Human Intelligence

What is your advice for future generations?
Answered by Elie Wiesel, Jill Tarter and 27 others
  • Elie Wiesel

    Elie Wiesel

  • Jill Tarter

    Jill Tarter

  • Tiffany Shlain

    Tiffany Shlain

  • Andrew Weil M.D.

    Andrew Weil M.D.

  • Sir Richard Branson

    Sir Richard Branson

  • Kyle MacDonald

    Kyle MacDonald

  • Gaspar Mora

    Gaspar Mora

  • Aubrey de Grey

    Aubrey de Grey

  • Jaron Lanier

    Jaron Lanier

  • W. Daniel Hillis

    W. Daniel Hillis

  • John Seely Brown

    John Seely Brown

  • Yi Wu

    Yi Wu

  • Tom Colicchio

    Tom Colicchio

  • Wayne Pacelle

    Wayne Pacelle

  • John L. Hennessy

    John L. Hennessy

  • Daniel Dubno

    Daniel Dubno

  • Charles Yang

    Charles Yang

  • Yossi Vardi

    Yossi Vardi

  • Stephen Tobolowsky

    Stephen Tobolowsky

  • Jack Leslie

    Jack Leslie

  • Jean Oelwang

    Jean Oelwang

  • Anya Kamenetz

    Anya Kamenetz

  • Peter H. Diamandis

    Peter H. Diamandis

  • Julie Packard

    Julie Packard

  • Bran Ferren

    Bran Ferren

  • Alexa Meade

    Alexa Meade

  • Sarah Thomas

    Sarah Thomas

  • Vanessa Woods

    Vanessa Woods

  • Sandy Smolan

    Sandy Smolan

  1. Elie Wiesel Nobel Peace Laureate, Boston University Professor


    TRANSCRIPT:

    The main thing is to serve as an example. Nothing is worse to young boys and girls, to children, than to witness hypocrisy. In the life of a family you maybe sure that children will either rebel or they will need psychiatrists when they realize that the father or the mother are hypocrites. That what they say is not what they do. What they say to others to do they themselves don't. It's sure there is something wrong.

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  2. Jill Tarter Director, Center for SETI Research, SETI Institute


    TRANSCRIPT:

    How do I find my replacement? Where do we get the next generation? It's all about the tools. We get to tell young people that we do this week what we couldn't imagine doing 2 years ago. And that's true in many technological settings. We're trying to use the best and the most cutting-edge, and build capabilities that we didn't have before. And that's really satisfying.

    If you get out of bed in the morning and say, "Going to find a signal today," you're likely to go to bed discouraged. But if you get out of bed and say, "I'm going to be able to do something that I couldn't do 2 years ago and I couldn't figure out last week, but I'm going to figure it out, and because of what I do somebody else's going to be able to do something amazing as well," I think that's the really personal capital that keeps people involved.

    I just got hooked on SETI in the 1970s when I realized that I was in the right generation at the right time to be asking and trying to answer this old question. I was the first, and that's a real privilege. The next doesn't get to be the first, except in a new way of doing it. I think that it's satisfying what you get to do and what you get to accomplish, moving things forward, counting up each of those 14 orders of magnitude improvement that we've done since Frank Drake's first search. It's fun.

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  3. Tiffany Shlain Filmmaker & Founder, The Webby Awards


    TRANSCRIPT:

    I had to think about this a lot, 'cause I was asked to give the commencement speech at Berkeley. So I thought, "What am I gonna tell the next generation?" And I had all these things I wanted to share with them, but in the end I told them about moxie -- do it, start it, begin it, try it, take some risks, don't be afraid. You know, courage is like a muscle, you have to keep on exercising it. So that's what I shared because there's a lot of – you know, the road ahead is not carved out that you're gonna get one job, what the media landscape is gonna look like, what education means in 30 years. It's not clear and you get to invent it and that's very exciting. But you gotta experiment. You've gotta try and go out there and be bold.

