Paranoiac Politics

“Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia,” by Francis Wheen, reflects that politicians may be paranoid now, but it's nothing compared to what happened in the ‘70s.

"Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia," by Francis Wheen, reflects that politicians may be paranoid now, but it's nothing compared to what happened in the ‘70s. "Wheen, one of the brighter lights in English lit-journalism these days, makes a potent and rollicking case that the ‘1970s shrieked.’ Paranoia was the zeitgeist. From the spring in 1970 when Nixon invaded Cambodia, to 1979, when the Islamic Revolution drove out the Shah and Mrs. Thatcher threw the Labour Party out of power, everyday order went smash almost everywhere from strike-damaged Britain to culturally revolutionary China, from Idi Amin, who while murdering 300,000 Ugandans took time out to declare himself ‘Member of the Excellent Order of the Source of the Nile, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire,’ to Frederick Forsyth’s African coup attempt to promote a novel (or was it the other way round?). The ’70s were a horror show, a pastiche of ‘apocalyptic dread and conspiratorial fever,’ a freak show as crazy-sublime as it was murderous."

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Big Think Edge
  • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
  • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
  • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
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Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.