"Legal Doesn't Equal Right." 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.


Why So Many People Think the United Airlines Video Shows the Decline of America

(Paul Ratner/Big Think)

1. Justin S Thompson Legal doesn't equal right. The worst atrocities in human history were legal. If you use the state to measure morality you're gonna have a hard time.

Whenever you purchase an airline ticket, you implicitly are agreeing to contracts many thousands of words long. But just because companies establish a legal right does not mean they have a moral right. 

2. Guy W. Wallace Yes, United and all airlines have the right - given the small print on the ticket - to boot (reaccommodate) passengers. However, sending lawyers to a Social Media firestorm/fight will only inflame the masses further. Good luck rebuilding the brand. United is the friendly skies no more. And the CEO's email to employees? What an idiot (and that is being polite). THIS episode will soon become a classic business case study of what not to do in the age of mobile phone cameras and Social Media. The CEO better check his golden parachute. I have a feeling he will need it sooner rather than later.

To date, United CEO Oscar Muñoz has faced no public reprimand from the company he heads.


Intelligent Thinkers Are Lazy, Non-Thinkers Are Active


3. Jonathan Migas All the world's population consists of two types of people: those who are naive enough to believe that people fit into two categories, and those who aren't. 

4. Kamil Kulma Bill Gates was right!  "'I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it" Though it's crucial to distinguish between lazyness of an intelligent person and plain stupidity with a lack of idea how to perform a certain task.


"I would rather hire a high level World of Warcraft player than an MBA from Harvard University," says researcher John Seely Brown. Find out why!


5. Recusant Exe There are certain skills and traits people acquire in MMORPGs and gloss over them as simply playing a game. The auction house and trading teaches a little about economics, raiding can help with problem solving and communication. Leading a raid or guild even might give you a good example of what its like to lead a team in the workplace. PvP is like an interesting game of chess (balancing issues aside) its interesting to pull a strat out if your hat to use against an obviously more geared player. There's more skills involved but Im getting lazy now 

6. Orfeas Prountzopoulos i'm glad to see that lately the game i love and i've been playing my whole life starts receiving the attention it deserves from sociologists, anthropologists etc...


Perhaps GMOs aren't as scary as we thought they were? Bill Nye's changed his mind on a few things. Learn why...

(Getty Images)

7. Brendon Searle So the problem with patenting Genes is that these companies use pollinators to spread those genes to neighboring farms, then, as recorded, have tested nearby farms and filed lawsuits because (surprise) their patented gene shows up in neighboring farms. 

The other problem is things like Terminator seeds which effectively extort poor farmers in some of the poorest countries in the world to grow food and have to buy more food. It IS unethical. It may not be dangerous and it may be possible to feed many more people with GMOs but the ethics need to be examined closely when hugely profitable businesses like Monsanto are patenting genes and using these patents to increase their profit margin, or developing less than helpful genetic modifications to crops like terminator seeds.

8. RobRoy Robinson Transgenic modification is not the same as selection, they are substantially different. Sorry Bill but both you and Tyson are just wrong on this. Transgenic organisms need to be proven safe before being allowed outside a controlled environment.


Henry Rollins outlines why some politicians are so scared of increasing access to education. This is why it's so important to level the playing field for everyone.

(Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

9. Theart Korsten As Tony Benn said in Sicko, [I am paraphrasing] "There are three ways in which governments control their people. Keep them uneducated, give them inferior healthcare and let them live in fear of their lives. Governments don't want educated, healthy empowered voters."

10. Simon Lobecke Free education does not help society at large! Those who are already in the 1% will be able to get more qualified and educated managers for their businesses yes. But free education has to be financed through increased taxes. Fact! That means more qualified managers, businessmen now have even more efficient and profitable businesses but most of the finance comes from normal workers like builders or butchers for example who have no benefit from this system...


'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less