44 votes

What’s something that you wish more people would inform themselves about?

In today’s age, we have a wealth of knowledge available on the fly, and a wealth of misinformation too. Every day I see someone on the internet either mis-informed or ill-informed, even with google and research at their fingertips. What is something you wish the general public would actually take the time to learn about beyond a very surface level interpretation?
Many issues can’t be solved based on just surface level knowlege.

My biggest answer is politics in general, because it controls our world yet it feels like 70%+ of people don’t know what they are talking about beyond layman knowlege, and we’ve seen what happens when tons of people set themselves on a belief and even argue for it when they don’t know what they don’t know.

I don’t know anything about politics but even I can see that people are talking out of straight emotion most of the time.

So, i ask you nice tildes’ers Tilderds Tilderotatoes, what’s something you wish to inform us about that most people don’t read into very much? Can be political or otherwise.

It’s a broad question I know, but that leaves room for a lot of discussion.
Thanks for reading

50 comments

  1. [6]
    mftrhu Link
    LGBT+ issues, and especially trans issues. The amount of ignorance I see around is staggering, and it makes spreading FUD - "did you know that children are transitioning now?[1] it doesn't even...
    • Exemplary x5

    LGBT+ issues, and especially trans issues. The amount of ignorance I see around is staggering, and it makes spreading FUD - "did you know that children are transitioning now?[1] it doesn't even work![2] they mutilate [sic] themselves, and then they all end up regretting it![3]" - all too easy.

    There are literally hundreds of papers spanning almost a century now, proving all those statements wrong, but what use are they if the field of battle is moved away from arguments and research to "think of the children! this is weird! mutilation!"? And it doesn't help that this sort of arguments is also made together with a "nature didn't mean to", coming from people talking about evolution. That's not how evolution works. That's literally "intelligent design".

    More generically, I wish that people just... withheld judgment on matters they don't know much about. Just waited five minutes, asked themselves "does this sound true? why? who would benefit from this? does this scenario sound convoluted to me?" and did some research - hell, even just skimming Wikipedia would be a step up in most cases.

    Not using Google, also. This time, not from a privacy standpoint - even if I'd prefer it if more people cared about it enough to drop it - but just from a search results standpoint. For good or bad, Google tailors your search results to your browsing habits. It might be helpful when searching for poorly-named software, but it's something to be aware of - especially when being a smartass and sending people who ask for help a link to a Google search. The results might well be completely different.

    If I can add the interactions I have in meatspace to the list, then - physics. Biology. Chemistry. Medicine. Psychology. The basics of computer use. How to use a search engine.

    No, microwave ovens do not make food radioactive. No, you won't get cancer if you use them to re-heat leftovers. And that goes double for phones. Keeping a phone in a pocket over your chest will not give your heart cancer, that's a ridiculous thing to say. "Radiation" is not all lethal, and this attitude is especially ridiculous with people who spend the whole summer suntanning.

    No, homeopathy won't fix depression or insomnia. You can't "walk them off", either. "You should work out, become too tired to care" is not a solution. Don't try to improvise - see a doctor. Listen to them. They might not be all good, but they know more than you and/or they can refer you to someone who does.

    No, computers are not magical boxes or genies. They won't magically do what you want them to do. And you can fix most of your problems just by putting the error message in the search box.


    1 this relies on sleight of hand re: the definitions of children (often claimed to be four-five years old) and of transition, but pre-puberal children (<10 yo) only transition socially: that is, by changing name, pronoun and clothes. The praxis (e.g. Cohen-Kettenis, 2011; Hembree, 2017) is to put adolescents (<16 yo) on puberty blockers only - which are reversible (e.g. Manasco, 1988; Kim, 2015) - after the start of puberty, and this without even taking in account just how difficult it is to access trans care, even for adults.
    2 this is a flat-out lie, and the papers on this are too many to enumerate. This Cornell University review, in any case, "found a robust international consensus in the peer-reviewed literature that gender transition, including medical treatments such as hormone therapy and surgeries, improves the overall well-being of transgender individuals" - with 52 out of 56 studies finding positive effects, and only 4 finding mixed or null results.
    3 Yet Another Lie, pulled from Yog Sothoth-knows-where. All the papers on regret found that <2% regret transition (when adding poor surgical outcomes and lack of acceptance to the mix; e.g, Pfafflin, 1998; Dhejne, 2014), and the most recent one found 0.3% regrets over 43 years and 2627 patients (Wiepjes, 2018).

    19 votes
    1. [5]
      ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
      I have a theory. (This means: I'm coopting the things I know into a more-coherent system. The goal is to shed light onto the situation by meticulously going through the ideas comprising it. The...

