Jacob Bronowski: Don't Just Think. Do.

Words of wisdom from one of the 20th century's most fascinating polymaths: "The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye ... The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) was a Polish-born British polymath — an expert in subjects ranging from mathematics, biology, history, poetry, and chess. Bronowski was most famous for his appearances on television, first through appearances on the BBC television version of The Brains Trust in the late 1950s, then later as the presenter and writer of the BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man. Bronowski held a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cambridge and authored over a dozen books.


"The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye ... The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."

Source: The Ascent of Man

Safe to say, if Dr. Bronowski had lived to the impressive age of 107, we would delight in interviewing him here at Big Think. Alas, this lovely interview with Michael Parkinson from 1974 will have to do.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

Videos
  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less