Big Think is a super cool website that brings smart people’s ideas to other smart people. It’s a network of over 2,000 fellows and it’s easy to spend hours watching the 12,000 plus videos they have from experts on various topics.
Though I haven’t watched all of them, it’s just how you’d expect it to be: some are brilliant, some are amusing, some are boring, and some you half agree with, while others just seem…meh. I picked some of my favorites that I agree with, find amusing, and base a lot of my philosophies and choices off of.
Of course, these are not my words, they are someone else’s I’m not saying I agree with everything they say. No matter what you believe, it definitely is beneficial to watch these kinds of things. Sometimes hearing someone else say things you already believe can provide further clarity on your own thoughts and help you be more articulate on a matter, while hearing something you don’t agree with can expand your mind and help you form rebuttals.
Let’s begin with…the beginning.
Bill Nye the Science Guy (which come on, was def one of the best shows ever!) breaks down why creationism doesn’t really help out in moving forward. I don’t agree that the U.S. is the only place where creationism is taught, that was a bit of a slip up on his part, but I understand the point he is trying to make: if you discount the idea of evolution, much of science, biology, life science etc. doesn’t make sense.
Which leads to the obvious question, “But what about religion!?” Well, first of all, evolution and God can certainly coexist (for those of you who want it to). But more succinctly I mostly just agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Seriously, what an amusing man. He’s a little bit arrogant in a completely lovable way. Also I would say I identify as agnostic.
How do I feel about other religious/social constructs like marriage?
Dan Savage is a little extreme (and kind of comes off like a dick). But yeah – humans scientifically are not meant to be monogamous for their whole lives, and absolutely the divorce and cheating statistics of today in conjunction with the historical evidence of the creation/social construct of “love” and monogamy support this. In a perfect world you will find the perfect person and be completely satisfied in your relationship, but it’s not really possible. All relationships take work, and if you can make it work with no other people in the picture, more power to you.
So, if that prospect depresses you, here are some thoughts on depression:
I definitely agree that depression is not just brain chemistry and SSRI’s do have a history of terrible side effects. Lifestyle and thinking patterns plays a huge role in your happiness level.
While lifestyle is important to happiness, it’s also important to remember that there are a broad range of lifestyles attainable depending on your socioeconomic status. A person’s social circle can be awfully insular. I too am guilty of this: (as he lists all the TV shows I watch).
Some of the things are stupid (like “have you ever stocked your fridge with mass marketed beer” um. yes duh. It’s cheap, I’m 23…) but some were more poignant like “Have you ever stepped on a factory floor, not worked in a factory, but just been in one.” For most people living in the snob bubble, the answer would be no, unless you were on the tour of the Hershey Factory or something, and that’s not even a real factory, and you paid to be there, and there’s a little ride with dancing Hersey Kisses. I digress – I work hard to stay cognizant of the many classes and to not ever discount those of different socioeconomic statuses.
And so, speaking of comparisons, back in our little bubble, social comparison can be harmful and I think this is really interesting:
Don’t let social comparison impair good decision making, essentially.
And don’t base your life off of someone else’s. Find your strengths and go with it! BE YOU!
Always need to end on a cheesy note ;)