Fascism and conspiracy theories: The symptoms of broken communication

The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.

  • The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
  • Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
  • Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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Videos

Marijuana improves couple intimacy, new research suggests

Couples who use marijuana experience greater intimacy.

Photo credit: LexScope on Unsplash
  • New studies suggest positive benefits of marijuana use by couples.
  • Whether one or both use it, relationship intimacy can improve.
  • Previous studies found that marijuana boosts sex lives.
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Sex & Relationships

John Stuart Mill's big idea: Harsh critics make good thinkers

Keith Whittington, Professor of Politics at Princeton University, breaks down three key free speech arguments by John Stuart Mill.

  • 19th-century political philosopher John Stuart Mill defended the right of free societies to explore radical and dangerous ideas.
  • One of his arguments was based on humility: You must be prepared to be wrong, and genuinely be open to being persuaded. Put your ideas into intellectual battle by exposing them to the harshest critics. These critics will show up your flaws and make you a more sophisticated thinker.
  • Another of Mill's arguments was concerned with arrogance. He criticized the common tendency to want to shield other people from dangerous ideas as paternalistic. You can judge good ideas from bad ideas; you should afford everyone the same respect.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies

Losing sleep over rude colleagues? Build a 'psychological buffer.'

Your co-workers could be causing your insomnia.

  • A new study has shown the reasons why incivility at work causes sleep problems such as insomnia.
  • Negative health problems associated with workplace stress include cardiovascular disease, negative mood, and increased blood pressure.
  • The researchers suggest creating a "psychological buffer" between you and your workplace through a variety of techniques.
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Surprising Science

Why pitting prejudices against each other keeps society free

Should all speech be free? How much intolerance should society tolerate?

  • For society to stay open and free, you don't need to eliminate prejudice. You need the opposite: All kinds of prejudice pitted against each other.
  • Intellectual diversity helps society as a whole learn the truth. And as long as society has rules that force ideas to be openly tested, the intolerant will not gain the upper hand.
  • "In America it's legal to be intolerant. It may not be right. It may not get you accepted or respected. But absolutely it's legal and it should be legal," says Jonathan Rauch.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies