Re: What is your outlook?

Virginia Postrel: Well I am optimistic on balance. So if I had to pick, I would probably pick an optimistic scenario. Although I could convince myself of really, really bad scenarios as well. Everybody is dying from smallpox, from biological warfare, or there are loose nukes everywhere. Or everybody retreats into a new futilism because there is a big question. One of the big questions going forward is, how physically secure will people feel? Whether it’s from whatever. And if they don’t feel physically secure, where will the threats be coming from? So that’s a big question mark. But let’s take the optimistic Virginia. I think that if, especially if people are allowed to experiment, and we’re able to tap the kind of dispersed knowledge and dispersed creativity that exists in a world with 6 billion plus minds in it, there’s a lot of positive that can come out of that, including countering the creative people who want to do bad things to other people. I have a great faith in the ability of people to muddle through incrementalism, and problem solving that is improvisational and sort of done on the fly. It doesn’t always work, but people are very creative when confronted with new situations. And I think people have collectively an amazing adaptability far more than people sort of acknowledge to themselves. Recorded on: 7/4/07

The many positive benefits of the knowledge and creativity dispersed throughout the world.

Videos
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less