In order to have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information.
Neutral fact checks may not sway voters to abandon false beliefs based on inaccurate information, a new study suggests. If you’re having a political argument about voter fraud, you’d think that citing a nonpartisan, neutral source like Snopes or Politifact might be the best way to correct misinformation. But that may not be the case.
Following another act of fatal violence in Melbourne, Australia in early November 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed claims the perpetrator, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, had a mental illness. He said this was a “lame excuse”, saying he wanted imams and the Muslim community to pay greater attention to people at risk of radicalisation.
Before 2012, if you had voiced suspicions that the Australian government had been anything but open and honourable in dealing with East Timor – its newly independent but impoverished neighbour – you would likely have been dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. But it was then revealed Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents had bugged East Timor’s cabinet office during treaty negotiations over oil and gas fields.
In his book Enlightenment Now, Pinker makes the case that Enlightenment principles of reason, science and humanism are directly enhancing the quality of life for everyone
More than half of all U.S. truck drivers exceed the federal limit of 60 hours per week.
Around the world, the idea of adulthood - when it happens and how it is defined - is being challenged.
Author Johann Hari makes a great case for the legalization of marijuana. Not only would it create a new stream of tax revenue, but it would substantially lower the crime rate and practically kill the black market overnight. One has to ask, especially after watching this video: for a drug with zero fatalities, why is marijuana illegal in the first place?
Exceptionalism – the idea that the United States has a mission and character that separates it from other nations – is ingrained in everyday talk about American politics.
If you’re one of the millions of people concerned about the growing pressures that our food habits are placing on the environment, then you’ve probably felt confused, conflicted or downright overwhelmed by your own food choices on more than a few occasions.
Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old “Cheddar Man”, one of Britain’s oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like.
Information and communication technologies are radically transforming modern lifestyles. They are redefining our concept of “space” by turning homes and coffee shops into workspaces.
True innovation is hard to find, as few things come out of nothing. Take the now ubiquitous selfie, for example. The format may have changed but the concept of making self-portraits is hundreds, if not thousands of years old. The same is true of many inventions that we typically think of as modern.
Every time you go online, people are competing for your attention. Friends, strangers, businesses, political organisations, charities and news websites all serve up a constant stream of eye-catching pictures, videos and articles, wherever you might go looking for information
When Pope Francis assumed office, he turned his back on a luxury Vatican palace and opted instead to live in a small guest house. He has also become known for taking the bus rather than riding in the papal limousine...
These Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the chronic diseases — including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes— that now kill around 40 million people each year. They are responsible for 70 per cent of all deaths globally
Every day there’s more news about the inevitable arrival of autonomous vehicles. At the same time, more people are using ride-hailing and ride-sharing apps, and the percentage of teens getting their driver’s license continues to decline.
Seafood is an essential staple in the diets of people around the world. Global consumption of fish and shellfish has more than doubled over the last 50 years
Fake news, or fabricated content deceptively presented as real news, has garnered a lot of interest since the U.S. presidential election last fall.
By changing our idea of what it means to be sustainable people, families, and businesses, and working together to achieve it instead of alone, we will rediscover our commonalities, our connections, our passions. By sharing what we already have (time, energy, money, goods, foods, skills) we...
Something remarkable happened to the youth of the Western world 50 years ago.
In the US there have been many attempts to expunge evolution from the school curriculm or demand that creationism
It is my understanding that global humanity presently stands on the verge of an unprecedented shift toward drastic social change. And this sudden change may come about amid a melting pot of social vulnerabilities and breakdown points. In fact, we only need to look at...
Many people think that making the green choice is more expensive. Although this can be true, it doesn't have to be. Are you ready to save money, get healthier, and stop sending so much trash to the landfill? You can get started wherever you are living. The important thing is to get started...
In the weeks following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, Wellspring Church in Ferguson became a space for protestors to meet, talk about issues, and strategize for change.
A new tool called Hoaxy lets you search for terms and articles, and shows you how claims spread on Twitter as well as efforts to fact-check them.
Two converging trends – the rise of e-commerce and urban population growth – are creating big challenges for cities.
Critics may accuse President-elect Donald J. Trump and his supporters of dragging down public discourse in America, but civility took leave of open discussions years ago – online.
Well news fans, to mix metaphors, the ball is now squarely in your court. “Fake news” is everywhere. And now, there’s a “fake news” story with real-life consequences...
Nearly all Americans are likely to know a victim of gun violence within their social networks during their lifetime. The findings suggest citizens are “closer to gun violence than they perceive,” write the authors of a new study.
