Here's a letter from our co-founders on the ways to help the world get smarter, faster, through engaging actionable content.
We're the co-founders of Big Think. First and foremost, we want to thank you for your viewership. Over the last 12 years, you have helped us take Big Think from a vision scrawled in notes on lined paper to a reality that has reached over 1 billion people with the mission of helping the world get "smarter faster".
Why campuses are becoming polarized — and what we can do about it.
- The narrowing of academic freedom is a major problem for institutions of higher education.
- Social media, external pressures, and increasingly diverse student bodies — while providing some positives — create more opportunity for misunderstanding and miscommunication.
- Reaffirming the value of and commitment to open debate ensures a more vibrant academic culture.
Fast fashion has a devastating impact on the environment. Here's what you need to know before heading to Zara this holiday season.
- The fashion industry is responsible for an alarming 10 percent of all of humanity's carbon emissions.
- Eighty-five percent of all textiles are trashed each year, ending up in a landfill or incinerated.
- By wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer a person can actually reduce his or her carbon footprint by 30 percent.
Get the whole 12min library now for just $29.
- 12min summarizes hundreds of best-selling books down to essential 12-minute microbooks.
- Microbooks are downloadable in both text and audio formats.
- You can request a 12min summary of any non-fiction book not in their vast library.
David Bienenstock has made it his mission to keep the history of cannabis alive.
- Cannabis journalists David Bienenstock and Abdullah Saeed launched Great Moments in Weed History to share the history of marijuana.
- They cover hilarious and amazing weed tales about Willie Nelson. Louis Armstrong, Barack Obama, and Fela Kuti.
- In this interview with Big Think, Bienenstock says it's essential to keep the history of marijuana alive in the corporatized age.
Popularity is slippery, and shouldn't be confused with quality, says critic A.O. Scott.
- Popularity has a funny way of correcting or reversing itself, says journalist and film critic A.O. Scott. It's a weird and fickle index—never identical to quality, though it can coincide with it.
- Movies like Avatar that are capitalist consumer hits can fade over time. Meanwhile works that were initially passed over can be dredged out of forgotten corners to glory many years later.
- Moby Dick is an example of how critics can turn the tide of popularity, for better and for worse. First, critics dismissed Moby Dick and it was forgotten until a resurgence of interest by critics many years later. It's now a staple of American literature.
Here's how a pear-sized tumor on Jeannie Gaffigan's brain stem became an unexpected comedy gold mine.
- It was only by chance that Jeannie Gaffigan found out she had a pear-sized tumor on her brain stem. During a visit to her kid's pediatrician, the doctor noticed something off about Jeannie Gaffigan's hearing, which led to the diagnosis.
- She needed to have immediate brain surgery. Gaffigan describes this highly stressful and uncertain time in her as traumatic—and deeply hilarious, says Gaffigan. Comedy, she says, can be used to process your traumas.
- A comedy writer by trade, she obsessively documented the experience and asked people who visited her in hospital to make notes and lists, which she later turned into her memoir When Life Gives You Pears.
Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism—the world's scriptural belief systems take many different forms but all tend toward 'kenosis'—self-transcendence for the benefit of others. And all have been used and abused for less spiritual ends. Former nun and renowned theologian Karen Armstrong on the lost art of scripture.