I just ran across Edge.org’s Annual Question for 2012. Each year, they ask a number of intellectuals and public figures for their thoughts on a particular topic. This year’s question is “What is your favorite deep, elegant, and beautiful explanation?”.
I’ve read only a handful so far (picking out the contributors whom I routinely enjoy reading), and many of them are pretty interesting.
One that stood out for me, and is somewhat on-topic, is Richard Dawkins’ discussion of “Redundancy Reduction and Pattern Recognition”, and it briefly explains how our brain chooses which sensory signals to pay attention to and which to filter out.
You may also enjoy Vilayanur Ramachandran’s discussion of the question of consciousness and where it may arise. I’ve always found Dr. Ramachandran’s work fascinating, particularly his work on phantom limb pain and synesthesia (mixing of sensory signals in the brain; ie something tastes “brown”). You can find a bunch of his material on the internet, and he has done a couple TED Talks, too. Google it up!
More beer topics soon!