The Future of Net Neutrality, with Jonathan Zittrain

Internet service providers have filed suit against the FCC over its recent decision to regulate broadband internet as a public utility.

Internet service providers have filed suit against the FCC over its recent decision to regulate broadband internet as a public utility, alleging the decision hamstrings the ability of private industry to offer customers new and innovative products. 


The FCC's new regulations stipulate that internet providers cannot (1) block service, (2) slow it down, or (3) prioritize some users over others by creating "fast lanes" that offer faster speeds (in exchange for higher fees). Two broadband service providers, USTelecom and Alamo Broadband, will now challenge that third clause in court.

Praised by some and reviled by others, the FCC's decision mostly preserved the status quo, says Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. In a Big Think interview, Zittrain discusses the unusually strong protection the government has given to the internet, which protects users as well as keeps companies from offering a suite of products to its customers.

"The long-term question is going to be to what extent internet service providers feel they need to earn money through something other than cash-and-carry delivery of what we think of as generic broadband. You know, 'We're just going to give you good bandwidth; you're going to pay for it; have fun out there,' is the internet service provider of the traditional vain."

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.

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  • 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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Florida's higher education system ranks best in the nation

A 2019 ranking of all 50 states' education systems shows the Sunshine State serves its college students well.

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  • Florida may be the butt of many jokes, but its higher education system is second to none.
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  • Americans believe their state governments should prioritize education, but much work needs to be done to catch up to other countries.
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5 of Albert Einstein's favorite books

Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.

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  • Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
  • The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
  • The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
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Space-faring humans: Why billionaires, not NASA, will get us there

Mega-rich entrepreneurs are taking us where no human being has gone before.

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  • During the first golden era of space exploration, we went to the moon. Then we sort of dropped the ball for 50 years.
  • The problem is space travel is very expensive, especially the way governments do space travel.
  • Because it costs $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit around the planet, we need to have an infusion of public and private funds. That's where billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come into the picture. With their help, we have new energies, new strategies, and new plans to go back into outer space.