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?
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.
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.
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.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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