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Big Think is the leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content -- with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye, we help you get smarter, faster. Get actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers & doers. Our experts are either disrupting or leading their respective fields. We aim to help you explore the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century, so you can apply them to the questions and challenges in your own life. Other Frequent contributors include Michio Kaku & Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Head to Bigthink.com for a multitude of articles just as informative and satisfying as our videos. New articles posted daily on a range of intellectual topics. ​Join Big Think Edge, to gain access to an immense library of content. It features insight from many of the most celebrated and intelligent individuals in the world today. - Subscribe for daily videos. - Business inquiries and fan suggestions welcome.

1996 videos
CRISPR: Can we control it? | Jennifer Doudna, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, & more | Big Think CRISPR: Can we control it? | Jennifer Doudna, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, & more | Big Think
3 days ago En
CRISPR: Can we control it? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary technology that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one hand, this tool could mean the elimination of certain diseases. On the other, there are concerns (both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation. "The technique could be misused in horrible ways," says counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke. Clarke lists biological weapons as one of the potential threats, "Threats for which we don't have any known antidote." CRISPR co-inventor, biochemist Jennifer Doudna, echos the concern, recounting a nightmare involving the technology, eugenics, and a meeting with Adolf Hitler. Should humanity even have a
How gratitude makes you more attractive | Sara Algoe | Big Think How gratitude makes you more attractive | Sara Algoe | Big Think
6 days ago En
How gratitude makes you more attractive Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with John Templeton Foundation. When someone says thank you, who is it for? According to Dr. Sara Algoe, expressions of gratitude have a positive effect on the person receiving the message, the person delivering it, and even those who witness the exchange. These types of social interactions are crucial for building lasting relationships with romantic partners, friends, and coworkers. "When we say 'thank you,' we're sending a message to the person who just did something nice for us, that they are valued, that they're seen, that the thing that they did for us was worth doing in the first place," Algoe says. Expressing gratitude is easy, and the research shows that the benefits far outweigh the effort.
Is empathy always good? | Bill Nye, Alan Alda, Paul Bloom & more | Big Think Is empathy always good? | Bill Nye, Alan Alda, Paul Bloom & more | Big Think
1 week ago En
Is empathy always good? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Empathy is a useful tool that allows humans (and other species) to connect and form mutually beneficial bonds, but knowing how and when to be empathic is just as important as having empathy. Filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Bill Nye, and actor Alan Alda discuss the science of empathy and the ways that the ability can be cultivated and practiced to affect meaningful change, both on a personal and community level. But empathy is not a cure all. Paul Bloom explains the psychological differences between empathy and compassion, and how the former can "get in the way" of some of life's crucial relationships. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: 0:00 Intro 0:30 Bill Nye on the evolution of empathy 1:15 Alan Al
Retrain your brain for long-term thinking | Roman Krznaric | Big Think Retrain your brain for long-term thinking | Roman Krznaric | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
Retrain your brain for long-term thinking Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Roman Krznaric, philosopher and author of the book "The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long Term Thinking," says that there are two parts of the human brain that are driving our decisions and ultimately determining what kind of legacy we leave behind for future generations. Short-term thinking happens in the marshmallow brain (named after the famous Stanford marshmallow test), while long-term thinking and strategizing occurs in the acorn brain. By retraining ourselves to use the acorn brain more often, we can ensure that trillions of people—including our grandchildren and their grandchildren—aren't inheriting a depleted world and the worst traits that humankind has to offer. "At the moment we're using on average 1.6 planet ea
The great free will debate | Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, Steven Pinker & more The great free will debate | Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, Steven Pinker & more
3 weeks ago En
The great free will debate Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "What does it mean to have—or not have—free will? Were the actions of mass murderers pre-determined billions of years ago? Do brain processes trump personal responsibility? Can experiments prove that free will is an illusion? Bill Nye, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, and others approach the topic from their unique fields and illustrate how complex and layered the free will debate is. From Newtonian determinism, to brain chemistry, to a Dennett thought experiment, explore the arguments that make up the free will landscape. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: - Well, you ask one of the deepest philosophical questions of physics. The question of free will. - For bill
Are geniuses real? The neuroscience and myths of visionaries | Big Think Are geniuses real? The neuroscience and myths of visionaries | Big Think
1 month ago En
