Should Babies Receive a Bar Code at Birth?

Science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon discusses whether universal identification markers would make future wars less bloody by allowing soldiers to better identify innocent bystanders. 

What's the Latest Development?

Science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon argues that implanting a computer chip beneath everyone's skin at birth would make the world better off. While participating in a discussion over whether future wars will have more or fewer victims, Moon put forward the idea that universal identification tags would allow soldiers on the battlefield to be more discriminating. By distinguishing between enemy targets and innocent bystanders, ubiquitous ID tags could result in fewer wrongful deaths and make soldiers more accountable by tracking their every move, including how many rounds they fired and for what purpose. 

What's the Big Idea?

Besides our general hesitation to go putting computer components beneath our skin, being able to identify someone on the battlefield does not necessarily make conflict situations clearer in a moral sense. Ethics authority David Rodin, of Oxford's Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, disputes Moon's claim. He argues that soldiers currently know how to identify who someone is in a conflict, but that it is a person's history which largely determines whether or not they are a threat. Rodin refers to people who may work in peaceable bakeries by day and take up arms by night.  

Photo credit:

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Setting a maximum wage for CEOs would be good for everyone

Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?

Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.

Keep reading Show less