Introduction The ideas and daily events in this journal took place during fifty days in summer, 2004. Each day I carried a small tape recorder with me and recorded thoughts when they seemed relevant to what had become my overall quest: to think about thinking, to watch the stream of consciousness. This stands in contrast […]
Tyler Volk is professor of biology and environmental studies at New York University and a recipient of the University's Distinguished Teaching Award and Golden Dozen Award. In his new book, Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be, he writes, “When physicists talk about their quest for a theory of everything, they do not include the works of Shakespeare.” Continuing, “What if we were to truly embrace everything in a study of everything?” It is this question that drives Volk’s analysis. Stretching from atoms to the building of societies, he reveals how a universal natural rhythm produced a grand sequence of 12 fundamental levels across the fields of physics, biology, and culture. In doing so, Volk, whose previous works include CO2Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge and Gaia’s Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth, introduces a new concept: “combogenesis”—the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. In Quarks to Culture (2017) Volk has returned to Columbia University Press, publisher of his first book, Metapatterns Across Space, Time, and Mind.