WATCH: How We Speak Reveals What We Think, with Steven Pinker

We're thrilled to be bringing The Floating University to Big Think. Here's number two on our list, featuring Harvard linguist Steven Pinker.

WATCH: How We Speak Reveals What We Think, with Steven Pinker

We're thrilled to be bringing The Floating University to Big Think: It's some of the most vital, timely, and mind-changing video content anywhere on the Web.


Technology has been changing how knowledge is commodified and distributed for decades now, but education has been slow to adjust (much to its own and peril — and that of its students). So instead of taking out thousands of dollars in student loans, or to get a jump start on the education you wish you'd had, begin watching these amazing one-hour lectures by some of America's most talented thinkers, investors, artists, and leaders.

Here's number two on our list, featuring Harvard linguist Steven Pinker.

We rely on 180 characters to maintain a global communication network! Is that limiting how we interpret the world around us or does it force us to find creative solutions? Both?

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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Astrophysicists: Gamma-ray jets exceed the speed of light

Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.

An artist's drawing of a particle jet emanating from a black hole at the center of a blazar.

Credit: DESY, Science Communication Lab (used with permission by Astronomy Picture of the Day, which is co-managed by Robert Nemiroff at Michigan Tech).
Surprising Science
  • Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
  • The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
  • The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
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Scientists find the "magic number" that links forces of the universe

Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.

The Universe and the fine-structure constant.

Credit: Adobe
Surprising Science
  • A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
  • This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
  • The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
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A new system separates oxygen and hydrogen from Mars’ water

Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.

Illustration of Mars' long-gone Jezero Lake

Technology & Innovation
  • Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
  • Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
  • The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.
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Coronavirus

How officials will ensure the COVID-19 vaccine stays cold enough in transit

Pfizer's vaccine needs to be kept at -100°F until it's administered. Can caregivers deliver?

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