We hope you enjoy our wrap-up of the latest on fighting fatbergs and a new exoplanet discovery, some political news on rising isolationism and the future of US hegemony, and Hugh Jackman sharing his love for Peter Singer’s work.
As always, let us know about any interesting news you come across – we love hearing from you!
Suzi Jamil | Owner and Director of Think Inc.
Public service announcement: “Flushable” wipes are NOT flushable!
Wet wipes cause massive smelly and disgusting blockages, colloquially known as “fatbergs”. They can only be removed manually by some very brave and underpaid rake-wielding employees.
At the moment, any company can market their product as being flushable, but that’s about the change. Recently a national standard has been drafted and will apply not only to wet wipes but to paper towels and kitty litter.
This is the first time in the world that utilities and manufacturers have come together to define a clear and mutually accepted pass/fail criteria of what should and should not be flushed.
Scientists have discovered a new class of exoplanet which could support life!
They’ve found Hycean planets, which are much hotter and larger than Earth, leading scientists to say that maybe they’ve been focusing on habitable planets that are similar to Earth, but in fact there are habitable planets that are completely different from ours.
ISOLATIONISM ON THE RISE
The US's recent departure from Afghanistan has caused a lot of discussion around a global trend towards isolationism. Isolationism, put simply, is "staying in your lane" and not intervening in the turmoil of other nations.
A lot of recent discourse supports isolationism as being the moral, anti-imperial choice, but others believe that massive human rights abuses are going to be overlooked if we go down that path.
Want to know more? We recommend:
- Honesty with Bari Weiss, How We Failed Afghanistan (and Ourselves) with HR McMaster
- The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway, Deglobalization, Public Policy, and Government Intervention with Dambisa Moyo
On a similar topic, The Economist recently released a special series where they invited some of America's experts in international relations, such as Henry Kissinger and Francis Fukuyama, to give their predictions on the future of American power.
Francis Fukuyama had some interesting points that really tie into our Think Inc Academy course on religion and politics. He says that the most serious threat to the US’ global standing is that its society is deeply polarised, making it difficult for people to reach consensus on nearly everything, and that the ongoing pandemic has only made it more severe.
He argues that the US should not try to reclaim its former hegemonic position, but should work with like-minded countries to spread democratic values around the world… that’s not really staying in their lane!
Find a non-paywall summary of The Economist's American Power series here.
MURDOCH VS ABC
The recent ABC Four Corners is causing waves The program spoke to former Fox News insiders who claimed the channel became a propaganda outlet for Trump.
John Menadue AO's Public Policy Journal, Pearls and Irritations, has been focusing on the issue of Murdoch and legacy media in Australia, publishing a series of articles under the umbrella of White Man's Media. The general premise is that the Australian media has clung to the UK and US for too long, and that we need to branch out on our own.
HUGH JACKMAN PETER SINGER
Hugh Jackman has recorded a video recommending Peter Singer’s book The Life You Can Save.
Jackman praises it as being inspiring, revolutionary, and giving practical advice on how to change the world for the better.
You can download a free copy of the new edition or, if you prefer, there’s a free audiobook read by celebrities including Stephen Fry and Kristen Bell. Go and read it, Wolverine says so
If you’re interested in Effective Altruism, sign up for our Think Inc. Academy course with Luke K Freeman, a leader in the Effective Altruism movement. All the proceeds go directly to The Life You Can Save.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Say hello to this serrated, comb-like arrowhead (Maros point), typical of Toalean culture. It was found recently when a 7,300-year-old skeleton was unearthed in a cave in south Sulawesi. Scientists believe it may have be a ritual offering, or perhaps it simply fell into the grave.