Inside a Dangerous Mind – Hanna Rosin


Name: Rosin, Hanna

Age: 42-43

Occupation: Writer/journalist




Q: What makes an idea “dangerous”?
You can tell an idea is “dangerous” if it makes people panic and cling more tightly to the ideas they had in the second before they heard it. It has to not only challenge what people believe but give them a glimpse into an alternate reality, where their fundamental assumptions about the shape and texture of their world could be upended. The earth revolves around the sun. The King does not really derive his authority from God. Women could be the dominant sex.


Q: Which technological or scientific advancement excites you most?
The kinds of scientific advances I get most excited about are not all that exciting or cutting edge but the ones that find a way to spread the benefits of existing advances to places where they don’t reach. What the Gates foundation focuses on, for example: finding cost effective ways to spread AIDS drugs to the third world, or fight drug resistant malaria. You could almost call these backwards advances, because they go back and fill in the gaps we forgot about as we moved forward to the humane genome project. But while most technology makes you dream about the future, with these advances you can see clearly how they affect people in their daily lives.


Q: Which social or political movement scares you most?
I’m sure I’m not alone in this but Islamic fundamentalism, its casual relationship to violence, its ideas about women, and most disturbingly, the attraction it has for so many people. I was born in Israel and still have lots of family there, so that’s an extra reason for me to care.


Q: What’s the one thing you wish society better understood?
Fluidity. The idea that normal behaviour exists along a continuum.


Q: Will the defining catastrophe of the next decade be natural or man-made?
Well, even natural catastrophes are man made these days, no? So, barring a tsunami, floods will wash away coastal towns and global droughts will starve people, but those are natural catastrophes we created. Other than that, the Israeli in me says Iran and nuclear weapons.


Q: What question have you been dying to ask someone (and who)?
Fancy a drink, Ryan? (Ryan Gosling)


Q: What question have you been dying for someone to ask you?
Fancy a drink, Hanna? (Ryan Gosling)


Q: If you could outsource one part of your life, what would it be?
A conversation my husband and I have all the time. For him it would be laundry. For me, picking up, all the time, after everyone, toys, pieces of paper, stray socks, the constant bending and picking up. Its small but it’s the one that gets me.


Q: What’s your favourite book and why?
The Moviegoer, Walker Percy’s first novel published in 1961. I did not expect it to be, but in the decades since I first read it, I have wound up dividing people I meet into moviegoers and no moviegoers, people who are always searching, daydreaming, maybe a little lost and the other group of people who are sunk in their everyday life.


Q: You Twitter handle is _____. Your Facebook page is _____. Your website is _____.
Twitter handle is @hannarosin. You Facebook page is HannaRosin or HannaRosinBooks. Website is hannarosin.com.


Q: Favourite Youtube clip? (For fun)
Robot learns to flip pancake.



Hanna Rosin delivers here solo talk ‘The End Of Men‘ and also appears on the panel ‘The World Is Not Ready For Women In Power‘ at Festival of Dangerous Ideas.  FODI is selling fast so get your tickets now!