Are geniuses real? The neuroscience and myths of visionaries Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Revolutionary ideas and culture-shifting inventions are often credited to specific individuals, but how often do these "geniuses" actually operate in creative silos? Tim Sanders, former chief strategy officer at Yahoo, argues that there are three myths getting in the way of innovative ideas and productive collaborations: the myths of the expert, the eureka moment, and the "lone inventor." More than an innate quality reserved for an elite group, neuroscientist Heather Berlin and neurobiologist Joy Hirsch explain how creativity looks in the brain, and how given opportunity, resources, and attitude, we can all be like Bach, Beethoven, and Steve Jobs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
How to think smarter about failure | Tim Ferriss, Ethan Hawke & more | Big Think How to think smarter about failure | Tim Ferriss, Ethan Hawke & more | Big Think
1 month ago En
How to think smarter about failure Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What does it mean to be a failure? Failing is typically seen as moving in the opposite direction of a specific goal, when in reality, most achievements in history were made possible by a series of non-successes. "The very concepts of success and failure are words that never really meant anything," says astronomer Michelle Thaller. She and others argue that successes and failures are inextricably linked, and that how we define them for ourselves is what matters. As Ethan Hawke, multidisciplinary filmmaker Karen Palmer, entrepreneurs Steve Case and Tim Ferriss, executive coach Alisa Cohn, and others explain, finding personal success means taking risks, being willing to fail, and recognizing when—and why—things are not working. "Most things will f
Skepticism: Why critical thinking makes you smarter | Bill Nye, Derren Brown & more | Big Think Skepticism: Why critical thinking makes you smarter | Bill Nye, Derren Brown & more | Big Think
1 month ago En
Skepticism: Why critical thinking makes you smarter Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's not always easy to tell the difference between objective truth and what we believe to be true. Separating facts from opinions, according to skeptic Michael Shermer, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, and others, requires research, self-reflection, and time. Recognizing your own biases and those of others, avoiding echo chambers, actively seeking out opposing voices, and asking smart, testable questions are a few of the ways that skepticism can be a useful tool for learning and growth. As Derren Brown points out, being "skeptical of skepticism" can also lead to interesting revelations and teach us new things about ourselves and our psychology. Read Michael Shermer's latest book "Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rationa
How sci-fi helps humanity avoid species-level mistakes | Ken MacLeod | Big Think How sci-fi helps humanity avoid species-level mistakes | Ken MacLeod | Big Think
1 month ago En
How sci-fi helps humanity avoid species-level mistakes Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robots (from the Czech word for laborer) began appearing in science fiction in the early 1900s as metaphors for real-world ideas and issues surrounding class struggles, labor, and intelligence. Author Ken MacLeod says that the idea that robots would one day rebel was baked into the narrative from the start. As technologies have advanced, so too have our fears. "Science fiction can help us to look at the social consequences, to understand the technologies that are beginning to change our lives," says MacLeod. He argues that while robots in science fiction are a reflection of humanity, they have little to do with our actual machines and are "very little help at all in understanding what the real problems and the real opportuniti
Has political correctness gone too far? | Jim Gaffigan, Slavoj Zizek & more | Big Think Has political correctness gone too far? | Jim Gaffigan, Slavoj Zizek & more | Big Think
1 month ago En
Has political correctness gone too far? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Political correctness is often seen as a debate between two extremes, but there are nuances in the middle of the spectrum. Is there such a thing as being too PC, and if so, where is that line? While philosopher Slavoj Žižek, comedian Lewis Black, and actor Jeff Garlin acknowledge that some topics can be hurtful or even oppressive and should thus be approached with "good taste and self-restraint," they also argue that PC culture has tipped the scales far beyond being balanced. "If we continue to move in that direction," says Black, "then we're going to be living between uptight and stupid and there'll be no in between." Simultaneously, others—including Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Gaffigan, and Martin Amis—argue that political correctness aims to
How leaders influence people to believe | Michael Dowling | Big Think How leaders influence people to believe | Michael Dowling | Big Think
2 months ago En
How leaders influence people to believe Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What does it take to be a leader? For Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling, having an Ivy League degree and a large office is not what makes a leader. Leadership requires something much less tangible: influence. True leaders inspire people to follow and believe in them and the organization's mission by being passionate, having humility, and being a real part of the team. This is especially important in a field like health care, where guidance and teamwork save lives. Authenticity is also key. "Don't pretend, be real," says Dowling. "Accept your vulnerabilities, accept your weaknesses, know where your strengths are, and get people to belong." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL
7 dimensions of depression, explained | Daniel Goleman, Pete Holmes & more | Big Think 7 dimensions of depression, explained | Daniel Goleman, Pete Holmes & more | Big Think
2 months ago En
7 dimensions of depression, explained Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability and, at its worst, can lead to suicide. Unfortunately, depression is often misunderstood or ignored until it is too late. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, comedian Pete Holmes, neuroscientist Emeran Mayer, psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, and more outline several of the social, chemical, and neurological factors that may contribute to the complex disorder and explain why there is not a singular solution or universal "cure" that can alleviate the symptoms. From gaining insight into how the brain-gut connection works and adopting a more Mediterranean diet, to seeking help from medical or spiritual practitioners, depressio