      LGBT+ issues, and especially trans issues

      I have a theory. (This means: I'm coopting the things I know into a more-coherent system. The goal is to shed light onto the situation by meticulously going through the ideas comprising it. The theory isn't perfect, because it's inherently limited. I'll take precautions not to state what I'm not sure about with certainty, but I'm only human. Take what you read with a grain of salt.) The theory is:

      This is scary subject™, which is why many people won't bother.

      And before you go off at this pessimist over here, let me explain why this is important to consider.

      Alien things scare us. "Alien things", for the purposes of this explanation, are all things that we don't find "normal" in a visceral, deeply-biological sense; things that undermine, in our mind, the nature of humans-as-we-know-them.

      From what I understand, human beings have different thresholds for taking interest in unfamiliar things. We may default to fear and rejection of anything that isn't familiar, but there's also the higher function of curiosity that makes us appraise the situation instead of repelling it immediately. I believe the threshold to curiosity versus rejection is the same thing as openness to experience.

      Some people are more fearful than others – that is, they're more likely to experience the fear response over the curiosity response, presumably because their threshold is higher. The fear response – for all of us – consists of engaging with the possible negative scenarios arising from the situation. "What if this happens? What if that is true?" – we've all been there. The more-fearful people engage with the scenarios more actively, presuming the scenarios are true and acting on that presumption.

      (As an aside: I notice that the more-confident people are less likely to engage with the negative scenarios. This leads me to believe that having control over one's life and its components – relationships, one's craft, one's quest/occupation/mission, home, one's own body and mind etc. – makes one more reliant on their own strength, as opposed to relying on being correct about the negative scenarios. Ultimately, it's about having control over one's domain.)

      Disabilities are alien things to most of us. Difference from one's mythos (one's story: culture, personal history, all the influences) may become alien if the person spends too much time in a circle of ideas that solely reinforce one's own view. Different sexuality/gender are definitely alien, presumably because they throw our idea of one of the two most basic instincts we have – sexual reproduction, namely – out of balance. To some, this idea is so deeply-disturbing, it throws some people off-balance so much, that they firmly reject it.

      That happens because we have some set ideas about our own nature. "I'm an engineer". "I'm a woman". "I'm loyal to my company". We invest ourselves into these ideas of self because they give us security – a ground to stand on. We invest ourselves into these ideas so much that, should even one of them collapse under the weight of the evidence ("I've always been far more interested in medicine", "I don't feel quite like a woman anymore", "My company is not loyal to me"), we find ourselves depressed, faced with the fact that we don't know who we are anymore. (There's a deeper layer to this, but I haven't researched it well enough yet. Preliminary speaking, it has to do with the existential dread of not having a "self" attach to, but it's not that simple. What's important here is that we may collapse – and we really don't like being uncertain about ourselves.)

      We escape this collapse in any way we can. Some people do it successfully their whole lives. In the end, of course, being true to ourselves brings us the deepest sense of self-satisfaction, but getting there is painful – and because of that, some of the more-fearful people avoid the journey. Add this to the fact that these people have also held dearly to an idea for a long time ("Gay people are an insult to God's creation", for one), and you get an unhealthy explosive mix of strong rejection and inability to rationally assess it because one's mind gets clouded by fear. Fear causes a strong emotional affect, because it is essentially a mechanism of survival; it tells us to run for our lives. We're all compelled to do so. I think that, in some sense, the more-fearful people have less ground to stand in response to fear.

      Ultimately, I think most, if not all, non-pathological people can be brought to respect different sexuality and/or gender as another part of being human. I don't think we have social rejection ingrained in us; it is produced, sure, but not to the point where it can't be reversed. Of course, there are a multitude of factors to consider if your goal is to help someone learn that this "alien" person is not.

      Age matters: we start with an immense level of mental plasticity, which falls over time – which is why older people often have trouble learning new things, or deeply grasping new concepts in the same ways young people do. It's also why early exposure to things that aren't "normal" (that is, common and socially-accepted among their larger in-group) normalizes them. People with blind siblings, for example, don't just understand the condition – they accept it as part of being human that some people have to experience. It may not be "normal" for most people, but it is for them.

      Personal history is important. When your family has been nothing but homophobic and you had no incentive to change your mind about this (for whatever reason), it may be difficult to dissuade you from this point of view: even though it makes no difference for your existence (does it ever matter that Pete and Sandy are gay?), you've incorporated it into your worldview – which, being tied to identity, is also difficult to change. Being consistently denegrated, abused, and oppressed by a certain group of people will inevitably form a negative opinion about that group, whatever their characteristics.

      Openness to experience is, of course, crucial to consider here. With more close-minded people, it would take more time and heavier evidence – preferably that which somehow affect the person or their sense of identity directly – to sway their view. If the person considers themselves kind and giving, you might want to connect that to acceptance of others: for example, by guiding the person towards the idea that "giving" autonomy to someone, no matter how much your views may differ, is the most generous thing they can do to another.

