September 28, 2018

Credit: (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo) 

There are a lot of chasms in the world, dividing lines between one thing and another. This week on Innovation Hub, we’ll take a look at those chasms, whether they’re in our digital life, our understanding of our own health, or in the complex systems that govern the world.

First up, the gap between failure and success can be razor-thin. And the tiniest issues can snowball into huge catastrophes. It happened in the nuclear plant Three Mile Island, with the 2008 financial crisis… even with the 2017 Oscars. Chris Clearfield walks us through the origins of these disasters, and explains why a high level of complexity makes a system vulnerable to meltdown.

Then, scarfing down that chocolate bar might give you some momentary pleasure, but it doesn’t make you happy. Yes, there’s a difference. And according to physician Robert Lustig, corporations are more than happy to exploit our confusion about that difference. He says that the chasm between pleasure and happiness is extremely important, and is responsible for many health-related crises in American society.

And finally, if you’re reading this, you probably have access to the internet. Which is great, because that means you can do your banking, read the news, and apply for jobs. But across the country, about one in five people don’t have access to those tools. Which means that they’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. Angela Siefer, the executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, talks about efforts to bridge this gap, and get everyone in the U.S. connected.

Angela Siefer, Chris Clearfield, Robert Lustig

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