SSA Week Day 4: My Picks

SSA Week is ongoing, as atheist bloggers come together to raise money for the Secular Student Alliance. At the time this post was published, they've collectively raised $61,250 out of a goal of $100,000. (Hmm. Didn't I write yesterday that the total amount was over $65,000? Either it's somehow gone down or, more likely, I wrote it wrong. Ah well.)

Here's the cream of the crop from yesterday's blogathon!

First up: Chana Messinger, author of The Merely Real (great blog title!). My favorite of her blogathon posts was Is there an Is/Ought Distinction? (her answer: no), which I selfishly had to like because it's in accord with something I've been saying for a long time.

Next: Andrew Tripp, author of Considered Exclamations (another excellent title). He has some well-chosen words on why the high school atheist movement is awesome.

And lastly for today, the incomparable Greta Christina, author of Greta Christina's Blog (OK, not the most creative title, but we all love her anyway). My pick was Living in a Neighborhood, a nostalgic meditation of what kind of communities most improve our lives in the world.

SSA Week continues! If you want to support the SSA, click here to contribute. And if you do, leave a comment below or send me an e-mail letting me know you chipped in and for how much. I may just have a special gift for the top contributors...

Ethnic chauvinism: Why the whole world shouldn’t look like America

We are constantly trying to force the world to look like us — we need to move on.

  • When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, many Americans jumped for joy. At the time, some believed there weren't going to be any more political disagreements anywhere in the world. They thought American democracy had won the "war of ideas."
  • American exceptionalism has sought to create a world order that's really a mirror image of ourselves — a liberal world order founded on the DNA of American thinking. To many abroad this looks like ethnic chauvinism.
  • We need to move on from this way of thinking, and consider that sometimes "problem-solving," in global affairs, means the world makes us look like how it wants to be.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less