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2024 videos
Could a solar storm wipe out civilization as we know it? | Michelle Thaller | Big Think Could a solar storm wipe out civilization as we know it? | Michelle Thaller | Big Think
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Could a solar storm wipe out civilization as we know it? with Michelle Thaller Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►► https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg Up next ►► Michio Kaku: Are We Sitting Ducks for Solar Flares? | Big Think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW8Rsil0lqk 2012 was supposed to be an apocalyptic year according to the Mayans. Although the world never came to an end, in 2012, something else happened that had astrophysicists worried - the earth barely avoided catastrophe as a massive sun storm erupted. Sun storms happen more often than we think, with protons and electrons traveling past the earth at a speed of one million miles per hour. If these particles and solar storms are responsible for the unliveable climate on Venus and Mars, why has Earth not been impacted yet? Earth is rarely impacted by the sun's solar storms because of the strong magnetic field that surrounds the planet, protecting us from solar wind. Although this magnetic field does a great job at protecting t
6 ways to heal trauma without medication, from the author of “The Body Keeps the Score” 6 ways to heal trauma without medication, from the author of “The Body Keeps the Score”
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6 ways to heal trauma without medication, from the author of “The Body Keeps the Score,” Bessel van der Kolk Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►► https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg Up next ►► How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution | BJ Miller https://youtu.be/hQAqBkKJRbs Conventional psychiatric practices tell us that if we feel bad, take this drug and it will go away. But after years of research with some of the top psychiatric practitioners in the world, we’ve found that drugs simply don’t work that well for many, and our conventional ways of healing trauma need to change. In recent years, experts in the study of trauma have been experimenting with ‘new age’ healing mechanisms that are making massive waves for trauma patients. Some of these new healing methods include EDMR, yoga, theater and movement, neural feedback, and even psychedelics. Many of these methods have proven to be more effective than conventional pharmaceuticals. But just like any oth
What is trauma? The author of “The Body Keeps the Score” explains What is trauma? The author of “The Body Keeps the Score” explains
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What is trauma? The author of “The Body Keeps the Score” explains, with Bessel van der Kolk Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►► https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg Up next ►► How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution | BJ Miller https://www.youtube.com/c/bigthink/search?query=trauma Contrary to popular belief, trauma is extremely common. We all have jobs, life events, and unpleasant situations causing us daily stress. But when your body continues to re-live that stress for days, weeks, months, or even years, that stress changes your brain, creating trauma inside your mind, and that trauma can eventually manifest in your physical body. As you can see, trauma isn’t what happens to you, but how you respond to the traumatic situation. Something that is traumatic to one person may be no big deal to the next. Whether something becomes traumatic or not has a great deal to do with who’s around you while you experience this event. Were you alone and scared, were you
Is reality real? These neuroscientists don’t think so Is reality real? These neuroscientists don’t think so
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Is reality real? These neuroscientists don’t think so, with Richard Dawkins, Heather Heying, Donald Hoffman, & more Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►► https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg Up next ►►Navigating reality: It’s all about perspective | Daniel Schmachtenberger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNcyc_sEtpU Is there an external reality? Is reality objective? Is the information your senses are feeding you an accurate depiction of reality? Most neuroscientists, biologists, and scientific leaders believe that we only understand a sliver of what is real. Although we assume our senses are telling us the truth, they’re actually fabricated to us. Considering senses are unique from person to person, and through our unique senses we can only intemperate a fraction of what is real, there is no all-encompassing perspective one can have. Because of this, we need to take our perceptions seriously, but not literally. Multiple perspectives have to be taken, as each will have some sort of
Your reptilian brain, explained | Robert Sapolsky | Big Think Your reptilian brain, explained | Robert Sapolsky | Big Think
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Your reptilian brain, explained with Robert Sapolsky Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►► https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg Up next ►► The Science of Brain Health and Cognitive Decline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMcoTWvf0Kk What's the best way to think about the brain? While most of us think of it as a dense gray matter that’s separate from the physical body, that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Our brain is made up of 3 layers, and each layer not only directly impacts the other, but has control over the physical body and how you feel. The 3 functional layers of the brain are the reptilian brain, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex. The reptilian brain controls the regulatory systems in your body like hormones, body temperature, blood pressure, and even hunger. The limbic system is the emotional function of your brain, making you feel fear, anger, joy, or gratitude. Finally, the cerebral cortex is the most evolved part of the brain that oversees impulse
