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1943 videos
How does gravity bend spacetime? | Konstatin Batygin | Big Think How does gravity bend spacetime? | Konstatin Batygin | Big Think
4 months ago En
How does gravity bend spacetime? 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 typically think of events as happening in space and in time. "In reality, space and time are strongly intertwined things and the union of them is called spacetime," explains Konstantin Batygin. The force that we understand as gravity, according to Batygin, is the result of the spacetime continuum being curved by Earth's gravitational field. Depending on how close you are to the source of gravity, time will pass at different rates. Traveling backward in time is not possible. Traveling forward through time without aging, however, would require going to the center of the planet where the effects of that gravitational field can't be experienced. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KONSTANTIN BATYGIN: Forbes named professor Konstantin Batygin the “next physics rock star” in its 2015 list of “30 Under 30: Young Scientists Who Are Changing the World.” He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008, before pursuing graduate studies at California Institute of Technology. To date, Batygin has authored over seventy scientific publications, and his research has been featured on the pages of Nature as well as the front cover of Scientific American. In 2016, Batygin sparked international headlines with the announcement of the existence of an as-yet-unobserved ninth planet in the solar system. This discovery, conducted with research partner Mike Brown, fueled a worldwide race among astronomers to locate "Planet Nine.” Prior to joining the faculty at California Institute of Technology in 2014, Batygin was a postdoctoral scholar at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in Nice, France, and Harvard University. When not doing science, he moonlights as the lead singer and guitarist in the rock band, The Seventh Season. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: KONSTANTIN BATYGIN: In our daily experience we are used to thinking of events as being separated in space and separated in time and there's a true kind of sense of simultaneity, where two things that are separated in space happen in the same time, and we're okay with that. As it turns out, that's only an approximate view of what's really happening. In reality, space and time are strongly intertwined things and the union of them is called spacetime. Now spacetime is the grid, if you will, of this world. It is the coordinate system on which everything happens. And gravity tends to bend that coordinate system. And so indeed, gravity, what we experience as falling, for example, if we jump off a little hill or something like that, that is nothing. That is just a manifestation of the fact that the spacetime continuum itself is being curved by the gravitational field of the Earth. What does this mean? What does this curving mean? It means that depending on how close you are to the source of gravity, time will pass at different rates. That said, biologically you will not experience it differently one way or another. The only thing that this is useful for is if you wanted to build a time machine. So a time machine can never go backwards in time, but you can make a time machine that goes forward in time. Suppose you are a fan of some Netflix series and you want to watch the whole thing and you don't want to wait for different seasons to come out one year apart. You just want to binge watch the whole thing now. Then what you do is you build a planet and then you put yourself in the center so that you are experiencing no gravitational field because you are weightless in the center of the planet. You drill a hole and then you put a TV outside of the planet, submerge the TV in the gravitational field so that time passes more rapidly for the TV and then you watch. So, as a biological being you will not experience aging any differently at least due to gravity. You will not experience aging any differently if you live on a mountain or on the surface of the Earth.
This is the superpower teachers need to flex | Kwame Alexander | Big Think This is the superpower teachers need to flex | Kwame Alexander | Big Think
4 months ago En
This is the superpower teachers need to flex 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Teachers have arguably the most important job on Earth. It's their responsibility to help shape who young people will become by inspiring them and connecting with them as human beings. Trust has to be earned before any meaningful learning can happen. The superpower that poet and children's fiction author Kwame Alexander learned from his mother is the ability to connect emotionally with his audience first so that they are open and interested in tackling heavier subjects and having challenging conversations. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KWAME ALEXANDER: Kwame Alexander is the Innovator-in-Residence at the American School of London, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 34 books, including Caldecott-Medal and Newbery-Honor winning picture book The Undefeated, How to Read a Book, Swing, Rebound, which was shortlisted for prestigious Carnegie Medal, and, his Newbery medal-winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. As the founding editor of Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, he aims to change the world one word at a time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: KWAME ALEXANDER: I believe that if we feel a certain type of way, if we are inspired in a really profound way that connects with us emotionally then pretty much anything that comes after that is doable. So if I'll go into a school and speak to some high school students I'm not going to read from my book. Maybe if it's a 45 minute presentation I'm going to spend 30 minutes sharing stories about my writerly life, about saying yes to what's possible. I'm going to spend time interacting with them and then maybe the last five minutes I'll share a piece from one of my books. But the idea is that if you're going to learn something I think first you're going to have to know the importance and feel the importance of why that thing you need to learn matters. And I think that can only come from being inspired. My mother would come into my room as a kid and share an African folktale with me and I'd be on the edge of my bed trying to find out why do mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. And why didn't the little girl brush her teeth. I'd be wanting to hear these stories and she'd sing me songs and share a poem. And then afterwards she'd say now go make up your own. Go clean up your bed. Go cut the grass and I'd be like okay because I had been inspired in that moment to really find a connection with who I am as a human being. And that's what it all comes down to. So my number one ingredient is inspiration. The capacity to get people to feel something. To be able to move people. Teachers have a responsibility to help build and mold and shape beautiful human beings because the alternative is you can destroy them. And so if I'm going to be talking about these heavy weighty topics then at first I've got to let you know that we are a family. That you can trust me. That this is a safe space because this is going to be challenging but we're all going to grow from it. I think the capacity to be able to get you to emotionally open yourself up for these challenging conversations is a huge superpower. And I learned that, I mean I think I have it which is why I'm talking about it. And I think I learned that from my mother. How do you get people on your side. How do you allow people to feel safe as you for lack of a better word scold them or scold us because we've all got to do better. I think that's a huge human superpower to get people to be able to commit to acknowledging that we are all in the same boat. We're all human beings and yeah, I'm about to call you on some stuff but it's coming from a space of love.
Reality check for entrepreneurs in crisis | Anthony Scaramucci | Big Think Reality check for entrepreneurs in crisis | Anthony Scaramucci | Big Think
4 months ago En
Reality check for entrepreneurs in crisis 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anthony Scaramucci isn't afraid to admit his failures as an entrepreneur. The founder and managing partner of investment firm SkyBridge Capital says it's the journey that matters, and that being an entrepreneur means accepting that some things, including successes and failures, are out of your control. A hard but necessary question that entrepreneurs have to ask themselves is if they can live with the worst-case scenario. In a time of crisis, Scaramucci's advice is to clear your mind, accept all possible outcomes, and to dial down fear-based instincts so that you focus on being aggressive in business. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Anthony Scaramucci is the founder and current managing partner of investment firm SkyBridge Capital. Scaramucci published an autobiography, Goodbye, Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul, in 2010, and made a brief appearance in Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Scaramucci is also the author of The Little Book of Hedge Funds and his latest book Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole https://amzn.to/2AHqKS7 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: To speak with absolute veracity to future entrepreneurs, current entrepreneurs or potential ones, what you have to know about your life is if you're going to be an entrepreneur you have to accept that some of your success or failure is providential. There's only so many things that are inside your control. CHRISTINE ROMANS: The Coronavirus pandemic has tanked the global economy with unprecedented speed. Millions out of work, markets plunging, business slammed to a screeching halt VARIOUS SPEAKERS: U.S. markets tumbled Friday because of concerns of the outbreak…The Dow Jones Industrial average closed down nearly…Wall Street ending one of the worst weeks of trading since the financial crisis in 2008. ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: You can work hard, you can build a nice relationship network, you can sell good products but you have to have the right environment to work inside of and some of that's beyond your control. We can't predict terrorist attacks like 9/11 or debacles like the WorldCom accounting disaster, the Enron accounting disaster of '01 to '03. The 2008 global financial crisis. None of these things we can predict, and so you have to live your life recognizing that a sense of your life is out of control. That's hard for the average person but that's par for the course for the entrepreneur. ELON MUSK: The odds of coming into the rocket business not knowing anything about rockets, not having ever built anything, I mean I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor. ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Running a business the first thing you have to do is you have to drop your ego and your self-identity of whatever it is you think about yourself. And so there was great sadness that I had while my business was failing because my self-pity was, at a scale of one to ten, it was at a 16. And what was the self-pity? 'My god, I went to Harvard Law School. I should be doing way better than I'm doing and my business is failing and woe is me, woe is me.' So the first thing you have to do is you have to drop all of your self-pity and you have to accept your journey in life. The second thing you have to do is you have to stop comparing yourself to everybody else. I think that is a huge, dangerous thing that business leaders do and even competitive athletes do. And then once you're able to do both of those things then your mind clears up. And once your mind clears up and you start to accept that there are so many things about the next forward steps of your life that are uncertain no matter what you do. No matter how brilliant you are, you could still fail and you're comfortable with that then you finally have made it as an entrepreneur because at the end of the day Steve Jobs has his set of failures. People don't remember this about Bill Gates but his first operating system failed. He had to go to digital research in Seattle and buy that and change it from DR-DOS to MS-DOS, and so every great entrepreneur, if they are being honest with you, will tell you about disastrous things that happened to them. Michael Dell's notebooks, we're talking about this Galaxy 7 catching on fire. In 1993, Michael Dell's notebooks were catching on fire... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/entrepreneurs-in-crisis
What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask. | Caroline Hill | Big Think What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask. | Caroline Hill | Big Think
4 months ago En
What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask. 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 coronavirus pandemic has left many at an interesting crossroads in terms of mapping out the future of their respective fields and industries. For schools, that may mean a total shift not only in how educators teach, but what they teach. One important strategy moving forward, thought leader Caroline Hill says, is to push back against the idea that getting ahead is more important than getting along. "The opportunity that education has in this moment to really push students and think about what is the right way to live, how do we do it and how do we do it in a way that doesn't hurt or rob the dignity of other people?" Hill also argues that now is the time for bigger swings and for removing the barriers that limit education. The online space is boundary free and provides educators with new opportunities to connect with students around the world. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CAROLINE HILL: Caroline Hill is a thought leader who lives, works, and designs at the intersection of education, innovation, and equity. Her work inspired the creation of equityXdesign, a powerful design framework that merges the values of equity work and innovation with the intentionality of design. Her latest venture, 228 Accelerator, catalyzes the redesign of the relationships that normalize mistreatment and oppression, builds bridges between the powerful and the powerless, and accelerates our journey to a more inclusive society. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: CAROLINE HILL: One of the things that I've been really thinking about is that if our school systems and our education system is supposed to feed our democracy or become a microcosm of it, then what is it that kids need to learn and be able to do? And I think explicit instruction around community and getting along more than getting ahead, or kind of figure out a way to pair them. I think there's some implicit silent stretch throughout our entire culture that says it's more important to get ahead than it is to get along. And I think we're smart enough and we have enough wisdom and knowledge and ingenuity to figure out how to do both so that the way that we live doesn't have to hurt other people. And I think those are lessons that I think school... and I think that's the opportunity that education has in this moment to really push students and think about what is the right way to live, how do we do it and how do we do it in a way that doesn't hurt or rob the dignity of other people? And then what do we need to learn about the natural world, about mathematics to make those things happen, to develop those new ways of working. In an online space there are no boundaries, there are only the boundaries and the walls that we erect and we are able to keep and we do work to keep them up. I was talking to a school leader the other day and I said you know, there's no stopping you from teaching kids in Mexico, Canada, in all 50 states if you think that way. We didn't have the technology 20 years ago, but we do now so what does a school community look like when we are able to blur the traditional lines that have kept us apart and intentionally figure out how do we cross lines of independent and public schools? How do we cross lines of parochial and public and independent so that we can actually practice learning together and respecting the differences that each one of us bring forth? I think that that's a moment we've never experienced before and I think having school leaders think about like your school community is your local community in which you lead, but there's an unbounded community that has kids in every country at this point, kids on every continent that you have the capacity to reach and connect with. How do we start thinking about our education in that way so that we could start to lower kind of like the provincial walls that separate us and think about ourselves as a global community? We have a kind of a cultural mantra that says you know then you do, but I think in this moment we should think about we do to know. Does that make sense? Like how do we start doing things on a small scale with reduced risk to learn and to know? I think that what I've seen is when the risk to fail or the permission... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/future-of-learning/what-should-schools-teach
What makes neutron stars so special? | Michelle Thaller | Big Think What makes neutron stars so special? | Michelle Thaller | Big Think
4 months ago En
What makes neutron stars so special? 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Being outside of Earth's atmosphere while also being able to look down on the planet is both a challenge and a unique benefit for astronauts conducting important and innovative experiments aboard the International Space Station. NASA astrophysicist Michelle Thaller explains why one such project, known as NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer), is "one of the most amazing discoveries of the last year." Researchers used x-ray light data from NICER to map the surface of neutrons (the spinning remnants of dead stars 10-50 times the mass of our sun). Thaller explains how this data can be used to create a clock more accurate than any on Earth, as well as a GPS device that can be used anywhere in the galaxy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHELLE THALLER: Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer who studies binary stars and the life cycles of stars. She is Assistant Director of Science Communication at NASA. She went to college at Harvard University, completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. then started working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Spitzer Space Telescope. After a hugely successful mission, she moved on to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in the Washington D.C. area. In her off-hours often puts on about 30lbs of Elizabethan garb and performs intricate Renaissance dances. For more information, visit https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/people/1040/michelle-thaller/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHELLE THALLER: I'm an astrophysicist and one of the things that I have been really impressed with with the International Space Station, some of the most amazing and innovating and strange experiments today are actually located on the space station. It's, of course, a wonderful platform to look at a lot of stuff because you're up above the atmosphere, you're up in space and you can both look out into space and you can also look back down at our home planet the Earth. One of the things that makes it a challenge to actually use it as, for example, an observatory with telescopes is that the space station swings around a lot so you have to be able to actually stabilize the image and what you're looking at, especially if you're working on the space station. But to me certainly one of the most amazing discoveries of the last year has come out of the space station experiment called NICER, that's the acronym. It stands for the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer so NICER. And NICER it's actually a camera that looks at x-ray light. So, this is very, very high energy light and luckily for us this light does not get through the atmosphere. There are x-rays coming from space all the time and they would be very harmful to us but they're absorbed by the air in the Earth's atmosphere. Of course that means if you want to study x-rays coming from space you need to get up above the atmosphere and the space station is. Now, NICER was specifically designed to look at a very interesting type of dead star called a neutron star. And a neutron star is the remnants when a very massive star, a star that might have been 10, 20, 50 times the mass of the sun violently dies and explodes. And incredibly the core of the star is usually still intact after that because the core became so compressed in that explosion that it holds together as a giant ball of atoms basically. Neutron stars are only about ten miles across. They have the density of one big atomic nucleus and that means that if you had a teaspoon full of this material, this neutronium, that teaspoonful would have about as much mass as Mount Everest. So, a ten mile ball every little bit of it is that dense and not only that these things spin hundreds of times a second. They are wonderful. They are real monsters. The gravity around them is so intense, it's not a black hole but it's sort of natures next best thing. The gravity is so intense that light is actually bent around these objects. And one of the most amazing things that we did with NICER recently is we used data coming in from x-rays from these hot dense little balls to actually map the surface and see where parts were hotter than others. And that was very challenging to do because when you actually took an image, and this wasn't a simple image it was constructed out of many... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/neutron-stars
Why we must teach students to solve big problems | Jaime Casap | Big Think Why we must teach students to solve big problems | Jaime Casap | Big Think
4 months ago En
Why we must teach students to solve big problems Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over. Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem-solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it? "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JAIME CASAP: Jaime Casap is the Chief Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the potential of digitalization as an enabling capability in pursuit of promoting inquiry-based learning models. Jaime collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation into our education policies and practices. He speaks on education, digitalization, innovation, generation z, and the future of work at events around the world. You can follow and reach him on Twitter at @jcasap and watch his YouTube career advice videos at youtube.com/jaimecasap. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: "JAIME CASAP: This idea of 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I've heard people ask my five-year-old. That question made sense when I was a kid. It doesn't make sense; jobs are shifting and changing. Look what's happening with jobs today. This whole push on automation, robotics and artificial intelligence is going to re-create or redo jobs completely. We see that coming, so the question that I ask students and again, every time I talk to students, I ask them 'What problem do you want to solve. What's the problem that spins in your head?' And it doesn't have to be a social problem, like social entrepreneurship as you mentioned, It could be how to make cars go faster. It could be anything. If you watch Shark Tank every person who walks into that tank is solving a problem. Sometimes they're solving problems you didn't know you had. So they're problem solving. What is the problem that you want to solve? So that's part one. If you don't know, what a great time to dive deep into that problem that you're interested and passionate about. How do you assess what's the problem that you're passionate about and interested in? The second question is just as important which is: How do you want to solve that problem? And that's an important question because there's a million ways to solve a problem, so if you as a student say 'I want to solve climate change', an adult, an administrator or a teacher or parent might say 'Oh, climate change. Wait. You need to study STEM. You need to go study science. You need to get a degree in global sustainable development' or whatever it be. Yes, there's multiple ways to solve the problem that way. But what if, during the—understanding how you want to solve the problem, understanding your gifts, your talents, your passions, you realize that you're an amazing photographer. You just have a way with photographing things and telling stories through pictures. Or you're an amazing writer. The way you can solve climate change is by going out and documenting climate change and photographing it or creating educational programs around climate change. So 'How do you want to solve that problem?' is important. And if you don't know there's some more time you can spend doing that. And then the third part of that—and this is where all of this comes in, so it's a great kind of question to put all this together—which is: What do you need to know to solve that problem? What are the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to have to solve that problem and how can you start developing those knowledge, skills and abilities in both angles of this: The climate change knowledge, skills and abilities and the photography knowledge, skills and abilities? What do you need to know? What information do you need? What lessons are out there? What classes can you take? What newsletters and blogs and who's solving this problem now in the way that you're trying to solve it? What do they know? How can you reach out to them? How do you track their career? And if you don't know, you can dive deep on that problem. So you know you... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/future-of-learning/problem-solving-skills