What are the limits of free speech? | Big Think What are the limits of free speech? | Big Think
2 months ago En
What are the limits of free speech? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The free speech debate typically happens at either end of a spectrum — people believe they should be able to say whatever they want, or they believe that certain things (e.g. hate speech) should be censored. Who is right, and who gets to decide? While they acknowledge that speech is a powerful weapon that can cause infinite good and infinite harm, former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, sociologist Nicholas Christakis, author and skeptic Michael Shermer, and others agree that the principle should be defended for everyone, not just for those who share our views. "I'm not defending the Nazis," says Strossen, "I'm defending a principle that is especially important for those of us who want to have the freedom to raise our voices, to protest the Nazi
How one NY hospital system treated 128,000+ COVID cases | Michael Dowling | Big Think How one NY hospital system treated 128,000+ COVID cases | Michael Dowling | Big Think
2 months ago En
How one NY hospital system treated 128,000+ COVID cases Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo​ Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge​ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Preparing for a pandemic like COVID-19 was virtually impossible. Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling explains how, as the largest healthcare provider in New York, his team had to continuously organize, innovate, and readjust to dangerous and unpredictable conditions in a way that guaranteed safety for the staff and the best treatment for over 128,000 coronavirus patients. From making their own supplies when they ran out, to coordinating with government at every level and making sense of new statistics and protocols, Northwell focused on strengthening internal and external communication to keep the ship from sinking. "There was no such thing as putting up the white flag," Dowling says of meeting the pandemic
Bitcoin and blockchain 101: Why the future will be decentralized | Big Think Bitcoin and blockchain 101: Why the future will be decentralized | Big Think
2 months ago En
Bitcoin and blockchain 101: Why the future will be decentralized Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We've all heard terms like Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency being thrown around in the past few years, but what do they mean? Consider this your crash course. Experts from across the spectrum of money and tech provide a history of commerce dating back tens of thousands of years, explain what blockchain and Bitcoin are and how they work, and offer insights into the differences between centralized and decentralized systems. Because blockchain is incredibly difficult to hack, it has massive implications for elections, banking, shipping, land ownership—any domain where corruption is rampant. While the technology may feel abstract now, programmer Brian Behlendorf compares it to explaining the concept of email to
How data can defeat the next pandemic | Michael Dowling | Big Think How data can defeat the next pandemic | Michael Dowling | Big Think
2 months ago En
How data can defeat the next pandemic Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This coronavirus pandemic is very much still ongoing, but now is the time to discern its lessons so that we are more prepared for the next one. Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, shares how their health system is collecting and utilizing vast amounts of health data to best care for patients and to quickly identify and manage COVID-19 surges. "I would say that we probably had the most elaborate dashboard of any health system dealing with this crisis," says Dowling. Northwell Health has also developed a "local surveillance tracking system" which has allowed them to react to COVID spikes early. Dowling hopes that these systems will be adopted by and improved upon by others networks. In addition to improvements to New York S
Two ways dark energy could destroy the universe | Katie Mack | Big Think Two ways dark energy could destroy the universe | Katie Mack | Big Think
2 months ago En
Two ways dark energy could destroy the universe Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The universe is expanding faster and faster. Whether this acceleration will end in a Big Rip or will reverse and contract into a Big Crunch is not yet understood, and neither is the invisible force causing that expansion: dark energy. Physicist Dr. Katie Mack explains the difference between dark matter, dark energy, and phantom dark energy, and shares what scientists think the mysterious force is, its effect on space, and how, billions of years from now, it could cause peak cosmic destruction. The Big Rip seems more probable than a Big Crunch at this point in time, but scientists still have much to learn before they can determine the ultimate fate of the universe. "If we figure out what [dark energy is] doing, if we figure out what
What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity. | Sam Harris, Mark Epstein & more | Big Think What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity. | Sam Harris, Mark Epstein & more | Big Think
3 months ago En
What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer. Trying to pin down what makes you depend on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity. In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience. Check Bruce Hood's latest book "The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity" at https://amzn.to/3izeFQy ------------------------------------------------------
4 lessons the US learned from the COVID-19 pandemic | Michael Dowling | Big Think 4 lessons the US learned from the COVID-19 pandemic | Michael Dowling | Big Think
3 months ago En
