New ideas are my drug of choice. I consume them constantly. I can’t imagine life without learning something new – or being forced to think differently about something. The world is full of great thinkers and thanks to the net it is easier than ever follow the ones you know and to discover new people.

When I wrote about consilience, I wanted to share a belief about knowledge that is close to my heart. I believe it is critical for everybody to learn from as many different knowledge spaces as they can. Modern life requires the ability to synthesize and learn from seemingly disparate topics.

In the spirit of #followfriday I want to share a list of a few of the people I have followed through the years. They are in no particular order – they are simply big thinkers that have enriched my life with what they have created.

John is the first site I suggest to people I meet, and is the first site I go to when I need inspiration. Hands down the most influential site for me.

Jerry HirshbergHis book is severely dog-eared and deeply informed my thinking about creativity and teams.

Jaron Lanier – Made me think differently. And wildly.

EBN – Many years ago I worked on a show that featured Gardner Post. Funny and brilliant. They pushed my view of media control to a new space.

Daniel Dennett – Set me on the path to CogSci with The Mind’s I.

Douglas HofstadterGodel, Escher, Bach was mindblowing. It also introduced me to The Musical Offering.

Stewart Brand – From my early interest in the Well and the Whole Earth Catalog to How Buildings Learn I have learned a great deal from his work.

OrbitalSnivilisation is #1 on my playlist.

Richard Feynman – For his curiosity and passion.

William S. Burroughs – His book The Adding Machine was the best thing to read in the middle of the Atlantic.

Who are your big thinkers?


  1. While I share your passion for the wonderful ideas we have access to in the here and now, I cannot emphasize enough the value of history. It’s one of my favourite subjects and I find so much inspiration for our times when reading about times past. Always best not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    The danger of the present on the other hand is a type of narcissism and navel gazing that has us celebrating and analyzing the present without understanding the nature of cycles and the way in which time smacks our ass again and again. My primary frustration with the dominant analysis of our day is that in dreaming of a big vision we’re missing some small and significant details.

    As for big thinkers, I ❤ Harold Innis.

    • cuthbertsteel

      I absolutely agree. I would say that it goes beyond narcissism and into arrogance. The presumption that through progress we are immune to past faults ignores the fact that we are only human and bound by our nature. Any futurist worth their salt is also a historian and a student of the human condition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: