How Revolutions Take Hold
How do you topple a tyrant or popularize a foreign cuisine? A study on network theory finds that the tipping point needed for a committed minority to win over the majority is just 10 percent.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers have identified three conditions that are necessary for minority opinion to take hold in a large group of individuals, such as what happened during the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute analyzed various models of networks where a minority strived to overtake the majority's opinion and found three common conditions: "a majority that is flexible with their views, a minority that is intractable, and a critical threshold wherein about a tenth of the population advocate the minority opinion."
What's the Big Idea?
While the results of the study are not applicable to all situations, broad guidelines on social change can be extrapolated. Albert-László Barabási, the author of the network-theory tome Linked, says: "Minorities can prevail only if they strive to become less of a minority by turning a small fraction of the population into steadfast supporters of their cause." For minority groups looking to extend their influence into the larger population, it is more important to attract new individuals than to convince the entire world about your ideas.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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