Brockman was inspired by C.P. Snow's classic work, The Two Cultures, first released in 1959, which explored the communications gap between literary "intellectuals"
This gap is still present up even today. In 1963, Snow added a new essay, "The Two Cultures: A Second Look," in which he suggested that humanity would be greatly benefited by having this gap of communication close, so that not only could the Two Cultures benefit, but humanity would be enriched well. Snow coined this party the Third Culture. Brockman used this as the basis of his decision to create a party that is composed of artists and intellectuals who all have different focus in order to come up with a forum that will tackle anything and everything and allow the audience to gain entry into the deepest thoughts of these thinkers.
As the publisher, Brockman acts like a glue to these people by organizing events that allow them to share their candid thoughts and opinions on the various questions thrown at them, their answers to these questions are then compiled in a collection of Edge essays.
Every year, Brockman issues a new query, and it is dutifully responded to by many members of the Third Culture. Some of the queries can be profound and deep, others philosophical, and others, quite mundane. However, if you consider the individuals who are going to reply these questions, surprises should be expected. It is the imagination at play that's so much fun to view.
Some replies to his questions are too glib, others, cynical, some downright idiotic, but there is enough richness in content to satisfy and stimulate even the casual curious mind. When Jeffrey Epstein is asked about a good place to start, he would merely respond " If the quest is for richness and originality of thought amidst the world's elite minds then I recommend Brock's yearly query as the best place to begin with."
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