How do you know?

All our lives we have learned what we think and what we believe to be "the truth".  We've heard things like Bill Gates being the richest man in the world, the Earth being the third planet from the sun, and for a considerable amount of us, that there is a god or greater force, and that we will die.  But there are also a number of things that we have learned by experience, we have two hands, if we jump we will come back down, if we get cut we will hurt.  But the thing is how do we know these things are true?  Because someone told us so?  Because we think that's what will happen because of experience?  How do we know that'll stay the same?  "Because of the laws of physics!" someone will say.  "Because it always has!" someone else will say.  But what makes the laws of physics so unbreakable?  Because they stayed the same before?  Just because you flip a coin 5 times and it's heads all 5 times does that mean it will be heads again?

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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