The public gets a lot of its news and information from Facebook. Some of it is fake. That presents a problem for the site’s users, and for the company itself.
In light of Brexit, and the United States election campaign that gave us President-elect Donald J Trump, Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” its 2016 word of the year.
No writer is more renowned for his ability to foresee the future than HG Wells. His writing can be seen to have predicted the aeroplane, the tank, space travel, the atomic bomb, satellite television and the worldwide web.
Good riddance to NPR’s comment section, which is shutting down Tuesday after eight years. There has to be a better way for news organizations to engage with the public.
During the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Julia Gillard, prime minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013, wrote an open letter to Hillary Clinton in The New York Times.
With their red, white and blue striped poles, dark Naugahyde chairs and straight razor shaves, barbershops hold a special place in American culture.
The 1990s were a high-water mark for public interest in UFOs and alien abduction. Shows like “The X-Files” and Fox’s “alien autopsy” hoax were prime-time events, while MIT even hosted an academic conference on the abduction phenomenon.
There is a segment of the American population who believes passionately that guns are critical for personal protection against both violent individuals and governmental intrusion. They believe nothing should prevent them from getting the guns they need to do that.
In many European countries, people overestimate the share of minority populations and immigration volume. This could be a result of people not being well informed or knowledgeable about the social issues around them.
My grandmother, Christine Johanna Hoffman, was born in 1894 and died in 1990. In the course of her lifetime, she witnessed the advent of indoor plumbing and home electrification, the Wright Brothers' first flight, the debut of the Ford Model T and man landing on the moon, just to name a few.
As urbanisation and modernisation reach unprecedented levels, road congestion has become a modern day menace. Heavy traffic is associated with air pollution, safety risks, and losses in terms of accessibility, economic competitiveness, sustainable growth and social cohesion.
The U.S. economy added 2.7 million jobs in 2015, capping the best two-year stretch of employment growth since the late ‘90’s, pushing the unemployment rate down to five percent.
Regardless of your industry, the marketplace is continually evolving. The reason, increasingly, is the evolution of disruptive technology.
Living things accumulate and reproduce information. That’s really the driving principle behind life, and behind evolution. But humans have invented a new method of accumulating and reproducing information. It’s digital information, and it’s growing at an astonishing speed. The number of people using the internet is growing, as are the devices connected to it through the Internet of Things.
Socrates and Plato were not in a hurry. Neither was Aristotle nor Heraclitus. They took time to think deeply. As far back as twenty-four centuries ago, they offered insights and observations about the human condition, character, and personality that are as true today as they were then.
I like speaking before senior citizen groups about my research on the American culture war. Seniors almost all recognize the PowerPoint image of the late Spiro Agnew, former vice president and “attack man” for President Richard Nixon.
June is National Homeownership Month. Realtors, home builders, lenders and governmental officials have celebrated it since 2003, when former President George W Bush designated June a month to commemorate homeownership’s role in building wealth and creating strong and stable neighborhoods.
Telecommunication companies were up in arms in February after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made net neutrality the law of the land by classifying broadband internet as a utility, seeming to ensure there would be no pay-to-play fast lanes.
If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit, you might have already noticed a need that could be met by sharing in your community. If you live in a place where collaborative consumption is just catching on (or maybe unheard of), it might be better to try an established online community that can help you learn the ropes.
Why do people cooperate? This isn’t a question anyone seriously asks. The answer is obvious: we cooperate because doing so is usually synergistic. It creates more benefit for less cost and makes our lives easier and better.
In cities across the country, the promotion of higher residential densities in certain areas has become an orthodox part of urban planning. Consolidation, as opposed to sprawl, is seen as a way to accommodate the apparent inevitability of larger cities in a more sustainable, economical, and healthy way.
Urban transportation planning is mainly concerned with easing traffic congestion, improving safety, and saving time for motorists. Most metropolitan transportation plans strive to blend environmental, economic, and social-equity goals to promote sustainability.
As each U.S. election cycle rolls by, public life seems to grow more rancorous, frayed and fragmented, and the 2014 midterms were no exception. There is a palpable sense that something deeper is at work in America, some sea change in the underlying patterns of life, but is this valid?
From kitchens that buy and sell locally grown food, to a waste co-op that will return compost to the land, new enterprises are building an integrated food network. It's about local people keeping the wealth of their land at home.
There’s a battle underway to protect Americans’ right to vote, and recent news from the frontlines has been grim. Republicans, assisted by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, have passed new restrictions at a breakneck pace. Texas’ draconian voter ID law was just upheld, possibly disenfranchising as many 600,000 voters.
