This Week in Comments: October 15th—October 22nd, 2017

How much free will do you actually have? This week's Comment of the Week is fantastic and raises an interesting debate. What do you think? 

And away we go. Happy Sunday; here's your soundtrack for this week's installment of comments. Open your mind and let the knowledge sun shine in... 


Two Revolutions in Cancer Treatment Are Giving Patients New Hope

Sue Doherty: More funding at all levels of government is needed to take the pressure off public health systems who currently bear the brunt of amazing trials that are proving incredibly successful. Pharmaceutical companies are currently funding these trials - government needs to step in and make new treatments available to all who are eligible.

Douglas Warden: All cancer treatments should be public domain and not patented. Life saving medicine and procedures should be not for profit and available to everyone regardless of income or ability to pay.

Why the NSA Wants a Quantum Computer, with Brad Templeton

Sam ZbibRegardless of advancement in quantum computing, the future is that information will become extremely hard to protect. I'm not sure what are the consequences for living in a society where no secrets exist. We need to think about that.

Ketogenic Diets Have "Profound Effect on Brain Function," Studies Find

Naomi Ridings-Wood: 27 years ago after brain surgery followed with an aneurysm hemorrhage I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15. Medication managed the condition to a degree but I suffered ongoing fatigue and at times had episodes break through. Thankfully I have only had petit mal, but it still slows down my day and I had the background anticipation of having another. I was recommended to go on an official medical trial of the ketogenic based diet at the start of the year. Beforehand I was on medication with some breakthroughs, but with the diet I have seizure free for 7 months. Sleep is better and anxiety is lower. Now to get my mind around taking this on for my lifetime.

People Who See Themselves as Unique Are Drawn to Conspiracy Theories

Eduardo Derbli: That's what THEY want you to believe. And by they I mean the free mason reptilians, of course. Wake up, sheeple.

I laughed. - Ed. 

Is Free Will An Illusion?

Daisy Welham: Imagine I were to throw a rock at someone, and it hit them in the head and they died. Was the rock at fault? Clearly not, as the rock’s trajectory was entirely predetermined by factors outside of its control- I am the murderer, the rock is not.

Now imagine if I were to build and program a robot, and, when I boot the robot up, it went on a killing spree. Once again, the robot is not at fault- it was predetermined by the way I build and programmed it that it would go on a killing spree.

In both cases, the thing that makes us not consider the rock or the robot to blame is its lack of free will, and this is evident from the fact that its actions are predetermined by factors it does not control.

Well, we are extremely complicated biological robots. The factors that make us are far more complicated- forgoing a single human programmer for billions of years of evolution, centuries of culture, and countless more processes, which, despite being far more numerous and complex in nature, are fundamentally the same thing- processes which we do not control which determine the outcome of our decisions.

We are complicated robots, and robots are complicated thrown rocks.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

Culture & Religion
  • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
  • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
  • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
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Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

Image: Abel Suyok
Strange Maps
  • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
  • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
  • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
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Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

Surprising Science
  • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
  • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
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