The Internet of Beefs


A beef-only thinker is someone you cannot simply talk to. Anything that is not an expression of pure, unqualified support for whatever they are doing or saying is received as a mark of disrespect, and a provocation to conflict. From there, you can only crash into honor-based conflict mode, or back away and disengage.

Online public spaces are now being slowly taken over by beef-only thinkers, as the global culture wars evolve into a stable, endemic, background societal condition of continuous conflict. As the Great Weirding morphs into the Permaweird, the public internet is turning into the Internet of Beefs.

The Internet of Beefs, or IoB, is everywhere, on all platforms, all the time.

Source: The Internet of Beefs

Why it’s only science that can answer all the big questions | Aeon Ideas


The triple-pronged armoury of science – the observational, the analytic and the computational – is now ready to attack the real big questions.

They are, in chronological order: How did the Universe begin? How did matter in the Universe become alive? and How did living matter become self-conscious?

When inspected and picked apart, these questions include many others, such as – in the first question – the existence of the fundamental forces and particles and, by extension, the long-term future of the Universe. It includes the not-so-little problem of the union of gravitation and quantum mechanics.

Source: Why it’s only science that can answer all the big questions | Aeon Ideas

How the end of the white majority could change office dynamics in 2040


Why 2040 specifically?

Twenty years from now, Gen Z and millennials will be fully incorporated into the workplace, while Gen X will be stepping back. In many ways, the world of 2040 will look very different, thanks to shifting demographics, climate change, and the widespread adoption of technologies that track and automate every aspect of our daily lives.

On the other hand, 2040 isn’t so far off that we can’t use the present as a guide.

Source: How the end of the white majority could change office dynamics in 2040

Climate-Friendly Heating: How to Stay Warm Without Fossil Fuels – EcoWatch


Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

“Buildings can be powered in a climate-neutral way, and that’s possible worldwide with renewable energies,” he told DW, adding that a crucial factor is to make buildings more efficient so no energy is wasted.

“With good insulation and ventilation systems, it’s possible to achieve energy savings — compared to conventional buildings — of 80-90% in new buildings and 75-80% through energy-efficient renovation in old buildings.”

Source: Climate-Friendly Heating: How to Stay Warm Without Fossil Fuels – EcoWatch

Joe Biden’s Plan to Rescue U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump


By nearly every measure, the credibility and influence of the United States in the world have diminished since President Barack Obama and I left office on January 20, 2017. President Donald Trump has belittled, undermined, and in some cases abandoned U.S. allies and partners. He has turned on our own intelligence professionals, diplomats, and troops. He has emboldened our adversaries and squandered our leverage to contend with national security challenges from North Korea to Iran, from Syria to Afghanistan to Venezuela, with practically nothing to show for it. He has launched ill-advised trade wars, against the United States’ friends and foes alike, that are hurting the American middle class. He has abdicated American leadership in mobilizing collective action to meet new threats, especially those unique to this century. Most profoundly, he has turned away from the democratic values that give strength to our nation and unify us as a people.

Meanwhile, the global challenges facing the United States—from climate change and mass migration to technological disruption and infectious diseases—have grown more complex and more urgent, while the rapid advance of authoritarianism, nationalism, and illiberalism has undermined our ability to collectively meet them.

Democracies—paralyzed by hyperpartisanship, hobbled by corruption, weighed down by extreme inequality—are having a harder time delivering for their people. Trust in democratic institutions is down. Fear of the Other is up. And the international system that the United States so carefully constructed is coming apart at the seams. Trump and demagogues around the world are leaning into these forces for their own personal and political gain.

The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world. But this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.

First and foremost, we must repair and reinvigorate our own democracy, even as we strengthen the coalition of democracies that stand with us around the world. The United States’ ability to be a force for progress in the world and to mobilize collective action starts at home.

But democracy is not just the foundation of American society. It is also the wellspring of our power. It strengthens and amplifies our leadership to keep us safe in the world. It is the engine of our ingenuity that drives our economic prosperity. It is the heart of who we are and how we see the world—and how the world sees us. It allows us to self-correct and keep striving to reach our ideals over time.