      It's equally crucial to remember that we are human, and emotions – sometimes strong, overwhelming emotions – is, perhaps, the most important part of our existence. It is not to be dismissed or its effect – diminished. "Hard truths" won't cut it here, because we don't operate out of data: we operate out of ideas, which are deeply-tied to how we feel about something. High rationality is an advantage, not a baseline.

      To me, this simply means one has to find a way to work with a different medium, using different tools.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        mftrhu Link Parent
        I had written a longer reply, but I feel I missed the mark - so I'm cutting to the chase for once (addendum: I just can't avoid being verbose, it seems). In short: I understand, mostly, why and...

        I had written a longer reply, but I feel I missed the mark - so I'm cutting to the chase for once (addendum: I just can't avoid being verbose, it seems).

        In short: I understand, mostly, why and how people remain ignorant. Ignorance is to be expected. I don't particularly get it - I am almost paranoid about being wrong, and I am much more well-equipped about researching a new topic than most - but I understand it on an intellectual level.

        What I do not understand is the people who I see parading their ignorance around. That is, people who post or parrot anti-LGBT talking points - because it's one thing to believe it, to take it at face value without fact-checking, but actually putting effort in spreading it around?

        Considering that "benevolent" homo-/trans-phobia, "oh you poor confused thing", is in my experience much rarer than the opposite - "you are delusional, crazy, a plague on our society" - that's a failure of both their rationality and empathy circuitry.

        And maybe I just don't want to understand that, but I don't get how someone might fail to answer any of the "is it true? is it helpful? is it necessary? is it kind?" before going off.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
          Have you never wanted to feel right? Being right doesn't matter much to this kind of a person. Feeling right – superior, in possession of greater knowledge, of deeper wisdom that others just don't...

          Have you never wanted to feel right?

          Being right doesn't matter much to this kind of a person. Feeling right – superior, in possession of greater knowledge, of deeper wisdom that others just don't seem to get – is everything.

          Why would you want to research anything when you already possess The Truth? It's The Truth, or it wouldn't be, by its very definition. And when someone attacks The Truth, they are either oppressive tyrants standing over a poor holder-of-wisdom, or an underling who still hasn't achieved the intelligence required to hold said wisdom.

          Quite similar to conspiracy theorists (the self-obsessed kind), in fact. Both self-victimize in order to feel more important than they really are, because they hold The Truth, when there's nothing of importance to them otherwise, but important – meaning something – they need to be.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            mftrhu Link Parent
            No. I can't stop at feeling right. I double-check even trivial things - and flat-out don't speak out if I don't know much about something - exactly because I don't want to feel right but because I...

            Have you never wanted to feel right?

            No.

            I can't stop at feeling right. I double-check even trivial things - and flat-out don't speak out if I don't know much about something - exactly because I don't want to feel right but because I want to know that I am right. I can't leave it at "I feel right", not knowing would nag at me for days.

            2 votes
            1. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
              Then it would be impossible for you to relate to how most of humanity goes about their lives. Welcome to being an outlier.

              Then it would be impossible for you to relate to how most of humanity goes about their lives. Welcome to being an outlier.

              3 votes
  2. [5]
    patience_limited Link
    Basic understanding of statistical inference and hypothesis testing. You don't have to have in-depth knowledge of any particular art, science, or technology, just enough ability to understand "Is...

    Basic understanding of statistical inference and hypothesis testing. You don't have to have in-depth knowledge of any particular art, science, or technology, just enough ability to understand "Is this a probable relationship, or not?".

    There are so many nonsense claims made in every field, including politics, which can be evaluated more effectively if you've just got that piece.

    41 votes
    1. ThePariah Link Parent
      Sometimes I feel like I was one of the only ones ever listening in high school science classes... Seriously, I'm generally not a fan of our education system, but I still feel I got enough out of...

      Sometimes I feel like I was one of the only ones ever listening in high school science classes...

      Seriously, I'm generally not a fan of our education system, but I still feel I got enough out of it to understand the basics of the scientific method at least. Then again, I'm sadly sure a large portion of the population stopped really learning after they got out of school... if they ever really began learning while they were in it.

      9 votes
    2. [2]
      JohnLeFou Link Parent
      https://seeing-theory.brown.edu That’s one link I keep in my pocket when I get the inkling that someone would like an easier guide to stats. Great for discussion of study outcomes and whatnot

      https://seeing-theory.brown.edu

      That’s one link I keep in my pocket when I get the inkling that someone would like an easier guide to stats. Great for discussion of study outcomes and whatnot

      3 votes
      1. patience_limited Link Parent
        That's an excellent and approachable overview, thank you!

        That's an excellent and approachable overview, thank you!

        1 vote
    3. JakeTheDog Link Parent
      I've always argued that statistics should come before linear algebra and calculus in high school, if not earlier. Literally everyone everyday can benefit from a basic understanding of...

