1. Wastefulness as a sin

    An illustration of wastefulness as a sin, from a novel set in 14th-century Norway: The Mistress of Husaby (1921), the second novel of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, by Sigrid Undset.

    Kristin had not had much sleep the first night, even though the priests had blessed her bed. 'Twas spread above …

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  2. ELI5 - the pipeline situation

    Back in August, someone on Reddit asked:

    Please excuse my ignorance on this topic (I only arrived in Canada recently) - but can someone explain like I'm five the whole pipeline situation?

    I think of it as an irresistible force (there's $15 billion/year at stake) meeting an immovable object (the …

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  3. Discouraging teenage marijuana use

    Chinese translation.

    Parents are concerned about the legalization of marijuana in Canada. How can we protect our teenage children from using marijuana?

    The basic problem is that people don't believe marijuana is dangerous. If they don't believe it's dangerous, even making it illegal doesn't help.

    Consider cigarettes. Smoking has been …

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  4. 防止青少年使用大麻

    Translated from English by Lenny Nan Zhou. English version.

    有些家長們對於加拿大大麻合法化感到擔憂。怎樣保護我們的孩子,使他們不使用大麻?

    問題是大家不認為使用大麻是危險的,如果大家不認為使用大麻是危險的,即使將其視為非法也無濟於事。

    例如吸煙,儘管吸煙是合法的,但是吸煙人數的比例在加拿大一直穩步下降,這是因為關於吸煙有害健康的公眾教育:吸煙能夠導致肺癌,心髒病等。

    在青少年中,大麻的使用高於吸煙,因為即使之前使用大麻是非法的,與吸煙相比,青少年並不認為使用大麻是危險的。根據2013年在BC省的一項調查,有大概15%的高中生承認他們在過去一個月使用過大麻。另一方面,在2001年至2011年間,承認在過去一個月吸煙的15至17歲青少年的比列從19%下降到10%。

    禁止使用大麻是不起作用的。我們需要的是長期的公眾教育活動,說服青少年吸食大麻會影響健康,因為發育中的大腦非常脆弱,有研究表明人的大腦會持續發育到20歲出頭。吸食大麻會使大腦中的某些神經受體充滿大量的THC,這是大麻中的主要成分。 THC能夠導致大腦中的神經受體不能有效地工作,甚至還會引起毒性變化。加拿大兒科學會研究表明:“對於經常使用大麻的年輕人,核磁共振顯示他們的大腦會出現結構性的改變,他們表現出較低的腦容量,不同的折疊模式和皮質變薄,較少的神經連接和較低的白質完整性,所有這些都是由於THC的破壞。”

    加拿大兒科學會的建議還包括以下內容 …

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  5. Hobbes on starvation

    Hobbes argues that a government is responsible to keep its destitute citizens from starving to death. From Richard Tuck, Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction (1989).

    ... if the distribution of property works in such a way that people are physically endangered by it, and members of the commonwealth do not have …

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  6. Michael Ignatieff on the range of moral responsibility

    Michael Ignatieff observes in The Warrior's Honor (1998) that we have a range of moral obligations. They're strongest to those closest to us.

    In practice, the claims of ethical universalism came to be strongly limited in Christian teaching and then in European natural law by the injunction that a rich …

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  7. George Washington on self-interest

    Hans Morgenthau quotes George Washington on the primacy of self-interest:

    A small knowledge of human nature will convince us, that, with far the greatest part of mankind, interest is the governing principle; and that, almost, every man is more or less, under its influence. Motives of public virtue may for …

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  8. The rogue in English literary tradition

    From the introduction to a 1968 edition of Thackeray's Vanity Fair (1848), by J. I. M. Stewart:

    It is not, of course, that [Becky Sharp] exists in a moral vacuum. We are moral beings as we regard her, and from the first we feel a play of sympathy and repulsion …

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  9. Emotion

    Saw "Mission Impossible: Fallout" recently. It was a good movie, but it reminded me of this quote from Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty (1990):

    "Anywhere along here's fine," Chili said, thinking of times he had been asked if he was guilty and not once ever having the urge to say he …

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