3 brain hacks to control your Amazon addiction (from a neuroscientist) 3 brain hacks to control your Amazon addiction (from a neuroscientist)
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3 brain hacks to control your Amazon addiction 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 the evolutionary perspective, the human brain evolved to feel first and think later,” says neuroscientist and marketing consultant Terry Wu. The part of our brain that controls emotions (the limbic system) and the part that deals with rational thought (the frontal cortex) can send conflicting signals, which leads to bad decision-making. Stress, easy access to online shopping platforms, and other factors cause the limbic system to overtake the frontal cortex as we seek instant gratification. Retailers cater to our emotional brain so that we shop more, but there are ways to resist the manipulation. “The important thing is to create some barriers between our desire to shop and shopping,“ says Wu, who suggests establishing designat
Making diamonds from human ashes | Big Think Making diamonds from human ashes | Big Think
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Isolating carbon from ashes to create diamonds 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eterneva is setting out to change the way we grieve loss — by turning ashes into diamonds. With its unique cremation diamonds, Eterneva is creating a new way to carry the memory of our loved ones with us long after their death. Transforming their customers’ loved ones from ashes to diamonds consists of an intricate seven stage process. Once the company has received the ashes, its team gets to work isolating carbon from other elements found in the ashes. Once the carbon is fully extracted, the resulting carbon graphite powder is placed into a machine that can replicate growing conditions found under the earth. Through intense heat and pressure, over time the carbon crystalizes and begins to turn into a raw diamond For people grievin
What charity does to your brain | Your Brain on Money | Big Think What charity does to your brain | Your Brain on Money | Big Think
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What charity does to your brain | Your Brain on Money 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 happens in your brain when you give time or money? Altruism is often framed as an act performed for the sake of someone else without the expectation of a reward. Author Jenni Santi and psychology professor Michael Norton explain that there is more happening on a biological level than we realize. In the 2000s, experiments by neuroscientists Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman showed that two areas of the brain light up when we volunteer or help someone. These same “pleasure centers” are activated when we think of food or romantic partners. All forms of giving are good, Norton says, but time (i.e. volunteering) is the resource that is often seen as the hardest to spare. He offers tips for those looking to give more or more consi
How to trick your brain into saving money | Your Brain on Money | Big Think How to trick your brain into saving money | Your Brain on Money | Big Think
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How to trick your brain into saving money 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks to evolution, humans are not great at thinking and planning long term. "The human brain just has certain tendencies," says neuroscientist Alex Korb. "We're always going to pay more attention to things that are immediate right now." Luckily, there are ways to counteract our natural habits. Retirement can feel abstract—especially for young people who are just starting in their careers—which makes preparing for it less of a priority. By understanding how the brain impacts certain decisions, we can hack those biases to develop better saving practices and work toward more tangible goals. "Saving one dollar a day is infinitely better than saving zero dollars a day," says Korb. Building on small decisions over time gives you the ability t
Can lessons from video games change our money habits? | Your Brain on Money | Big Think Can lessons from video games change our money habits? | Your Brain on Money | Big Think
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Can lessons from video games change our money habits? 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 word is out on gaming—it’s not just something that children do for fun anymore. Games are tools that can be used to teach new skills, reduce stress, and even change behaviors by triggering chemical reactions in the brain. These benefits and more have provided scientists and developers with a promising path forward. “Games reduce the stress of making decisions,” says neuroscientist and professor Paul Zak. “App designers have now used game structures to help people learn new information, make new decisions; and one of the most exciting applications is in financial decision making.” But simply turning something into a game isn’t enough to see meaningful changes in habits. Developers of gamified apps like Long Game have found
How Apple and Nike have branded your brain | Your Brain on Money | Big Think How Apple and Nike have branded your brain | Your Brain on Money | Big Think
