Robert Rosenkranz introduces the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Video Games Will Make Us Smarter
Video games have long received blame in the media for promoting violence and desensitizing players to it, but in recent years, many video game creators have begun developing games that focus on critical social issues facing mankind, such as climate change, poverty and so on. The video game industry continues to experience considerable growth, but is this growth benefiting players and making them more in-tune with the modern social plights of humankind, or is this growth contributing to antisocial behavior among players while making them increasingly numb to extreme violence?
The phrase “universal basic income” is becoming increasingly well-known among Americans, thanks in large part to Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg expressing his support for the concept during his recent commencement speech at Harvard University. Essentially, universal basic income involves a country giving a set amount to its citizens each month – say, $600 – to help offset the struggles many experience because of diminishing job opportunities, a growing reliance on technology and automation and increasingly widespread poverty.
As an investor, I once financed a group of computer scientists applying machine learning and statistical analysis to outperform the stock market.It took us four or five years to beat the averages by mere hundredths of a percent. This was not a huge advantage. On the other hand, our small team of six was outperforming teams that would typically employ hundreds of professional analysts and portfolio managers.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans subscribe to creationism—the belief that, approximately 10,000 years ago, God created humans as we are today. In total, half of Americans believe that humans evolved over time, with 31 percent holding the opinion that God guided this evolution, and 19 percent believing that evolution took place without the aid of a higher power. Despite the strength of creationism’s appeal, the portion of the American public that believes in evolution independent of any type of God has doubled since 1999. This seems to have only fueled the debate between science and religion. For many, a belief in God provides the only answer to such existential inquiries as, “How did we get here?” and “What is our purpose?” while others find that modern science contradicts religion’s most basic principles. Intelligence Squared US (IQ2US) took on this highly divisive topic on December 5, 2012, questioning whether science and religion can coexist with a debate on the motion, “Science Refutes God.”
In March 2015, the US government issued a new set of hydraulic fracturing safety mandates aimed at protecting groundwater on federal and tribal lands. The updated regulations from the Department of the Interior impacted around 90,000 operations across the country, requiring disclosure of chemical use and more stringent wastewater containment efforts. However, a number of states have opposed the new mandates, arguing that federal law grants a state the right to regulate oil and gas operations. In June 2015, a Wyoming federal judge blocked the implementation of the rules pending further review, and both sides of the case continue to develop their arguments.