Defense contractor Lockheed Martin was recently awarded a patent for a novel design of compact nuclear fusion reactor, a device presumably small enough to be housed in a standard shipping container. According to earlier promotional material released by the company, the reactor’s compact design could be used not only for commercial energy-generating applications, but also incorporated into ocean-going ships and aircraft to vastly extend the vehicles’ ranges. In terms of generating electricity for commercial use, the device could also be used to replace not only nuclear waste-producing fission reactors, but also fossil fuel-based electrical generators, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of our civilization’s thirst for energy.
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The profound impact of the technology of social networking on our culture, especially social media juggernaut Facebook, is a phenomenon that is unique in human history, allowing friends, loved ones, and even complete strangers to connect from disparate corners of the interweb. Conversely, it has also been used to spread disinformation, such as in the case of Russian hackers meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and for many it has also become the object of addictive behavior.read more

Will there be a pill (or vaccination?) that everyone could take that would guarantee moral behavior?

Some people are altruistic, while others are not. Why do some people risk their lives to help others, when some won’t even bother to dial 911? When researchers there took two rats who shared a cage and trapped one of them in a tube that could be opened only from the outside, the free rat usually tried to open the door, eventually succeeding. But only 23 of 30 did this, meaning that rat responses in emergencies–like human responses–vary.
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Last year, we wrote about a 1961 experiment at Yale in which a psychologist discovered that ordinary people would give deadly electric shocks to people they didn’t know, despite the fact that they could hear their screams, if they were directed to do so by “authority figures.” What would you have done? To find out, take this morality test.
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