The scientific publishing business has become the enemy of progress. With the focus on producing studies that will bring the biggest hype, however transitory, and thus reap the biggest profits — coupled with the fact that academic careers depend almost entirely on the number of papers a researcher has authored, and the prestige of the journals in which they're published — there is little incentive to think outside the box or pursue disruptive science.
Everyone wants to see exciting breakthroughs in science, and sometimes people overreact to a lack of innovation when a new study is released. However, incremental science is not a bad thing at all; in fact, it has led to extremely valuable work and lays a foundation for future research to continue exploring. Science is a team sport, and advancing the objectives benefit the team in the long run.
Science is in decline, and the effects are chilling and palpable. Unfortunately, science is no longer defined by the pursuit of knowledge and innovation; it has been captured by political ideologues who would rather suppress research into “forbidden” topics rather than embrace daring adventures. As long as “science” is more concerned with racial quotas than it is with actual discovery, we will continue to see its sad decline.
Echoes of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot are undeniable in this mob violence caused by supporters of Brazil's Trump-like former Pres. Bolsonaro. Far-right Brazilians have followed the same playbook, baselessly claiming election fraud before threatening democratic institutions. Now, they must face the same fate as those who inspired them and be held to account.
Sunday's protests began peacefully, but this outcome shouldn't be surprising as Brazilian society has long been under immense pressure. Fueled by discontent over the Supreme Court's intervention in the elections to undemocratically favor Lula, as well as unanswered questions about the electoral process swept under the rug, protesters' expression of discontent ended in violence as a result of the injustice governing their society.
China is preparing for war against Taiwan as part of its policy of "reunification" with the semi-autonomous island, and the only way to prevent such an event is to bolster Washington's deterrence and power projection in the region through additional national security funding. This would also convince US regional allies to invest more in their security. Dictatorships in this rising tide of autocracy understand only the language of power — Russia's Ukraine invasion is proof that Washington must act now before it's too late.
Due to the overbearing US actions and Washington's apparent departure away from the One China policy, tensions between China and the US are rising. As with Ukraine, Washington and its Western allies are using Taiwan for geopolitical goals instead of focusing on the fact that the Taiwanese voted in local elections against such an aggressive stance against China. Beijing is pursuing the goal of peaceful reunification, but since the hegemonic US misinterprets this as a "sign of weakness," the risk of military escalation is increasing.
There is a 16% chance that the US and China will be at war by 2035, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.
Israel's most far-right government ever hasn't wasted any time in cracking down on Palestinians. This flag ban is simply symbolic of all the efforts taken to retaliate against the UN vote to refer the decades-long occupation of the West Bank to the International Court of Justice. Tel Aviv's goal is clear to harm the Palestinian cause as much as possible and bring about its downfall.
While waving the Palestine Liberation Organization flag is not a crime under Israeli law, it's self-evident that its display expresses solidarity and sympathy to terror groups when it's flown in the homecoming ceremony of a convicted murderer who spent 40 years in prison. This ban is a necessary measure to curb the acceleration of terrorism and prevent further public disturbances.
There's a 44% chance that Israel will recognize Palestine by 2070, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
In Australia, watching community after community flood and attempting to recover is a hard pill to swallow. The country lost a full decade from which they could have been preparing for the compounding catastrophes. Instead, the government finds itself woefully unprepared and with no idea where to begin preparing while in a perpetual state of disaster recovery. The old cliche of "when it rains, it pours" has been replaced with "when it rains, it floods" — not to mention searing wildfires that grip headlines worldwide.
Globally Australia had been known for lagging behind other prominent nations with their inaction on climate change. Well, this is no more. The Australian government rallied to pass the Climate Change Bill of 2022, which monitors the country's progress toward national and international goals and mandates that the minister for climate change report progress to Parliament annually. Australia's new seriousness marks the beginning of a transition the whole world must take on for humanity's sustainability.
One can praise or blame the Australian government, but there is mounting evidence that these events are simply becoming "less natural" and tough for any administration to deal with. The land "down under" is on the climate front lines.
It would be a mistake to say Putin’s days as an aggressor are over. For the Russian president, defeat is not an option. He will never cede the four eastern provinces he has declared part of Russia to Ukraine. Moreover, if the Kremlin succeeds in toppling Ukraine, Russia will likely eye the Baltic countries of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia as well as Finland, Poland, and Romania. The US and its allies must arm Ukraine and help Zelenskyy push back harder — before it's too late.
