The Happy Neuron
Stimulating articles to make your brain happy. http://thehappyneuron.com/
Ayn Rand Was a Dangerous, Pseudo-Intellectual Piece of Garbage
Every now and then, a politician will make the unfortunate choice of quoting Ayn Rand because they found a statement that seemingly supports individualism, small government, personal responsibility, or a strong work ethic. However, what they don’t realize is that beyond a few clever soundbites, Ayn Rand was not only a despicable person but she pushed a dangerous philosophy that has been laughed at by philosophers since its inception. Her only supporters today are those that haven’t read her work beyond surface level or are equally despicable.
Faster Than Light and the Big Rip
Way back in 1638, Galileo tried to measure the speed of light. He stood on one mountain top, and his assistant stood on another. Galileo uncovered his lantern, and when his assistant saw the flash, he uncovered his. Galileo believed he could time how long it would take for the returning light to reach him. Needless to say, it didn’t work, and he concluded that light “if not instantaneous, is extraordinarily rapid.”
Happiness Is Created, Not Found
In the 2006 film, “The Pursuit of Happyness” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), Will Smith’s character is a poor, unhappy salesman. Through hard work and a bit of luck, he lands a high paying job as a stockbroker, is then able to afford everything he wants, and therefore becomes happy. It’s the same old premise: external stimuli make you happy. We’ve seen it in countless other stories, and it shapes most of our lives.
Are Mandatory Vaccinations Unconstitutional?
Pew Research Center just released an alarming statistic: “About four-in-ten (39%) say they definitely or probably would not get a coronavirus vaccine.” Participants in this study said their refusal was based on mistrust of science, mistrust of government, and the belief that they are an exception, due to their personal health and hygiene practices.
Trump’s Pardons Are the Most Corrupt of Any President
Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution gives the president the power to grant “Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” The only limitation on this power is that it only applies to federal crimes, not state crimes. Because of this, Trump wasn’t able to pardon former senior advisor Steve Bannon for state level fraud charges in his We Build the Wall Campaign, yet he was allowed to pardon ally Roger Stone for lying to Congress and six other felony charges.
Inside the Strange, Dangerous Mind of an American Fascist
The word “fascist” gets thrown around a lot these days by both liberals and conservatives, though few use it correctly. Fascist movements, though, have been studied for decades, and this word has specific meaning.
You’re Being Lied to: Environmental Regulation Actually Boosts the Economy
It seems like common knowledge that government regulations are burdensome for companies. In many cases, this is true, as regulations create obstacles for businesses, which limits their output and requires more resources to overcome. Many free-market advocates echo this sentiment when they talk about “reducing government red tape” and wanting “smaller government.” They see it as a tug-o-war between private industry and government.
The President Isn’t Supposed to Be This Powerful
The powers of the president are clearly listed in Article II of the Constitution. It’s surprisingly short and specifically gives the president the power to command the armed forces, enforce the laws created by Congress, veto legislation, convene/adjourn Congress, receive ambassadors, grant pardons, enter into treaties, appoint employees to federal agencies, and appoint judges. The last 3, though, are supposed to need Senate approval.
Naïve Realism Explains Why Politics Is So Polarized and Toxic
In 1954, researchers showed students from Dartmouth and Princeton a football match between their schools. They saw the same footage, yet they couldn’t agree on what they saw. Each side was more likely to notice the other team’s fouls and bad behavior and more likely to miss their own team’s. Both groups felt the referees favored the other team and were biased against theirs. Their perceptions of objective reality differed because they were on different teams and all were confident they were correct.
Why Is the Night Sky Dark? The Profound Solution to Olbers’ Paradox
Although it’s now attributed to Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, a 19th century German astronomer and physician, this paradox has perplexed people for centuries. Numerous well-known people have tried to unravel it, including Kepler, Lord Kelvin, and even Edgar Allan Poe, but it wasn’t until the advent of modern cosmology that we figured it out.
Rocketing Towards the Dreaded Kessler Syndrome
On 15 October 2020, scientists watched in fear as a 16-foot long inoperative Russian navigation satellite and part of a 25-foot long Chinese rocket whizzed passed each other at 33,000 miles an hour, more than 600 miles above the southern Atlantic Ocean. Had they collided, the debris cloud would’ve been large enough to put every other spacecraft and satellite in low Earth orbit at risk.
Isaac Asimov Was Dead Right About Our Cult of Ignorance
Asimov said this in his rarely published 1980 Newsweek piece “The Cult of Ignorance.” Although it was a relatively short essay, it was meant as a warning against the dangers of a growing anti-intellectualism tide in the US, and in the post-Trump era, his words are more poignant today than when he wrote them.