      I've always argued that statistics should come before linear algebra and calculus in high school, if not earlier. Literally everyone everyday can benefit from a basic understanding of probabilities (e.g. winning the lottery, chances of dying in a car accident especially while distracted). Whereas with the more advanced math, not only is it more abstract (what is a matrix in "real life" anyways) but is only used in a fraction of a specialized careers (mathematicians and computer scientists, namely).

      3 votes
  3. [15]
    acdw Link
    Going off of politics, I wish there was an in-depth Constitutional Literacy class required for all students in high school, that goes over the US Constitution (I'm in America btw) and actually...

    Going off of politics, I wish there was an in-depth Constitutional Literacy class required for all students in high school, that goes over the US Constitution (I'm in America btw) and actually gets into the way our government is laid out to work. Bonus points if they also did classes for state and local citizenship.

    I also think something like Home Economics, but for all genders, and focusing more on how to be an adult, like making appointments, money management, budgeting, 401k's, and yes, cooking, cleaning, etc., would be really useful. The number of people who just don't have these skills because they were never taught them is way too high.

    23 votes
    1. [4]
      JohntyR Link Parent
      100% agree on the Home Economics/ 'being an adult' classes/courses. An understanding of the political system is good too, along with more lessons in critical thinking. I am not an American, but I...

      100% agree on the Home Economics/ 'being an adult' classes/courses.

      An understanding of the political system is good too, along with more lessons in critical thinking. I am not an American, but I think in most places it's easy to get locked into an echo chamber, and never challenge the main ideas.
      *quick edit: is there nothing better than "tildes’ers"

      10 votes
      1. acdw Link Parent
        Tildies? Tilderinos? Tildesanas? ~®$?

        Tildies? Tilderinos? Tildesanas? ~®$?

        2 votes
      2. [2]
        Diet_Coke Link Parent
        The widely preferred and incredibly popular demonym is 'tilderinos'

        *quick edit: is there nothing better than "tildes’ers"

        The widely preferred and incredibly popular demonym is 'tilderinos'

        6 votes
        1. Dovey Link Parent
          ...which is totally eclipsed by the fantastic "Tilda Swintons." It's an ongoing debate that may -- hopefully -- never be resolved.

          ...which is totally eclipsed by the fantastic "Tilda Swintons." It's an ongoing debate that may -- hopefully -- never be resolved.

          5 votes
    2. [3]
      Andarius (edited ) Link Parent
      I graduated high school last school year in the US. I can only speak for myself, but in my economics class I was taught about how to save and budget and about retiring (I was recommended to start...

      I graduated high school last school year in the US. I can only speak for myself, but in my economics class I was taught about how to save and budget and about retiring (I was recommended to start a Roth IRA which I probably really need to start).

      In American government we did study the constitution and how the government works kinda, but not enough to really relate much to today’s politics, moreso just the US historical context and stuff, which is still important. It’s hard for me to say because I didn’t try at all in that class and failed. I think I can safely say that we didn’t learn enough to make an informed decision about our current politics, not that they should teach that necessarily. But I totally agree that a constitutional literacy class would be quite beneficial, especially if home ec is included. I didn’t learn home ec at all in my school.

      Schools should also be teaching how to find reliable sources and what information is good, because they don’t teach you that at all. (Except in science, barely) In fact, it’s backwards in high school because you aren’t allowed to use Wikipedia as a source which is dumb but you can use random articles as a source. Every non-science teacher I had was under the philosophy that article = factual source

      8 votes
      1. Neuroflux Link Parent
        Yes, in my area high schoolers are required to complete a half-year government class (economics being the other half of the year). I learned a lot and appreciated it, to the extent where I think...

        Yes, in my area high schoolers are required to complete a half-year government class (economics being the other half of the year). I learned a lot and appreciated it, to the extent where I think anything more would have been overkill for the average student. We did discuss current politics and it felt relevant. I imagine experiences would vary based on the teacher, like any class. I'm not sure how prevalent it is for this class to be taught in other parts of the country but I would hope it is common.

        3 votes
      2. acdw Link Parent
        I absolutely agree with your last paragraph: in a world with the amount of information we have available with the lowest of effort, the most important skill is knowing how to tell truth from bunk....

        I absolutely agree with your last paragraph: in a world with the amount of information we have available with the lowest of effort, the most important skill is knowing how to tell truth from bunk. It's totally important and I don't think schools are focusing on that at all. In fact, I think I'm some ways they're doing the opposite, at least where I am, because students are learning more rote stuff and expecting the answer to be given.

        3 votes
    3. [2]
      Sahasrahla Link Parent
      Another important consideration is teaching these classes at the right time. My compulsory "family studies" course (cooking, sewing, nutrition) was good but we had to take it around grade 8 or so....

