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Steal from your heroes: John Cleese on Big Think Edge

Put a comedic stamp on your work – like this.

  • John Cleese teaches a video lesson for Big Think Edge called "Make Your Mark with Humor".
  • The Monty Python alumni and comedy legend has some unexpected advice to get your creativity out of your mind and onto the page.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge to reach new creative and analytical heights.

Who better to show you the ropes of comedy than Monty Python alumni John Cleese?

Humor is valuable in its own right. It's also a perfect tool for connecting with others and communicating almost any point, whether it's at work, in social circles, or at home. When we're laughing, our senses are fully engaged—we tend to listen better and to remember what we're hearing. Not everybody can be a comedian, but as the British comedy troupe Monty Python's massive success illustrates, you can take a clinical approach to figure out what's funny.

Subscribe to Big Think Edge and you'll learn first-hand from comedy legend John Cleese how to start writing, stop the crickets chirping, and approach creativity – oddly enough – with clinical precision.

Put a comedic stamp on your work

John Cleese teaches "Make Your Mark with Humor" as part of Big Think Edge's 9-part Boost Your Creative Intelligence learning path. In less than five minutes, you'll come away with actionable ways (all field tested by the Monty Python gang!) to bring your work to life with humor, and to see your all-time favorite comedians and actors in a way you've never considered them before.

It is so difficult at the beginning, particularly as a writer, to do good written comedy that I suggest, at the start, that you steal or borrow – or as the artist would say "are influenced by" – anything that you think that is really good and really funny.
— John Cleese

Retire the rubber chicken and subscribe to Big Think Edge to reach your true creative height.

Boost your creative intelligence

In spite of all the scary movies, artificial intelligence is not yet poised to take over everybody's job. But what radically differentiates us humans from even the most cutting edge machine intelligence is creativity. We have an ability, apparently unique in nature, to imaginatively break apart and reassemble the world in novel ways. While some are born with more natural talent in one creative area or another, creative thinking is a teachable skill. A set of skills, in fact, from intuition-testing to improvisation to collaborative brainstorming. In Big Think Edge's Boost Your Creative Intelligence learning path, you'll learn them from the best.

Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?

Two different experiments show hints of a 4th spatial dimension. Credit: Zilberberg Group / ETH Zürich
Technology & Innovation

Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.

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Does conscious AI deserve rights?

If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.

Videos
  • Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
  • Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
  • One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.

A new hydrogel might be strong enough for knee replacements

Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.

Lee Jae-Sung of Korea Republic lies on the pitch holding his knee during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
  • The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
  • The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
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Technology & Innovation

Predicting PTSD symptoms becomes possible with a new test

An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.

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