The philosophy of protest: Thoreau, King, and Civil Disobedience

The protesters on the street aren't just taking up space, they carry on a well thought out tradition.

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  • Nonviolent protests designed to effect change are a common occurrence around the world, especially today.
  • While they may seem to be a sign of sour grapes or contrarianism, there is a serious philosophical backing to them.
  • Thinkers from Thoreau to Gandhi and King have made the case for civil disobedience as a legitimate route to change.
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Why generational pressure is the key to climate change policy

Change is coming, but not from the generation that currently holds positions of power.

  • With figures like Greta Thunberg and demonstrations like the global climate strike, it's become apparent that young people are driving the effort to stop climate change.
  • This generational pressure is the key to change. In the same way that smoking became less accepted in society, even frowned upon, so too can the behaviors that have sped up climate change.
  • Moving forward, energy companies will play a major role if they can reimagine themselves as part of the solution to this crisis and forge a better path to save the planet.
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Do presidents removed from office still retain honorific titles?

Does a person still get to be "the honorable" if they are tossed out for not being honorable?

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  • The President of the United States is entitled "Mr/Ms. President," "the honorable," and "their Excellency" depending on the context.
  • The first two of these follow a person all of their life, including long after they leave the office that gave it to them.
  • The question of whether an impeached president could still be called "the honorable" is still open, since no precedent exists for it.
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Why conspiratorial thinking is peaking in America

The internet has given us the opportunity to stay informed better than ever. It's also given us the ability to misinform ourselves — delude ourselves — beyond belief.

  • The internet has allowed fringe groups founded on paranoid thinking to merge in ways we've never seen before.
  • Part of modern political polarization in American is that we're becoming a people who believes in different realities, some of which are based on fears rather than facts. Many of these conspiracy theories are targeted on groups that we believe are plotting against us.
  • There is a romanticization that we're going to somehow solve all of life's unknowns, Da Vinci Code-style. However, this ironically may put us at a disadvantage in terms of breaking puzzles — we look for the familiar in vague stimuli, a pheonmenon known as pareidolia, which only further confounds us.
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Many Americans are actually centrists—in theory, anyway

America is polarized, but not as much as you might think.

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  • A new study finds that Americans aren't as politically polarized as you might think.
  • Respondents generally agreed on the issues of climate change, free speech, and the value of international agreements.
  • The study also found that majorities want a smaller government that provides more services.
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