'Populism Isn't Bad. False Populism Is.' Here Are This Week's Top Comments

Here are this week's top comments on Big Think content from across the Web.

Here are this week's top comments on Big Think content from across the Web.


Stephen Hawking Says We're at a "Dangerous Moment" in History

(Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

1. Eric Cheung Populism isn't bad. False populism that correctly diagnoses the problems with globalism and the anguish of the working class, but prescribes bigotry and scapegoating as a solution, is the problem. Only true populism can defeat the false populism of people like Trump.

2. Dustin Crider In a world held under the elitist thumb, populist politics are dressed up in villainy. Populism, to me, as I read the first paragraph of the definition, is the idea that we only need each other. We don’t need some a**hole paid 900 times our salary to tell us to do what we already know needs done. We can do the same thing without them, cheaper.

I grew up on a farm, have worked manufacturing, and was a toolmaker’s apprentice. I went to a two-year college for business administration w/it focus, followed by a four-year for computer & information technology with an organizational leadership minor. This is not intended as a brag about my credentials, but rather a brag about the average man.


Humorist Dave Barry says: "The value of making fun of [religion] is: it's okay to believe whatever you believe as long as you don't think that everyone has to believe it, and if you're willing to laugh a little bit about your own beliefs then it's just going to be easier for everybody to get along with different beliefs."

3. Edath Feston Hateful mocking is unwelcome tho. I laugh at religious jokes all the time. I think the best jokes even make God laugh. But when you're hateful or cruel or name calling any believer or nonbeliever you're doing a disservice for humanity by creating more hatred and division.

4. Nick Jackson In fact, I'd say it's our intellectual resposibility (sic) to mock religion, in order to protect the integrity of humanity's intelligence. As soon as we break down the dividers, we can all unite to focus on what is real.

5. Latif Adams What does mocking religion seek to achieve, humans will continue to have differing beliefs (religious or otherwise) regardless. If you think religion has done a lot of harm, well history tells us a lot about non religious people who have also subjected humanity to unbearable persecutions and murders (Genghis Khan, Hitler etc) readily come to mind.


"Calling Bullshit" Is the College Course for Our Times—Here's How You Can Take It Online

(The University of Washington)

6. Nina Danielsen Clarke This is a fair idea but does not belong in universities. Kids should learn to spot bullshit much earlier than that because they will be exposed to it and can vote....

7. Stewart Black For 6 yrs I taught A Level courses called Critical Thinking and General Studies. Kids only took them because they had to. The critical thinking skill of discriminating media that is so misleading as to be lying is one of the most important skills. And yet most kids absolutely hated the course (not the teacher). That's the way it always goes with 'citizenship' courses and the like. I say education should get back primarily to hard subjects like Mathematics, Science and especially Classical Languages, all of which imbue the learner with mental skills and stamina to sort fact from fiction.


The eternal marriage between democracy and capitalism is coming to an end. Do you agree with Slavoj Zizek?

8. Louis Kroll What we have in this country is far from Capitalism. We are more of a socialist democratic republic. The federal government is far too intrusive and manipulative in the market place and the economy, including their collusion with corporations.

9. Jose Manuel Luiz I agree with him. Democracy and capitalism are not compatible because democracy provides workers with rights while, in order for capitalism to be efficient, it needs to remove the worker's rights. That's why China is the greatest economy in the world. Never thought about it this way but is brilliant.

10. Davis Tan What Slavoj Žižek saying is benevolent authoritarian running capitalism is the most efficient for the present time before we moving into A.I. King which we let machines taking care of us without need to going through communitarian based democracy process.


3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Big Think Edge
  • "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose," Sherlock Holmes famously remarked.
  • In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to optimize memory, Holmes style.
  • The goal is to expand one's limited "brain attic," so that what used to be a small space can suddenly become much larger because we are using the space more efficiently.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
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Big Think Edge
  • Our ability to behave rationally depends not just on our ability to use the facts, but on our ability to give those facts meaning. To be rational, we need both facts and feelings. We need to be subjective.
  • In this lesson, risk communication expert David Ropeik teaches you how human rationality influences our perception of risk.
  • By the end of it, you'll understand the pitfalls of your subjective risk perception system so that you can avoid these traps in the future.