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How Apple and Nike have branded your brain 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Powerful branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired. "We love to think of ourselves as rational. That's not how it works," says UPenn professor Americus Reed II about our habits (both conscious and subconscious) of paying more for items based primarily on the brand name. Effective marketing causes the consumer to link brands like Apple and Nike with their own identity, and that strong attachment goes deeper than receipts. Using MRI, professor and neuroscientist Michael Platt and his team were able to see this at play. When reacting to good or bad news about the brand, Samsung users didn't have positive or negative brain responses, yet they did have "reverse empathy" for bad
How to reduce gun violence without taking people’s guns How to reduce gun violence without taking people’s guns
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How to reduce gun violence without taking people’s guns 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Approximately 41,000 people are killed each year due to gun violence. That’s more lives lost to guns than to car accidents. So why do we devote more attention (and money) to car safety than we do gun safety? As Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling points out, the deaths are not the whole story. The physical, emotional, and psychological trauma reverberates through communities and the public at-large. “This is just not about guns,” says Dowling,” this is a serious public health issue and we’ve got to look at it that way. Hospitals often deal with the aftermath of gun violence, but they can play a key role in preventing it. Medical staff are trained to assess health risk factors. Dowling argues that a similar approach is neede
The science of ‘herd mentality’ | Your Brain on Money | Big Think The science of ‘herd mentality’ | Your Brain on Money | Big Think
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The science of ‘herd mentality' 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 can monkeys teach us about stock market bubbles? It turns out that monkeys make decisions much like investors on the trading floor—they develop a herd mentality, mimicking the behavior of others until overinflation and the eventual pop. "This tendency to follow the herd emerges from our social brain networks," explains Michael Platt, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. This network allows us to learn and adapt based on information from those around us. But these learnings are not always positive. In the context of money and the stock market, following the herd could result in bad financial decisions. The key, Platt says, is learning to take a step back and resist impulses, which in some ways goes against our evolution
How concentrated solar power could fuel the future | Big Think How concentrated solar power could fuel the future | Big Think
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How concentrated solar power could fuel 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What if we could not only harness the power of the sun, but actually use it to run the entire planet? Concentrated solar power (CSP) has the potential to do just that — using arrays of revolving mirrors called heliostats, light is reflected into a massive receiver. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, the cost to replicate these Sunlight Refineries™ is dropping. Soon solar energy will be cleaner and cheaper than using fossil fuels, which could mean adoption on a global scale. Heliogen, a company founded by Bill Gross and backed by Bill Gates, wants to eliminate all uses of fossil fuels. Using cameras, AI, and machine learning, they are working to make these CSP systems smarter and much more efficient. This episode is
Why “survival of the fittest” is wrong | Frans de Waal | Big Think Why “survival of the fittest” is wrong | Frans de Waal | Big Think
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Why “survival of the fittest” is wrong | Frans de Waal | 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frans de Waal has studied the behavior of primates for five decades. Some of his many important observations center around the evolution of morality and just how much we have in common with the animal kingdom. The idea that animals are always in conflict with one another and competing for resources is “totally wrong,” de Waal says. Other primates, specifically chimpanzees and bonobos, have demonstrated a range of traits and tendencies typically regarded as human, including empathy, friendship, reconciliation, altruism, and even adoption. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FRANS DE WAAL: Frans de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist. He teaches at E
Why do big creatures live longer? | Geoffrey West | Big Think Why do big creatures live longer? | Geoffrey West | Big Think
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Why do big creatures live longer? 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientists have observed that in nature, all things scale with size in a way that is mathematically predictable. Similar scaling laws hold for things like growth and lifespan. As theoretical physicist Geoffrey West explains, larger mammals generally live longer because of the inverse relationship between body size and the rate at which cells are damaged. By having this theory of scaling laws, “you can determine what the parameters are, the knobs that you could conceivably turn to change that lifespan,” says West. Instead of living to be 100 years old, humans could someday hack our cells to last for two centuries. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GEOFFREY WEST: Geoffrey West is a theoretical phys
Malcolm Gladwell on the origins of modern war Malcolm Gladwell on the origins of modern war
