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Politics & Current Affairs

Big Think’s Top 10 New Videos of the First Half of 2010

Having now closed out the first six months of the year, it seems like a good time to look back on Big Think’s 10 Most Popular Videos of the First Half of 2010. A glance at the list finds a variety of of topics—from dire predictions about the end of the world, to a rant about the distractions limiting workplace productivity, to an evolutionary biologist’s take on the problems inherent in modern dating.

Here they are, in decreasing order of popularity:

    •    1.Why You Can’t Work at Work (Jason Fried)
    •    2.Why You Can’t Get a Date (Here’s the Math) (Satoshi Kanazawa)
•    3.How Republicans Can Win Big in 2012 (Newt Gingrich)
    •    4.A Supernova Could Nuke Us (Edward Sion)
    •    5.Escape to a Parallel Universe (Michio Kaku)
    •    6.Big Think Interview With James Randi (James Randi)
    •    7.Big Think Interview With Eliot Spitzer (Eliot Spitzer)
    •    8.The Seas Could Turn to Sulfur (Peter Ward)
    •    9.We Use Way Too Many Fonts (Massimo Vignelli)
    •    10.How to Draw Cartoons With a Pointed Stick (Jules Feiffer)

Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals, tops the list with his incredibly popular clip describing how workplace interruptions break our concentration and decrease our productivity. We were also enthralled by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa’s take on the math behind the modern dating scene: evidently “it’s been mathematically proven that the best strategy to do is to reject the first 37% of the candidates regardless.”

The full edit of magician/skeptic James Randi’s interview came in among the top videos as well, including stories from his career of “conjuring,” observations on how to debunk paranormal claims, and his explanation of why he came out of the closet at the age of 81. Meanwhile, Big Think blogger Michio Kaku suggested the future may promise an escape to a parallel universe.

Cartoonist Jules Feiffer told us a serendipitous story of how he discovered his scratchy style, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich predicted that his “alternative party” will win a “sweeping, decisive election in 2012.” And don’t forget the full Big Think interview with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, where he talks about love, redemption, and whether he actually wore socks.

And clips from our series on the end of the world were popular, from paleontologist Peter Ward’s frank discussion of the possibility of a volcanic Armageddon turning our seas to a sulfurous poison, to astronomer Edward Sion’s prediction of a supernova dosing Earth with a lethal dose of high-energy radiation.

A note on our methodology: Big Think’s 10 Most Popular Videos of the First Half of 2010 were compiled from clips posted this year. The reason perennial favorites like Stephen Fry and Tal Ben-Shahar didn’t make the list is because their videos first appeared in 2009.


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