In 2012, the UK’s Sunday Times reported that actor Bruce Willis was going to sue Apple because he was not legally allowed to bequeath his iTunes collection of music to his children. The story turned out to be false but it did start a conversation about what we can, and can’t, do with our digital possessions.
A coalition of representatives from 32 cities across the U.S. joined together to address the pressing need for fast, reliable and affordable high-speed Internet.
As an example of mass participatory journalism, where the voices of ordinary citizens are heard as much as public officials or PR professionals, the UK’s hyperlocal news network is second to none.
American kids are getting ready to head back to school. But the schools they’re heading back to differ dramatically by family income.
So far this year, more than 48,000 undocumented minors have been detained while crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. But increasingly, the kids aren't from Mexico. They're from Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, and they're fleeing from violence and poverty in their home countries,.
The explosive uptake of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets has us immersed in a complex, volatile soup of hyper-connected digital technologies, where not only is the perception of time being compressed, but privacy protections are being reshaped.
Facing declining visitors and uncertainty about what to do about it, library administrators in the new town of Almere in the Netherlands did something extraordinary. They redesigned their libraries based on the changing needs and desires of library users and, in 2010, opened the Nieuwe Bibliotheek (New Library), a thriving community hub that looks more like a bookstore than a library.
Today’s youth are so civic minded that some social commentators have dubbed them the “civic generation.” For them, it seems the American Dream has taken on a whole new meaning: it’s all about the people. “Community service is part of their DNA. It’s part of this generation to care about something larger than themselves...”
Publicly owned networks in cities across the US preserve net neutrality and provide quality service. With the announcement by the FCC that cable and telephone companies will be allowed to prioritize access to their customers, only one option remains that can guarantee an open internet: owning the means of distribution.
Meet the tenacious gardeners putting down roots in "America's most desperate town". They're not always optimistic about the future of Camden, N.J. But they're committed to it anyway, and they've created one of the nation's fastest growing networks of urban farms.
Ever wish you could live at your CSA? Or move to a neighborhood where everyone is as excited about fresh, healthy food as you are? All over the United States people are embracing local food production in an exciting new way. Called 'agrihoods,' this new type of neighborhood serves up farm-to-table living in a cooperative environment.
As income inequality has risen in the United States, significant research and press coverage has been devoted to how Americans may be correspondingly “sorting” themselves into class-based, or high- and lower-income, communities, as well as to the rise of suburban poverty.
“People are starting to ask, ‘What can we do together that we can’t do by ourselves?’” Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s the same ethos behind the sharing economy, an economic trend that Bradley believes emerged from the Great Recession. People are beginning to understand...
Do you recall a time in America when the income of a single school teacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home, have two cars, and raise a family? I remember. My father (who just celebrated his 100th birthday) earned enough for the rest of us to live comfortably...
I carried with me through life this lesson I learned in Middle School – the practice of viewing a culture, civilization or grouping of any kind from its edge. From that vantage point I could look within and view its dynamics and motion more clearly than from the center. I could also look outward...
People who win large amounts of money on lotteries tend to switch their political allegiances towards the right of the political spectrum and become less egalitarian, joint UK-Australian research has found.
Our problem is not technology. Our problem is using technology unwisely. We clever primates have fabricated an external brain around planet earth built from the internet, phones, and the media. But this virtual brain can...
A United Nations designation provides the perfect opportunity to invest in small- and medium-sized farms. In the broad discussion of agriculture, family farmers often don’t get as much attention as large-scale industrial farming operations.
Once we had decided affirmatively that, yes, we did want to get married, we were left with a daunting question: “What does a non-commercial, environmentalist, radical wedding look like?” Furthermore, was it possible to make the wedding not only about celebrating our commitment and bringing our families together, but about making a difference in the world?
We need to know how to stay grounded in our actual situation, and live in reality day by day. This is no snack, as T. S. Eliot reminds us: "Humankind cannot stand very much reality."
What we have is a failure to be able to differentiate between fact and fiction, between ordinary and authentic, between virtual and actual, and between believing and knowing. Life is not just about video games and text messaging, game consoles, and tracking the minutia of...
Much happened that was hopeful this year — a new pope focused on inequality, successful minimum wage campaigns spread across the country, and the number of states allowing gay marriage doubled. We look at seeds sown this year that could make 2014 transformational...
Social norms can change, especially when a novel idea is evidence-based and powerful and people are exposed to it for a time. Even so, cultural shifts don't happen overnight. According to one analysis of social movements, there is first a period in which...
