What is your outlook?

Matt Bai: I’m pretty optimistic. You know I’m generally that way. I’m not . . . I’m not really an optimist by nature. I sweat out every game where the Yankees have a lead because I’m sure they’re gonna blow it in the eighth inning. So I can’t call myself a sunny, optimistic person. But when it comes to sort of the direction of the world and the country, I’m not cynical about that. I’m very optimistic about it. I mean I think the social, technological changes are gonna empower people in ways we haven’t imagined. And you know I mentioned this issue of people working at home. I think this is a really big deal. Before the industrial . . . the onset of the industrial age in the 20th century, people didn’t go to work. They worked . . . they lived above their store, or they farmed, and they were with their families. And they had like a really great quality of life if they were, you know . . . if they could sustain themselves. It wasn’t perfect, but you know I think we’re gonna enter a different era of what it means to work in America, what it means to live here. I don’t think people need to get in cars and spend hours of their time polluting the environment away from their families. Or sit around, you know, in a sterile office and hope that their boss doesn’t pop his head in; you know or the office joker doesn’t take up too much of their time, right? I mean I think . . . I think we’re gonna have a period in, you know, the next several decades where Americans can get much greater control over their lives; and much greater flexibility; and structure it the way they want; and feel like their work has value beyond, you know, having to dress up and show face time; but to feel like they’re respected individuals who can go run an errand if they need to, but who can also get their work done; who can put on jeans and come to work in their . . . in the morning if they want to. And I think that’s gonna be a great life for a lot of people, and I’m waiting for a government that gets it.

Recorded on: 12/13/07

 

Social and technological changes are going to empower people in ways we haven't imagined.

The philosophy of tragedy & the tragedy of philosophy - with Simon Critchley

Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
  • Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
  • …and why we need art in the first place
Keep reading Show less

A bionic lens undergoing clinical trials could soon give you superhuman abilities

We're talking Ghost in the Shell type of stuff. 

popular

Maybe you watched Ghost in the Shell and maybe afterwards you and your friend had a conversation about whether or not you would opt in for some bionic upgrades if that was possible - like a liver that could let you drink unlimitedly or an eye that could give you superhuman vision. And maybe you had differing opinions but you concluded that it's irrelevant because the time to make such choices is far in the future. Well, it turns out, it's two years away.

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