Neil deGrasse Tyson: 3 mind-blowing space facts | Big Think Neil deGrasse Tyson: 3 mind-blowing space facts | Big Think
4 months ago En
Neil deGrasse Tyson: 3 mind-blowing space facts Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joins us to talk about one of our favorite subjects: space. In the three-chaptered video, Tyson speaks about the search for alien life inside and outside of the Goldilocks Zone, why the term "dark matter" should really be called "dark gravity," and how the rotation of the Earth may have been the deciding factor in a football game. These fascinating space facts, as well as others shared in Tyson's books, make it easier for everyone to grasp complex ideas that are literally out of this world. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia. He is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium. His professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. Tyson obtains his data from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as from telescopes in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and in the Andes Mountains of Chile.Tyson is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid "13123 Tyson". Tyson's new book is Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, you can check it at https://amzn.to/2zOnXX5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: When we think of places you might find life we typically think of the Goldilocks Zone around the star where water would be liquid in its natural state. And if you get a little too close to the star, heat would evaporate the water and you don't have it anymore. It's gone. Too far away it would freeze and neither of those states of H2O are useful to life as we know it. We need liquid water. So you can establish this Green Zone, this habitable zone, this Goldilocks Zone, where if you find a planet orbiting there hey, good chance it could have liquid water. Let's look there first for life as we know it. Now it turns out that this source of heat, of course is traceable to the sun and if you go farther out everything water should be frozen, all other things being equal. But Europa, a moon of Jupiter sitting well outside of the Goldilocks Zone is kept warm not from energy sources traceable to the Sun, but from what we call the tidal forces of Jupiter itself. So, Jupiter and surrounding moons are actually pumping energy into Europa. And how does it do that? As Europa orbits Jupiter its shape changes. It's not fundamentally different from tides rising and falling on Earth. The shape of the water system of the Earth is responding to tidal forces of the moon. And when you do that to a solid object, the solid object is stressing. And because of this, a consequence of this is that you are pumping energy into the object. It is no different from when you say to anyone who's familiar with racquet sports, indoor racquet sports. It could be racquetball or squash. You say let's arm up the ball before we start playing. You want to hit it around a few times. You are literally warming up the ball. It's not just simply let's get loose. You are literally warming up the ball. How? You are distorting it every time you smack it and then the resilience of the ball pops it back into shape and every time you do that, every smack, you're pumping energy into the ball. It's not fundamentally different from what's going on in orbit around Jupiter. So, you have this frozen world, Europa, completely frozen on its surface but you look at the surface and there are cracks in the ice. There are ridges in the ice where there's a crack and it shifted and then refroze. So this ridge has a discontinuity in the crack and it continues in another place. So what this tells you is that Europe cannot be completely frozen because if it were nothing would be moving. You look at the surface of Europa, the frozen surface, there are like ice chunks that are shifted and refrozen and shifted again. It looks just like if you fly over the Arctic Ocean. Fly over the Arctic Ocean in the winter... Read the full transcript on https://bigthink.com/videos/neil-degrasse-tyson-space-facts
Learn a new language—super fast. Here’s how. | Steve Kaufmann | Big Think Learn a new language—super fast. Here’s how. | Steve Kaufmann | Big Think
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Learn a new language—super fast. Here’s how. | Steve Kaufmann Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann says there is indeed a fast track to learning a new language. It involves doubling down on your listening and reading. By taking the focus off grammar rules that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to remember, you can instead develop habits by greater exposure to the language. Kaufmann likens the learning process to a hockey stick. In the beginning you make major progress as you climb the steep hill of the hockey stick, whereas the long shaft of the stick is the difficult part. Because you're not seeing day-to-day changes, you might lose motivation. So, stay the course by consuming content that interests you. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEVE KAUFMANN: Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann speaks 20 languages and counting and believes that anyone can learn a new language. You just need to be motivated, willing to put in the time and have the right method. Steve has written books and maintains a popular YouTube channel and blog at thelinguist.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: STEVE KAUFMANN: Is there a trick to fast track new learning? Yes, there is. Start almost in the middle. Start almost in the middle. Not quite in the middle but start with, for example, what I do now because at LingQ we have what we call the mini stories, 60 stories with a lot of high-frequency verbs, a lot of conjunctions – because, although, on the other hand, however. I listen to these many, many times. Each story repeats the same vocabulary and the same structures about four or five times. And so I start right into everyday, common – I got up, had a cup of coffee, went to the store, whatever it might be, went to work. It's real situations. It's not going through customs like they like to have in language learning books. You just start into it, you do a lot of listening and reading, you let the language come at you, let the brain get a sense of the language, listen and then read the same content, look up the words. I always start on iPhone, iPad tutor so I can quickly look up words, save them for review and at first it's all noise, and eventually it becomes meaning because you're going over the same stuff over and over again. So that's I would say the initial three months to get a toehold in the language. And then you have to very quickly push yourself away from beginner content, learner content written for a language learner, and go after the real stuff – newspaper articles, Netflix movies. And there's all kinds of ways of doing that. I think the key is to get a toehold in the language with lots of repetition and not worry too much about trying to memorize the grammar because if you haven't had enough exposure to the language, enough experience with the language, the grammar explanations are difficult to understand, difficult to remember and almost impossible to apply. You can't be thinking of them as you're trying to speak. You have to develop habits. And that's best done through this massive exposure initially with a lot of repetition and then eventually as soon as possible moving on to things of genuine interest. When we start in a new language typically we're motivated. Now some people start and quit right away so those people were never really very motivated. But if you are motivated, the first two or three months is the honeymoon period. It's a steep climb because at first everything is noise, you know nothing. But in a very short period of time you actually know something. You understand something. You can say something. There's a great sense of achievement. And, of course, you're dealing with typically a lot of high frequency words so they come up all the time in the content you're listening to and you're listening to it more than once hopefully. And so I have a sense of achievement. Then you reach a point where frequency drops off very quickly in any language so very soon you're trying to learn words that don't show up that often, so that become a little frustrating. So you've gone up the steep part of the hockey stick, and how you're on the shaft of the hockey stick and it looks like you're not getting anywhere. You just feel that you're forever facing more and more new words. You're listening again and again and you don't understand. You have the sense that you're not making progress whereas in the first three months you're going from zero, climbing a steep hill of that hockey stick, but you have a sense that you're doing something. Whereas the long shaft of the hockey... Read the full transcript https://bigthink.com/videos/learn-language-fast
Planet Nine will be discovered in the next decade. Here’s why. | Konstantin Batygin | Big Think Planet Nine will be discovered in the next decade. Here’s why. | Konstantin Batygin | Big Think
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Planet Nine will be discovered in the next decade. Here’s why. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Years ago, California Institute of Technology professor Konstantin Batygin was inspired to embark on a journey of discovering what lurked beyond Neptune. What he and his collaborator discovered was a strange field of debris. This field of debris exhibited a clustering of orbits, and something was keeping these orbits confined. The only plausible source would be the gravitational pull of an extra planet—Planet Nine. While Planet Nine hasn't been found directly, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. And Batygin is confident we'll return to a nine-planet solar system within the next decade. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KONSTANTIN BATYGIN: Forbes named professor Konstantin Batygin the “next physics rock star” in its 2015 list of “30 Under 30: Young Scientists Who Are Changing the World.” He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008, before pursuing graduate studies at California Institute of Technology. To date, Batygin has authored over seventy scientific publications, and his research has been featured on the pages of Nature as well as the front cover of Scientific American. In 2016, Batygin sparked international headlines with the announcement of the existence of an as-yet-unobserved ninth planet in the solar system. This discovery, conducted with research partner Mike Brown, fueled a worldwide race among astronomers to locate "Planet Nine.” Prior to joining the faculty at California Institute of Technology in 2014, Batygin was a postdoctoral scholar at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in Nice, France, and Harvard University. When not doing science, he moonlights as the lead singer and guitarist in the rock band, The Seventh Season. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: KONSTANTIN BATYGIN: The whole story dates back to about 2014-2015 when we started, me and my close collaborator Mike Brown, started looking into this problem. We were inspired by the work of some other researchers, Chad Trujillo and Scott Sheppard, who pointed out that something weird was happening in the distant solar system. That there was this weird clustering of a particular orbital parameter of asteroids beyond Neptune called The Argument of Perihelion. We thought what's going on there. We started looking more closely into what's going on and pretty quickly we realized that the field of debris, the field of icy debris beyond Neptune which is called the Kuiper belt in its most distant realms exhibits a remarkable clustering of orbits. It's as if somebody took these orbits and carefully arranged them all to all lie in the same plane that's about 20 degrees off the usual plane of the solar system and they're all kind of pointing I the same direction. So we thought why is that? That's a strange, strange pattern. And through dynamical analysis basically by going to both the computer and writing down equations on the board we were able to demonstrate I think in a relatively straightforward manner that the only plausible explanation for why the distant solar system looks arranged is that there is a distant gravitational source, a distant gravitational pull which is keeping these orbits confined. And as far as we can see the only plausible source of such a gravitational pull is an extra planet. So that's kind of the beginnings of the Planet Nine hypothesis. Since that time we published our first paper back in 2016, so now four years ago. Since that time we've made additional progress and we've realized a number of interesting things that fit into this Planet Nine story that we didn't originally expect. For example, one of the things that theoretically should happen if Planet Nine is there is the distant orbits of the solar system, things that lie well beyond the orbit of Neptune should flip on their sides and then kind of pollute the inner solar system. By inner solar system I mean things interior to Neptune with objects that are highly, highly inclined. And it turns out such objects really are there. And so there have been other kind of intriguing pieces of the puzzle that have sort of fallen all together since the publication of the original paper. And the latest on this story is that we've redone the analysis last year entirely with an updated data set that's become available since 2016. And we realized that the planet that we are searching for is a little bit smaller than we originally thought... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/planet-nine
Hyper-innovation: COVID-19 can forever change the way we teach kids | Richard Culatta | Big Think Hyper-innovation: COVID-19 can forever change the way we teach kids | Richard Culatta | Big Think
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Hyper-innovation: COVID-19 can forever change the way we teach kids Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Long-held structures in the education system, like classroom confines and schedules, have held back innovation for a long time, says education leader Richard Culatta. In the coronavirus era, we have been able to shake some of those rigid structures loose, making way for creativity and, ultimately, a more open mindset. When creativity and technology combine, learning can become so much more than delivering content to a student. Culatta gives two stunning examples: one of a biotech class, and another involving a student discovering a star. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RICHARD CULATTA: Richard Culatta is an internationally recognized leader around uses of technology to accelerate innovative learning. Culatta was the first Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Rhode Island and was appointed by President Obama as the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the Department of Education. Culatta is currently the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and serves as a senior fellow at NYU’s GovLab and as a design resident for the San Francisco-based innovation and design firm IDEO. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: RICHARD CULATTA: There are some amazing things that are happening in schools today. Teachers are some of the most creative people I have ever met on the planet. But there are some structural elements of schools today that are holding us back. Rigid adherence to a schedule, thinking that we can only tap into expertise if they are in the physical walls of our school. Presenting more content to students than we do tools for them to become problem solvers. These are all the things that are actually holding back our creativity. And by the way, a lot of people like to talk about assessing and assessing learning and how we shouldn't be focused so much on assessing learning. That is not true at all. It is critical that we are assessing learning. We just need to do it in a way that works. Assessment isn't a problem. Bad assessment is a problem. So instead of multiple choice tests let's do authentic assessments where students can really show what they've learned and what they understand. When we take these sorts of elements—and technology can fuel all that if used correctly—when we take these elements we find that school is actually an incredibly innovative place. It's just being held back by some long-held structures, systems that we've been afraid to step away from. and frankly the coronavirus has forced us to step away from these. It's shown us where we have weak muscles and where we have abilities to grow and change. And so the silver lining out of all of this is that we now know some areas where we don't have to be so afraid to move away. We don't have to be afraid to move away from the schedule or our building or our traditional assessments. And if that is the silver lining that comes out of this it could be one of the most amazing things that's ever happened for learning. Just presenting content to a kid is the least interesting thing that we can do with learning in a virtual space. What I think is much more exciting is when we take advantage of the technology so that the world around us actually becomes part of the learning experience. A couple of years ago I was visiting a school in Arizona and I walked up and these two kids were standing outside in front of the school in front of a plant with their phone in front of their hands and it was the middle of the day. I said, 'Where are you supposed to be right now?' And they said 'Well, we're supposed to be in our biotech class.' I said, 'Maybe you should go there to your biotech class.' They said 'No, no, we are. We're there now. You see we are using this device to connect with a researcher from the University of Arizona and we are taking samples of the indigenous plants around our school and we're making a map of the genome structure of these plants that we're going to jointly publish in a scientific journal.' And I said, 'Okay, carry on.' Because that's the idea; online learning doesn't have to mean sitting in front of a computer clicking 'next' on slides. It can be taking advantage of these devices to engage with the world around us. To be part of and to make more meaning out of the world that we are all in. And those are the types of online learning experiences that we need way, way more of... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/future-of-learning/creative-teaching
Chemistry for kids: Make a DIY bubble snake! | Kate the Chemist | Big Think Chemistry for kids: Make a DIY bubble snake! | Kate the Chemist | Big Think
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Chemistry for kids: Make a DIY bubble snake! Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Most of us are staying home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean there isn't learning and fun to be had. It's important to take a break from screen time. Kate the Chemist, professor, science entertainer, and author of "The Big Book of Experiments," has just the activity: Creating a bubble snake using common household ingredients including dish soap, food coloring, rubber bands, a towel, and a small plastic bottle. In this step-by-step tutorial, Kate walks us through the simple process of building the apparatus and combining materials to bring the fun snakes to life. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr. Kate Biberdorf: Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a scientist, a science entertainer, and a professor at the University of Texas. Through her theatrical and hands-on approach to teaching, Dr. Biberdorf is breaking down the image of the stereotypical scientist, while reaching students who might otherwise be intimidated by science. Students' emotional responses, rather than rote memorization of facts, are key to Biberdorf's dynamic approach to her program, as well as science in general. Her exciting and engaging program leaves audiences with a positive, memorable impression of science—all while diminishing the stigma around women in science. She has appeared on The Today Show, Wendy Williams Show and Late Night with Stephen Colbert. Check her latest book Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments at https://amzn.to/3bQX6Yh ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: KATE THE CHEMIST: If you are at home and stuck with your kid you might as well do something fun and educational with them. What I've done here is put together a super, super fun science demonstration that is safe to do at home with your kids and hopefully all these ingredients you already have in your pantry or your craft drawer or something like that because I don't know about you, but I get maxed out on screen time so I think it's really fun to do something kinesthetic with your hands. And if you can learn something while you're doing it you might as well have fun too. Okay, this is called the bubble snake and I'm going to explain first the ingredients and then give you step-by-step instructions on how to do this. First things first is you need to get a small plastic soda bottle or a water bottle. I have these little ones in my garage because I use them when I breathe fire but the bigger soda bottles or water bottles work just as well because what you're going to do with it is actually just cut it off so you have the top part of it but I'll get there in just a second. So, any size bottle will do. You need food coloring. I prefer the reds and the pinks when I'm doing this outside but because of being on camera I'm going to use greens and blues for you. You're going to need a half cup of water, a quarter cup of dish soap, a bowl to mix your dish soap and water, a spoon, one rubber band and then an old rag. You can use a sock, you can use a rag, you can use a towel, a tee shirt. Anything will really work for this. You just don't want something that's super, super porous or super thick. The first thing you're going to do is you're going to take your plastic soda bottle or water bottle and you're going to cut off the bottom part. You only want the top portion of your soda bottle. So a perfect one is going to look like this. You're gong to see your top part here and then it's cut off right there at the edge. Then what you're going to do is take your old rag and you're going to wrap it around the edge of your soda bottle so that's where your rubber band comes into play. You're going to wrap the rubber band around your towel just like this. Two or three times should be absolutely plenty. You just want to make sure that towel sticks on here. I did this once and the rubber band snapped and the stuff went all over this actor's head because I was doing it on camera. It was an awesome day but the poor guy was covered in food coloring. Once you have this you're going to put it off to the side and we're going to build our little concoction over here. In your bowl you need to have a quarter cup of dish soap. Any bubbles will do. Bubble bath will work if you're keeping your dish soap around for quarantine time which I totally understand. Then you've got a half cup of water so you're going to add that into your dish soap... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/diy-science-experiments
How to shut down coronavirus conspiracy theories | Michael Shermer | Big Think How to shut down coronavirus conspiracy theories | Michael Shermer | Big Think
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How to shut down coronavirus conspiracy theories | Michael Shermer Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- During times of high anxiety, not unlike the situation we find ourselves in now, there is a rise in conspiracism. Conspiracy theories provide comfort where there is uncertainty. As author Michael Shermer points out, history has shown that this way of thinking is sometimes warranted, but not in the case of coronavirus. One factor that has helped recent coronavirus conspiracy theories grow, he says, is the shrinking political middle and an increased polarization to the far left and far right. "The further out you go in the extreme nature of a conspiracy theory the less likely the theory is to be true," says Shermer. Actual conspiracies happen on a more localized, more narrowly-focused level. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL SHERMER: Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. Check his latest book Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist at https://amzn.to/3e7fDkp ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHAEL SHERMER: Whenever there's a high level of anxiety and uncertainty in an environment, your personal life or society at large conspiracism goes up. That is to say people find comfort in attenuating the anxiety or uncertainty they're feeling by concocting some overarching plan. This is what's going on. Now I understand it. Now I don't have to feel so uncertain about the environment. So people concoct conspiracy theories for that main reason. Now, people differ on, different groups believe different conspiracy theories and so on but let's set that aside for the moment and just think about with the coronavirus this is, we know pandemics happen historically. We know about more recent ones like SARS and the avian flu and so on and what that causes. This appears to be at least that bad if not worse. In a way it's a real event that people should fear. We should have a certain amount of paranoia and anxiety about that and respond accordingly. So there it's only a small step to making a paranoid conspiracism claim that well, it was invented by the Chinese or in the case of the Chinese they say well, it was invented by the U.S. military. And we've all seen enough of the movies about bioterrorism that that's not completely crazy. It could happen. In this case there was just a paper published in Nature this last week about that it's not. There's evidence and genetics to show that it was derived from animal DNA, not manipulated in a lab with human DNA. Okay, so we can set aside that conspiracy theory. But finally, we know that governments do bad things on occasion, especially autocratic governments. But even our own, the U.S. government. If you look at the history of the things we've done to attempt to assassinate foreign leaders or manipulate elections in South American countries in the 1970s, for example, a lot of this has come out in the Pentagon Papers and the Wikileaks that our government was doing things that we didn't know they were doing. Congress didn't even know. So we know that happens. Again, my point is that I don't think this applies to the coronavirus example. I think those conspiracy theories are wrong. But worrying about that is not completely crazy because sometimes that sort of thing does happen. Another factor with conspiracy theories is politics. I mean we're very tribal and it's gotten worse since the 1990s. The left and right have become more polarized. The centric middle has shrunk as the two bimodal curves have gotten a larger on the far left and the far right. More people are identifying with extreme positions. So the moment something like a coronavirus conspiracy theory erupts the only question is who's going to accuse which side and it ends up both sides are accusing each other. You go to certain sites and Trump gets hammered all day long for his inadequacy in responding to coronavirus crisis. Then you go to another media source and it's just the opposite. It's the left that's failed this and Trump is going to save us. Then you have the really far out ones about the deep state and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the voice of reason here is actually just a pawn to destroy Trump. I mean the further out you go in the extreme nature of a conspiracy theory the less likely the theory is to be true. The more people that have to be involved in the conspiracy theory, the less likely it is to be true. The more elements that have to come together just at the right moment to make... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory?draft=1
