The Fair Trade Revolution

The very fact that fair trade conforms to market principles is what unnerves some. If an activity makes market sense, they suspect that it can't be politically genuine.

It turns out that fair trade attracts critics on either end of the spectrum. People on the right worry that whenever commodities are sold at above-market prices, consumers must be sacrificing utility and producers wasting resources. On the left, many slam fair traders for compromising their moral purity by working with large corporations. Free marketers, for their part, have little cause for concern. Fair trade's above-market prices are not enacted by government; rather, they resemble other kinds of market-pricing arrangements. At any given time, some consumers will value a product—an airline seat, a hotel room—more than others do.

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

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
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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