4 lessons the US learned from the COVID-19 pandemic Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As the US commences its early stages of COVID-19 vaccinations, Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, argues that now is not the time to relax. "There are lessons to be learned by systems like ours based upon our experience," says Dowling, adding that "we know what these lessons are, and we're working on them." The four major takeaways that Dowling has identified are that the United States was unprepared and slow to react, that we need a domestic supply chain so that we aren't relying on other countries, that there needs to be more domestic and international cooperation, and that leadership roles in public health must be filled by public health experts. If and when another pandemic hits (in the hopefully distan
The incredible physics behind quantum computing | Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, & more | Big Think The incredible physics behind quantum computing | Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, & more | Big Think
3 months ago En
The incredible physics behind quantum computing Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While today's computers—referred to as classical computers—continue to become more and more powerful, there is a ceiling to their advancement due to the physical limits of the materials used to make them. Quantum computing allows physicists and researchers to exponentially increase computation power, harnessing potential parallel realities to do so. Quantum computer chips are astoundingly small, about the size of a fingernail. Scientists have to not only build the computer itself but also the ultra-protected environment in which they operate. Total isolation is required to eliminate vibrations and other external influences on synchronized atoms; if the atoms become 'decoherent' the quantum computer cannot function. "You need to cre
Why governing AI is crucial to human survival | Allan Dafoe | Big Think Why governing AI is crucial to human survival | Allan Dafoe | Big Think
3 months ago En
Why governing AI is crucial to human survival Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The question of conscious artificial intelligence dominating future humanity is not the most pressing issue we face today, says Allan Dafoe of the Center for the Governance of AI at Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute. Dafoe argues that AI's power to generate wealth should make good governance our primary concern. With thoughtful systems and policies in place, humanity can unlock the full potential of AI with minimal negative consequences. Drafting an AI constitution will also provide the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of past structures to avoid future conflicts. Building a framework for governance will require us to get past sectarian differences and interests so that society as a whole can benefit from AI in ways that do
Michio Kaku: 3 mind-blowing predictions about the future | Big Think Michio Kaku: 3 mind-blowing predictions about the future | Big Think
3 months ago En
Michio Kaku: 3 mind-blowing predictions about the future Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Carl Sagan believed humanity needed to become a multi-planet species as an insurance policy against the next huge catastrophe on Earth. Now, Elon Musk is working to see that mission through, starting with a colony of a million humans on Mars. Where will our species go next? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku looks decades into the future and makes three bold predictions about human space travel, the potential of 'brain net', and our coming victory over cancer. "[I]n the future, the word 'tumor' will disappear from the English language," says Kaku. "We will have years of warning that there is a colony of cancer cells growing in our body. And our descendants will wonder: How could we fear cancer so much?" --------------------
Habits: How to be successful every day | Dan Ariely, Gretchen Rubin & more | Big Think Habits: How to be successful every day | Dan Ariely, Gretchen Rubin & more | Big Think
3 months ago En
Habits: How to be successful every day Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Habits, both good and bad, are pre-made decisions that makeup around 40 percent of our day and require no real conscious thought. In order to regain control, resist environmental temptations, and reduce your bad habits, it helps to understand the three parts of a habit loop: the cue (or trigger), the behavior itself, and the reward. Gretchen Rubin, Dan Ariely, Charles Duhigg, Adam Alter, and others explain how you can successfully hack your habits by shifting away from goal-based achievement markers to system-based processes; learning the difference between rewards and treats; and thinking less about immediate gains and more about long-term benefits. Regardless of what some people might try to sell you, there is no "magic answer" when it co
How ‘heat death’ will destroy the universe | Katie Mack | Big Think How ‘heat death’ will destroy the universe | Katie Mack | Big Think
3 months ago En
How ‘heat death’ will destroy the universe Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The expansion of the universe is accelerating as the force of dark energy wins out over the pull of all the universe's collective gravity. As every object in space moves farther and farther away from all other objects in space, the universe will reach a state of maximum entropy, and 'heat death' will ensue. As astrophysicist Dr. Katie Mack points out, heat death is not actually a hot phenomenon—it's also known as the "Big Freeze." Around 100 billion years from now, the universe will have expanded so much that distant galaxies won't be visible from Earth, even with high-powered telescopes. Stars will disappear in a trillion years and new stars will no longer form. The 'good' news is that humans probably won't be around to witness the ma
Finding aliens: Is there a ‘theory of everything’ for life? | Sara Walker | Big Think Finding aliens: Is there a ‘theory of everything’ for life? | Sara Walker | Big Think
4 months ago En
Finding aliens: Is there a ‘theory of everything’ for life? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with John Templeton Foundation. What, should it exist, is the universal law that connects all living things? To even dream of answering that question, and to one day find alien life elsewhere in the cosmos, humans must first reconcile the fact that our definition of life is inadequate. For astrobiologist Sara Walker, understanding the universe, its origin, and our place in it starts with a deep investigation into the chemistry of life. She argues that it is time to change our chemical perspective—detecting oxygen in an exoplanet's atmosphere is no longer sufficient enough evidence to suggest the presence of living organisms. "Because we don't know what life is, we don't know where
