The Net is Nothing Good or Bad but Surfing Makes it So

Every few months, it seems, we are given new reasons why the Internet is an all-encompassing vice or, alternately, society's savior. But what really matters is how we use it. 

What's the Latest Development?


More than a decade after its entrance into the mainstream, the Internet has established itself as both a public health menace, enslaving us to our machines, as well as a boon for society, enabling people to connect with each other from far and wide. But critics say our online socialization is superficial, giving the appearance of unity while actually sequestrating individuals who might otherwise meet face-to-face. This year, the Web's celebrity-making power sent Jason Russell, creator of the mega-viral Kony 2012 video, into a mental breakdown and, for the first time, Internet Addiction Disorder will appear in the back pages of the DSM in an appendix for 'further study.' 

What's the Big Idea?

But for every detractor, there has been someone to champion the connection of the human race through so many cables and WiFi networks. From the new economic industries it has created, to hosting community health forums on everything from cancer to diabetes, some tangible good is evident, and just like the TV, may it rest in peace, potential still abounds. Trying to determine whether the Web is a positive or negative development, however, will bear little fruit because technology, morally speaking, is neutral. How we employ technology is where its value comes from. And currently, the Internet is a tool we love to use, and need to use, to make our lives run more smoothly. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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
Keep reading Show less

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.

Keep reading Show less

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
Keep reading Show less