2012 has certainly been yet another roller-coaster year globally fraught with inspiring highs and wrenching lows. It’s an amazing time to be a part of it all and watch it unfold at such an accelerating rate and all in real time … 24/7/365!

But wait, there’s more!!

Here’s a rollicking Christmas Sleigh Ride with one-of-a-kind organ freak, Cameron Carpenter, who recently performed at the Melbourne Town Hall along with the MSO  …

 

Just imagine if schools taught virtuosity and not merely knowledge!

Best wishes for a relaxing and revitalising holiday break and my thoughts are with you for your most inspiring and happiest year ever in 2013.

Michael PRINSOT

One of Australia’s longtime examples of chivalry par excellance died this week, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE.

Recently I was watching Andre Denton interview Dame Elisabeth on his television series Elders when she was in her 100th year. He was asking her about famous last words of wisdom by people who have lived many years. She reached into her handbag and fossicked until she found the piece of paper she was looking for. Then she read a quotation she had written down. She read it twice: “No personal god need be worshipped for us to live in amazement at the beauty and immensity of creation”. She then added with a twinkling smile, “I think that’s good!”

From Brain Pickings

 

 

 

 

Every year for more than a decade, intellectual impresario and Edge editor John Brockman has been asking the era’s greatest thinkers a single annual question, designed to illuminate some important aspect of how we understand the world.

In 2011, with the help of psycholinguist Steven Pinker and legendary psychologist Daniel Kahneman, he posed the question: “What scientific concept will improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?”

The answers, featuring a wealth of influential scientists, authors, and thought-architects, were collected in This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (public library) – a formidable anthology of short essays by 151 of our time’s biggest thinkers on subjects as diverse as the power of networks, cognitive humility, the paradoxes of daydreaming, information flow, collective intelligence, and a dizzying, mind-expanding range in between. Together, they construct a powerful toolkit of metacognition – a new way to think about thinking itself.

Brockman prefaces the essays with an important definition that captures the dimensionality of “science”:

“Here, the term ‘scientific’ is to be understood in a broad sense – as the most reliable way of gaining knowledge about anything, whether it be human behavior, corporate behavior, the fate of the planet, or the future of the universe. A ‘scientific concept’ may come from philosophy, logic, economics, jurisprudence, or any other analytic enterprises, as long as it is a rigorous tool that can be summed up succinctly but has broad application to understanding the world.”