Game Change: Was Sarah Palin Worth the Risk? (Watch the Big Think Interview with Screenwriter Danny Strong)

Danny Strong appeared LIVE on Big Think the day before the premiere of his controversial new HBO film Game Change, which dramatizes the decision by the McCain campaign to add Sarah Palin to the ticket in 2008. 


In the video below, we explored some of the major lessons that can be drawn from Strong's film. These include risk-taking and decision making. 

For instance, on one scene McCain’s strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson, says he’d rather take a big risk to win, and possibly lose the election by 10 points, as opposed to playing it safe and losing by one point. The McCain team, of course, chose to take the risk which also had the biggest upside, and that meant filling the presidential ticket with the addition of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 

In this context, was Sarah Palin worth the risk? And what does this story tell us about our threshold for risk in business and in life?

Watch the video here:

Game Change premieres tonight on HBO at 9pm EST. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

Plants have awareness and intelligence, argue scientists

Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.

Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
  • Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
  • Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Keep reading Show less

Vaping changes blood vessels after one use, even without nicotine

E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.


John Keeble
/GETTY
Surprising Science
  • A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
  • The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
  • The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Keep reading Show less

Space is dead: A challenge to the standard model of quantum mechanics

Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.

Videos
  • Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
  • In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
  • In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
Keep reading Show less