As a nation, we have to prove to the world that the United States is prepared to lead again—not just with the example of our power but also with the power of our example. To that end, as president, I will take decisive steps to renew our core values. I will immediately reverse the Trump administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border; end Trump’s detrimental asylum policies; terminate the travel ban; order a review of Temporary Protected Status, for vulnerable populations; and set our annual refugee admissions at 125,000, and seek to raise it over time, commensurate with our responsibility and our values.

I will reaffirm the ban on torture and restore greater transparency in U.S. military operations, including policies instituted during the Obama-Biden administration to reduce civilian casualties. I will restore a government-wide focus on lifting up women and girls around the world. And I will ensure that the White House is once again the great defender—not the chief assailant—of the core pillars and institutions of our democratic values, from respecting freedom of the press, to protecting and securing the sacred right to vote, to upholding judicial independence. These changes are just a start, a day-one down payment on our commitment to living up to democratic values at home.”

I will also take steps to tackle the self-dealing, conflicts of interest, dark money, and rank corruption that are serving narrow, private, or foreign agendas and undermining our democracy. That starts by fighting for a constitutional amendment to completely eliminate private dollars from federal elections.

During my first year in office, the United States will organize and host a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world. It will bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda.’

Economic security is national security. Our trade policy has to start at home, by strengthening our greatest asset—our middle class—and making sure that everyone can share in the success of the country, no matter one’s race, gender, zip code, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. That will require enormous investments in our infrastructure—broadband, highways, rail, the energy grid, smart cities—and in education.

I will make investment in research and development a cornerstone of my presidency, so that the United States is leading the charge in innovation. There is no reason we should be falling behind China or anyone else when it comes to clean energy, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, high-speed rail, or the race to end cancer as we know it. We have the greatest research universities in the world. We have a strong tradition of the rule of law.

The wrong thing to do is to put our heads in the sand and say no more trade deals. Countries will trade with or without the United States. The question is, Who writes the rules that govern trade? Who will make sure they protect workers, the environment, transparency, and middle-class wages? The United States, not China, should be leading that effort.

China represents a special challenge. I have spent many hours with its leaders, and I understand what we are up against. China is playing the long game by extending its global reach, promoting its own political model, and investing in the technologies of the future. Meanwhile, Trump has designated imports from the United States’ closest allies—from Canada to the European Union—as national security threats in order to impose damaging and reckless tariffs. By cutting us off from the economic clout of our partners, Trump has kneecapped our country’s capacity to take on the real economic threat.

The United States does need to get tough with China. If China has its way, it will keep robbing the United States and American companies of their technology and intellectual property. It will also keep using subsidies to give its state-owned enterprises an unfair advantage—and a leg up on dominating the technologies and industries of the future.

The world does not organize itself. For 70 years, the United States, under Democratic and Republican presidents, played a leading role in writing the rules, forging the agreements, and animating the institutions that guide relations among nations and advance collective security and prosperity—until Trump. If we continue his abdication of that responsibility, then one of two things will happen: either someone else will take the United States’ place, but not in a way that advances our interests and values, or no one will, and chaos will ensue. Either way, that’s not good for America.

We can be strong and smart at the same time. There is a big difference between large-scale, open-ended deployments of tens of thousands of American combat troops, which must end, and using a few hundred Special Forces soldiers and intelligence assets to support local partners against a common enemy. Those smaller-scale missions are sustainable militarily, economically, and politically, and they advance the national interest.

Yet diplomacy should be the first instrument of American power.

Diplomacy also requires credibility, and Trump has shattered ours. In the conduct of foreign policy, and especially in times of crisis, a nation’s word is its most valuable asset. By pulling out of treaty after treaty, reneging on policy after policy, walking away from U.S. responsibilities, and lying about matters big and small, Trump has bankrupted the United States’ word in the world.

He has also alienated the United States from the very democratic allies it needs most. He has taken a battering ram to the NATO alliance, treating it like an American-run protection racket.

In order to regain the confidence of the world, we are going to have to prove that the United States says what it means and means what it says. This is especially important when it comes to the challenges that will define our time: climate change, the renewed threat of nuclear war, and disruptive technology.

