Re: Where are we?

Stephen Breyer: The barriers are that we will not get our environment under control. The barriers are that . . . I saw a very interesting film. It was on a French television program. It was showing some people come up from . . . they had been nomads in the south part of the desert in western Africa. And there was a fishing season, and they arrived in trucks. And thousands of them went out and they were catching these fish, and pretty soon there were no fish left. That was the point of the film. And the real point of the film is, well, there aren’t going to be any fish left. But the message was, what are they supposed to do? What are they supposed to do? There isn’t work for them where they started. They have to eat, and so they come up and they take the fish. Well this is a huge problem. And we know that on the one hand, we’ve gotta keep the fish. And we also have to find work for these people. And so that’s the kind of problem that’s caused tremendous environmental problems; tremendous population problems; tremendous problems, of course, of keeping the what I call the fanatical, dark element of human nature under control. And it only takes a few or it’s out of control to do tremendous damage. But we have terrific instruments of cooperation . . . the Internet being one, our educational institutions. Our economy is good. We have this economic need. So forces of . . . points of light and possibilities of darkness.

Recorded on: 7/5/07

On fish and other problems.

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art

Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.

Image: OneSoil
Strange Maps
  • Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
  • The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
  • The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less