Points to Ponder
MUSICOLOGISTS ESTIMATE that for every hour of music listening in the typical person’s lifetime, 54 minutes are spent with songs we’ve already heard. Forget the next big thing. We’re all suckers for the last big thing.
DEREK THOMPSON, editor, in the Atlantic
MOST AMERICANS—84 percent— saw science as a positive force in society. Yet … all age-groups had a rather flimsy grasp of simple scientific concepts, even those taught in most public high schools, such as gravity or the structure of the atom.
PRIYAMVADA NATARAJAN, PHD, astronomy and physics professor, in the New York Review of Books, on a 2009 poll
START-UPS that addressed eye problems drew $848.9 million [in 2013], making eyes the organ that was most attractive to venture capital in [that year].
BRIAN GORMLEY, reporter, in the Wall Street Journal
SIT IN ANY AIRPORT LOUNGE and look around at the number of people who are hunched over, looking at a device. The machines have already won—just in a way that the Terminator films didn’t imagine.
JAMES CAMERON, director, in Fast Company
THERE ARE 12 presidents in Africa who credit a Peace Corps volunteer with starting them on the path to the presidency.
CARRIE HESSLER-RADELET, director of the Peace Corps, in the Rotarian
The stupidest argument to have with somebody is when you tell them what to like. How can somebody argue with you about what you like? “Hot sauce? How can you like hot sauce?” Hey, it’s my mouth.
ANDRÉ BENJAMIN, actor and musician, in Esquire
All I ever wanted since I arrived here on earth was the same things I needed as a baby, to go from cold to warm, lonely to held, the vessel to the giver, empty to full.
ANNE LAMOTT, author, in her book Small Victories WE HAVE SOUGHT scapegoats [for mass shootings] in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.
LAURA L. HAYES, PHD,
psychologist, on slate.com WHAT WE DO ONLINE [and] who we follow … will say more about us than we could ever think to tell our shrinks. Today, Freud would be a big data analyst, consuming all we post online as a proxy for our dreams.
entrepreneur and investor, on cnn.com ALL HAPPY COMPANIES are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: They failed to escape competition.
PayPal cofounder, in his book Zero to One CHILDREN ESPECIALLY need solitude. Solitude is the precondition for having a conversation with yourself. This capacity to be with yourself and discover yourself is the bedrock of development.
SHERRY TURKLE, PHD,
sociologist, in Scientific American Politicians aren’t the only ones with the power to declare a crisis … Regular people can too. Slavery wasn’t a crisis for American elites until abolitionism turned it into one … Sex discrimination wasn’t a crisis until feminism turned it into one.
NAOMI KLEIN, journalist , in her book This Changes Everything