springwise:

Free lecture series replaces inane bar conversations with stimulating talks

The web has made higher education-level learning more accessible, and even free, through programs such as MIT and Harvard’s EdX and the nonprofit Khan Academy, but it’s actually inspiring adults to want to learn new skills and knowledge that can be difficult. New York’s Raising The Bar is an event placing 50 lectures in 50 bars across the city, replacing drunken conversation with stimulating talks. READ MORE…

“My objection to fundamentalism is not that they are fundamentalists but that essentially they want me to be a fundamentalist, too. Now, they may say that I believe evolution is true and I want everyone to believe that evolution is true. But I don’t want everyone to believe that evolution is true, I want them to study what we say about evolution and to decide for themselves. Fundamentalists say they want to treat creationism on an equal basis. But they can’t. It’s not a science. You can teach creationism in churches and in courses on religion. They would be horrified if I were to suggest that in churches they should teach secular humanism as nan alternate way of looking at the universe or evolution as an alternate way of considering how life may have started. In the church they teach only what they believe, and rightly so, I suppose. But on the other hand, in schools, in science courses, we’ve got to teach what scientists think is the way the universe works.”
— A quarter century ago, Isaac Asimov nailed the science vs. dogma divide, with which we still struggle today. (via explore-blog)
“The researchers found that that sad music has a counterintuitive appeal – it actually makes people feel better. Sad songs allow listeners to experience indirectly the emotions expressed in the lyrics and implied by the (usually) minor-key melodies. The sadness may not directly reflect the listener’s own experiences, but it triggers chemicals in our brain that can produce a cathartic response: tears, chills, an elevated heartbeat. This is not an unpleasant feeling, and may explain why listeners are inclined to buy sad songs and why artists want to write or sing them.”
“The Internet has offered us many facile ways of expressing approval (like, favorite, share) but few ways of being kind. It might be that the greatest act of kindness on the Internet is to be quiet. Not to be forever silent, but at least listen and learn before expressing outrage or anger, and to realize that kindness will not always take the form of approval.”

A beautiful meditation on kindness by Casey N. Cep.

As I’ve written before, it’s more important to understand than to be right – and we often forget that, online and off.

Pair with Albert Einstein on kindness and a lesson in handling trolls from Benjamin Franklin

(via explore-blog)

thisistheverge:

Outfoxed: how protests forced Mozilla’s CEO to resign in 11 days
On a rainy morning this week in San Francisco, newly appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich sat down for coffee with one of the people calling for his resignation. Hampton Catlin, a prominent developer of apps for the nascent Firefox OS, announced he was abandoning the platform due to Eich’s handling of the disclosure that in 2008 he donated $1,000 to the fight against same-sex marriage. California’s Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote in 2008, made same-sex marriage illegal in California until the law was overturned by the Supreme Court. Over the course of an hour, Catlin explained the suffering that Prop. 8 caused for him and his partner, a Brit who couldn’t immigrate until marriage became legal. Catlin asked Eich for an apology. He didn’t get one.