Things Are Good: GDPR Might Make the Internet Better by Eliminating Shady Businesses

Now that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is in effect companies are reacting. You may have noticed new messages on websites outlining that they are collecting information on you, or maybe you’ve received emails updating you on new privacy policies. Those notices are a result of the GDPR’s rules around how companies spy on ...

Things Are Good: America Might Find Salvation in Satire

2016 witnessed the election of Donald Trump thanks in a large part to Russian meddling in the American democratic process. One of the most effective things that the Russians did was lie and spread contradictory information to make it hard for people to discern reality. Trump’s marketing skills made use of these Russian efforts to ...

Things Are Good: Safer Cities Stem from Active Communities

In the 1990s former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani popularized the broken window theory which is a zero tolerance approach to getting rid of crime. At first it proved successful and the approach spread, only later was it revealed that other factors were at work. Today, the solution to fighting crime and bringing life back ...

Things Are Good: This Flowchart Helps You Evaluate any Argument

Figure 1 from Cook, Ellerton, and Kinkead 2018. CC BY 3.0 Complex issues with multiple influential factors can be difficult to process for some. Three researchers from George Mason University and the University of Queensland decided to help people evaluate arguments by combining their own knowledge into one handy flowchart. The flowchart (above) is a ...

Things Are Good: Reading is for Winners

It’s easy to fall out of the habit of reading books because of the endless entertainment options we access through our phones. This year you ought to put down your phone and pick up a book. Yes, you can read and you can read a lot! Over at Inc they compiled a quick list of ...

Things Are Good: A Healthy Mind Comes from Autonomy and a Sense of Control

A new book authors William Stixrud and Ned Johnson describe a healthy way to raise children is to let me e themselves. In the book, The Self-Driven Child, they argue that children – and adults – benefit from a sense of control over their lives. Indeed, stress and anxiety increase when one feels that they ...

Things Are Good: Celebrate Silence for a Clear Mind

For a healthy body and mind one ought to embrace silence. It turns out that silence is really helpful for our minds and can bring health benefits. The research into how good silence is for us is still up and coming but the results are looking good! Indeed, silence is so golden that Finland has ...

Things Are Good: Hundreds of Short Videos to Learn About Philosophy

Too many people think that philosophy is a practice for elites or people with too much time on their hands. Contrary to popular belief studying philosophy is easy and readily available. Studying philosophy helps with many aspects of life from logical thinking to mindful peace. Yes you can learn all about philosophy from some great ...

Things Are Good: David Byrne Launches Good News Site

David Byrne, artist extraordinaire, revealed his newest project to the world and I love it! Reasons to be Cheerful is a reaction to the bizarreness of 2017 and the craziness that 2018 has already witnessed. In an attempt to highlight the positivity in these turbulent times Reasons to be Cheerful sets out to remind people ...

Things Are Good: How to Have Better Conversations

Talking with others about certain issues can be challenging for you or the other person. You may leave such conversations feeling awkward or worse, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Social interaction and language researcher Elizabeth Stokoe, along with colleagues, looked into what we should say and how when talking with others. They ...

Things Are Good: Boomers Destroyed the Planet & Economy, Millennials Trying to Save Both

For the first time in a very long time an entire generation will be worse of than their parents. The wheels are in motion for that truth to be a set reality that requires drastic change that society likely can’t handle. Still, millennials are going to try to make the world better than they found ...

Things Are Good: Lower Murder Rates by Rising Equality

The for most part murder rates have been dropping around the world, which in itself is good news, yet we can do better. New research is concluding that inequality rates are a major factor in murders, particularly in the USA. This means that by making the world better be reducing inequality we can also reduce ...

Things Are Good: Let’s get Boys to Feel More Things

In adults we know that having the ability to feel a range of emotions to be a good thing, it allows us to better appreciate the world around us. Yes, even feeling bad can actually be good for you in the long term. We tend to want feelings and experiences that make us feel better ...

Things Are Good: Volunteering Improves Your Mental Health

Volunteering is good for others, and it’s good for the volunteers too. People all have difference reasons for volunteering in their communities and whatever motivates them clearly helps others too. What’s really interesting is that it turns out that volunteers are rewarded by better mental health. Yes, volunteering can help people deal with depression and ...

Things Are Good: The Best Interrogation Technique is to Listen

Over the course of the last decade interrogation techniques involved violence, yelling, and trying to “outsmart” the person being interviewed. Sadly that’s how interrogations were shown in entertainment and in reality at places like Guantanamo (which is still running). This bizarre approach to information gathering bothered psychologists Emily and Laurence Alison so they set out ...

Things Are Good: Boredom is Good for you

Too many people are afraid of boredom and that needs to change. Boredom can actually be really good for you and helps you develop as a human being. Getting bored means that you’re familiar with what’s going on around you, resulting in your mind looking for stimulus within itself (and there’s a lot going on ...

Things Are Good: Be Lazy About Happiness

Dan Buettner has travelled the planet looking for ways to make people happy and has found that the best thing one can do is be relaxed about the whole thing. He wrote a book, The Blue Zones of Happiness,  that basically says happiness is a journey, not a destination. To be happy keep striving to become ...

Things Are Good: Lessons on Dealing with Assholes

The Asshole Survival Guide is a new book by Robert Sutton, a specialist in dealing with assholes. No, he’s not a proctologist. Sutton’s research is about what makes someone behave like a jerk and what others can do about it. He’s a psychology professor at Stanford University where they actually have a no assholes policy. ...

Things Are Good: A Heavy Blanket Helps People with Anxiety and Insomnia

A good nights sleep can make a world of difference to one’s health, getting that sleep can be hard though. A simple solution can help those who need more slumber: a heavy blanket. Sleeping under a weighted blanket kind of acts like a hug for your whole body – and everybody likes a good hug. ...

Things Are Good: Positively Trolling Racists on the Web

Racists aren’t smart, and recently their stupidity has been taken advantage of to make the internet a little better. The popular online community Reddit has some parts of the site occupied by racists and the larger contingent of the community got sick of it. Some members started to infiltrate those hateful parts of the community ...

Things Are Good: Learn Economics for Free in the Most Effective Way

Economics is a large field filled with nuance – and assumptions. One of those assumptions is that environmental concerns and inequality are secondary to that of economic concerns. These assumptions are questioned in a new course prepared by an international team of economists called the core team. Their work is available for anybody around the ...

Things Are Good: Helping Addicted Loved Ones

The opioid crisis in North America damages countless lives every year, and we may be making it worse in the way we talk about addiction. FiveThirtyEight decided to look into the best ways of helping addicts using a scientific approach, they conclude that love and compassion is the best approach. Addiction is a problem for ...

Things Are Good: Capitalism Will End, Celebrate What Comes Next

The damage that wealthy bankers did to the economy back in 2007/08 is still with us, and that has led to a whole generation questioning the validity of modern hyper-capitalism. That same germination witness ongoing environmental destruction and the erosion of labour rights (amongst a litany of other ills) all for the goal of getting ...

Things Are Good: Saving Knowledge From Going Extinct

Ultimology is a new field of thought which may help is in the future when we need it the most and don’t realize it. It’s the study of of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning. The Department of Ultimology is an art project that has set out to interpret what the study ...

Things Are Good: Use Happiness Research to Maximize Vacations

Regular readers already know that going on vacation is good for one’s happiness and there are ways to travel while keeping a small carbon footprint. It can be hard to find time to travel and expensive too, so how should one go about thinking about vacations? Vacations aren’t things that should be “efficient” or viewed ...