Cancel culture vs. toleration: The consequences of punishing dissent

When we limit the clash of ideas, we ultimately hinder progress for the entire society.

Credit: Анатолий Шаповал via AdobeStock / Big Think
  • Pluralism is the idea that different people, traditions, and beliefs not only can coexist together in the same society but also should coexist together because society benefits from the vibrant workshopping of ideas.
  • Cancel culture is a threat to a liberal society because it seeks to shape the available information rather than seek truth.
  • Practicing toleration for those ideas does not mean merely putting up with them but actually acknowledging the ideas with an open spirit, as Chandran Kukathas, professor at Singapore Management University, says.
Keep reading Show less

Six ways machine learning threatens social justice

Machine learning is a powerful and imperfect tool that should not go unmonitored.

Credit: Monopoly919 on Adobe Stock
  • When you harness the power and potential of machine learning, there are also some drastic downsides that you've got to manage.
  • Deploying machine learning, you face the risk that it be discriminatory, biased, inequitable, exploitative, or opaque.
  • In this article, I cover six ways that machine learning threatens social justice and reach an incisive conclusion: The remedy is to take on machine learning standardization as a form of social activism.
Keep reading Show less

How socioeconomic status negatively impacts children's brains

A new study shows how poor children are negatively impacted neurologically.

Credit: alexfan32 / Shutterstock
  • Children in poor neighborhoods exhibit abnormal activation of motivational circuits in their brains.
  • The neurological impact increases the likelihood of criminal behavior and substance abuse later in life.
  • Researchers suggest focusing on shaping the environment to set up the child for success.
Keep reading Show less

Art will never die. So why does it need philanthropy?

We wouldn't want to live without it, so how can we create art that's durable?

  • You cannot kill the arts. This is particularly true when you talk about poetry, which does well in a world of social media as its easy to digest in its short form.
  • Measuring success in art can be tricky, though. Impact and influence can be felt immediately, so how does art find that everlasting durability?
  • Philanthropy can encourage and enable art, and as a result, potentially lengthen its lifespan. If we can find ways to measure art in its own terms, we can effectively give a platform to new voices who complete the cultural picture.
Keep reading Show less

Are physics and astronomy about to experience a cultural shift?

A new report calls on the departments of certain scientific fields to double the number of black students by 2030.

Photo Credit: Sean Justice / Corbis / VCG / Getty Images
  • A new report calls for doubling the number of undergrad degrees awarded to black students in physics and astronomy by 2030.
  • In the United States, black students earned a total of 223 bachelor's degrees in physics and just 10 in astronomy in 2018.
  • The report found that unsupportive environments in physics and astronomy departments and systemic financial challenges faced by black students contributed to the underrepresentation of black students.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast