What is your question?
Matt Bai is a political reporter and staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, Bai graduated from Tufts in 1990 and received a Masters from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1994. Bai began his reporting career at the Boston Globe's metro desk; he spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek before coming to the Times in 2002. Bai has covered all sorts of national news: everything from the Columbine shootings to John Glenn's last space voyage to Mike Bloomberg's mayoral campaign. In recent years, Bai has focused primarily on intra-Democratic Party politics. He is the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, an analysis of the progressive movement. Bai's work has also appeared in both the 2005 and 2006 editions of The Best American Political Writing. Matt covered the 2008 presidential race for the New York Times Magazine.
Matt Bai: I don’t do well with questions structured around “should”. I’m not good at telling people what I think they should do. I think every American should – you know who can, and not everyone can. But I think there are a lot of Americans in the position to ask themselves, “How can this moment make my life better? How can change improve my life?” We spend a lot of time worrying about change. We spend a lot of time fearful about what it’s gonna mean for our . . . for us or for our children; for our jobs; for our standing in the world as a country; for our cultures and our values, right? There’s so much anxiety around communities. And I think we’d be a sort of more forward looking, creative, happier country if people spent time thinking about how can change improve my life? How can it improve my job? How can it improve my family? How can the Internet, or technology, or you know . . . you know new social groups . . . Or you know how does all of this change going on . . . changing . . . The local economy is changing. The regional economy is changing. How can it, you know . . . How can it make things better? What can it do for my children that it didn’t do for me? And how can we get there? And then I think we start to have a conversation about politics that’s a lot more productive. Because then rather than being . . . rather than it being about preserving the past, we start to think about, okay, how do we take advantage of what’s happening?
Recorded on: 12/13/07
How can we embrace change?
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.