Getting Over Car Culture

Question: Can cars ever be fully sustainable?

Felix Kramer: When we talk about cars and making cars cleaner, cheaper and so forth we don’t forget about the fact that we also want to reduce the use of cars. Every solution that involves alternative fuels, alternative energy has to start with conservation, using less, so in the United States we’re the only country whose freight is mostly delivered by truck instead of by rail and we can change that. People… Many people own big vehicles because for a week or two a year they need to bring a… tow a boat or something. They can rent the car. I’m really encouraged about the growth or car sharing and that whole idea. Many people don’t need to own two or three cars. They can own one car and the second and third car can be rented. There are a lot of solutions like that and in the long term smart communities and planning growth so that people can walk to work or take public transit to work. We need a much better public transit system than we have, but right now Americans are wedded to their cars and we have a responsibility to make those cars much better.

It’s one of America’s longest and most iconic love affairs, but even our most innovative approaches to sustainable transportation are futile if we can’t forget our irrational obsession with the open road.

Are you an overbuyer or an underbuyer?

One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.

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  • Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
  • One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
  • Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.

Here's when machines will take your job, as predicted by A.I. gurus

An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.

Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images
Surprising Science

While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.

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Trusting your instincts is lazy: Poker pro Liv Boeree on Big Think Edge

International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to make decisions with the clarity of a World Series Poker Champion.
  • Liv Boeree teaches analytical thinking for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
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