How Developing Nations Will Lift America

Despite dire predictions of the future, brought on quite naturally by the protracted recession, professor Philip Auerswald believes the world is headed for epic prosperity. Here's why...

What's the Latest Development?


With government budgets contracting the world over and energy becoming scarcer, some predict a coming era of austerity and tough times. But not so, says Philip Auerswald, public policy professor at George Mason. He believes, to the contrary, that the world may be undergoing its most enriching demographic change ever. As millions, perhaps billions, of people in the developing world are brought into the global economy through novel communication networks, they will be given a chance to solve the world's looming problems. 

What's the Big Idea?

Some have argued that our species has already picked the low hanging fruit of technological change, such as indoor plumbing and electric lighting, revolutionary technologies that have remained unchanged for a century. Yet these technologies will soon be brought to a great majority of the world, which once only developed nations enjoyed. As populations increasingly congregate in cities, creating a greater connectivity of ideas, Auerswald is confident that in the coming decades, a rising tide will lift all boats. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
  • These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
  • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
Keep reading Show less