The World According to Starburst

Philosophers have pondered the mysteries of humanity for millennia. Any conundrum you can imagine has been covered in countless ways, many of them contradictory.

One of the most popular is the link between pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering.

The Mars Corporation has weighed in on this timeless topic, and they show the need for suffering to enhance pleasure through their Starburst offering.

Let’s explore their ideas.

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How about a three-quarters measure?

Last week, Soft-Core Sophistry implored the slacktivist community to not take any half measures in their quest to defeat intolerance toward the gay marriage issue.

In doing so, we suggested some of the obvious targets: anyone who donated money to California’s Proposition 8 (former Mozilla CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich’s sin), anyone who voted for Proposition 8, and anyone who voted for president before 2012, as every president in U.S. history was against gay marriage.

But now a juicier target has presented itself: OkCupid co-founder and current CEO Sam Yagan. Continue reading

No half measures

For years now, people have tried to affect change in the world without doing much of anything, such as changing their Facebook profile picture to bring awareness to child abuse, or posting videos of Joseph Kony to bring awareness to the terrors he has inflicted.

This “slacktivism” has done little except make the person feel good about their action, which can lead to less actual positive contributions later.[1]

But now slacktivists have caught their white whale: they forced Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich to step down as CEO. Continue reading

Preventing the nation from being caught in a poverty trap

Like all good-thinking Americans, I’ve always considered the food stamp program to be a terrible burden on this country. It forces the nation’s poor into a poverty trap and puts a serious strain on the country’s taxpayers.

That’s why I applauded when Congress came to a bipartisan agreement in January that would cut food stamp benefits by up to $90 a month for around 850,000 families, on top of the $36 a month cuts (the average for a family of four) from November.

But now new information is coming out that shows there might be a cost to these cuts.

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Ears are the new gateways to the soul

Scientists have made a recent discovery that puts our privacy at even greater risk.

The next time you throw away a used Q-Tip, just know you’re giving the NSA details about yourself you never thought possible.

Like how gross you are.

Like how gross you are.

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The War on Germs

Ever since the germ theory of illness was confirmed, man has been trying to eradicate the pesky buggers. One of the ways us common folk have tried to fight germs is through the use of antibacterial soap.

Science for years has tried to take this weapon out of the plebe’s hands by saying it creates superbacteria that are resistant to the antibacterial properties. They also say it kills the good germs that live on our skin, making room for bad germs, and that it is no more effective than regular soap and water. They even have the audacity to claim that it doesn’t prevent people from getting sick, since most illnesses are caused by viruses (virii?), which antibacterial soaps don’t affect.

That hasn’t been working. About half all liquid and bar soaps sold in the United States have some sort of germicidal agent. The most common chemical dedicated to killing germs in soaps is triclosan, and Big Science has latched onto that in their latest attack on those outside their ivory tower. Continue reading

The Simple Joy of Pushing a Hoop with a Stick

The Federal Trade Commission recently levied a $35.2 million fine against Apple, following complaints that the company didn’t do enough to warn parents about the potential problems with some of their apps.

Most notably, when their child was playing a game, a parent would enter a password to let their kid buy something in the game, but were not told that password would remain valid for 15 minutes, allowing the child to make continuous in-game purchases for that entire time. According to one of the complaints filed, a kid playing the game Pet Hotel ran up a bill of $2,600 before those 15 minutes expired. Continue reading