Thanks to Science, a Better Definition of Consciousness

Science is better defining what have been some gray areas of consciousness. By using brain scans to measure the patients' awareness, we are arriving at sounder and more ethical medicine.

What's the Latest Development?

New research out of the UK suggests that a new classification system for consciousness will help doctors and families better understand the condition of individuals with brain injuries. By measuring the brain activity of patients in a vegetative state while they responded to doctors' cuespatients were asked to think of certain images, such as playing tennis or visiting the rooms in their houseresearchers concluded that the vegetative patients' level of responsiveness was the same as control patients who were entirely conscious.

What's the Big Idea?

When it comes to consciousness, a fundamental distinction is made between its contents and its levels. The contents of consciousness are our subjective experiences, such as the sound of a violin. "Levels of consciousness, on the other hand, have to do with outward signs of a person's...state of awareness." People with aberrant awareness are typically placed into one of three categories: having a coma, being in a vegetative state and being 'minimally conscious'. But based on recent research, those categories must now be reevaluated.

Photo credit:

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

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
Keep reading Show less

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.
Keep reading Show less