Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to Society

This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about society. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of multiculturalism, tourism, surveillance and societal norms.
Welcome to Society
Welcome to Society
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How do we think about the George Floyd murder?

On May 25 2020, George Floyd was suffocated to death by the police. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. In chilling footage that would go viral within 24 hours, officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes ignoring Floyd's repeated pleas for him to move. The asphyxiation led to his cardiac arrest. Floyd's death has so far inspired protests acros...

Is Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a type of program in which all people receive a regular sum of money unconditionally, regardless of employment or current wages. Proposed UBI programs vary across the world, allowing different UBI programs to align with both progressive and conservative goals. Several UBI pilot studies have been tried throughout the world, and the interpretations of results vary wid...

Should the BBC license be mandatory?

Introduced in 1923, more than 25 million UK TV owners pay the annual license fee that fund the BBC’s television and radio operations. Non-payment is considered a criminal offence and can result in a hefty fine. As other European nations move away from mandatory license fees, should the UK government follow suit?

Mapping the world's opinions.

Are the Kardashians-Jenners feminists?

The Kardashian-Jenners have built an empire worth over a billion dollars around their name alone. While some argue their entrepreneurship is inspiring for young women, others point to their sexualization and fixation on appearance as evidence they are bad influences on young women. Are the Kardashian-Jenners empowering, feminist figures? Or do they demean all that feminism stands for?

Who should be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee?

The Democrats are preparing to beat Donald Trump in the 2020 US Presidential election. While united by party, the contenders are divided on how they plan to take the US forward. So, who are the possible top candidates? What are their policies and what do they represent? And could they beat Donald Trump in an election?

Should children's toys be gendered?

Traditionally, toymakers market their products to either girls or boys. The toy industry presents dolls and dresses as being girls’ toys, while cars and construction tools are for boys. In recent years, advocates have highlighted the presence of harmful gender stereotypes in such marketing tactics. Considering our society’s ongoing discussion of gender identity, should children’s toys be gendered?

What are the pros and cons of capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system in which the four factors of production (entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor) are owned by private entities with the aim of generating a profit. Capitalism requires a free market economy driven by supply and demand. There is a lack of government intervention. Competition helps keep prices moderate and production efficient. This stands in o...

How should we address homelessness?

A homeless individual lacks a permanent and safe nighttime residence. Approximately 150 million people worldwide suffer from homelessness. Although a wide variety of potential solutions exist, experts disagree about the correct response to this widespread problem.

Would a Mars colony need a fixed government?

Advanced Space capabilities are in all likelihood coming rather soon, with SpaceX’s next generation rockets at the forefront. However, exploration of how a colony will fit into the global stage has only been explored by fiction authors thus-far and not decision - makers.

Should prisons be abolished?

Prison abolitionism is an ongoing debate globally, but in American society in particular. Prisons were first created to punish the guilty for their crimes and protect the innocent from harm. Now, some are creating rehabilitation programs to help the incarcerated have a better life after being released. Are prison systems effective, and would abolishing them be beneficial for society?

Do we need manned space flights?

Seeing a man on the moon was one of the coolest things of the 1960's. Since then, shuttle have been sending many, many people up to complete missions. These are costly and incredibly dangerous. Are manned missions economically viable or is it more effective to focus on less expensive drone missions?

What defines the word "love"?

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?

Where does 420 come from?

For stoners worldwide, the 20th of April has long represented a day of celebration. Known commonly as '4:20' participants spend the day smoking cannabis and glorifying the culture that comes with it. But why? Competing theories exist over its origins. So, where does 420 come from?

Should Parlia support local opinions?

In other words there are many debates within localities. “Should there be a new traffic light installed outside the elementary school” people might say yes for safety reasons, people might say no because of the tax expense. Wouldn’t this be a good use of Parlia?

Should mobile contact-tracing be used to tackle COVID-19?

Contact-tracing apps - mobile applications where individuals can track their symptoms - have been proposed as a possible salve to the spread of coronavirus. Experts believe that at least half the population needs to use contact-tracing apps for them to work. The challenge will be convincing the public to opt in after years of trust issues with big tech.

Should you give money to beggars?

For people fortunate enough to have extra money in their pockets, giving it away can be fraught with stress. The decision to give or not to give money to homeless people has real-world consequences. This question is not concerned with the legality of giving money, but rather with the moral and ethical dilemma that goes along with it.

Is marriage an outdated custom?

The idea of marriage scares many people and it is seemingly becoming less and less ideal for younger generations. Nevertheless, marriages are still occurring. Marriage allows partners to identify their commitment on a higher level, as well as gaining benefits such as financial stability. However, government involvement in marriages can cause people to shy away from the institution. Others feel th...

What caused the American Civil War?

The American Civil War (1861-1865) officially began with the battle of Fort Sumter on April 12th-13th, 1861 and fundamentally shifted the trajectory of American history. Arguably the first instance of modern total war for the United States, the war impacted virtually every facet of American society. However, different perceptions of its origins and legacy persist across regions and demographics i...

Were Indian police complicit in the Palghar lynching?

