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Showing posts from November, 2015

Sam Harris: The ‘Salon’ Interview

"I consider Salon to be among the worst offenders of the new pseudo-journalism, and I have long maintained a personal boycott of the website. I ask my publishers to ignore any requests from its editors for interviews or for review copies of my books. And on the rare occasions that Salon publishes good work—the articles of Jeffrey Tayler stand out—I decline to forward the links on social media. My reason is simple: Despite the work of a few blameless writers, Salon has become a cesspool of lies and moral confusion."

-Sam Harris


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Can venting angrily on the Internet lead to heart disease? | Skeptic.com

Can venting angrily on the Internet lead to heart disease? In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris discusses some research that points to a significant correlation between our negative language patterns (such as anger, hatred, and aggression) and health risks such as heart disease.

Dr. Carol Tavris is a social psychologist and coauthor, with Elliot Aronson, of Mistakes Were Made (but not by ME).



The story that follows is prehistoric. It involves a once-famous columnist, a letter (the written kind), the U.S. post office, an apology, and a moral.

The columnist was Russell Baker, who had written an essay that I, in my self-righteous gadfly-in-training youth, regarded as a sarcastic dismissal of what was then called women’s liberation—the movement for mere improvements in education, work, family life, reproductive rights, and so forth. These issues were important to me, so I wrote him a letter, full of what I thought were equally sarcastic, witty put-downs. I failed to sleep on it overn…

Still Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon | Sam Harris

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris reflects on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Deep In The Amazon, An Unseen Battle Over The Most Valuable Trees | NPR

In this part of the Amazon rain forest, they call it "the war over wood." It has front lines.
One of them is here, in Machadinho d'Oeste in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia.

The self-described "Guardians of the Forest" defending the land don't look like fighters, at least when we first meet them. But they are pitting themselves against criminal logging gangs that have infiltrated their protected reserves.

In their everyday life, they are rubber tappers. They take us on a trail that leads to their rubber trees, which grow wild on the reserves where they live. These trees are native to the Amazon region, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be an environmental defender.

Tappers milk the trees for their sap by cutting them and collecting what comes out in small metal buckets. It's what natural rubber is made from, and it's completely sustainable. As long as the trees live, they can be used this way.
http://www.npr.org/2015/11/04/4…

Poll Finds Americans, Especially Millennials, Moving Away From Religion | NPR

Religion is apparently weakening in America. A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, pray daily and attend church regularly is declining.

Among the findings:
The share of Americans who say they are "absolutely certain" that God exists has dropped 8 percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made.The percentage of adults who describe themselves as "religiously affiliated" has shrunk 6 points since 2007, from 83 percent to 77 percent.The shares of the U.S. adult population who consider religion "very important" to them, pray daily and attend services at least once a month have declined between 3 and 4 percentage points over the past eight years The shift is small but statistically significant, according to the authors, given that the changes have taken place in a relatively short period of time, and the survey sample is large enough (…