The United States must lead the world to take on the existential threat we face—climate change. If we don’t get this right, nothing else will matter.

We must once more harness that power and rally the free world to meet the challenges facing the world today. It falls to the United States to lead the way. No other nation has that capacity. No other nation is built on that idea.

We have to champion liberty and democracy, reclaim our credibility, and look with unrelenting optimism and determination toward our future.

Source: Joe Biden’s Plan to Rescue U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump

Here’s How Good Liars Get Away With It | Research Digest


Being able to get away with a few white lies can be a useful skill. Giving your boss a plausible explanation as to why you’re late to work, for example, can be fairly handy — why do they have to know you just pressed snooze a few too many times?

Some of us get better results than others, of course, when we tell fibs. But those who think they’re better at lying than average seem to have a few things in common, according to new research published in PLOS One.

To understand what makes a good liar, Brianna Verigin from Maastricht University and colleagues surveyed 194 participants on their lying habits.

Source: Here’s How Good Liars Get Away With It – Research Digest

The voice of sadness is censored as sick. What if it’s sane? | Aeon Essays


The reason for my depression was a breakup. But what led to depression was not so much the reaction to our split, but the realization that the one you believed loved you, who was closest to you and promised to be with you forever, had turned out to be someone else, a stranger indifferent to your pain.

I discovered that this loving person was an illusion. The past became meaningless, and the future ceased to exist. The world itself wasn’t credible any more.

In that state of depression, I found the attitude of others changed dramatically. Depression is not particularly tolerated in society, and I realized that those around me were of two persuasions.

One group of people wanted to fix me, telling me to pull myself together or recommending professional help. The other group tended to shun me like a leper.

In hindsight, I understand this reaction: after all, I had become cynical, agnostic and pessimistic, and I hadn’t bothered to be polite.

Source: The voice of sadness is censored as sick. What if it’s sane? | Aeon Essays

It May Not Feel Like Anything To Be an Alien | Nautilus


What we are only beginning to realize is that these two forms of superhuman intelligence—alien and artificial—may not be so distinct.

The technological developments we are witnessing today may have all happened before, elsewhere in the universe. The transition from biological to synthetic intelligence may be a general pattern, instantiated over and over, throughout the cosmos. The universe’s greatest intelligences may be postbiological, having grown out of civilizations that were once biological. (This is a view I share with Paul Davies, Steven Dick, Martin Rees, and Seth Shostak, among others.)

To judge from the human experience—the only example we have—the transition from biological to postbiological may take only a few hundred years.

Source: It May Not Feel Like Anything To Be an Alien – Issue 80: Aliens – Nautilus

We Consistently Overestimate How Much Other People Will Enjoy Or Pay For Stuff | Research Digest


This, it turns out, is a classic example of a bias, dubbed the overestimation bias, revealed in a new paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

In a series of studies involving thousands of participants, Minah Jung at New York University and colleagues found that we over-estimate how much other people will enjoy, pay for or wait for a desirable experience or object.

The team thinks this is because while we can appreciate that a predominantly positive experience may have some downsides for us personally, we tend to assume that for somebody else, it will be more purely perfect.

Source: We Consistently Overestimate How Much Other People Will Enjoy Or Pay For Stuff – Research Digest

Does the Dallas Market Center Have the Solution to Design Center Woes? | Architectural Digest


Sensing an opportunity, the Dallas Market Center is rebranding itself as a lifestyle center that can serve its community with a broad range of merchandise, from rugs to room scents.

“Whether it’s Aerin Lauder or Michelle Nussbaumer, designers are now style experts for all areas of living and entertaining,” says Cindy Morris, president and CEO of the Dallas Market Center.

“These projects require furnishings, kitchen items, linens, floral arrangements, seasonal decor, and gifts—making our marketplace a perfect one-stop solution.”

The DMC houses more than one million square feet of permanent home furnishings showrooms that are open daily.

Source: Does the Dallas Market Center Have the Solution to Design Center Woes? | Architectural Digest