      Another important consideration is teaching these classes at the right time. My compulsory "family studies" course (cooking, sewing, nutrition) was good but we had to take it around grade 8 or so. If we had been taught those skills in grade 12 right before many of us moved away from home for the first time I think we would have remembered the lessons better and been more motivated (which in turn also helps with retention).

      6 votes
      1. acdw Link Parent
        I was actually just taking about this last night, I completely agree.

        I was actually just taking about this last night, I completely agree.

    4. [3]
      Grawlix Link Parent
      Bridging the two, I feel like every single student needs to learn exactly how tax brackets work. Too many people seem to think that you can get a raise or a bonus and then lose money overall by...

      Bridging the two, I feel like every single student needs to learn exactly how tax brackets work. Too many people seem to think that you can get a raise or a bonus and then lose money overall by moving just barely into the next tax bracket.

      6 votes
      1. bbvnvlt Link Parent
        I feel this is a nice example of the problem that @Sahasrahla points out. These things are very difficult to actually teach people at a moment when it's not salient for them. Or at least, it's...

        I feel this is a nice example of the problem that @Sahasrahla points out. These things are very difficult to actually teach people at a moment when it's not salient for them. Or at least, it's difficult to not let it slip away again when after learning it, it just doesn't come up for years afterwards.

        Something similar goes with citizenship skills. They're like muscles. The need building, and it's use 'em or loose 'em. But whether it's in schools or companies or other places, as students or employees or customers, we often have very little power over the institutions we're part of. And there's not so many times we organize ourselves into collectives to take action. But these are difficult things to do. You only get good at them with practice. It's not a question of informing yourself or others any more than studying up on the rules of a sport will make you able to play it, let alone be any good...

        3 votes
      2. acdw Link Parent
        OMG, YES. I don't even talk to people about it because I'm worried they won't be informed and I can't explain it well enough to correct them.

        OMG, YES. I don't even talk to people about it because I'm worried they won't be informed and I can't explain it well enough to correct them.

        1 vote
    5. [2]
      bbvnvlt Link Parent
      Off-topic, but "home economics" is such a funny term. The original greek oikonomía already means "management of a household" :-P wiktionary source

      Off-topic, but "home economics" is such a funny term. The original greek oikonomía already means "management of a household" :-P

      wiktionary source

      3 votes
      1. acdw Link Parent
        Oh wow, that is so cool. I love etymology, so thanks for pointing it out! Makes me wonder if things like ATM Machine are going to become the norm in the future when the original meaning of ATM is...

        Oh wow, that is so cool. I love etymology, so thanks for pointing it out! Makes me wonder if things like ATM Machine are going to become the norm in the future when the original meaning of ATM is obscured.

        1 vote
  4. [2]
    hungariantoast (edited ) Link
    Lane splitting and filtering for motorcyclists, at least in the United States. For those unaware, lane splitting is when a motorcycle passes between two vehicles to advance in front of them....

    Lane splitting and filtering for motorcyclists, at least in the United States.

    For those unaware, lane splitting is when a motorcycle passes between two vehicles to advance in front of them. Filtering is when a motorcyclist navigates between vehicles and lanes while traffic is stopped, such as at a stop sign or traffic light.

    Overall, it gives a great advantage to motorcycle riders, allowing them to easily bypass traffic slow downs and even reduce congestion for regular vehicles.

    There is some evidence to support that lane splitting is safer when done at relatively similar speeds (within 15MPH) to other traffic, and there is considerable evidence that lane filtering decreases the likelihood of motorcyclists being the victims of rear-end accidents.

    I'm a huge proponent of this, especially in a place like Houston where, when you combine the daily, slow moving or stopped traffic, the heat, and the gear motorcyclists commonly wear, heat exposure becomes a serious issue during warmer seasons.

    In a lot (maybe even all) of places in the United States, lane splitting and filtering are not explicitly illegal for motorcyclists. California popularly allows motorcycles to filter and split lanes legally.

    Ironically, filtering to the front of traffic lights is when I get the most hate in Houston, but I only usually do this if the line is long and I don't think I'll make it through on the next cycle.

    When I split lanes during slow moving traffic it's actually very rare for people to get upset and most drivers will even maneuver to give me more space when they see me coming.

    Still, there are a few people who will honk or yell at you, and I've had people open their doors and pull their vehicles across the line to block me, which is fucking ridiculous, considering it's not only dangerous for everyone involved, but also creates more congestion.

    That being said, I've never been in an accident due to lane splitting or filtering and it drastically cuts my commute time when I do it. What might be an hour in traffic in my car turns in to twenty or thirty minutes on my bike.

    There have been several attempts at getting lane splitting legislation to move through the Texas Legislature, but I don't think they even made it to a vote. Hopefully in the next few years we'll get it approved though.