Are the arguments that porn increases pedophiliac tendencies and makes men want to rape and therefore increases the risk of child abuse and rape legitimate? Aside from any studies done on these issues, think about...
In the wake of the deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, reporter Mike Elk of In These Times magazine joins us to discuss the plant’s safety record and the troubling regulatory environment for workplaces in Texas and nationwide. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not inspected West Fertilizer Co. in five years, and the EPA fined the plant in 2006 for failing to have a risk management plan. Elk says OSHA is understaffed and underfunded nationwide, across all industries
Detroit, in a lot of ways, parallels the track we are on as a nation. The snapshot of our future is staring us in the face in the stereotypical shots of Detroit. But I believe Detroit also holds the key to the future of this great nation.
It seems that our world works very much on a competitive basis. Whether it’s the university you attend, the grades you get, the scores you receive, the wages you earn, your position on the job, or the games you play, competition is at the center, the very core of it all. Is there a way to be truly competitive and not become...
Today the average calorie travels something like 1,500 miles, were told, to reach our tables. Whole fleets of 747s exist just to fly kiwi fruits to the US from New Zealand. It is time to grow locally adapted varieties right at home, or...
We are on a long journey together, yet this is just the beginning of our new lives and of our work in co-creating new worlds. We are a growing band of pioneering souls scattered in every culture, field, discipline, age, and background. We can have compassion for all others and ourselves. We are...
It is time for a compassionate revolution. Many revolutions have passed in history, but all have been violent. Violence is not part of the organizing principle of Oneness which will emerge, and major political and social change will occur as a natural unfolding of human evolution.
by Diana Cooper. A forecast is the likely outcome based on the situation and mindset of the people at a given time. There are many influences on the world that we are not aware of. A forecast, therefore, is not set in stone. People are changing and moving rapidly in their ideas and consciousness, and this affects future outcomes.
by Alan Cohen. In the years to come, many social systems and institutions will likely disintegrate. They will be replaced by new systems rooted in truth, vision, and service rather than fear, greed, and illusion.
by Barbara Hand Clow. Many people who were born since 1965 seek ways to live in a less material world. They know this is the only possible next step, since Earth can’t sustain the current level of technological overload. We will be less materialistic in the next cycle as we remember how to...
A tempest in a tea pot? The English town of Todmorden mixes politics and growing lunch. Its guerrilla gardening group has reached a certain notoriety that transcends borders and continents.
As of the end of this year, the number of Americans traveling by road has increased and air travel has decreased. There is a higher fatality rate associated with traveling by car while this year is shaping up to have been the safest for air travel.
According to social commentator James Howard Kunstler, those of us who presently live in the comfortable Western countries are facing “the comprehensive downscaling, rescaling, downsizing, and relocalizing of all our activities, a radical reorganization of the way we live...”
The person that was convicted of the murder is ultimately proven to be innocent. Our modern DNA sampling proves that the person who was tried and convicted is not the murderer. Then all these people say, “Oh great! Did we mess up or what?” That changes things a bit, doesn’t it?
Talk of fundamental change in the world around us is often met with skepticism. Change in society, we are told, is never really fundamental: as the French saying goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they are the same). A more sophisticated variant of the prevalent view adds that certain processes in society — trends — make a significant difference...
Zoologist & paleo-anthropologist Hank Wesselman is a scientist with a foot in two worlds. He spent 30 years researching evolution in the Great Rift Valley in Africa and has also trained in shamanism for more than twenty years. He sees evidence that widespread and transformational spiritual awakening is...
Before moving to Taos, I owned a townhouse that was almost two thousand square feet and had a two-car garage, plus lots of closet space, all of it full. It was filled with the stuff accumulated after a decade or so in the working world. Long before I moved, I decided to clean out my garage. It took...
Throughout the years, I became more cognizant of the high levels of stress, anxiety, suffering, and exhaustion that are the signature of our modem lifestyle. It became clear that the vision of woman being offered by the dream merchants of our Western society was extremely problematic.
I was feeling sad this morning, feeling the state of the world in my heart, and remembering how I felt at 20 after taking a University class entitled 'History of Human Conflict'. At that time, I asked myself 'Won't mankind ever learn?' And today, over thirty years later, I find myself asking the same question.
by Beth Vishnevsky. These senseless tragedies should open our eyes really wide. Our children don't value each other because we don't value each other. Our children don't know what respect and responsibility are all about because we are not setting a good enough example. The value of life? Everyday, we see classic examples of just the opposite.