Author posts

How Social Comparisons Cloud Our Thinking

It is more important for us to know that we are faring well in comparison to our peers than it is for us to ensure that we do better for ourselves. 

The New Who’s Who in the World Economy

There is an imbalance between economic importance in global GDP and economic voice in the setting of the global economic agenda. What’s required for the future is a rebalancing of this mismatch. 

The Art of the Five-Minute Favor

You should be willing to do something that will take 5 minutes or less for anybody. This simple notion is not only important for the purpose of being altruistic. It turns out that givers get good karma. 

Why We Still Need Critics

While additional chatter "dilutes the impact of the critic," Brantley says "I don’t think it eliminates the necessity of them."

Parenting Outside of the Comfort Zone

There is a way for parents to prepare themselves for the differences their children will manifest, and ultimately develop empathy, which is "the cornerstone of being a good parent."

The Deadly Important Insights of Big Data

What big data means is we are able to learn things about ourselves at the population level, at a huge scale, that we never could in the past.

How Far Do Women Have to Lean In?

How much of women's problems are problems because women are not leaning in, and how much of the responsibility is up to the employer to create the environment that women need or men need to succeed at work?

Romantic Failure: A Cultural and Cognitive Bias

We are socialized to blame ourselves when things go wrong in love because that is what is available to refashion when you are in a psychiatrist's office. 

How Parenting Became a Blood Sport

We lionize a small group of our kids and push other kids out to the margins. In doing so, we miss tremendous opportunities for them to become contributors to our society.

We Live in a Cosmic Shooting Gallery

We are not the safe small blue dot we like to think we are, but rather, we are more like a target in a "cosmic shooting gallery."

How GM Got Its Groove Back

"Give us a chance," the company and its employees were saying, and "we’ll show you what we can do. And, by golly, they did."

How You Decide What To Buy Online

Consumers are no longer engaged in the linear model of traditional marketing, but through a cycle, indeed a journey, across digital, mobile and social platforms. 

Redefining Leadership to Reinvent Success

Is a CEO promoting aggressive selling as opposed to nurturing long-term relationships with customers? These are the types fo signals that will tell you the real health of a company and its long-term outlook.

Are You Dating a Psychopath?

Kevin Dutton walks through the characteristics of psychopathy, and how these behaviors play out in relationships. 

Can We Measure Presidents Like Baseball Players?

How do we evaluate leaders? Would the 13th Amendment have passed without Lincoln's leadership? Would the U.S. have joined the League of Nations had it not been for the stubbornness of Wilson?

Abraham Lincoln: Avatar

Lincoln represents the type of leader who knows "he is doing something noble and worthwhile. But the noble quest is far more important than they are."

It's Time to Stop Validating Ignorance

"The very fact that enough people are willing to somehow believe that Earth is 6,000 years old," Lawrence Krauss argues, "means we have to do a better job of teaching physics and biology, not a worse job."

Penn Jillette's Guide to Skepticism

Penn Jillette says healthy skepticism involves maintaining the distinction between what you think and what you feel. 

Improv 101: The Key to Thinking Fearlessly

Improvisation, creates "a set of experiences that allow you to fine-tune and hone all of the necessary skills needed to think on your feet and simply react and adapt."

The New Digital Literacy

Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet, argues that software developers should take responsibility for the vital role they play in a digital society, and individuals need to be aware of the basic digital literacy skills we need to possess in order to be programmers, not just subjects who are programmed.

A Christmas Message for the True Believers

Being a practicing member of a religion is distinct from being a true believer. We can understand this from a theological point of view, but can belief be scientifically observed, or even measured? 

A Christmas Bonus For Innovators

Should employees be incentivized to deliver high performance on day-to-day tasks? Of course we need that, but 20-30 percent of incentives should be based on "breakthrough new pathways for the company, experiments," says entrepreneur Jack Hidary. 


Bits Versus Stuff: Peter Thiel Asks Why Has Innovation Stalled

We have a background assumption that we are living in a technologically-accelerating civilization. Peter Thiel has a different view of where we are headed, and he says we need to fight hard to improve our future prospects. 

Henry Rollins: Education Wants to be Free

Henry Rollins says that education has always been, and will need to continue to be, the main ingredient in shaping our future. 

John Kerry: The Winds of War Are Blowing

If we are divided at home, Senator John Kerry argues, we won't be able to deal with the complex challenges that confront the world. Among these challenges is what Kerry describes as "near failed statism" in Egypt and Pakistan. 

Gerrymandering and the Politics of Revenge

Congress gets to pick its own voters, and not the other way around. But what if we got rid of gerrymandering and made 200 races in the House competitive every two years instead of just 30 or 40?

How to Create Your Own Luck

Tony Tjan says that luck has a lot to do with optimism. For instance, how long can you maintain a positive opinion about a new idea after someone is introduced it to you? If you entertain the notion that this idea may work for an entire day, Tjan says you are close to a "Zen Buddha state."

The Ethical Businessman of the 21st Century

What type of ethics training do both individuals and organizations need to navigate through the ethical minefields of business in the 21st century?

The Importance of Asking Good, Dumb Questions

The best way to conduct interviews -- or any kind of research, for that matter -- is to not try to make yourself look smart. Rather, asking a "good dumb question" is an approach that will often yield the best results. 

Back to School with Punkle Henry (Rollins)

Henry Rollins is remarkably consistent in his rebelliousness. He says rebellion should not involve chest-beating or flag-waving but merely upholding a sense of decency, which is itself a rebellion against all of those who would put you down. 

What Went Wrong With AI?

David Eagleman says he grew up dreaming of having a robot companion like C-3PO, but all he got was the Roomba vacuum cleaner. Why has the field of artificial intelligence progressed so slowly?


Ed Conard: The Man Behind the 'Most Hated Book in America' (Video)

Ed Conard is Mitt Romney's former partner at Bain Capital and the author of the provocative new book entitle Unintended Consequences, which argues that economic inequality is a sign that the economy is working. In this far-ranging interview on Big Think, Conard discusses why he chose to speak out at the risk of embarrassing Romney, and how he responds to the attacks that have been leveled against Bain Capital. 

How Not to Kill Creativity – Jonah Lehrer LIVE on Big Think

Jonah Lehrer talks with Big Think's Jason Gots about failure as an integral, essential part of the creative process, and why American schools are so good at killing creativity.