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culturico_editorial

Of heuristics and yetis

Heuristics have a reputation of being a somewhat cheap replacement for true knowledge. However, they do not only form in integral part of human decision making, but also can be shown to outperform complex probabilistic decision tools under certain circumstances. This article tries to give a simple and intuitive introduction into the fascinating world of heuristic thinking, while proposing that humans often act rationally in the real world.

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Recent articles

Essay

Is democracy the foundation of resurgent fascism?

Democracy is generally considered to be a form of government that opposes fascism. However, fascism has arisen before, and could arise again in new forms, through democratic processes. Is democracy really the ideal instrument to counter the current rise of right-wing political groups in western societies?

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Why the stock market will help to combat climate change
Environment

Why the stock market will help to combat climate change

There is evidence that businesses profiting from the extraction of fossil fuels are facing market headwinds. Recently, Norway stated its sovereign wealth fund will begin to diversify its holdings away from oil stocks. The new “carbon risk” may lead to stock price declines of companies in the oil & gas sector. If stock prices suffer as a result of carbon risk, the market will effectively help in combating climate change.

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Macrostory

The Health of Ha Long Bay

“The Health of Ha Long Bay” addresses personal concerns of negative environmental, ecological and cultural impacts on Ha Long Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago, Vietnam as a result of boosted tourism in the area due to its declaration as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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Why are we becoming insensitive to human tragedies?
Essay

Why are we becoming insensitive to human tragedies?

In response to worldwide daily reports of human tragedies, we hardly feel anything. In the view of the philosopher Günther Anders, the current incapability to experience a real state of anguish is due to an irreconcilable gap between the effective magnitude of our actions and our limited comprehension of them. We must train ourselves to emotionally live up to the consequences of our actions. Otherwise, we may end up losing complete control over the potential impact of our decisions.

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A useful psychopath?
Essay

A useful psychopath?

Psychopathy is thought to be present in approximately 1% of the general population. However, evidence suggests that these people are overrepresented in certain professions, many of which are leadership/management-based and can have a profound influence on our society. Should this be a cause for concern, or are people with psychopathic traits simply more capable of performing these roles?

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Human intelligence makes us physically weaker
Macrostory

Human intelligence makes us physically weaker

Medical and technological advancements have led to a drastic reduction of worldwide infant mortality and an increased life expectancy. Because of this, far more people are able to reach reproductive age, thus maintaining “unfit” genetic traits in our population that would otherwise be weeded out by natural selection. Considering the consequences of these issues and devising solutions for them can help us overcome the future unsustainable costs for national healthcare systems.

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Is the world ready for CRISPR babies?
Biology

Is the world ready for CRISPR babies?

The gene editing technology notoriously known as CRISPR/Cas9 has gained vast attention after the Chinese scientist He Jiankui claimed he had, for the first time ever, created gene-edited twins. While He has received negative criticism for his work amongst the scientific community, many believe the world can benefit from this powerful technology. He Jiankui has decided that the world is ready for germline gene editing, but does the rest of the world feel the same?

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Antifragility and response asymmetry
Decision making

Antifragility and response asymmetry

This article serves as an introduction to a fundamental concept in the philosophy of risk taking: antifragility, which itself can be seen as a special case of response asymmetry. These concepts deal with the question of how to act intelligently in environments that are characterized by low probability, high impact events (so-called Black Swans).

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In case you missed it

India’s lowest caste: the untouchables

While travelling through India I came across a social class called “untouchables”. Being the lowest possible class of India’s society, considered outside of the traditional caste system, untouchables are facing widespread problems. Even though several measures have been taken by the government since the ’50s, members of this caste still face discrimination and segregation up until today.

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Pasta is healthy

Pasta is generally categorised among unhealthy foods. However, Italians – large consumers of pasta – are among the healthiest populations of the world. This study digs into the properties of this highly caloric food to unveil its potential benefits and to debunk the general misconceptions of pasta-based recipes.

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Vision of reality: the problem of experience in science

Visions of reality: the problem of experience in science

Scientific discovery is grounded in our experience. But is there something about our experience that is not quantifiable? This article explores the history of the debate surrounding the compatibility of lived experience with scientific data. How the different visions of reality presented in these debates are balanced in our culture will affect the very way that life itself is lived and understood.

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Antifragility and response asymmetry

Antifragility and response asymmetry

This article serves as an introduction to a fundamental concept in the philosophy of risk taking: antifragility, which itself can be seen as a special case of response asymmetry. These concepts deal with the question of how to act intelligently in environments that are characterized by low probability, high impact events (so-called Black Swans).

Read More »

Is democracy the foundation of resurgent fascism?

Democracy is generally considered to be a form of government that opposes fascism. However, fascism has arisen before, and could arise again in new forms, through democratic processes. Is democracy really the ideal instrument to counter the current rise of right-wing political groups in western societies?

Read More »