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Can we prepare for the ethical issues surrounding future discoveries? | Aeon Videos
Whether you’re excited by its possibilities or worried about its potential consequences, large-scale human genome editing appears to be just around the corner thanks to CRISPR – a new gene editing tool unmatched in its revolutionary capabilities and efficiency. So how can we possibly prepare for its ethical implications? In this Parlor Chat, New York Times science journalist Carl Zimmer and Yale University science historian Daniel Kevles discuss how the history of science and regulation might – or might not – be our guide for avoiding social and ethical catastrophe.
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Why breaking the rules outdoors is an irresponsible thrill | Aeon Ideas
I had just finished digging an outhouse pit on a river in Colorado with a fellow National Park Service ranger when we saw the unexpected: a solo kayaker paddling the rapids that ran past our camp. A law-enforcement ranger who’d been leaning on a s...
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Thinking positive is a surprisingly risky manoeuvre | Aeon Essays
Fantasies about the future have a troubling effect on achieving actual goals. If positive thinking doesn’t work, what does?
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Maths notation is needlessly complex. It can and should be better | Aeon Videos
Making students learn to execute similar operations using three different kinds of notation – as in the case of exponents, logarithms and roots – is a bit like asking them to learn to say the same thing in three different languages for no good reason. With such counterintuitive and redundant standardised notation systems, it’s easy to understand why many students become overwhelmed by mathematics and choose to pursue fields where complex calculations aren’t necessary. This video by Grant Sanderson, who makes films under the moniker 3Blue1Brown, looks at how expressing exponents, logarithms and roots could be made simpler by using one elegant notation system, and makes a broader case for how maths could be made more accessible by developing cleaner – and perhaps even artful – notation.
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
There is no difference between computer art and human art | Aeon Ideas
In December 1964, over a single evening session in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, John Coltrane and his quartet recorded the entirety of A Love Supreme. This jazz album is considered Coltrane’s masterpiece – the culmination of his spiritual awakeni...
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Music might be quintessentially human, but does it serve a purpose? | Aeon Videos
‘Music doesn’t mean anything – it just is...’
Like language, music is organised, human-made sound that sprang up independently across early human cultures. Unlike language, however, music serves no obvious evolutionary purpose. So then why do we love it? And why is it so entwined with our emotions? In this lively short video by the US artist and animator Mac Premo, Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad explores and attempts to explain the enigmatic, visceral hold music has over us.
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Sex, drugs and late nights: on night owls and psychopaths | Aeon Ideas
Some people like going to bed early in the evening and waking up at the crack of dawn. Others are most alive after the Sun has set, preferring the darkness of night to the brightness of morning. Research into chronotypes (the propensity to sleep a...
Aeon 
2 days ago by thx1138
Indigenous myths carry warning signals about natural disasters | Aeon Essays
Indigenous peoples around the world tell myths which contain warning signs for natural disasters. Scientists are now listening
article  aeon  indigenous-knowledge 
8 weeks ago by emsih
To be happier, focus on what’s within your control | Aeon Ideas
This is the Serenity Prayer, originally written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr around 1934, and commonly used by Alcoholics Anonymous and similar organisations.
aeon 
8 weeks ago by thx1138
Disease naming must change to avoid scapegoating and politics | Aeon Essays
Remember the Naples Soldier, the vicious flu pandemic that swept the globe almost 100 years ago, infecting one in three people and killing up to 50 million? You probably don’t, but you might remember the Spanish flu, the name by which that pandemic is better known.
aeon 
8 weeks ago by thx1138
Polar bears need to be fat, and they can’t be without sea ice | Aeon Ideas
Humans are inquisitive and innovative, with an indisputable talent for problem-solving.
aeon 
8 weeks ago by thx1138
Tarot cards: a tool of cold tricksters or wise therapists? | Aeon Essays
There are clues that this is no ordinary suburban living room. For one, we’re in Glastonbury. Then there’s the perfumed candle, the Buddha figure, the cloth draped over the television and, not least, the worn little wooden box that sits atop an occasional table hung with black silk.
Aeon 
8 weeks ago by thx1138
It is sometimes right to fight in an unjust war | Aeon Ideas
What should soldiers do in a war that ought not to be fought? Should they take part? If it’s wrong for one country to declare war on another, isn’t it also wrong for members of the armed forces to fight in that war? This is often true – but, surprisingly, it isn’t always true.
article  politics  ethics  aeon 
10 weeks ago by emsih
When faced with so-called ‘progressive business’, stay skeptical | Aeon Ideas
In Capitalism and Freedom (1962), the economist Milton Friedman once accused corporate social responsibility of being a ‘fundamentally subversive doctrine’. In Friedman’s view, the business of business is business, not political causes, and certainly not progressive ones. However, the view that businesses fulfil a larger social purpose than filling the pockets of shareholders has recently grown more popular than ever.
article  economics  aeon 
10 weeks ago by emsih

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