Comment of the Week: September 11th—17th, 2017

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Comment of the Week: September 11th—17th, 2017

Another week, another great selection of wit and wisdom from our Facebook audience. 


Three Big Problems With Facebook Activism

Danielle Ayn: Awareness does not equal any actual action to help the situation. You can be aware of of all the issues that social media brings to your attention but that doesnt mean it does anything about that issue.

Sheri Nevil: I think how helpful it is depends on the issue. For something like cancer research, no amount of awareness can replace the money that needs to be raised to fund the research. Sharing articles and posts to promote mental health awareness, for example, can do a lot to combat stigma and help people. I truly believe that the cause of marriage equality was sped up rapidly due to social media because people who were already supportive of it had a safe place to speak out, which in turn led to more people feeling safe and minds being changed more quickly than they would have before social media.

Hope Isn’t Blind: It’s a Way to Build Trust and Manage Anxiety

Sharyn N. Hall: Hope is a double edged sword. It's a beautiful thing that can give you the strength needed to go on when times are tough. It can also be false, and lead you to believe you'll get something that will never be yours. Wisdom is telling the difference.

This quote was edited slightly for the header image at the top of the page. - Ed.

Learning From Failure

Craig Giannelli: I've seen a lot of people quit, or not even try to do something because they were afraid of failing, or "not knowing what they're doing". What they're failing to see, is everyone starts out as a fumbling moron, but through repetition they learn and become more proficient. Failure is important, it teaches value of success.

When Experts Claim to Know the Unknowable

George Katsoros: This is why I always admit that I'm an idiot. I'd rather be a self-aware idiot than an oblivious one. It's not ideal, but it's not as bad.

Denise Pursell: (in reply to George, above. - Ed) Knowing that you don't know means that you are open to learning. I think that puts you in a much greater position than you give yourself credit for.

Being Busy Is Killing Our Ability to Think Creatively

Jorge EspinozaSome people like Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein are more inclined to think in the ways they thought. I'm not sure everyone would be making advances in science and technology if they had all the leisure time and resources they wanted. Then again you don't need a nation of Einsteins or Teslas. You just need to support the perhaps less than 10% of people who think in similar ways. Those people would have a disproportional positive effect on civilization much like Tesla and Einstein did.
 

Why Aren't More Women Openly Skeptical of Faith?

Lura Noss: In both religious and non-spiritual circumstances, many men strive to lecture women on what they should believe & how to behave. Only in Atheism, the lecturers call it 'logic' & 'higher reasoning' instead of 'god says so'. But the attitude is the same.

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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Mathematical model shows how the Nazis could have won WWII's Battle of Britain

With just a few strategical tweaks, the Nazis could have won one of World War II's most decisive battles.

Photo: Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Battle of Britain is widely recognized as one of the most significant battles that occurred during World War II. It marked the first major victory of the Allied forces and shifted the tide of the war.
  • Historians, however, have long debated the deciding factor in the British victory and German defeat.
  • A new mathematical model took into account numerous alternative tactics that the German's could have made and found that just two tweaks stood between them and victory over Britain.
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New data reveals Earth closer to a black hole and 16,000 mph faster

A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.

Position and velocity map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Credit: NAOJ
Surprising Science
  • A Japanese radio astronomy project revealed Earth is 2,000 light years closer to the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center.
  • The data also showed the planet is moving 7 km/s or 16,000 mph faster in orbit around the Galactic Center.
  • The findings don't mean Earth is in more danger from the black hole but reflect better modeling of the galaxy.
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    How has technology changed — and changed us — in the past 20 years?

    Apple sold its first iPod in 2001, and six years later it introduced the iPhone, which ushered in a new era of personal technology.

    PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images
    Technology & Innovation
    Just over 20 years ago, the dotcom bubble burst, causing the stocks of many tech firms to tumble.
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    Surprising Science

    The magic of mushrooms: A mycological trip

    A biologist-reporter investigates his fungal namesake.

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