Short Versus Long Term Desires

The evidence is all around us that Americans are struggling—and often failing—to uphold their preferred desires. New precommitment devices oblige you to protect your long-term interests.

Hardly anyone wants to be fat, after all, yet two-thirds of us are. A large proportion of smokers have tried to quit. Most procrastinators would prefer to escape their dilatory impulses but struggle to overcome their powerful wish to avoid work. The problem is that short-term rewards are just so much more seductive than long-term goals. People often understand how weak they are in this way, which is why (for example) they support the Social Security system, a giant precommitment device whereby we subject ourselves to taxation in order to forestall destitution that we could easily prevent if only we could save for ourselves.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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