Beating Up Teachers With Cornel West

Shaking hands with Cornel West, it's difficult to imagine that this is a man filled with rage. As the prominent “bluesman” put it in his Big Think interview, the key to a more just society lies in a form of widespread and unconditional love of others—a worldview that comes across forcibly within moments of meeting him. Yet, as a schoolboy, the Princeton Professor’s incipient campaign against injustice took some wayward turns, and he became known for bullying bullies, eventually finding himself kicked out of school after punching his teacher and inciting a riot (fortunately, he later took an IQ test and scored so high that he was placed in a better school on the "other side of town").

Professor West also raised a newfangled critique of Barack Obama, suggesting that the current President has been cozy with Wall Street on account of his long being mesmerized by “braininess.” West went on to discuss the momentous crossroads at which the president stands: he can either prove to be a "spectacle"—a sort of absurd parody of what real change could have been—or he can prove some “backbone” and be a real agent of change. Said differently, he can continue to be an adept and often Machiavellian politician, like Clinton, or he can become a real, Lincolnesque leader.

West also gave Big Think a great reading list, and issued some advice to viewers: stop pining for the soul-deadening ideal of success, and go for greatness. Sound difficult? Well, West also gave some pointers on the everyday things you can do to keep this goal in mind (one quick tip: you can take a cue from John Coltrane and Bob Dylan).

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less