Bad Catholic has responded to my post on contraception and abortion rates, defending his position that contraception increases or at least doesn’t decrease abortions. See his Part One and Part Two, with my replies buried in the comments.
The early English four-form system – apparently “yea” and “nay” were quite a bit more complicated than just archaic versions of “yes” and “no”. And apparently we’ve all been using “yes” and “no” wrong our entire life.
Physicists: was the Universe once two-dimensional?
Publishing a document called “Consensus Statement On Morality” seems like terrible hubris, maybe one step below “I am more powerful than ZEUS!”. But not only did a bunch of scientists and philosophers (including Roy Baumeister! and Joshua Greene! and Jonathan Haidt!) produce a Consensus Statement on Morality, but it actually looks pretty good.
In 1940, an explorer in the Honduran jungle claimed to have discovered a “lost city of the monkey god”, but was killed “in a car crash” before who could reveal its location. Now, modern satellite imaging may have recaptured his discovery.
A new popular Japanese band is basing their performances around the stock market. “We base our costumes on the price of the Nikkei average of the day. For example, when the index falls below 10,000 points, we go on stage with really long skirts”. A line from their latest song: “Fix the yen’s appreciation. Quantitative easing. Don’t forget public investment”. Needless to say, young people love them.
When I was very young, I got confused about units of time. I knew what a second was, I knew what a minute was, but what was a “moment”? I distinctly remember getting angry at my mother because she said she would “just take a moment”, and when she got back I accused her of being gone way more than a moment. She kindly explained to me that a moment wasn’t a specific unit of time with a single well-delineated meaning. And she was wrong.
Kind of hopeful that Yahoo’s acquisition might destroy Tumblr, but even if it doesn’t it’s already paid off dividends in the form of the slideshow in this article. I think my favorite is number 6.
Buffalo Commons. I find the most interesting part of this article to be the claims that the Great Plains are becoming depopulated and may just end up reverting to Nature of their own accord.
The old conventional wisdom was that happiness research had showed money doesn’t make people happier after their basic needs are met. The new conventional wisdom is that nope, money still makes you happier no matter how much of it you have. The Economist gives an unusually clear presentation of the data.
So it turns out that molecules look exactly like they do in chemistry books. Still waiting to see whether protons are red, neutrons blue, and electrons fuzzy little yellow sparks.
The Washington Post profiles the effective altruist community, including my friends, occasional dance partners, and readers of this blog Jeff and Julia. I think this would be a good time to point out that, although not all of us can aspire to be as good people as Jeff and Julia, and not all of us even have the strength of personality it takes to engage in altruism at all, every single one of us, without exception, are better people than the commenters on that article. Seriously, don’t even look or it will destroy every shred of faith in humanity you have left.
Luckily, here are 31 Charts That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity. REACTIONARIES, ARE YOU LISTENING? There’s also the parody version, 31 Charts That Will Destroy Your Faith In Humanity. The first one there really, really speaks to me.
Speaking of the system working, Cheap Household Labor No Longer Abundant In India. People are having to give their servants good working conditions, or they just quit. This is exactly how capitalism is supposed to work! Hurrah!
The Last Psychiatrist, of all people, comes out in favor of basic income guarantees. I mean, if they existed he’d probably say society was terrible for letting them exist. But since they don’t exist, he’s happy to proclaim society terrible for not considering them, and that’s what’s important!
My friend Darcey has blogged a conversation she and I had a couple of months ago about creativity.