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The Present

Big Think’s Top Videos of 2014


Bill Nye: We May Discover Life on Europa

Bill Nye (The Science Guy!) describes the possibility of discovering life on Europa, arguing that we might make such a discovery in as little as 20 or 30 years. Bill is the CEO of the Planetary Society (http://planetary.org/).

James Gleick on the Common Character Traits of Geniuses

This video is part of a series on female genius, in proud collaboration with 92Y’s 7 Days of Genius Festival.


The personalities of Isaac Newton and Richard Feynman were, on one level, extremely different. Biographer and former New York Times reporter James Gleick says Newton was argumentative, had few friends, and likely died a virgin. Feynman, on the other hand, loved dancing and going to parties, and had many friends in the scientific community. But in regards to their working habits, both men were solitary and had the ability to concentrate with a sort of intensity that is hard for mortals to grasp. At bottom, Gleick says geniuses tend to have a yearning for solitude which, though fruitful for their professional work, made the task of daily living more burdensome.

Dan Harris: Hack Your Brain’s Default Mode With Meditation

Dan Harris explains the neuroscience behind meditation, but reminds us that the ancient practice isn’t magic and likely won’t send one floating into the cosmic ooze. He predicts that the exercise will soon become regularly scheduled maintenance, as commonplace as brushing your teeth or eating your veggies. Harris, an ABC News correspondent, was turned on to mediation after a live, on-air panic attack. His latest book is 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story.

The Racist War on Drugs, with Ethan Nadelmann

Inevitably drug laws will be disproportionately enforced against the poor, younger and darker-skinned members of society.

Michio Kaku on the Alien Mind

Michio Kaku on why Hollywood needs to make better aliens.


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