What do you believe?

Question: Do you have a personal philosophy?

Josh Lieb: You know I had one, and then I started taking Prozac. And now I’m just bulling forward. I’m just getting through day-by-day. I don’t know. You know that’s a joke, but I really am just bulling forward. It is such an impossibly complicated and depressing world, that unless you just sort of keep your eye on the small things – keeping your wife happy; you know, doing a good job at work; going home and feeding the dogs – you will go crazy. You know I guess looking back at some of the things I said. Like I don’t think I’m making the world a better place, and I don’t think I’m contributing to anything. So that’s really depressing. That’s a very sad philosophy. Okay, so maybe I’m making the world a little better place. You know I’m making my wife happy, and I really like her, so that’s nice. You know I’ve done something there. And my dogs rely on me. And so I don’t know.

I guess my philosophy is the most important things you can do are for your family and for your friends. I think everything else is kind of meaningless. And if you devote yourself to a cause above your friends and family, you’re just kidding yourself. I think everything, every government, every world is fleeting. It’s not going to last forever. The only really permanent things in your life are your family and friends. You know the lowest circle in hell was for Brutus because he betrayed his friend. And he did it for his country, but you know screw your country. Because Rome is gone now, but Cesar has always betrayed. So I think you can really only, in a way, care and do good. And hopefully your friends are good people, and your family is good people. But you can really just try to make the world a better place for them and that’s it.

Recorded on December 11, 2007

Prozac to cure a personal philosophy.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less