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The renegade WW2 pilots who tried to end war as we know 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Much has been written about World War II in the seven and a half decades since it ended in 1945. But as writer Malcolm Gladwell shows with his new book "The Bomber Mafia," some incredible stories and perspectives have been largely forgotten. A group of pilots, led by Brigadier General Haywood Hansell, earned the derogatory nickname Bomber Mafia because of a not-widely-shared dream that they could use a few strategic bombings to lower the death toll and have a "clean" war. "But that's not what war ever is," says Gladwell. "It never has that kind of fairy tale ending." A few failed attempts led to a changing of the guard, the invention of napalm, and a summer of attacks on Japanese cities that Gladwell says was at "a scale
How Pfizer and BioNTech made history with their vaccine How Pfizer and BioNTech made history with their vaccine
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How Pfizer and BioNTech made history with their vaccine 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wondering how Pfizer and partner BioNTech developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time without compromising safety? Dr Bill Gruber, SVP of Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research and Development, explains the process from start to finish. “I told my team, at first we were inspired by hope and now we’re inspired by reality,” Dr Gruber said. “If you bring critical science together, talented team members together, government, academia, industry, public health officials—you can achieve what was previously the unachievable.” The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to preven
Protecting space stations from deadly space debris Protecting space stations from deadly space debris
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Protecting space stations from deadly space debris 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 is the first episode of Just Might Work, an original series by Freethink, focused on surprising solutions to our biggest problems. Catch more Just Might Work episodes on their channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UConJDkGk921yT9hISzFqpzw ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ASTRONAUT: Mission abort. Repeat. Mission abort. HOST: In the opening scene of Gravity, a collision with space debris leads to chaos. ANNOUNCER: Debris from the missile strike has caused a chain reaction, hitting other satellites and creating new debris. HOST: Unfortunately this scenario isn't just made up movie drama. What if I told you this was one of the most dangerous things in space?
The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession | Big Think The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession | Big Think
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The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession | 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How love makes us feel can only be defined on an individual basis, but what it does to the body, specifically the brain, is now less abstract thanks to science. One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down. Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Physics’ greatest mystery: Michio Kaku explains the God Equation | Big Think Physics’ greatest mystery: Michio Kaku explains the God Equation | Big Think
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Physics’ greatest mystery: Michio Kaku explains the God Equation 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 no exaggeration to say that the greatest minds of the entire human race have made proposals for this grand final theory of everything," says theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. This theory, also known as the God Equation, would unify all the basic concepts of physics into one. According to Kaku, the best, most "mathematically consistent" candidate so far is string theory, but there are objections. "The biggest objection is you can't test it," Kaku explains, "but we're getting closer and closer." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHIO KAKU: Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory, and is one of the most widely recognized scientists in the wo
How to live an intellectual life | Big Think How to live an intellectual life | Big Think
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How to live an intellectual 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you picture an intellectual, who do you see? Professor Zena Hitz says that somewhere along the way, the idea of what an intellectual is and does became distorted. "The real thing is something more extraordinary but also more available to us," Hitz adds, differentiating between an intellectual life constantly in pursuit of something else, and one that enjoys ordinary activities like reading and thinking. An example is young Albert Einstein, who spoke highly of his time working in a patent office and hatching "beautiful ideas" long before becoming a famous physicist. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ZENA HITZ: Zena Hitz is a Tutor at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and the author o
We need sustainable space tech. One solution - bees? | Danielle Wood | Big Think We need sustainable space tech. One solution - bees? | Danielle Wood | Big Think
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We need sustainable space tech. One solution - bees? 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 objects humans send to space teach us a lot about the universe, but they are also cluttering it up. While some objects are close enough to be retrieved, others become dangerous, fast-moving bullets that can cause serious damage. In addition to cleaning up what's already there, MIT Assistant Professor Danielle Wood says that we need to think more sustainably about the technology used in future missions. "We have to ask the question, will we respect the rights of people and the environment as we go forward in space," Wood says. One possible solution is a wax-based fuel source (made of beeswax and candle wax) for satellites that would be less toxic and more affordable than currently used inorganic compounds, and that would he