    I think that entrepreneurial boldness is very much coming from the Bay Area. It's inventive. I was brought up here. I think it's a mindset, I think it's about being curious. Invent the future. Take the best, try to evolve where we are, try to learn new ways to do things, be more conscious, more mindful. And I think a lot of that starts in the Bay Area, and it kind of moves on out. I mean, I love New York but I do think there's more room and space to invent here and try different things.

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  4. Andrew Weil M.D. Best-Selling Author, Speaker & Integrative Medicine Thought-Leader


    TRANSCRIPT:

    I tell young physicians the same things that I've been telling you and I put in my books: that the body is capable of healing itself; that healing is rooted in nature; that lifestyle choices are all-important, that it's not always necessary to use pharmaceutical drugs to treat illness; that one should really adhere to the principle of not doing harm; that you try simple less‑invasive, less‑expensive interventions before you go to more drastic ones depending on the circumstances of the illness. And people get that.

    More information on Dr. Weil

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  5. Sir Richard Branson Founder, Virgin Group

    TRANSCRIPT:

    Words can sound a bit glib if somebody is not in a very good position to have a go, but most people can have a go at something. I think to throw yourself into whatever you're doing, try to be the best at what you're doing. If you're a switchboard operator, make sure you're smiling, you're happy, you're great with people.

    To give you an example, the switchboard operator in our Canadian operation ended up running our foundation because she was such a great personality. She made a real effort in her job. If you're a cleaning lady, be the happiest cleaning lady there is. Again, the cleaning lady in our studio division ended up running our recording studio division. So try to stand out from the crowd. Just try to be the best at whatever you're doing.

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  6. Kyle MacDonald One Red Paperclip


    TRANSCRIPT:

    It's a bit of a – I would say, "Think big, but start small and have fun." Everyone has these big world-changing ideas, but if you don't actually go and do something – whether it's picking up the phone and asking someone if they think it's a good idea, or actually going through the hard work of creating the basic outline of that idea – nothing will happen.

    You have to actually start small with something. And, if you're having fun starting small and progressing things along, whether it changes the entire world or you just have a good time making a few people happy, I think it's completely beneficial to anyone. I encourage everyone to trade their paper clip, because you might only get a fish pen, but that might progress to something much bigger along the way.

    And if you don't get a fish pen, and you lose your paper clip, it's only a paper clip. It's just an idea. These are the ideas you can start every day, and most of them won't work, but the ones that do and you enjoy will change the world in a positive way for everyone else.

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  7. Gaspar Mora Senior Research Scientist, Intel Corporation


    TRANSCRIPT:

    To solve things, to fix things -- things that you think that might be done better. Fix that or solve that. Check if you can do it better. To young people -- check the world. See if they are not liking anything in particular, or where they think that they can improve some aspect of the way they interact with computers or with the world. That extends to everything. If they don't like anything in particular, try to fix it. Figure out a way of doing that, and get the best preparation you can get because you can change everything.

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  8. Aubrey de Grey Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation


    TRANSCRIPT:

    I have tended to find that the younger generation is much easier to get on board with all of this than people who are older. People who are older have lost – well, I'm going to say they've lost their ability to aim high. One gets too realistic, shall we say, as one grows, as one gets older. One begins to accept failure as a natural part of life, and one accepts one's limitations. Kids, especially bright kids, tend to be not too far along that path. And they tend to be easier to inspire that way.

    I'd just point out that aging is a bad thing. It doesn't take very much effort to do that. I'd point out that aging is just the accumulation of damage to this very, very complicated machine we call the human body. They knew that as well, just avoid it. I certainly knew both of those things when I was a young kid. It's bleeding obvious that aging was something that in due course we would end up fixing. Therefore, all that it really takes for your average youngster is just to crystallize that in words so that they actually think about it for a moment and then they say, "Yeah, obviously, it's humanity's problem. Obviously, we ought to be working on it," and game over.

     

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