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3 ethical catastrophes you can help stop, right now | Peter Singer | Big Think 3 ethical catastrophes you can help stop, right now | Peter Singer | Big Think
21 hours ago En
3 ethical catastrophes you can help stop, right now New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Philosopher Peter Singer cites his top three ethical issues in the world today as: extreme poverty; climate change, which is related to poverty; and the way humans treat animals. Any rational being should be interested in trying to understand how they ought to live, and whether they are doing things that are right or wrong. Singer suggests asking yourself important questions. When it comes to extreme poverty, ask: "Is it okay for me just to be living my life in my society and not doing anything for people who, through no fault of their own, are living in extreme poverty?" For climate change, ask how you can put pressure on political leaders to take serious steps to prevent a climate change catastrophe that will disproportionately affect the poor. When it comes to animal cruelty, ask: "Am I complicit in the suffering that's being inflicted on animals, especially in factory farms but in other forms of farming as well? Am I complicit in that when I buy those products? And, if so, does that mean that I need to stop buying them? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PETER SINGER: Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University in the University Center for Human Values and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s most influential living philosophers. Check Peter Singer's latest book 10th Anniversary Edition The Life You Can Save: How To Do Your Part To End World Poverty https://amzn.to/392NQyw ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: PETER SINGER: Great philosophers have tried to understand the world we're living in and have tried to think about how we ought to live. And I think these are really fundamentally important questions that any rational being ought to be interested in trying to find the answers to. What are the fundamental principles about how we ought to act? Ought we to be looking at moral rules that we ought never to violate? Ought we to be trying to work out what rights beings have? Should we be looking at the consequences of our actions and use that as the ultimate criterion for deciding what's right and wrong? These questions are still questions we face today. They have no scientific answer; They're not about the nature of the universe in that way. They're about how we ought to live, which is a different type of question. And so I think it's particularly relevant to look at what philosophy and what philosophical discussions have contributed to our reflection and our thought about how we ought to live. So my top three current ethical issues would be global poverty; climate change, which is clearly related to global poverty; and the way we treat animals, which I think is a hugely neglected issue that affects tens of billions of animals every year. I think a question that you might use to shape your thinking around the issue of global poverty would be: What ought I to be doing to contribute to helping people in extreme poverty? Each person who asks that question, of course, is in a somewhat different situation, but I'm assuming that you're living in an affluent country and within that country you're not among the poorest in that country, so you're middle class in that country or above, so you have money to spare after providing for your all your basic needs and making some provision for the future. You spend money on luxuries that you don't need, if it ranges from buying a bottle of water when you could drink water that comes out of the tap and is free or maybe it's taking vacations or buying clothes when you've got plenty of clothes to keep you warm and decent. So if you're in that situation, then you can ask yourself: What ought to I be doing to consider myself an ethical person? Is it okay for me just to be living my life in my society and not doing anything for people who, through no fault of their own, are living in extreme poverty. And if the answer to that is no then you need to think about, well, what should I be doing? How much should I be doing? With regard to climate change, perhaps the most pressing question is what can I do about this situation? I'm assuming that, like the overwhelming majority of scientists, you accept that climate change is real, that it's happening, that it is largely caused by human activities emitting greenhouse gases and that it's going to be catastrophic... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/be-a-better-person
Classical liberalism #2: How does toleration fit into a pluralistic society? | Chandran Kukathas Classical liberalism #2: How does toleration fit into a pluralistic society? | Chandran Kukathas
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Classical liberalism #2: How does toleration fit into a pluralistic society? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- While pluralism is considered a condition, toleration is the response to it. To recognize and accept a diverse range of perspectives on ethical views is to exhibit tolerance. Singapore Management University professor Chandran Kukathas points to toleration as a cornerstone of the classical liberal tradition. In fact, liberal thought arises from the reality that people disagree substantially on any number of things. The principle of toleration offers guidance in understanding what makes a good society, as well as how that society upholds conditions of pluralism and diversity. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHANDRAN KUKATHAS: Chandran Kukathas holds the Lee Kong Chian Chair of Political Science and is Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University. He was previously Chair of Political Theory and Head of the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Hayek and Modern Liberalism (1989) and The Liberal Archipelago (2003). His next book, Immigration and Freedom, will be published by Princeton University Press. Read Chandran Kukathas's latest book The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom https://amzn.to/38Q7OwH ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: CHANDRAN KUKATHAS: I think of toleration as really a response to the fact of pluralism. So in that sense toleration is the normative principle whereas pluralism I think of as the condition of the world. I suppose just to complicate things a little bit one could think about pluralism as itself a kind of principle. So if one says one is a pluralist what one means, I think, one recognizes the diversity of ethical views out there and one's attitude therefore is tolerance or toleration. So in that sense pluralism sounds like it's also an ethical position. But the way I'm using it here I'm going to take it that pluralism is the condition, so toleration is the response to it. We accept that there is a plurality of perspectives on the world of ethical views and so on, and the attitude we take is that we accept these differences. We think that we should try to work around them. At some point it's going to be difficult because we may have about some issues very, very strong views and may not be willing to tolerate or accept certain forms of diversity. But I think the aim of the person who is moved by the idea of toleration is to go as far as possible, to recognize that others may themselves think about our own views as somehow distasteful or repugnant or immoral. Within the theory of liberalism what's dominated for sometime really, probably the last 50 or 60 years is the idea that justice is the most important value for trying to understand the good society and even for understanding the free society. But I think that the classical liberal tradition really is one that sees toleration as much more important. Now it hasn't always been explicitly so, but I think if one looks at the origins of liberal thinking, at least in the modern world, then toleration becomes much more important. And the reason for this is that I think liberal thinking really arises out of a reflection on the fact that people disagree substantially about things. They have different ways of life, especially I think in Europe they had different religious convictions although different religious convictions within Christian traditions. And one of the theories that came out of this was a theory of how to deal with these differences, and the solution was to develop norms of toleration, norms that suggest that what you should do is try not to reconcile differences by coming to a mind about fundamental principles. By definition these were things that were disagreed about. The solution was to try to find a way of not so much reconciling as accommodating differences. So in principle the idea of toleration is what makes most sense. Now, one of the difficulties I think that came up straightaway though was that there's a question about what one should do when toleration threatens to break down. And one very prominent answer to this has been, and especially in modern liberal thinking has been what we do is we appeal to principles of justice to settle this question of what are the limits of toleration. But the problem here is that if justice is itself something that we can disagree about then to appeal to justice would really just beg the question because we'd be appealing to something that we say is the correct view when we started off with a problem that we don't agree about what the correct view is... To read the full transcript, please go to:
Why vaccines are absolutely necessary | Larry Brilliant | Big Think Why vaccines are absolutely necessary | Larry Brilliant | Big Think
2 days ago En
Why vaccines are absolutely necessary New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant, ""but vaccines are not one of those factors."" Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.  Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LARRY BRILLIANT: Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH, is the author of Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventures of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History. Dr. Larry was Vice President of Google and Executive Director of Google.org. He is board-certified in preventive medicine and public health and co-founder of The Seva Foundation, an international NGO whose programs and grantees have given back sight to more than 3.5 million blind people in over 20 countries. Dr. Larry lived in India for more than a decade working as a United Nations medical officer where he played a key role in the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He currently serves as the acting Chairman of the Board of the Skoll Global Threats Fund whose mission is to confront global threats like: pandemics, climate change, water, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflict. Read Dr. Larry Brilliant's latest book Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History https://amzn.to/38Tlg2S ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: LARRY BRILLIANT: Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand, but vaccines are not one of those factors. I live in Marin County. I live in the epicenter of the anti-vax movement. It's pretty obvious I have not been very successful in my own county in persuading people. And I understand this is a very complicated business. Measles, for example, one of the M's in MMR, measles spreads faster than any other virus we've ever seen. One case can give rise to 20 or 30 cases in two weeks. If we had a lot of measles around and there were a lot of children getting sick all the time we wouldn't be looking at the marginal question of whether vaccinating my child or not was a good idea; we'd be rushing to get the measles vaccine. And that's what happened. When polio was around, and you always knew somebody in the neighborhood who was paralyzed in an iron lung, we all rushed to get that polio vaccine. In fact, there's photographs of parents standing in line for four or five hours to get the Salk vaccine or the Sabin vaccine. When there's no polio in the United States and we're down to 18 cases of polio in Pakistan, we're this close to eradicating polio, when there's no measles around we change our calculus. Why should I subject my child to a one in a million risk if there's less than a one in a million chance of them getting the disease? And this is where it becomes hard because we have to talk about prevention of a disease that still exists in the world but not in our neighborhood. It's not front of mind. And a lot of these parents who are against vaccines are wonderful, the most wonderful people, they're just trying to do the right thing for their kids. But vaccines are the best thing science has ever given us. It's saved hundreds of millions of children's lives. It eradicated smallpox. It has reduced the population explosion. I know that that's pretty paradoxical, but as long as there are vaccines children will not die as they did when I was in India—there were places that 50 percent of kids died before the age of five. When that happens parents have many more babies because they expect to lose so many. Vaccines have changed that.
How is diversity being weaponized? | Heather Heying | Big Think How is diversity being weaponized? | Heather Heying | Big Think
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How is diversity being weaponized? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In efforts to achieve diversity, whether within workplace teams or elsewhere, leaders often focus on variation of identities regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, and physicality. Evolutionary biologist Heather Heying urges that these efforts be taken a step further to focus on diversity of viewpoints and socioeconomic status — two forms of identity that are less apparent without thoughtful conversation. Achieving diversity in these ways adds varying life experiences and opinions that enrich office or team culture and provide more innovative solutions. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HEATHER HEYING: Heather Heying is an evolutionary biologist and former Professor at Evergreen State College. She applies the tool kit of evolutionary theory to problems large and small, some seemingly intractable, some possibly trivial—what to eat, how to teach and parent and be an upstanding citizen, what to avoid, and what to seek. Heather came to prominence after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers at Evergreen State College. Follow Heather on twitter: @HeatherEHeying and on Medium and through her website, heatherheying.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: HEATHER HEYING: The concept of diversity is honorable and is being weaponized by people who are not, I think, actually interested in true diversity across all demographics. Diversity could be understood merely at a ""we can count this by what you look like and how you identify - your ethnicity, your sex, your sexual orientation, your able-bodiedness,"" these sorts of things. And these are all real ways that humans differ, and the more varied the life histories and the demographics there are in any particular organization, the more likely there are to be unique solutions to problems that emerge because of the different ways that people with diverse backgrounds will approach questions. However, socioeconomic diversity, which is not often talked about by many of the people who are currently talking about diversity, is in some ways a better predictor of having things like viewpoint diversity and experience with the real world and being able to actually solve problems on the fly, either the physical or the social sort because they've had to. Because people who are emerging not from the elite and the upper middle class have actually often had to solve problems in a way that those of us who grew up with greater economic privilege didn't have to. We may have chosen to put ourselves in these situations, but even so when it's a choice it's different. So diversity is a good, but we are not hearing nearly enough about socioeconomic diversity and we are also not hearing nearly enough about viewpoint diversity, which is hidden, which you can't wear on your sleeve: I mean you could you could wear a T-shirt that proclaims some things, but the only thing you can proclaim on a T-shirt is an ideology. You cannot proclaim a nuanced worldview except through extended conversation. Most people who have arrived at their beliefs and their values and their worldview through, first, principles as opposed to through accepting something by rote that was handed to them pre-scripted actually don't fall entirely into a particular ideology. Most of us have views that would sound pretty Democratic and also have views that would sound maybe a bit Republican and some views that are moderate and probably most of us have some extreme views on some topics, and it's not going to be the same mix for anyone. And we find that through talking with one another. That diversity, which is diversity at the individual level for people who are not ideologues, who have actually arrived at their positions through careful nuanced intellectual but compassionate thought about the world - that's the kind of person that you want in a boardroom. And if those people all look the same in terms of their sex or the color of their skin I would say there's probably some diversity that you're missing that you could stand to gain. But the idea that you can't have diversity of life experience and diversity of opinion and diversity of what people actually come to offer in a room of people who appear to look the same by the metric that we are currently being told to use seems far off base to me, that diversity for the countable phenotypic characteristics should not be the highest goal.