Is there life after death? | Sam Harris, Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, & more | Big Think Is there life after death? | Sam Harris, Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, & more | Big Think
4 months ago En
Is there life after death? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Death is inevitable for all known living things. However on the question of what, if anything, comes after life, the most honest answer is that no one knows. So far, there is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove what happens after we die. In this video, astronomer Michelle Thaller, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, science educator Bill Nye, and others consider what an afterlife would look like, what the biblical concepts of 'eternal life' and 'hell' really mean, why so many people around the world choose to believe that death is not the end, and whether or not that belief is ultimately detrimental or beneficial to one's life. Life after death is also not relegated to discussions of religion. "Digital and genetic immortality are within
Why moral people tolerate immoral behavior | Liane Young | Big Think Why moral people tolerate immoral behavior | Liane Young | Big Think
4 months ago En
Why moral people tolerate immoral behavior Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with John Templeton Foundation. The problem with having a compass as the symbolic representation of morality is that due north is not a fixed point. Liane Young, Boston College associate professor and director of the Morality Lab, explains how context, bias, and tribal affiliation influence us enormously when we pass moral judgments. Moral instinct is tainted by cognitive bias. Humans evolved to be more lenient to their in-groups—for example excusing a beloved politician who lines their pockets while lambasting a colleague for the exact same transgression—and to care more about harm done close to them than harm done farther away, for example, to people in another country. The challenge for humans i
Immortality: Can we upload human consciousness? | Michio Kaku, Michael Shermer & more | Big Think Immortality: Can we upload human consciousness? | Michio Kaku, Michael Shermer & more | Big Think
4 months ago En
Immortality: Can we upload human consciousness? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Technology has evolved to a point where humans have overridden natural selection. So what will our species become? Immortal interstellar travelers, perhaps. Scientists are currently mapping the human brain in an effort to understand the connections that produce consciousness. If we can re-create consciousness, your mind can live on forever. You could even laser-port your consciousness to different planets at the speed of light, download your mind into a local avatar and explore those worlds. But is this transhumanist vision of the future real or is it a pipedream? And if it is real, is it wise? Join theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, neuroscientist David Eagleman, human performance researcher Steven Kotler, skeptic Michael Shermer,
Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs | Sam Harris, Michael Pollan & more Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs | Sam Harris, Michael Pollan & more
4 months ago En
Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Having been repressed in the 1960s for their ties to the counterculture, psychedelics are currently experiencing a scientific resurgence. In this video, Michael Pollan, Sam Harris, Jason Silva and Ben Goertzel discuss the history of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, acknowledge key figures including Timothy Leary and Albert Hoffman, share what the experience of therapeutic tripping can entail, and explain why these substances are important to the future of mental health. There is a stigma surrounding psychedelic drugs that some scientists and researchers argue is undeserved. Several experiments over the past decades have shown that, when used correctly, drugs like psilocybin and LSD can have positive effects on th
How showing remorse can save your relationships | Amrisha Vaish | Big Think How showing remorse can save your relationships | Amrisha Vaish | Big Think
4 months ago En
How showing remorse can save your relationships Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with John Templeton Foundation. Forgiveness as a cultural act linked to religion and philosophy dates back centuries, but studies focused on the science of apologies, morality, and relationships are fairly new. As Amrisha Vaish explains, causing harm, showing remorse, and feeling concern for others are things children pay attention to, even in their first year of life. In a series of experiments, adults ripped children's artworks and either showed remorse or showed neutrality. They found that remorse really mattered. "Here we see what [the kids] really care about is that the transgressor shows their commitment to them, to the relationship," Vaish says. "And they will seek that person out over
Human sexual desire: Is monogamy natural? | Esther Perel, Chris Ryan & more | Big Think Human sexual desire: Is monogamy natural? | Esther Perel, Chris Ryan & more | Big Think
4 months ago En
Human sexual desire: Is monogamy natural? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Depending on who you ask, monogamy is either essential to a successful marriage or it is unrealistic and sets couples up for failure. In this video, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, psychologist Chris Ryan, former Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman, and psychotherapist Esther Perel discuss the science and culture of monogamy, the role it plays in making or breaking relationships, and whether or not humans evolved to have one partner at a time. "The bottom line is, for millions of years, there were some reproductive payoffs not only to forming a pair bond but also to adultery," says Fisher, "leaving each one of us with a tremendous drive to fall in love and pair up, but also some susceptibility to cheating on the side." Read Helen F
