This week in comments: February 26th—March 4th, 2018

Truly a negative week in terms of the comments on our Facebook. Maybe have some fruit and some sunshine next week?

15,000 Scientists Issue a “Warning to Humanity”

Michael Hennessey: Earth will survive, humans won't, all the plastic we created will be our monument to the universe.


Benjamin Phillips: Look, this is highly alarmist. Sure on the surface, things look pretty dire, but we have the technology to solve each and every one of these problems...or at least close to having the tech to solve all these problems. For example, there are claims that scientists have solved the fusion containment issue. If so...limitless clean power. Meaning we can phase out cars that run on fossil fuels. I find the meat claim to be very dubious because if you take meat out of the diet, you have to eat more plants...meaning more land is needed for farming. But even here we have a techno solution - scientists can grow meat in a lab. The real issue is, not the end is nigh...but we as a species are ungovernable. This is, even though in theory there is just enough for everybody. Until we stop living or governing as we have done for the last 10,000 years...humankind will not step out of the darkness. Up until 10,000 years ago, humankind were nomads, then we discovered agriculture and from there human beings grew exponentially. This form of governing worked, until now because we're almost an advanced technological society...almost. Now that we're all connected or most of us, the old enmities of the past - where we fought over resources and cultural dominance need to be put aside. Then we need to find a new way to divide everything up, and make decisions. Decision making by consensus is also a problem. We need to figure this out too. But this new form of governing and indeed making decisions cannot be like anything we've had in the past. It cannot be socialism mk2. We have to find a way for the individual to take responsibility for themselves and the world around them, and come together that way. And until we do...then screaming the sky is falling won't solve the problem...it will make it worse.

Survey Predicts Huge Amount of Non-Religious Americans by 2035

Brandon Hiraeth: What exactly is there to believe in? A God that allows the atrocities in our world to go unchecked? A God that allows a majority of the world to live in poverty? The more aware of the world I am the less I believe any God was involved.

Is it even possible to oppose capitalism anymore?

Wendy Irving: Socialist welfare states such as in Northern Europe work best. Democracy, looking after their people and managing the economy. It means high taxes, but you get what you pay for. In general, they have high standards of living and life satisfaction.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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