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Why You Should (Almost) Always Give a 5-Star Rating

One type of business that has not only survived but thrived during the pandemic is home grocery delivery. In addition to many grocery stores themselves offering delivery, there are app-based services, like Instacart, which work on a system much like other gigging apps like Uber or Lyft. People can sign up as a contract worker – or “shopper,” as they’re known in the Instacart world – where they can accept orders, pick them up from the relevant store, and deliver them to the customer.

The antidote to fake news is to nourish our epistemic wellbeing | Ideas

We typically think about ‘wellbeing’ in terms of physical and mental health. To improve your physical wellbeing, it might be best to exercise; to increase your mental wellbeing, consider putting your phone down once in a while. There is another, less noted way in which we should think about our wellbeing: in terms of knowledge. Knowledge is good for us not only because we generally want to know the truth, but because knowledge dramatically affects our ability to navigate the world and accomplish

Dangerous beliefs | Kenneth Boyd

Our beliefs about the world guide our actions in it. Likewise, our actions reveal our beliefs. But are there beliefs we hold in theory, but would never act on? Such a distinction can be dangerous and irresponsible, writes Kenneth Boyd. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be ripe source material for those looking to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories throughout social media and elsewhere online. One does not have to look far before finding people defending beliefs that the virus was m

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Are Politicians Obligated to Debate?

In the leadup to the provincial election in Ontario, many members of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party have been avoiding the debates taking place in their respective ridings. In fact, 22 out of 34 Conservatives have recently failed to show up to debates in which members of their rival parties were participating, a number that greatly exceeds the absences from all other parties combined. Do these absences represent a failure of politicians to fulfil a democratic duty?

Informed Consent and the Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast was again the subject of controversy when a recent episode was criticized by scientific experts for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations. It was not the first time this has happened: Rogan has frequently been on the hot seat for espousing views on COVID-19 that contradict the advice of scientific experts, and for entertaining guests who provided similar views.

The Ethics of Protest Trolling

There is a new Trump-helmed social media site being developed, and it’s been getting a lot of attention from the media. Called “Truth Social,” the site and associated app initially went up for only a few hours before it was taken offline due to trolling. Turns out, the site’s security was not exactly top-of-the-line: users were able to claim handles that you think would have been reserved for others – including “donaldjtrump” and “mikepence”.

Why You Should (Almost) Always Give a 5-Star Rating

One type of business that has not only survived but thrived during the pandemic is home grocery delivery. In addition to many grocery stores themselves offering delivery, there are app-based services, like Instacart, which work on a system much like other gigging apps like Uber or Lyft. People can sign up as a contract worker – or “shopper,” as they’re known in the Instacart world – where they can accept orders, pick them up from the relevant store, and deliver them to the customer.

Can We Heckle Unvaccinated Athletes?

A lot of the pleasure I take in watching sports comes not only from seeing the teams and people I like succeed, but also from seeing those I dislike fail. For instance, I will gladly watch the Blue Jays players hit an impressive string of dingers, but will equally enjoy seeing Ben Roethlisberger get sacked. Being a sports fan means feeling both pride and schadenfreude, and it comes with the territory of being a professional athlete that some people are going to love you, and some just aren’t.

Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, and the Dangers of Scientific Preprints

There is a new drug of choice among those who have refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19, or are otherwise looking for alternative treatments: ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug that is used primarily in farm animals. The drug recently made headlines in the U.S. after a judge in Ohio ordered a hospital to treat a patient with it, and a number of countries in Latin America and Europe have begun using it, as well. It is not the first time that a drug that was developed for something else entirely

The Higher and Lower Pleasures of the French Culture Pass

French president Emmanuel Macron recently introduced a “culture pass,” what amounts to €300 for each 18-year-old in France to spend on cultural activities – like going to the movies, seeing a play, or going to a museum – or for buying items that are of cultural or artistic value – such as books, art materials, membership in classes, etc. The French youth need only download an app, and then they have 2 years to spend the funds on whichever of the above they see fit. Some have praised the initiati

Sha'Carri Richardson and the Spirit of the Game

Sprinter and Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson made headlines recently when she was suspended from the US women’s team after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. Using marijuana is in violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) World Anti-Doping Code, which includes “all natural and synthetic cannabinoids” on its prohibited list. Richardson has accepted responsibility for violating the rules, and while she stated that she is not looking to be excused, she explained

An End to Pandemic Precautions?

I feel like I have bad luck when it comes to getting sick. Every time there’s a cold going around, I seem to catch it, and before I started regularly getting the flu shot, I would invariably end up spending a couple of weeks a year in abject misery. During the pandemic, however, I have not had a single cold or flu. And I’m far from alone: not only is there plentiful anecdotal evidence, but there is solid scientific evidence that there really was no flu season to speak of this year in many parts

Ethical Considerations in the Lab-Leak Theory

President Biden announced recently that he would be launching an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. While the standard narrative over much of the course of the pandemic has been that it was initially transmitted to humans via contact with animals in Wuhan, China – thought by many to be bats, although there have also been theories that pangolins could have been involved – a second possibility has also been entertained, namely that the virus originated in a virology lab. Indeed, thi

Hybrid Workplaces and Epistemic Injustice

The pandemic has, among other things, been a massive experiment in the nature of work. The percentage of people who worked from home either part- or full-time jumped massively over the past year, not by design but by necessity. We are, however, nearing a time in which people may be able to return to working conditions that existed pre-pandemic, and there have thus been a lot of questions about what work will look like going forward. Recent studies have indicated that while many people want to co

Can You Be a Different Person After the Pandemic?

An opinion piece in The New York Times recently made the rounds on social media, and makes what looks like a pretty big claim: “you can be a different person after the pandemic.” While the title of the article quickly became a meme, the article itself emphasizes the possibility of a “post-pandemic dispositional makeover.” For example, if you were the kind of person who was chronically late before the pandemic, you can work on developing your conscientiousness so that once you’re able to meet peo

Workers' Well-Being and Employers' Duties of Care

If you’ve been working from home during the pandemic then there’s a good chance your employer has sent you an email expressing their concern about your well-being and general level of happiness. Perhaps they’ve suggested some activities you could perform from the comfort of your own home working space, or offered Zoom classes or workshops on things like meditation, exercise, and mindfulness. While most likely well-intentioned, these kinds of emails have become notorious for being out of touch wi

Facebook Groups and Responsibility

After the Capitol riot in January, many looked to the role that social media played in the organization of the event. A good amount of blame has been directed at Facebook groups: such groups have often been the target of those looking to spread misinformation as there is little oversight within them. Furthermore, if set to “private,” these groups run an especially high risk of becoming echo chambers, as there is much less opportunity for information to flow freely within them. Algorithms that Fa
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