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Weekend Reads 4/27/19

The End Of Empathy

Breithaupt is alarmed at the apparent new virus of selective empathy and how it's deepening divisions. If we embrace it, he says, then "basically you give up on civil society at that point. You give up on democracy. Because if you feed into this division more and you let it happen, it will become so strong that it becomes dangerous."

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How Climate Science Became a Political Issue

There was a time when "environmentalism" was known as "conservation", a word that shares a root with "conservative". It was Richard Nixon who created the EPA by executive order. Ronald Reagan approved the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. And Britain's Margaret Thatcher first warned us of the perils of runaway greenhouse gas pollution, also known as climate change.

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Weekend Reads 4/13/19

Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at the same time

Potassium, too, has been subjected to much experimental scrutiny. When compressed to similar extremes, its atoms arrange themselves into an elaborate formation—five cylindrical tubes organized into an X shape, with four long chains sitting in the crooks of this assembly, almost like two separate and non-intertwining materials.

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How Do We Know the Shape of the Earth?

In the early 2000s, Thomas Friedman examined the effects of globalization and published his ideas in a book titled The World Is Flat. He meant it metaphorically, arguing in part that the information revolution enabled skilled workers in Malaysia or India to compete for jobs formerly held by first-world workers, and technologies such as cell phones and internet connectivity enabled them to work these jobs without leaving their home countries.

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The National Popular Vote

The National Popular Vote movement aims to bypass the electoral college by encouraging states to pass legislation requiring their electoral votes to go to the winner of the national popular vote rather than the state's own popular vote. This provision would not kick in until states totaling a majority of the 538 electoral votes had signed on. The movement has gotten bills passed in 13 states with 181 electoral votes so far.

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