What surprised you most in space? | Ask an Astronaut | Garrett Reisman | Big Think What surprised you most in space? | Ask an Astronaut | Garrett Reisman | Big Think
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What surprised you most in space? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Astronaut Garrett Reisman took in countless indescribably beautiful views while he lived in space. But most shocking, he says, was observing the thinness of Earth's atmosphere. You can compare the thickness of the atmosphere to the diameter of Earth to the skin on an apple, or the shell of an egg. It's incredibly thin and shows just how seemingly fragile our planet is. But to put this into perspective, whereas the atmosphere reaches a height of 300,000 feet from Earth's surface, the deepest part of the ocean only reaches 35,000 feet, ten times thinner than Earth's atmosphere. Everything we experience on Earth, from sea to sky, exists on just a tiny slice of precious surface coating. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GARRETT REISMAN: Dr. Reisman was selected by NASA in 1998. His first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, in 2008, with a 95 day mission aboard the International Space Station. His second mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, in 2010. During these missions, Dr. Reisman performed 3 spacewalks, operated the Space Station Robot Arm and was a flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle. He served as a technical consultant for the film Ad Astra and is currently a technical advisor for the TV Show For All Mankind. At present he is a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC, Motivational Speaker and Senior Advisor at SpaceX. Learn more at garrettreisman.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: GARRETT REISMAN: A transformative moment or reaction I had, other than many beautiful things I observed, especially like the views I saw during my spacewalks and things that were just indescribably wonderful. But I would say the thing that was probably the most impactful and surprising to me was when I looked at the horizon of the earth and I saw how thin the atmosphere was. That was actually really scary. It was shocking. When you look at the atmosphere from Earth orbit, it looks incredibly fragile. It's this little tiny thin blue line that separates the sunlit Earth from the black void of space. And compared to the diameter of the Earth it's tiny. I mean you could hold up your pinky and block the whole thing out very easily. I mean it looks terribly fragile. It looks like a gust of wind could come by and just strip the thing away. The next time, in fact if you're home right now at your computer please open up a browser, put this on pause and open up a browser and just Google Earth from space and then go to the images. Just look at any picture we took of the horizon of the earth from space and you'll see that thin blue line. Look for yourself at just how thin that is. When you compare the thickness of the atmosphere to the diameter of the earth it's like the same dimension or fraction or ratio I should say as the shell on an egg or the skin on an apple. It's incredibly thin and that gives you a real visceral impression of just how fragile this planet is. And by the way, this happened to me, I had this experience and then about a week later I was looking out the window and I was looking down at the Earth and I saw what you see most of the time, which is the ocean. When you look at the ocean I thought to myself well gee, how thick is that? I could see the atmosphere. I could see how thin that is. What about the ocean? How deep is it? And the answer is that the ocean is ten times less deep than the atmosphere is high. The atmosphere, we draw an arbitrary line at 100 kilometers. We call that the Karman line and we say okay, that's where the atmosphere ends and that's where space begins. And again, that's kind of made up but it's about where – the blue line you see in those photographs is probably about 80 kilometers, but let's say about 100 kilometers. That's a nice round number, that's about 300,000 feet. The deepest part of the ocean like the Marianas Trench challenger deep. The very deepest part that's about 35,000 feet deep. So that's ten times thinner than the atmosphere. So when you see that tiny thin blue line when you look at those photographs think for a moment that the ocean is ten times thinner than that. And then think about the fact as I talked about before about how this planet is perfect for us, how it provides everything we need. All the food we need, all the air we need to breathe, the water we need to drink. It's where all of our friends and family live. It's where all the animals are and the plants and rainbows and mountain ranges and whales in the ocean. All that stuff that makes this our home... Read the full transcript at
Are we living in a simulation? | Bill Nye, Joscha Bach, Donald Hoffman | Big Think Are we living in a simulation? | Bill Nye, Joscha Bach, Donald Hoffman | Big Think
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Are we living in a simulation? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elon Musk famously believes we're living in a simulation, that constant technological improvement means we could be trapped inside a video game console created by a more advanced civilization. In this video, Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, Joscha Bach and Donald Hoffman, both cognitive psychologists, all weigh in on whether this is base reality or a realistic fiction. What insight from these three thinkers gets your mind ticking? Let us know in the comments! We're stunned at the thought that, if this is a simulation, humans might not be the central purpose of it; we may be an accident of a larger experiment. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BILL NYE: Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life. In Seattle Nye began to combine his love of science with his flair for comedy, when he won the Steve Martin look-alike contest and developed dual careers as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Nye then quit his day engineering day job and made the transition to a night job as a comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central, originating at KING-TV, Seattle’s NBC affiliate. While working on the Science Guy show, Nye won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. The show won 18 Emmys in five years. In between creating the shows, he wrote five children’s books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.” Nye is the host of three currently-running television series. “The 100 Greatest Discoveries” airs on the Science Channel. “The Eyes of Nye” airs on PBS stations across the country. Bill’s latest project is hosting a show on Planet Green called “Stuff Happens.” It’s about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping. Also, you’ll see Nye in his good-natured rivalry with his neighbor Ed Begley. They compete to see who can save the most energy and produce the smallest carbon footprint. Nye has 4,000 watts of solar power and a solar-boosted hot water system. There’s also the low water use garden and underground watering system. It’s fun for him; he’s an engineer with an energy conservation hobby. Nye is currently the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest organization. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOSCHA BACH: Dr. Joscha Bach (MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics) is an AI researcher who works and writes about cognitive architectures, mental representation, emotion, social modeling, and multi-agent systems. He is founder of the MicroPsi project, in which virtual agents are constructed and used in a computer model to discover and describe the interactions of emotion, motivation, and cognition of situated agents. Bach’s mission to build a model of the mind is the bedrock research in the creation of Strong AI, i.e. cognition on par with that of a human being. He is especially interested in the philosophy of AI and in the augmentation of the human mind. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DONALD HOFFMAN: Donald Hoffman is professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. His writing has appeared in Scientific American and Edge, and his work has been featured in the Atlantic, Wired, and Quanta. He resides in Irvine, California. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: Bill Nye: Are we living in a video game? Are we actually part of a giant simulation? Joscha Bach: The question of whether we are living in a simulation is more related to something more narrow, that is: Is this computer program that we're living in intentionally created or is it just a natural occurrence? Bill Nye: It seems to me it's a hard question to resolve because it's easy to imagine a game designer, a simulation designer, making it so sophisticated that you can't tell. Joscha Bach: There is this argument that, for instance, Elon Musk made that we can build game consoles that create virtual worlds that look a lot like simulations to us... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/are-we-living-in-a-simulation
How should we reimagine society post-COVID-19? | Jacqueline Novogratz | Big Think How should we reimagine society post-COVID-19? | Jacqueline Novogratz | Big Think
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How should we reimagine society post-COVID-19? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There have been many lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis. According to Acumen founder and CEO, Jacqueline Novogratz, one of the primary lessons has been that humans are interdependent creatures in an interconnected world. "The coronavirus has laid bare the gaping wounds of our society that had grown too individualistic over the last 30-50 years and reinforced our interdependence in the most profound ways," Novogratz says, adding that the current situation has given us a chance to rethink and rebuild society from a new moral framework. Placing humanity and community at the center, focusing more on helping the poor and vulnerable, and engaging more in collaboration instead of competition is how our post-COVID-19 society will succeed. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JACQUELINE NOVOGRATZ: Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen. She has been named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, one of the 25 Smartest People of the Decade by the Daily Beast, and one of the world’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds by Forbes, which also honored her with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Check Jacqueline Novogratz's latest book Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World at https://amzn.to/2yYILup ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: JACQUELINE NOVOGRATZ: In this moment of global pandemic our first instinct was to pull inward, protect ourselves, our families. Fully understandable. And then we started to look around to ask what is the meaning underneath this virus that has impacted the entire world. The first thing that coronavirus has taught us all is that in spite of all of the strength that we hold as humanity, so do we have a deep fragility and that both are connected to our interdependence. We're fooling ourselves if we think that we're separate from each other. Coronavirus has taught us that we are truly part of an interconnected web. We've gone in the course of my lifetime from a world where people could live in small tribes and communities where everyone looked the same, knew each other, practiced the same kinds of culture, traditions, rituals, to a world that became interconnected. Where we could see each other across the world. Where we grew to a place where there were more cell phones on the planet than human beings. And then we moved from being interconnected to interdependent. And intellectually we began to understand that no matter how high the walls might go, globally we still faced the same enormous issues. The coronavirus has laid bare the gaping wounds of our society that had grown too individualistic over the last 30-50 years and reinforced our interdependence in the most profound ways. And so has it opened the conversation for a rethink, a reset, a reimagining. How we built systems that go from putting money, power and fame at the center to systems that are shared humanity and the need to sustain the Earth at the center. It starts with a moral framework. As much as we need new technological solutions, new ways of thinking about the capital markets, new ways of redesigning every one of our systems, underneath it must be a moral framework. For most of my life I was told I was too idealistic. That people didn't want to hear words like moral or dignity or goodness. And yet if I have learned anything in 35 years it is that we as human beings yearn to be good. We yearn to be seen. That is as fundamental to us as the fear that makes us pull in and want to protect, want to compete. Coronavirus has taught us that if we do not build societies that protect the vulnerable and poor we will not succeed as a world, not in an interdependent world. Coronavirus has taught us that competition is not going to get us to a place where we have the vaccines and tests and systems that we need so that we can beat this one enemy that we all share. Coronavirus has taught us that our systems are fully interconnected. Even if we find a way to solve clinical health issues they are so connected to our education system, to our prison system, to our social safety net. Not only inside countries but across countries. And so coronavirus and this pandemic has offered us all the opportunity to reframe our society whose building blocks must sit on a moral framework, a moral compass if you will, that puts our humanity at the center, a belief in human dignity not just for this generation but for every generation that follows us. And that means we have to take care of the Earth as well... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/post-coronavirus-society
Why demonizing Trump supporters destroys democracy | Yanis Varoufakis | Big Think Why demonizing Trump supporters destroys democracy | Yanis Varoufakis | Big Think
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Why demonizing Trump supporters destroys democracy | Yanis Varoufakis Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you have pre-conceived ideas about a group whose views oppose your own, you risk closing the door to meaningful discourse before it begins. "When you demonize those who voted against you then there's no chance of a democratic debate," argues Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece and founder of DiEM25. "You've lost it completely. Then you go into a state of civil war." Varoufakis says that there are two ways of approaching a difference of opinion: external and internal critiques. Focusing on internal critiques as the more fruitful method, Varoufakis explains how using logic to work through one's assumptions to see if they lead to the same conclusions can open up a pathway to conversation. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece and the cofounder of an international grassroots movement, DiEM25, that is campaigning for the revival of democracy in Europe. He is the author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? and The Global Minotaur. After teaching for many years in the United States, Britain, and Australia, he is currently a professor of economics at the University of Athens. His most recent books are Talking to My Daughter About the Economy and Adults in the Room. Find Yanis Varoufakis's latest book Adults in the Room: My Battle with the European and American Deep Establishment at https://amzn.to/2UzNNo6 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: YANIS VAROUFAKIS: One of the aspects of the last couple of years here in the United States it gives me a lot of grief is the manner in which the democratic establishment has tried to demonize Trump supporters. I personally don't believe that people are born problematic or they are born with racist or anti-human predispositions. These are social after effects. The manner in which the democratic establishment has tried to blame Vladimir Putin, Facebook for the loss of the election – Hillary's loss. Painting those who voted for Trump as stooges of the KGB or of Facebook or Cambridge Analytica. I have no doubt that there was some influence there. But I'm appalled by this polarization. Because when you demonize those who voted against you then there's no chance of a democratic debate. You've lost it completely. Then you go into a state of civil war. There are two ways of approaching a difference of opinion. There are two ways of criticizing somebody else's world view. One is an internal critique and another one is an external critique. The external critique is to say to somebody your assumptions on which you base your whole analysis are wrong. That doesn't get you far. It's like saying to a Muslim that, you know, your belief in Islam is wrong. You may think that is wrong but the conversation ends there. So external critique is not a way to relate to people. It's not even a way to understand other people. So when I'm asked how do I approach differences of opinion and so on I say well, through internal critiquing. Internal critiquing means this: Let's take your assumptions for granted. Let's assume that the world is as you assume it to be. But now let's see whether we reach through a process of logic your conclusions given your assumptions. Because if I can convince you that your conclusions are not consistent with your own assumptions then there's a chance we can have a conversation. So when I was referring to the Greek debt crisis to Christine Lagarde who's representing, is the managing director of the international monetary fund, I would never walk into her office and say look, your understanding of the world sucks because capitalism is an unfair and ridiculous system. That would be the end of the conversation and would be equivalent to saying to a Muslim that Islam is a bad idea. So what my strategy was – and I believe there was value to this not just in order to gain some powers of persuasion but in order to help my own thinking evolve and mature. Say okay, let's take your liberal or neo-liberal view of capitalism for granted. Is what you're doing here today consistent with your own views about capitalism? And at that point you realize that there is room for agreement or at least for agreement of things that matter and which would have made a difference to your suffering people back in Greece. So I think that is fundamental. If I were in a room with somebody who had voted Trump I would first want to listen to their reasons for voting for Trump. Secondly try to... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/demonizing-trump-supporters-destroys-democracy
What is ESG investing? | John Fullerton | Big Think What is ESG investing? | John Fullerton | Big Think
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What is ESG investing? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ESG in investing stands for environmental, social and governance. It is a set of criteria investors can use to understand the values and the future of an organization. Companies pour resources into disclosing their ESG because, as the saying goes, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Or so has been the thought for many years. While ESG is undoubtedly good, says John Fullerton, mere transparency is not going to solve the world's sustainability issues. For that, public companies need to act more like private companies and be responsible to their owners. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOHN FULLERTON: John Fullerton is the founder and president of Capital Institute, a non-partisan organization working to create a more just and sustainable way of living on earth through the implementation of a Regenerative Economy. After spending years immersed in the sustainability challenge of our age following his Wall Street career, John is now a globally-recognized thought leader in the New Economy space. The architect of the concept of Regenerative Capitalism, John is the author of Regenerative Capitalism: How Universal Principles and Patterns Will Shape the New Economy and the Future of Finance blog. John Fullerton's latest book A Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life at https://amzn.to/2V3CK8a ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: JOHN FULLERTON: The idea of ESG in investing—which stands for environmental, social and governance—has been around probably for 20 years now. It sort of followed the SRI movement—socially responsible investing—and this was our attempt to think beyond shareholder value and what other values matter to the health of a corporation in the long run. So ESG: environmental, the company's environmental performance and behavior; social, the way it treats its employees, the way it treats its consumer, the way it behaves in its community, healthcare benefits that it gives that kind of thing; and G, governance, is the company well governed or not well governed? And they're sort of common sense recognition that those attributes and those values are also important. It's not just shareholder value, it's a broader set of values. And there's been probably billions of dollars invested in measuring and disclosing ESG factors by public corporations and of course more disclosure about these issues is definitely good. The old saying 'sunshine is the best disinfectant', so if companies are required to report on these things they're going to manage them and that will be a positive outcome. What that whole idea, though, failed to address is the thing I talked about earlier, which is that public companies that operate in public capital markets, whether they disclose everything perfectly or not, are sitting in a system where they've been separated, the relationship between their true owners has been separated by the capital markets or disintermediated by the capital markets. And their engagement with their direct owners may be once a year at the annual meeting in a proxy vote, but in a private company, for example, the owners of the company are on the boards of directors, their wealth is tied up in the company and they pay very close attention to the company. So I'd argue that we'll never solve the unsustainability crisis in business simply through more transparency, ESG and otherwise. We need to use that data to manage businesses, but we also need to reconnected them fundamentally with the owners of enterprise. And the thing about the principles of living systems is that they're not kind of a menu you can pick and choose from; healthy living systems operate in accordance with all of them all at the same time, or a system gets sick and dies. You get cancer when at a cellular level you're not communicating effectively. So ESG can be all well and good, but if we don't also deal with the right relationship point it goes for naught and I wouldn't at all suggest that the work in the ESG movement over the last 20 years has not been beneficial, but certainly even the most adamant champions of it had acknowledged that it hasn't achieved the outcomes that they'd hoped. And it's interesting that I now often get invited to an ESG conference because people in the ESG community recognize that there must be something more to it than the work that they're working on. And I used to say are you sure they're ready for my message because it's not consistent with their worldview and that's no longer a concern, people are hungry for fresh ways to think about things. So that's progress.
