Hope Isn’t Blind: It’s a Way to Build Trust and Manage Anxiety

Some anxieties are essential, and for millennia they kept our ancestors alive. But there's another type of anxiety that we can actually do away with—and it's defeated via hope.

In this refreshing take on the utility of hope, Princeton research scholar Victoria McGeer explains that there's a difference between blind hope and practical hope. The latter means taking a clear-eyed view of potential disappointment, knowing that there may be failure, and then putting your anxieties offline by trusting in the elements that are beyond your control. Trust is a critical feature of human social life, and we're often obligated to trust in uncertain circumstances: trust your kids, trust that stranger, trust your neighbor. Hope, when done properly, can fortify trust, reduce anxiety, and actually give you the tools to cope with disappointment. This video was filmed as part of the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism.

Eradicating Malaria: The End Game Relies on Scientific Alliances

Despite decades of research, there is no reliable vaccine for malaria. Dr. Philip Eckhoff lays out the strategies and collaborations required to eradicate this disease and the half a million lives it takes each year.

Philip Eckhoff is a

Hertz Foundation Fellow

and recipient of the prestigious Hertz Foundation Grant for graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences. Eckhoff is Principal Investigator of the disease modeling team at Intellectual Ventures. In this video, he explains what is involved in total global eradication of malaria and how interdisciplinary collaboration is the key to out-thinking and out-maneuvering this disease. With the support of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, he pursued a PhD in applied and computational mathematics at Princeton University, receiving his degree in doctorate in 2009.

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Two Party System: Is There Room for a Third Party in American Politics?

Princeton professor Sean Wilentz explains why America has such a staunch two-party system, which was never part of the Framers' plan.

If you ask one of America’s most prominent historians about the two-party system in US politics you can expect to go from zero to enlightened in just over two minutes. Thank you, Sean Wilentz.

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