The Long, Sexy Tail of Citizenship
Full citizenship is the idea in which all members of society see themselves as change agents.
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
What's the Big Idea?
Full citizenship is the idea in which all members of society see themselves as change agents. Instead of relying on power users -- people who regularly vote and attend meetings -- full citizenship can harness the collective intelligence of the entire population. So if that's not the case today, how do we get there?
Rishi Jaitly, who directs the Knight Foundation's philanthropy in Detroit and is the co-founder and chair of Michigan Corps, says that creating full citizenship isn't about getting people from 0 to 60. It's about everything in between. If 60 is voting and most people are at 10, Jaitly says it is essential to nurture early stage behavior, and even make citizenship into something that is sexy.
For instance, Kiva Detroit is a micro-lending platform in Michigan that is not some kind of third world network, but a platform with real sex appeal, Rishi says. Neighbors lend money to their neighbors to help fund business enterprises because people have deep pride in their communities. This pride of place is something that simply needs to be tapped into.
What's the Significance?
Rishi built on his experiences in India, where he took videos of ordinary citizens and witnessed the results. "The pixie dust effect of people feeling their voice amplified was staggering," he said.
Jaitly presented his idea of "longtail citizenship" at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas on Nantucket, Massachusetts,
Watch the video here:
To learn more about The Nantucket Project and how to attend the 2013 event visit nantucketproject.com.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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