    15 votes
    1. Octofox Link Parent
      I'm fairly sure its explicitly legal in Australia. The same kind of method makes cycling to work so much faster than driving a car.

      I'm fairly sure its explicitly legal in Australia. The same kind of method makes cycling to work so much faster than driving a car.

      1 vote
  5. [2]
    Nmg Link
    6 in 10 Americans agree that human-caused climate change is a thing. But it seems that everyone has the wrong idea about how they personally can reduce their impact. If you have to pick between...

    6 in 10 Americans agree that human-caused climate change is a thing. But it seems that everyone has the wrong idea about how they personally can reduce their impact.

    If you have to pick between buying a used car, with not too bad MPG, and a brand spankin' new Tesla, it likely would be better for the environment if you bought the used car. You know what would be better than a car at all? Public transit. Oh, does public transit suck in your area? Well, that's likely due to land use patterns dating to when the federal highway system was federally subsidized, destroying urban communities with shiny new highways that allowed suburbs to prosper...Have you considered living in places where transit doesn't suck? Maybe in a more dense urban environment?

    What about what you eat? Unfortunately, the things that many people like to eat: meat, diary, and eggs, are terrible for the environment. There even was a Guardian article that presented why a mostly plant-based diet is best for the environment. But bacon though, am I right? Most people refuse to change their diets, even if you tell them that it's terrible for the environment.

    Okay, what about the energy for your house? Solar Panels are too expensive to install on your roof, or you live in a condo, or you rent, or whatever it might be...naturally, shouldn't you buying renewable energy just as you do regular energy? Wouldn't it be nice to specify that you want your home to be wind and solar powered? Good thing you can subscribe to community solar projects in your area, where there is a solar power plant in your area that produced enough energy to power your home, or you can use a third party like Arcadia Power to buy wind energy renewable energy credits (RECs) to achieve the same purpose.

    Stop waiting for those around you, or even worse, your government, to start doing something. The earth will shake us off like fleas. You cause environmental damage. Stop doing so.

    8 votes
    1. lainon (edited ) Link Parent
      I understand and agree with your general point, but I have a few problems with some of the things you said. This simply isn't an option for most people who live in places with poor or non-existent...

      I understand and agree with your general point, but I have a few problems with some of the things you said.

      Have you considered living in places where transit doesn't suck? Maybe in a more dense urban environment?

      This simply isn't an option for most people who live in places with poor or non-existent public transit. This is a common attitude that people have and it doesn't make sense to me. Moving can be a very difficult task, and there can be a number of things tying someone to a particular location. It may be difficult for them to change jobs, they may have family in the area, they may be in debt and can't afford the expense, whatever. These are just examples. I'm just trying to make the point that "Why don't you just move?" often isn't a good argument to use.

      Good thing you can subscribe to community solar projects in your area

      ..if they exist there. Using the links you provided and doing a quick search, I was unable to find any evidence that this is something available in my area. Admittedly it's late and I only searched briefly so I could be wrong here, but I do live in a fairly rural area (and no, I can't move).

      Stop waiting for those around you, or even worse, your government, to start doing something. The earth will shake us off like fleas. You cause environmental damage. Stop doing so.

      I agree that we should stop waiting around, but I disagree that individual action is sufficient or where we should focus the majority of our efforts. I especially don't think that we can rely on people voluntarily making the lifestyle changes necessary to make these individual efforts worthwhile (on their own) on the time-scale that we are operating on.

      I realize this stat has been thrown around a lot and may have lost its meaning in the process, but "100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988".

      It seems clear to me that the action required for meaningful change has to be systemic. I'm not suggesting people wait around for their government to start doing something, I'm suggesting we force their hand. I also don't mean to suggest that individual efforts are completely useless, just that they are not going to be sufficient unless coupled with decisive collective action.

      17 votes
  6. [4]
    Dovey Link
    As a massage therapist, I wish people had a better understanding of how to prevent/treat their aches and pains. Time and again I talk to someone about stretching and they tell me, "Oh, I stretch...

    As a massage therapist, I wish people had a better understanding of how to prevent/treat their aches and pains. Time and again I talk to someone about stretching and they tell me, "Oh, I stretch already! I do this." Then they show me some kind of strengthening exercise that doesn't stretch the affected muscle at all, or maybe a random stretch that doesn't have anything to do with their problem area, or they admit they only stretch once a week for a few minutes. Couch potatoes will sign up for "boot camp" programs and damage themselves for eight weeks, then go back to being couch potatoes.

