What is your question?

Question: What is a question everyone should be asking themselves?

Peter Thiel: I would focus on a set of individual questions.

“What can I do that makes sense in this broad context of this extraordinary world in the next 20, 30, 40 years?”

“What will I do that will be successful and contribute in a meaningful way towards good globalization?”--which I think is the key challenge of the 21st century.

It could be in the technology domain. It could be in the public policy domain. It could be personal, professionally. But I think that’s the frame.

And I think it would be good for people to think about the long term horizon so to speak; frame it, “Where do I see myself in 30 years, 40 years, 50 years?” I think people don’t ask that enough.

Recorded on: September 5, 2007


What can be done that makes sense in the broad context of this extraordinary world in the next 20, 30, 40 years?

​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

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.