December 29

Extreme Biology

Saturday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: The Year in Review

Where to begin? 2012 saw the European Union teetering on the brink of economic collapse, xenophobic fascists terrorizing immigrants in the streets of Athens, a deadly massacre in a Connecticut elementary school, an overhyped and underwhelming multibillion-dollar Facebook IPO . . .

 . . . and a few positive developments, too. Major advances in artificial intelligence, medicine, and space exploration, an ongoing technology boom, and an explosion of online learning that threatens to disrupt outdated and overpriced educational institutions. 

We're getting faster and more sophisticated, and at the same time there's a growing awareness of the precariousness of our existence and the need for human connection and sustainable ways of living. It feels like we're at a tipping point, and the direction we're headed is still entirely up to us. 

  1. 1 2012: The Year in Economics
  2. 2 Ai Weiwei: The Price of China's S...
  3. 3 Howard Dean: Let's Go Over the Fi...
  4. 4 It's Time To End This Greek Tragedy
   
  1. 2012: The Year in Economics

    2012: The Year in Economics

    It’s been a difficult year for economists, who’ve had to endure a combination of criticism when they apparently had the wrong ideas and being ignored when perhaps they had the right ones. 

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  2. Ai Weiwei: The Price of China's Success

    Ai Weiwei: The Price of China's Success

    Here, in a Big Think interview at his Beijing studio, Ai Weiwei discusses the challenges China faces to becoming a truly “great nation.” 

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  3. Howard Dean: Let's Go Over the Fiscal Cliff

    Howard Dean: Let's Go Over the Fiscal Cliff

    The "fiscal cliff" is so named because the change it describes will not be gradual, but steep and dramatic. Howard Dean argues that pain is necessary in order to restore fiscal sanity. 

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  4. It's Time To End This Greek Tragedy

    It's Time To End This Greek Tragedy

    Sometimes it's better to do something - anything - rather than nothing at all.  That's the lesson of the old parable of Buridan's ass, where the poor animal is faced with two haystacks and, unable to decide which is bigger, dies of hunger. . .

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