Still miffed about the 2000 election? Or even the 1992 election? Steven Brams feels your pain—and has developed a system that could prevent similar voter aggravation in the future. As the NYU politics professor explains in his Big Think interview, "approval voting" would dampen the spoiler effect of candidates like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot, while benefiting centrist politicians over ideologues. If political fairness isn't your thing, Brams has also discovered a solution to a more mundane problem: divvying up birthday cake.
Brams's envy-free solution to the "n-person-cake cutting problem" involves game theory too dense to apply literally, but he still gets handed the knife and asked to do the honors at birthday parties. He's more than willing, too, to apply game theory concepts to other unusual realms, including the study of biblical literature. Citing the Samson and Delilah story as a favorite example, Brams argues that the characters in the Bible are, by and large, savvy strategists—"God included." If only American democracy were half as rational...
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
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.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
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