Newcomb's Paradox

Suppose you are invited to play a game. You are shown two boxes. The first box is open and contains a thousand dollars. The second box is closed. You are told that it contains either a million dollars or nothing. You can choose to take home either the contents of the closed box, or the contents of both boxes. You cannot open the box until you make your choice.

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Wrong about Trump

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President last summer by claiming most immigrants were drug dealers and rapists, few political experts thought he would be relevant when voting began. The New York Daily News called him a clown.

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How to Label a Terrorist

There's no question that the GOP presidential hopefuls are worried about ISIS. From the sixth primary debate earlier this month, in which ISIS was mentioned 38 times, to Sarah Palin's rambling endorsement last week of Donald Trump, in which she promised Trump would send U.S.

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Are American Christians Persecuted?

The roots of the modern Religious Right persecution complex run deep, right back to the beginning of Christianity. Jesus often warned his first followers that they would face hardship, and would even be persecuted by people who didn't understand their mission.

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Why Do People Support Donald Trump?

In an article for Politico, Matthew MacWilliams of the University of Massachusetts, Amhearst, describes the results of polling data he released last month. MacWilliams included an extra set of questions in his poll.

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Weekend Reads 1/16/16

Juniper drops NSA-developed code following new backdoor revelations

Juniper Networks, which last month made the startling announcement its NetScreen line of firewalls contained unauthorized code that can surreptitiously decrypt traffic sent through virtual private networks, said it will remove a National Security Agency-developed function widely suspected of also containing a backdoor for eavesdropping.

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We Can't Avoid GMOs

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) safe to eat? If you ask the American public, an overwhelming majority will say no. But limit the poll to scientists, and an even more overwhelming majority will say yes. 

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Weekend Reads 1/9/16

Giving money away makes us happy. Then why do so few of us do it?

We find a strong and highly consistent association between generous practices and various measures of personal well-being like happiness, health, a sense of purpose in life, and personal growth. In our book we discuss the various causal mechanisms that produce this association. While greater well-being can encourage generosity, practices of generosity also enhance well-being.

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