Basic income: Could cash handouts revitalize the economy? | Chris Hughes | Big Think Basic income: Could cash handouts revitalize the economy? | Chris Hughes | Big Think
6 days ago En
Basic income: Could cash handouts revitalize the economy? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook, sees universal basic income as a way to stabilize the lives of those who need it most. A foundation of $500 per month could solve many of today's economic problems. Much of the criticism surrounding UBI comes from a place of myth and mistrust. If you give someone cash, how can you be sure they'll spend it responsibly? The fact is, cash is the most effective way of providing economic mobility. To reboot the American dream, we must address the moral and practical issue that many Americans lack basic financial stability. To bolster the economy and avoid another depression, UBI could be the answer. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHRIS HUGHES: Chris Hughes is the co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a network of policymakers, academics, and technologists working to end poverty and rebuild the middle class through a guaranteed income. He co-founded Facebook as a student at Harvard and later led Barack Obama's digital organizing campaign for President. Hughes was the owner and publisher of The New Republic magazine from 2012 to 2016. He lives in New York's Greenwich Village with his family. Purchase Chris Hughes's latest book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn https://www.amazon.com/Fair-Shot-Rethinking-Inequality-Earn/dp/1250196590/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1520735570&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=bigthink00-20&linkId=0ab64cd5afb9a6667dcafe394ce3401d ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: CHRIS HUGHES: Universal basic income and guaranteed income are really inspired by the same values, that idea that everybody should have the dignity and freedom to pursue their dreams, to figure out what they want to do with their time. Oftentimes the UBI is talked about these days at least in the context of the rise of the robots and pending technical unemployment as a lot of people call it. And my view is that very well may happen, there's also a good argument by a lot of economists and other folks that this time is not different. What we know is that the future is already here and work and jobs in America have already come apart. Of nearly all the jobs that we've created in the past decade have been part time, contingent, or temporary. These kinds of very unstable, lumpy jobs with lumpy income cycles and a guaranteed income of $500 a month would be a powerful force to stabilize the lives of people who need it the most. In some ways it's a down payment. If the robots do indeed rise and self-driving cars were on the roads in five years as some technologists predict, it'd be much easier to build on a foundation of a guaranteed income of something like $500 a month than to begin afresh. So my view is that the idea of a guaranteed income is to solve the problems of today and in a way that it could be implemented immediately. I've worked on cash and specifically using cash as a tool for economic mobility for several years now, first internationally and then domestically, and the thing about it is it asks fundamental questions about trust. If you give people money can you trust them to make the decisions that are best for them? Will they use it responsibly or irresponsibly? And I think there's a sense, particularly in American culture, that is pervasive of concern that if you give this money to young men they're just going to put up their feet and play video games, or there's this pervasive myth of the welfare queen that people just want to stay home and live on government benefits. And I think the challenge for those of us who believe that those are very much myths is to amplify the stories, the kind of stories that I hear nearly everyday and they are stories of people who want to work. I think the vast majority of Americans want to be of purpose. There are many ways of thinking about work and I think we should expand the definition of it, but Americans for the most part want to work and they also want to be able to pay their bills. Nobody is looking for get rich quick schemes, they're looking to be able to make ends meet. So the challenge is to build on all the empirical evidence that we have that really I think makes a very solid case that cash is the most effective way to provide economic mobility and really build a narrative, build a movement around the idea that people are working hard and yet aren't enjoying the same opportunities that they have historically, and they should be able to and cash is the most powerful way to guarantee that. I think that there is an emerging... To read the full transcript, go to:
Classical liberalism #1: What is classical liberalism? | Emily Chamlee-Wright | Big Think Classical liberalism #1: What is classical liberalism? | Emily Chamlee-Wright | Big Think
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Classical liberalism #1: What is classical liberalism? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The moral and political philosophy known as classical liberalism is built around a number of core concepts, including, perhaps most importantly, human dignity and individual liberty. Emily Chamlee-Wright, president of the Institute for Humane Studies, introduces these two principles as forces that shape the liberal notion of justice. This applies to both individuals' treatment of others, as well as the government's treatment of individuals. This just conduct contributes to the liberal ideal: the good society. By emphasizing the individual, liberalism encourages collaboration and cooperation while also offering the freedom to make choices and learn from failure. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Emily Chamlee-Wright Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright is the president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies, which supports and partners with scholars working within the classical liberal tradition. She was previously Provost and Dean at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Prior to joining Washington College, she was Elbert Neese Professor of Economics and Associate Dean at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: EMILY CHAMLEE-WRIGHT: Liberalism in the classical sense of the word is a moral and political philosophy. And it's built around a core set of ideas, probably the most important of which is the recognition that all human beings possess, inherently possess, dignity and should be respected. And respecting human beings means giving them some space, giving them freedom to pursue their individual plans and purposes and projects. And that then leads to the next important core concept, which is individual liberty. And when you bring those two ideas together – human dignity and individual liberty – that informs the liberal notion of justice, which is that each of us has a duty to respect the individual rights of other people. And that is included whether or not we are individuals ourselves or thinking about individuals as having that duty to respect our fellow human beings who are walking the planet, but also governments, that governments within the liberal tradition also have to respect every individual. And you're starting to see how these ideas start to combine and intersect with one another and they inform in turn the liberal concept of equality. That in a liberal society, human beings, all human beings, have equal standing within society and also before the law. And so these ideas interlock with one another into a coherent system of ideas. Now these ideas have long taproots that reach back to ancient philosophical traditions. But ideas within the classical liberal tradition really start to begin to flower in the late seventeenth and then throughout the eighteenth century. So by the end of the eighteenth century you have scholars who are self-aware that they are writing within the liberal tradition. So Adam Smith, for example, writes about the liberal plan, which is kind of a recipe. If you have liberty, justice and equality you have the foundation of a functional society. And we also see, of course, in the late eighteenth century the launch of the American experiment. And when you look at those founding documents like the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, they are wrapped up within this liberal tradition. Now obviously the rights that were guaranteed within these documents were not consistently applied. We still had a lot of illiberalism yet to shed. But they lay the foundation for an emergent system of liberalism within the American context that could become more full fledged into a coherent system of ideas and political rules of the game and really a set of liberal values as well. The liberal ideal is the good society, a tolerant and a pluralistic society. The liberal society is one in which economic and intellectual progress are the norm because of a kind of radical commitment to openness. And the liberal society, the good society, is also one in which individuals and communities flourish because of that openness but also because of a commitment to peaceful and voluntary engagement and mutual respect. And I'm emphasizing these social virtues because that's probably the biggest misperception about what liberalism is all about. That by emphasizing the individual, people often think that well, there's no room left to think about community or society seriously. I think that view is mistaken. That it's actually exactly the opposite. That because liberalism focuses on the individual it's actually... To read the full transcript, please go to: https://bigthink.com/videos/classical-liberalism
The next pandemic is inevitable. Are we prepared? | Larry Brilliant | Big Think The next pandemic is inevitable. Are we prepared? | Larry Brilliant | Big Think
1 week ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is no way to completely stop a pandemic from coming, says former United Nations medical officer and a key player in the World Health Organization's (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia, Larry Brilliant. Being prepared and having a good public health infrastructure are necessary to reduce impact. Pandemics like ebola are more likely to start at the edges of poor countries, away from the main hub and away from major cities, but without isolation and containment protocols they can and will grow. According to Brilliant, budget cuts and poor decision making by government in the past has crippled pandemic prevention efforts in time of crisis. That's something that we can not let happen again. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LARRY BRILLIANT Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH, is the author of Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventures of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History. He currently serves as the acting Chairman of the Board of the Skoll Global Threats Fund whose mission is to confront global threats like: pandemics, climate change, water, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflict. He is also a Senior Adviser at the Jeff Skoll Group. Dr. Larry was Vice President of Google and Executive Director of Google.org. He is board-certified in preventive medicine and public health and co-founder of The Seva Foundation, an international NGO whose programs and grantees have given back sight to more than 3.5 million blind people in over 20 countries. Dr. Larry lived in India for more than a decade working as a United Nations medical officer where he played a key role in the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He was professor at the University of Michigan and founding chairman of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: LARRY BRILLIANT: It's not a question of if we will have a pandemic, it's a question of when. The odds that something like that happens increases to the extent that we are not prepared that we do not increase our ability to find every case as soon as it jumps from an animal to a human, that we are not able to respond quickly by whatever means we have at the time. We won't have a vaccine or an antiviral on the first few days of a pandemic, so what we have to respond with is good public health. We have to be able to do isolation, social distancing, containment, messaging, all of those things. It is unlikely that that first case is going to take place in New York City or Chicago. It is likely that it will take place in a poor country at the periphery of the country far away from the capital. That's what happened with Ebola, a perfect storm. The first cases took place at the border of three post conflict impoverished countries that didn't have a very good public health infrastructure. And they started asking WHO to send in teams and to send in resources it was right around the time of the World Health Assembly, which takes place in May. And the World Health Assembly had said to the WHO management that they had to find a way to cut their budget. And unfortunately the budget part that they cut was pandemic prevention, infectious disease control and immediate response to outbreaks. The net of that, the sad net of that is that it was six months before there was the declaration of an infectious disease of global significance, which is WHO's way of saying this is all in let's send everybody do everything we can do. We were on a trajectory to reach hundreds of thousands of cases. And CDC actually estimated that we were on a trajectory to reach over one million cases. Had not Obama and the U.S. jumped in with even military resources and sending them food - I mean Médecins Sans Frontières were heroes. But I think here's the lesson for us right now in the United States is we have an administration that wants to cut the size of government and freeze hiring and not hire new people. We have to staff up for pandemic prevention. It is a low probability but a highly consequential event. These are the worst things to deal with. I was at an event called the Renaissance Weekend a couple of years ago and we had just made a movie called Contagion. And I wanted to make a movie that really looked like what a real pandemic would look like and that's what Contagion was, the science was impeccable. So I showed this movie... Read the full transcript here: https://bigthink.com/videos/pandemic-preparedness
Law vs. justice: What is our duty in society? | James Stoner | Big Think Law vs. justice: What is our duty in society? | James Stoner | Big Think
1 week ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JAMES STONER James R. Stoner, Jr. is Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute at Louisiana State University. He wrote Common-Law Liberty (2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory (1992) and co-edited The Political Thought of the Civil War (2018) and three other books. His A.B. is from Middlebury and his Ph.D. from Harvard. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I think the rule of law only works in the end among people who have a sense of justice, in other words that you can’t divorce the rule of law from the virtue of justice. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to pursue their own interests in the marketplace. Actually, it’s just for people to be able to pursue their own interests and to a large extent to pursue the good as they understand it. Actually, that’s almost the definition of conscience is to be able to act according to the law but according to your own judgment of what the circumstances require, you, who know those circumstances and everything about them because you’re a human being you can make those judgments. That’s a specifically human capacity something the robots can’t do and the algorithms for Pete’s sake certainly don’t do. But the question is whether you can have the rule of law without conscience, without people having consciences, without people having the virtue of justice? And I guess I think you can’t really. Immanuel Kant said, “The perfect constitution would work even among a nation of devils provided they were intelligent devils.” If you had all the right punishments you could lead people just out of their own interests never to do anything wrong if you could calibrate it in that way. But I think the overwhelming evidence is the other way on that one, people are clever enough, maybe I should say human sinfulness is fertile enough that people will always figure out a way around any law. The virtue of justice it has to be there in judges, it has to be there in juries, but if it has to be there in juries it has to be there in society generally. And I think that our sense that the law can be only something external to us rules that just hedge us in in certain ways and don’t care about our internal life in any sort of way, don’t care whether we’re just or unjust in our souls, in ourselves, I think that’s a tremendous threat to the rule of law.
Handling hecklers: Lessons from a comedian | Paul F. Tompkins | Big Think Handling hecklers: Lessons from a comedian | Paul F. Tompkins | Big Think
1 week ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PAUL F. TOMPKINS Paul F. Tompkins is a comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher and Best Week Ever, and he co-starred in There Will Be Blood, with Daniel Day-Lewis. He is well known for his numerous appearances on podcasts, including his 100+ appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! He is also the host of the Fusion Channel talk show No, You Shut Up!, The Dead Authors Podcast, the online Made Man interview series Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins, the Earwolf podcast SPONTANEANATION with Paul F. Tompkins, and The Pod F. Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment" in 2011. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: One of the best lessons I ever learned was that someone who speaks up at a show is not necessarily a heckler. When I first started out anyone that said anything I was so rattled by it that I would attack that person and try to shut them down and assert my dominance, you know, over the room. Like I’m in charge, I’m the guy with the microphone. And it took me a while but then I realized oh sometimes people are just – they’re forgetting themselves. They’re agreeing with the thing that you said. They’re trying to add on to an idea that you just put out there. And then I realized anytime anything like that happens this is an opportunity for more fun. So I would always start out – I learned to when I was confronted with someone saying something to ask in a friendly tone, oh what did you say, you know. To let them know I’m not trying to attack this person because you have to let the audience know because it can turn a room very quickly if you’re too aggressive with someone, if you’re too upset by it people can sense this. And it’s unpleasant and it’s uncomfortable for people. And so what I always like to communicate to an audience if someone says something is everything’s okay. I’m going to ask this person what they said and maybe we’ll have a conversation. But it’s all going to be fun the whole time. It’s also a covert defense mechanism because if I let this person talk and then they reveal themselves to be someone who does want to ruin the show now everybody is on my side because I’ve been nice so far. So it’s also – it’s win-win because it’s either we’re going to have a fun conversation with this strange person who started talking or I will give this jerk enough rope to hang himself and then the audience will be on my side when I do have to shut them down. But more often than not people are just kind of forgetting themselves or they get wrapped up in it and they want to talk to you because you’re talking, you know. And I’ve had some great fun times talking to people from the audience who just accidentally spoke up.
Could genomics solve the climate change crisis? | Daniel C. Esty | Big Think Could genomics solve the climate change crisis? | Daniel C. Esty | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale Law School. Known for his innovative policy ideas and commitment to transformative change, Dan served as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014 and in several leadership roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993. He is the editor of A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future (Yale University Press). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: So genomics, the idea that we can intervene with the genome of not just humans but any species in a way that might harden that species, improve it’s resilience to threats like climate change or make it more amenable to various medical approaches so as to ensure there’s a reduction of harm. And it can also be used in plants, for example, to speed up the growth pace and otherwise to provide ways to help harden the species or improve a species contribution to the response to climate change. So many aspects of society have been transformed by technology breakthroughs in the last couple of decades. And I would argue that the environmental arena broadly and climate change in particular had seen very little of that brought to bear despite an urgent need. And I do think suddenly that’s changing. We now have a number of people that are looking at various aspects of the technology world and saying how might this help us achieve a sustainable future. And that is very much a focus of the Better Planet book with a number of authors putting forward both technologies and frames of thinking that might move us towards a climate change answer. One of the most important aspects of this in my mind is the concept of genomics, of thinking about how we do genetic modification as a strategy for improving sustainability. And the chapter in our Better Planet book that lays this out offers examples both in terms of human exposure to public health threats broadly and to climate change in particular and understanding how we might well be able to address individual exposures that differ from the general public with genomic intervention in the future sparing people pain and suffering they might otherwise face. And perhaps even more interesting there are very significant ways that we might see genomic progress in addressing the plant and animal world. I’m thinking in particular of forests which could be a critical sink for carbon dioxide and I do think there are ways that we can make forests grow faster and perhaps serve more successfully as a sink for those greenhouse gases ensuring a better response to the problem and getting us to think about both mitigation, reducing emissions, but also the ability to set up nature as part of the solution absorbing those carbon emissions.
John Locke vs. John Stuart Mill: Using metaethics to examine claims | Daniel Jacobson | Big Think John Locke vs. John Stuart Mill: Using metaethics to examine claims | Daniel Jacobson | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DANIEL JACOBSON Daniel Jacobson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He works primarily in ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics. He founded and directs the Freedom and Flourishing Project, whose mission is to study the theory, history, and empirical support for classical liberalism; and to increase political diversity in philosophy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: In meta ethics what one tries to do is think about what makes the sorts of claims such as the foundational claims of liberalism true. In the liberal tradition, for instance, there are really two central strands. One is personified by John Locke. That’s a natural rights tradition and that finds these rights endowed to us by our creators. So either given to us by god or by some sort of fact about human nature, a slightly different tradition. And then John Stuart Mill on the other hand who thinks that, who defends many of the same sorts of right. But defends them on fundamentally different grounds. Defends them as moral rights because he thinks that they’re the sorts of things that need to be protected in order for people to flourish. So it’s a utilitarian argument in the sense that the ultimate value here is happiness or wellbeing. But it’s an indirect utilitarian argument because it says that we shouldn’t just evaluate individual actions by trying to estimate their effect in isolation. But rather we should think about the most important moral rules for the governance of society that will be particularly conducive to human happiness. And for Mill he thought that those rules enshrined the kinds of rights that classical liberals focus on. Freedom of conscious, freedom of association, rule of law, autonomy over your mind and body. Another way of viewing the difference between a Lockean form of liberalism and a Millian form of liberalism is about whether it holds that certain sorts of actions are inherently right or inherently wrong. Locke thought something like that. He thought that somehow or other we could rationally determine the rightness or wrongness, the inherent rightness or wrongness of certain sorts of actions. Kant was another person who thought that. For Mill he thought that what makes actions right or wrong ultimately is there are consequences for human happiness. At the same time though he thought that there was a crucial role for rules, for moral rules and that the rightness and wrongness of actions issues from whether or not they’re in accordance with the best set of moral rules where the best set of moral rules are the ones that whose adoption is going to be maximally conducive to happiness. A central meta ethical question is are certain sorts of actions inherently right or wrong or are they right or wrong in virtue of their consequences. And what I’m suggesting, and Mill was somewhere in between there because he thinks foundationally it’s the good, it’s happiness. That’s the ultimate value. But he also sees moral rules not just as being heuristics, rules of thumb, things that we can apply but then throw away under pressure. To the contrary he thinks that they generate real obligations. Even in extraordinary circumstances where it seems like say violating someone’s freedom of speech will be better in terms of its consequences because of political contingencies of the moment. What Mill understood was the stability of having moral rules that we respect in a very stringent way. Maybe not in catastrophe but in ordinary context. We really need to guard against people wanting to make exceptions. We need to guard against people thinking especially about that their own case is different from the general case because we’re all biased. We’re all biased in favor of ourselves and those we love and the projects that we believe in. And one of the things that we have to be able to do in order to live in society with each other is play by the same rules and implement rules that we can agree are worth playing by even when we think that we can see that breaking one on an occasion would lead to better results.
Why democratizing AI is absolutely crucial | Karen Palmer | Big Think Why democratizing AI is absolutely crucial | Karen Palmer | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KAREN PALMER Karen Palmer is the Storyteller from the Future. She is an award-winning international artist and TED speaker. She creates immersive film experiences at the intersection of film, A.I. technology, gaming, immersive storytelling, neuroscience, consciousness, implicit bias, and the parkour philosophy of moving through fear. She is the creator of RIOT, an emotionally responsive film, which uses facial recognition and A.I. technology to navigate through a dangerous riot. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: One of the key themes kind of in the subtext of the narratives of my work that I create is about democratizing artificial intelligence and kind of looking at the lack of AI governance and AI regulation. And the consequence and implications of that which is what my Perception iO project reflects for the user experience. This is a really big deal girls and boys out there. This is a really big deal. You know there was something called the, you may have heard of called email and the internet which was with the government and the military for decades before it came to us, the people. There’s serious consequences if us, the people, don’t have access or are not involved in the development of these networks with these really powerful forms of technology. There’s something called implicit bias which basically means everybody basically has bias that they’ve had being brought up and their livelihood and their experiences in life. And if you’re a developer or a designer you tend to subconsciously program implicit bias into what you’re doing. The consequences of implicit bias in technology like AI is basically catastrophic. So I’m going to give an example. There’s a system called the Compass system which is a system which supports judges as they’re sentencing a criminal. This is an AI system and it has been proven that this system has given longer sentences for people of color and black people than it does to white people. There’s also a similar system in the UK which has been proven to give longer sentences to working class people. The artificial intelligence which supports the judges in these decisions is designed by private organizations and corporations. The data in this AI has no regulation governing it and basically a commercial entity has created this, given it to judges and it is affecting people’s lives. People of color and black people for the worse on a daily basis. As a black woman working in storytelling and technology this type of conversation is very important to bring to the fore. For other developers and academics in this area that’s not a priority for them. They have other narratives that they want to bring. So part of democratizing, creating a regulation, a governance is to me essential and that’s why when you experience my stories and my immersive experiences this is the context of them. Because maybe lots of people this is just too heavy for them. They want to watch The Voice, they want to watch X Factor. This is way too heavy shit. But if you’re in an immersive experience and you’re feeling it and you’re feeling this emotion and you’re seeing the consequences maybe viscerally it can connect with you in your gut in a different way. So that’s why I created experiences to kind of show, bring these things to people in a way which is accessible to them in a language and experience which they understand.
