Are we too specialized (professionally, ideologically, culturally)?
Much lip service has been paid to "specialization" in the professional sphere in recent years. This term is often couched in professional terms, referencing in-depth knowledge of a particular field, such as logistics, or finance, or retail sales. And one of the most common ways to define one's self professionally is through "lingo," terms of art used within an industry which are unknown to those outside that profession.
Yet specialization appears to be creeping into other facets of life. We find ourselves oftentimes unable to communicate effectively with those of a different religion, a different political party, a different culture. We might think, "I am a Christian, so a Muslim cannot understand me and I cannot understand him." Terms and concepts increasingly do not translate across the ideological divide any better than they do between various professions.
We need a new renaissance in that people take interests outside their own discreet specialty and assume broader roles in their communities. Skill sets of critical thinking, ethical behavior, and pursuit of the common good translate across this divide. We ought to be reminded of our commonalities, rather than our differences.
Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?
- Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
- The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
- These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.
- SpaceX was founded in 2002 and was an industry joke for many years. Eighteen years later, it is the first private company to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.
- Today, SpaceX's Crew Dragon launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. The journey will take about 19 hours.
- Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, looks at SpaceX's journey from startup to a commercial space company with the operating power of a nation-state.
A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.
Researchers at UT Southwestern noted a 47 percent increase in blood flow to regions associated with memory.