Six Months, Six Ideas

Six Months, Six Ideas

Why you should care

Because these are the six best ideas on OZY from the past six months.

The Problem With the Courts

The former Dean of Stanford Law School wrote on OZY: ”Why on earth do we entrust such judgments, affecting the whole of society, to five people on a court whose members are made as unaccountable as possible and who sit on the bench for life, rather like monarchs? What kind of democracy does that? And if we are going to leave controversial and contested societal choices to an oligarchical council of nine, I at least want its members to have the kind of experience and wisdom needed to make the best possible decisions. There was a time when Supreme Court justices were drawn routinely from the ranks of our most accomplished public figures. Not every justice, of course. But we could count on the court being comprised of people who had been in the thick of our civic life, with personal responsibility for important governing decisions: former governors, senators, party leaders, cabinet officials, even a former president.”

This week, OZY is celebrating our six-month anniversary with six roundups of our best stories. Today, we have six ideas that deserve a second look. From feminism to global security, we’re not just in the business of reporting ideas — we’re generating them.

Black Swans: Seismic Security Shifts We’ll Never See Coming

From the former deputy director of the CIA, on OZY: “When information is currency, one crucial piece can make or break your race against the adversary. But I learned in my time in the CIA that sniffing out revolutionary societal upheavals is a game that requires more dexterity. It requires you to chart all the tiny changes that lead almost imperceptibly to when a mass protest breaks out, to the moment when a country or economy could collapse, to when a war could start. It’s dangerously easy to miss these tipping points. That’s why intelligence officers have to ask themselves about “Black Swans”— a term created by scholar and statistician Nassim Taleb to refer to events that seem highly improbable but which would have a game-changing impact were they to occur.”

Funeral Selfies: a New Way to Grieve?

What’s the worst thing you can do at a funeral? Dress inappropriately? Bring a snack or a date? Forget to silence your phone? OK, how about snapping a photo of yourself — a selfie — and posting it online? Cue audible gasp. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the #funeralselfie, this may come as a shock. But it’s becoming a common practice among the younger generation, and some professionals think it’s OK. Even a good thing. The selfie is a way of saying, “I was there” — whether that’s in front of a bedroom mirror, at a concert or, more recently, at a funeral. ”It’s more of a statement,” says the Selfies at Funerals Tumblr curator. “Hey, look what’s become commonplace!”

The Frozen Egg Fund

Single ladies: It might be about time for a crowdfunded way to guarantee your, erm, fertility? Doesn’t matter whether you know you want kids or not: You may want the option. After all, your ex-boyfriend Alex, the one who hemmed and hawed over that ring, will have the option to have biological children at least into his 50s and probably well beyond. So will most of the guys you date. (Thanks, biology! Ever heard of the 14th Amendment?) It’s eminently unfair, and even if freezing your eggs is just a panacea, it would go some way toward remedying the psychological injustice of it all. But i t costs $13,000 to $20,000 to pump you full of hormones and then extract your genetic material — a thick wad of cash that might feel humiliating to part with, even if you have it handy. (We’re not even talking about the costs of storage and thawing.) So, should we think about sisterhood in a new way, and band together? It might just take half a dozen of us.

Is Voice the New Height in National Politics?

Deval Patrick should be a household name and included in any conversation about front-runners for national office or the presidency. He’s smart, handsome, has worked as a civil rights lawyer and a business executive at Coca-Cola, and for the past seven years has competently run one of the most populous states in the U.S. He has also been a leading liberal voice on issues like education, same-sex marriage and health care. Unfortunately, however, his voice, with its high pitch and nasal quality, make Patrick sound more like, well, a Coke executive than a national leader like his good friend and resonant baritone Barack Obama.

Are We Living in a Hologram?

Recent research supports the theory that we may be living inside a hologram. In simplest terms, our reality — the region of the universe we can observe — might just be a 3-D depiction of reality. What does it mean to be in a hologram? Simply put, it means that our known universe — the part we inhabit and can scientifically observe — and a simpler, 2-D region far beyond it depict the same reality. Neither is real; both are representations of reality. We know, we know. Take a big step back. Because, like, what if the red I see is not the red you see?

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