Objective reality may not exist, European researchers say

A new experiment shows that two observers can experience divergent realities (if they go subatomic).

Photo credit: Georgia O'Callaghan via Getty Images
  • In 1961, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a thought experiment by which the reality of two observers can diverge by measuring a single photon.
  • Researchers recently tested Wigner's thought experiment and concluded that realities can be made irreconcilable.
  • Do these results put the entire scientific method at risk? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
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Surprising Science

Nobel winner claims lasers can make nuclear waste safe

Physicist plans to karate-chop them with super-fast blasts of light.

(Oleksiy Mark/Borys Magierowski/Shutterstock/Big Think)
  • Gérard Mourou has already won a Nobel for his work with fast laser pulses.
  • If he gets pulses 10,000 times faster, he says he can modify waste on an atomic level.
  • If no solution is found, we're already stuck with some 22,000 cubic meters of long-lasting hazardous waste.
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Technology & Innovation

7 climate change projects that are changing the game

While there's plenty to be worried about, it's important to remember that we're making progress, too.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • If we do nothing, global temperatures could rise as high as 10 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
  • Fortunately, humanity is hard at work at keeping temperature increases below the 2 degrees Celsius mark.
  • These 7 projects are just a snapshot of what humanity is collectively doing to fight back and beat climate change.
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Technology & Innovation

Data spies: The dark and shady practices of Silicon Valley

This is how data harvesting really works. You're not going to like it.

  • In this absorbing talk spanning the last 20 years of tech, Roger McNamee starts at the origins of the PayPal Mafia (which included entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Reid Hoffman) and traces them to Silicon Valley's global domination.
  • Data is used by online vendors in all industries to make behavioral predictions for profit – often in unethical or cloaked ways.
  • Did we sign up for this? Roger McNamee calls for a halt to blind participation and asks for a national debate on whether commerce based on personal data (but not for personal benefit) should be legal.
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Videos

NYC plans to expand Manhattan to protect against rising seas

The sea levels across New York are estimated to rise between 18 and 50 inches by 2100.

NYC Mayor's Office
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday his $10-billion plan to protect lower Manhattan against sea level rise and storm surges.
  • The plan calls for creating new land that would extend the lower part of the island by about two city blocks.
  • As sea levels rise around the globe, cities are experimenting with various methods to protect themselves.
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Technology & Innovation