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Chris Hadfield
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Why Binge Watching Is a More Natural Way to Enjoy Entertainment

When magazines stopped serializing novels, and people instead bought entire books, nobody said fiction lovers were "binge reading," so Netflix's Todd Yellin asks why the term applies to TV.

Todd Yellin:  So, it's interesting the term binging. At first when people started talking about Netflix binging I thought that would be a bad term for Netflix. It sounds very pathological and I don't know if that sounds very healthy and fun. But it actually took hold and we went with the flow. We didn't invent the term but we do lead to people binging through lots of TV shows. To us binging is really about consumer control. It's not about someone telling you you only get one hour a week and we're going to slowly parse it out of the story that you're enjoying, hold on our scenes from next week; tune in next Sunday at 8:00. It's not about that. It's about giving the control back to the consumer here's the whole story now watch as much as you want.

You know, it's been I think 170 years since anyone published a book, maybe there are examples online but it's very rare where they go we're only giving you one chapter and next week we'll give you the next chapter. They give you the whole book. You can read as much as you want or as little as you want on any given day and that's fine and that's the way TV should be. Give me the whole freaking story and then I can watch as much or as little as I want. So with that has led to some interesting behaviors. Yes, there are people when we release a show, whether a new season of Orange is the New Black comes out or House of Cards or Narcos, people will, there is a tiny minority of people who will just binge through to the whole thing in the exact amount of time from the second we launch it at midnight California time 13 hours later or however many hours are in the show they'll exactly finish. And that's a tiny percent.

Most people watch two to three episodes in an evening, sometimes longer on weekends. And it really depends on the show and it really depends on the consumer. Because what you might consider binging and what I might consider binging – because what you might consider binging and what I might consider binging could be two very different things. Me it could be a crazy binge to watch two whole episode oh my God in one night, and you might be binge, it's like seven episodes in a night. If I don't go to sleep at 3:00 a.m. and I'm falling asleep in front of the TV and practically drooling on the side of my mouth then I haven't really done a full all out binge.

 

When magazines stopped serializing novels, and people instead bought entire books, nobody said fiction lovers were "binge reading," so Netflix's Todd Yellin asks why the term applies to TV? At the beginning of his tenure at Netflix, Yellin didn't necessarily like the term binge watching since it implied overindulgence. But relatively few people actually binge watch, according to Netflix's definition; most users enjoy 2-3 episodes a nights. Still, the definition of binge watching varies from person to person, but it's better to let people watch when and how much they want, says Yellin.

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

Videos
  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

Image: metamorworks / Shutterstock
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
  • More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
  • SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
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