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Xavier Antoviaque
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Community geek

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"Drawing on data from the European and World Values Surveys, the researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a “good” or “very good” thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.

That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed. The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed."

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"In the United States, Britain and across the European Continent, people are convulsed with political frustration and anxiety about the future. Refugees and migrants clamor for the chance to live in these safe, prosperous countries, but those who already live in those promised lands report great uneasiness about their own futures that seems to border on hopelessness. Why?"

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“Hear the Biography, not the ideology. ” 

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English version:

"Si la France a intégré beaucoup d’étrangers et leurs descendants, ceux qu’elle a laissés en marge sont plus aigris que leurs congénères allemands ou anglais : Nombreux d’entre eux se sentent offensés dans leur identité arabe ou musulmane. La laïcité, si inflexible, semble dénier leur dignité. A cela s’ajoute une politique étrangère française musclée qui semble privilégier pour cibles des pays musulmans comme la Libye, la Syrie ou le Mali.

"Le système d’intégration français est généreux dans ses principes mais trop rigide dans sa pratique. Les réalités de la société française aujourd’hui exigent une approche plus pragmatique et plus souple, avec moins de diktats idéologiques et moins d’anxiété face à la pluralité. La France n’est plus ce qu’elle était et il est temps qu’elle se fasse à cette idée."

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"When you cross a busy intersection or pore over a spreadsheet, you are depleting finite reserves of voluntary, directed attention. The antidote is not, as one might first guess, to sit quietly in a darkened room.

“The environment has to have some kind of stimulation to activate your involuntary attention—your fascination,” Berman said. Urban environments can certainly elicit involuntary attention (honking horns in Times Square), but they do so in a harsh, peremptory way that requires voluntary attention to override.

Natural environments, on the other hand, provide what Berman calls “softly fascinating stimulation.” Your eye is captured by the shape of a branch, a ripple in the water; your mind follows."

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Richard Feynman talking about the beauty science adds to the world. Beautiful!

See for the rest of the series.

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“Compare the response to Hurricane Katrina,” Harris suggested, with “the response to the 9/11 act of terrorism.” For many Americans, the men who hijacked those planes are the embodiment of criminals who freely choose to do evil. But if we give up our notion of free will, then their behavior must be viewed like any other natural phenomenon—and this, Harris believes, would make us much more rational in our response.

Although the scale of the two catastrophes was similar, the reactions were wildly different. Nobody was striving to exact revenge on tropical storms or declare a War on Weather, so responses to Katrina could simply focus on rebuilding and preventing future disasters. The response to 9/11, Harris argues, was clouded by outrage and the desire for vengeance, and has led to the unnecessary loss of countless more lives. Harris is not saying that we shouldn’t have reacted at all to 9/11, only that a coolheaded response would have looked very different and likely been much less wasteful. “Hatred is toxic,” he told me, “and can destabilize individual lives and whole societies. Losing belief in free will undercuts the rationale for ever hating anyone.”

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"Basic income is an idea that's been talked about for decades and is currently being hotly debated around the globe, but it's never actually been fully tried and tested. So we're going to do it and study it."

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"An enormous corruption investigation, known as Operação Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash, has exploded in the political system’s face. At first, when the investigation began in 2014, investigators accused members of Ms. Rousseff’s left-wing Workers Party of using Petrobras, the state-run oil company, to trade kickbacks for political favors.

There is more and more evidence that this kind of practice was common among Brazilian political parties. The investigation has expanded to include a host of figures across the political spectrum, including roughly 50 politicians and a handful of business leaders.

Unlike many Brazilian politicians, Ms. Rousseff isn’t accused of taking bribes or trading cash for favors.


The crisis brought on by the Operation Car Wash scandals should have been part of Brazil’s painful — and extraordinary — process of establishing a functioning judiciary and fighting corruption. But Ms. Rousseff’s fall is not the logical conclusion of that happy story. Far from being the dawn of a new era, it may very well turn out to be the way the old political class reasserts control over the country — and escapes jail."
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