Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen Predict the Future

Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen argue why the future will empower the good, not the evil.

Credit: Willrow Hood / 362693204 via Adobe Stock
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The distances between the stars are so vast that they can make your brain melt. Take for example the Voyager 1 probe, which has been traveling at 35,000 miles per hour for more than 40 years and was the first human object to cross into interstellar space. That sounds wonderful except, at its current speed, it will still take another 40,000 years to cross the typical distance between stars.

Worse still, if you are thinking about interstellar travel, nature provides a hard limit on acceleration and speed. As Einstein showed, it's impossible to accelerate any massive object beyond the speed of light. Since the galaxy is more than 100,000 light-years across, if you are traveling at less than light speed, then most interstellar distances would take more than a human lifetime to cross. If the known laws of physics hold, then it seems a galaxy-spanning human civilization is impossible.

Unless of course you can build a warp drive.

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Just when the Middle Ages couldn’t get worse, everyone had bunions

The Black Death wasn't the only plague in the 1300s.

By Loyset Liédet - Public Domain, wikimedia commons
Culture & Religion
  • In a unique study, researchers have determined how many people in medieval England had bunions
  • A fashion trend towards pointed toe shoes made the affliction common.
  • Even monks got in on the trend, much to their discomfort later in life.
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Pupil size surprisingly linked to differences in intelligence

Maybe eyes really are windows into the soul — or at least into the brain, as a new study finds.

Credit: Adobe stock / Chris Tefme
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a correlation between pupil size and differences in cognitive ability.
  • The larger the pupil, the higher the intelligence.
  • The explanation for why this happens lies within the brain, but more research is needed.
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Lobsters, jellyfish, and the foolish quest for immortality

Being mortal makes life so much sweeter.

Credit: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Since the beginning of time, humans have fantasized over and quested for "eternal life."
  • Lobsters and a kind of jellyfish offer us clues about what immortality might look like in the natural world.
  • Evolution does not lend itself easily to longevity, and philosophy might suggest that life is more precious without immortality.
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