Is free will an illusion? | Uri Maoz | Big Think Is free will an illusion? | Uri Maoz | Big Think
4 months ago En
Is free will an illusion? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with John Templeton Foundation. The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters. According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements. "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- U
The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next? | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next? | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think
4 months ago En
The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The timeline of America post-WWII can be divided into two eras, according to author and law professor Ganesh Sitaraman: the liberal era which ran through the 1970s, and the current neoliberal era which began in the early 1980s. The latter promised a "more free society," but what we got instead was more inequality, less opportunity, and greater market consolidation. "We've lived through a neoliberal era for the last 40 years, and that era is coming to an end," Sitaraman says, adding that the ideas and policies that defined the period are being challenged on various levels. What comes next depends on if we take a proactive and democratic approach to shaping the economy, or if we simply react to and "deal with" market outcomes. -------
Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules | Shannon Lee | Big Think Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules | Shannon Lee | Big Think
4 months ago En
Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bruce Lee would have turned 80 years old on November 27, 2020. The legendary actor and martial artist's daughter, Shannon Lee, shares some of his wisdom and his philosophy on self-help in a new book titled "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee." In this video, Shannon shares a story of the fight that led to her father beginning a deeper philosophical journey, and how that informed his unique expression of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do. One lesson passed down from Bruce Lee was his use and placement of physical symbols as a way to help "cement for yourself this new way of being, or this new lesson you've learned." By working on ourselves (with the right tools), we can develop the skills necessary to rise a
The 3 keys to solving complex global problems | Olivia Leland | Big Think The 3 keys to solving complex global problems | Olivia Leland | Big Think
5 months ago En
The 3 keys to solving complex global problems Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This video was produced in partnership with the Skoll Foundation. What does it actually take to drive large-scale change? Co-Impact founder and CEO Olivia Leland argues that it takes more than money, voting in elections, and supporting your favorite nonprofit. Solving complex global issues takes philanthropy in concert with community advocacy, support from businesses, innovation, an organized vision, and a plan to execute it. Leland has identified three areas that need to be addressed before real and meaningful change can happen. To effectively provide support, we must listen to the people who are already doing the work, rather than trying to start from scratch; make it easier for groups, government, and others to collaborate; and ch
Are humans evil? Rutger Bregman on 'veneer theory' | Big Think Are humans evil? Rutger Bregman on 'veneer theory' | Big Think
5 months ago En
Are humans evil? Rutger Bregman on 'veneer theory' Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How have humans managed to accomplish significantly more than any other species on the planet? Historian Rutger Bregman believes the quality that makes us special is that we "evolved to work together and to cooperate on a scale that no other species in the whole animal kingdom has been able to do." Pushing back against the millennia-old idea that humans are inherently evil beneath their civilized surface, which is known as 'veneer theory', Bregman says that it's humanity's cooperative spirit and sense of brotherhood that leads us to do cruel deeds. "Most atrocities are committed in the name of loyalty, and in the name of friendship, and in the name of helping your people," he tells Big Think. "That is what's so disturbing." The f
Is your company innovating? A Whole Foods case study. | John Mackey | Big Think Is your company innovating? A Whole Foods case study. | John Mackey | Big Think
5 months ago En
Is your company innovating? A Whole Foods case study. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Individuals like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are often idolized as masters of ideas, but according to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, it usually takes many people iterating and taking chances for a company to be truly innovative. Using Whole Foods as a case study, Mackey shares a story of how a bar experiment at one of his California markets evolved into a successful feature and spread to other locations. By giving teams the freedom to try (and fail) without being micro-managed, organizations can create a culture that allows innovation to happen, not one that tries to force it to happen. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOHN MACKEY: John Mackey is the CEO and co-founder of Whole F
How Benjamin Franklin tried—and failed—to form a union | Richard Kreitner | Big Think How Benjamin Franklin tried—and failed—to form a union | Richard Kreitner | Big Think
5 months ago En
How Benjamin Franklin tried—and failed—to form a union Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Most people know the basics of American history and may even be able to name all 13 colonies, but where exactly did the idea to form a union comes from? Political writer and essayist Richard Kreitner explains how Benjamin Franklin learned the concept from the Iroquois Confederation. When he tried to introduce it to the colonists, however, they "thought it was essentially equivalent to tyranny." The idea eventually caught on, but not without land disputes and issues of representation, which explains why the US House of Representatives has 435 voting seats while the Senate has just two seats per state, equal for all states regardless of population size—it was a compromise. Kreitner argues that this imbalance may one day ruptur
