How to Cultivate Genius

"Sudden Genius?" emphasizes that the major breakthroughs in the arts and sciences look sudden only in retrospect. Years of preparation paved the way to the eureka moment.

New book "Sudden Genius?" emphasizes that the major breakthroughs in the arts and sciences look sudden only in retrospect. "(Author Andrew) Robinson agrees with psychologists who have noted that at least 10 years of work in the field seem necessary before grand breakthroughs occur. He also makes the important point that although these heroes of art and science knew their stuff, none of them became overspecialized. The best ideas come from versatility as well as focus. That's a central conviction for those of us working for broadly based liberal learning, and it's more important than ever to remember it."

Why a great education means engaging with controversy

Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
  • If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
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Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
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SpaceX catches Falcon Heavy nosecone with net-outfitted boat

It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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