Automation apocalypse: Too many robots? More like not enough. | Ezra Klein | Big Think Automation apocalypse: Too many robots? More like not enough. | Ezra Klein | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ezra Klein, editor-at-large and cofounder of Vox, doesn't buy into automation apocalypse theories. The data is not there to support those predictions. "In many cases, part of the problem in our economy is not that we have too many robots but that we don't have enough robots," says Klein. "If we were being able to do a better job automating things ... we would be getting richer faster and we would be able to share those gains faster." Klein doesn't believe greater automation will leave us with a useless class of jobless people. Humans excel at assigning value to jobs, unrelated to their actual use or dignity, he says. Humans will imbue new jobs with both social capital and money as the future pushes forward. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EZRA KLEIN Ezra Klein is the editor-at-large and cofounder of Vox, the award-winning explanatory news organization. Launched in 2014, Vox reaches more than fifty million people across its platforms each month. Klein is also the host of the podcast the Ezra Klein Show, cohost of the Weeds podcast, and an executive producer on Vox’s Netflix show, Explained. Previously, Klein was a columnist and editor at the Washington Post, a policy analyst at MSNBC, and a contributor to Bloomberg. He’s written for the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and appeared on many programs including Face the Nation, the Daily Show, and PBS NewsHour. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I’m going to be honest, I’m a doubter of the automation apocalypse theories. For one thing we don’t see it in the data, we actually have quite good productivity data, we know if we’re making more things with fewer or the same number of people and while it is true that productivity is going up it is going up more slowly than it has in the past. If automation were putting all these people out of work because we’re producing so much more without any people needed at all we would be seeing those productivity numbers shooting up. In many cases part of the problem in our economy is not that we have too many robots but that we don’t have enough robots. If we were being able to do a better job automating things, making the same number of people produce much more we would be getting richer faster and we would be able to share those gains faster. So one, the robots are taking all of our jobs maybe it will be true someday. It is not true currently and it is not visible in any of the data currently, which is a problem. The other reason I’m skeptical is that human beings are very good at assigning value to jobs that maybe do not have that much intrinsic value in them. So, go back a couple hundred years and we’re most all working in agriculture, we are doing things that are very directly about human survival. So, you go forward in time, I mean I’m a journalist who writes stuff online, it’s not an objectively all that needed a job. There are more yoga instructors today than there are coal miners in America. Management consultants make a lot more money and are given a lot more social capital, I’m not saying fairly I’m just saying it is true, than farmers or public school teachers. So, this idea that the only jobs that have dignity and that have worth are ones that are actually needed. This idea that we’re going to have a useless class of people because robots are going to take the jobs, it seems a lot likelier to me that we’re just going to imbue new jobs with both social capital and money. Again, in our society right now a lot of the people who are given the highest incomes and given the most public esteem are doing jobs that in the grand scheme of human history are ridiculous, corporate lawyers, management consultants, high frequency traders on Wall Street. So, you can’t look at that and tell me that the only thing that decides whether a job is going to happen is if we need it. What decides if a job is going to happen and how the people in that job are looked at is a set of social constructions around that job. In many ways I think the biggest problem is that we don’t give the right jobs enough dignity. I look forward to a world in which being a public school teacher gets you more esteem than being a management consultant, but we do not currently live in a world that is either seeing all of its jobs replaced by robots or even if you were seeing more jobs replaced by robots we do not live in a world where jobs are just about how objectively useful they are, it is about how we value them. And I don’t see any particular reason to believe we’re going to get bad at coming up with new jobs to value and I say that as someone who got their start professionally as a blogger.
3 simple ways to help someone suffering from illness | Jeannie Gaffigan | Big Think 3 simple ways to help someone suffering from illness | Jeannie Gaffigan | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When someone is critically ill, says comedy writer Jeannie Gaffigan, they need three very simple things from their friends and family: compassion, humor, and touch. We are conditioned to enter hospital rooms meekly and speak in soft whispers, but when Gaffigan was in critical condition after emergency brain surgery, unable to speak, the most healing thing was her friend visiting her and making irreverent jokes, and her sister tuning into her unspoken feelings. "I'm not saying dress up like a clown," she says. "You've got to be appropriate, but people think it's inappropriate to be funny around critically ill people. But people want to be talked to, be listened to, even if they can't talk." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JEANNIE GAFFIGAN Jeannie Gaffigan is a director, producer and comedy writer. She co-wrote seven comedy specials with her husband Jim Gaffigan, the last four of which received Grammy nominations. Jeannie was the head writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed The Jim Gaffigan Show, which was loosely based on her and Jim's life. She collaborated with Jim on two New York Times bestsellers, Dad Is Fat and Food: A Love Story. Jeannie, with the help of her two eldest children and some other crazy moms, created The Imagine Society, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that connects youth-led service groups. Most impressively, she grew a tumor on her brain stem roughly the size of a pear. Jeannie presently lives in New York City with her five children, two dogs, and one “superdad” husband, Jim Gaffigan. Purchase "When Life Gives You Pears" here: https://amzn.to/344HmMF ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I think that when someone is critically ill they need a few very simple things. They need compassion. They need humor and they need touch. Because people do not touch you when you’re sick. I mean nurses and people stick needles in you and feel your pulse and touch you that way but I couldn’t eat or drink. I was on tubes and I couldn’t swallow at all and that was pretty brutal. But at a certain point I realized that there’s something about – and I have a ton of kids so I’m touched like all the time. And then I went from being touched like stop touching me kids to like could someone touch me please. I think that human contact like touching and like looking into that sick person’s eyes and not avoiding looking at them and looking into their eyes and just being like it sucks. Sick of it. You are sick of it. When my sister said you’re sick of it she would be in my mind and go you’re sick of it. I’m like I am sick of it. Like it meant so much to me that she knew I was sick of it. And the thing that I write about in the book that is so important is humor because first of all I love Jim to death and he was so, so important to me recovering at home when things got really, really hard. But when I couldn’t move and he was all busy in something and not really making jokes or being him, when somebody would come in the room and say something funny I felt my blood start to move. I felt like I was getting better. I tell a story in the book about my friend Karen. She came in and she is a comedian and she came all the way up to Mount Sinai to visit me. God knows why. She probably had like a gig in the neighborhood. And she came in and she was like she walked in – a lot of people would look at me and start crying. They would be like oh my god, I’m so sorry or whatever and I’m like uhh. She walked in and she goes what, you’re not even bald. I came all the way up here and you have all your hair. Your hair looks great. And then she’d say things like actually you look pretty good in that gown but I guess you can wear anything when you’re model skinny. Like she was just funny and I was so happy because people are trained to enter a sickbed room like it’s a funeral and creep in and be like hi, how are you doing. I mean I got that all the time. But this different thing about coming in – I’m not saying dress up like a clown. You’ve got to be appropriate, but people think it’s inappropriate to be funny around critically ill people. But people want to be talked to, be listened to even if they can’t talk. My sister was listening to me. She looked into my eyes and she was like oh, you are sick of it. I was like it gave me so much joy. So those kind of things like touching, compassionate looking and being funny. And also in my book I have a whole list of do’s and don’ts. I suggested everyone who reads my book look up the do’s and don’ts because those were written in the hospital, in reaction to both do’s and don’ts.
Shutting down flat Earthers, Neil deGrasse Tyson style | Big Think Shutting down flat Earthers, Neil deGrasse Tyson style | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is the point of debate when one side the argument is objectively true? There is none. That is, unless the incorrect arguer has the ability to influence the masses. When a relatively famous musician began spewing flat Earth views on social media, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson knew he had to jump in the ring and defend science with science. General belief systems aren't a threat, but it's important to combat incorrect and dangerous views when they have a chance of pervading greater society. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEIL DEGRASSE: 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 Letters From an Astrophysicist (2019). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I don’t like debating people because in a debate what is the construct. It’s typically two people and there’s an audience and you debate some opposite sides of some issue. And then there’s a winner of the debate. And then everyone walks away reflecting on the winner. So who wins the debate? It’s often the person who’s charismatic, who’s maybe charming – that’s related to charisma of course. Who has a good way with words, good vocabulary. And you can have someone who doesn’t have any of that who is speaking objective truths who could lose a debate. So then what is the point of the debate of one of these points of view is objectively true. So I will not enter a debate where I have the objectively true side of an argument and the other person does not. That is something that should not be debated, does not belong in front of an audience getting debated. You want to debate something? Debate political policy of what to do in the face of climate change. Do you have carbon tax? Do you have solar panels? Do you subsidize them? Debate that. Don’t debate something that is or is not objectively true in this world. The B.o.B, the rapper, I have a video letter to him the transcript of which is in Letters from an Astrophysicist. That rose to that level of attention because he started saying I am using laws of math and physics to show Earth is flat. Those are fighting words. If you’re going to say using math and physics, that is an alarm to the geekiverse that we must rise up and counteract these forces from the dark side that are out there. So, the bat signal went up. I responded. What is the bat signal? Oh, sorry. In my Twitter stream there are people saying Neil, you’ve got to do something about B.o.B. Save him from himself. He’s saying Earth is flat. Then I first said who’s B.o.B? So I quickly looked him up. Oh, he’s a rap star. Okay. These are people who follow me and B.o.B in the Twitterverse. So what does that Venn diagram look like. How much overlap is there in the two Venn diagrams. In this slice, however narrow, they were pleading to me to do something and so I responded with a video letter. Just kind of putting him in his place. I think it’s important to combat people who are claiming that they are using math, science, evidence and physics behind their cause when, in fact, they either aren’t or they’re using it badly. That needs to be called out. Otherwise if you just have a belief system I don’t really care. We live in a country that protects free speech which usually also means free thought. If you want to think Earth is flat, go right ahead. But if you start influencing other people who have power over other people and you have no foundation and objective reality it can be dangerous. If you influence people or you yourself become someone who has influence over legislation, laws, rules by which we all abide in society. That’s an unhealthy situation for civilization to be in. If your personal belief system which does not have correspondence in objective reality starts becoming predominant in the thoughts and hearts and minds of civilization.
This is how an illusionist targets your unconscious mind | Derren Brown | Big Think This is how an illusionist targets your unconscious mind | Derren Brown | Big Think
2 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Magicians are actually very effective applied psychologists. They're familiar with the workings of both the conscious and unconscious mind. During his act, renowned psychological illusionist Derren Brown uses the technique of bafflement to bypass participants' conscious filters and get a maximum response to the trick. Derren Brown returns to the stage with his new live, one-man show, Showman. Check it out http://derrenbrown.co.uk/shows/showman/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DERREN BROWN: Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK, his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotised a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. Read Derren Brown's latest book, Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Fine: https://amzn.to/38PpE2i ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: When you work I think with any sort of magic you become a very good applied psychologist just in a very niche area, which is why it’s generally magicians that are brought in to kind of test for psychic claims and that kind of thing to sort of debunk or look for that kind of evidence because scientists get fooled very easily like the rest of us, magicians are just very good at understanding how that sort of thing can work and be fooling. So, you’re working with conscious and non-conscious processes, so for example, to take an idea of just a card trick, say you start a card trick and the deck has to be in a special order in order for the trick to work, but there’s a point halfway through the trick where it’s safe for the person to shuffle the cards, but if they shuffle at the beginning it would ruin the whole trick. So, maybe at the beginning you shuffle yourself as the magician but it’s a false shuffle you’re not really shuffling the cards but it looks like you are, but halfway through the trick you hand them the deck and you say to the spectator, who so far has not shuffled the cards, you say to them, “Shuffle the cards again but this time do it under the table.” Now, that doesn’t make any sense because they haven’t shuffled the cards before, but in as much as they’re now taking the cards and shuffling them under the table and following that instruction you’re starting to play with the memory of what actually happened in the trick. So, now you’re essentially planting a false memory that they had shuffled the deck before. It’s not a guaranteed thing, but when they start to narrate the trick afterwards you start to see how these false memories are fitting into play. So, a big part of performing any sort of magic is controlling that narrative afterwards by playing with things like false memories so any magician becomes very good at doing that sort of thing. My tool kit is the ongoing experience of both the audience and the people that come up on stage so I use rapid hypnotic induction techniques with people that come up on stage and they vary in efficacy from night to night, but generally they work. So there, for example, I would be using an unconscious process there of using bafflement and bewilderment to my advantage. So, if you imagine that somebody comes up to you in the street and says it’s not 7:30, your reaction isn’t to go oh yes I know it’s 20 to two, your reaction is normally would be to feel baffled and thrown by that like you’ve sort of missed something. And when we are baffled we become hyper suggestible because we’re looking for a way out, we’re looking for a clear steer, a clear direction out of that towards information that makes sense so I use that a lot. Politicians use it a lot so they give you a bunch of statistics that you can barely follow and then they say so therefore… And you’re much more likely to then accept that information than if they’ve started off with that information because it’s relief from the sort of the bafflement of the figures that they’ve just given you. So, I use it when people come up on stage they are naturally disoriented by the experience of suddenly being in front of 2000 people that they can’t see because it’s just dark and it’s odd and they’re suddenly looking to me for directions.
Mind hack: How to push past fear | Karen Palmer | Big Think Mind hack: How to push past fear | Karen Palmer | Big Think
3 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Karen Palmer's work as a storyteller is about helping others focus on themselves and take responsibilities for their actions. Freerunning and parkour taught Palmer the power of pushing past fear to reach and exceed one's goals. By learning to understand personal triggers for fear, humans can effectively rewire their brains. Fear is a reaction to something new, which is often the direction we should be moving towards and not away from. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KAREN PALMER Karen Palmer is the Storyteller from the Future. She is an award-winning international artist and TED speaker. She creates immersive film experiences at the intersection of film, A.I. technology, gaming, immersive storytelling, neuroscience, consciousness, implicit bias, and the parkour philosophy of moving through fear. She is the creator of RIOT, an emotionally responsive film, which uses facial recognition and A.I. technology to navigate through a dangerous riot. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I am not so much of a pro-empathy chick. I feel, this is just my personal opinion that I don’t feel empathy is the one and that it has been the one for the past few years and I don’t think things are getting any better. In fact, things are getting worse, right. I feel a lot of this oh, I understand how you feel. That’s not helping me so to me personally it’s a very passive emotion. And my number one priority is moving through fear because I feel that fear is the most powerful emotion that is in the world and that most of my emotions, other people’s emotions I believe is governed or influenced by fear. Like oh, I can’t leave my job. I hate my job, I can’t leave my job. How will I live. I can’t leave this guy or I’ve got to hang out with this chick, I need them. If we can kind of move through our fear and also I feel that how we’re being influenced and manipulated by the media is very strategically playing on people’s fears. So if we can kind of as opposed to focus on oh you, how are you feeling and focus on ourselves and take responsibility for our actions and move through that. That is the number one focus of my work. Enabling you to move through your own personal fear. So I’m very much inspired by parkour and I am still am a freerunner but I was a really hardcore freerunner training like six, seven days a week for two years at one point like a decade ago, 12 years ago in my life. And I basically didn’t realize at the time but me and the people that I trained with were basically completely rewiring our brain. We were learning to understand and our own, we were learning to understand our own personal triggers for fear and then navigate through there. So say that we were jumping on a ledge that if we fell we might break both our legs. And the distance was quite manageable so what we’d do is we’d start on the ground. Then we’d go up a little bit higher, go up a little big higher. The same distance but as you go higher it’s not the distance, it’s the consequences that scare you. So we learned to master our own fear and develop strategies for moving through fear. And often in life when we feel fear we kind of get nervous and we run from it. But really when you feel fear it’s something new and probably that’s a direction not all the time but often that we should be moving toward to embrace something new. I felt so empowered that it inspired me to change my life like leave my boyfriend, leave my job, change my flatmate, change my business partner, everything. Because I was like well if I can train and I’ll jump on this wall and I didn’t break my legs what’s the worst that can happen if I split out with my boyfriend and I don’t think he’s the one, right. I basically reprogrammed my brain. And then from that I was able to change my whole life and be sitting here with you today, right. So with my work I was inspired over many years. Again, it’s about a decade to try and break that down and distill that into a process that can be translated into a user experience within immersive storytelling and digital art. And that’s basically film and behavioral psychology where the film, you see a narrative. You’re kind of governed and motivated by your fear and that you get a response. And if you’re happy with the response you could then go back into the experience and change your narrative. Focus on your breathing, relax, think about your motivation, whatever that thing is so that you could basically move through your fear.
Sports and politics: How strong is group identity? | Ezra Klein | Big Think Sports and politics: How strong is group identity? | Ezra Klein | Big Think
3 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EZRA KLEIN Ezra Klein is the editor-at-large and cofounder of Vox, the award-winning explanatory news organization. Launched in 2014, Vox reaches more than fifty million people across its platforms each month. Klein is also the host of the podcast the Ezra Klein Show, cohost of the Weeds podcast, and an executive producer on Vox’s Netflix show, Explained. Previously, Klein was a columnist and editor at the Washington Post, a policy analyst at MSNBC, and a contributor to Bloomberg. He’s written for the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and appeared on many programs including Face the Nation, the Daily Show, and PBS NewsHour. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I think it’s important that people’s theories of politics are built on a foundation of a theory about human nature or some rigorous empirics about human nature. And something that I think we do a bad job understanding is the way the psychology of identity and group affiliation function in politics. We tend to suggest that identity politics is something that only marginalized groups do and in fact it’s something we all do, all politics all the time is influenced by identity. In the 1930s and ‘40s a guy named Henri Tajfel, he was a Polish Jew, moved from Poland to France. He moved from Poland to France because in Poland he couldn’t go to university because he was Jewish, in France he enlists in World War II. He’s captured by the Germans, but he’s understood by the Germans as a French prisoner of war so he survives the war. When he’s released all of his family has been killed in the holocaust and he would have been killed as well if they had understood him to be a Polish Jew and not a French soldier. And he begins thinking and obsessing about these questions of identity what makes human beings sort each other into groups? Why when they sort each other into groups do they become so easily hostile to one another? And what does it take to sort into a group? What are the minimum levels of connection we need to have with each other to understand ourselves as part of a group and not individuals? So, he begins doing a set of experience that are now known as the minimum viable group paradigm. And it’s a bit of an ironic term for reasons that I will get to you in a second, but he gets 64 kids from all the same school and he brings them in and he says you know we need you to do an experiment, could you look at this screen and tell many how many dots are on it just real quick do an estimation. And then researcher are busily scoring the work and deciding if the kids overestimated or underestimated. Then the researchers say hey while we’ve got you here would you mind doing another experiment with us not related to the first one in any way? We’re just going to sort you into two groups people who overestimated the number of dots and the people who underestimated them, but a different experiment. Don’t worry about it. In truth this sorting is completely random, it had nothing to do with dots, nobody cared how many dots anybody estimated. But immediately in this new experiment, which has to do with money allocation, the kids begin allocating more money, which they’re not allocating to themselves it’s only to other people. They begin allocating more money to their co-dot over or under estimators. And this was a surprise because the way this experiment was supposed to work was Tajfel and his co-authors we’re going to sort people into groups but not enough that they would begin to act like a groups and they were going to begin adding conditions to see at what point group identity took hold. But even Tajfel, who had gone through such a searing traumatic horrifying experience with how easily and how powerfully group identity takes hold, he underestimated it, he felt this would be underneath the line almost like a control group, but it was already over the line. This experiment was replicated by him in other ways and in other ways that actually showed not only would people favor members of their group but they would actually discriminate against the outgroup, they would prefer that everybody gets less so long as the difference between what their group and the other group got was larger. And again, these groups are meaningless and random even atop their meaninglessness.
