A story in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine focuses largely on Jared Cohen, who at 28 is the youngest member of the State Department’s policy planning staff. He and Alec Ross, the first senior adviser for innovation to the secretary of state, have become key players in a campaign to use social media to relay information from the State Department to the digital world:
When Big Think interviewed Cohen in early 2008, he spoke about democracy, the Middle East, and his book, "Children of Jihad." At the time, Cohen said he had been brought into the State Department to figure out ways to address "the huge swath of the world’s population that’s under the age of 30."
"Nobody understands the youth better than youth understand themselves. Right?" Cohen said. "And similar to the kids in the Middle East being digital natives, I’m also a digital native in the United States, so youth can work to one’s advantage." He said that his role in the State department was to be a kind of internal think tank, generating ideas for how to engage and empower young people all around the world, and build connectivity with social media.
Cohen also asserted that social media companies like Facebook and MySpace were "doing a tremendous amount to promote democracy and counter violent extremism, and they’re doing it just by virtue of trying to make money and get into new markets, because they’re creating alternatives for young people. They’re creating outlets for expression. They’re creating opportunities for interaction. They’re breaking down national divides, socio-economic divides, religious divides. They’re bringing people together."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.