This Week in Comments: October 22nd—October 29th, 2017

From gun control to fun control, these were Big Think's most excellent comments of the week. Be excellent to each other! 

From gun control to fun control, these were Big Think's most excellent comments of the week. 

Here's some Julee Cruise to lead you smoothly and calmly into the Facebook conversation pit. Have a glass of wine. Enjoy the cheese plate. And above all, be excellent to each other!

And away we go again this week: 

Want to Cultivate Focus? Here's How to Train Your Brain

Rebekka HayHow about turning off all the notifications and not read emails from work whilst cooking dinner for your family? I am no longer slave to notifications. I decide when I read emails and all the other stuff. Much more relaxing. Priorities!

Wall Street's Biggest Problem Could Be High Testosterone

Blair Benjamin Carmichael: If the Billionaires in this country have never been this rich And the stock market has never been this high Then why do they need tax cuts? Again? Where are the jobs in this economy? Something is rotten in D.C.

Juergen Becker: the stock market is an accelerating Perpetuum Mobile that makes money out of literally nothing. It is great for money laundering as well as for moving money between corporations without an equivalent exchange of any value. This works, because the flow of money is decoupled from the flow of goods or services. You get the perfect Ponzi Scheme.

What American Founding Fathers Really Thought About Guns

Oliver GonzalesThis was an era where it takes more than 2 minutes to reload a gun after a single shot. 

Miệt Xanh: What your 498 guns gonna do when a bomb is dropped from 500 feet above you by a drone controlled by a military personnel 1,000 miles away? A better question would be what the founding fathers would say about this topic today. Jefferson believed that the Constitution should be changed frequently (every ten years or so). What they said or meant two centuries ago are irrelevant.

Nicholas Rios: Jefferson also said the Constitution belongs to the living and advocated a convention every twenty years.

Jordan Beisel: The founding fathers didn't intend for unpolitically motivated non religious Mass shooters who have obtained their weapons legally to shoot up schools, churches, universities, hospitals, theaters and malls. Rights come with significant amounts of restrictions and regulations.

Scientists Find Religion Triggers Same Area of Brain as Sex, Drugs and Love

Teresa Nettleton: If only it triggered rationality.

Your Evolved Brain Is at the Mercy of Your Reptilian Impulses—and Vice Versa

Dave Ehret: It actually makes sense. Imagine early humans in tribes where tribal leaders maintain power through knowledge and decision making. When the cause of the ground shaking is unknown, make up an entity powerful enough to do that and keep that relationship personal so the rest of the tribe goes through you. Now kill the tribe members who call bullsh*t on your explanation and you slowly purge society of those less susceptible to believing in deities.

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.
Keep reading Show less

Greenland loses 4 trillion pounds of ice in one day

Normally, the landscape in this photo would be a white ice sheet.

Surprising Science
  • Climate scientists say that Greenland is experiencing ice losses that are unusually early and heavy.
  • Two main weather factors are fueling the losses: a high-pressure system and the resulting low cloud cover.
  • Greenland is a major contributor to sea-level rise.
Keep reading Show less

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
Keep reading Show less

Permafrost is melting 70 years earlier than expected in Arctic Canada

It's a "canary in the coalmine," said one climate scientist.

MARK RALSTON/Contributor
Surprising Science
  • A team of researchers discovered that permafrost in Northern Canada is melting at unusually fast rates.
  • This could causes dangerous and costly erosion, and it's likely speeding up climate change because thawing permafrost releases heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere.
  • This week, Canada's House of Commons declared a national climate emergency.
Keep reading Show less