The world may be a tough and tenuous place, but we humans tend to think that the future will be better than the past. Why? In the new TED ebook, The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope, author Tali Sharot expands on her earlier research into the optimism bias, and explores the many reasons why we are biologically predisposed to believe the best is yet to come. We imagine our kids will be a success or we’ll find true love and that great job — not because we are naturally positive creatures, but because of the way our frontal cortex communicates with subcortical regions deep in our brain. Not the stuff that pop songs are made of, but fascinating nonetheless. There’s another advantage to walking on the sunny side of the street. Optimism not only makes our lives easier and more pleasant, but can also breed success. “Optimism,” Tarot notes, “increases explorative behavior and innovation, which is why so many entrepreneurs are on the optimistic side.”
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Artist Zena el Khalil doesn’t have the family home she remembers from childhood. Her mother’s house in Lebanon was destroyed in a U.S. bomb attack in 1983, while her father’s house was occupied by the Israeli army for 22 years, until its withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. “Every home my grandfathers built was destroyed, bombed or occupied,” […]
Conservation ecologist Eric Sanderson makes a science out of envisioning New York City in the past and the future. His Mannahatta project was a 10-year deep dive into the green landscape of Manhattan as it existed 400 years ago – and his new project, Mannahatta 2409, asks the public to create their own future visions […]