David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Craig Newmark Advises Internet Start-ups

Question: How would you counsel companies just starting out?

Newmark:    I tell people to recognize their core values.  One core value which everyone seems to share is just the notion that you should treat people like you want to be treated and then follow through with that everyday.  Part of that means customer service taking it seriously, not just lip service and that’s something I figure everyone should be doing, not just talking about customer service but following through to the extent you can.  That’s one reason why either I’m founder, I make a living doing customer service.  I’ve gone down half time now because customer service can take a lot out of you and particularly when you’re moderating discussion boards.

Question: What are the growth areas you are following?

Newmark:    There are some new, there are some technology areas which should see a lot of interest and excitement given the new presidency.  One is the area of currently available alternative power generation.  For example, there’s some technologies right down the shelf ready to be deployed in large numbers.  For example, wind power and also some forms of solar energy particularly solar thermal, because, as far as I could tell, the manufacturers just can’t make this equipment fast enough so there’s a lot of potential of hiring involved in all that.  You know, I spent 10 years in Detroit, I was back recently and I realized that in that part of Michigan there’s a lot of people who know how to make stuff and there’s a lot of factory capacity and that could be part of the solution as opposed to problem.  And there’s a lot of technology relating to, say, wireless and mobile devices which has a lot of potential.  Our phones are becoming smarter and smarter and they are becoming internet devices, which is a way to better distribute access to the internet to people everywhere, particularly, since if we want to be part of the new economy and if you want your voice heard in Washington or elsewhere, you may need to be connected.  And that’s addressing some of the digital divide in this country between rich and poor.  On the other hand, of course, the mobile devices are only in some respects exaggerating the digital divide which is generational.  Throughout most of the world, mobile devices, that’s going to be how people connect to the net and so the digital divide worldwide, which is a matter of developing nations versus developed nations, I think mobile devices are going to play a big role.  Globally speaking, mobile devices, wireless technologies will be a way to let’s address the digital divide in the whole bunch of ways and there are people in a lot of countries who are using mobile devices, for example, with texting to address economic issues.

The Craigslist founder says living your values is critical to long-term success.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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R.P. Eddy wrote about a coming pandemic in 2017. Why didn't we listen?

In his book with Richard Clarke, "Warnings," Eddy made clear this was inevitable.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
  • In their 2017 book, "Warnings," R.P. Eddy and Richard Clarke warned about a coming pandemic.
  • "You never get credit for correctly predicting an outbreak," says science journalist Laurie Garrett in the book.
  • In this interview with Big Think, R.P. Eddy explains why people don't listen to warnings—and how to try to get them to listen.
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Creativity: The science behind the madness

Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

  • An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

Iranian Tolkien scholar finds intriguing parallels between subcontinental geography and famous map of Middle-earth.

Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
  • J.R.R. Tolkien hinted that his stories are set in a really ancient version of Europe.
  • But a fantasy realm can be inspired by a variety of places; and perhaps so is Tolkien's world.
  • These intriguing similarities with Asian topography show that it may be time to 'decolonise' Middle-earth.
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New study explores how to navigate 'desire discrepancies' in long term relationships

With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.

NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
  • Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.

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