Thales: Ancient Greeks built the cosmos with right triangles

The ancient Greeks were obsessed with geometry, which may have formed the basis of their philosophical cosmology.

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  • Every triangle inscribed inside a circle on its diameter is a right triangle.
  • Upon this discovery, Thales is said to have performed a great ritual sacrifice.
  • Might Thales have believed that the entire cosmos was constructed of right triangles?
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Mystical experiences on demand? Welcome to spirit tech

Brain-based technologies of spiritual enhancement can induce mystical experiences in many people on demand. What does this mean for spirituality today?

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  • Spiritual or mystical experiences have particular "neural signatures."
  • Technology like transcranial stimulation can lead people toward these experiences.
  • The technology appears safe and offers "authentic" experiences, but there are clear dangers.
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Recidivism: breaking the cycle from father to son

Our program lowers reincarceration rates by 44 percent.

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  • The average incarcerated person will return to prison seven times. A child with an incarcerated parent is six times likelier to become incarcerated.
  • To break the recidivism cycle, our program provides resources that address mental health and addiction issues and teach life skills.
  • Participants in our program have a 44 percent lower reincarceration rate.
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Ethical hacking: saving society with computer code

As a form of civil disobedience, hacking can help make the world a better place.

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hackers' motivations range from altruistic to nihilistic.
  • Altruistic hackers expose injustices, while nihilistic ones make society more dangerous.
  • The line between ethical and unethical hacking is not always clear.
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We are all conspiracy theorists

In each of our minds, we draw a demarcation line between beliefs that are reasonable and those that are nonsense. Where do you draw your line?

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • Conspiracy theories exist on a spectrum, from plausible and mainstream to fringe and unpopular.
  • It's very rare to find someone who only believes in one conspiracy theory. They generally believe in every conspiracy theory that's less extreme than their favorite one.
  • To some extent, we are all conspiracy theorists.
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Plant-based vaccines can change the vaccine landscape

Vaccines can be grown in and extracted from the leaves of plants.

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Surprising Science
  • Vaccines are absolutely crucial to keeping the entire planet healthy. None of us is safe until all of us are safe.
  • But low- and middle-income countries have a difficult time acquiring and distributing them.
  • Plant-derived vaccines can be stored by harvesting and freeze-drying the leaves. They may help solve the problem of global vaccine distribution.
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