In 1988, Bernie Sanders outlined the key problem with news media today

"The function of private media is to make money for the people who own the media. It is a business," Sanders said.

Mother Jones via YouTube
  • Over his four-decade political career, Senator Bernie Sanders has been an outspoken critic of mass news media.
  • In a 1988 speech, Sanders described how it's virtually impossible to meaningfully discuss substantial political issues in 30-second sound bites, and how the consolidation of news outlets makes it harder for alternative views to reach the public.
  • Surveys show that America's trust in mass media has been declining for years.
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How has technology changed — and changed us — in the past 20 years?

Apple sold its first iPod in 2001, and six years later it introduced the iPhone, which ushered in a new era of personal technology.

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images
Just over 20 years ago, the dotcom bubble burst, causing the stocks of many tech firms to tumble.
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Will America’s disregard for science be the end of its reign?

Confirmation bias is baked into the DNA of America, but it may soon be the nation's undoing.

  • From America's inception, there has always been a rebellious, anti-establishment mentality. That way of thinking has become more reckless now that the entire world is interconnected and there are added layers of verification (or repudiation) of facts.
  • As the great minds in this video can attest, there are systems and mechanisms in place to discern between opinion and truth. By making conscious efforts to undermine and ignore those systems at every turn (climate change, conspiracy theories, coronavirus, politics, etc.), America has compromised its position of power and effectively stunted its own growth.
  • A part of the problem, according to writer and radio host Kurt Andersen, is a new media infrastructure that allows for false opinions to persist and spread to others. Is it the beginning of the end of the American empire?

‘Global democratic recession’ has been eroding freedoms since 2006, says study

The 20th century was marked by waves of pro-democracy revolutions. Now, the future of democracy looks uncertain.

(Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)
  • A recent paper examined the status of democracy among the world's countries.
  • The paper outlines three key indicators showing that democracy is generally declining worldwide, and it lists several potential reasons for the decline.
  • Surveys indicate that nearly half of U.S. citizens are dissatisfied with how democracy is playing out on the national level.
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Malcolm Gladwell: What if presidents were chosen by lottery?

Join Radiolab's Latif Nasser at 1pm ET today as he chats with Malcolm Gladwell live on Big Think.

Can voters really predict who will be a good leader? Malcolm Gladwell joins Big Think Live to discuss this how lotteries could, in theory, distribute leadership more effectively, from government elections, college admissions, and grant applications.

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