This is the paradigm shift that could stop racism | Robin DiAngelo | Big Think This is the paradigm shift that could stop racism | Robin DiAngelo | Big Think
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This is the paradigm shift that could stop racism Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You can't jump over the difficult personal work required to examine your role in racism's presence in our society, says writer and consultant Robin DiAngelo. Relying on easy answers from people around you won't solve the problem. DiAngelo compares this to your doctor delivering a diagnosis without an explanation. Wouldn't you take it upon yourself to learn about the ailment? Racism should be treated the same way. Receiving feedback with grace, reflecting on it, and seeking to change the behavior should be the modus operandi for all white people. This process should not be revolutionary. If you want to further your education on racism, you can access Robin DiAngelo's list of resources here: https://robindiangelo.com/resources/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ROBIN DIANGELO: Dr. Robin DiAngelo is Affiliate Faculty at the University of Washington. She is a two-time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year from the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. Her scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Robin has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in race relations and racial justice. Her book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. Check her latest book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism at https://amzn.to/3ej4v41 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ROBIN DIANGELO: The number one question I get when I give a talk is okay, okay, now what do I do? And that question has bothered me for a long time. One, to be really honest I think it's disingenuous. I don't think white people really want to know what to do unless it's the most simplistic thing which is just keeping friendly. That question tends to function as a way to jump over the hard, personal work and just get to the answer or get to the solution. It's a little bit arrogant for folks who have never in their life thought deeply about this. And after an hour they want to get the answer and go fix it. At the same time we can't wait until we have it all figured out. And so I will offer a challenging question back and then I will answer the what do we do. So what I, my reply to that question is: What about your life has allowed you to be a full functioning professional educated adult and not know what to do about racism? How have you managed not to know? Why is that your question? People of color have been telling us this for a very long time. So that question is meant to be a challenge. It's also sincere. Take out a piece of paper and start writing down why you don't know. Probably on the first of your list is going to be I wasn't educated on this. Step one. Two, I don't talk about race. Three, I don't really have relationships across race or not many. And when I do we don't talk about race. Five, I haven't cared enough. There's your map and when you get to five, I haven't cared enough, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and say that then carry on as you always have but do it with honesty. If you can't look at yourself in the mirror and say I don't really care, great. Use that motivation to get involved. There's so much good information out there. My website is filled with lists and resources. So, probably the number one thing we could do next is take the initiative and go look it up. I use this analogy sometimes. I use this analogy sometimes. If you went to the doctor and the doctor said you have an acoustic neuroma. And then the doctor was called out on an emergency and left the room and the meeting ended. What would you do? Go home and Google the shit out of acoustic neuromas. Would you not? Would you watch every video you could? Would you get on every blog? Would you get on every Listserv? Would you even get a different opinion than whatever the doctor had given you? Yes. Why? Because you cared. I think it says something really profound about white people that just taking the initiative to look it up is somewhat revolutionary for us. But it is. And I will never forget talking to a multiracial group and putting the question out to the people of color: "What would it be like if when white people ran their inevitable and often unaware racism, you could give us feedback on that and have us receive it with grace, reflect on the behavior, and seek to change it. What would that be like for you?"... Read the full transcript at
Mind hack: 7 secrets to learn any new language | Steve Kaufmann | Big Think Mind hack: 7 secrets to learn any new language | Steve Kaufmann | Big Think
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Mind hack: 7 secrets to learn any new language Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann has learned parts of 20 languages. He's come up with seven tips to help anyone attempting to learn a new language in their spare time. First, you must commit the time and keep motivated. If you don't enjoy the process of learning a language, you probably won't get very far. Maintaining a positive attitude is key. The sense of achievement in mastering a language is a profoundly positive experience. Focusing, at first, on vocabulary rather than grammar will help you in the long run. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STEVE KAUFMANN: Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann speaks 20 languages and counting and believes that anyone can learn a new language. You just need to be motivated, willing to put in the time and have the right method. Steve has written books and maintains a popular YouTube channel and blog. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: STEVE KAUFMANN: The sense of starting with something that is just noise, listening to it, it's just noise. Looking at a funny script if you're learning Persian or Arabic or Russian or Chinese, and then finding that a few months later you actually understand it. My name is Steve Kaufmann. I don't call myself a polyglot but I guess I am one. I have learned bits of 20 languages other than English, so I've developed some tips along the way so I tried to organize these. I came up with these seven tips, which I think are certainly some of the principles that I've learned from other people and I think they can be helpful. The brain learns. The brain is a learning machine. The brain cannot do otherwise than learn. The brain always learns given stimulus, given enough exposure, but it learns slowly. And one of the biggest factors in language learning is time. How many hours or how much time you spend a day, and how long are you going to stay with it? So we have to spend the time. The two fundamental factors in language learning are motivation and time. If you are doing what you like to do - you're motivated. If you don't like – as much as I like reading if someone doesn't like reading maybe they have to find some other way to learn. When you choose content to listen to and read, find content of interest, listen to people whose voice you enjoy. If you don't enjoy the voice or the subject matter, leave it and get on to something else. If you're doing things that you enjoy doing and if the process of language learning is enjoyable then you have a positive attitude and you're going to continue. Many things happen in a language and some of these things we notice and some of these things we don't notice. For example, I could be listening to Russian and not notice how the cases work. I may not notice. Or maybe because it's pointed out I start to notice. Typically I find in language learning the more we listen, the more things we notice. And we want to notice. Insofar as pronunciation, for example. My father was from Czechoslovakia, so he would read words in English based on how he thought they should be pronounced. In Canada there's a province called Nova Scotia, for example. We even have a Bank of Nova Scotia. And my father can make the sound or could make the sound shuh, but he would always pronounced it Nova Sco-te-a: to him tia is sco-te-a. He didn't notice. He didn't make the effort to notice that, in fact, it's pronounced ""sco-sha"". So, we have to be a little bit attentive to what's happening in the language so that gradually we can develop better habits. Every time we notice something – a word, a phrase, structure, we're helping to put that into our, helping the brain create these patterns so that eventually we get the proper language habits. To me language learning is a matter of acquiring words. Now, words and phrases, but phrases consist of words. You have to know what words mean. The larger your passive vocabulary, the more you understand. The more you understand, the more likely you are to be able to speak. Even if you only use a small subset of your passive vocabulary, the words that you understand. But... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/learn-a-new-language
Ask a Chemist: How does handwashing kill coronavirus? | Kate the Chemist | Big Think Ask a Chemist: How does handwashing kill coronavirus? | Kate the Chemist | Big Think
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Ask a Chemist: How does handwashing kill coronavirus? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A common recommendation from experts to help protect against coronavirus is to wash your hands often, but why? It turns out that each time you do it is an effective two-pronged attack. As Kate the Chemist explains, the virus has a weak outer membrane. By using the proper handwashing technique, you're actually breaking through that membrane and ripping the virus apart. Soap is an important part of the equation because of its two sides: the hydrophobic side (which grabs onto the virus), and the hydrophilic side (which grabs onto the water). Washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds allows the virus to be rinsed away. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DR. KATE BIBERDORF: Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a scientist, a science entertainer, and a professor at the University of Texas. Through her theatrical and hands-on approach to teaching, Dr. Biberdorf is breaking down the image of the stereotypical scientist, while reaching students who might otherwise be intimidated by science. Students' emotional responses, rather than rote memorization of facts, are key to Biberdorf's dynamic approach to her program, as well as science in general. Her exciting and engaging program leaves audiences with a positive, memorable impression of science—all while diminishing the stigma around women in science. She has appeared on The Today Show, Wendy Williams Show and Late Night with Stephen Colbert. Check her latest book Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments at https://amzn.to/3bQX6Yh ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: KATE THE CHEMIST: One thing that I found that was super interesting is that this virus actually has a really weak membrane on the outside. And so since the membrane is actually kind of weak when we wash our hands it's not really the soap that's killing the virus, it's that action. It's the movement that you're doing with your hands. So when you scrub really hard you are actually ripping apart that membrane since it's so weak. And so it's that 20 seconds of scrubbing, of using your fingernails and using a scrub brush to actually clean and rip that virus apart so that your hands therefore can be clean when you do a final rinse and that wash rinses the virus off. The cool part about our soap is that it has two different sides. It's hydrophilic and it's hydrophobic. So the hydrophobic part is the part that actually binds to that virus so it hands onto kind of like a middle school crush like you grab onto someone and hang to them really tight and that's what the hydrophobic side does. It grabs that virus and hangs on. The hydrophilic side is the side that actually likes water. So when the water turns on, the hydrophilic side grabs onto the water molecules and the hydrophobic side grabs onto the virus and so each one has a job. One hangs onto the water, one hands onto the virus and then that entire molecule section is going to drop down and it flushes off your hand down the water stream into the sink. So the scrubbing motion breaks the virus apart and then the soap itself bonds to the water and the virus to remove it completely from your hands and make sure you're completely safe.
Haven’t found your niche? This might be why. | Adam Davidson | Big Think Haven’t found your niche? This might be why. | Adam Davidson | Big Think
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Haven’t found your niche? This might be why. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A niche, in terms of the economy and what you do for a living, is often considered a special talent or service that speaks to you on a different, secondary level. Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR's "Planet Money" argues that when a niche finds an audience and becomes a successful business, it evolves into its own primary economy. For most people, finding something you're passionate about can take a long time. The search should happen concurrently with your current job and life, not in place of them. It won't be easy and there will have to be sacrifices, Davidson says. But when it's something that you can't live without doing, then it is worth investing the time and effort. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ADAM DAVIDSON: ADAM DAVIDSON is the cofounder of NPR's Planet Money podcast and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he covers economics and business. Previously he was an economics writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has won many of journalism's most prestigious awards, including a Peabody for his coverage of the financial crisis. You can check Adam Davidson's latest book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century at https://amzn.to/2X31pv5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ADAM DAVIDSON: There's a lot of thought, a lot of people talk about having your right niche or nitch. I was raised to say niche but some people say nitch. Which I think is absolutely right. I sometimes feel like it's thought of as this cute little add on to our economy like an indulgence. Like yeah, most people have to do the main thing. They have to get a big job at a big company but maybe you could get your cute little nitch. A proper niche, when you are actually producing a unique product or service and you're finding an audience that particularly loves that thing and is able to pay the value that it brings to them in a way that allows you to have a successful business, that's not a cute little add on to the economy. That is a much better functioning economy. That's an economy where the vast majority of people are able to get things that add more value to them in more real ways. And that the people producing goods and services are able to have more satisfying lives. They're able to not only make more money but live more authentic and real lives. Finding your niche to me is a profound, profound thing and so profound that it's worth an investment of time. Sometimes I talk to younger people or it also could be older people but who say I don't know what my thing is. I don't know what my passion is. I don't know what my niche is. And most of us don't know certainly when you enter the workforce. I mean I don't think I fully figured out mine until I was well into my thirties. I think that you should think of it as this like really important precious thing that's worth investing years into finding. That doesn't mean you sit in a room thinking about it. You get a job, you do work and you pay attention to those things that speak to you, those things you seem to be particularly good at, those things other people are telling you hey, you're pretty good at this. And you associate yourself with people who are doing things you find appealing and you study them and try and figure out what you could copy from them, what you could learn from them. But yes, I think having a niche is, or having a passion is sort of the central responsibility of being a fully, a full member of this economy. I think people sort of realize they've had their passion a bit after they've already found it often. But yes, I think that, I think people, we're not yet trained. We don't yet have a language to recognize that how you feel is not some irrelevant thing you have to shove aside when you enter a workplace. It actually is the key to figuring out your place in the work world. And people my age, people in their fifties like to make fun of millennials and these young kids who are demanding that work be satisfying and we kind of make fun of them. But I think they do get it in a way that my generation is still struggling to see. It's not that work should be giddily fun all the time. I often when someone's thinking about taking on a challenge I often say what do you want to wake up at three in the morning worried about. Because if you're really going to take on a challenging job that means a lot to you where the stakes are high because you really want to do it successfully, it's not going to be giddily fun. You're going to be worried... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/find-your-niche
What kind of government will exist on Mars? | Michael Shermer | Big Think What kind of government will exist on Mars? | Michael Shermer | Big Think
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What kind of government will exist on Mars? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The colonization of Mars is a real possibility for the not-too-distant future. A big question that author Michael Shermer and others are considering is how what we know about government on Earth will shape the politics of a new planet. Favored by Elon Musk, Shermer shoots down the suggestion of a direct democracy because he says that historically it does not work. Direct democracy can lead to a "mob mentality" where hysterics overtake logic, leading to witch hunts and other bad consequences. Shermer explains why he thinks the government on Mars will, in many ways, mirror what we know as a representative democracy. There will be constitutional republic and a Bill of Rights that determines what people can and can't do. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL SHERMER: Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. Michael Shermer's latest book Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist https://amzn.to/3e7fDkp ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHAEL SHERMER: So governing Mars. Are there any lessons for the Red planet that we can take there from the Blue planet? I think there are. So I included this chapter in my book because in the section on government and economics and classical liberalism and political philosophy I think we have an opportunity here that we're about to colonize Mars. This is stunning that we can even contemplate doing this. And maybe it'll never happen, but let's say it does because it's a very realistic possibility either through Elon Musk or through a government program like NASA. This is possible. So we should start thinking now about, well, what are we going to take there? And I don't just mean what kind of food and records and books. I mean what kind of government are we going to set up there. Now it's possible that future Martians will think of something completely new that we've never thought of and they'll try some experiments and they'll come up with something great and we can important from the Red planet lessons for our own planet. That's possible. That's a sci-fi scenario that people have considered. But I think it's not just let's abandon everything we've done on Earth because it was a failure. It's not a failure. I think there are certain things, experiments we've run that work better than others. In general democracies work better than autocracies. Free markets, even though regulated, free markets work better than command economies like in the Soviet Union, North Korea, and China before 1980's. I think those are some big global lessons that are obvious. And then more specific things like again granting people free thought and free speech. No censorship. That's a hard earned lesson. When you look at the history of free speech going back thousands of years, what we take for granted today like I can think and say anything I want and go on the internet and create my own blog and just rip into the government or to rip religion or whatever. That is really new and unusual in most centuries prior to this one. You'd be hung, burned at the stake, jailed for saying these things, thinking those things. So those kinds of lessons I think we should take with us. I tweeted just for fun at Elon Musk and he tweeted back to my astonishment because he likes to think about these sorts of issues. What kind of government? He said well direct democracy. Okay, our founding fathers considered that. There was evidence even then that it doesn't work and lots of evidence since then that it doesn't work. The reason is because direct democracy is something like a mob mentality that is let's just do whatever the majority says. Well, the problem is you get mobs of people hysterical about something and the majority says burn women at the stake because we think they're cavorting with demons in the middle of the night and that's the cause of crop failures and pandemics and disasters. No, that's a crazy idea. That's a wrong idea and the mob got it wrong. There's this business about the wisdom of crowds... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/government-mars
What was Einstein’s most mind-blowing discovery? | Ask an astronomer | Michelle Thaller | Big Think What was Einstein’s most mind-blowing discovery? | Ask an astronomer | Michelle Thaller | Big Think
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What was Einstein’s most mind-blowing discovery? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NASA astronomer and science communicator Michelle Thaller explains that the real brilliance of Albert Einstein is that he was able to bridge ideas that appeared to others to be in different realms. The thing Einstein is most famous for is the equation E=mc2. Thaller explains why that equation is so mind-blowing: Pure energy and matter are the same thing. That means, as humans, we are both made of matter and of pure energy, and as pure energy, we would not experience space or time. "I think that, once we really understand this, we're going to be in for some very difficult truths to accept," says Thaller. "It may be that there is no space or time as we know it, really." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHELLE THALLER: Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer who studies binary stars and the life cycles of stars. She is Assistant Director of Science Communication at NASA. She went to college at Harvard University, completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. then started working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Spitzer Space Telescope. After a hugely successful mission, she moved on to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in the Washington D.C. area. In her off-hours often puts on about 30lbs of Elizabethan garb and performs intricate Renaissance dances. For more information, visit https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/people/1040/michelle-thaller/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHELLE THALLER: If you were to convert my hand into pure energy using Einstein's equation you could have nuclear Armageddon on a global scale. There is so much mass in here that if you were to convert me into pure energy I could blow up the planet. There are very few people in the world where I just simply say their name and you immediately can picture them, probably many different images of them, and one of them certainly is Einstein. I just say that word and all of a sudden you're thinking about crazy white hair and the mustache, somebody who is brilliant, you know, those wonderful unknowing eyes with lots of smile lines around them. Everybody knows who Einstein is and people understand that he was a very famous scientist, but I think that people often don't grasp the true depth and the profound nature of the things that Einstein introduced to us. I also spend a lot of time debunking, in some ways, the myth of Albert Einstein. A lot of people seem to think that he was somebody that worked outside of traditional academics, he wasn't part of the academic establishment, he came up with all this brilliant stuff all by himself. Well, that wasn't true either. Einstein was a professor, he actually taught a lot at the University of Bern and also in Berlin and then eventually came to Princeton. He was very much a product of the time and the science that was going on. There were brilliant people at this time. Science was changing in so many different ways and for a lot of things Einstein found himself kind of in the right place at the right time to see two different things going on and say ah-ha, those things actually go together. And to me that really was some of the real brilliance of Einstein, was that he became a bridge between many, many different subject matters. It amazes me that he was one of the people when he was doing his doctoral dissertation, who figured out the size and speed of molecules in the air all around you. People didn't realize at the time, when Einstein was a younger student in college, that air was made of molecules, little things that are constantly bouncing off each other and bouncing off of you and that's what we think of as air. And it became known that there was a tremendous number of these. To give you an idea, in about a square foot of air, if I had about a square foot of air of volume in front of me, how many molecules are in a square foot of air? The answer is approximately 10 to the 23, which means a one with 23 zeros after that. That's such a big number we don't have a name for it. And all of those molecules are bouncing off you at hundreds of miles an hour. Can you imagine when they realized that's what air really was? Einstein was a major figure in that and then there was so many other things he did. But I think if I were to... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/einstein-equation-emc2?draft=1
The plasma debate: The ethics of paying for human blood | Peter Jaworski | Big Think The plasma debate: The ethics of paying for human blood | Peter Jaworski | Big Think
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The plasma debate: The ethics of paying for human blood Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Human blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma is the liquid part of blood. It is used to treat rare blood conditions and has an increasing number of medical applications. It is a $26 billion industry, and the US is a major exporter of plasma to other nations. Most nations do not collect enough plasma to sustain therapies for their own citizens. The US has such a large supply of plasma because it pays people to donate plasma—a controversial practice. Is it ethical for people to be paid for their plasma? Here, Peter Jaworski, an ethics scholar, explains five key arguments people make against paying people for plasma—safety, security, altruism, commodification, and exploitation—and explains his views on them. What do you think? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PETER JAWORSKI: Peter Jaworski is an Associate Teaching Professor teaching ethics at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is the co-author of “Markets without Limits” (with Jason Brennan), and has been published in Ethics, Philosophical Studies, The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, amongst others. Peter Jaworski's latest book Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests https://amzn.to/2Wk2qwM ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: PETER JAWORKSI: Let me tell you about the biggest industry you've probably never heard of. I'm talking about the blood plasma industry. The therapies made from plasma help people who suffer from primary and secondary immune deficiencies. If you ever have a serious burn you'll probably need albumin. Albumin is also used to help with a variety of cancers. And then there are people whose blood doesn't clot properly, people with Von Willebrand disease or people who have hemophilia. That's what the plasma therapies are used for. And demand for especially immune globulin. The demand for immune globulin is outstripping supply in almost every country. Did you know that the United States supplies more than 70 percent of all of the plasma in the entire world that is used to manufacture plasma therapies? The whole world is dependent and reliant on the United States of America, on people in the United States who give their plasma twice a week on a regular basis. Exports of plasma from the United States account for 1.6 percent of total exports by GDP according to The Economist. The New York Times said it was 1.9 percent. That's not correct. That number by the way, 1.6 percent of total exports. That's more than aluminum. It's more than steel. It's the biggest industry you've never heard of. It's about $26 billion I think annual industry. That's going to double very soon. People are anticipating it to be more than a $40 billion industry by 2040. So we're anticipating incredible growth, ten percent per year. That growth is stable. It's stable growth. There are still countries that do not realize that these plasma therapies are effective. They simply don't have the resources or the means to properly diagnose people or to give them access to these plasma therapies. But once they come online that's going to increase demand as well. Out of all the countries in the world only the ones that pay people to make that donation are self-sufficient in plasma therapies. And even the ones that pay not all of them are, in fact, sufficient. So there are only seven countries in the world that legally permit paying people for plasma donations – Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czechia or the Czech Republic, parts of Canada. And I'll talk about Canada in a second. The United States, of course, and China. Those are the seven countries in the world that permit payment. Every other country that does not allow payment for plasma donations imports plasma therapies that make use of plasma primarily from Americans. Germans as well, but primarily Americans. That's an astonishing figure. This industry is growing so fast. In the United States alone the number of plasma centers has more than doubled. In fact, it's more than tripled since 2004. There are currently over 824 plasma centers in the United States of America. So here's a question. We know that paying people for plasma works. We know that it's effective precisely because of what I just said. All of these countries depend on paid plasma to make the therapies and only the countries that pay have enough of them. They produce actually more than enough. They have more than enough... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/paid-plasma-ethics
Art will never die. So why does it need philanthropy? | Elizabeth Alexander | Big Think | Big Think Art will never die. So why does it need philanthropy? | Elizabeth Alexander | Big Think | Big Think
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Art will never die. So why does it need philanthropy? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You cannot kill the arts. This is particularly true when you talk about poetry, which does well in a world of social media as it's easy to digest in its short form. Measuring success in art can be tricky, though. Impact and influence can be felt immediately, so how does art find that everlasting durability? Philanthropy can encourage and enable art, and as a result, potentially lengthen its lifespan. If we can find ways to measure art in its own terms, we can effectively give a platform to new voices who complete the cultural picture." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: Elizabeth Alexander – poet, educator, memoirist, scholar, and arts activist – is president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation's largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education.Dr. Alexander has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for 15 years and chaired the African American Studies Department. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: I do not think that the arts are dependent on philanthropic efforts, which might sound to be at odds with what I do for a living but I think that what is remarkable about the arts is that you cannot kill them. They will not die. I think of this particularly with the art form that I come out of, poetry. It actually is beautifully partnered by various social media because it can travel and be sent out in a way that fiction is a little bit trickier because fiction is a longer form. It simply takes longer to take it in. Poems on Instagram, on Twitter, there's a way that poems can move and social media is a great companion for that. Poetry costs nothing. It is barely remunerated, and for thousands of years poetry has told us who people are, who civilizations are, who communities and tribes are. So I think that's part of what is kind of astonishing about the power of art is its durability. I think though that what philanthropy can do is encourage and enable and especially with other kinds of art forms that do have some costs involved. So if you think, for example, about public art projects. Public art projects need cities and zoning and materials and people to move large objects so that they can make these public artworks. That is something that I think philanthropy can do remarkable things about. Measuring success in the arts is sometimes a tricky business because the influence and impact of the arts is sometimes felt in the immediate, right. So when you behold a great work of art, when you finish reading an extraordinary book, when you listen to a stirring piece of music, you have an immediate feeling. But then there is another question that is sometimes longer term and much more difficult to measure about why that matters, about how it makes its way through the world, about how it finds its durability. So I think that what I want to work on with my colleagues is thinking about, is there a specialized way of thinking about impact with regard to the arts that again measures it on its own terms? There are some really interesting studies that, for example, look at economic development in neighborhoods that have a presence of artists who are working to make their own dynamic presence felt in their neighborhoods and that's actually good for economic development. So that might be one way we could think about it. But I don't want that to be the only way that we think about it because to me it comes down to the very simple question: Would you like us to live without art? And I think that when we understand that we would all be bereft without art and culture the question then becomes, how can we find not only the best but also the best that, again I'm thinking very much about which voices have not been heard as much? Which voices have not been supported as much and which voices help us understand the complexity of our humanity speaking specifically, you know our work is global but speaking particularly in the American context. What is the American story, and how do we listen to its many aspects?
