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By: David Allen | November 20, 2017

To Be a Better Philanthropist, Think Like a Poker Player | Liv Boeree on Effective Altruism
Liv Boeree

To Be a Better Philanthropist, Think Like a Poker Player | Liv Boeree on Effective Altruism — Raising money for charity is one thing. Knowing where to give it is another. When some charities are 100 times more effective than others, a world champion poker player knows how to spot who's bluffing. Liv Boeree — one of the best poker players in the world — has gotten together with some other poker pros to make better decisions about giving to charity, and encourages others to look further into more transparent charities.


So effective altruism is basically applying the scientific method and evidence and analysis to the whole concept of charity. 


It's about sort of looking in the world—you know, the world has a gazillion problems, a lot o...

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By: David Allen | November 20, 2017

How Meditation Can Manage Chronic Pain and Stress | Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman

How Meditation Can Manage Chronic Pain and Stress | Daniel Goleman — If you want to feel less pain, meditate more often. According to this new research, it can genuinely erase the emotional reaction to pain. And since it's long been said by coaches and some doctors that most pain is within the mind, here's scientific proof to back that assertion up.


Daniel Goleman: One of the stunning findings that showed up in long-term meditators—and these other scientists were quite skeptical about [it], but Richard Davidson my co-author and his group went ahead and tried it—they had people who had done 1,000 to 10,000 lifetime hours of meditation come in and simply do a retreat for one day in the lab. And they did a measure of the genes for inflamma...

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By: David Allen | November 20, 2017

Why Can't We Find the Theory of Everything? Einstein, Rogue Genius, String Theory | Eric Weinstein
Eric Weinstein

Why Can't We Find the Theory of Everything? Einstein, Rogue Genius, String Theory | Eric Weinstein — Einstein's theory of relativity revolutionized our view of the universe, positing a space-time continuum undergirding all reality. Equally impactful has been quantum mechanics, which describe the behavior of subatomic particles in ways that differ from observable matter. But both theories have been verified by empirical observation and scientific experiments. String theory, and a select number of other theories that purport to explain the universe in one, all-encompassing equation, remain completely divorced from the physical world. Surely theories about the universe must relate directly to the matter in it?! Did Einstein get it wrong, ...

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By: David Allen | November 20, 2017

How Financial Innovation Is Giving Cities Jobs, Wealth, and Health

How Financial Innovation Is Giving Cities Jobs, Wealth, and Health — Ever since President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House in 1979, innovators and green-minded politicians have been trying to unlock the enormous benefits of energy efficiency across America. 


But those benefits have remained illusive for two reasons, says BlocPower founder Donnel Baird: financial constraints and engineering complexities. Aged infrastructure like power plants cost us a lot, financially and environmentally. Our best shot at efficiency is by "greening" existing buildings so they can create power locally, rather than burning fossil fuels at a plant and transmitting electricity over long distances, wasting much of it along the w...

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By: David Allen | November 10, 2017

Will Alien Life Resemble Life on Earth? Harvard Biologist Jonathan Losos Explains
Jonathan Losos

Will Alien Life Resemble Life on Earth? Harvard Biologist Jonathan Losos Explains — Is there life on other planets? Harvard biologist Jonathan B. Losos has an interesting theory that since there are so many Earth-type planets in our galaxy alone that there's a good chance that there's some humanoid looking (at least in the bipedal sense) creatures out there, too. Just like a Hollywood movie.

Jonathan B. Losos: So this question about the inevitability of evolution, the extent to which the outcomes we see in the world today were destined to occur, has a number of implications. 

I mean just most generally it tells us whether how fated evolution was to occur, how the outcome today was destined in a way. 

But it has other implication...

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By: David Allen | November 10, 2017

Your Brain Is an Illusion Factory: Time, Color, Causality | Dean Buonomano
Dean Buonomano

Your Brain Is an Illusion Factory: Time, Color, Causality | Dean Buonomano — Your brain is playing tricks on you. And most of the time you have no idea what is really going on.


Dean Buonomano: Time is complicated, I think more so than space. If you think about our mammalian ancestors, our mammalian cousins, all animals have a fairly good understanding of space in the sense that they know where a predator is located behind a tree; or if my dog loses its treat it knows to go behind the couch or beside the couch or over the couch. 

But time—we navigate space, right. We take left turns, we have a map of space within our heads and we know that if somebody goes around the corner where we can go after them. 

But time we don’t navigate ...

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By: David Allen | November 10, 2017

Conquer Life's Challenges by Looking Inside Yourself | Cornel West
Cornel West

Conquer Life's Challenges by Looking Inside Yourself | Cornel West — Thriving in life requires fortitude. It's a strength that Professor Cornel West refers to as spiritual fortitude. What gives us power in life, he says, is not anything in the world, but our own internal resources. 


Concepts like hope, faith, and love have no material reality—save perhaps for neurons firing in the brain—yet they are the cornerstones of human well being. Introspection will deliver you infinitely more hope than an archeological expedition. Although to be sure, navel gazing alone won't get you through life. Discovering "groundless but soulful" resources on the inside is a first step toward acting them out. Being hope, being faith, and being ...

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By: David Allen | November 10, 2017

Money Can Buy Happiness If You Know How to Spend It: Stuff, Experiences, Gifts | Michael Norton
Michael Norton

Money Can Buy Happiness If You Know How to Spend It: Stuff, Experiences, Gifts | Michael Norton — Do you really need a lot of stuff to be happy? Science says that the opposite is true.


Michael Norton: My colleague Liz Dunn at University of British Columbia and I have been studying the relationship with between money and happiness. And it seems like a simple relationship, which is: we want more money and we want more happiness, so maybe if we get more money we’ll get more happiness. 

And it turns out that the relationship is really a lot more complicated than that. 

It’s not too surprising to say that money can’t buy you happiness, we’ve heard that phrase a lot. But that doesn’t help us understand then what kind of spending will ...

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By: David Allen | November 04, 2017

Is the World Returning to the Dark Ages? | Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie

Is the World Returning to the Dark Ages? | Salman Rushdie — Well! Salman Rushdie pretty much predicted the future in his new book, The Golden House, wherein the antagonist is “a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic, media-savvy villain sporting makeup and coloured hair." 


Read into that what you will, but Rushdie here posits that he's baffled by the sudden worldwide rejection of knowledge and the elites. He says that it's not just an invention of the American right wing — that it's a worldwide problem that's helped in large part by the likes of Fox News et al — and he wonders both what gave rise to that and how it will stop. Perhaps he'll have to write a sequel.


Well, I saw a really alarming newspaper article just a week or so ag...

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By: David Allen | November 04, 2017

Bryan Cranston's Career Advice for Millennials: Confidence, Hardwork, Pride
Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston's Career Advice for Millennials: Confidence, Hardwork, Pride — Not many people are born with genius, says Bryan Cranston. You've got to work for aptitude and success. It's a trait—hard work—that Millennials are too often criticized for not having. 


But having returned recently from a USO show and seen young people accepting responsibility and taking charge, Cranston feels confident about the leadership of the future. He'll feel even more confident if older generations find ways to listen to younger ones. In fact, it's an important learning tool. Allowing yourself to be a beginner at something—even though you may be an expert at "X" or "Y"—is a trait as humbling as is it empowering. Cranston's book...

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