    People often don't know the common names of major muscle groups like the hamstrings, and they pay no attention to maintaining good posture or a sensible work environment. They'll continue doing an action or activity (or inactivity) that's injured them, hoping that somehow things will improve and they won't have to make any effort to change. If you're in pain and popping pills every day to deal with something you could prevent, why not give the basics a shot? Stretch, do yoga, Pilates, whatever. Find some kind of stress relief like meditation or daily walks. Sit properly. Move around a lot. Have a vague idea of where your muscles are and what they do.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      leif (edited ) Link Parent
      What is a good resource to learn more about stretching, muscles, posture, etc.? It seems like most of the information online has no scientific backing whatsoever.

      What is a good resource to learn more about stretching, muscles, posture, etc.? It seems like most of the information online has no scientific backing whatsoever.

      6 votes
      1. Dovey Link Parent
        I was afraid someone would ask this. :D I don't have a definitive resource, but I'll mention a few that I like. There are countless videos and books out there, as well as the option of taking...

        I was afraid someone would ask this. :D I don't have a definitive resource, but I'll mention a few that I like. There are countless videos and books out there, as well as the option of taking stretching or yoga classes, so it's a matter of finding something you like and seeing how it helps you. "Science" changes its mind pretty often on what it recommends in terms of stretching and other kinds of physical treatment, so you can try to keep up with the latest thinking or just experiment with changing factors like the length of time to hold a stretch, and see how it makes your body feel. I think it's better to jump in and do something (as long as it's not hurting you) rather than holding off until the perfect routine is found.

        I like a book called Stretching Anatomy by Arnold G. Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen. (That's a free ebook download link, but I have a physical copy. (On Amazon, but it's good to support your local bookstores when possible!) It has diagrams of people stretching, showing the muscle's position as it's being used.

        This video seems like a good overall stretching routine, but there are many others you could try.

        I'm secretly fond of a YouTube channel called Physical Therapy Video, by the self-styled "most famous physical therapists on the internet." There's too much marketing for my tastes (they seem to be selling mattresses now?!?) but they're likeable and if you search for a specific muscle or problem you can find some useful stuff.

        That's all I have time for right now. I will mention that I'm no expert, and people are welcome to suggest their own favourite resources.

        4 votes
      2. Lylejack Link Parent
        As a whole, I tend to find that whole field lacking in reputable scientific resources. Trying to find information about massages, stretches and even things like chriopracters is difficult. (Or...

        As a whole, I tend to find that whole field lacking in reputable scientific resources. Trying to find information about massages, stretches and even things like chriopracters is difficult. (Or maybe I'm just searching poorly!)

        Some studies complete recommend avoiding static stretches, and some avoid dynamic, whilst neither even clearly demonstrate the threshold between the two.

        Everything I see about chriopracters has been very negative yet it's so widely spread.

        There are so many different criteria of massages and such a range that I can't even establish which are beneficial, which are harmful and which are just for the feel-good factor.

        3 votes
  7. momentmaker Link
    How to properly take a breath... To realize you are not your thoughts but the observer of your thoughts and perceiver of all of your senses... That it took 13.8 billion years for this moment...

    How to properly take a breath...

    To realize you are not your thoughts but the observer of your thoughts and perceiver of all of your senses...

    That it took 13.8 billion years for this moment that's unfolding in front of you to happen exactly the way it did. So chill and enjoy the moment, moment by moment ;)

    7 votes
  8. [2]
    simpleisideal Link
    I'm fascinated how two people can experience the same event and have very different perceptions of what happened. Wikipedia's List of cognitive biases is a good starting point.

    I'm fascinated how two people can experience the same event and have very different perceptions of what happened. Wikipedia's List of cognitive biases is a good starting point.

    7 votes
    1. JakeTheDog Link Parent
      You might enjoy this book chapter from Inadequate Equilibria. I would recommend the book (available as a physical book too) in general for why it's not just as easy as knowing biases, among other...

      You might enjoy this book chapter from Inadequate Equilibria. I would recommend the book (available as a physical book too) in general for why it's not just as easy as knowing biases, among other things.

      1 vote
  9. [2]
    smoontjes Link
    Trans issues. It's a smaller issue that doesn't matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but it was really confounding to me how incredibly little the vast majority of the population...

    Trans issues.

    It's a smaller issue that doesn't matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but it was really confounding to me how incredibly little the vast majority of the population knows about transgender people. Most probably aren't even aware that transmen exist - they just know of transwomen, and think that drag queens and crossdressers are synonymous with being transgender.

    6 votes
    1. deing Link Parent
      Also, if you have a question/aren't sure about something but are too afraid to ask someone, this thread both has an in-depth link in the OP and already some Q&A on LGBTQ+ issues.

      Also, if you have a question/aren't sure about something but are too afraid to ask someone, this thread both has an in-depth link in the OP and already some Q&A on LGBTQ+ issues.

      3 votes
  10. [5]
    satan Link
    Definitely online privacy. Everyone should use a VPN. Learn more here

    Definitely online privacy. Everyone should use a VPN.