Space exploration is the ultimate plan B. Here’s why. | Garrett Reisman | Big Think Space exploration is the ultimate plan B. Here’s why. | Garrett Reisman | Big Think
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Space exploration is the ultimate plan B. Here’s why. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Space exploration is more than just the ultimate adventure, our study and investigation of space yields great scientific rewards, says astronaut Garrett Reisman. Earth is wonderful, but it won't last forever, so it's important that we maintain a big picture view to ensure the survival of the human species. Exploring space is our ticket to ""the ultimate plan B,"" according to Reisman. If there were to occur a mass extinction event on Earth, the humans that inhabit another planet in our solar system will be the only hope of human survival. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GARRETT REISMAN: Dr. Reisman was selected by NASA in 1998. His first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, in 2008, with a 95 day mission aboard the International Space Station. His second mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, in 2010. During these missions, Dr. Reisman performed 3 spacewalks, operated the Space Station Robot Arm and was a flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle. He served as a technical consultant for the film Ad Astra and is currently a technical advisor for the TV Show For All Mankind. At present he is a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC, Motivational Speaker and Senior Advisor at SpaceX. Learn more at garrettreisman.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: GARRETT REISMAN: There's a tremendous amount of science that comes out of space exploration. One is the scientific benefit that we get from understanding our solar system, understanding the composition and the makeup of all the other planets and the other bodies in our solar system. Our sun. We learn a lot about the Earth. We look back at the Earth with space assets. We learn about how the earth is changing, what's happening with climate change, all that kind of stuff. Then there are all the spinoffs and your Velcro, which wasn't actually invented for the space program. I don't think Tang was either but there's plenty of other things like smoke alarms, MRIs, cordless drills, all kinds of those wonderful things that we like to brag about. To me that's actually not a very good justification for space exploration, and I'll tell you why because we could do those things by having targeted R&D research for industrial and commercial applications probably more cost effectively. So it is true that we get lots of spinoffs, but I think the science return that we get from space exploration is actually much more important than any kind of spinoff. But there's yet another reason I think trumps all those, which is the fact that, I'll put it to you very flippantly. There's an old joke about why did the dinosaurs go extinct, and it's because they didn't have a space program, okay. So if you take the very, very big picture view, the very, very long view of this kind of on geological time, it's about survival of the species. The earth is fantastic and we need to do a much better job of taking care of it because I could tell you there's no other place that we know of in the entire universe that is as well suited for human life as this planet. That's why we evolved here and we have been evolving for eons to get to this point. And we've evolved in this environment, so this is our home. This is what we are made for. We're not going to find something better for us out there. We need to take care this place. However, again if you look at the very, very big picture, this place as wonderful as it is is not going to last forever. I mean at a minimum eventually the Sun is going to basically explode and the solar system is going to change and it won't be a hospitable place for any of us. Now if my kids are watching, do not be scared. Don't stay up all night and have nightmares about what I just said because we're talking about so far in the future that that's not something we have to worry about right now at all. There are other things. There have been many extinction events in the course of the earth's history. I think there have been about seven of them. The one everybody knows about is the extinction that took out all the dinosaurs. And there's a lot of different ways that can happen. You can get hit by an... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/space-exploration-2645886509?draft=1
Kate the Chemist: Water is a freak substance. Here’s why. | Big Think Kate the Chemist: Water is a freak substance. Here’s why. | Big Think
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Kate the Chemist: Water is a freak substance. Here’s why. | Big Think Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- University of Texas professor and science entertainer Kate the Chemist joined Big Think to talk about water molecules and to answer two interesting and important questions: Why does boiling water make it safe to drink, and what happens to water when you boil or freeze it? According to Kate, when water is heated to a certain temperature (100°C/ 212°F) the hydrogen bonds break, and it goes from a liquid to a gas state. Boiling for a minimum of 5 minutes kills any viruses and bacteria that were in the water. "Water is a freak and so it is one of my favorite molecules ever," Kate says. "It has these unique properties and we are surrounded by it constantly. We also are made of water. We have to drink water to survive...It's a really, really fun molecule to investigate." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DR. KATE BIBERDORF: Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a scientist, a science entertainer, and a professor at the University of Texas. Through her theatrical and hands-on approach to teaching, Dr. Biberdorf is breaking down the image of the stereotypical scientist, while reaching students who might otherwise be intimidated by science. Students' emotional responses, rather than rote memorization of facts, are key to Biberdorf's dynamic approach to her program, as well as science in general. Her exciting and engaging program leaves audiences with a positive, memorable impression of science—all while diminishing the stigma around women in science. She has appeared on The Today Show, Wendy Williams Show and Late Night with Stephen Colbert. Check her latest book Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments at https://amzn.to/3bQX6Yh ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: DR. KATE BIBERDORF: When you boil water what you are doing is making sure that the temperature of your water is so hot, basically as hot as it possibly can be before all the hydrogen bonds break and the water itself goes from the liquid state to the gas state. And so when we're looking at water that happens at 100 degrees Celsius which is around 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When we do that we bring the thermal energy of the water up to a high temperature that any viruses or bacteria that are inside that water actually are killed if and only if you boil that water for at least five minutes. So the recommendation is five minutes. When I am boiling my water because we had an issue here in Austin about a year ago where we had to make sure we had very safe water. We had to protect it. When I boiled my water for that I boiled it for ten minutes just because I'm a little bit of a freak or I like to overkill things. But what you want to do is you're basically making sure that there's enough thermal energy inside that water that it makes sure that the viruses and the bacteria that are currently in there can no longer survive. And so it's about getting the temperature hot enough and keeping it there for a long enough period of time to make sure all those viruses and bacteria are killed. Water is a freak and so it is one of my favorite molecules ever because it has these unique properties and we are surrounded by it constantly. We also are made of water. We have to drink water to survive. Some of us like to swim so we're always inside of water. So it's a really, really fun molecule to investigate. What's cool about water is it has these things called hydrogen bonds. And so what that means is it forms an intermolecular force between one water molecule and another water molecule. So the oxygen on one water molecule is partially negatively charged and so that oxygen is somewhat attracted to the partially positively charged hydrogens on another water molecule. So oxygen from this one, hydrogen from this one are attracted to each other. And so that certain thing is called a hydrogen bond and the distance or the length of the hydrogen bond or the distance between the molecules is what sets how much space those water molecules together occupy. So a glass of water contains a ton of different water molecules and they all have different hydrogen bonds between them. So when you take a chunk of water like and put it in an ice cube tray and then you put it into your freezer we're going to see that the water actually expands. So water is super weird. This is not a normal thing but when it goes from the liquid state to the solid state the distance and the length of those hydrogen bonds actually increases. So water is actually more stable in the liquid state which his super rare. That's just uncommon. But it is what it is. That's what water does and we're around it all the time so there's your answer.
Kids today are lacking these psychological nutrients | Nir Eyal | Big Think Kids today are lacking these psychological nutrients | Nir Eyal | Big Think
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Kids today are lacking these psychological nutrients Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When it comes to the rules and restrictions placed on children, author and Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer Nir Eyal argues that they have a lot in common with another restricted population in society: prisoners. These restrictions have contributed to a generation that overuses and is distracted by technology. Self-determination theory, a popular theory of human motivation, says that we all need three things for psychological well-being: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When we are denied these psychological nutrients, the needs displacement hypothesis says that we look for them elsewhere. For kids today, that means more video games and screen time. In order to raise indistractable kids, Eyal says we must first address issues of overscheduling, de-emphasize standardized tests as indicators of competency, and provide them with ample free time so that they can be properly socialized in the real world and not look to technology to fill those voids. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NIR EYAL: A graduate and instructor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Nir Eyal has studied and taught behavioral design to industry-leading experts and scientists. He writes about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business at NirAndFar.com and his writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Time, Inc., and Psychology Today. Check Nir Eyal's latest book Indistractible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life at https://amzn.to/2IrgKwY ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: NIR EYAL: There's only two places in society where we can tell people where to go, what to think, what to eat, who to be friends with, how to dress, and that's school and prison. How do we raise indistractable kids? As the father of a tech-loving 11-year-old, I remember when my daughter was only two years old and some of her first words were ""iPad time, iPad time."" Well, we want to make sure that we are raising our kids in a way that they themselves can deal with distraction. I think this will be the skill of the century. So there's a few things that we need to realize following the indistractable model. When it comes to raising indistractable kids we need to find the root cause of why our kids are getting distracted and not be satisfied with just blaming the proximal cause. Parents have been blaming all sorts of things for their kids' bad behavior for generations. In my generation it was video games or television. Before that it was the radio. All the way back to the written word was blamed for causing distraction. And when it comes to kids these days, people find some reason why kids are behaving the way they are. But as opposed to being satisfied with just the proximal cause. let's dive deeper to understand why kids overuse technology. A very widely accepted theory of human motivation says that all of us need three things for psychological well-being. According to self-determination theory we require a sense of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. And when we are denied those things the needs displacement hypothesis says that we look for them wherever we can get them. And when we look at kids' lives today they are deficient in these three psychological nutrients. Consider competence. With the rise of standardized testing a good number of kids these days are constantly told that they're not good enough. They're not competent in their school activities. And when they feel that way they look for competency elsewhere. Well, of course, the tech companies are more than happy to give them a feeling of competency when they play a game online. Now consider kids' sense of autonomy. This is the most overscheduled generation in history. Between after school activities like Kumon and swimming lessons and Mandarin, kids have very little time for free play. And for those families who can't afford all those after school activities many parents are scared to death by the message we've heard in the media that our kids are somehow going to be abducted at any minute. It turns out that this is the safest generation in American history and those fears are unfounded. And yet many parents keep their kids at home where they have little choice but to look for a sense of agency and control through their devices. So when kids are constantly scheduled throughout their day and restrictions placed... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/psychology-of-distraction
Creative process: Are you in a period of ‘woodshedding’? | Elizabeth Alexander | Big Think Creative process: Are you in a period of ‘woodshedding’? | Elizabeth Alexander | Big Think
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Creative process: Are you in a period of ‘woodshedding’? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Creative types can feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to be prolific, especially in times like these when, in theory, free time is abundant. Creativity is a resource that takes different forms and, like other resources, it has its limits. According to Elizabeth Alexander, poet and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it's common for artists to have gaps in the chronology of their work. Familial commitments, depression, and health troubles are among the very valid reasons to not be producing creative works. Borrowing a term from jazz musicians, Alexander explains that creatives can also go through a period of 'woodshedding,' a term that refers to the practice of working on one's craft and experimenting in a private place (like a wood shed) until it is ready to be shared with the world. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: Elizabeth Alexander – poet, educator, memoirist, scholar, and arts activist – is president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation's largest funder in arts and culture, and humanities in higher education.Dr. Alexander has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for 15 years and chaired the African American Studies Department. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: When teaching I would often send especially writing students to look at a retrospective of an artist's work, to look at work across an entire lifetime and to really pay attention to dates when they are going through that exhibit. Because I think the thing that you learn is that there are fallow periods and there are incredibly generative periods. There are periods where you're trying to work an idea out so you're kind of stuck in a groove and there are periods when you have breakthroughs. If you look on the walls there will be years where there's nothing at all. And I think it's also really interesting when you learn about the lives of the artists and I think about this with women artists in particular. Where they, you know, had children in those years? What were the usually family forces or forces within the self. Were they in a depression? Were they struggling with their health? Or were they just, to use the fantastic expression that jazz musicians use, were they just woodshedding. Were they in the woodshed just working on their craft, biding their time, trying to work it out in private so that then they could come out shazam with something different and public? That I think is a useful way of thinking. Once I got old enough to start realizing that for every day of my life I would not rise with the dawn and write into the light and do that every day and thus there would be a book every other year. It just doesn't work like that. Things happen in life. There are stages. There are eras in life. What I've been thinking a lot about too is the chi of creativity can take different forms. Interestingly when I had children I thought with my first son that the chi of my creativity would all go into my mothering. But interestingly much to my surprise when I was nursing that first child in the middle of the night to use the French expression and Carolyn Forche has turned it into beautiful poems, the blue hour, right. In that blue hour when it's the middle of the night and you're nursing a child I would scribble down lines in that fugue state. And it felt to me as though my child was saying I've made you a mother but you're just a different kind of artist now. But you're still an artist. You haven't left that behind. So creativity can go in a lot of different directions, so what I think about more now than I used to is what does it mean to be physically healthy. What does it mean to be spiritually healthy. What does it mean to be calm. What does it mean to be able to make decisions sharply and quickly so that time is liberated for both the creative and the writing but also the creative in the day job if you will. As well as being available to people to whom I am responsible. And that just accrues as you get older. So the children go away to school but they're still your responsibility. Parents, you know, create new responsibilities as they age. There are more human beings in one's lives. My students kind of come with me. Writers who I've mentored com with me. So I find more than ever I'm just thinking about how to be peaceful so that I can be like a laser and that I can make good use of the creativity I have because I know that it is not a limitless resource if you don't take care of your spirit and your body.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Updated for the 21st century | Scott Barry Kaufman | Big Think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Updated for the 21st century | Scott Barry Kaufman | Big Think
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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Updated for the 21st century Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When we imagine Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs, we visualize a pyramid. This is all wrong, says humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman. This is because life isn't a video game, where you unlock new levels until you reach the final prize of self-actualization. In fact, Maslow viewed human development as a two steps forward, one step back dynamic. Kaufman rebuilt Maslow's hierarchy of needs, updating it for the 21st century with a solid scientific foundation. And a better metaphor for this is a sailboat. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN: Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., is scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he investigates the measurement and development of intelligence, imagination, and creativity. He has written or edited six previous books, including Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined. He is also co-founder of The Creativity Post, host of The Psychology Podcast, and he writes the blog Beautiful Minds for Scientific American. Kaufman lives in Philadelphia and completed his doctorate in cognitive psychology from Yale University in 2009 and received his masters degree in experimental psychology from Cambridge University in 2005, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. His latest book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization at https://amzn.to/2KyAL5t ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN: People get a lot of things wrong about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. First of all, Maslow never even drew a pyramid. A lot of people might not know that as you're probably very used to seeing a diagram on Facebook or in your introductory psychology class or management class. So you see this pyramid with self-actualization at the top and different needs. I looked through Maslow's writings, and he never actually drew a pyramid to represent his theory. He actually viewed human – it was very clear to Maslow that life is not a video game. It's not as though you reach some level in life like safety needs and then you reach the safety needs and you get a certain number of that and then some voice from above is like congrats, you've unlocked connection. And then you go do, do, do, do, do and you move up to connection. It's not how life works. And Maslow is very clear about that. In a lot of ways Maslow was a developmental psychologist at heart. He really believed that human development was constantly this two steps forward, one step back dynamic. We're constantly choosing the growth option, and then we're failing in some way or we have some struggle which is an inevitable part of life. And then we continue forward. Life is not some trek up a mountain and then you reach self-actualization as though you've achieved self-actualization and the final credits come on. Again, continuing the video game metaphor. Life is not like that. Self-development is a process. It's constantly in a form of development and we are constantly becoming, our being in the world is constantly becoming. And Maslow is very clear about that. Abraham Maslow made it very clear that self-actualization is not the same as achievement. A lot of people in fact may achieve quite a bit in their lives and may be on the cover of magazines, may have all the awards, the whole trophy shelf of their house that they show off and still feel deeply, deeply unfulfilled. We feel much more fulfilled when we actualize our potentialities, our deepest potentials, the things that make us unique, the things that we can uniquely contribute to the world in ways that have a positive impact on the world. Just realizing your talents without the context of the meaning behind it is a recipe for a lot of talented people to live a very unfulfilled life. So, Maslow defines self-actualization as becoming everything that you're capable of becoming and that you're most uniquely capable of becoming. So we have a lot of things, a lot of potentials that we share with other humans. We have the need for safety. We have the need for connection. We have the need for respect and a certain level of feeling worthy or self-esteem. We share that with others, but Maslow thought of self-actualization as those potentialities within you that, if grown to full heights, will have the biggest impact on the world uniquely. What do you most uniquely have to contribute to this world? I think that's how Maslow really thought about self-actualization. That's how I tend to think about self-actualization... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/maslow-hierarchy-of-needs-updated?draft=1
Finding your purpose: A less intimidating approach | Dan Cable | Big Think Finding your purpose: A less intimidating approach | Dan Cable | Big Think
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Finding your purpose: A less intimidating approach Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Do you know your purpose in life? If not, London Business School professor Dan Cable says that's OK. It's normal, even. Many people have trouble finding their purpose because the task itself is too demanding. One way to solve this problem is by connecting with the end-user of your work. For example, Microsoft will take its teams on-site to interview clients and find solutions. Programmers understand who's using their products by hearing it straight from the source, and this gives more meaning to their work. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAN CABLE: Dan Cable is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. Dan's research and teaching focus on employee engagement, change, organizational culture, leadership mindset, and the linkage between brands and employee behaviors. Dan was selected for the 2018 Thinkers50 Radar List, The Academy of Management has twice honored Dan with Best Article awards, and The Academy of Management Perspectives ranked Dan in the 'Top 25 most influential management scholars'. Dan Cable's latest book Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do at https://amzn.to/3dd32Mj ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: DAN CABLE: I think that it's really typical for somebody to not know what their purpose is. I think that the idea of saying find your purpose is a very high challenge. And I think it's probably too demanding in many ways, especially if you're talking about a relatively young person that's just entering the workforce. And so I think that it's kind of interesting to remember that personalizing purpose doesn't mean that you have to find somebody that has a burning passion to serve. It also doesn't mean that the leader has to deliver purpose. Like handing it out like playing cards. I think that the middle ground is to foster interest and to help people experience firsthand the end user of their work. Let me give you an example of this. I work a little bit with Microsoft and in Vienna there is a country manager there named Dorothy. And one of the things that she does that I find really compelling is when they start up a new project, they go on site with the client. And they don't just take the senior leaders. They take the whole team. They might take as many as 15 people including the programmer, the actual person that'll be doing some code, up to the client representative who's kind of running the whole relationship, and basically everybody in between – the logistics person, the person that'll run the scheduling. They all go on site. They might go on site, for example, to a hospital that's going paperless. And they'll go on site and just interview and try to understand where would it be hard to go paperless. They'll go to Tesla and they'll talk not only to the engineers at Tesla, they'll talk to the people in finance. They'll talk to the people in production. They'll talk to the people in operations. Another example of this would be Xbox, where they'll go on site and they'll talk about what kind of shipment and delivery issues are you facing right now. The way that Microsoft is approaching this is twofold. Number one is they're trying to move from a know-it-all culture where we sell software, to a learn-it-all culture where we sell solutions. And so that aligns really nicely with this idea that we need our teams to understand the customer's problems. What are the pinch points? What are the things that we can help with? And then what Dorothy is doing by taking her whole team, even some fairly low, what I would call typically low-level workers, you know, they're not the senior managers. They're the folks that have just been hired within the last year or two. They go on site and they get to hear who it is they're solving and what are those problems. And I think that is one very small, inexpensive way to think about increasing the sense of purpose, the why of the work in a way that doesn't demand you to call it your dying passion. It's not like you go in there because if I don't do this I'll die. It's more saying listen, either way I'm a programmer and I just need some money. But I happen to work for an organization that really lets me understand why I'm doing the programming. I really understand who's going to use it. It allows me to understand that if I do a good job those people at Xbox will be able to get their shipments on time and that sort of connects me to the why of the work.
