Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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WATCH: When Ideas Have Authority, We Learn, Profit, and Grow

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.

WATCH: When Ideas Have Authority, We Learn, Profit, and Grow

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.

We'll be introducing each video specifically in the coming weeks, but to get you started, we've gone ahead and put all the videos here. That's the foundation of an Ivy League education on a single page — because we think knowledge can change a person's life, and it would be a shame to keep that knowledge locked away. These videos are pretty amazing! We hope you agree.

Here's our first one, featuring demographer and mathematical biologist Joel Cohen.

Californians are showering out of buckets so they can water their garden! That's just one way populations are putting pressure on natural resources.

Just How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own — and Why?

The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC.

Surprising Science

The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.

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Can VR help us understand layers of oppression?

Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.

Future of Learning
  • Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
  • Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
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Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
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