Author posts

How Entrepreneurship Is Like Acting

Entrepreneurship, like theater, requires you to imagine something that doesn't exist. Hollywood star Jeffrey Wright explains how his training on the stage prepared him to found a mineral company and non-profit in Sierra Leone.

Ray Kurzweil: Solar Will Power the World in 16 Years

Solar power, driven by exponentially-increasing nanotechnology, will satisfy the entire world's energy needs in 16 years. 

Will Chinese Capitalism Replace the Free Market?

"China does not have to impose this model on anyone," says Cambridge research fellow Stefan Halper. "It is admired and envied by millions of people in the world beyond the West."

The Rise of Virtual Economies

As our lives become ever more virtual, retailers are betting there will be increasing demand for virtual goods as well. In the future, gaming and retail will be a fully integrated experience.

Ten Extraordinary Women in Male-Dominated Fields

Big Think salutes 10 women who have made inroads in professions that have traditionally been the province of men.

Gloria Steinem: How Today's Election Affects Women

The pioneering feminist acknowledges that people are frustrated with the Democrats, but warns that the "extreme" policies of the Republican party are bad for everyone—especially women. 

President Obama Joins the "It Gets Better Project"

The online video series, created by sex columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry in response to recent LGBT teen suicides, has reached the White House. Savage talks to Big Think about its success.

How Humanitarian Aid Prolongs Wars

The money you donate to feed starving children may actually be prolonging war in places like Darfur and Somalia, says Dutch journalist Linda Polman.

How Meditation Reshapes Your Brain

Far from simply being a relaxed state, meditation is a period of heightened mental activity. Long-term practice can increase one's capacity for attention as well as compassion.

Can Computers Be Conscious?

By studying the neural networks in the brain, scientists have constructed computer-based models that mirror the brain's complex biological networks. 

ADHD and Stimulants: Brain Boost or Drug Abuse?

Given that drugs like Ritalin and Adderall raise productivity indiscriminately, shouldn't everyone be using them? Dr. Harold Koplewicz, one of the nation's leading child psychiatrists, thinks ADHD—like the drugs that are used to treat it—is "highly misunderstood."

How the Brain Fears

The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic system, is where the the brain processes and reacts to frightening stimuli. Because of its mechanism, our emotional responses to situations that feel dangerous are often unconscious.

Speak, Memory: Language and the Brain

Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker's research looks at how language exists in our minds, and how it informs the way we create social relationships.

Is Your Brain Addicted to Porn?

Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of "The Brain That Changes Itself," discusses how neuroplasticity can be hijacked by an addition to pornography.

Braingasm: Sex and your synapses

It is a cliché that the brain is the "largest sex organ," but the repetition of the phrase doesn't make it any less true.

Ultimate Survivor Stories (Part 1)

To what lengths would you go to survive in the face of death? Could you amputate your own arm to free it from beneath a boulder? Could you survive 10 weeks on frogs and leeches?  Over the next four days, Big Think interviews men who survived the harshest conditions.

What Is Intelligence?

What makes some brains smarter than others? Are intelligent people better at storing and retrieving memories? Or perhaps their neurons have more connections allowing them to creatively combine dissimilar ideas?

Why Do We Sleep?

With brain scans, scientists have learned much about what happens in our heads during sleep, but they still can't answer the simple question: why do we sleep?

#16: Parents Don't Matter

Save yourself the time and effort: parents have much less influence over their children's personality than we think, says controversial psychologist Judith Rich Harris. 

#12: Bring Back Eugenics

Liberal eugenics and morality-enhancing drugs could combat amoral and anti-social character traits, and could foster the sort of cooperation that will be necessary for tackling global issues that threaten our race.

#10: Legalize All Drugs

Harvard University economics professor Jeffrey Miron thinks all drugs—including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD—should be made legal and widely available.

#1: Drug Our Drinking Water

Bioethicist Jacob Appel believes that Washington should fortify all of our drinking water with trace amounts of lithium, which has been show to decrease suicides.