Should parents de-emphasize gender norms? | Lisa Selin Davis | Big Think Should parents de-emphasize gender norms? | Lisa Selin Davis | Big Think
5 months ago En
Should parents de-emphasize gender norms? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls plays out in gender reveals and in the toy aisle, but where does it come from and what limits is it potentially placing on children? Lisa Selin Davis traces the gendering of toys and other objects back to the 1920s and explains how, over time, these marketing strategies were falsely conflated with biological traits. The "pink-blue divide" affects boys and girls on a psychological level. For example, psychologists discovered that when girls exit their intense 'pink princess' phase between ages 3-6 and move into a tomboy 'I hate pink' phase at age 6-8 ""that is actually a moment of girls realizing that what's marked as feminine is devalued and so they're distancing themselves from it to
Smart parenting: 2 exercises that build confidence in girls | Marisa Porges | Big Think Smart parenting: 2 exercises that build confidence in girls | Marisa Porges | Big Think
5 months ago En
Smart parenting: 2 exercises that build confidence in girls Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As the head of an all-girls school in Pennsylvania, Marisa Porges has dedicated her life to educating young women and preparing them for the future. Two things that parents can do at home to build confidence and nurture girls' ability to speak up according to Porges are to have them practice ordering for the family, and to encourage them to develop a pitch when making a request. Providing feedback on the pitch becomes more meaningful and memorable than simply saying yes or no. While this advice is great for parents of boys and girls, it is especially important for parents of young women. A recent study showed that 75 percent of high-performing women executives say they have felt imposter syndrome at some point in their c
Are humans wired for conflict? Lord of the Flies vs. Charles Darwin | Rutger Bregman | Big Think Are humans wired for conflict? Lord of the Flies vs. Charles Darwin | Rutger Bregman | Big Think
5 months ago En
Are humans wired for conflict? Lord of the Flies vs. Charles Darwin Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The iconic novel "Lord of the Flies" paints a picture of human beings as naturally selfish and prone to conflict, but that is not the most accurate depiction of humanity, argues historian Rutger Bregman. Bregman shares a true story from his research about a group of Tongan students who survived on an island together for 15 months in 1965, not through brutal alliances, but by working together and forming a functional community. Darwin's observation of domestication syndrome is apparent in humans, argues Bregman; our evolution into friendlier animals can be seen in our biological features and responses. Evolutionarily speaking, being "soft" is actually very smart, and we evolved to cooperate with one another for mu
Why the US must break the grip of huge monopolies | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think Why the US must break the grip of huge monopolies | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think
5 months ago En
Why the US must break the grip of huge monopolies Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- According to Vanderbilt law professor and author Ganesh Sitaraman, America has a monopoly problem—a problem that is almost universally acknowledged as such, yet little is done about it. Sitaraman explains how monopolies of today share DNA with trusts of the 19th century, and how the increased concentration and consolidation of these corporations translate to increased power both economically and politically. "We need to think about reinvigorating our anti-trust laws and the principles of anti-monopoly that gave spirit to those laws and to lots of other regulations," he argues. Restoring faith in government and the economy starts with dismantling the things that make people question its allegiances and priorities. ----------------
Learn the Netflix model of high-performing teams | Erin Meyer | Big Think Learn the Netflix model of high-performing teams | Erin Meyer | Big Think
5 months ago En
Learn the Netflix model of high-performing teams | Erin Meyer | Big Think Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are numerous strategies for building and maintaining a high-performing team, but unfortunately, they are not plug-and-play. What works for some companies will not necessarily work for others. Erin Meyer, co-author of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, shares one alternative employed by one of the largest tech and media services companies in the world. Instead of the 'Rank and Yank' method once used by GE, Meyer explains how Netflix managers use the 'keeper test' to determine if employees are crucial pieces of the larger team and are worth fighting to keep. "An individual performance problem is a systemic problem that impacts the entire team," she says. This is a valuable lesson th
What stops people from changing their minds? | Jonah Berger | Big Think What stops people from changing their minds? | Jonah Berger | Big Think
6 months ago En
What stops people from changing their minds? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you want someone to see things differently and to abandon their previous stance, sometimes persistence is not key. "Too often we think change is about pushing," says Jonah Berger, author of the book The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, and a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. "We think if we just come up with one more way people will eventually come around." Through speaking with people who have successfully changed minds of others, Berger identified five common barriers and created the REDUCE framework for finding the catalysts needed to break through: reactants, endowment, distance, uncertainty, and corroborating evidence. ----------------------------------------------------------
Is the US actually a democracy? | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think Is the US actually a democracy? | Ganesh Sitaraman | Big Think
6 months ago En