Does drone warfare reduce harm? Maybe not. | Abigail Blanco | Big Think Does drone warfare reduce harm? Maybe not. | Abigail Blanco | Big Think
3 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There has been a huge increase in drone usage since the war on terror. Proponents of drone warfare claim it reduces civilian casualties and collateral damage, that it's cheaper than conventional warfare tactics, and that it's safer for U.S. military personnel. The data suggests those claims may be false, says scholar Abigail Blanco. Drones are, at best, about equivalent to conventional technologies, but in some cases may actually be worse. Blanco explains how skewed US government definitions don't give honest data on civilian casualties. Drone operators also suffer worse psychological repercussions following a drone strike because of factors such as the intimacy of prolonged surveillance and heat-sensing technology which lets the operator observe the heat leaving a dying body to confirm a kill. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ABIGAIL BLANCO Abigail R. Hall is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tampa. She is the co-author of Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism (2018, Stanford University Press). She is also an Affiliated Scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, an Affiliated Scholar with the Foundation for Economic Education and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: People have often pointed to technology as a means to harm reduction. In particular, if we look at the expansion of unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, particularly in the war on terror. So we see a huge increase in the use of drones in foreign conflict. And typically we see that proponents of this type of technology make a variety of different claims as to the benefits of this technology. So things like: it reduces civilian casualties and collateral damage. It's cheaper in a monetary sense than conventional warfare tactics. But then also make claims like well, it's safer or preferable for U.S. military personnel. And while we don't have a robust amount of data on this topic what we do have suggests that on all of these margins, drones are at best about equivalent to conventional technologies, but in some cases may actually be worse. So UAVs have a higher failure rate than conventional aircraft, for example, as opposed to being surgically precise which is often the terminology that's used by leaders. This technology is only as good as the intelligence that drives it. And that intelligence is often very poor. And so the data surrounding things like civilian casualty rates are not robust. They're not reliable at all. The U.S. government, for instance, has made claims that only a handful of civilian casualties, for instance, have occurred as the result of drone strikes. However, you run into problems when you find out things like they define a militant as any military aged male within a strike zone. So that is roughly about like 15 to 65. So, of course, you're going to have casualty rates or civilian casualty rates that look relatively low if that's the case. What's most interesting, I think, is if people are really focused on the supposed benefits to U.S. military personnel, is the following data. Unmanned aerial vehicles actually take more personnel on the ground to operate than a conventional military aircraft. That is because they have to—or, at this point, they require a number of individuals within the range that they're operating. And so they also have to be guarded when they're not flying and so this places a variety of personnel within harm's way as opposed to conventional military aircraft which you can launch from an aircraft carrier. There's also some really interesting studies that are being conducted in psychology looking at the psychological effects of the use of UAVs on UAV pilots and actually finding a comparable or even higher rates of things like post-traumatic stress disorder and also a variety of other psychological problems because of the way that drone warfare is conducted as opposed to conventional warfare. If you are a UAV pilot, you are watching your target for a prolonged period of time. And so you observe that target, you can see when he's going to the grocery store or you observe him with his family. And then the strike is conducted. But then when the strike is conducted the drone doesn't leave. You're talking about technology that can take a clear photograph of a coffee cup or something really small—from 30,000 feet, it can take a clear picture like three feet off the ground. It's remarkable technology in that way. So they're watching these individuals for a prolonged period of time but then after the strike occurs they're interested in having additional information. And so they watch.
Memory hack: Derren Brown teaches the method of loci | Big Think Memory hack: Derren Brown teaches the method of loci | Big Think
3 weeks ago En
Memory hack: Method of loci New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Psychological illusionist Derren Brown shares some of his go-to methods for quick and simple memorization, including the famous method of loci. One way to easily recall to-do lists is to attach tasks to the items you encounter along a walk you know well, like your route home from the subway station. By linking a bizarre and memorable image to something we want to recall later, we make it easier to memorize. Brown also reveals his party trick for remembering the names of new people you meet. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DERREN BROWN: Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK, his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotised a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. Read Derren Brown's latest book, Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Fine: https://amzn.to/38PpE2i ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: DERREN BROWN: We all think we’re terrible at remembering things, we all complain we can’t remember faces or remember names. We can remember faces often but we can’t remember names at a party and we all think we have terrible memories. So, the reality is I think we sort of imagine maybe that some people just have amazing memories and we have images of Meryl Streep who can supposedly just photo read her script. I think these things don’t really quite exist in the way we imagined that they do. All memory techniques are based on the idea of working with what the mind already does, which is forming memorable connections between bits of information so we lock them together. So, for example, to give you a practical example, everything like everything great goes back to the Greeks. This is an ancient Greek technique it’s called the Loci system and you can use this if you need to remember any long list of things. I use this at night if I need to remember stuff I’ve got to do the next day but I’m too tired to write them down. So, here’s what you do: it sounds like a lot of work but it isn’t once you get your head around it. Have a walk that you know around an area that you can create in your mind very easily, so it could be your street, it could be the walk from the subway station to your house or whatever. And all you need along that area are a few set points that you can remember without having to think about it because you know there’s always a zebra crossing there, there’s a post box, mailbox, I’m probably using quite English expressions here, there’s a certain store, there’s a bush whatever just things that you’re very familiar with. Say the first thing you’ve got to remember is I have to take my suit to the dry cleaners and I’ve got to do that tomorrow so you have to make a bizarre image of that thing. Say a suit that is so clean it’s sort of gleaming bright white that you can barely look at it and you attach that to this image of the mailbox so you imagine someone has dressed up the mailbox in a gleaming white suit or is trying to stuff it in but the light is shining out of the little slot, whatever, you just make a bizarre image that links the two and then you forget about it you don’t need to think about it. And then the next thing you do at the next location and the next thing you do at the next location and so on. And as long as you’ve made those images as bizarre and ridiculous as I’m making them sound, which is what’s important, all you do the next day is you just mentally walk down that route again and you go why is there a white suit? Oh yeah I’ve got to take my suit in. And then the next one maybe is, you know, you had to call your mother and what is it? It’s a big shrub by the side of the road so there’s your mother in there waving a telephone from the shrub and there’s branches and leaves caught up in her hair whatever just a silly image that you don’t forget. So, they would do this and the bigger your area of locations are the better. I did this with the history of art I used to read... To read the full transcript, go to: https://bigthink.com/videos/memory-hack
Theory vs. practice: How is liberalism criticized? | Chandran Kukathas | Big Think Theory vs. practice: How is liberalism criticized? | Chandran Kukathas | Big Think
4 weeks ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Liberalism as a political ideology has many detractors. Criticisms typically fall into two categories: objections to liberal theory and ideas, and objections to the practice. Political theorist Chandran Kukathas argues that many who criticize liberalism actually "depend on certain liberal understandings simply for the freedom to practice their own particular distinctive ways of living and for the freedom to advance their particular views about how we should all live." How contradictory the ideas of liberalism seem to a person's own ideology can depend on religion and culture, and the responses to criticisms must change as that divide grows. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHANDRAN KUKATHAS Chandran Kukathas holds the Lee Kong Chian Chair of Political Science and is Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University. He was previously Chair of Political Theory and Head of the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Hayek and Modern Liberalism (1989) and The Liberal Archipelago (2003). His next book, Immigration and Freedom, will be published by Princeton University Press. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: When one approaches people from within liberal societies I think what one has to ask is how much the objection is to the theory and how much the objection is really to the practice. Because many critics of liberalism themselves I think depend on certain liberal understandings simply for the freedom to practice their own particular distinctive ways of living and for the freedom to advance their particular views about how we should all live. So, for example, there are some critics of liberalism now who say that the problem with a liberal society is that it gives too much freedom to the individual. That it doesn’t give enough protection to families and communities. That it doesn’t foster the kinds of virtues that you need for a good society. But in order to advance this view you either have to accept that the only way to bring about this change is to try to persuade others to come around to your way of thinking. Or you’ve got to say yes, if I had the power I would somehow try to enforce this way of thinking to reemphasize the importance of families, for example, by limiting people’s freedoms in all kinds of ways. And I think what I would have to ask those people are you really prepared to go down that path because the liberal idea is that to the extent that you recognize that people are different but disagree with them you try to persuade them otherwise. If you don’t accept that are you really prepared to exercise force in order to bring about the change that you want. The answer may be yes but then I think I would try to press them to see really what a strong commitment that is. If you’re speaking to people outside the liberal tradition for whom liberalism is not something that’s not around them in practice but something that they’re hostile to because it’s something that may, for example, infect their own society. I think you’ve got a very different sort of problem because I think there are traditions in the world which don’t accept something that’s I think very central to the liberal way of thinking. And this really I think has its roots deep in Christianity. This is the idea that right or morality is not something that can be given or found directly in the word of God. Even for Christians the understanding that we get going back to the time of Saint Paul is that in order to understand what is right we have to understand what God has taught us by giving us the capacity to reason and understand the natural world. That’s where our understanding of morality is to be found. Well, for traditions that see this as simply blasphemous because we have got the word of God and what we should do is simply to abide by that, this is all entirely unacceptable and liberalism is for that way of thinking something that is deeply antithetical. Now that said I think, and I’m thinking in here in particular about the Islamic tradition. I think the majority of people who are Muslims have now actually have to a large extent interpreted Islam in a way that emphasizes the importance of a dimension that I will say has strong affinities with liberalism. That’s because they’ve identified Islam as something which places a good deal of importance on something like toleration, for example, by emphasizing the fact that the Koran says that there can be no faithful compulsion. It’s a very important doctrine.
How will AI shape the future of storytelling? | Karen Palmer | Big Think How will AI shape the future of storytelling? | Karen Palmer | Big Think
1 month ago En
How will AI shape the future of storytelling? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KAREN PALMER Karen Palmer is the Storyteller from the Future. She is an award-winning international artist and TED speaker. She creates immersive film experiences at the intersection of film, A.I. technology, gaming, immersive storytelling, neuroscience, consciousness, implicit bias, and the parkour philosophy of moving through fear. She is the creator of RIOT, an emotionally responsive film, which uses facial recognition and A.I. technology to navigate through a dangerous riot. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: My name is Karen Palmer and I’m the storyteller from the future. And I’ve come back to enable people to survive what is to come through the power of storytelling. So I create films that watch you back using artificial intelligence and facial recognition. As they watch my films the narrative branches in real time depending on their emotional response. Therefore, they can become conscious of their subconscious behavior. And if they want learn to kind of neurologically reprogram themselves by going into the film more than once and changing their emotions and changing the narrative of the film. Perception iO, perception input/output is my second of my artificial intelligence trilogy series. Perception iO puts the participant in the future world of law enforcement. You see in the future of law enforcement is about artificial intelligence. But someone has to program the artificial intelligence and in this case it’s going to be you. So you are going to be sitting in what is training data for the future of law enforcement. So you will watch a series of two films from the perception of law enforcement coming into a situation which is chaotic. Both films will have a lead character, but the only difference is that the lead will be in one film black and one film will be white. And as you watch the film and the action unfolding your emotions will determine how the officer will respond to the person. So if you deem the person is someone that needs assistance maybe you will call for backup. If you deem that the person is someone that is a threat maybe you may arrest them or maybe you may shoot them. This experience is to make you aware of your own implicit bias. Because the only difference with these two characters is their color. And I also want you to make the participant aware of how artificial intelligence is built. It’s not built by a computer. It’s built by a person. The film makes you conscious of how your emotions affect the narrative of the film, but it also makes you aware of how your emotions affect the narrative of your life. I used to direct music videos and TV commercials about a decade ago and I became very aware of the power and the influence of just linear film. How I used to style somebody in the video of the dancers and I’d go on the street and I’d see people wearing that style. And I really felt like a great responsibility in what I was doing. So much so that I kind of came at the music industry and I very much wanted to explore the true power and potential of digital media. And I wanted to find a way not to project an image or representation or ideology onto someone but how to use digital media as more of a feedback loop so it could enable you to discover your true potential.
Business revolution: What is the membership economy? | Robbie Kellman Baxter | Big Think Business revolution: What is the membership economy? | Robbie Kellman Baxter | Big Think
1 month ago En
Business revolution: What is the membership economy? New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "I think that the membership economy is having as big an impact on business as the industrial revolution," says Silicon Valley consultant Robbie Kellman Baxter. Memberships or subscriptions fundamentally change the relationship between the consumer and the brand by delivering what Baxter calls a "forever promise." The famous example of Blockbuster vs. Netflix illustrates this perfectly. Subscriptions are not a new idea. Charles Dickens released his books to subscribers one chapter at a time, as he wrote them. What's different today is technology and the speed at which even a one-person business can reach a huge number of customers. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ROBBIE KELLMAN BAXTER Based in Silicon Valley, Robbie is the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue (McGraw-Hill 2015), andThe Forever Transaction: How to Build a Business So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave (McGraw-Hill 2020). Robbie’s expertise extends to include SaaS, media, consumer products and retail and community organizations. Clients have included Microsoft, Fitbit and the Wall Street Journal. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: The membership economy is a term that I coined to describe what I was seeing starting about 15 years ago when I was working with Netflix and continuing into this massive transformational trend where companies of all types were moving from a model that focuses on ownership to access, from the transactional to the relational, from anonymous to known, from one payment to many smaller payments and from the organization talking at the customer and hoping they’re listening to multidirectional communication among customers and back and forth between the customers and the organization under the brand umbrella of the organization. So when you put all of those things together you have this kind of painter’s palette to reinvent your business model and that’s what’s driving this membership economy. So membership isn’t a new concept. We have been joining things for as long as there have been humans. We joined clans or tribes. We’ve had professional societies and trade guilds for centuries. Charles Dickens sold his novels in subscription format so people subscribed to have access and as he had the chapters done he would deliver them to his subscribers. So this is not a new concept, but what has changed is the ability to build a business model around it that transcends time and space. So Charles Dickens actually had to know the people he was delivering to, had to print it out, had to bring it to them. Today we can deliver it to strangers digitally and we can do it with time lapse. So that has created so many possibilities for organizations to build this ongoing relationship which is what people want. One example of the difference between a membership economy company and a non-membership economy company is the comparison between Blockbuster and Netflix. So when people, you know, way back when people used to have to go to the corner store to the Blockbuster on a Friday night to see what movies were available to rent, bring them home and it was never the movie that you really wanted. It was whatever happened to be available. And then if you forgot that you had it and you kept it for a few extra days the cost would end up being like triple what you thought it was going to be. And compare that to Netflix where they sent you three DVDs at a time, so three movies that you had on your long list, your queue. You didn’t have to leave your home. You always had three movies at home. And, best of all no late fees. So it’s a very different way of thinking about the model that starts with a forever promise. A promise of what it is that you really want to achieve. So in the case of Netflix versus Blockbuster, which was what really inspired me, what I wanted was to always have movies, professionally created content delivered in the most efficient way possible because I had little babies, with cost certainty – no late fees. And that’s what Netflix delivered on 15 years ago that pretty much put Blockbuster out of business. And today even though they have streaming, even though they create their own content, even though a lot has changed at Netflix they still deliver everyday on that promise of professional created content delivered with cost certainty in the most efficient way possible.
The psychological tricks of faith healing, explained | Derren Brown | Big Think The psychological tricks of faith healing, explained | Derren Brown | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DERREN BROWN Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK, his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotised a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: So, I did a show called Miracle, which it’s on Netflix at the moment. And the second half of it was faith healing, which was a bold move because I knew my audiences wouldn’t believe in it any more than I do, which is not at all essential in terms of anything divine happening. And we are talking like that kind of evangelical faith healing people being slain in the spirit and shaking around on stage and their aches and pains going and so on. I had seen a lot of that at work and was fascinated to see if I could get it to work and what that would mean within the context of a show where people are approaching it skeptically like me. And it was amazing it was an extraordinary thing to do and to do every night and it did work very well. What I got from that and what it highlighted was the psychological component of suffering. And essentially the way that it works, the way that sort of healing works, aside from a few very specific tricks that some of those so-called healers use, and incidentally it’s not remotely a criticism of religious belief it’s kind of a scam that hijacks sincere belief in its own name so this is a criticism of the scam certainly not religion or anyone’s belief. So, aside from a few specific tricks that are like magic tricks that get pulled off, what’s essentially happening psychologically, and this is what I created in the show, was you get a lot of adrenaline going because adrenaline is essentially a painkiller and if you’ve got an ache in your back but you’re made to feel a bunch of adrenaline you’re not going to feel that pain any more than if you’ve stubbed your toe and it hurts and a tiger walks into the room you’re not going to be bothered by the toe you’re just getting out in the room. So, you create a lot of adrenaline and then generally the way these things work is you invite people forward and then there’s a filtering process so by the time that people are coming up on stage they’ve been filtered to the people that are going to suit the show the best and have the best sort of testimony of what’s just happened. And then the other aspect of it is that you’re interrupting a story, you’re interrupting the story that someone is living of their particular ailment. And this is where it gets really interesting because you start to see this gray area between - for example, somebody came up in the first week and they had been paralyzed down one side of their body since they were a child and she was in floods of tears because she could move her arm. And if you would have x-rayed her before and afterwards there’s clearly nothing changes, but I was sort of reminded that I sort of had a bursitis in my shoulder I had like a bad shoulder and for a long time I had been putting on a jacket with a dead arm and my shoulder had sort of got better, but I just really got in the habit of putting on a jacket like this. And probably if someone had said your shoulder is healed and made a big deal of it and given me a little burst of adrenaline anyway and he said now put on your jacket normally I’m sure I would have done that and got oh my god that’s amazing. How did you just do that? Which the reality is I could have done it like that anyway. And I think at some level that’s sort of way of you just get into a habit and you start to identify with a particular element seems to create sort of a large section of our experience of what’s wrong with us and these sort of psychological processes, this sort of healing is highlighting that, it’s leaning into that.
Tyranny comes home: How the 'boomerang effect' impacts civilian life in the U.S. | Abigail Blanco Tyranny comes home: How the 'boomerang effect' impacts civilian life in the U.S. | Abigail Blanco
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ABIGAIL BLANCO Abigail R. Hall is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tampa. She is the co-author of Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism (2018, Stanford University Press). She is also an Affiliated Scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, an Affiliated Scholar with the Foundation for Economic Education and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: So what a lot of people don’t think about with respect to foreign intervention is the idea that the tools and processes that are developed as a part of foreign intervention can come to be used domestically. So people might not associate, for example, things like the use of drones domestically within the United States or unmanned aerial vehicles, torture in U.S. prisons or things like the militarization of domestic police as consequences of foreign intervention. But these are the exact types of tools developed as a part of intervention abroad that then wind up being used back home. My coauthor, Chris Coyne, and I term this phenomenon the boomerang effect. So the big question or what it is that we seek to do is to identify how it is that those tools which were once exclusively used abroad come to be used back home. So we do this by looking at or identifying what we call the three channels of the boomerang effect. The first of these channels is what we call the human capital channel. You can think about human capital simply as the skill sets that an individual possesses or develops as part of their job. So students, for instance, are hopefully developing human capital as they go through their course of study. People when they go and they take different jobs are adding to their human capital. This is no different than when individuals are involved in the preparation for or execution of a foreign intervention. The critical piece is that once that intervention or that person’s part of the intervention is concluded those skills that they’ve developed don’t magically disappear. They stay with them. And so those skills are then brought back with that person and integrated into their future endeavors whether those are in the public sector or in the private sector. The second channel that we identify is what we refer to as the administrative dynamics channel. So perhaps the easiest way to think about this is to think about the different organizational structures in which people have operated throughout their life. So people might be familiar with the administrative dynamics of education for instance. They know that overarching structure and how it works. Or if you go to work at a variety of different companies those have different administrative dynamics. The administrative dynamics that are often associated with foreign intervention so those that are highly bureaucratic, those that are very militaristic again become a part or people get used to operating within those dynamics and the are able to import those types of administrative structures into again a number of domestic institutions. The last channel that we talk about as part of the boomerang effect is what’s referred to as the physical capital channel. So if human capital are the skills that a person develops, physical capital are just those actual physical like tools that people develop as a part of foreign intervention. So these might be things like surveillance techniques. They might also be things like unmanned aerial vehicles or particular types of weapons. So again when individuals are completed or they’re finished with their part of the foreign intervention they like to use or continue to use those tools that they’ve developed. And so we see an integration of the tools of foreign intervention into domestic operations.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: How science literacy can save us from the internet | Big Think Neil deGrasse Tyson: How science literacy can save us from the internet | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Letters From an Astrophysicist (2019). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I think no one would give up the internet today in spite of the problems that it has presented us. It started out oh, this is kind of fun. We can watch cat videos all day or that’s most of the information that came across was instructive or humorous or enlightening. It didn’t start turning mean until a few years in, maybe five or ten years ago. Certainly definitely beginning at least five years ago where people see it as a way to tribalize us. You don’t agree with my opinion, you’re wrong and I’m going to fight you for it. I didn’t grow up in that environment. I don’t think anyone else did either. It was you have a different opinion? Cool. Tell me about it. Let’s go have a beer, we’ll talk about it. Not I will argue with you until you are dead unless you agree with my opinion. I said something’s not right there. And everybody’s got an opinion and so there it goes. The internet is this clearinghouse of opinions but nothing gets cleared. Opinions ossify making it a rather rigid place to navigate. So we have access to more information than ever before. That’s a good thing. It gives good information some hope. But are we trained? Do we have the tandem training to know whether the information you just were exposed to is legitimate, is it real, is it false, is it true? You can’t just hand people new kinds of information without expecting them to be confused by it without some training that would have occurred before it. Maybe all school curricula should be how to determine reliable sources and now not. How to know when it’s not reliable. Is that in the curriculum? Not last I looked. Maybe in journalism school but not in K through 12. Not in college I haven’t seen much of it. So yes, we need practice. Better yet we need science literacy. Science literacy empowers you to know when someone else is full of shit. And it’s simple. What is science literacy? It’s understanding how things work. How physiology works. How chemistry works. How physics works. Engineering. All of this. You don’t have to be an engineer or be a scientist. Just understand how certain basic systems work so that when someone is ready to sell you homeopathic medicine where they’ve diluted the active ingredients from the water so that there’s no molecules left in the water and they sell that to you and they’re telling you that the water remembers the medicine that used to be in it. And you’re going to hand money to someone for that. I’m not going to complain to you. I’m going to say let’s go together and look at how you were trained. Let’s look at the syllabus that you were handed when you were in school. Here’s where you’re missing a few things. Here's where you’re missing how to ask questions. Science is not a satchel of knowledge. It’s a way of querying nature and a way of querying other people who are making claims about nature. That’s where the empowerment comes from. It’s an inoculation against charlatans. That’s how you’re going to know the difference going forward.
Lincoln’s law: How did the Civil War change the Constitution? | James Stone | Big Think Lincoln’s law: How did the Civil War change the Constitution? | James Stone | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JAMES STONER James R. Stoner, Jr. is Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute at Louisiana State University. He wrote Common-Law Liberty (2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory (1992) and co-edited The Political Thought of the Civil War (2018) and three other books. His A.B. is from Middlebury and his Ph.D. from Harvard. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: The United States Constitution is certainly dedicated to the rule of law. John Adams famously said, quoting Harrington who himself is quoting Aristotle or alluding to Aristotle, that the United States aims to establish the rule of law not the rule of men. And the Constitution lays out a number of rules about how governments should act. Some of that is involved in creating new institutions and defining those institutions in a way summoning them into being and some of it is about putting restrictions on institutions that are already there or practices that are unavoidable. So, when does the rule of law and the rule of men or something besides the rule of law create a conflict in American government? Well, one of the great conflicts about the rule of law in governance comes up during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was accused of being a dictator by his political opponents and only partially defended against it by his friends. He made a case against it, but even that case was kind of modified. And that’s this: in the great crisis of the spring of 1861 when a number of states purported to succeed from the Union, something which they claimed was legal and which Lincoln claimed was a violation of the law of the Constitution, the federal government was faced with this tremendous danger that its capital was located in the middle of slave territory. The state of Maryland was a slave state and the state of Virginia, of course, was a slave state and the critical question had to do with Maryland. And Virginia was succeeding from the Union or sought to succeed from the Union, but Maryland Lincoln had no intention of allowing to succeed from the Union and so he suspended habeas corpus, one of those basic guarantees in the Constitution that there will be no imprisonment without a trial, Lincoln imprisoned people without a trial and when the chief justice of the United States told him he had to release a prisoner he ignored him. And Lincoln’s claim was that even though the law of habeas corpus is in the Constitution, all be it with a provision for suspension but it looks like maybe suspension by Congress rather than the president, Lincoln said you have to be able to preserve the whole of the law, you can’t allow the whole of the law to collapse because of some particular law which you’re trying to enforce just according to the letter of the law. So, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. Later on, they put on trial newspaper editors who were sympathetic to the confederate cause and promoting mutiny among the troops and here the argument that Lincoln made was that you can’t, by following all the details of the law, put at risk lawfulness itself, but it was certainly an instance where he was making an appeal to his judgment, his wisdom about what the circumstances required rather than trying to follow what the rules permitted or allowed. Not to mention that the rules didn’t say what to do in a case that some of the states were succeeding. Gosh, Lincoln’s predecessor James Buchanan thought there was nothing a president could do to respond to succession, that that wasn’t in the rules of the Constitution. Well, to be sure it wasn’t in the rules of the Constitution it wasn’t exactly anticipated by the founders and they probably couldn’t have made a rule about it if they had or the rule would have never of been accepted as part of the Constitution. So, there I think is one of the critical moments where the rule of law, the guarantee of basic civil liberties, came up against the claim that the protection of a constitution that protects civil liberties requires at least a generous interpretation of the power to restrict, in certain circumstances, the ordinary rule of law.
The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism. | Derren Brown | Big Think The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism. | Derren Brown | Big Think
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The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism. New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ------------------------------------------------------ DERREN BROWN Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK, his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotised a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: So, I became interested in stoicism over the last few years I wrote a book called Happy, which was delving into stoicism. Stoicism was the dominant school of philosophy for 500 years before Christianity took over, so when it did it was the stoics they had to win round. And because of that they incorporated and appealed to a lot of stoic ideas so for that reason they still sound familiar to us nowadays. But when you look into them with the rigor that they were looked into 2000 years ago they provide I think a very useful and realistic as in really grounded in reality approach to happiness. What stoicism says there’s sort of a couple of big building blocks. One is a familiar idea to us still that it isn’t events in the world that caused our problems but is our reactions to those events, the stories we form about them, our judgments about those events that’s where our problems come from. And we know that to be true because if something is really upsetting us we can always imagine someone we know who would react to that thing differently and as long as we can always do that that’s like a big clue that it’s our reaction that’s causing the problem not the thing itself. Once you’ve got your head around that the other big building block of it is, and I think this is where it’s supremely useful, is that we can only control certain things in life. If we try and control things we can’t we are going to frustrate ourselves and become anxious. The old idea of happiness that the stoic sort of enjoyed was that happiness was a sort of tranquility so this is really all about a recipe for avoiding unnecessary disturbance and anxiety so you don’t try and control things that you can’t. Now, the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions and that is it. That’s it. And if you accept the idea that everything outside of your thoughts and actions are fine, they’re fine as they are and you let that idea really sort of drip into your soul then you have a very good template for avoiding unnecessary disturbance and anxiety. There are gray areas that immediately pop up like what about social injustice what if you really want to change the world? That’s outside of my thoughts and actions, but it sort of isn’t. What is outside of your thoughts and actions is an outcome that you can’t control, but what is still within your thoughts and your actions is how much effort you put into changing the world so you can still spend your life trying to create change but your impetus is to do the very best that you can, the best that you can do, but you’re not committing yourself to an outcome that is out of your control. And then, of course, you avoid, you just do a better job because you’re not getting caught up in bitterness and frustration and anxiety. It’s like if you were playing a game of tennis, if you’re trying to win well you’re going to get anxious that the other person is beating you, whereas if you’re playing from a point of I’ll play as well as I possibly can you’re more likely to succeed and become less anxious you’re going to play a better game and a tennis player will tell you that that’s true. So, those are very helpful things and I find that notion of which side of the line is this thing that’s upsetting me? Is it within my thoughts and my actions? It never is. Or is it something on the outside world that is actually out of my control?
Want to be a better leader? Take off the mask. | Peter Fuda | Big Think Want to be a better leader? Take off the mask. | Peter Fuda | Big Think
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Want to be a better leader? Take off the mask. New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are two kinds of masks leaders wear. Executive coach Peter Fuda likens one to The Phantom of the Opera—projecting perfectionism to hide feelings of inadequacy—and the other to The Mask, where leaders assume a persona of toughness or brashness because they imagine it projects the power needed for the position. Both of those masks are motivated by self-protection, rather than learning, growth and contribution. "By the way," says Fuda, "your people know you're imperfect anyway, so when you embrace your imperfections they know you're honest as well." The most effective leaders are those who try to perfect their craft rather than try to perfect their image. They inspire a culture of learning and growth, not a culture where people are afraid to ask for help. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PETER FUDA For two decades, Dr. Peter Fuda has been a Sherpa to leaders, teams and organizations across the globe as a consultant, coach, author, researcher, speaker and professor of management. He has coached more than 200 CEOs to measurably higher levels of performance and his consulting firm has enabled some 50 cases of business transformation at a success rate above 90%. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: So one of the greatest challenges for us as leaders, particularly in a time of great change and disruption where we need even stronger levels of connection and commitment with and for our people is the wearing of a mask, the idea that we need to put on some kind of pretense as a leader to assume we figured it all out. And I see leaders wear two kinds of masks. There’s the mask of the imposter, the mast of the phantom. The Phantom of the Opera. In Phantom of the Opera I know I’m wearing a mask, you know I’m wearing a mask. I know that you know I’m wearing a mask. The one thing we cannot talk about in this team is the fact that I’m wearing a mask, the mask of the imposter often called imposter syndrome. There’s second mask which is what we might call the mask of the persona. A bit more like Jim Carey’s character in the movie The Mask. He picks up the mask of Loki, an ancient mystical god. It takes over him and he becomes a superhero character called The Mask in order to save the day and win the girl. And that’s the kind of mask where we’re a warm caring human being at home and then we come to work and we say I’ve got to kick ass and take names because we work in a tough industry. And that creates enormous internal conflict. How this ends up manifesting itself, particularly at very senior leadership levels – CEO, chairman, board level – is that we try and project an image of perfection to the world. In fact, we tend to wear perfectionism as a badge of honor. And the important thing to understand is the perfectionism is about looking good, not doing good. It’s driven my a fear of failure and a security orientation. And the analogy I often use is if you think about a child when it first starts to walk. It crawls, it face plants, it crawls, it face plants, it crawls, hits its head on the table, falls off the couch over and over and over and over and over again. At no point in that journey do we as adults say look junior, this walking thing may not be for you. You should stick with the crawling. And yet as senior executives we do this all the time. If we can’t master something instantly we say no, I’m not doing that. I will look stupid. We try and project an image of perfection. It creates a great disconnect from not just our people but from ourselves and from the best parts of ourselves. Rather than embracing our imperfections which are the things that make us interesting and human. By the way, your people know you’re imperfect anyway so when you embrace your imperfections they know you’re honest as well. And so the simple distinction for people who want to make this shift is rather than try and be perfect or project perfection, instead be like the child, like you were as a kid yourself and try and perfect the craft. That’s an achievement motivation. This is a security motivation. This is about self- protection. This is about learning and growth and contribution.
Are humans hardwired for monogamy? | Helen Fisher | Big Think Are humans hardwired for monogamy? | Helen Fisher | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HELEN FISHER Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D. biological anthropologist, is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and a Member of the Center For Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She has written six books on the evolution, biology, and psychology of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the neural chemistry of romantic love and attachment, human biologically-based personality styles, why we fall in love with one person rather than another, hooking up, friends with benefits, living together and other current trends, and the future of relationships — what she calls: slow love. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: Monogamy is natural. Adultery is natural too. Neither are part of the supernatural but I don’t think people really understand monogamy. Mono means one and gamy means spouse. One spouse. Polygyny. Poly means many. Gyny means women. Many women. We are an animal that forms pair bonds. We are basically mono gamous, monogamous. We’re also adulterous. I think we’ve evolved what I call a dual human reproductive strategy. A tremendous drive to fall in love and pair up and rear our children as a team of two. And a predisposition, some people, of restlessness. An inclination to be adulterous. And we tend to be an animal that, a creature that forms a pair bond for a period of time and breaks that pair bond and forms a new pair bond. Serial monogamy and clandestine adultery. So when did monogamy evolve? I think it evolved over 4.4 million years ago when our ancestors were coming down out of the trees. Ninety-seven percent of mammals do not pair up to rear their young. Elephants couldn’t be bothered. Giraffes couldn’t be bothered. Gorillas form a harem. People form pair bonds. Everywhere in the world the vast majority of people have one partner at a time. Even in societies where the man can have a harem, polygyny, only about five to ten percent of men actually get enough cows or goats or money or education or some other sort of status to win a group of women. A woman will not be the second wife of a poor man. Only if the prerequisites outweigh the costs. I think human pair bonding evolved millions of years ago along with brain circuitry for romantic love and for deep attachment to a partner. I think it evolved for an ecological reason. Our ancestors were forced down from the trees by 8, 7, 6 million years ago they had to begin to walk on two legs over very dangerous open grasslands. And at that point they began to stand up on two feet instead of four to carry weapons and to carry tools and to carry food back to a place where they could eat unmolested by predators. And with the beginning of walking on two legs instead of four females began to have to carry their babies in their arms instead of on their backs. And if I were to give every woman in the world a 20 pound bowling ball to carry around for the next four years and also try to carry sticks and stones and collect fruit and vegetables and run from lions, et cetera, they too would look around for a mate. So by four million years ago in order to survive females began to need to form a pair bond at least long enough to help raise a child through infancy. I don’t see how in these open grasslands a male could have really protected a harem of females not only from wild animals but from other males. So pair bonding became essential to females and suitable to males and humanity went over what I call the monogamy threshold and we began to evolve this drive to fall in love and form a pair bond and rear our children as a team, a hallmark of the human animal today.
Ethan Hawke: You are everything and you are nothing | Big Think Ethan Hawke: You are everything and you are nothing | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ethan Hawke is inspired by others' excellence and ability to see the context of the larger community, those who value their work but don't take it too seriously. One of his heroes, River Phoenix, exhibited this kind of humility by taking on roles that were meaningful to him but were seen as controversial. "Phil Hoffman used to say this all the time, that it's the most important thing in the world and it doesn't matter, and you have to hold that coin together and flip it around. It's all true all the time," he says. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ETHAN HAWKE Ethan Hawke is an American actor, novelist, screenwriter, and director. Hawke received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Supporting Actor nominations for his work in Antoine Fuqua's "Training Day," opposite Denzel Washington. Hawke most recently appeared in Robert Budreau's “Born to Be Blue," for which he received rave reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival for his depiction of legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. In 1996, Hawke wrote his first novel, The Hottest State, published by Little Brown and now in its nineteenth printing. In 2002, his second novel, Ash Wednesday, was published by Knopf and was chosen for Bloomsbury's contemporary classics series. Additionally, Hawke's 2016 graphic novel, "Indeh," with illustrator Greg Ruth, captures the narrative of two nations at war who strive to find peace and forgiveness in a time of great upheaval. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: All my heroes have one thing in common which is humility. And the ability to see yourself in the context of a larger community and see what you do is both important and unimportant. I believe that we are only as good as our time period. Like when you look at the great music of the late 60s and early 70s all those bands helped each other be great. They pushed each other up. If the artistic community is failing we all fail. I get inspired by other people’s excellence. I don’t want to be better than them. I want everybody to be great, right. That’s the healthiest idea. Oh let me take a hero of mine when I was younger. River Phoenix, right. I was very jealous of River Phoenix. I’ve said that before in places but one of the things that was heroic to me about what he did – and people so much has happened with the thought about this. But when I was – when River and I were 23, 22, the idea that you were like young like teen star, right. You’re on Teen Beat magazine, you’re happening and agents want you to work in movies. The idea that you would go and play a gay character, a gay hustler was career suicide. But River never thought like that. The idea to think like that seemed small to him. Now it’s kind of cool. Like with my kids and stuff, you know, with what’s been happening – education about equality has been growing and growing but when I was younger I mean that was before Kiss of the Spiderwoman. That was before, you know, there were a lot of revolutionary performances. But River’s was really dangerous and incendiary. And he was a real humanist about it. And I really admired that and when I get asked to play roles that might not suit my ego or might not suit my vanity I think of what River would say or how River would think. Tom Stoppard is a hero of mine, a living hero, a guy. I was in a rehearsal with him for nine months doing Coast of Utopia. This story of mid-nineteenth century Russian radicals. This is a man whose artistic flower is still blooming in his 70s. And why is it still blooming? Because it’s a work ethic thing. He’s never been about anything but the joy of creativity. And when he comes to rehearsal at first you’re intimidated and before you know it you’re engaged because he’s talking to you and asking you and provoking you. And he also wrote everybody who worked on the show – everybody who worked on the show – there was this huge cast like 100 people. He wrote everybody a personal thank you note for dedicating time out of their life to help his play come forward and he knows what a sacrifice was and how valuable their time is. And he writes their name and he knows their name and he – and it’s very – there’s a humility to it. And that humility is very inspiring to me. Robert Benton, director of Places in the Heart, who wrote Bonnie & Clyde along with a million other things, you know, when you meet these guys there’s a great humility to them. I was doing this play Ivanov, right. This Chekhov play. It was so hard and I was killing myself with this character.
Storytelling: How to keep your audience engaged | Sebastian Junger | Big Think Storytelling: How to keep your audience engaged | Sebastian Junger | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The most important part of being a writer is feeling that you're not important and that the work you're doing is not about you. "A journalist is someone who is willing to disappoint themselves with the truth." Every piece of journalism has a narrative arc, and that arc is integral to any human storytelling. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SEBASTIAN JUNGER Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of THE PERFECT STORM, FIRE, A DEATH IN BELMONT, WAR and TRIBE. As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world, and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film "Restrepo", a feature-length documentary (co-directed with Tim Hetherington), was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Purchase "Tribe: On Homecoming & Belonging by Sebastian Junger" here: https://bigth.ink/Junger ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: So I’m a journalist. I’ve been a journalist my whole life. And that means that when you write something the first step is to gather information about it. And you start gathering information because you have an idea about how the world works and you want to pursue that idea and see if, in fact, that’s true. The first thing that you have to do is be prepared to give up that idea and understand the world in a different way that you hadn’t anticipated. Someone once asked me what the definition of a journalist is and the best I could come up with but I think it’s a pretty good definition is a journalist is someone who’s willing to disappoint themselves with the truth. So you gather your information and you gather your stacks of studies and research and transcripts of interviews you’ve done. You’ve talked to everyone you can think of. And then you start to organize it in your mind. You start to map out this world that you’ve researched in a way that has a kind of internal coherence. And not only an internal coherence but a kind of narrative trajectory. Every piece of journalism has a narrative arc. The narrative arc is integral to any human storytelling. It’s been around surely since the Stone Age, since the invention of language. You have to make use of that in telling a long form journalistic story or people just won’t stay with you. Then once I have all of that together I ignore everything. I choose the scene that I’m opening my book or my story with. It’s got to be a compelling scene. It’s got to be a scene that I can’t wait to describe because it’s so intense. It’s so amazing. Like I can’t wait to get my hands on it and put words to it. If you don’t feel that way about the scene that you’re writing people aren’t going to feel that way about reading it. And then they’re not going to finish your book. And I just sit with that scene and it may be something I experienced personally or it may be something that I reported on and found out about that happened to other people. And I sit with that and I try to describe it in sort of – I try to think like a cinematographer. I basically say to myself if this were the opening of a movie what would the camera be looking at? What would the camera be lingering on? What would it pan to? Where would it zoom in? What would we want to see on the screen? And then I’m off and running and then you start to put in the more hard core research and then you never want to be in that hard core research place for too many pages because you’ll lose people and then you have to cut out to another scene that tells a kind of human story and you just keep toggling back and forth between sort of making people eat their spinach as it were. Take in this information that they need to know but maybe it’s a little tough going. You toggle back and forth between that and the sort of human stories that are amazing but if they’re not supported by evidence and by data and information they lose their credibility. You just keep toggling back and forth hoping to get the right mix and hoping to keep people with you until the very end of the book. Writing is such a – it’s like religion or something. It’s such a big sprawling complex weird topic that it’s hard to come up with rules about it. It’s hard to give advice. It’s like marriage advice or something like what works in one marriage doesn’t necessarily work in another.
The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life? | Derren Brown | Big Think The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life? | Derren Brown | Big Think
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DERREN BROWN Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK, his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotised a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: We live in a world now where we’ve comfortably dispensed with most myth and superstition for the last few hundred years. That’s the enlightenment project, you know, we have embraced a very rational approach to life and that’s wonderful and it has brought us many great things, but it’s also left us with a sort of a meaning gap. So, for example, we’ve removed any meaning around the idea of death so particularly morbid superstitions are the first things that we sort of got rid of. So, if death now doesn’t really have any meaning it means we don’t live comfortably with the idea of death, death is an unwelcome and absurd and terrifying and alienating sort of stranger when it comes rather than a companion to life that’s something that’s present and in the background that we sort of make our peace with, which plenty of other cultures do. And then when it happens we really struggled for a narrative. The only narrative we have really is the brave battle that someone is fighting. That’s sort of our cultural narrative around death, which is really not helpful. It’s not helpful for the person that’s dying, it just adds failure to another list of problems that they’ve already got. It’s more helpful for the people around them. And that’s sort of the problem our need for narrative and meaning at that point has been, well it’s there but the narrative, our sense of authorship has been jettisoned and the people around us are making the decisions. They’re taking authorship of this point in our life when we need maximum authorship really. We start to feel like or can start to feel like a cameo part while the doctors and loved ones and people are making decisions. So, there’s an example of meaning and myth been taken out of something where it’s psychologically important, it’s important for us to have some kind of sense of meaning in those times. So, it’s no coincidence that psychics and spiritual mediums and all of that world come in with a fairly tawdry sense of meaning, they don’t really offer anything useful, but they kind of seem like they do so they become very popular in our sort of society where we’re desperate for something, we’re desperate for some sort of narrative that just gives us a sense of something bigger. So, I think that’s very important because magic is in a secular way is promising those kind of things. And we know it’s theatrical, we certainly do with a stage magician, we don’t if it’s a medium where perhaps we believe in them maybe. But I think they’re always going to tap into our need for that element of life, that kind of feeling of wonder, of the thing that’s bigger than ourselves, of transcendence. I mean that’s what it’s tapping into. And that’s a hugely important thing in life; you only find meaning in life by finding the thing that’s bigger than you and throwing yourself into that thing. That’s how you find meaning. And meaning is more important than happiness. When people’s lives mean nothing that’s when they throw themselves off buildings, which we all deal with unhappiness all the time so meaning is the most important. And when we lack a sense of transcendence or when we lack a sense of narratives that are bigger than us that we can lose ourselves in we’re going to try and find it where we can and magic in it’s silly vaudevillian often childish way I think tends to appeal to that.
Is love an addiction? | Helen Fisher | Big Think Is love an addiction? | Helen Fisher | Big Think
1 month ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Studies have shown that romantic love, while often positive, activates basic brain regions that are also triggered by cocaine addiction. Stalking, clinical depression, and even suicides have been attributed to love addictions. For better or worse, everybody at some time in their life has been or will be addicted to love. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HELEN FISHER Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D. biological anthropologist, is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and a Member of the Center For Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She has written six books on the evolution, biology, and psychology of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the neural chemistry of romantic love and attachment, human biologically-based personality styles, why we fall in love with one person rather than another, hooking up, friends with benefits, living together and other current trends, and the future of relationships — what she calls: slow love. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I have long felt that romantic love was an addiction. It’s got so many of the characteristics of addiction. The focused attention, the obsessive thinking, the absolute craving, the willingness to do dangerous and inappropriate things to win somebody. Somebody’s camping in your head. It is an obsession and we were finally able to prove that romantic love does activate basic brain regions linked with all of the addictions. In fact romantic love triggers brain regions that are regularly triggered for cocaine addiction but for all of the addictions some of these brain circuits some of these brain circuits become active including romantic love. Romantic love can be a wonderful addiction when it’s going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when it’s going poorly. There are some differences between addiction to a person and addiction to a drug. Generally, you know, when you finally get off drugs you don’t kill yourself after you’re off the drug. A great many people really suffer after they’ve been rejected in love. The amount of stalking, clinical depression, suicide, homicide and all sorts of other crimes of passion are simply because somebody is addicted, love addicted, to somebody else. I would even call romantic addiction and attachment addiction as the mothers of all current modern addictions. And in fact I think that the modern addictions like cocaine or heroin or cigarettes or nicotine or things – are hijacking this ancient human brain circuitry for a positive addiction for romantic love. Not everybody gets addicted to cocaine or to heroin or to cigarettes or even to food or gambling. Everybody at some time in their life has been addicted to love, you know. None of us get out of love alive. We all have tremendous joy and really often sometimes some tremendous sorrow.
Ethan Hawke: Why ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are fickle concepts in history Ethan Hawke: Why ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are fickle concepts in history
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Ethan Hawke: Why ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are fickle concepts in history New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ETHAN HAWKE Purchase "Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars" here: https://bigth.ink/Hawke ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: Why I think Geronimo is such a wonderful figure unlike Pocahontas, unlike Sitting Bull, unlike Red Cloud, unlike some really amazing figures. Geronimo is really complicated. He’s a murderer. I mean he like cut off people’s eyelids and put ants on there. I mean we’re talking about – people often love to tell the story of Native Americans or any first nation peoples as if they’re Buddhist monks, you know. As if it’s the Dalai Lama himself riding a horse, you know. And it’s totally disrespectful to the culture and what it was. Whenever you want to make it simplistic you talk down to people and I have found in my experience from visiting reservations and things like that they’re just forced into their own pockets and their own communities. And there isn’t a lot of dialogue. I’m sure that this book will make many first nation people mad at me because that I don’t have the right to appropriate this story. And I’m sympathetic and I understand that. I respect it. I don’t want to appropriate anybody’s story. I try to focus the story on the war and from a historical point of view but try to see it from both sides. And what I love about using Geronimo is that he’s a very Shakespearian figure. He’s very complex. He’s good and he’s bad. Cochise is more of a typical hero. He was a great great leader and one of the last people ad that part of the world that could really unite a large group of people. Geronimo never really united. I mean Geronimo was never even chief for crying out loud. What I love about the book if I’m allowed to say such a thing is we end before Geronimo ever really becomes famous. We end the story. There’s a lot of bad behavior from white people and a lot of bad behavior from Mexicans and a lot of bad behavior from the Apache. It aspires to be a human, not some kind of white guilt book but a book about history and what happened. And there’s a lot of wonderful white people who did their best. There’s this guy General Howard. Maybe some people would question me calling him wonderful. In this context he worked for the service of good. He started Howard University for African Americans. He took the unwavering equality of mankind part of Christianity extremely seriously. And he was a very serious Christian who believed that all men were created equal. And so he strove to create that in his life. He had one arm. He lost an arm in the Civil War. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why generational pressure is the key to climate change policy | Dan Esty | Big Think Why generational pressure is the key to climate change policy | Dan Esty | Big Think
1 month ago En
Why generational pressure is the key to climate change policy? Watch Dan Esty on Big Think New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With figures like Greta Thunberg and demonstrations like the global climate strike, it's become apparent that young people are driving the effort to stop climate change. This generational pressure is the key to change. In the same way that smoking became less accepted in society, even frowned upon, so too can the behaviors that have sped up climate change. Moving forward, energy companies will play a major role if they can reimagine themselves as part of the solution to this crisis and forge a better path to save the planet. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAN ESTY Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale Law School. Known for his innovative policy ideas and commitment to transformative change, Dan served as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014. He is the editor of "A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future." Purchase "A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future" here: https://bigth.ink/Esty ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: The key to progress on environment broadly and on climate change in particular is to change values. I think this has to be understood as in some regards an ethical issue, a moral issue and one has to see it as a wrong to contaminate the planet and to put at risk the future of humanity on the planet. And I think that change is coming and curiously but perhaps not really surprisingly it is coming from young people much more from the generation that’s currently in positions of leadership. Greta and other young people are out there saying to the leaders and political positions of power not only in the United States but across the world step up. You need to do more. And I think we have seen again and again that transformational change is often driven by generational change. And I think it’s almost certainly going to be true on climate change. Fifty years ago if we’d had this interview I’d probably be smoking or maybe smoking a pipe as a professor. That’s so unacceptable now you don’t even have to tell me that I can’t come in and light up a cigarette. Norms have changed. Values have changed. We know now that that’s completely unacceptable and a threat to public health. And I think we’re starting to get there on climate change. 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. S​ubscribe 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How to criticize, from a critic | A.O. Scott | Big Think How to criticize, from a critic | A.O. Scott | Big Think
1 month ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Criticism is about more than likes and dislikes. NY Times film critic A.O. Scott warns against the "emptiness" of certain adjectives when it comes to giving constructive and meaningful criticism. Pulling from nearly two decades of experience, Scott's book shows why criticism matters and how we are all critics. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A.O. SCOTT A.O. Scott joined The New York Times as a film critic in January 2000, and was named a chief critic in 2004. Previously, Mr. Scott had been the lead Sunday book reviewer for Newsday and a frequent contributor to Slate, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications. Mr. Scott was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism in 2010, the same year he served as co-host (with Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune) on the last season of "At the Movies," the syndicated film-reviewing program started by Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. A frequent presence on radio and television, Mr. Scott is Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism at Wesleyan University and the author of Better Living Through Criticism (2016, Penguin Press) available here: https://amzn.to/2LyI12d New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: There was one pull quote I saw. I won't say what critic wrote it but I remember like seeing it was an adverb adjective combination, which is especially dangerous and like not to be messed with. A movie described as fiercely hypnotic. And I remember thinking like what the hell does that mean? First of all, those don't seem to go together. How can you be fiercely hypnotized? Also, if you're hypnotized doesn't it mean you're asleep? I mean is that good? Or if your fiercely hypnotized are you somehow in a state of intense sleep? So I thought what could that possibly be? The worst adjective of them all though, the one that is the most overused and the one I did work at a publication where the editor would always ban it and would always just kind of get on the phone and say I'm sorry we can't print the word compelling because that is just like maybe one of the emptiest words in the language. Like who does it compel? Compel to do what? It just kind of is this empty placeholder for something. This was a compelling book. What did it compel you to do? I don't know, it could have compelled you to stop reading it. Adjectives can be your friend and there is an old fashioned approach I think that comes out of Hemingway and some school writing teachers will tell you cut out all the additives and the adverbs. Make it simple. Make it clean. I don't necessarily believe in that. And if you write criticism for a newspaper your editors will really want some adjectives, especially if you have a review that starting on the front page let's say of a section. This is a print thing so some of you younger people might not follow it, but then jumps to a later page, the editors will very often want an adjective before the jump that will just sum up what you think. So can you just say like in this marvelous new film or in this disappointing, something. In a way to excuse any reader who's in a hurry or has a short attention span from reading all the way to the end. And I've often fought back against that for just that reason. If you want to know what I think you have to read the whole thing. Adjectives can be very useful and can be a way of evoking qualities that you want to convey. Part of what you're doing when you're criticizing, when you're writing criticism, is describing. So you want to find the right descriptors. On the other hand there is a kind of emptiness to certain kinds of critical adjectives that you have to be careful of and that can kind of get you into a little bit of trouble that are just empty, so mesmerizing, stunning, exhilarating, thrilling, all of these things that are kind of really describing your own reaction or your own response to this as if they were qualities of the thing itself. You were excited. You were thrilled. You were stunned. You were mesmerized, the person writing, but you're kind of making a little bit of a leap when you're pretending that that's an inherent quality of what you're writing about. And I have to say in all honesty I've had a little bit of an adjective crisis myself since publishing this book because I write in it against adjectives I try to be very stingy as a critic with the sort of empty inflated adjective. But I've read some reviews of my own book and I wish that there were more of them. I was like could you have just stuck like a brilliant in there?
William Shatner: Empathy must be taught William Shatner: Empathy must be taught
1 month ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Empathy is defined as the act of recognizing, understanding, and being sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others. Sharing a story about young elephants at a nature preserve, William Shatner argues that empathy is a learned skill, not an inherited trait. "That has to be learned, and I don't think it's any different from a boy to a girl. You have to walk in the shoes to experience what the other person is experiencing." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WILLIAM SHATNER William Shatner is perhaps best known for his roles on Boston Legal and Star Trek, and is one of the most recognizable stars working today. His distinctive voice and cadence have been the subject of many imitations, spoofs, and parodies—all contributing to his status as a pop icon and endearing him to his fans. In addition to being an Emmy Award-winning actor, he has also written numerous books, directed several projects, and even recorded a few albums. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. S​ubscribe 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: There was a herd of elephants put in a preserve, young elephants were taken away, orphans, whose mothers were shot for the tusks were put in an elephant orphanage, which was a large tract of land that had other animals. They begin to see that rhinos knows were being gored and kill and they didn't know what was happening until they finally made the discovery that those young bulls, those young elephants were killing the rhinos and they surmised I guess that it was because these orphans, who had seen so much, elephants are so sensitive, were put in these preserves and had no guidance. And when they took a mature bull elephant and put it among the young elephants all the deaths of rhinos and other animals stopped. The older elephant had taught the younger elephants how to behave. That's part of the community of elephants and we're all part elephant. And those learnings are applied to mankind as well. I don't know that it's any different between a boy and a girl to learn those social skills. It's a learned; it is a community; it is a tribal learning. All young animals are tuned to it. That's the only way young animals live. They aren't tuned to it they die. So it must be in our DNA by evolution to hold together as against to being separate. And that means the family unit becomes part of a larger unit and you have a community that holds together for each other's benefit. But that has to be learned and I don't think it's any different from a boy to a girl. You have to walk in the shoes to experience what the other person is experiencing. And if it has high heels it's difficult for a man to walk in those shoes.
Hive mind: The good, the bad, and the viral | Sarah Rose Cavanagh Hive mind: The good, the bad, and the viral | Sarah Rose Cavanagh
1 month ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The hive mind is a shared intelligence or consciousness between groups of people. It determines what we think is culturally acceptable, what we think is fashionable, and even what we think is true. We source most of our information and beliefs from other people and not from ourselves, says psychology professor Sarah Rose Cavanagh. The hive mind often comes under fire in the U.S. because it is a highly individualistic culture that frowns upon things like mindless conformity, echo chambers, and group think. Those are the antisocial aspects of collective thinking. There are also prosocial features, explains Cavanagh. The hive mind allows us to draw on collective knowledge in positive ways, without needing to reinvent the wheel each time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DR. SARAH ROSE CAVANAGH Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanagh is a psychologist, professor, writer, and Associate Director for grants and research for the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College. Her research focuses on affective science, specifically emotion regulation and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Cavanagh is the author of Hivemind: The New Science of Tribalism In Our Divided World, (Grand Central Publishing, 2019) and The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, (West Virginia University Press, 2016). She lives in Massachusetts. Purchase "Hivemind: The New Science of Tribalism In Our Divided World" here: https://amzn.to/2LEAZcc ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: The hivemind is a couple of different things. It is firstly the idea that we are a collective as much as we are individuals and that we can enter this frame of mind where we’re sharing attention and we’re sharing goals and we’re sharing emotions. You can feel this most often if you think about your own experiences in attending rock concerts or sporting events, singing together in a choir where we seem to meld together a bit and share these experiences. But the hivemind is also the extent to which our understanding of the world is sourced collectively from each other, from our social others rather than just through independent decisions and experiences. So much of what we think is acceptable, what we think is fashionable and even what we think is true is sourced from other people and not ourselves. We are tremendously influenced by the people that we admire and the people that we feel close to. Without even realizing it we can be shaped by these ideas. A good example of that I think is the ice bucket challenge which was a really odd thing if you stop to think about it. It’s wonderful that we raised all that money for ALS but this impulse to do this thing just because everyone else is doing it and to do something so uncomfortable and strange as pour a bucket of ice over your head just spread like wildfire. And you can see this with most things that go viral. They don’t always make complete sense. People aren’t always thinking through. They just do it because we’re influenced by each other so profoundly. We are such an individualistic society that we tend to focus more on the bad aspects of the collective. We talk a lot about conformity. We talk a lot, especially since the 2016 election people are focusing a lot on echo chambers, on group polarization which refers to the fact that when we talk to only people who agree with us we not only become more entrenched in our views but we move more extreme. And we’ve been focusing a lot of our discussion on those dangers of collective thinking and I absolutely believe that there are many dangers of collective thinking. But at the same time we can source that collective thinking in powerful ways. So some of the best approaches to disinformation that I have seen involve relying more on the hivemind. Not expecting every individual person to go through every step of digital literacy and to evaluate each piece of information, but rather to source broadly and look for things that other people have already done. Not recreate the wheel but see if this idea has been debunked by other reputable sources at the same time. And so I think that there are ways that we can tap into the collective that are positive and prosocial as well as negative and antisocial. If we believe that we’re complete individuals and that all of our opinions and all of our thoughts are clearly our own. Then we’re more susceptible I think to those dangers of the hivemind. If we question – and this is something I do with my students all the time is to try to get both them and me into a place where we can question our own beliefs, where we can ask where are these coming from. What’s the source of these beliefs.
Is joke theft really an issue in comedy? | Paul F. Tompkins Is joke theft really an issue in comedy? | Paul F. Tompkins
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comedian Paul F. Tompkins explains the complexities of plagiarism in the comedy world; comedians all spend time together, processing the same current events—to some degree, it's natural that they may arrive at the same conclusions and jokes. "There are certain things that human beings just are predisposed to laugh at and we're just kind of all putting our own spin on it," he says. Some comedians may do it knowingly and others completely by accident, almost by osmosis. There are levels of plagiarism, and if you ask most comedians, says Tompkins, they will have had an innocent experience of realizing something they wrote was not truly theirs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PAUL F. TOMPKINS Paul F. Tompkins is a comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his work in television on such programs as Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher and Best Week Ever, and he co-starred in There Will Be Blood, with Daniel Day-Lewis. He is well known for his numerous appearances on podcasts, including his 100+ appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! He is also the host of the Fusion Channel talk show No, You Shut Up!, The Dead Authors Podcast, the online Made Man interview series Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins, the Earwolf podcast SPONTANEANATION with Paul F. Tompkins, and The Pod F. Tompkast, which was ranked #1 by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment" in 2011. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: Like many things there are many levels to the idea of taking someone else’s material because we hear these things and we absorb them. And over the years I’ve certainly had material that I’ve done that I either realized later, you know, after I’d done it a couple of times oh, you know what? I think I heard somebody do a thing like this and I’m kind of unconsciously absorbing it, you know. A big part of it for me and I think for a lot of comedians is when you have an idea that seems too good to be true you check with other people and say has anyone done this because it seems like someone must have done this by now. And I mean the fact of the matter is a lot of us arrive at the same ideas at around the same time or at various times, you know. I’ve had people – I’ve seen people do routines that I knew they didn’t’ take from me but they had – because for whatever reason I had stopped doing it a long time ago. There’s no way they would have heard this bit. But it ends up being pretty much the same thing. But I’m not going to go up to them and say hey you stole me bit, you know. Because you learn – over time you learn the difference between when someone is just taking a thing and someone has arrived at the same idea that you have. It’s entirely possible to plagiarize other people’s material. It’s absolutely you can hear something and you can say hey, you know what? I didn’t write that but it sounds good and I’m going to do it. And whose ever going to know. It’s also entirely possible to do it without realizing it and to consume so much stuff and you’re around other comedians a lot and you see other people perform. And if you’re doing that a lot you can easily fool yourself into thinking the idea came out of your mind. It’s almost like it’s on a – you have all these thoughts that are on this sort of cycle and things pop up and go down. So you might have a thing that you liked, you processed, oh I enjoyed that. You might think about it for a bit. Then you might forget it, it slips into your subconscious and then months later it comes out and you don’t realize oh no, I got this idea because I saw someone do this whole thing. So it is possible and there are people who do it knowingly and there are people who do it by accident. I would say that just about any comedian you’re going to talk to will probably say yeah, I’ve had that experience where I did a thing that I thought I made up and it turns out I’d heard it from someone else. You know, I don’t know what the Joseph Campbell equivalent to storytelling would be for comedy but there are certain situations and certain feelings, certain points of mockery that all come down to the same thing just varied ways of telling them.
Brain in love: The science of attachment in relationships | Helen Fisher Brain in love: The science of attachment in relationships | Helen Fisher
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With evolution came the brain circuitry for feelings of deep attachment to a partner. This circuitry changes within the duration of a relationship, and feelings of attachment grow over time. In a healthy relationship, that attachment system sustains itself even through hard times. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HELEN FISHER Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D. biological anthropologist, is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and a Member of the Center For Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She has written six books on the evolution, biology, and psychology of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the neural chemistry of romantic love and attachment, human biologically-based personality styles, why we fall in love with one person rather than another, hooking up, friends with benefits, living together and other current trends, and the future of relationships — what she calls: slow love. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: Along with the evolution of pair bonding millions of years ago came to brain circuitry for feelings of deep attachment to a partner. And I and my colleagues have put over 100 people into the brain scanner and studied not only the brain circuitry for romantic love but the brain circuitry for deep feelings of attachment. We know some of the basic brain regions that become activated when you feel that cosmic sense of union with somebody. And we know some of the chemicals too. The oxytocin and vasopressin system are now linked with feelings of calm and attachment. So we’ve really stumbled on not only the brain circuitry of attachment but how it emerges in a relationship. We put 17 people into the brain scanner who had just fallen happily in love. They were madly in love, all of them. And some of them had fallen in love as little as three weeks ago and some of them had fallen in love as much as 17 months ago. And we found the same intense feelings of romantic love, the whole dopamine system lit up and became active giving you that focus and the motivation and the energy of intense romantic love. But we then compared people who had been in love between one month and eight months with those who were in love, madly in love between eight months and 17 months. And what we found in those who were in love a longer period of time is new activity in brain regions linked with attachment. So basically when you fall madly in love with somebody unless you were deeply attached to them before you ever fell in love with them, but let’s say you don’t know them very well, you fell madly in love with them. That brain system can be triggered instantly. But the feelings of attachment grow. They grow as you learn about this person. We’re constantly learning about our partner. And as you learn more about their sense of humor, their kindness, their sexual ability, their interest in children and babies, their patience with your mother or father or family, et cetera, this attachment system grows. It grows in the brain giving you greater and greater feelings of deep attachment to somebody. You know I had a wonderful girlfriend who had a 60 year marriage and she once said to me, she said, you know Helen, sometimes I hate him but I always love him. And what she was saying is that attachment system sustains itself in a good relationship even through difficult times. It’s a very strong sticky substance attachment.
Hiring hack: How to better evaluate your candidates | Simon Sinek Hiring hack: How to better evaluate your candidates | Simon Sinek
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In business, the role of a leader is often misunderstood. A true leader takes care of their people, especially when considering new hires. Leaders should take hiring decisions as seriously as adoption. Protecting the culture you've cultivated is more important than acquiring skills. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SIMON SINEK Simon O. Sinek is an author best known for popularizing the concept of "the golden circle" and to "Start With Why," described by TED as "a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"'. He joined the RAND Corporation in 2010 as an adjunct staff member, where he advises on matters of military innovation and planning. His first TEDx Talk on "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is the 3rd most viewed video on TED.com. His 2009 book on the same subject, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009) delves into what he says is a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision-making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others. He has commented for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, FastCompany, CMO Magazine, NPR, and BusinessWeek, and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, BrandWeek, and IncBizNet. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: I think leadership is one of the most misunderstood responsibilities in business. Too many people confuse leadership with rank or authority. I know many people who sit at the highest levels of organizations who are not leaders. They have authority and we do as they tell us because they have authority over us but we would not follow them. True leaders understand that their responsibility is to take care of their people just like a parent. To see them grow, to see them gain skills, to put them in situations where they get to discover that they’re capable of more than they thought they were capable of. This is what leaders truly are. It’s not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in our charge. When we’re very junior we only have to be good at our jobs. That’s pretty much it. And if you’re really good at your job they’ll promote you. And eventually you’ll get promoted to a position where you’re now responsible for the people who do the job you used to do but nobody shows us how to do that. They gave us so much training how to do our job when we were young and then they don’t give us any training how to do our job when we are put in a position of leadership. There’s no CEO on the planet who’s responsible for the customer, you know. It’s the joke. That CEO is responsible for the people who are responsible for the people who are responsible for the people who are responsible for the customer. And that simple change of perspective dramatically changes the way in which someone makes decisions or even speaks and it has a profound impact on an organization as well. When we hire we tend to hire by someone’s resume and skill set and the past results they’ve had maybe our competitors and how good they are at interviewing. And let me tell you, some people are really good at interviewing. You know, we only hire passionate people I’ve heard people say. Well how do you know that they’re passionate for the interview and not so passionate for the work, right. At the end of the day a hiring decision is like an adoption. You’re going to bring a child into your family. You’re going to let them into your house. You’re going to give them keys to the house and maybe even give them responsibility over your other children. You probably want to do that a little carefully. So sure, you can go through the traditional read their resume so tell us about yourself. What’s your biggest weakness? That kind of nonsense. But I like it when we treat it like a dating scenario. I like it when we treat it like a marriage or a relationship. In other words go out for dinner with them. Take them out for lunch. Get to know them as a human being. What kind of people are they? Do you want to hang out with them? Are they one of us? You have a culture and you want to protect that culture more than you just want the skills. There’s a wonderful story. It’s a true story of a bunch of military recruiters who went to a high school. And the Army recruiter stands up and says to the kids let me tell you why you want to be in the Army with his PowerPoint on behind him. The Navy recruiter stands up with his presentation and says no, no, let me tell you why the Navy’s better. The Air Force recruiter stands up and says they’re both wrong.
