This week in comments: January 28th—February 4th, 2018

Comments are the lifeblood of internet discussion. Here's some of the best one from this week. Did you make the cut? 


"Never Again?" How fascism hijacks democracies over and over

Raine Laurent: You can't just decide "left" means "more government" and right means "less government". Those are Fox News reinventions of political standards that have been universally understood since the french revolution. Making the spectrum of "left" or "right" a discussion about "big gubbermint" is just a way to totally remove labor rights, trade, wages, and inequality from the discussion. Which of course the right would love. 

Ben SnyderIf you look at historical parallels to domestic and international contexts. If you look at timelines and tactics used this is 100% correct. It bugs me when people say that standing up against Trump, Bannon, the alt right etc. is political. It isn't. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents should be screaming bloody murder in unison. This in American history is unprecedented. Yes, we had McCarthyism, genocidal leaders like Curtis LeMay, Richard Nixon (who advocated for assassinatingand citizens). Those men were 'stable' and 'intelligent', Trump is not and still holds sway over a vicious minority in a world that moves faster than we can keep up with more complexity and custom fragmented groups. 100% accurate posting.


Norway Voted to Decriminalize All Drugs. Should America Follow Suit?

Matthew Walters: Legalized drugs would basically eliminate the entire black market, which would crush gangs and the cartels in one swoop. Drug related crime would drop. Prison population would plummet. Where is the downside? Besides, freedom should be the ability to do whatever you want as long as you don't harm others.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why We Have Dysfunctional Politicians

Dayne Willmore:  Well, when science disagrees with someone's ideologies, its automatically made political. This is why its continually perpetuated that universities, and the general scientific community, are allegedly one giant left-wing, liberal conspiracy. Science moves forward, following evidence, which means change. Resistance to change is a premise of conservatism. Tis why most conservatives reject most of science. Scientific information will inherently fall on one side of the political spectrum, or the other. One side of the spectrum tends to be more coherent with most scientific fields. I refer you back to the alleged conspiracy. We just tend to confuse the science of business with other science fields. Journalism, and media, works the same way. The validity of information tends to fall on one side of the political spectrum, despite the fact that bullshittery runs rampant across the entire spectrum.

Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
  • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
  • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
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Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
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How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution

As tempting as it may be to run away from emotionally-difficult situations, it's important we confront them head-on.

  • Impossible-sounding things are possible in hospitals — however, there are times when we hit dead ends. In these moments, it's important to not run away, but to confront what's happening head-on.
  • For a lot of us, one of the ways to give meaning to terrible moments is to see what you can learn from them.
  • Sometimes certain information can "flood" us in ways that aren't helpful, and it's important to figure out what types of data you are able to take in — process — at certain times.
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