More than 300,000 low-IQ soldiers were sent to the front lines of Vietnam in a sick experiment dreamed up by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara

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Society’s most vulnerable were sent to the frontlines of Vietnam.

It was October 1966. The United States military was sinking into the quagmire of the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson occupied the presidency, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara paced the halls of the Pentagon.

On McNamara’s mind was a disturbing development: the Soviet Union had just confirmed what they already expected. In an article published on October 2nd in Red Star, a Soviet military newspaper, they admitted to providing military and economic support for the North Vietnamese. Although the war was already escalating out of control after events like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, this revelation changed everything. It was now…


It’s true that artificial intelligence is self-learning, but it still heavily relies on human interaction. So of course it’s now as horrible as we are.

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In March 2016, DeepMind’s AlphaGo, a computer program built on a neural network, did the unthinkable. It beat Lee Sedol, one of the greatest Go players of all time, in a 5 game match. Before this, the ancient and still popular game was considered far too complex for a computer to master because, with 10^360 possible moves in a game, even our greatest supercomputers couldn’t get anywhere close to performing the necessary calculations.

DeepMind got around this problem by creating a sophisticated artificial neural network loosely modeled after biological neural networks that can learn and adapt to new information. DeepMind…


It may seem silly to wonder why it’s dark at night, but with so many stars in the universe, the night sky should be completely illuminated, a conundrum today known as Olbers’ paradox.

A picture from the Hubble Telescope showing tens of thousands of galaxies.
A picture from the Hubble Telescope showing tens of thousands of galaxies.
A picture from the Hubble Telescope showing tens of thousands of galaxies.

Although it’s now attributed to Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, a 19th century German astronomer and physician, this paradox has perplexed people for centuries. Numerous well-known people have tried to unravel it, including Kepler, Lord Kelvin, and even Edgar Allan Poe, but it wasn’t until the advent of modern cosmology that we figured it out.

And the solution is deeply connected to the age and size of the universe, as well as our place in it.

Olbers’ Paradox: the Problem

It’s not hard to understand why a great thinker like Aristotle thought the universe was finite, static, timeless, and homogenous. Like us, when he looked at…


Data confirms that stricter environmental regulation doesn’t hurt the economy. In fact, it leads to increased capital accumulation, worker productivity, and innovation, proving the Porter hypothesis true.

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The Porter hypothesis suggests environmental regulation is not an economic burden. A new study seems to confirm this.

It seems like common knowledge that government regulations are burdensome for companies. In many cases, this is true, as regulations create obstacles for businesses, which limits their output and requires more resources to overcome. Many free-market advocates echo this sentiment when they talk about “reducing government red tape” and wanting “smaller government.” They see it as a tug-o-war between private industry and government.

This is especially true with environmental regulations. Laws like the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act put strict limits on dumping and emissions, both of which are seen by some as hindering the economy. In…


“The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” ― Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov gave us a stark warning about the destructive power of the cult of ignorance.
Isaac Asimov gave us a stark warning about the destructive power of the cult of ignorance.
Science fiction author and biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov gave us a stark warning about the destructive power of what he called the cult of ignorance. (Image Credit: Public Domain)

Asimov said this in his rarely published 1980 Newsweek piece “The Cult of Ignorance.” Although it was a relatively short essay, it was meant as a warning against the dangers of a growing anti-intellectualism tide in the US, and in the post-Trump era, his words are more poignant today than when he wrote them.

The crux of Asimov’s essay is that the educated were being demonized instead of celebrated. Being intelligent meant you were an elitist, and knowing more than your neighbor meant you were an arrogant know-it-all who’s out of touch with the American people. He illustrated this idea…


Earth has a space junk problem. The amount of debris from the collisions of rocket parts and defunct satellites is growing, bringing us closer to the Kessler Syndrome, in which launching new spacecraft and satellites is too risky.

There’s enough space junk orbiting Earth to make some scientists concerned.
There’s enough space junk orbiting Earth to make some scientists concerned.
There’s enough space junk orbiting Earth to make some scientists concerned.

On 15 October 2020, scientists watched in fear as a 16-foot long inoperative Russian navigation satellite and part of a 25-foot long Chinese rocket whizzed passed each other at 33,000 miles an hour, more than 600 miles above the southern Atlantic Ocean. Had they collided, the debris cloud would’ve been large enough to put every other spacecraft and satellite in low Earth orbit at risk.

These types of near-miss events happen multiple times a year, but occasionally collisions do occur. Back in 2009, a communications satellite struck a Russian military satellite somewhere above Siberia, resulting in some 18,000 pieces of…


The 3 branches of the US government were designed to keep the power of the other 2 in check. However, the president’s power has slowly grown, giving one person far more control of the government than originally intended.

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The president has far more power than originally intended.

The powers of the president are clearly listed in Article II of the Constitution. It’s surprisingly short and specifically gives the president the power to command the armed forces, enforce the laws created by Congress, veto legislation, convene/adjourn Congress, receive ambassadors, grant pardons, enter into treaties, appoint employees to federal agencies, and appoint judges. The last 3, though, are supposed to need Senate approval.

However, modern presidents have far more power and fewer checks and balances. 3 forces are responsible: abuse of the Unitary Executive Theory, a two-party system, and the erosion of states’ rights.

Unitary Executive Theory

Article II states “The executive…


Naïve realism is the psychological condition in which people believe they see the world objectively and their opponents as uneducated, biased, or illogical.

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Speaking with the other side of the political aisle is almost impossible at this point.

In 1954, researchers showed students from Dartmouth and Princeton a football match between their schools. They saw the same footage, yet they couldn’t agree on what they saw. Each side was more likely to notice the other team’s fouls and bad behavior and more likely to miss their own team’s. Both groups felt the referees favored the other team and were biased against theirs. Their perceptions of objective reality differed because they were on different teams and all were confident they were correct.

This should sound familiar to anyone that’s been paying attention to politics for the last few years…


After the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, it’s clear the United States has a fascism problem. This is how they think.

On January 6th, rioters overwhelmed the police and stormed into the US Capitol
On January 6th, rioters overwhelmed the police and stormed into the US Capitol
Insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in an attempt to disrupt the electoral process. (Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0)

The word “fascist” gets thrown around a lot these days by both liberals and conservatives, though few use it correctly. Fascist movements, though, have been studied for decades, and this word has specific meaning.

Robert O. Paxton, a professor at Colombia University and prolific author, spent most of his life studying the rise of fascism. In his 2004 book “The Anatomy of Fascism,” he identified 7 characteristics of budding fascist movements. …


With the Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out, many are refusing to get one, leaving some states pondering making them mandatory. This is not a new issue, and yes, mandatory vaccinations are constitutional.

Mandatory vaccinations are constitutional due to the 10th Amendment.
Mandatory vaccinations are constitutional due to the 10th Amendment.
Mandatory vaccinations are constitutional due to the 10th Amendment. (Image Credit)

Pew Research Center just released an alarming statistic: “About four-in-ten (39%) say they definitely or probably would not get a coronavirus vaccine.” Participants in this study said their refusal was based on mistrust of science, mistrust of government, and the belief that they are an exception, due to their personal health and hygiene practices.

If only 61% of the population gets vaccinated, then we will likely not reach herd immunity. While the percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity with Covid-19 has not yet been firmly established, new research claims “A re-evaluation of the…

The Happy Neuron

Stimulating articles to make your brain happy. www.thehappyneuron.com

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