Slavoj Žižek: Leader of the Global Left

With his combination of pop culture references, humor and fresh political insights, Žižek has become one of the most charismatic and sought after voices of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

What's the Latest Development?


Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher and social critic, has an indefatigable travel schedule which recently landed him in New York while the Occupy Wall Street movement was just heating up. After giving a lecture on Communism elsewhere in the city, he traveled to Zuccotti Park to get an impression of the protests. "The basic insight I saw is that clearly, for the first time, the underlying perception is that there is a flaw in the [capitalist] system as such. It's not just the question of making the system better."

What's the Big Idea?

Žižek's fear is that the Wall Street Occupation will be romanticized into oblivion, that protesters will be so in love with their own image as revolutionaries that they will forget to act. To counter that risk, he recommends that the they begin making a solid foundation on which future action can be based and to focus on specific policy areas, like healthcare, which are emblematic of current unjust societal inequities. Žižek defends communism, more as an important question than an answer, for his vision of a radically egalitarian future.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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Fairness is a universal value. So why all this inequity?

Are we trying to solve too many problem with technological solutions?

Videos
  • Technology has given humanity the amazing ability to fix almost any problem, conditioning us to search for technological remedies to what might be social problems.
  • Alleviating social inequity is a problem that technology must necessarily attempt to solve, but technology alone cannot shape how humans assemble their societies.
  • Only by emphasizing the primary place of individual identity, human dignity, and universal values like empathy and emotion, can we hope to solve global issues that, so far, technology has been unable to conquer.

Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents

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Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents [Monica Sharma] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Monica Sharma describes how we can source our inner capacities and wisdom to manifest change that embodies universal values such as dignity

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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An ancient structure visible from space isn’t man-made

Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive

(Roy Funch)
Surprising Science
  • This 4,000-year-old structure can be seen from space and wasn't built by humans
  • It's made up of 200 million mounds of earth
  • It's still under construction today
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