The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World (Pre-order)
The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world is a deep-dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how humanity can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate.
Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman rifle through the inventions of human society like paleontologists ransacking the fossil record. Exploring examples from Apollo 13 to Pablo Picasso, they seek to answer the question: what lies at the heart of humanity’s ability—and drive—to create?
If you took a snapshot of any animal species’ behavior, from apes to barnacles, and contrasted it with the same species 10,000 years ago, they’d all be carrying on pretty much as usual (and if they aren’t, it’s likely due to human influence). Humanity, on the other hand, would be nearly unrecognizable. Above all else, our drive to create is what makes us unique among all living things. Yet where does this all creation, innovation, and change come from? Why us? And if we better understand this “cognitive software”, can we harness it more responsibly to improve our lives, schools, businesses and institutions?
Brandt and Eagleman examine hundreds of examples of human creativity through dramatic storytelling and stunning images in this beautiful, full-color volume. By drawing out what creative acts have in common and viewing them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, they uncover the essential elements of this critical human ability, and encourage a more creative future for all of us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony Brandt is a composer and professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He is also Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, winner of two Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Brandt has received a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer and the Houston Arts Alliance. He has co-authored papers on music cognition published in the journals Frontiers and Brain Connectivity. Brandt has written two chamber operas and works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance, theater, film, television, and sound and art installations. He currently lives in Houston with his wife and children.