"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...


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Top Video Splash
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and things that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way.".

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
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Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

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