Will the future be 'Mad Max' or 'Star Trek'? Coronavirus offers clues.

Jordan Hall speculates on the fate of the species.

Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images
  • Neurohacker Collective co-founder, Jordan Hall, believes we might be heading toward a "Star Trek" future, though "Mad Max" is entirely possible.
  • As human systems become more complicated and interconnected, the harder they are to fix when something breaks down.
  • COVID-19 offers insight into the dangers of introducing too much complexity to a globally-connected species.
Keep reading Show less

Is the global economy sexist?

Answer: When 22 men make more money than all of the women in Africa, an Oxfam study says absolutely.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images
  • Worldwide, women and girls contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy for care work that they are not paid for.
  • Women around the globe do more than 75 percent of all unpaid care work.
  • Women make up only 18 percent of cabinet ministers around the world and 24 percent of parliamentarians.
Keep reading Show less

3 million people move to urban areas every week. How will we meet the challenge?

Cities of the future won't just be incredibly populated, they'll also be smarter than ever.

  • Globally we are adding about 3 million people to urban areas each week. Over the course of the year, this number can be equated to roughly 50 Chicagos.
  • This influx of people could make everyday life in urban areas more chaotic than ever. We will need a new playbook for how cities can better handle this massive influx of people.
  • With such population surges, we can use citizen-centric data—computational power—to make the infrastructure of cities run smoother and more efficiently.

Scientists want to use mountains like batteries to store energy

Researchers propose a gravity-based system for long-term energy storage.

Credit: IIASA
  • A new paper outlines using the the Mountain Gravity Energy Storage (or MGES) for long-term energy storage.
  • This approach can be particularly useful in remote, rural and island areas.
  • Gravity and hydropower can make this method a successful storage solution.
Keep reading Show less

MIT launches a fleet of Transformer boats

Clusters of bot boats may offer cities dynamic solutions to rising waters.

Image source: chingyunsong/Riccardo Arata /Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Amsterdam is working with MIT to develop a way to move activity from the streets to the canals.
  • A paper announces that the boats can now assemble themselves into various shapes.
  • Flexible urban infrastructural systems such as this are likely to grow in importance.
Keep reading Show less