Mixing human + animal DNA and the future of gene editing | Big Think Mixing human + animal DNA and the future of gene editing | Big Think
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Mixing human + animal DNA and the future of gene editing 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 material that makes all living things what/who we are, DNA is the key to understanding and changing the world. British geneticist Bryan Sykes and Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, explain how, through gene editing, scientists can better treat illnesses, eradicate diseases, and revolutionize personalized medicine. But existing and developing gene editing technologies are not without controversies. A major point of debate deals with the idea that gene editing is overstepping natural and ethical boundaries. Just because they can, does that mean that scientists should edit DNA? Harvard professor Glenn Cohen introduces another subcategory of gene experiments: mixing human and animal DNA. "The questio
The science behind ‘us vs. them’ | Dan Shapiro, Robert Sapolsky & more | Big Think The science behind ‘us vs. them’ | Dan Shapiro, Robert Sapolsky & more | Big Think
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The science behind ‘us vs. them’ 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 politics to every day life, humans have a tendency to form social groups that are defined in part by how they differ from other groups. Neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, author Dan Shapiro, and others explore the ways that tribalism functions in society, and discuss how—as social creatures—humans have evolved for bias. But bias is not inherently bad. The key to seeing things differently, according to Beau Lotto, is to "embody the fact" that everything is grounded in assumptions, to identify those assumptions, and then to question them. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: 0:00 Intro 0:30 Robert Sapolsky on the hardwiring of social creatures and the “runaway trolley problem. 4:5
America’s prison catastrophe: Can we undo it? | Damien Echols & more | Big Think America’s prison catastrophe: Can we undo it? | Damien Echols & more | Big Think
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America’s prison catastrophe: Can we undo 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The United States is the world’s largest prison warden. As of June 2020, America had the highest prisoner rate, with 655 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population. But according to experts, doing something the most doesn’t mean doing it the best. The system is a failure both economically and in terms of the way inmates are treated, with many equating it to legal slavery. American prisons en masse are expensive, brutal, and ineffective, so why aren’t we trying better alternatives? And what exactly are these overstuffed facilities accomplishing? Damien Echols and Shaka Senghor share first-hand accounts of life both in and after prison, while political science professor Marie Gottschalk, activist Liza Jessie Peterson, historian
Why the world is going crazy—and how to win back our minds | Jamie Wheal | Big Think Why the world is going crazy—and how to win back our minds | Jamie Wheal | Big Think
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Why the world is going crazy—and how to win back our 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The speed at which civilization is progressing has become overwhelming for modern humans and has caused what Jamie Wheal (author of Recapture the Rapture, founder of the Flow Genome Project, and host of the Collective Insights Podcast) calls a “collapse of meaning.” For many, Meaning 1.0 (organized religion) and Meaning 2.0 (modern liberalism) no longer provide the structure and guidance that they used to. "It does feel like the handrails, the things we used to look to for stability and security, have evaporated," says Wheal. "If we've experienced a collapse of meaning, how do we go about restoring it?" In order to reach Meaning 3.0—which Wheal says is a blend of traditional religion and modern liberalism without the pro
Textiles: Humanity’s early tech boom | Virginia Postrel | Big Think Textiles: Humanity’s early tech boom | Virginia Postrel | Big Think
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Textiles: Humanity’s early tech boom 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Virginia Postrel, author of The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World, describes how the pursuit of textiles has led to a vast variety of innovations throughout history. Notably, the launch of the Industrial Revolution started with the machines that mechanized the spinning of thread. The term luddite, which has now come to mean “people who have [an] ideological opposition to technology,” started with textiles. The original Luddites of the 19th century were weavers who rioted when they began losing their jobs to power looms. Postrel states that human beings throughout the world and across history independently discovered different processes for creating cloth. She goes on to say that “weaving is something that is deeply mathemati
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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
7 months 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
7 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
7 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
7 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
7 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
7 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
7 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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?" --------------------
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