• Bill Nye: Can We Stop Telling Women What to Do With Their Bodies? | Big Think
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    Bill Nye: Can We Stop Telling Women What to Do With Their Bodies? | Big Think

    Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans. Eggs get fertilized and by that I mean sperm get accepted by ova a lot. But that’s not all you need. You have to attach to the uterine wall, the inside of a womb, a woman’s womb. But if you’re going to hold that as a standard, that is to say if you’re going to say when an egg is fertilized it’s therefore has the same rights as an individual, then whom are you going to sue? Whom are you going to imprison? Every woman who’s had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy who’s sperm…

  • Paul Ekman: Outsmart Evolution and Master Your Emotions
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    Paul Ekman: Outsmart Evolution and Master Your Emotions

    One of the most amazing discoveries, it completely surprised me, and that’s what I like most in research is when you learn something you didn’t you were going to learn. That’s very different from research where you prove something you think you already know. You have to do that too ’cause maybe you were wrong, but when you discover something you didn’t expect, that’s really exciting. And what we discovered, published this more than 20 years ago, made the front page of the New York Times. We didn’t kill anybody. What it did was show that if you put on your face one of the universal expressions you will turn…

  • Universal basic income: The plan to give $12,000 to every American adult | Andrew Yang
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    Universal basic income: The plan to give $12,000 to every American adult | Andrew Yang

    Universal basic income is an idea that’s older than America, where Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country, he called it the citizen’s dividend. Decades later Martin Luther King, Jr. was for it. He championed it before he was assassinated in 1968. And Milton Friedman and 1,000 economists signed a study in the late ’60s saying this would be tremendous for both the economy and society. It received so much support that it passed the House of Representatives twice under Richard Nixon in 1971. And the only reason it didn’t become law was that Democrats in the Senate wanted an even higher income threshold. So a…

  • Can Universal Basic Income / Social Democracy  Fix America’s Inequality? | Jeffrey Sachs
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    Can Universal Basic Income / Social Democracy Fix America’s Inequality? | Jeffrey Sachs

    There’s a proposal around that’s got a lot of interest called universal basic income where everybody is guaranteed at least a certain level of income in the society. Some free market economists like Milton Friedman talked about a negative income tax which in effect had the same features of guaranteeing a certain level of income for everybody as a base. I think from a human rights and decency standard there’s a lot of sense to the idea that everybody in a society should be able to meet their basic needs. There’s on the other hand this sense if you give someone a check whether they’re trying, not trying, working, not…

  • The 13th Amendment: Slavery is still legal under one condition
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    The 13th Amendment: Slavery is still legal under one condition

    So prisons in America specifically are some of the biggest, most dysfunctional businesses we have in our society, and they are a business because of the cheap and free labor. When you read the 13th Amendment—that basically was the amendment that broke through slavery and freed the men and women who were enslaved at the time—there is a clause in there that allows for the re-enslavement of people in the event that they’re convicted of a crime. And so in prisons throughout our country, you have people who are working for basically free, and if they’re not working for free they’re working for wages that, if we saw that happening…

  • Can Universal Basic Income End Our Cultural Obsession With Work? | Philosopher Andrew Taggart
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    Can Universal Basic Income End Our Cultural Obsession With Work? | Philosopher Andrew Taggart

    ‘Total work’ was a term coined by Josef Pieper, a lesser known German philosopher from the 20th century, and he was concerned that after World War II there would be a time of total work. By that I take him to mean that work comes to be the center around which the world turns. Human beings start to see themselves chiefly as workers, and the entirety of life becomes more and more work, or work like. To see this we can begin to examine a number of what I might call tightening conditions. So the first condition would be the centrality of work. We’ve come to think that work is…

  • 3 Ways to Stop Racism: Diversity Exposure, Bias Intervention, Cross-Race Friendships | Lori Markson
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    3 Ways to Stop Racism: Diversity Exposure, Bias Intervention, Cross-Race Friendships | Lori Markson

    As I mentioned, I’m at Washington University which is in St. Louis. It’s actually quite a beautiful city. I moved there from Oakland, California—that was the place I had lived before that. And moving there—having only lived on both sides of the country and never in the middle, and I guess moving in particular to this city—really opened my eyes to some of the systemic racism that was apparent in the city. It’s a great place and it also has a big divide. In fact, locally—and I’m not sure if this goes on outside the city as well—it’s often referred to as the divided city, and there’s even a line…

  • Articles

    The incredible history of the 2nd Amendment and America’s gun violence problem | Jill Lepore

    One of the more interesting theories about the nature of gun violence in the United States and the quite high homicide rate in the United States, both of which distinguish the United States from other similar nations, has to do with at what moment in time the United States became independent and why the Second Amendment ends up in the Bill of Rights, which is written by Madison. In the theory it is that most states, that is nation states, pursued a historical course that led to the state having a monopoly on violence before the state became fully democratized, that is to say the government essentially seizes the weapons…

  • The Kids Are Not All Right: College Mental Health Needs an Intervention
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    The Kids Are Not All Right: College Mental Health Needs an Intervention

    There’s no legal requirement for schools to provide health or mental health services to their students. Colleges do it because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s prudent. I think there’s a growing understanding and it’s something that we at the Jed Foundation are trying to really make schools aware of that it’s in the school’s and the student’s best interest to provide a really broad array of support services to their students. The more we can keep students on track doing well in school and getting to the graduation line, the better it is for everybody involved. One of the big challenges in providing services is that…

  • How Rebel Victories Stop Civil Wars While Foreign Intervention Prolongs Them | Monica Duffy Toft
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    How Rebel Victories Stop Civil Wars While Foreign Intervention Prolongs Them | Monica Duffy Toft

    So when one country intervenes in another country’s civil war, one of the things that happens is: it extends the war. And if you think about it, what’s happening is that you’re having more resources coming into that conflict; and it’s bringing in new resources, bringing in new interests, basically complicating and complexifying that war that was already a very complex war. There are ways in which intervention might be good, which is you’re trying to pull the parties apart, not trying to pick sides—one side picking the other side—and that can sort of stop the killing, but typically before that happens if outside states are getting involved in a…