The World Is Relying On The Virtue Of Mark Zuckerberg To Protect Us From Facebook

"Facebook is going to try to be a monopoly, why would it not?" asks Columbia University law professor and information monopoly expert Tim Wu. "Fortunately, it's a monopoly of social networking. It's not like it's bread or something."

But the potential for Facebook to have the world's monopoly on social networking is not trivial, concedes Wu. It will, after all, be the world's largest repository for personal data, as well as the world's largest digital phone book.

According to Wu, there are three entities that can regulate Facebook—and anything else for that matter: government can regulate from the top down, consumers can revolt from the bottom up, and the company leaders can regulate themselves by choosing to be virtuous.

"That's why Google hasn't been broken up," says Wu. "They have not been evil. That, and they don't know nearly as much about you."

When asked whether it Facebook seems like the kind of company that will engage in rigorous self-regulation, Wu was skeptical. "It doesn't look that promising," he says.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Big Think Edge
  • "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose," Sherlock Holmes famously remarked.
  • In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to optimize memory, Holmes style.
  • The goal is to expand one's limited "brain attic," so that what used to be a small space can suddenly become much larger because we are using the space more efficiently.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
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Big Think Edge
  • Our ability to behave rationally depends not just on our ability to use the facts, but on our ability to give those facts meaning. To be rational, we need both facts and feelings. We need to be subjective.
  • In this lesson, risk communication expert David Ropeik teaches you how human rationality influences our perception of risk.
  • By the end of it, you'll understand the pitfalls of your subjective risk perception system so that you can avoid these traps in the future.