Does life feel too short? Get off your ass.

In 1654, Blaise Pascal wrote: "All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." That's more true today than ever.

  • Explorer Erling Kagge is the first person to have completed the Three Poles Challenge on foot: the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest.
  • The average American spends 4 hours each day on their phone. Imagine that 20% of it is productive. That still means that at the end of your life you'll have spent a cumulative 4,000 days on what Kagge calls "bullshit".
  • Walking is the engine of life – you can do it alone, learning to cultivate your thoughts; you can walk to meet people and learn to respect humanity; and you can walk to experience nature. Don't live through other people or through apps. Get out and explore.
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Videos

Always dreamed of flying? On these moons, you can.

There are places in our solar system where you can fly.

  • Both the moon and Mars have a weaker surface gravity than the Earth does. The result? You don't weigh as much on either celestial body as you do here.
  • On a moon called Titan that orbits Saturn, the gravity isn't as strong as Earth's, but the atmosphere is much thicker. In this world, it would be possible to strap wings to your arms and fly around.
  • On a low-gravity moon called Miranda, just off the space coast of Uranus, there are cliffs that are many miles high. It would be possible to jump off a cliff here and fall very gently to the bottom.
Videos

Jordan Peterson's take on the origins of the Buddha

In this short video, he compares the outset of Buddhism with the biblical garden.

  • During this class, Jordan Peterson describes how overprotective parenting led to the creation of Buddhism.
  • Peterson compares the Buddhist origin myth with the story of Eden.
  • Both tales deal with the onset of consciousness and mortality and therefore are universal in appeal.
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Culture & Religion

Most talked about: How overparenting backfired on Americans

This is the most talked about Big Think video of 2018! What's your take?

  • American childhood is going, going… gone, says Professor Jonathan Haidt.
  • In the mid-'90s there was a sharp shift to overprotective parenting. In previous generations, kids were allowed to out of the house unsupervised from age 5-8, which has now become age 12-16. As a result, their independence, resilience, and problem-solving skills suffer.
  • "Give childhood back to kids so that they do what they most need to do, which is develop the skills of being an independent adult. Remember that the job of a parent is to work him or herself out of a job."
  • As a resource for parents, Jonathan Haidt recommends letgrow.org.
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Videos

A new study proves parachutes are useless

A new study flies in the face of anecdotal evidence and raises questions about how we read data.

Yeh et al.
  • Scientists working at medical schools across the United States discovered that parachutes don't lower the death rate of people jumping out of airplanes.
  • The study flies in the face of decades of anecdotal evidence.
  • The findings should be carefully applied, due to "minor caveats" with the experimental structure.
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Surprising Science