The Future of Conservatism

Since the Republican Party's historic defeat in the 2008 elections, American conservatives have been seeking new ideas to rally around, new leaders to point the way forward. One year later, have they succeeded? Has President Obama's job performance helped or hurt their cause? Are the headline-grabbing "Tea Party" protests a sign of the GOP's weakness, or of its resurgent strength? And does Sarah Palin, whose hotly anticipated memoir debuts this week, have a political future? In a special series this week, Big Think poses these and other questions to four experts on "The Future of Conservatism."


The series kicks off today with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, whose FreedomWorks nonprofit has backed Tea Party protests across the nation since early 2009. In his Big Think interview, Armey castigated both sides of the aisle for failing the small-government principles he believes most Americans espouse. He also criticized the GOP for alienating Hispanic voters, accused both Bush and Obama for "bumbling" on foreign policy and economics, and drew on his early career as an economics professor to offer his own prescription for recovery.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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