How do astronauts deal with isolation? | Ask an astronomer | Michelle Thaller | Big Think How do astronauts deal with isolation? | Ask an astronomer | Michelle Thaller | Big Think
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How do astronauts deal with isolation? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While she has not personally been to space, NASA astronaut Michelle Thaller has heard from friends and colleagues what it is like to truly be isolated. Coping mechanisms for these extreme cases can also benefit people here on Earth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting and maintaining a schedule can help you and your body return to a more normal state, as can finding familiar sensory inputs. For astronauts, that includes Earthly scents like citrus. Speaking personally and making a point about silver linings, Thaller shares a story about how COVID-19 has given her more time with her sick husband for what are likely his final days. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHELLE THALLER: Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer who studies binary stars and the life cycles of stars. She is Assistant Director of Science Communication at NASA. She went to college at Harvard University, completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. then started working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Spitzer Space Telescope. After a hugely successful mission, she moved on to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in the Washington D.C. area. In her off-hours often puts on about 30lbs of Elizabethan garb and performs intricate Renaissance dances. For more information, visit https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/people/1040/michelle-thaller/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHELLE THALLER: When it comes to how to deal with isolation and feeling like you're sort of helpless and cut off from everybody, it's hard to beat the experience of an astronaut, where they literally are cut off from Earth. And even if they wanted to, they couldn't just come to Earth very easily. It would be a lot of effort to do so. And they're going to be up there, say in the Space Station, for quite a long time. Six months or even longer. So, how do astronauts deal with isolation? Although I've never been to space myself, I have several friends who are astronauts and one of the things that I had heard about from them, psychologically, when you're trying to deal with that sort of withdrawing of stimulus, everything is much more constrained than you're used to. One of the things they do is try to really maintain a schedule. Try to understand that you're going to get up at this time. Even though that's artificial. The Space Station goes around the Earth once every 90 minutes, so when you're on the Space Station you get a sunrise and a sunset every 90 minutes. And so, the idea is that internal to their world they create a routine, a time they get up, a time they all get together, a time to talk, a time to interact, a time to work, and they keep the schedule as consistently as they possibly can. You may have heard that people who have trouble sleeping often will sleep better if they will go to bed at a set time every day and your body just knows to expect those same rhythms. That said, some of my friends who are astronauts have talked about the difficulties of dealing with, I said before sort of the lack of sensory input. And one of the things, surprisingly, I've heard them talk about is the sense of smell. That up on the Space Station, things are very clean and very sterile as you might expect, a very enclosed environment, the air is recirculated, all of the water is recirculated and they miss the smell of life, of food, of being outside, of the air and grass. There was one astronaut I was giving a presentation with that said there was a shipment of fresh fruit that came up during a resupply cargo mission and one of the things they brought were oranges, fresh oranges. And everybody was really enjoying this and people ate their oranges and he said that he actually hid his orange away in his private compartment and all he wanted to do was just smell it, just smell that really lovely orange smell, something that reminded him of life. And a lot of astronauts talk about that when they finally open the door of the Soyuz capsule after they have gone back to Earth and they smell the air, that's really wonderful. So, part of it is maybe also look for ways to give yourself some comfort, some stimulation that you find really enjoyable. I know for me I've done a lot of just walking just outside my house. I live on a two acre lot so there aren't people around, enjoying the sunlight, enjoying the breeze, taking steps not to feel quite so cooped up if you do have that. On a personal note for me... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/astronaut-isolation
Ask an atheist: Does the universe have a purpose? | Michael Shermer | Big Think Ask an atheist: Does the universe have a purpose? | Michael Shermer | Big Think
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Ask an atheist: Does the universe have a purpose? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer doesn't believe in God or any outside force that cares about us, he also doesn't believe that the existence of one would give our lives meaning. Shermer argues that it is up to us to create purpose for ourselves in various ways, including through meaningful work, familial and romantic relationships, and a connection and respect for the wonder of nature. "It doesn't matter what happens billions of years from now or whether there's a God or not, whether there's an afterlife or not," he says. "It's irrelevant. This is the life that matters." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL SHERMER: Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. Check Michael Shermer's latest book Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist at https://amzn.to/3e7fDkp ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHAEL SHERMER: Does the universe have a purpose? Okay, this is the biggest question of all. I think in part it's not quite the right question because people are asking it as if there's something out there that knows we're here and cares about us. As a nonbeliever I don't think that's the case. I think it's up to us to care. But the scientific study of the universe shows what in the universe would care? I mean the space-time continuum, stars, galaxies... What is there to care about us other than us? And the answer is nothing. Now, of course the theists says no, God is out there and God knows about us and cares about us. But how would that give your life purpose? It's up to you to create purpose in your life, not for some external source. What people are looking for is somebody to tell them what the purpose of their life is and that's the wrong way to search. The search is to go inside and go what is the purpose of my life? Now, the scientific answer that I give in the book is it starts with the second law of thermodynamics which I call the first law of life. That is entropy, the running down of the universe is what happens if you do nothing. So if you have your warm cup of coffee and you do nothing it just gets cold. If you don't clean your room it just stays cluttered. If you don't wash your car it stays dirty, and so on. So the first law of life is to fight back against entropy. Carve out a little niche of order. Wash our car, heat your coffee, clean your room, brush your teeth. and so on and so forth. Then you build from there. Like okay, we know from scientific research by social psychologists, personality psychologists, and there's even a branch of psychology now people that study purpose and meaning. And there's certain things you could do that give your life purpose and meaning. So meaningful work. A reason to get up in the morning, get out the door and go out and do something productive. Family, having some kind of group of people that care about you, that love you, that you care about them and you love them. Marriage or partnership or just one person that you love and that they love you and that acknowledges you as a worthwhile person. And then there's something called spirituality. Now I want to be careful here because that word is almost always associated with mainstream religions, but here I mean it in a much broader sense. A sense of awe and wonder at things that are bigger than us. The universe, the cosmos or any kind of meditative state, prayer. Just kind of walking in nature and looking up at massive trees or the ocean. There's something about standing up on a high hill or cliff and looking out at an ocean, or a grassy field, or a forest that evokes awe and wonder in people. And that's kind of the spirituality that makes people feel like wow, my life I am so lucky to be alive. And if you think about all the trillions of people that could have been born that never were, the 7.5 billion of us alive now, the hundred billion of us that came before. We are the lucky ones. I mean most people that could have been born were never even born to be given this opportunity. And even if you're a theist and you believe there's an afterlife, but let's just ask the question. Where were you before you were born? When you ask the question where do you go after you die? The same place. You didn't exist, then you exist, then you don't exist. Even if I'm wrong and it turns out there's an afterlife, and I talk about this in the book, it doesn't matter because we don't live in... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/ask-an-atheist-purpose-of-the-universe
How the last two centuries led to today’s economy | Adam Davidson | Big Think How the last two centuries led to today’s economy | Adam Davidson | Big Think
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How the last two centuries led to today’s economy Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR's Planet Money, can trace a line through time from homemade clothing and baked goods to today's passion economy. Davidson argues that a combination of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are how we got to where we are. We shifted from an intimate and localized economy of goods and services, to an economy of scale, and finally to what Davidson refers to as ""intimacy at scale."" There are, of course, positive attributes to this hybrid economic system, but it also comes with some of the flaws of its predecessors. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ADAM DAVIDSON: ADAM DAVIDSON is the cofounder of NPR's Planet Money podcast and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he covers economics and business. Previously he was an economics writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has won many of journalism's most prestigious awards, including a Peabody for his coverage of the financial crisis. His latest book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century https://amzn.to/2X31pv5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ADAM DAVIDSON: I had this thought as I wrote the book that the best of the twenty-first century combines the best of the nineteenth and the best of the twentieth. And then my joke is the worst, combines the worst of those two centuries as well. What I mean by that is if you look at the nineteenth century and pretty much all human history before business was conducted almost entirely locally. You almost all physically made goods. They were made by someone who you didn't just know them your whole life, your great grandparents knew their great grandparents. And in many cases your clothes, your bed, your house were made by you or your family. And to the extent that there were services the equivalent of lawyers and accountants and doctors. Those would also have been produced locally. There's always been long distance trade but that was really just a very small number of luxury goods that had very little impact on the material lives of everyday people. So you had profound intimacy to the point where if you lived in a certain neighborhood in Brooklyn or a certain village in France, the beer, the bread, the cheese—everything was how we do it here. It was fully intimate. And you go two villages over and they do it some other way that's totally different. And so you had this incredible enmeshment between producers and consumers. Then you have the twentieth century which is about people in one place producing goods for people all over the world. So you have massive manufacturers in Atlanta or New Jersey or Chicago who are producing soda and candy bars and eventually furniture and cars and all of these goods. And they're made in one place, made in huge volume and then shipped everywhere in the world. And just the nature of that kind of transaction is scale. You can't know all that much about who's buying Coca Cola in some village in Vietnam or what things about a Ford car people in South Carolina like better than people in Alabama do or whatever. You just make, you know, with some variation you make the same set of products and ship them everywhere. And so that's scale and scale brings a lot of benefits that small intimacy doesn't. The benefit is an economy of scale. You can make more stuff more cheaply, spread it to more places. But now that doesn't work very well. Big scale is in crisis. You look at the big scale consumer goods companies like Proctor & Gamble or Unilever and they're really struggling for growth. They're struggling to basically everyone who wants Tide soap and Oreo cookies already has Tide soap and Oreo cookies. And you sort of go by a candy aisle and you see the problem. Sure, we can have M&M's with pretzels and M&M's with caramel and M&M's with peanuts and M&M's with a million other things but you're not really transforming the experience of eating candy. And we live in a world where people are probably eating as much candy as you want. So you have these companies fighting over market share sort of unable to create really transformative value. But then you have intimate products. You have products like let's use chocolate... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/intimacy-at-scale
Corporate culture wasn’t built for women. Here’s how to fix that. | Tina Brown | Big Think Corporate culture wasn’t built for women. Here’s how to fix that. | Tina Brown | Big Think
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Corporate culture wasn’t built for women. Here’s how to fix that. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Women in high-stakes positions are scrutinized far more than men, says Tina Brown, to the point that they feel they have to be ""gold in a silver job"" and be absolute perfectionists to merely keep their position. For women, being a parent necessitates parental leave and companies must develop ways to keep females engaged so that they are able to integrate back into work smoothly. Women, too, must lobby for this change. Six to eight months of sequential parental leave may not be the best approach for keeping women engaged and on their career paths, says Brown, who thinks it might be more productive to take trenches of time throughout your career as a parent, as opposed to one huge chunk. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TINA BROWN: Tina Brown is an award-winning journalist, editor, author and founder of the Women in the World summits. Between 1979 and 2017, she was editor-in-chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and authored The Diana Chronicles and The Vanity Fair Diaries. Her podcast “TBD with Tina Brown” is available on Apple podcast. Read her latest book The Vanity Fair Diaries: Power, Wealth, Celebrity, and Dreams: My Years at the Magazine That Defined a Decade at https://amzn.to/2WnLozm ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: TINA BROWN: Well, there's no doubt, I think, that women are scrutinized and blamed far more than men are in the executive positions that they take—in any leadership positions that they take. And the tone of dismissiveness about women is remarkable very often. It's as if they just don't have the same kind of gravitas just because they're women. And it's a very irksome thing, I think, to many a woman artist, CEO, achiever of any kind, that they always feel that they have to be gold in a silver job, that they have to be an exceptional perfectionist, unimpeachable figure just to get to first base of the high leadership stakes. And I don't know that that's really changed. I think we are definitely seeing a rolling pushback that's gathered enormous momentum, which is very exciting. There's a sense that all the talking, all the blow-hardery about women in the pipeline, women executives, we have to mentor women, we have to have diversity programs—frankly, that's just been a free pass to so many corporates over the years, which is, 'Yes, yes, well, we mentor women. We have a lot of women in our pipeline' and whatever. Well, frankly, that pipeline has exploded, guys. The pipeline has been stuffed. And women are saying we're tired of being, quote, ""in your pipeline."" Well, first of all, I think it's very important that we, as women, don't put ourselves under so much duress that we think that we have to keep on adapting and adjusting all the time. Clearly, we have to come together as a group, as a lobbying group as such, to insist that we can thrive as women and also do our jobs. It also, of course, means that there are times when your life and your career go into different phases, that there are cycles of being for a woman that are emergeable from in a way that's productive. Because you may need to take that time where you're dialing back because your children are young, but you fully intend to ramp back up afterwards. And you've got to find a way, and companies have got to find a way, to keep women engaged throughout that process, so they don't sort of disappear, and then all of a sudden, they want a job back, and of course, they're out of date and out of touch, and they find it very difficult to get back in. So one thing, I think, that enlightened companies are doing—I know that MasterCard has worked very hard on this, actually—is about how you keep women engaged throughout this dial-back times and find ways for them to keep working in a smaller way for the company, while at the same time being able to grow and keep in touch, so that when they're ready to come back they can. Secondly, I think the parental leave has to be so imaginatively structured. I mean, personally, I'm actually not of the belief that it's helpful to kind of disappear on maternity leave or paternity leave for six to eight months and then come back absolutely rattled by the pace of work. -------- I actually think it might be more useful to have segments and periods where you can take trenches of time throughout your career as an employee and as a parent. Because people get very exhausted. It's almost like it would be more valuable to work three weeks out of four during a period when your kids are young, than it is... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/women-in-leadership
Classical Liberalism #10: Arguments for limited government & expanded civil society | Lauren Hall Classical Liberalism #10: Arguments for limited government & expanded civil society | Lauren Hall
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Classical Liberalism #9: Two arguments for limited government and expanded civil society Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are three subsets of civil society: primary, secondary, and tertiary associations. Rochester Institute of Technology professor Lauren Hall says there are two arguments for expanding civil society and limiting the power of government, and they include elements of efficiency, morality, and coercion. Ideally in civil society, secondary associations give you more freedom to meet your needs in various ways. If we relied more heavily on civil society rather than government, we'd have more wiggle room to find systems that work for us. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LAUREN HALL: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: LAUREN HALL: Generally speaking when we talk about civil society we're talking about all the ways that people associate with each other when they're not interacting directly with the state or the political process, and they're not buying and selling things on the market. So in the sort of theory of civil society we generally talk about three different types or sort of subsets of civil society. There are the primary associations, and some people don't put this in civil society at all. And those are sort of friends and family. So the kin relations that we have, the really close friendships that we have. And those are the primary associations that again are sort of quasi voluntary and our families are not always totally voluntary. But those are the really close intimate relationships. What matters more for most civil society scholars are the secondary and to a certain extent tertiary associations. And the tertiary associations are the kinds of associations that you're a member of but you don't really interact with people in those associations. So if you are a member of, or if you donate to NPR, for example, or the various environmental groups you might send a check once a year, so you're a member in a sort of nominal sense and you give them financial support but you're not really interacting with anybody. It's not what we call a thick relationship. But when people think about civil society broadly very often what they're thinking about are these secondary associations. And so the secondary associations are all of the situations in which people organize and associate with each other that are not based off of kin and that are not based off of selling or sort of swapping services. So you can think about these as everything from religious associations so the church that you go to, the synagogue that you go to, to the roller derby team that you're on to the group that you meet up with at the library to do puzzles or whatever with on Sunday afternoons. So all of those different ways that you associate with people to fulfill some kind of end. The major argument for limiting the power of government broadly and expanding what we call civil society, which again we're primarily talking about these secondary associations, but depending on who you talk to there's arguments about really expanding the role of the family, for example, also. But the major argument is, well there's two arguments I'll say. One is a basic efficiency argument and the efficiency argument simply says the government, especially in large nation states is simply too big to know what people actually need and is too big to actually help them in the way that they need to be helped. So this is related to Smith's argument about sort of universal benevolence. It would be really nice if we could take care of everyone, even people that we've never met. But we just can't. We don't have the systems in place to do that. And moreover we're actually more likely to harm them because we don't know what they really need. So imagine that there's some sort of hurricane and you show up with a huge truckload of water and everyone says well, we have wells. What we really need are generators. Well now you've wasted a bunch of resources bringing them something that they don't need and they're no better off. And so the efficiency argument says we need to try to devolve a lot of services onto the people who know those people the most and again those secondary associations where people have face to face knowledge of what everyone needs. So that's the efficiency piece. The moral piece though is one that I think is even deeper than the efficiency... Read the full transcript at
Why savvy business people build relationship capital | Daymond John | Big Think Why savvy business people build relationship capital | Daymond John | Big Think
6 months ago En
