We Are Living Out the Consequences of Short-Term Thinking
Our problems have gotten worse and they’re getting worse faster and faster because that’s the nature of exponential growth.
When I was young, I was a lawyer at the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress that used to be the Science Advisory Office of the Congress, but it was abolished by Newt Gingrich, interestingly, in the Republican revolution of 1995.
However, when I was there, I was in the office called R&D Policies and Priorities. This was the long-term future office. So we were supposed to think about, what were the R&D, research and development needs of the United States for the long term. Well, how long did we think? The longest anybody ever thought was 30 years. And I can say today that those 30 years have passed.
And every problem that we talked about then - we talked about the unsustainability of the healthcare system, we talked about oil running out, we talked about global warming - we knew all of this in the ‘70’s. Nothing has been solved and those problems have gotten worse and they’re getting worse faster and faster because that’s the nature of exponential growth.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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