john brockman

john brockman bw

[boston, ma]

intro’d to John, and edge, when Maria shared Joshua‘s edge talk.

2014 conference:

21 min – most of science came about because somebody was wondering about something…

only curiosity is our guide

cure ios city

24 min – my solution would be simple.. i would make all information open to anyone

27 min – tele transport – interesting in light of Joshua’s comments.. of future self..


find/follow John:

link twitter

John on the edge site:

john brockman on the edge

wikipedia small

John Brockman (born February 16, 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a literary agent and author specializing inscientific literature. He founded the Edge Foundation, an organization aimed to bring together people working at the edge of a broad range of scientific and technical fields. Referencing C.P. Snow’s “two cultures”, he introduced the “third culture” consisting of “those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are.”



Carmen A. Medina (@milouness) tweeted at 2:24 PM on Sat, Aug 24, 2019:
Depressing beyond words as it depicts a network of casual evil.

There is more than one Edge Foundation, though: There is the one meant for public consumption, with its “annual question”—e.g. “What are you optimistic about?”—answered by famous intellectuals and thinkers; and one meant for private consumption by members of Brockman’s elite network. The former exists primarily online. The latter has a vibrant real-life component, with sumptuous dinners, exclusive conferences, and quite a bit of travel on private jets—it functions as an elaborate massage of the ego (and, apparently, much else) for the rich, the smart, and the powerful.


Quinn “I probably should be writing now” Norton (@quinnnorton) tweeted at 6:48 AM on Thu, Sep 05, 2019:
The thing i am most frustrated by right now is the assumption the rest of the money is perfectly fine.


Quinn “I probably should be writing now” Norton (@quinnnorton) tweeted at 6:50 AM on Thu, Sep 05, 2019:
It’s not like MIT ever stopped taking Saudi money or DOD money. I guess they mostly murder kids without touching their private parts, so that’s fine.

@chengela: Two updates to this story. First, I want to emphasize that @grok was the one who stood up to Nicholas Negroponte. She deserves credit for speaking out.



@grok: Next time I’m thinking of putting my career on the line by speaking truth to power and ugly-crying in front of 100 people, I’ll try to remember that a man will get credit for it in the press.

@grok: First of all, I’d be a terrible director, but second of all, now would be a good time to read my Guardian piece on why I want @Joi to stay and step up.

Jeffrey Epstein’s influence in the science world is a symptom of larger problems

I can count on one hand the real male allies in my world: people I have repeatedly seen stop and listen to the voices of the marginalized, without getting defensive. People I have witnessed throwing their weight around behind the scenes, at personal expense to themselves, for no reason other than to do the right thing. One of those people is Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab.


While the role he played was far from John Brockman’s, it was hard not to feel that my whole professional environment had been complicit.


Because the complicity goes all the way up, these problems require people with great power to fix them. Ultimately, I no longer believe that I can enact true change without the help of powerful allies. In my experience, one of the few people who is even capable of enacting change at MIT is Joi Ito. I hate what he did and I do not defend his actions. But I also know that he may actually act to fix his mistakes. Over the past eight years, I’ve observed him listen, introspect, and take action, even where it would have been easier for him to stay the course.

Men like Joi need to step up, and step up hard.

This is why I am leaving Brockman as soon as I’ve fulfilled my contractual obligations, but staying at the Media Lab. The Brockmans of the world are uninterested in change; Joi Ito has the humility to understand that change is imperative. Staying is a hard decision. I’m worried that change won’t come easily. And I’m worried that I am again missing the line between working from within and being complicit.