November 7, 2018 in 1,863 words

Is There A Cure For Hate?

Pictured above: Taly Kogon and her son Leo, 10, listen to speakers during an interfaith vigil against anti-Semitism and hate at the Holocaust Memorial late last month in Miami Beach, Fla.


For months prior to the recent shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, suspect Robert Bowers spewed venomous bigotry, hatred and conspiracies online, especially against Jews and immigrants. During the Oct. 27 attack, according to a federal indictment, he said he wanted “to kill Jews.”

He is charged with 44 counts — including hate crimes — for the murder of 11 people and wounding of six others at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue.

The attack follows a spike in anti-Semitic incidents, concerns about the rise in domestic extremism and calls for politicians to rethink their anti-immigrant rhetoric.

We wanted to know what programs, if any, are effective in getting violent and violence-prone far-right extremists in America to cast aside their racist beliefs and abandon their hate-filled ways.

Here are five key takeaways


Google’s top US Election Day search is in Spanish: “Dónde votar”

DONDE VOTAR


Vote.

American voters are heading to the polls today headed to the polls yesterday, and Google has reported that its most popular search term isn’t “where to vote” in English. Instead, the Spanish “dónde votar” is the top trending search, according to the company’s Twitter account.

As Quartz has previously written, a record number of Latinos are eligible to vote this year. And surveys suggest that they are eager to vote in the midterms, due in part to negative outlooks on financial wellness and increasing discrimination.

While Google reports that traffic for the term has increased 3,350%, it’s difficult to know the actual size of the public searching where to vote. For example, that growth could be achieved by 1 search last week that shot up to 3,350 searches today (although that’s highly unlikely) or 1,000 searches rising to 3,350,000.

While search traffic reported by Google Trends is incomplete for the day, previous interest in “donde votar” was high during the 2010 midterms and the 2016 elections.


How Bill Gates Aims to Save $233 Billion by Reinventing the Toilet

• Gates Foundation spent $200 million funding toilet research
• IXIL is among companies drawn to potential $6 billion market

Bill Gates thinks toilets are a serious business, and he’s betting big that a reinvention of this most essential of conveniences can save a half million lives and deliver $200 billion-plus in savings.

The billionaire philanthropist, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spent $200 million over seven years funding sanitation research, showcased some 20 novel toilet and sludge-processing designs that eliminate harmful pathogens and convert bodily waste into clean water and fertilizer.

“The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years,” Gates, 63, told the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing on Tuesday.

Holding a beaker of human excreta that, Gates said, contained as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder explained to a 400-strong crowd that new approaches for sterilizing human waste may help end almost 500,000 infant deaths and save $233 billion annually in costs linked to diarrhea, cholera and other diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene.


The 5 Dumbest Lies Ever Told By US Presidents (Before Trump)

You can’t reach the White House without being a fantastic liar. While the dude currently squatting there probably holds the record for the most straight-up, shameless, objectively dumb lies ever told by a sitting president, he doesn’t have a monopoly in that department. Other presidents and would-be presidents have been caught telling some pretty ridiculous lies that might even make the current guy shake his head … or start taking notes.

5. Ronald Reagan Kept Insisting That Stories He’d Seen Or Heard In Media Had Happened To Him


As both candidate and president, Ronald Reagan liked to recount the heart-wrenching tale of a B-17 commander who chose to go down with his plane (and a wounded crewman) rather than jump to safety. The dramatic hook which Reagan loved to deliver went like this: “He took the boy’s hand and said, ‘Never mind, son, we’ll ride it down together.’ Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously awarded.” A beautiful story, but uh, why would Reagan know the details of a plane crash no one survived? Probably because that’s a scene from 1944’s A Wing And A Prayer.

Another time, Reagan told the prime minister of Israel that he’d been part of the liberation of a concentration camp, when in reality he’d only seen film of the event. (His military service never even took him outside the U.S., thanks to his poor eyesight.) But no biggie! It was only lying about the Holocaust. To the Israeli prime minister.

Reagan even lied about how good of a liar he was. At a Baseball Hall of Fame luncheon, he recalled the time he was working as a baseball broadcaster and the wire relaying him the events of the game stopped working, so he improvised a bunch of imaginary plays until the problem was fixed. Of course, by “baseball” he meant “football,” and by “himself” he meant “Walter Cronkite,” who’d recently told him that story.


Researchers created an artificial society to find the causes of religious conflict

MANY GREAT SCHISMS


What causes religious conflict?