The West has used the situation in Ukraine to create tension with Russia for years. Pres. Putin will not allow the West to use Ukraine as a weapon to weaken and divide Russia. Instead, he will do the right thing to protect its national interests and the interests of its citizens. The world will soon realize Russia is the only real guarantor of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
There's a 15% chance of a coup or regime change in Russia during 2022 according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Although McCarthy can celebrate finally being Speaker, the role has been gutted of most of its power, which he’s handed off to ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus members. Having repeatedly miscalculated the size of his own support, McCarthy now finds himself at the feet of radical Republicans.
Passionate debate is the centerpiece of democracy, and that’s what Republicans were doing over the days it took to get McCarthy elected Speaker. Now that he has the gavel, McCarthy will continue to prove he’s a great unifier of his party, and Republicans will deliver on their promises, including plans to reduce spending, tackle illegal immigration and hold Democrats to account.
As the Speaker vote dragged on, the mainstream media prematurely reported on former Pres. Donald Trump’s waning influence. Little did they know that Trump would reward McCarthy’s loyalty by making sure the new Speaker’s victory would be assured by convincing the last remaining holdouts to end their obstruction.
At the end of the day, Congress’ dysfunction will continue because of its members’ devotion to party over country. There was no better example of this than Democrats voting unanimously for a Speaker candidate who had no chance of winning. With the margins between the parties razor thin, only bipartisan cooperation will get anything passed, but it doesn’t look like the parties will be doing anything to help each other.
There is a 71% chance that Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives in 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Biden arrived at the border with a plan that should satisfy criticism from his left and right. By enhancing the Title 42 process and requiring striking a deportation deal with Mexico, Republicans should be happy that migrants must wait in Mexico until their asylum hearings. Likewise, progressives should be excited about the program to allow 30K new migrants per month to obtain visas.
Those who are hopeful that this visit is the start of Biden doing something to tackle the border crisis should not be fooled. If history is our guide, these 30K "temporary" visas per month are only temporary if Biden enforces them, which is unlikely given that his progressive base wants unlimited amnesty for all so-called "asylum-seekers". This was undoubtedly a calculated political stunt that does nothing but provide good headlines for the president as he enters his third year in office.
Vulnerable young people are facing mounting mental health pressures and, while some factors provoking this decline — such as issues within the education system and the fallout from the COVID pandemic — are difficult to change, others are very easy to, like algorithms or social media codes. By making the relevant companies more accountable, settings, content filters, and revised guidance could help young people have healthier relationships with social media platforms.
Third-party users are largely responsible for their content and conduct online, and numerous regulatory processes are carried out to ensure content is not harmful. According to Meta's global head of safety, Antigone Davis, over 30 tools have been developed to support teens and families, encourage time limits, and identify more than 99% of harmful content even before it's reported by users. Evidently, social media platforms are always evolving to keep young people safe.
A crisis affecting mental health isn't the same as a crisis of mental health, and the "reification" of society — where the effects of political arrangements of power and resource start appearing like objective facts about the world — have had the consequence of swapping out political problems for scientific or technical ones. Characterizing issues such as the youth mental health crisis as a problem of "social media addiction" rather than focusing on going after unregulated tech oligopolies skips over the core fact — societal problems like these are inherently political.
There is a 10% chance that the US will ban TikTok before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
The Nigerian government is doing a solid job of pursuing these terrorists. Considering that six people have already been freed in such a short time, it seems reasonable to assume that local authorities are achieving success in search and rescue operations.
As elections approach, security has become a hot topic in Nigeria as the government has failed to provide public safety. This attack could have been prevented if railway stations had small security features like closed-circuit television cameras — minor steps that would have made a great difference.
There's a 50% chance that at least 14 at-risk Nigerian states will experience Islamic State attacks from September 17, 2021 to September 17, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Although it is not what anyone wants, nurses in New York City have no choice but to go on strike. Working in healthcare has always been an arduous career, but the pandemic has sent the industry into overdrive — burning out thousands of nurses. Hospitals are understaffed and nurses are overworked while being on the front lines.
Unions continue to lead industries down paths of destruction, and now people’s health is being put in danger due to union demands causing thousands of nurses to go on strike. New York has some of the highest union membership rates in the country which makes the dispute unsurprising, yet still disruptive for New Yorkers.
There's a 50% chance that less than 12% of Americans will be represented by a labor union in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.