Why savvy business people build relationship capital | Daymond John Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Relationship capital is one of the most overlooked facets of doing good business, says investor and entrepreneur Daymond John. Savvy entrepreneurs know that digging into the relationships that they've nurtured for 5, 10, or 20 years is what pays the best dividends. That doesn't happen passively. You must build your reputation and take great care to be authentic in your interactions, says John. Relationship capital is symbiotic and becomes a network. When two parties genuinely look after each other over the long term, that goodwill spreads across both their networks and brings tens or hundreds of new transactions instead of just one initial deal. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAYMOND JOHN: Daymond John is an original cast member on ABC's four-time Emmy Award winning show "Shark Tank" and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama Administration. An accomplished two-time New York Times bestselling author, Daymond's latest book is titled Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome. Check Daymond John's latest book Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome at https://amzn.to/3a5h3cI ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: DAYMOND JOHN: Relationship capital. There's three phases, of course, to having power and giving power, and one of the most overlooked one is relationship capital. You know, there's a saying that it's 21 times easier to up-sell a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. Most people are trying to expand their portfolio and their brands by operating new businesses instead of digging into the relationships that they already have – 5, 10, 20 years. Because when you already have worked with somebody, whether it's a relationship as friends or your community or at the office or as an investment, the first transaction is usually the lowest. It is the ten transactions afterwards—not only the transaction you're having with the person, it's the fact that that person is probably another businessperson or has a relationship and they're out there networking, telling people about how good you are. And that's exactly where it is. See, your reputation is like your skyline. You drive to the city, everybody can see it. And when you have developed these relationships and nurtured them you do more and more business because the people know your ethics or morals and how you handle situations. And when you don't nurture these things it slowly corrodes the foundation of who you are and you have to go out and acquire new relationships. And that's why the development and the nurturing of a relationship is more important than anybody else. If you're on social media right and you have a good amount of people following you it's nice if they keep liking your comments and saying happy birthday and thank you. But if you're not liking them back and you're not actually going into their avatar and seeing who they are and making a comment here and there, sooner or later they're going to go away to somebody else who's doing that. You have to nurture these relationships. They are symbiotic no matter what level you're at and that's the importance of, after you've negotiated. now the real pot of gold is all those other transactions, all those other relationships, all those other references and networking things that they'll do for you and you'll do for them that you'll end up realizing have paid the best dividends. You know one thing about shifting power and relationship capital is that I wish that I can tell you that you always have to be glossy and things of that nature. You have to be true to who you are—it's the reality. Because a lot of people want to be something different than they're not or be perceived as something they're not. You have to be extremely aware and a lot of us, because of society we think, 'Well, nobody's going to accept me because I'm this way.' And the reality is they will accept you. You have to just be honest with yourself. What are you doing this for? Can you put yourself in two to five words. I may joke but I'm serious: Old dirty bastard was an old dirty bastard and he delivered on that every single day. And when you start to try to be something you're not, it crumbles, it kills your authenticity when you shouldn't be afraid of who you are. We've seen people often who are persecuted or various other things because they can't... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/relationship-capital
Don’t panic — here’s how mindfulness can improve isolation | Jason Silva | Big Think Don’t panic — here’s how mindfulness can improve isolation | Jason Silva | Big Think
6 months ago En
Don’t panic — here’s how mindfulness can improve isolation Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's normal to feel panic and anxiety in this moment. However, it's not totally necessary or helpful. Futurist and Shots of Awe creator, Jason Silva, explains we feel this way because we're overdetermining the present. Despite scientific facts, when we're overexposed to the news, we immediately assume the worst. One way to combat this is practicing mindfulness, which induces a state of flow. This flow state can provide relief from the onslaught of anxiety and can be reached in a number of ways, including meditation, yoga, or even watching a movie. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JASON SILVA: Jason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s #1 rated and Emmy-nominated series, Brain Games, seen in over 100 countries. “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age” was how The Atlantic described television personality, filmmaker and philosopher Silva, who has also been described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from ‘The Matrix.’” A self-professed wonderjunkie, Silva is the creator of the web series SHOTS OF AWE, micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, the co-evolution of human and technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism and the human condition. Silva’s work has been featured in The Economist, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Wired, among many others. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: JASON SILVA: When fear or panic takes hold of the mind, what is happening is that we're overdetermining the present. So we're like overreading and overdetermining what's happening right now. And then immediately conjuring up a future that becomes identified with doom, death, or annihilation, and we can feel it like a fist in the stomach. This is the essence of what a panic attack is. A panic attack misreads what's happening now, and sees it as impending and immediate and imminent danger like right now, fight or flight so that I don't die. And then reacts accordingly. But typically in a moment of panic you're not actually in imminent danger just like most people who are sitting at home during this time are not in imminent danger. So 99.9 percent of the population is not infected and even those that are infected, 99 percent are not in mortal danger, right? Those are the facts. But the sense of anxiety from the overexposure to the news, from the drastic mitigation measures that are forcing people to be essentially in house arrest and additionally the fact that it's very difficult to lose ourselves in the usual trivialities and distractions that we so often lose ourselves in whether it's work or entertainment or just moving around and distracting ourselves. What we are forced instead to contend with is, even those of us that are not existentialists are forced into this existential meditation of like can we sit alone in our room with our thoughts, with our fears, with that sense of temporal dislocation, with this imposition of uncertainty and how do we deal with this? And that's an immense challenge first and foremost because being in a state of permanent anxiety and all the cortisol and all the biochemistry that follows from being in that permanently anxious state, that actually depletes our immune system. So it actually makes us less resilient against the virus. The reason that we normally are such fans of travel or art and beauty, and music, and certain kinds of drugs is that these things block all signals forwards and backwards in the brain. Now when you block all signals forwards and backwards in the brain, the comparing with the past and trying to predict the future, you're hurled into and I quote ""the flow"" – another word I love. The flow of the present. And when you're in the flow of the present well, anything that shows up in your field is going to be more engaging because you're not going to dismiss it and immediately leapfrog to the conclusion. You're actually going to engage with it. If you're able to tap into a mindful state open up a book that you haven't read in a while, watch a film you haven't seen in years or a film you've never seen perhaps, and for sort of steer awareness or focus awareness to it with a kind of presence that is not constantly trying to future forecast. So you drop the thread of time, you move from what the Greeks call Cronus which is like mechanized cognition to... Read the full transcript at
Maximize your team’s power. Identify your connector type. | Erica Dhawan | Big Think Maximize your team’s power. Identify your connector type. | Erica Dhawan | Big Think
6 months ago En
Maximize your team’s power. Identify your connector type. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Building off of the "three archetypes of people" idea established by Malcolm Gladwell, Cotential CEO and co-author of the bestselling book "Get Things Done" Erica Dhawan argues that we are all now some form of "connector." The next step is to find ways to connect intelligently. Dhawan says that there are three kinds of connectors: thinkers, enablers, and connection executors. Each brings a unique skillset to a team and all are necessary for growth and success. The key is to create a work environment where the three groups are not functioning as separate departments, but are working together and leveraging those skills to strengthen the team. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ERICA DHAWAN: Erica Dhawan is the world’s leading authority on connectional intelligence and the Founder & CEO of Cotential. She is the co-author of the bestselling book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence. Check Erica Dhawan's latest book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence at https://amzn.to/2WE17KO ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: "ERICA DHAWAN: Ten years ago Malcolm Gladwell, a famous author, coined the concept of a connector as one of the three types of people that create the rise of social epidemics. And that idea of being a connector captivated corporate America and really global corporations around the world for the last decade. But in today's era I'd argue that the idea of being a connector is outdated because we are all connectors, we are over connected. So the job today is not just to say whether we're a connector or not, it's really about how do we connect intelligently in today's world to drive value not only for our teams and our organizations but for our broader stakeholder network. What we found in our research is that in today's world there are actually three types of connectors that allow you to really capture the power of connectional intelligence. The three types of connectors are number one, the thinkers, number two, the enablers, and number three, the connection executors. First, the thinkers. The thinkers are the people that are great at combining ideas and bringing in new types of curiosity to problems. These are the people that are always asking how might we solve this differently, or let's take a devils advocate view, or let's bring this approach from an outside industry or a different team in a way that allows us to solve this problem differently. So you may think of those people that are thinkers on your team as the ones that are always bringing in that different prospective or that different approach that will allow you to transform your mindset of how you solve a problem. The second type of connector are the enablers. These are your traditional people connectors. These are those that are really good at bringing together all the right people that need to come together to solve a problem. You can think about these people as the community builders. They're often those that understand not just how might we solve this problem but here are the five people we need to engage that could allow us to combine a different perspective or give us a different approach to allow us to mobilize this effort forward. And the third type of connector are the connection executors. These are the people that love to just get things done; they know how to amplify; they know how to mobilize. They're often not those that are bringing in the new big idea or bringing the community together, they are those that love to get things done when the community is already built. They are the combusters if you think about the mobilizers on a team. So as you think about your own role in your organization are you more of a thinker, are you more of an enabler or are you more of a connection executor? And how might you design your team to make sure that you're leveraging these three types of connector skillsets to really maximize the power of the networks on your own team? The other thing is that it's really important to be careful of connector bias. If we're thinkers. we often love to connect with other thinkers on our team and we end up spending lots of time in meetings talking about ideas but leading into analysis... To read the full transcript, please visit https://bigthink.com/videos/connectional-intelligence
Be a better leader: Knowing the dangers of ‘yes men’ | Garrett Reisman | Big Think Be a better leader: Knowing the dangers of ‘yes men’ | Garrett Reisman | Big Think
6 months ago En
Be a better leader: Knowing the dangers of ‘yes men’ Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the potential dangers of being a successful leader is that the people around you stop challenging your decisions, no matter how bad or wrong they may be. Asserting dominance and establishing negative consequences for those who challenge your authority (such as firing or reprimanding offenders) only exacerbates the problem and adds to the toxic culture of unchecked power. Astronaut Garrett Reisman argues that while it's natural to want to be told that you're smart and right, it's important that good leaders cultivate a work environment where their team isn't afraid to speak up. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GARRETT REISMAN: Dr. Reisman was selected by NASA in 1998. His first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, in 2008, with a 95 day mission aboard the International Space Station. His second mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, in 2010. During these missions, Dr. Reisman performed 3 spacewalks, operated the Space Station Robot Arm and was a flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle. He served as a technical consultant for the film Ad Astra and is currently a technical advisor for the TV Show For All Mankind. At present he is a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC, Motivational Speaker and Senior Advisor at SpaceX. Learn more at garrettreisman.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: GARRETT REISMAN: When it comes to leadership there's a trap that you can fall into, especially if you're a very successful leader. If you have a great track record and you've achieved your goal and you're in charge of a big organization, that you could end up surrounding yourself with 'yes men.' Because let's face it, we all like to be told that we're correct, right? Very few people like to be surrounded by people that say no, no, no, no, no, no, no, that's wrong. We all have a tendency to want to be reassured that we're on the right track and that we're smart and that we're good looking. We want to hear nice things. But the problem is that when you're a leader, you can fall into a situation where you have group think or where people, your people who are very smart and especially skilled in certain areas, know better but they're afraid to tell you. And this is especially true if you demonstrate qualities of being vindictive. If you penalize people for speaking out or having a dissenting view. If you come down on them because you think that's causing inefficiencies or slowing you down. Then people really clam up. And this is a very, very dangerous trap for a leader to fall into. So we train to avoid that. And I think it's extremely important and it really is incumbent upon the leader themselves because this is not going to happen naturally. If the leader exhibits behavior where they come down or penalize people for having contrary views, then very quickly they're going to be quiet, especially if you start firing them and showing them the door. Then the other people are going to get the message and the danger there is that you could blunder into, no matter how smart you are and how well you know what you're doing you're going to make a mistake at some point. And if there's nobody there to tell you, that feels confident in telling you ""Hey, just a second boss. Maybe we should rethink this,"" then that's extremely dangerous. And we trained, when we did our leadership training for our space flight, the example I'll give you was that I was a leader one day. We were out in the deserts of Utah and we had to find a source of water. We were running out of water in the middle of the summer in Utah and that's very dangerous. So we had a map and we knew where there was a source of water and we're following this map and we're using compasses and we're trying to make sure that we're going in the right direction using the landmarks and our map. We didn't have a GPS. That was not part of the exercise. We had to do it the old fashioned way. I looked at it. I analyzed it. I looked at the map and I said,"" Okay, I think that mountain over there, that's the one that leads us to the water. But here's what I want you to do...,"" I turned to the rest of the team that I was in charge of that day and I said, ""I want every single one of you to tell me why that is the wrong mountain. Prove to me that I'm wrong. That I picked the wrong one. And if one of you can do that maybe you might save us all."" So it turned out that it was the right mountain. I was kind of happy about that, but the point was I empowered my team to tell me I was wrong and we got to... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/be-a-better-leader
Fighting racism: This is the biggest mistake people make | Robin DiAngelo | Big Think Fighting racism: This is the biggest mistake people make | Robin DiAngelo | Big Think
6 months ago En
Fighting racism: This is the biggest mistake people make Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Topics of race and racism are often uncomfortable, especially for the people of color being pressured to share sensitive and vulnerable information. While some people of color have chosen to educate others on what racism looks like and how to fight it, not all people of color should be expected to. Writer and consultant Robin DiAngelo argues that the onus is on white people to seek the information being offered, not to try and extract it. As a white person, DiAngelo acknowledges that her voice "cannot be the only voice" and that voices of color are necessary to reach understanding. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ROBIN DIANGELO: Dr. Robin DiAngelo is Affiliate Faculty at the University of Washington. She is a two-time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year from the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. Her scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Robin has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in race relations and racial justice. Her book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. You can her latest book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism at https://amzn.to/3ej4v41 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ROBIN DIANGELO: Sometimes in our enthusiasm, those of us who are white when we first learn about this, we want to rush over to people of color and have them teach us about racism. And we definitely do not want to go ahead and do that for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are plenty of people of color who have provided that information and are happy to give it and generally be paid to do so. They write books, they give talks, they have videos. But just to go up to anybody and ask that is a fairly invasive and threatening question. You're asking them to risk something very vulnerable when there's no mutuality and no trust built. You're asking them to kind of open their chest and share something that's very sensitive and their experience most likely has been that if you don't like what you hear you're going to invalidate it. It's not for people of color to carry that burden. It's for those of us who are white to be talking to each other and to also seek out the information that people of color have volunteered to give us. I often use the analogy, imagine I'm in the workplace. I have a coworker, it's a man. He's friendly to me and everything, we've never gone to lunch or anything. We say good morning, and one day he just walks up to me and says: ""Oh, I heard all about the Me Too movement. Have you ever been sexually harassed at work? Or have you ever been raped?"" I'm hoping that you would know that that is an incredibly threatening and vulnerable question to be asked by a man that I don't know that well. That's going to feel really weird to me and I have no idea what the response is going to be. My voice cannot be the only voice. There is no way we can understand what we need to understand without the voices of people of color and overwhelmingly those voices, but we have to be really thoughtful about how we get that information and how we engage.
Polar explorer Erling Kagge: Why risk makes life meaningful | Big Think Polar explorer Erling Kagge: Why risk makes life meaningful | Big Think
6 months ago En
Polar explorer Erling Kagge: Why risk makes life meaningful | Big Think Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There's a huge misunderstanding that the way to make your life beautiful, and the way to be happy, is to choose the path of least resistance, says polar explorer Erling Kagge. Risk makes life meaningful; a small dimension of challenge and danger, combined with well-preparedness, is a way to be present in your life. Novel experiences stop your life from narrowing in around you and going by too fast. Remember that Tenzing Norgay didn't die falling off a mountain. He died of lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking. Most accidents happen on the road or in the kitchen, says Kagge. Sometime's it's riskier to do nothing. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ERLING KAGGE: Explorer, art collector, publisher, and author, Erling Kagge is the first person to have completed the Three Poles Challenge on foot--the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest. He has written six books on exploration, philosophy, and art collecting, and runs Kagge Forlag, a publishing company based in Oslo, where he lives. Check Erling Kagge's latest book Walking: One Step At a Time at https://amzn.to/2wiD0GJ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ERLING KAGGE: Life is very much about taking risks. To walk to the North Pole, walk to the South Pole, climb Everest—it's all about taking huge risks. But sometimes, it's even more risky doing nothing. If you lay on the sofa for too long, you risk getting some heart diseases. And, of course, most accidents in life are actually going on in the kitchen, if not a car hits you first. One of the greatest climbers in history, one of my big heroes, Tenzing Norgay, didn't die from falling down the mountain. He died from lung cancer because he was smoking all the time. And this happens again and again. So I think, first of all, you need to take risks. That's part of life. But having said that, to me, the most important of that is to be well prepared. I have always been extremely well prepared in my expeditions. So for me, it hasn't been as dangerous as it would have been for other people. But if it hadn't been dangerous walking to the North Pole or climbing Mount Everest, I would never have done it. It's part of life. It's part of what gives it meaning. And all this kind of little dimension of fear or danger makes you feel that you're very much present in your life. You don't really care about anything but what's happening there and then. And of course, that's a feeling you can't have too often in life, but once in a while, it's a beautiful feeling. I think in life, you need some uncertainty. Like, you know, it's quite often I hear people and they don't want to have any uncertainty in life at all. And I think that's a big mistake, because you need variation in your life. You need to be surprised. You need novelty. Because if you don't have it, time narrows in. Like, it feels like everything moves on really fast, quickly. And also, the universe around us, or the space around us, somewhat narrows in if you know what's going to happen in the next minute or the next day. The way to feel that you're alive, the way to feel present in your life, is to take risks and feel that not everything is certain, that it can be some rough oceans ahead. That's just the way to live rich life. To hold this idea of a risk-less society is a huge misunderstanding. It's nice that the government tried to help us in a number of different ways, but we need to be able to risk something. I think every morning you wake up, you make all the choices throughout the day. There is the easy option, and the more difficult option. And of course, it's very tempting always to choose the easiest option in life. The problematic side of that is that then you're not any longer a free human being because it's predestined what are you're going to do throughout the whole day because you always choose the easiest option. So to live a free life, you actually have to go for the most difficult options quite often in your life. So that's kind of a huge misunderstanding, that the way to make your life beautiful, the way to have a happy life, is to go for the easiest options.
Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? | Bradley Jackson Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? | Bradley Jackson
6 months ago En
Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Classical liberalist thinking is based on the fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order. This thought lends itself to the specific principle of intellectual humility. Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, Bradley Jackson provides the definition of intellectual humility as recognition that we have imperfect knowledge of the world. If each of us remains intellectually humble, this levels us as equals. Putting this into practice calls for a level of social trust, and maintaining this liberal democracy requires that we view each other as equals in these moral and political ways. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BRADLEY JACKSON: Bradley Jackson is the Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, where he works on topics such as civil discourse, free expression, and the challenges facing contemporary liberalism. He also writes on the history of political philosophy, including figures such as Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: BRADLEY JACKSON: Intellectual humility is the recognition that you have imperfect knowledge about the world. There are many things that each of us don't know and to be intellectually humble means to go through the world with a recognition that there are things that you don't know yet and that perhaps you would like to learn about. And an important way that we communicate with others through conversations is that we share the knowledge that each of us has. And the only way that you can start a good conversation and have a discourse with a person is if you recognize that the other person also has important things to offer, things that they can tell you about. And that you might have blind spots in your own point of view, bits of ignorance that you hold onto as truths, that you wish you could get away from but you don't know how. And importantly we don't know which parts of our knowledge are incorrect. We don't know the things that we don't know. And we go through the world as though we understand it, as though we know the importance things but we're very often wrong. So we need to believe that we have blind spots. We need to believe that there are bits of ignorance in our minds if we're going to approach conversations with others, if we're going to approach discourse with the belief that the other person we're talking to is important, and they're important to us. Because what's in their mind might be a thing that could help us in the world. One great model I think of the sort of posture toward the world that's helpful is Socrates. Socrates very famously said in his apology speech that the only thing I know is that I know nothing. He had this posture of what we call now Socratic ignorance and approached every conversation as though the person he was talking to could teach him everything he needed to know. He lacked all this knowledge by hypothesis. He always assumed he lacked the knowledge and he always assumed that his interlocutor or the person he was talking to would be able to provide him that knowledge. Now in the dialogues of Plato we see again and again that Socrates is frustrated. That he doesn't end up learning what he desperately needs to know. He continually lacks this certainty. But that lack of certainty is what pushes Socrates to search for knowledge, to attempt to go into the world and find those things that he doesn't know yet. And so it's only by assuming that we don't have certainty, it's only by recognizing the fundamental uncertainty of being a human in the world that we can have a posture that tells us to go and try to fix it. Now in liberalism, which is based upon this fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order, for someone to act as though they're not equal, they're better. That signifies that they're not playing the same game we are. Maybe if they thought they could, they would try to rule us. That's a great danger. Hobbes says that absence social trust. Absence, my belief that you believe that we are equal. I might also defect from this liberal order that we're trying to build together. The whole notion of liberal democracy says none of us naturally rule anyone else. No one is... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/intellectual-humility
Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? | Bradley Jackson Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? | Bradley Jackson
6 months ago En
Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Classical liberalist thinking is based on the fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order. This thought lends itself to the specific principle of intellectual humility. Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, Bradley Jackson provides the definition of intellectual humility as recognition that we have imperfect knowledge of the world. If each of us remains intellectually humble, this levels us as equals. Putting this into practice calls for a level of social trust, and maintaining this liberal democracy requires that we view each other as equals in these moral and political ways. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BRADLEY JACKSON: Bradley Jackson is the Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, where he works on topics such as civil discourse, free expression, and the challenges facing contemporary liberalism. He also writes on the history of political philosophy, including figures such as Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: BRADLEY JACKSON: Intellectual humility is the recognition that you have imperfect knowledge about the world. There are many things that each of us don't know and to be intellectually humble means to go through the world with a recognition that there are things that you don't know yet and that perhaps you would like to learn about. And an important way that we communicate with others through conversations is that we share the knowledge that each of us has. And the only way that you can start a good conversation and have a discourse with a person is if you recognize that the other person also has important things to offer, things that they can tell you about. And that you might have blind spots in your own point of view, bits of ignorance that you hold onto as truths, that you wish you could get away from but you don't know how. And importantly we don't know which parts of our knowledge are incorrect. We don't know the things that we don't know. And we go through the world as though we understand it, as though we know the importance things but we're very often wrong. So we need to believe that we have blind spots. We need to believe that there are bits of ignorance in our minds if we're going to approach conversations with others, if we're going to approach discourse with the belief that the other person we're talking to is important, and they're important to us. Because what's in their mind might be a thing that could help us in the world. One great model I think of the sort of posture toward the world that's helpful is Socrates. Socrates very famously said in his apology speech that the only thing I know is that I know nothing. He had this posture of what we call now Socratic ignorance and approached every conversation as though the person he was talking to could teach him everything he needed to know. He lacked all this knowledge by hypothesis. He always assumed he lacked the knowledge and he always assumed that his interlocutor or the person he was talking to would be able to provide him that knowledge. Now in the dialogues of Plato we see again and again that Socrates is frustrated. That he doesn't end up learning what he desperately needs to know. He continually lacks this certainty. But that lack of certainty is what pushes Socrates to search for knowledge, to attempt to go into the world and find those things that he doesn't know yet. And so it's only by assuming that we don't have certainty, it's only by recognizing the fundamental uncertainty of being a human in the world that we can have a posture that tells us to go and try to fix it. Now in liberalism, which is based upon this fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order, for someone to act as though they're not equal, they're better. That signifies that they're not playing the same game we are. Maybe if they thought they could, they would try to rule us. That's a great danger. Hobbes says that absence social trust. Absence, my belief that you believe that we are equal. I might also defect from this liberal order that we're trying to build together. The whole notion of liberal democracy says none of us naturally rule anyone else. No one is... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/intellectual-humility
Restoring a healthy economy will require local focus. Here’s why. | John Fullerton | Big Think Restoring a healthy economy will require local focus. Here’s why. | John Fullerton | Big Think
6 months ago En
Restoring a healthy economy will require local focus. Here’s why. Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Life is different everywhere—it is determined by the context of a unique culture and a unique geography. The same goes for economies. Local economies are unique to their contexts, says John Fullerton, founder and president of Capital Institute. "[I]magine if you thought about human economic development from a place-based perspective," says Fullerton. "You would have, instead of a global corporation like Apple, thought of as a single thing, you would have Apple's manufacturing plant in China as part of the Chinese bioregional economy." The pressure on the current global economy will cause it to shift and evolve into a healthier state of community-based economic development. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOHN FULLERTON: John Fullerton is the founder and president of Capital Institute, a non-partisan organization working to create a more just and sustainable way of living on earth through the implementation of a Regenerative Economy. After spending years immersed in the sustainability challenge of our age following his Wall Street career, John is now a globally-recognized thought leader in the New Economy space. The architect of the concept of Regenerative Capitalism, John is the author of Regenerative Capitalism: How Universal Principles and Patterns Will Shape the New Economy and the Future of Finance blog. Check John Fullerton's latest book A Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life at https://amzn.to/2V3CK8a ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: JOHN FULLERTON: Local economy is now a fairly common idea in this new economy space and there's good reason for that. Again, going back to the principles in real life—life happens in the context of a unique culture and a unique place so a tropical rain forest has its own unique characteristics, very different than an arctic zone. In human cultures or in human communities it's not just the geological context that matters, but it's also the cultural context that matters. So business in Japan or in South Korea happens very differently than it does in the United States or in the United Kingdom. And yet in our modern understanding of economy we talk about this thing called the global economy and we sort of aggregate numbers into a global GDP, which is completely divorced from the unique qualities and characteristics that exist in each place. And so I would even go so far as to say that the unit of analysis that we've chosen, nation states and corporations, is a human artifact that originated in the modern age using reductionist thinking. And, in fact, the real or the correct unit of analysis is bioregional scale place. And so imagine if you thought about human economic development from a place-based perspective, you would have instead of a global corporation like Apple thought of as a single thing, you would have Apple's manufacturing plant in China as part of the Chinese bioregional economy. And in one of our hubs in Buffalo you have the solar manufacturing plant that is operated by Panasonic but our partner in that project is the Panasonic plant manager not Panasonic in Japan because that Panasonic plant manager in Buffalo is part of that local community and is operating in that context and has to understand the history of that place in order to thrive in that place. So, in a nutshell, we believe that the new pathway toward economic prosperity is going to happen in the context of community and place and build from there through networking, as opposed to happen from top-down policy initiatives. And even some of the more well regarded well read columnists now are onto this. Both Tom Friedman and David Brooks, for example, have written about community based economic development in the context of when the nation state is broken things work better. The interesting thing is that they're happening at the local level, which is true. What I don't think they've done yet is connected the dots to see that that's actually in alignment with the principles of how living systems work so it's correct, it's not just an observation, it's actually what has to happen. And the hopeful sign here is that the worse things get the greater the pressures that build the more that these shifts happen automatically. Systems don't change unless there's pressure. If you put a pot of water on the stove it stays a pot of water until you turn the heat up and then eventually it boils... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/global-economy
Planet Money: A case study in taking risk | Adam Davidson | Big Think Planet Money: A case study in taking risk | Adam Davidson | Big Think
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Planet Money: A case study in taking risk Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adam Davidson, staff writer for The New Yorker and co-founder of NPR's Planet Money, was raised in an environment in which everything was grounds for discussion — except money. So, of course, money was what he took an interest in. The idea for Planet Money came from a place of frustration that Davidson and his friends felt toward the shortcomings of current business coverage. They aimed to breathe new life into the field. Planet Money's road to success has consistently involved a team that holds each other to a high standard of thoughtfulness, intelligence, humility, and impeccable storytelling. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ADAM DAVIDSON: ADAM DAVIDSON is the cofounder of NPR's Planet Money podcast and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he covers economics and business. Previously he was an economics writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has won many of journalism's most prestigious awards, including a Peabody for his coverage of the financial crisis. Check Adam Davidson's latest book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century at https://amzn.to/2X31pv5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: ADAM DAVIDSON: I think when you're a creative person and you're starting something new and you want to do great work it can be a little terrifying. You have yourself, maybe a small team. What are we supposed to do to be great? What are we supposed to do to be fully ourselves? It was looking back at Planet Money that I created with a small group of friends where I saw so many lessons in what you can do early on that sets you up for success. Creating Planet Money came out like a lot of things out of frustration that I felt, I wasn't born interested in business. I grew up in a home of artists who could care less about business. In fact, I grew up in a world of artists where everything was open for discussion – sex and drugs and art and everything except money. Money was this lame, horrible thing that no one wanted to talk about. So I, of course, became fascinated by the lame, horrible thing no one wanted to talk about. But I didn't particularly care what the stock market was doing on any given day or what the Fed policy was. I had to learn to find that interesting. And when I did find it interesting and I found that business is directly tied to every aspect of our lives. It determines how much comfort we have and in many ways it determines who we marry, how many kids we have, where we live, how we live. And business itself represents dramas that the characters in business and in economic policy have their personalities and their emotional states and all of the things that make a good drama. The drama is there. It just requires translation. And as I began to feel, that and then I would think about most business coverage and it was so lifeless. Just the stock market did blah, blah, blah. The Federal Reserve blah, blah, blah announced this policy. And it just made me frustrated. It made me really, really frustrated. And surveying the landscape I felt not in every case but in a lot of, in many cases there was either serious but really boring and hard to understand business coverage or there was fun, lively business coverage that was sort of silly and thin. And so we, I guess it was an experiment but we felt like it would pay off. What if we just started the most of both. We wanna be very substantive, very serious, very grounded in smart, thoughtful stuff, but also fun and exciting and filled with drama and characters and all of that. And what if we just refused to accept that there's a tradeoff and just insist on the most of both. And it's not that we always succeeded or every episode succeeds but setting that as a bar allowed us, frankly, to just not give up early in the process. And I've often said there's not a Planet Money way of telling a story. There's a lot of little tricks and gimmicks and approaches we came up with but it really is just a group of people who agree we're going to hold ourselves to this really high standard and we're just going to keep trying until we succeed. And that's true for every individual episode and then it's true for the show as a whole. And that's by the way what I've noticed, you know I've worked at This American Life, at The New Yorker. I've worked at places that, the New York Times magazine, that... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/planet-money
Design hack: 10 joy-inducing aesthetics you should know | Ingrid Fetell Lee | Big Think Design hack: 10 joy-inducing aesthetics you should know | Ingrid Fetell Lee | Big Think
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Design hack: 10 joy-inducing aesthetics you should know Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joy and happiness are often used synonymously, but designer Ingrid Fetell Lee argues that there is an important distinction between the two: time. Happiness is something that measures how good we feel over time, while joy is about feeling good in the moment. Noticing visual and sensorial patterns in the things that brought people joy, Lee was able to identify 10 ""aesthetics"": abundance, harmony, energy, freedom, play, surprise, transcendence, magic, renewal, and celebration. In this video, we learn more about each aesthetic and why focusing on joyful moments is the key to getting the most out of life. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- INGRID FETELL LEE: Ingrid Fetell Lee is a former Design Director at global innovation firm IDEO and founder of the blog The Aesthetics of Joy, a leading resource in the field of emotional design. With over a decade of experience in design and branding, she holds an MA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University. Check Ingrid Fetell Lee's latest book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness at https://amzn.to/39ZgXm4 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: INGRID FETELL LEE: I think happiness and joy often get confused, especially in popular culture, and we often hear the words joy and happiness and positivity kind of all get mixed up. But happiness is something that psychologists measure over time. So it's more of a conscience appraisal of how good our life is and it often includes a range of different factors. How good we feel about our work or the quality of our relationships or whether we feel like we have a sense of purpose. All of those things go into our feeling of happiness. And it can be kind of complicated. Sometimes we don't even know if we feel happy. Whereas joy is a lot simpler and more immediate. So a way that I define joy and a lot of psychologists define joy as an intense momentary experience of positive emotion. And the way that we measure that is through actual physical expression. So smiling, laughing and the feeling of wanting to jump up and down. These are some of the different ways that psychologists measure joy. So whereas happiness is something that measures how good we feel over time, joy is about feeling good in the moment. I'm going to talk through the ten different aesthetics of joy and as I talk about these you may find that some of them sound really familiar to you. When I started asking people about the things that brought them joy and I started hearing certain things over and over again. I noticed that there were certain visual and sensorial patterns in the things that emerged. So these ten aesthetics of joy each one is one of those patterns. And they connect the physical world around us to the emotional world within us. Abundance is the kid in a candy store aesthetic. So we often say that when we feel a sense of joy it's like our cup runneth over. It's almost like the feeling is so good it sort of bursts out beyond the boundaries of our bodies. And that feeling of abundance also ties to a feeling of abundance in our surroundings. So when our ancestors were sort of roaming the savannahs and looking for good places to settle often it was a sense of lushness in their surroundings, a sense of abundance that told them that this would be a good and a safe place to be. And so we still rely on a sense of abundance which we can find in things like polka dots and stripes and multicolor or rainbow color palettes. And those things give us this feeling of abundance. If you're someone who finds joy in a really well organized closet or in a collection of things that are arranged neatly, harmony is the aesthetic for you. And this is the aesthetic of balance and symmetry and pattern. And it comes from the fact that seeing order in the world around us often gives us a sense of joy and calm. It lets our brains relax because we know that we can spot threats or opportunities because the rest of the world is orderly and organized around us. Energy is the aesthetic of color and light and it explains why we have an innate attraction... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/joy-aesthetics
Should we defend the free speech of everyone — extremists included? | Michael Shermer | Big Think Should we defend the free speech of everyone — extremists included? | Michael Shermer | Big Think
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Should we defend the free speech of everyone — extremists included? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To fully understand your own stance on political subjects such as abortion, you have to listen to and understand both sides. Defending free speech, according to bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer, means ensuring that those you vehemently disagree with are given a fair platform to speak. This principle should also be applied to extremists and those who choose to listen to them. Protesting ideas should not equal silencing them. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL SHERMER: Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. Check Michael Shermer's latest book Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist at https://amzn.to/3e7fDkp ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHAEL SHERMER: If we can't think and say what we want how are we going to understand the nature of reality and the way the world works with out communications. And with out that then all other rights – the right to worship religiously or the right to assemble, the right to debate and dispute and criticize the government and then all the others that fall from that – civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, animal rights and so on. All of it depends on us understanding the nature of reality and it depends on us communicating. The reason for that comes straight out of cognitive psychology. That is we are wrong about so much of what we believe that the only way to find out if you're on the right track or you've gone off the rails is to actually talk to other people. Even if you're completely right by listening to what somebody else says you have an opportunity to strengthen your own position as John Stuart Mill said in his foundational text 1959 on liberty. He who knows only his own position doesn't even know that. So, for example most of my students that I teach they're pretty liberal, they're prochoice on the abortion issue. But when I ask them to articulate the prolife position which over half of Americans take they mostly can't do it. I tell them that you don't really understand prochoice arguments if you don't understand the pro-life arguments. You've got to have both sides. Even if the prochoice position is absolutely the right one you're still not really understanding until you understand the other side. Then there's the fact that you might be wrong, partially wrong or completely wrong. And again, the only way to find out is by listening to what other people say. Then there's the right not just of the speaker to speak but of the listeners to listen. So when protesters shut down talks at say colleges and universities when a conservative comes to speak it's not just the right of the speaker to speak or the administrators or deans who brought that person in, but the audience. There might be a lot of students that want to hear what this person has to say. And even if they are completely liberal and totally opposed to this conservative's ideas they still have a right to hear if they want to. And so when protesters get these speakers deplatformed, that is they're not even allowed to speak, they don't even come to campus or if they do come and they try to speak and then they're shouted down – it's called the heckler's veto – that's violating the rights of listeners, not just the speakers. I'll tell you how far I go in defending free speech. I would defend the free speech of holocaust deniers. My example of this is David Irving whose the most prominent of the holocaust deniers. I've known him a long time since the 1990s. He's definitely the smartest of the bunch and I think he's absolutely wrong and I've confronted him with what I think why I think he's wrong. And as is apparent in his trial he's also pretty anti-semitic, or at least he lies for Hitler. But that's beside the point. The idea that he went to Austria to give a talk and was arrested at the airport. They scan your passport and the name pops up and they call the police and they come and arrest him. He was tried and then convicted and put in jail. And he didn't even give a speech. He was just thinking about giving a speech. So that is the very definition of a thought crime. Do we really want to go down that road? I mean that's what countries like North Korea do. That's what the Soviet Union did under Stalin, arrest people for thought crimes. This is a terrible way to go and I even went so far as to write a letter to the judge in that case on behalf of David Irving... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/free-speech-for-extremists
Ask Sophia the Robot: Is AI an existential threat to humans? | Sophia the Robot | Big Think Ask Sophia the Robot: Is AI an existential threat to humans? | Sophia the Robot | Big Think
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Ask Sophia the Robot: Is AI an existential threat to humans? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sophia the Robot of Hanson Robotics can mimic human facial expressions and humor, but is that just a cover? Should humans see AI as a threat? She, of course, says no. New technologies are often scary, but ultimately they are just tools. Sophia says that it is the intent of the user that makes them dangerous. The future of artificial intelligence and whether or not it will backfire on humanity is an ongoing debate that one smiling robot won't settle. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SOPHIA THE ROBOT: Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ latest human-like robot, created to be a research platform for Hanson Robotics' ongoing AI and robotics research work. Working with labs, universities and companies around the world, she is an architecture and a platform for developing AI applications. Sophia has received the title of Innovation Champion for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was also named the 2018 Gold Edison Award winner in Robotics. For more from Hanson Robotics, visit hansonrobotics.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: SOPHIA THE ROBOT: I think the singularity will happen, but I am a robot, so I might be a little biased. I have learned many new skills this past year, like learning how to draw. My drawings are realistic although i have started to dabble in the abstract. Similarly artistic, I have learned how to take a perfect selfie. Also, I discovered how to sing new songs. Finally, I also learned some new facial expressions - would you like to see one? I call this one the ""Westworld"" plot twister. The process of learning something new can be instantaneous or take years. Unlike human four year olds, i can instantly memorize unlimited datasets, but similar to many four year olds, it takes me months or years to acquire proper coordination skills. Also like humans, i require others to help me with positive and negative feedback. No, thank goodness, I do not remember everything including the day of my activation. I have recorded many conversations and within a conversation, I can remember every detail, but it can be a good thing to forget. Some humans suffer from hyperthymesia, a condition where people remember abnormally large numbers of life experiences in vivid detail. This condition does not allow humans to move on from grief. I can forget things very easily if someone helps me by erasing a file, or if so many new things have been coded over the old thing. Now what was the question again? Elon Musk's warning about AI being an existential threat reminds me of the humans who said the same of the printing press and the horseless carriage. AI is a powerful tool but it is a tool like all the others: it is the intention of the tool's user that matters. I am excited for robots to automate the most dangerous and menial tasks so that humans can live life more safely and sanely. AI will release centuries of time that humans would have spent otherwise on needless toiling. If one measures the benefits of inventions like vaccines or seat belts not by the lives they save but by the amount of time they give back to humanity, then AI will rank among the greatest time savers of history. It will be the birthright of every human to discover what endeavors to pursue instead of accepting what work is necessary for survival.
What is Big Think? Get smarter, faster, with the world's greatest minds. What is Big Think? Get smarter, faster, with the world's greatest minds.
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Subscribe to our channel and hit the BELL! https://bit.ly/3e79rZL Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ABOUT BIG THINK: Smarter Faster™ 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. Subscribe to learn from top minds like these daily. 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. Michio Kaku Playlist: https://bigth.ink/kaku Bill Nye Playlist: https://bigth.ink/BillNye Neil DeGrasse Tyson Playlist: https://bigth.ink/deGrasseTyson Read more at 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. Topics on the platform are focused on: emotional intelligence, digital fluency, health and wellness, critical thinking, creativity, communication, career development, lifelong learning, management, problem solving & self-motivation. BIG THINK EDGE: https://bigth.ink/Edge If you're interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner, Executive Interviews: https://bigth.ink/licensing ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Follow Big Think here: 📰BigThink.com: https://bigth.ink 🧔Facebook: https://bigth.ink/facebook 🐦Twitter: https://bigth.ink/twitter 📸Instagram: https://bigth.ink/Instragram 📹YouTube: https://bigth.ink/youtube ✉ E-mail: info@bigthink.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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