Sigal Samuel
Sigal Samuel
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India’s massive, scary new detention camps, explained

India’s massive, scary new detention camps, explained

What would you do if the country you were born in, or the country you’ve lived in for decades, suddenly announced you had to prove your citizenship or else face detention and deportation? This is the situation nearly 2 million people — most of them Muslims, some of them Hindus of Bengali origin — now find themselves in, because their names do not appear on India’s National Register of Citizens (NRC). That citizenship list, published last month, is part of the government’s effort to identify and weed out what it claims are illegal immigrants in the northeastern state of Assam. India says...

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Sigal Samuel
Sep 17, 2019
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When a California city gave people a guaranteed income, they worked more — not less

When a California city gave people a guaranteed income, they worked more — not less

Stockton’s experiment shows what $500 per month in “free money” can do for employment, mental health, and more.Finding the best ways to do good.The city of Stockton, California, embarked on a bold experiment two years ago: It decided to distribute $500 a month to 125 people for 24 months — with no strings attached and no work requirements. The people were randomly chosen from neighborhoods at or below the city’s median household income, and they were free to spend the money any way they liked. Meanwhile, researchers studied what impact the cash had on their lives.The from the first year of...

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Sigal Samuel
Mar 6
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How to make this winter not totally suck, according to psychologists

How to make this winter not totally suck, according to psychologists

This one idea may help you conquer pandemic winter.Finding the best ways to do good.It’s officially the first day of winter, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that probably fills you with dread. It’s becoming harder to socialize outdoors as the weather gets colder, and another Covid-19 surge has arrived. Many of us are feeling anxious about how we’re going to make it through the lonely, bleak months ahead.I see a lot of people trying to . Buy ! Better yet, buy ! Those may be perfectly fine ideas, as far as they go — but I’d like to suggest a more effective way to think about...

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Sigal Samuel
Oct 14
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AI has cracked a problem that stumped biologists for 50 years. It’s a huge deal.

AI has cracked a problem that stumped biologists for 50 years. It’s a huge deal.

A breakthrough on the “protein folding problem” can help us understand disease and discover new drugs.Finding the best ways to do good.DeepMind, an AI research lab that was bought by Google and is now an independent part of Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced a major breakthrough this week that one evolutionary biologist called “a game changer.”“This will change medicine,” the biologist, Andrei Lupas, . “It will change research. It will change bioengineering. It will change everything.”The breakthrough: DeepMind says its AI system, AlphaFold, has solved the “protein folding problem”...

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Sigal Samuel
Dec 3
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3 core myths about eating animals — and why food tech may vanquish them

3 core myths about eating animals — and why food tech may vanquish them

Meat alternatives are tearing down the idea that eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary.Finding the best ways to do good.In 1989, the social psychologist Melanie Joy became a vegetarian almost by accident. She ate a hamburger contaminated with campylobacter and became so ill that she couldn’t stomach the idea of eating meat again. So she set about learning new ways to cook for a meatless diet, reading cookbooks and doing research.In the process, she started to learn about the suffering of non-human animals, the suffering of workers on factory farms, and the environmental toll...

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Sigal Samuel
Nov 10
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Everywhere basic income has been tried, in one map

Everywhere basic income has been tried, in one map

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our . Please also read our and , which became effective December 20, 2019.By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.I Accept☰×Which countries have experimented with basic income — and what were the results?Finding the best ways to do good.The idea of a basic income was, for decades, something of a policy...

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Sigal Samuel
Feb 19, 2020
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Is it immoral if you feel schadenfreude about Trump’s Covid-19?

Is it immoral if you feel schadenfreude about Trump’s Covid-19?

The ethics of feeling smug about another’s misfortune, explained.Finding the best ways to do good.When an older man tests positive for a pathogen that can kill him, is it wrong to feel gleeful about it? Ordinarily, we’d probably all agree the answer is yes.But what happens when that older man is President Trump, and the lethal pathogen is one he’s spent months downplaying, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve gotten sick or died from under his leadership? What happens when he’s exposed several of his own to the virus, after that now looks like it may have been a...

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Sigal Samuel
Oct 5
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You can get a robot to keep your lonely grandparents company. Should you?

You can get a robot to keep your lonely grandparents company. Should you?

Finding the best ways to do good.Mabel LeRuzic, age 90, lives alone — but not really.“He’s my baby,” she tells me over Zoom, holding up a puppy to the camera. “Huh, Lucky? Yes! Say hello!”Lucky barks at me.I laugh and say, “Who’s a good robot?”Lucky barks again, and the sound is convincing, as if it’s coming from a real dog. He’s got a tail that wags, eyes that open and close, and a head that turns to face you when you talk. Under his synthetic golden fur, he has sensors that respond to your touch and a heartbeat you can feel.LeRuzic, who lives in a rural area outside Albany, is fully aware...

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Sigal Samuel
Sep 9
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This country gave all its rivers their own legal rights

This country gave all its rivers their own legal rights

Bangladesh is sometimes known as the “land of the rivers.” It’s got hundreds of them — and over the years, they’ve been getting more and more polluted. But as of early July, every single one of them has a remarkable new level of protection: The Bangladeshi Supreme Court has given all rivers in the country legal rights. Now, people who damage a river can get taken to court by the government-appointed National River Conservation Commission. They’ll be tried as if they’d harmed a living entity, because each river now has the right to life. That means the river’s government-designated human...

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Sigal Samuel
Aug 18, 2019
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A Japanese billionaire is running a $9 million basic income experiment via Twitter

A Japanese billionaire is running a $9 million basic income experiment via Twitter

US presidential candidate Andrew Yang did something very similar.Finding the best ways to do good.“It’s a serious social experiment.” So Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa about his plan to give away 1 billion Japanese yen — about $9 million — to 1,000 random Twitter followers this week.Believe it or not, this is free money, no strings attached. Well, almost no strings: Each recipient will have to fill out follow-up surveys asking what impact the cash has had on their lives. It was not clear exactly how the amount — $9,000 per person — will be disbursed.Maezawa’s stated goal is to test the...

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Sigal Samuel
Jan 14, 2020
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