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        Play the Trolley Problem in Dr. Trolley’s Problem

        Long time readers of Things Are Good will know that I like philosophy and moral actions. In fact I like that stuff so much I made a game about it called Dr. Trolley’s Problem which is all about the trolley problem which we’ve previously looked at.

        The game tests your moral fortitude. Dr. Trolley’s Problem brings the classic philosophical quandaries of the trolley problem to life and asks you to make life or death decisions on the fly. Explore your moral fiber in ways you never imagined (or asked for)! I’ve created 50 situations that are all based on the famous trolley problem, with more coming.

        Dr. Trolley’s problem is available for both Mac and PC.Check it out.

        The UN Cares About Your Local Housing Crisis

        Without a doubt a global housing crisis is hurting all of us. In the majority world basic housing needs aren’t being met while in the richer minority world owning a home is out of reach for the average person. These issues might seem worlds apart but that’s not how the United Nations approaches it.

        Leilani Farha, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, is leading the charge against profit hungry landlords and arguing for shelter for everyone. She’s featured in the documentary Push (video above) and since the filming she’s still going strong holding evil corporations to account.

        “Their business model, of which Blackstone is a frontrunner, is becoming the industry standard. Properties that are deemed ‘undervalued’, which generally means affordable to those living there, are being purchased en masse, renovated, and then offered at a higher rental rate, pricing tenants out of their own homes and communities. Landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants’ right to security and contributing to the global housing crisis.”?

        The experts said they had heard countless stories of tenants’ whose buildings had been bought by private equity firms and whose rents had skyrocketed almost immediately afterward, sometimes by 30 or even 50 percent, making it impossible for them to remain.

        Read more.

        Watch Push at Hot Docs.

        Thanks to Delaney!

        Get Off the Internet and Onto Your Life

        Stop reading this post and get out outside. I mean it, put down your mobile or walk away from your computer. The weather isn’t good? Doesn’t matter. Go, get away from this techno surveillance society that is always tracking you. Go be with yourself – it isn’t scary. I believe in you!

        Odell finds the focus on getting people to put down their screens or log off from social media limiting; fixating on changing an individual’s behaviors ignores what can be done collectively. She sees this new kind of consciousness-raising as a vehicle for political action. As she writes in?How to Do Nothing, “I am less interested in a mass exodus from Facebook and Twitter than I am in a mass movement of attention: what happens when people regain control over their attention and begin to direct it again, together.”
        Odell is not a technophobe. She uses the iNaturalist app on her phone during hikes to identify plants, and in her research-heavy writing, the internet is an indispensable resource. Without it she wouldn’t be able to go down rabbit holes on subjects like?the “free” watches advertised on Instagram, a journey into the world of?dropshipping?that reveals cascading levels of capitalism based on dishonesty and shoddy information.

        Read more.

        Learning Junk Food Marketing Manipulates, Teens Consume Less

        Healthy eating can be a challenge when millions of dollars are spent everyday trying to convince us to eat junk food. It turns out that telling the truth to teens may help them eat healthier. Informing teens about the financing and exploitation that goes into big food gets them to think critically about the marketing and rebel against it. Plus, starting healthy eating practice in the teenage years sets them up for a lifetime of health.

        In the study, “A Values-Alignment Intervention Protects Adolescents from the Effects of Food Marketing,” published today in Nature Human Behaviour, Chicago Booth’s Christopher J. Bryan, University of Texas at Austin’s David S. Yeager, and Booth PhD candidate Cintia P. Hinojosa find that reframing how students view food-marketing campaigns can spur adolescents, particularly boys, to make healthier daily dietary choices for an extended period of time. The method works in part by tapping into teens’ natural desire to rebel against authority.

        Among the two biggest findings in the experiment: The intervention produced an enduring change in both boys’ and girls’ immediate, gut-level, emotional reactions to junk food marketing messages. And teenage boys, a notoriously difficult group to convince when it comes to giving up junk food, started making healthier food and drink choices in their school cafeteria.
        “One of the most exciting things is that we got kids to have a more negative immediate gut reaction to junk food and junk food marketing, and a more positive immediate gut reaction to healthy foods,” said Bryan.

        Read more.

        Yellowknife Twitter Bot Spreads Global Warming Knowledge

        Climate change is occurring at a faster pace with every passing year. The rate of change is hard for us to comprehend and think rationally about. An engineer with Ecology North in Yellowknife decided to help us all understand how quickly things are changing by making a twitter bot – @ykclimatewatch that compares temperatures of the past with those of today.

        “The more you act on climate, the less likely you are going to be anxious about it,” said Gagnon.
        His solution was to create bot that compares each day’s temperature to average temperatures in the community on that?date, so people can see the trend for themselves.

        Ecology North’s YK Climate Watch?Twitter bot is still in its infancy. Its official tweets started in January.
        The bot automatically calculates the mean, or average, temperature of the day between 1971 and 2000. It then compares the historical average?— or the?“climate normal” which is the three-decade averages?—?to the average temperature of the day on Environment Canada.

        Read more.

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