from the world's big
Don't let a crisis be wasted. Use this moment to find meaning, purpose, and to refocus on self-care that will improve your mindset and relationships.
How have you been feeling, thinking and acting during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you implementing the right self-care so that you can be the person or leader that you want to be?
Big Think has launched a line of apparel and goods that celebrate the life and work of four geniuses.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: My man, Sir Isaac Newton<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="MAonxLen" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="553c8b0fbf833a48fe05f4d7ab8d459d"> <div id="botr_MAonxLen_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MAonxLen-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/MAonxLen-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MAonxLen-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
How deep are America's cultural fault lines? Depends on which data you crunch.
- America is a divided nation, but perhaps its divisions are as much in the eye of the beholder.
- This map charts the geographic fault lines between 'crazy drunk' America and 'bible study' America.
- Strangely, Las Vegas falls in the latter category – and Salt Lake City in the former.
American fault line<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDYyODY3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODQwNDI2MX0.cTriLVwKoTuPZKbFx6BZScaYWISBH_NnTan9-l_GwUc/img.jpg?width=980" id="ec278" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e4e5a130c7f2659c196072427c450743" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="These United States of Crunk & Bible Studies" />
One nation, divided between the bible and the bottle
Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr<p>America is not one nation – not even two, but a seemingly endless procession of opposites: red vs. blue, black vs. white, coastal vs. heartland, Hispanic vs. Anglo, millennials vs. analog natives. Of course, the precise course and depth of each of those fault lines depends on which type of data you decide to crunch, and how. </p><p>Here is a map of the United States divided into two very different – though perhaps not entirely mutually exclusive – demographics. In one corner: 'crazy drunk' – or 'crunk', if you're into the whole brevity thing. In the other: 'bible study'. The raw data for this map was spooned out of the bubbling vat of megatrends and metadata that is Twitter. </p><p>"The goal was to determine the mood of the country's population," the mapmakers explain, "whether they were tweeting more about getting drunk or about going to bible study." One might question the methodology of their survey: perhaps the national mood has more than just those two settings; but let's run with this and see what happens. <span></span></p>
Sentiment analysis<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDYyODcyOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NzEyMzkxMX0.FyrYSTr1Bmu99uSmnE4awab9_DvBmcwzbSVKXwMGIlU/img.png?width=980" id="fdc2f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9f47d17923b983e5062c84cbb381c4e2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="'Crunk' and bible studies in Texas and environs" />
A Texas three-way: bible, drinking, and neither (or both?)
Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr<p>"Roughly 8,000 tweets were collected for each population. The 'crunk' population was created from tweets that said 'Let's get drunk', 'let's get f***ed up' and 'Let's get crunk'. Minor variations were also added to this population, e.g. 'Let's get crazy f***ed up!' The second population was created from tweets that said 'bible study'."</p><p><span></span>Not every mention in either category was genuine. In their sentiment analysis, the surveyors found an error rate of 4% in the 'crunk' category (i.e. "a mocking or derisive tone about getting drunk"), and 2% in among 'bible study' tweets. </p><p><span></span>The map shows the results of the survey, plotted in various shades of colour: light and dark orange for a slighter or stronger preponderance of 'crunk' tweets, light and dark blue for a smaller or larger plurality of 'bible study' tweets, and grey for areas where both categories were equal in number, or where too little data was available either way. </p>
Bible belt blues<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDYyODczNy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDc1NTUwN30.vfTA_TkiAhu16DG-uTBFb9PKn3ABfK5ASDrVaSt448g/img.png?width=980" id="23e68" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c380192acf146261a304b6ba94361096" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Map of 'crunk' vs. 'bible studies' in the Deep South." />
The South is overwhelmingly blue, for 'bible studies'
Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr<p>Not entirely unsurprisingly, "the Bible Belt is clearly shown (in blue), and large urban areas in the South easily favour the 'bible study' tweets". On the other hand, "the greatest concentration of 'crunk' tweets tend to exist in college towns and military bases, both of which are populated by younger twitterers."</p><p>Interesting to note are the general rules, and their exceptions. </p><ul><li>Blue dominates in the South, from east Texas all the way to North Carolina and down to Florida. </li><li>Orange holds sway in the Northeast, around the Great Lakes, in the Southwest and on the West Coast. </li></ul>
Trending towards piety<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDYyODc1NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDU5NzIzM30.d9NFVMTymcPEB6nZzz-kjLUw7ygAHp7iDwrJolM0P1g/img.png?width=980" id="049c5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="52d5ab9dab71d87fb1389b93a48b634f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Aroostook County, the largest county east of the Mississippi, is atypically blue." />
Crunk Megacity: a zone from Boston to Washington DC is dark orange
Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr<ul><li>Texas seems split down the middle, with orange ruling in the southern and central parts, blue in the east and scattered throughout the north and west, and what seems like a slight majority of counties undecided between the two. </li><li>Florida also has its fair share of both shades, but - surely to the surprise of some – seems to trend towards piety rather than hedonism. </li><li>The urban corridor from Boston to Washington is shaded dark orange, representing a large concentration of crunk-leaning tweets.</li><li>Yet despite the general orangeness of the entire area, some areas in the northwest stand out as bible-proof islands in a sea of crunk – notably Aroostook County, the northernmost part of Maine (also because it is the largest county east of the Mississippi). </li></ul>
Orange Utahns and praying in Vegas<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDYyODc1My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDgyNzc5M30.SlDCptlX_nuqRO_OxO4tF85lF_YNrXL-3_1di-zQwHQ/img.png?width=980" id="85ffe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0458b07b2f97bb3c56aa7da25a626a89" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Even in hedonistic California, significant areas prefer bible study over binge drinking" />
Orange Utahns? Yes, and: Who stays in Vegas, prays in Vegas
Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr<ul><li>Similarly, flecks of blue are scattered among the overwhelming majority of orange on the West Coast, for example a rather large area just inland of the San Francisco Bay. </li><li>Curiously, Clark County, Nevada is blue rather than orange. Apparently, who stays in Vegas, prays in Vegas. </li><li>On the other hand, Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah (and home to its capital, Salt Lake City) is solidly orange, despite the state's devout reputation. </li></ul>
Suffering can buffer us, and make us more polished versions of ourselves — if we have the right attitude.
- When you're going through a moment that tests your patience, even causes you to psychologically suffer, sometimes you have to step back and say, "Yes, thank you."
- Suffering is like sandpaper, and, if we choose, it can buffer us and make us better versions of ourselves.
- Also, it's critical to find a quiet place within where just the fundamental fact that you are participating in reality imbues you with enough value and dignity to draw upon at any moment. Regardless of exterior sentiments about you.
Does God exist? The answer rests outside the "normal" boundaries of science.
- Science is about natural law, while religion is about ethics. As long as you keep these two separate, Kaku says, there's no problem at all. Problems arise, however, when the natural sciences begin to "pontificate upon ethics" and when religious people begin to pontificate about natural law.
- Albert Einstein believed in the "god of Spinoza" — not a personal god, but one who has set order and harmony in the fabric of the universe. "You can put the laws of physics as we know them on a simple sheet of paper — amazing! It didn't have to be that way," says Kaku.
- The existence of God is not testable because such a review is not reproducible or falsifiable, as most scientific investigations are. In this sense, Kaku says the question and answer whether God exists rests outside the "normal" boundaries of science.