|Visions and Visionaries: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Intelligence is innovation applied to problem-solving. Visionaries, for better or worse, do it superbly. Visions of visionaries, implemented in the real world, have raised humankind from hunter-gatherers to today's high tech civilization. Real threats of political and environmental disaster do exist.
But we Homo sapiens with the help of Post-Enlightenment science have so far threaded the needle between disaster and utopia; living, on average, longer, healthier and more interestingly than ever. Still, every human innovation in the real world had to first exist in someone's mind.
Here we examine the lives and thoughts of inventors, researchers, social thinkers and activists who changed the world. This course argues that innovation can solve humanity's urgent problems by combining the hard work of science with the thrill of inspiration. With the Internet we now have virtually instant access to the accumulated knowledge of humankind.
But that is not enough: As the "Book of Prophets" says, "Without vision, the people perish." And why Einstein observed, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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