamut of the sciences while also including answers from other realms including economics and the arts. Darwin and Einstein, while not the precise subject of many answers, feature prominently as do ideas of human consciousness and cognition. As with other collections of this ilk, the essays widely vary in ease of comprehension and level of profundity. While there is no structure beyond the individual essays, occasionally a few essays in close proximity will touch on similar matters, as when Nicholas Christakis's essay on why the sky is blue is followed by Philip Campbell's on "The Beauty in a Sunrise", each referencing the work of Lord Rayleigh on the scattering of light. A few entries border on gimmicks, such as Ernst P ppel's series of haiku on trust or Katinka Matson's single sentence on "Occam's Razor": "Keep it simple." Still, this collection will satisfy anyone who is looking to stretch his thinking.

Customer Reviews

Not so elegant egg heads

I thought this book would give some amazing insight into incredibly complex and confusing mysteries, but I was wrong. It felt more like the authors were writing to each other, each failing to find simplicity in explanation. I'm very sympathetic, as so few have the ability of Einstein to paint a picture that gives so much understanding. This crowd, while undoubtedly all brilliant, just aren't in that class.

This Explains Everything
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  • $8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Science & Nature
  • Published: Jan 22, 2013
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Edge Question Series
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings