Sunday’s Big Idea
Today's Big Idea: Philosophy
Philosopher Slavoj Zizek is skeptical of activists and others who demand that we act now (or else). While warning that he has no answers himself, he excoriates the "pseudo-activist pressure of 'Do something. There's no time to think." We live in a fast-moving world full of complicated problems, with no easy solutions in sight. Thinking is exactly what we need.
Today we're looking at how to engage in passionate, original, creative thought. Big Think's Sam McNerney dissects some of our irrational biases and assumptions -- associating physical cleanliness with morality for instance. (In one study, he notes, thinking about the future caused participants to lean slightly forward while thinking about the past caused participants to lean slightly backwards, because we treat time as a physical object that’s either in front of us or behind us.)
David Ropeik takes on close-mindedness, explaining why it can be literally dangerous. And Dan Honan examines the way a shift in vantage point can motivate people to see the universe -- as well as the possibilities for interacting with it -- in an entirely new light.