Is the US actually a democracy? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Three essential components of democracy are economic equality, social unity, and a government that acts in the interest of the people. America lacks all three of those components, says Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Ganesh Sitaraman. "In study after study, political scientists have shown that our government is responsive primarily to the wealthy and interest groups, not to ordinary people," says Sitaraman. "A system of government that is mostly unresponsive to the people is not a democracy at all." Sitaraman argues that the neoliberal era is what divided America and continues to prevent the country from realizing a true democracy. In this video, he explains the problem with neoliberalism and how a new agenda could create far better oppo
The fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg | Big Think x Freethink The fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg | Big Think x Freethink
6 months ago En
The fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg Big Think x Freethink At Big Think, we share actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. This week, we’re partnering with Freethink to bring you amazing stories of the people and technologies that are shaping our future, from neuroscience breakthroughs to bionics and justice. Catch Freethink’s documentary-style videos right here on our channel all this week. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Meet the world's first bionic drummer. Rock musician Jason Barnes lost his arm in a terrible accident... and then he became the fastest drummer in the world. With the help of Gil Weinberg, a Georgia Tech professor and inventor of musical robots, the pair utilized electromyography and ultrasound technology to break musical records. Weinberg and Barnes hope to perfect the technology so that it can one day be used to help other people with disabilities realize that "they're not only not disabled, they're act
Catching serial killers with an algorithm | Big Think x Freethink Catching serial killers with an algorithm | Big Think x Freethink
6 months ago En
Catching serial killers with an algorithm Big Think x Freethink At Big Think, we share actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. This week, we’re partnering with Freethink to bring you amazing stories of the people and technologies that are shaping our future, from neuroscience breakthroughs to bionics and justice. Catch Freethink’s documentary-style videos right here on our channel all this week. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are over 250,000 unsolved murder cases in the United States. Thomas Hargrove, cofounder of Murder Accountability Project, wants that number to be as close to zero as possible, and he has just the tool to help. Hargrove developed an algorithm that, through cluster analysis, is capable of finding connections in murder data that human investigators tend to miss. The technology exists, but a considerable roadblock that the project faces is getting support and cooperation from law enforcement offices. ----
1 in 5 vegetative patients is conscious. This neuroscientist finds them. | Big Think x Freethink 1 in 5 vegetative patients is conscious. This neuroscientist finds them. | Big Think x Freethink
6 months ago En
Big Think x Freethink At Big Think, we share actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. This week, we’re partnering with Freethink to bring you amazing stories of the people and technologies that are shaping our future, from neuroscience breakthroughs to bionics and justice. Catch Freethink’s documentary-style videos right here on our channel this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What if vegetative patients are conscious? Neuroscientist Adrian Owen, author of Into The Gray Zone and a professor at Western University in Canada, is using fMRI technology to try to reach the people who may still be aware of their surroundings. Consciousness has traditionally been assessed by asking patients to respond to verbal commands. Through brain imaging, Dr Owen and his team were able to prove that these tests are inadequate, and it's estimated that 20 percent of vegetative patients are conscious but are physically incap
Will America’s disregard for science be the end of its reign? | Big Think Will America’s disregard for science be the end of its reign? | Big Think
6 months ago En
Will America’s disregard for science be the end of its reign? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From America's inception, there has always been a rebellious, anti-establishment mentality. That way of thinking has become more reckless now that the entire world is interconnected and there are added layers of verification (or repudiation) of facts. As the great minds in this video can attest, there are systems and mechanisms in place to discern between opinion and truth. By making conscious efforts to undermine and ignore those systems at every turn (climate change, conspiracy theories, coronavirus, politics, etc.), America has compromised its position of power and effectively stunted its own growth. A part of the problem, according to writer and radio host Kurt Andersen, is a new media infrastructure that allows f
The surprising future of vaccine technology | Big Think The surprising future of vaccine technology | Big Think
6 months ago En
The surprising future of vaccine technology Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Learn skills from the world's top minds at Big Think Edge: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Vaccines are the best thing science has ever given us," says Larry Brilliant, founding president and acting chairman of Skoll Global Threats. From smallpox, to Ebola, to polio, scientists have successful fought viruses and saved millions of lives. So what's next? As United Neuroscience cofounder Lou Reese explains in this video, the issue with vaccines is that they don't work against "non-external threats." This is a problem, especially now when internal threats (things that cause cancers, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses) are killing people more than external threats like viruses. The future of vaccine tech, which scientists are already working toward today, is developing safe vaccines to eradicate these destructive
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