More Than Just Bread

Before losing battle with cancer, this 27-year-old woman penned a heartbreaking, eye-opening letter

“That’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Holly Butcher wrote in an emotional post on Facebook. Alex Eriksen Yahoo Butcher, 27, lost her battle with cancer this week. Her words are drawing attention on social media, garnering more than 8,000 shares, 11,000 likes, and 2,000 comments. Butcher, from Brisbane, Australia, covers a range of life topics in her letter, including coming to grips with her mortality. She ... Read More »

‘What’s missing is love’

Near golden sands north of Newcastle, hundreds of people with intellectual disabilities live at the Stockton Centre. Now it’s set to be sold to developers. Does the government’s new group home model really offer a better future, or is it just a grab for cash? Gail Bell SBS MY FATHER WAS the youngest of four brothers, a truth he learned at the age of ten. Until this revelation he had counted his older brother Charles as his only sibling. There ... Read More »

‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/282073db076992a654b86d39036af719/content.css”/> In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go … with no human help Ian Sample The Guardian Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three ... Read More »

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie review – a contemporary reworking of Sophocles

The story of Antigone plays out in the modern world, in this Man Booker-longlisted exploration of the clash between society, family and religious faith Natalie Haynes The Guardian In Sophocles’s play Antigone a teenage girl is forced to choose between obeying the law of the land (her uncle, the king of Thebes, has forbidden the burial of a traitor) and religious law (the traitor is Antigone’s brother, Polynices, who has declared war on his city, and killed his own brother, ... Read More »

A neuroscientist who studies decision-making reveals the most important choice you can make

According to Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University who has been studying decision-making for over a decade, the surest way to maximize happiness has nothing to do with experiences, material goods, or personal philosophy. Chris Weller WEF It’s all about who you decide to spend time with. But “it’s not just advice to choose your friends carefully,” Cerf told Business Insider. There are two premises that lead Cerf to believe personal company is the most important factor for long-term ... Read More »

Orthodox Jewish girls school faces closure for refusing to teach children about homosexuality

A private Orthodox Jewish elementary school called the Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney, north London, is facing closure by the British government because it does not include curriculum that teaches children about homosexuality and gender reassignment… Brandon Morse TheBlaze According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children — aged three through eight — “a full understanding of fundamental British… The ... Read More »

The Greek Word that can’t be translated

‘Love of honour’, its official translation, is a utilitarian yet insufficient attempt to convey the constellation of virtues squeezed into the word’s four syllables. Stav Dimitropoulos BBC In his second summer in the lonesome Greek village of Tolo on the east coast of the Peloponnese, German senior civil servant and writer Andreas Deffner committed a cultural blunder that led him to the celebrated concept of Greek philotimo. “Good morning, how are you?’ Grandma Vangelió, owner of the pension where he… ... Read More »

What Happens When You Die?

We watch our loved ones’ age and die and assume that’s the end of the story. We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die. Biocentrism Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die. But biocentrism — a new theory of everything — tells us death may not be the terminal event we think. Amazingly, if you add life and consciousness to the equation, you can explain some of the biggest puzzles ... Read More »

“The Responsibility of Intellectuals”: An Exchange

The following private correspondence took place after the publication of Noam Chomsky’s essay in the February 23 issue of The New York Review: George Steiner, reply by Noam Chomsky Dear Professor Chomsky, I write to express my admiration for your lucid and compelling essay in the New York Review of Books. This piece will mean a great deal to all who share your worry and to many who are now beginning to learn how vital that worry is to our ... Read More »

Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy is great. But he could have just paid more tax

It’s true philanthropy is more common in the USA. So is tax minimisation, citizens without health insurance and homelessness Kristina Keneally The Guardian Fortescue Metals Group founder and billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola made the single biggest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history on… For that, they are to be congratulated… Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy… Read More »

Is the Universe a Hologram?

Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” * By Adolfo Plasencia * Foreword by Tim O’Reilly * The MIT Press Overview This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both… Is the Universe… Read More »

12 incredible psychological tricks to get people to do what you want

There are plenty of ways to get people to do what you want — without them even realizing you’ve persuaded them. The Power of Ideas Ideapod blog  Whether you want people to like you, to agree with you, or to buy your products, use these tips to feel more powerful in your everyday interactions 1) The Conversation Conditioner You can have real fun with this trick. When talking to… 12 incredible psychological… Read More »

A Zen master explains why “positive thinking” is terrible advice

Have you ever been told to just “think positive” and your problems will go away? Or that to achieve your goals in life, all you have to do is visualize it with positive intent? The Power of Ideas Inspirational Ideapod blog It’s a philosophy that’s been popular for decades thanks to books like How to win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich.  But is it really helping us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives? Not exactly… A ... Read More »

A Psychiatrist Who Survived The Holocaust Explains Why Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness

“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and… Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic Business Insider Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished — but he, prisoner number 119104, had… A Psychiatrist Who… Read More »

Making Athens Great Again

How does a citizen respond when a democracy that prides itself on being exceptional betrays its highest principles? REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN The Atlantic Plato despaired, but he also pointed the way to renewal. What happens when a society, once a model for enlightened progress, threatens to… Making Athens Great… Read More »

Free Ebooks: These Five Freedom Philosophers Will Liberate Your Mind

We at FEE are happy to present the Essential series, five free ebooks collecting the key works of five great freedom philosophers: Leonard Read, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F.A. Hayek, and Frédéric Bastiat. In each of these compact anthologies, you will find a powerful case for liberty. Dan Sanchez  But the ideas within are not mere fodder for debate. Like all great sages, these authors offer true wisdom that can inspire you and benefit you personally in your own life. Here ... Read More »