Is globalization actually disempowering? | Yann Martel Is globalization actually disempowering? | Yann Martel
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All animals operate on empirical senses to survive. With technology, humans have so increased our sensorial capacity that we maintain a high stress level without necessarily being in danger. Globalization creates a sense of unity in that we are aware of what's going on in the world without being empowered to do something about the tragedy that occurs. By narrowing that focus, we can actually have an impact. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YANN MARTEL Yann Martel is the author of The High Mountains of Portugal and Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author ofThe Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript: I don’t think that globalization, globalism, this idea that the world is a village is true. In fact it’s remarkable how culture bound we are. And that’s not a limitation, that’s just a feature of us as a species. We are animals and animals operate based on their empirical senses. So take a deer in a forest. A deer in a forest has the eyesight, the smell and the hearing that it needs to survive. And so there’s an interesting concept in zoology of flight distance which is the distance that an animal needs to be aware of something that might endanger it that will trigger a flight response. So animals have different kinds of flight distances. So a flamingo if it sees a threatening animal needs a certain distance so that it can start flapping its wings and fly away. Flamingos are not natural flyers so they need – so it’s like maybe 150 meters let’s say. So they have senses that are good enough for them to survive. What we have done with our technology is so increased our sensorial capacity that if a ferry overturns in Bangladesh we hear about it here in New York 50,000 miles away which means our senses are overloaded with information which in an animal would stress it to death. If you increase the deer’s capacity to hear beyond the whatever it can hear – let’s say a deer can hear, I don’t know what the distance is. Let’s say a deer can hear 300 meters away. That’s what it needs let’s say. I’m sure it’s closer than that but let’s say it’s 100 meters away. You know a deer needs to hear that distance and if anything is coming or running towards it, a lion, a tiger, a wolf the hundred feet will be enough for it to turn and decamp and so it’s not stressed. If there’s a perimeter of 100 meters around a diameter, a radius, sorry. A hundred meters around it where there’s no sounds it’ll be at rest unstressed. If you gave a deer a hearing capacity of 1,000 feet you’d be hearing way more noises than it needs to process. You’d be hearing about wolves or tigers that are way too far to endanger it. Yet it’s aware of them therefore it would be stressed. And I suspect in our world and this idea of globalization we are hearing things that are so far away from us that actually have no consequence on us as individuals. Now cumulatively of course they do. We are ultimately connected. There are six degrees of separation. So that’s the reason behind human rights advocacy that when an individual is being tortured to death in Egypt or in China it should matter to us. It should. But in a practical way each one of us every single day there’s only so many groans and cries and shrieks from around the world that we can hear where it keeps on being meaningful. At one point we block it out because it’s too much. So I think globalization creates a sense of unity without empowering us that we can really do something about it. And so that’s – it’s that schizophrenia that we live with every single day. You read about, you know, you read The New York Times which is a fantastic newspaper with an extraordinary coverage of many realities. Most articles there’s very little you can do about. And so it’s kind of disempowering. So I find globalization while in a sense being well-meaning giving us eyes around the globe is also some ways disempowering because it tells us things about which we can do nothing. So ultimately I think we have to limit the information and go deeper. And so I think that’s what often happens. You see that for example with NGOs, with charitable organizations who specialize. Read Full Transcript Here: https://bigthink.com/u/yannmartel
A mind-blowing explanation of the speed of light | #1 of Top 10 2019 A mind-blowing explanation of the speed of light | #1 of Top 10 2019
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Taking the #1 spot on Big Think's 2019 top 10 countdown, NASA's Michelle Thaller reminds us the only things that travel at the speed of light are photons. Nothing with any mass at all can travel at the speed of light because as it gets closer and closer to the speed of light, its mass increases. And if it were actually traveling at the speed of light, it would have an infinite mass. Light does not experience space or time. It's not just a speed going through something. All of the universe shifts around this constant, the speed of light. Time and space itself stop when you go that speed. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 NASA. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: MICHELLE THALLER: So, Tom, you asked the question, "How does mass increase as you go faster?" And this is really a wonderful part of Einstein's theories. It actually is also relatively slippery and kind of complicated because to even answer this question at all, we have to ask the rather strange question: "What do you mean by mass? What is your definition of mass?" You may have heard that nothing with mass can possibly go at the speed of light. The only things that travel at the speed of light are photons pure energy, light, the speed of light. Nothing with any mass at all can travel at the speed of light because as it gets closer and closer to the speed of light, its mass increases. And if it were actually traveling at the speed of light, it would have an infinite mass. So think about that. Even if you had a tiny little particle that was, say, billions of times less massive than an electron just a tiny, tiny little piece of mass if for some reason, that tiny thing accelerated to the speed of light, it would have an infinite mass. And that's a bit of a problem. So let's talk about this. One of the things that you really have to realize is the speed of light is very, very special. It's not just simply a speed of something moving through space. As you go faster and faster and closer to the speed of light, time itself begins to slow down. And space begins to contract. As you go close to the speed of light, the entire universe becomes smaller and smaller until it basically just becomes a single point when you're going at the speed of light. And time, as you go closer to the speed of light, gets slower and slower until basically time is a single point at the speed of light. Light does not experience space or time. It's not just a speed going through something. All of the universe shifts around this constant, the speed of light. Time and space itself stop when you go that speed. So the reason you can't accelerate to the speed of light, and the reason we say you have an infinite mass is a little complicated because the idea that mass actually is a measurement of energy. You may remember Einstein's famous equation, E equals MC squared. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Energy and mass are equivalent. Mass is basically a measurement of how much energy there is in an object. When you're moving, you have the energy of your motion, too. That's called kinetic energy, energy of motion. So E equals MC squared, now your mass has not just the stuff that's in you but also the energy of your motion. And that's why mass seems to increase as you go faster, and faster, and closer to the speed of light. It's not that you are actually getting any heavier. The increase in mass is something that's only observed by people that are watching you go by. If you were on a spaceship going very fast at the speed of light, you don't notice anything getting heavier. You are on your spaceship. You could jump up and down. You can skip rope. You can do whatever you want. You don't notice any change at all. But if people try to measure your mass as you go by, they not only are measuring your rest... Read the full transcript here: bigthink.com/.
Billionaire warlords: Why the future is medieval | #2 of Top 10 2019 Billionaire warlords: Why the future is medieval | #2 of Top 10 2019
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New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Think's second most popular video of 2019 asks: Russia? China? No. The rising world superpower is the billionaire class. Our problem, says Sean McFate, is that we're still thinking in nation states. Nation states have only existed for the last 300-400 years. Before that, wealthy groups – tribes, empires, aristocracies, etc – employed mercenaries to wage private wars. As wealth inequality reaches combustion point, we could land back in the status quo ante of the Middle Ages. Who will our overlords be? Any or all of the 26 ultra-rich billionaires who own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest. What about Fortune 500, which is more powerful than most of the states in the world? Random billionaires, multinational corporations, and the extractive industry may buy armies and wage war on their own terms. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SEAN MCFATE Dr. Sean McFate is an adviser to Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, as well as a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. Additionally, he is the author of several books, including Shadow War, The New Rules of War, and The Modern Mercenary. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: SEAN MCFATE: The United States, especially, has been now accustomed, for 25 years, as being the universal and unitary superpower. That's not going to last forever. I think most people know this, even though some may be in cognitive dissonance over this. The truth is there are rising powers like Russia and China, but there are other rising powers too. One of our problems is that we live in a state-centric view of the universe. International relations, for most of us, is run by states. Nation states are the global, political unit of the international order. And this is what we learn in social studies as kids. But that is actually not the way the world has worked for most of human history. States are actually about 300 or 400 years old. Before there were states, there were empires, and there were tribes, and everything else. The reign of states and only states can wage war legitimately that is coming to a close. We're actually going back to the status quo ante of when global order was a free-for-all of like the Middle Ages of antiquity, to what came before. And one of the things of that free-for-all is that: Who else were superpowers? It wasn't just states. So in the Middle Ages, the papacy was a superpower. Rich aristocracies were superpowers. Are we going back this world again? So you know we have random billionaires today who have as much power as states. There are 62 people in the planet who own the equivalent of half the world's wealth. 62 people. You can put them all onto a bus. You have multinational corporations. We have the Fortune 500, which are more powerful than most of the states in the world. Of the 190, 194 states in the world, most are fragile or failed. We only think the top 25 states, like the US, Western Europe, Eastern Asia, et cetera. But that's an anomaly. The vast majority of states in the world are more either regimes hiding inside states or just outright dumpster fires. So what we're going to see in the future is those who have wealth and political power, who can also hire their own private armies now, become super powers. The world used to wage a lot of private war in military history. In fact, most of military history is privatized. Mercenaries have always been a major component of war. And what happens when you privatize war is that now military strategies blend with business ones. And this puts us at risk because our four stars who are in charge of our military and our policymakers are not prepared for that type of warfare... Read the full transcript here: bigthink.com/.
Is the universe a hologram? The strange physics of black holes | #5 of Top 10 2019 Is the universe a hologram? The strange physics of black holes | #5 of Top 10 2019
2 months ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Think's fifth most popular video of 2019 explains that, because energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed, some argue that information — arguably a form of energy — cannot be destroyed either. So then, what happens to information when it is absorbed into a black hole? Scientists don't know for certain, but some posit that it may be possible for it to leak away from the black hole over time. Black holes may hold information in a two-dimensional manner similar to a hologram, which take on three dimensions when light is shone through them. Some theorize that the underlying nature of reality can be glimpsed through black holes — that all the information about the entire universe is somehow held on a two-dimensional space of something. To better understand how black holes work, as well as the elements surrounding them, we may need a level of physics to be developed. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 NASA. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT MICHELLE THALLER: Black holes really are kind of getting to the very heart of our physics. And I believe that they're kind of showing us the way that eventually we're going to need different physics and new physics. People ask questions like, "What happens inside a black hole?" Or even, "What happens at the very boundary of a black hole, the event horizon, when light is absorbed?" And honestly, our physics is telling us a lot of contradictory things. And our image of what an event horizon really is may be changing. People like Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind have recently come up with this idea that a black hole should not be able to destroy information. O.K., what do we mean by information? Information can be almost anything. All of the different atoms in my body have angular momentum, they have charge, they have mass. There's all sorts of little bits of information that make me me. At the quantum mechanic level, the tiniest of levels, there are different amounts of energy, there are different probabilities that are contained in the structure of my matter. And information, in some ways is a form of energy. It's actually a way that you can describe something which is somehow, in a strange way, a higher energy state than not being able to describe something. And so one of the questions is, "If energy really can't be destroyed energy itself is something that is intrinsic in the universe, you can't really created or destroy it is it possible that information is the same way? Is there really no way to actually destroy the information about what all of my subatomic particles are doing right now?" So black holes kind of stare you right in the face. What a black hole supposedly does is it absorbs everything. Space and time bend into a black hole so that nothing can escape. That means that any information about the material that fell in is gone. The only thing we know about it is that as a black hole absorbs material, it gets more massive. It actually adds that mass to the mass of the black hole. And as that mass increases, the event horizon becomes larger. Basically, the area where space is so curved that you can't get out begins to extend the more massive a black hole is. The most massive black holes we know of in the universe are many billions of times the mass of our sun. And the physical extent of this event horizon is about the size of our solar system, maybe like out to the planet Pluto.... Read the full transcript at bigthink.com/.
How psychedelics work: Fire the conductor, let the orchestra play | #6 of Top 10 2019 How psychedelics work: Fire the conductor, let the orchestra play | #6 of Top 10 2019
2 months ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Think's #6 most popular video of 2019 explains the ego's "location" in the brain: It would be the default mode network, where much of your self-critical mind chatter happens. Taking psychedelics down-regulates this brain network. Researchers describe the effect of psychedelics as "letting the brain off its leash", or firing the conductor to let the orchestra play. Without the default mode network acting as a dictator, areas of the brain that don't normally interact meet, producing phenomena like hallucinations and synesthesia. An overactive ego may be what punishes those of us plagued with anxiety, addiction and mental health disorders. Psychedelics can have a beneficial effect by temporarily killing the ego, jogging the brain out of negative thinking patterns. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL POLLAN Michael Pollan is the author of How to Change Your Mind and seven previous books including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemmaand The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT MICHAEL POLLAN: So how do these psychedelics work? Well, the honest answer is: We don't entirely know. But we know a few things. One is, they fit a certain receptor site -- the serotonin 52A receptor -- and they look a lot like serotonin, if you look at the molecular models of them. And in fact, LSD fits that receptor site even better than serotonin does, and it stays there longer, and that's why the LSD trip can last 12 hours. What happens after that, we don't really know. It's an agonist to that receptor, so it increases its activity. And this, the neuroscientists say, "leads to a cascade of effects," which is shorthand for "don't really know what happens next." But one thing we do know, or we think we know, is that it appears that one particular brain network is deactivated or quieted, and that is the default mode network. This was discovered not very long ago by a researcher in England named Robin Carhart-Harris, who was dosing people with psilocybin and LSD and then sliding them into an MRI machine to take an FMRI, a Functional Magnetic Resonance Image. And the expectation, I think, was that people would see an excitation of many, many different networks in the brain. That's what the kind of mental firework foretold. But he was very surprised to discover that one particular network was down-regulated, and that was this default mode network. So what is that? Well, it's a tightly linked set of structures connecting the prefrontal cortex to the posterior cingulate cortex to deeper, older centers of emotion and memory. It appears to be involved in things like self reflection, theory of mind (the ability to impute mental states to others), mental time travel (the ability to project forward in time and back) which is central to creating an identity, right? You don't have an identity without a memory. And the so-called autobiographical memory, the function by which we construct the story of who we are by taking the things that happen to us and folding them into that narrative, and that appears to take place in the posterior cingulate cortex. So to the extent the ego can be said to have a location in the brain, it appears to be this, the default mode network. It's active when you're doing nothing, when your mind is wandering. It can be very self critical. It's where self talk takes place. And that goes quiet. And when that goes quiet, the brain is sort of, as one of the neuroscientists put it, let off the leash because those ego functions, that self idea, is a regulator of all mental activity. And the brain is a hierarchical system and the default mode network appears to be at the top; it's kind of the orchestra conductor or corporate executive. And you take that out of the picture, and suddenly you have this uprising from other parts of the brain, and you have networks that don't ordinarily communicate with one another suddenly striking up conversations. So you might have the visual cortex talking to the auditory system and suddenly you're seeing music. Or it becomes palpable. You can feel it or smell it -- synesthesia. So you have this temporary rewiring of the brain in the absence of the control of the regulator... Read the full transcript at bigthink.com/.
Technology doesn't win wars. Why the US pretends it does. | Sean McFate | #8 of Top 10 2019 Technology doesn't win wars. Why the US pretends it does. | Sean McFate | #8 of Top 10 2019
2 months ago En
New videos DAILY: https://bigth.ink/youtube Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Number eight on Big Think's list this year says the future will not even look like wars to the traditional mind. The worst threat is systemic. It's growing entropy in the global system. Today, when Russia wants to shake up Europe — the world — its operatives weaponize refugees. That is, by bombing civilian centers, they create an avalanche of refugees, which, in turn, creates Brexit and the rise of right-wing national parties that want to disembowel the European Union. High-tech is not the savior that many futurists pretend it is when it comes to warfare. As a matter of fact, McFate contends, much of our investment in it is ludicrous. "You know, we have not fought, we have not had a strategic dogfight since the Korean War. So why do we need more fighter jets? I do not know. . . . We've spent $1.5 trillion on the F-35. That's more than Russia's GDP." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sean McFate Dr. Sean McFate is an adviser to Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, as well as a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. Additionally, he is the author of several books, including Shadow War, The New Rules of War, and The Modern Mercenary. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT SEAN MCFATE: War is getting sneakier. War is going underground. And we have to go underground with it. We have to fight in the shadows. Otherwise, we will be left behind. So for example, you know, in this type of new environment, some of the best weapons do not fire bullets. In the old days, the old rules of war, when the Soviet Union wanted to arrest the West, wanted to sort of freak out NATO, what it would do was hold a huge military exercise on the border of Germany, East and West Germany. 150,000 troops. And NATO and the United States wasn't sure, like, well, is this an exercise or could it be a real invasion? And that would shake things up. But that's the old days, the innocent days. Today, when Russia wants to shake up Europe, what they do is they weaponize refugees. They deliberately bomb civilian centers in Syria, creating an avalanche of refugees into Europe, which creates Brexit, which creates the rise of right-wing national parties that want to disembowel the European Union. The Soviets wish they could do that, if they could only have done that. So I think this is an example of how wars of the future will be fought. They will not even look like wars to the traditional mind, and a few heads will explode in the Pentagon. Sure. When people think of the threats that face our country today, they think of Russia, China, terrorism, pandemics, et cetera. But those are not the worst problems. The worst threat is systemic. It's growing entropy in the global system. It's persistent conflict. It's something I call durable disorder. What durable disorder is and what durable disorder means is that we have an emerging global system that can contain problems but not solve them. Meanwhile, we have this post 1945 idea of a liberal world order that the US sort of champions and rules upon, but that world has gone away, and we're not prepared for what follows next. For the United States, the last successful war was World War II. We won decisively in 1945. The world ran on vacuum tubes, yet the idea of conventional war is still the strategic paradigm of which the Pentagon, the military, the modern national security establishment is built around, and this is dangerously wrong. Read the full transcript at bigthink.com/.
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