To understand religious warfare, you could study the hundreds of historical or ongoing world conflicts that center on religion. Or you could program an AI to mimic human psychology and generate artificial societies, and then run it millions of times under different variables.

That’s what a team of researchers from Oxford University, Boston University, and the University of Agder-Norway did, in a study published last week in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. The group drew on theories from cognitive psychology to create AI agents that would mimic human behavior, including identification with a particular religion and alignment with group identity. After programing the agents with different ages and ethnicities, and running it millions of times, they found that conflict most often occurs when a majority religious group constitutes around 60% of the population, and a minority group makes up 40%.

“Our work shows that given two xenophobic groups that are close to equal in size, and where individuals from one group can regularly encounter others from the opposite group, prolonged periods of mutually escalating anxiety can occur,” says Ross Gore, a professor at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center at Old Dominion University. In these anxious periods, people tend to “use religion as a calming mechanism,” Gore says, which leads communities to become more religious. And people are more prone to violence and anxiety when their sense of individual identity is tied up with a group, and that group is then insulted or attacked by outsiders.

One of the researchers, LeRon Shults, a professor at the University of Agder, says he was surprised at how little violence there was. Overall, the model led to conflict in just under 25% of the scenarios.


Dead man shocks family by returning home two months after his funeral

A family was stunned when a man they had been mourning turned up at home two months after his funeral.


Aigali Supugaliev poses with his own tombstone plate.

Ironically, Aigali Supugaliev’s niece ‘almost collapsed with a heart attack’ when she saw her ‘dead’ uncle alive and healthy.

The 63-year-old had been reported missing from his home in Tomarly, Kazakhstan on July 9.

Two months later, a DNA test on a decomposed corpse near his home found a 99.92% likelihood it was Mr Supugaliev – the highest probability the test could give.

In fact, without telling his family the missing man had taken up a four-month job on a distant farm.

After his relatives held a funeral and buried the remains, he returned home – later posing with his own gravestone.

His brother Esengali Supugaliev said: ‘When Aigali came home alive and healthy, my daughter Saule, seeing her ‘dead’ uncle, almost collapsed with a heart attack.


Video Goodnesses
and not-so-goodnesses

The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, adding several women to their ranks. The party now has the power to investigate President Trump. Here’s how else Democrats may challenge the president.


New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker explains how America’s toxic political discourse predates President Trump and why people should aspire to more than merely tolerating each other.

THANKS to Comedy Central and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for making this program available to embed.


With Democrats taking the House and Republicans holding on to the Senate, Stephen can’t figure out if he’s supposed to be feeling happy, sad or… everything?

THANKS to CBS and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for making this program available on YouTube.


Seth takes a closer look at Democrats winning back control of the House of Representatives tonight for the first time in eight years, putting Trump’s agenda in serious danger.

THANKS to NBC and Late Night with Seth Meyers for making this program available on YouTube.

The Beaverton- it’s exactly like all your other CTV favourites!


Are the Democrats learning from their mistakes?

THANKS to CTV and The Beaverton for making this program available on YouTube.



FINALLY . . .

There is no such thing as old age

💯


Flexible working.


The term “old age” evokes images that are variously heartwarming—a grandmother knitting by a fire, say—and pity-inducing: A man with a walking stick trying to cross a busy road. Both are hopelessly outdated, argued a panel that convened in London this week to discuss how radically we need to rethink the later part of life, in a world where people routinely live to 100 and are working into their 70s, 80s, or 90s.

Longer life is becoming part of the fabric of society across the world. One consequence is a rise in the number of very old people in need of support from families, institutions, and the state. Health problems for this age group can be compounded by social problems, like loneliness. But the prevailing theme at The Longevity Forum, a conference hosted by the Wellcome Collection, was not about combating isolation, or filling the later part of life with leisure and relaxation. Rather, panelists and speakers argued that if a 60-year-old potentially has 40 years of life left to live, then consigning them to a bracket traditionally reserved for people with infirmities and in need of care makes no sense at all.

It’s a mistake to keep telling ourselves a story about how “old age” equals infirmity, suggested Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100 Year Life. “What occurs to me time and time again is that we need to try and get a new narrative about the life course,” Scott said. “Trying to get people talking about it at an early stage, trying to think about the whole life course, I think is the key thing.”

The 100 Year Life Panel—as it was called—talked mostly about the vast possibilities associated with a group of older people who have built up skills through a long working life and achieved plenty in their careers, but who have energy for new challenges.


Ed. More tomorrow? Probably. Possibly. Maybe. Not?