Re: What can media be doing better?

Well it’s changed enormously. I mean television was already the dominant factor when I came in, but . . . in 1960. But there was a real sort of balance between print and television at that point. On the campaign buses, the print reporters still sat up front and the television people sat in the back of the bus. That changed pretty quickly. And now of course with cable, both networks and the print are in the back seat and cable is driving the bus. It’s a problem that is a kind of an artifact of the . . . I think mostly the television role as the dominant channel of communication for politicians. What the politicians learned was that if they maintained the old-fashioned way of campaigning – set speeches, complex talks on foreign policy, or foreign policy or economic policy – that reporters had wide range as to what they chose to report from those speeches. But if they framed their message each day in a single sound bite, particularly if they could do it in front of a dramatic setting – a closed steel mill or a polluted stream – that became the message for the television coverage. And so with television, what you had essentially was a shrinkage of the daily message from the campaigns to that sound bite level. Recorded on: 9/13/07

The current model of politics by soundbyte is stifling real debate.

Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom

An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
  • "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
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For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.

We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?

The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big Think)
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There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.

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Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

Videos
  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
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