    Learn more here

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      Triton Link Parent
      I'd agree that it's really important to be conscious about privacy. However: Not everyone has to make privacy their number one priority. There's a lot of tradeoffs you have to make to really...

      I'd agree that it's really important to be conscious about privacy. However:

      • Not everyone has to make privacy their number one priority. There's a lot of tradeoffs you have to make to really achieve it and some people aren't willing to make them, which is fine (as long as they consciously and knowingly do it)
      • A VPN is not sufficient and not even always necessary for privacy. You basically replace the need to trust your local network and ISP with the need to trust your VPN provider. Also there are a lot of things (like what services you use, cookies, etc) that arguably impact privacy equally or even more.
      11 votes
      1. judah Link Parent
        100% agree. The main thing that bothers me is that YouTubers advertise these services like they're the saviors of online security. When in reality, most just take the data your ISP would've...

        100% agree. The main thing that bothers me is that YouTubers advertise these services like they're the saviors of online security. When in reality, most just take the data your ISP would've received, encrypt it, and send it off, making you slightly more "anonymous."

        8 votes
      2. [2]
        satan Link Parent
        Yes, you are right it is not always necessary but for most it is a good start. There is a lot more involved which is why i provided the link.

        Yes, you are right it is not always necessary but for most it is a good start. There is a lot more involved which is why i provided the link.

        1 vote
        1. Triton Link Parent
          Your link is definitely a great resource to get started protecting your privacy. And regarding the VPN, depending on the country you live in, it can certainly improve your privacy by a lot. For a...

          Your link is definitely a great resource to get started protecting your privacy. And regarding the VPN, depending on the country you live in, it can certainly improve your privacy by a lot. For a US citizen, for example, it is a really good way to effectively put yourself under the privacy laws of another country with stricter regulation and privacy protection.

          1 vote
  11. tiredlemma Link
    Basic mathematics, and I don't mean computational arithmetic. Statistical inference and experimental design are all well and good, but without a solid foundation in mathematical reasoning I think...

    Basic mathematics, and I don't mean computational arithmetic. Statistical inference and experimental design are all well and good, but without a solid foundation in mathematical reasoning I think there's a cart/horse issue. Easy ideas, like the pigeonhole principle, induction, and even equality (there is a LOT of meaning packed into "=") provide a framework from which critically evaluating a situation or claim becomes much easier. A lot goes into cries that we need to teach our children "critical thinking"--and I agree. No special effort is required to affect this change, though. Simply unchain competent teachers of mathematics from standardized testing and "educator" defined curriculum and I believe we'll make quite a bit of progress forthwith.

    4 votes
  12. Emerald_Knight Link
    Tech security. The bare basics. We're talking things like being able to spot a phishing email at first glance, not visiting just any random website that you're directed toward, checking filename...

    Tech security. The bare basics. We're talking things like being able to spot a phishing email at first glance, not visiting just any random website that you're directed toward, checking filename extensions and file sizes when downloading, being able to tell when someone is impersonating someone you know, the importance of avoiding password reuse, the fact that people can spoof emails and phone numbers without actually owning them, the importance of HTTPS... things that don't require a formal education and are incredibly important for anyone to know when using modern technology.

    It's like owning a car. You don't necessarily need to know how to figure out which part in your car is faulty and how to swap it out, but you sure as shit better understand why it's important for everyone in your car to be wearing a seatbelt (and how one person not wearing theirs puts everyone else inside in danger).

    4 votes
  13. Artrax Link
    Basic economics. I'm so tired of hearing lump-of-labour fallacies, people assuming that economics is just about to somehow prove that the market is always right (and therefor it is perfectly to...

    Basic economics. I'm so tired of hearing lump-of-labour fallacies, people assuming that economics is just about to somehow prove that the market is always right (and therefor it is perfectly to dismiss studies as "fake") and so on and so on. Or a complete lack of understanding of basic things like "why does one apple cost xyz$, why do people choose something over another thing, etc".

    4 votes
  14. mailaki Link
    People should definitely have cursory knowledge about concepts like 'putting yourself in others shoes', 'win-win situation', and some basic game theory. These are very easy to grasp. There are...

    People should definitely have cursory knowledge about concepts like 'putting yourself in others shoes', 'win-win situation', and some basic game theory. These are very easy to grasp. There are many sources available online in all kinds of formats - videos, pdf's, articles - you name it, for FREE!
    The prerequisite knowledge required to learn about these concepts is next to nothing but you can use them to update your framework from which you view the world and the events clarifying SO much stuff which otherwise could've just seemed crazy.

    2 votes
  15. masochist Link
    Critical thinking and why it's important. It addresses a lot of what people have already said and has applications outside of those areas as well.

    Critical thinking and why it's important. It addresses a lot of what people have already said and has applications outside of those areas as well.

    2 votes