Best Of The Web
“I won’t presume to know your family or your friend group, but I’m willing to bet there’s a decent chance that at least one person you know doesn’t believe that the Earth is curved. Instead they argue, with either a mountain of plausible-sounding statements or just vague deflections about government secrets and conspiracies, that the Earth is flat. That orbits are an illusion. That astronomy is a lie. That the truth is hidden.
What are you to do, with your science-loving heart and evidence-based thinking? The natural thing, of course, is to argue. To lay it out. The puzzle pieces, one by one. To convince.
But wait, how do you know that the Earth is round? Well, you’ve seen pictures from space. Lots of curves going on. But you didn’t take the pictures yourself. You haven’t seen the Earth with your own eyes. And even if you did, aren’t we taught since elementary school that our senses deceive us, lie to us, misrepresent the world to us? Isn’t that what makes science so powerful, because it moves past (or at least implacably grinds through) human weaknesses?”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"China’s Hydrogen economy Is coming: The world’s electric-vehicle king is seeking leadership in fuel cells, too. Investors are probably right to be excited."
"It would be the height of naivete to believe the book is closed. Democrats on Capitol Hill are not just going to take the attorney general's conclusions and move on to new things."
"Netanyahu has brazenly allied himself with Trump’s Administration and his family (including the cryptic peace negotiator, Jared Kushner, whose family he has known for years), as well as with the Republican Party and Republican funders..."
"Us is stranger than Get Out, with deeper philosophical undercurrents flowing through it. The rabbit that greets you at the movie’s start is an invitation. Will you follow, like Alice in her Wonderland?"
"Democrats and Republicans seem to have irreconcilable views on economics, but on one point they agree: Small business is better than big."
"Sanctuary, a digital astrology start-up backed by $1.5 million in venture capital, made the considered decision to launch its service on Wednesday — the dawn of the new astrological year, when Pisces gives way to Aries in the astral cycle."
"It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance: an architectural practice that puts the commodifiable image above all else, including the social good..."
"Apartment Therapy posted a photo to Instagram of a bookshelf with the spines facing inward, and the dramatic response — dozens of users denouncing the trend as anti-intellectual, even comparing it to book-burning ..."
"Perhaps it is time to add parenting to the growing list of “replacement religions” competing for our attention and currency these days, a list that already includes workism and politics."
"Only a fraction of the world’s yeast species have been discovered. The ones still out there could revolutionize health care, green energy, and beer."
"We’ve recently fixated on expunging “fake news” but the medical world also has its charlatans. The snake-oil salespeople, masquerading as health professionals, are naturopaths."
"...should we continue to teach thinkers like Kant, Voltaire and Hume without mention of the harmful prejudices they helped legitimize?"