On 16 April 2020, two Hindu priests and their driver were killed. This happened after the men were stopped by a crowd of men at a checkpoint amid coronavirus lockdown, accused of being thieves or child kidnappers, and then taken away and killed. The presence of the police at the scene has raised questions about their involvement. Did they do enough to try to stop the killings? Or did they let it t...

Do zodiac signs influence anything?

Astrology is the belief that the alignment of stars and planets at an individual's time of birth affect their mood, personality, and environment. In astrology, personalized horoscopes are printed by birth date and make vague predictions, generally about the love life, success, and health of everyone who has that sign. But how does this work? Can the movement of planets have this much impact?

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

The hotdog is a beloved meal that exists in many forms around the world, from Chicago dog, to the ballpark frank, the chilli dog, and on and on. A frankfurter placed within a bun with any variety of condiments in all sorts of combinations. But the question remains, is the hotdog a sandwich?

Is Anarchism possible?

Anarchism describes a diverse range of political and philosophical beliefs, ranging from the individualism of anarcho-capitalism to the communitarianism of anarcho-syndicalism. However, they hold in common a belief in the primacy of freedom: the individual's ability to act according to their conscience, without coercion from or subjugation to an oppressive authority. Often, this authority is iden...

Are rent caps a good idea?

Rent caps, which set limits on permissible rent charges or cap annual rent increases during tenancies, have been adopted by many cities as a way of curbing rising rents. But do rent caps actually work? Do they keep city rents affordable? Or are they part of the problem?

Should multicultural literature be included in the high school curriculum?

Multicultural literature includes literature about people who are underrepresented in mainstream society and have been marginalized in some way, including Asian-American, African-American, and Chicano-American literature. For the most part, high school curriculum for English courses revolve around teaching the classics, but should more diverse literature be taught in high schools?

Should we boycott Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. In March, allegations broke that CA obtained private information from an estimated 50 million Facebook users without their permission. This data was then shared with third parties, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The issue has raised concerns about privacy in the age of Big Data, a...

Should we have daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time has been around for over a century now. Recently, however, some debate has sparked as to whether or not it is still necessary to partake in. Are there truly benefits of participating in it? Or is it an outdated concept of the 20th century?

Is it offensive for sports teams to use Native American mascots?

Teams like the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians have always used Native American imagery and mascots in their branding. Advocacy groups accuse them of cultural appropriation and playing on racial slurs. Are their claims justified? Is the use of Native American imagery a sign of respect for their culture? Is their offence justified?

Has the Trump administration responded well to COVID-19?

Government responses to emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak can have a critical impact on the health and wellbeing of the public, and on the economy and society at large. So how have President Trump and his team responded? Will the American people benefit from or be hurt by the actions of the Trump Administration?

Should white people have dreadlocks?

Throughout history, dreadlocks have been significant to cultures around the globe. The matted and locked hairstyle was a way for people to prevent or slow positive energies from leaving the body. More recently, dreads have been an important aspect of Rastafarians and African-American culture in the United States. Yet, when white people try dreadlocks, there is often backlash and accusations of cul...

Can someone be transracial?

With the outrage following Rachel Dolezal's falsified claims of being African American in 2015, the question of racial identity has been raised. Should we have the right to identify as a different race than the one assigned at birth? And is transracial identity legitimate, or another means of cultural appropriation?

Should birth control be free?

Birth control has many positive impacts, including pregnancy prevention, protection from STDs, and allowing regulation of the menstrual cycle. However, these products can cost large amounts of money, the onus of payment for which is generally on women. Should these products be free, or should they cost money?

Who should you help during the coronavirus pandemic?

With death tolls mounting, hospitals overflowing, unemployment skyrocketing, and much of the population confined to their homes, there is no shortage of people in need. But who should you help during the coronavirus pandemic? Where are the efforts best spent in order to do the most good?

Is alternative medicine effective?

Complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products for diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention which are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Complementary means to improve the effect of something and suggests a treatment that complements mainstream, orthodox treatment, whilst alternative means instead ...

Should medical marijuana be legal?

Medical marijuana has been a highly debated topic throughout the United States as more and more Americans are legally accessing the drug. As new states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, some have criticized these decisions. Many imply that the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is merely a “back door” method of legalizing the drug for recreational use.

Is tourism beneficial to developing countries?

Everywhere is a tourist destination nowadays. With flights available every hour, the possibilities are endless. However, this combined with the internet's ability to help people plan trips anywhere means that many developing countries that previously had no tourism now are flooded with them. When tourists land in a country in the midst of developing, is it beneficial to that place? Or is it detrim...

Who should pay for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security?

On March 31 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially ceased to be senior members of the royal family. Their decision to step down from royal duties comes at a price. Their high security detail is alleged to have cost the UK taxpayer upwards of $9 million. No longer entitled to any public protection, and now based in Los Angeles, some argue the couple must foot the bill themselves. Others c...

Is coronavirus aggravating Islamophobia in India?

As covid-19 hit the headlines and became a national emergency in India, Islamophobia surged. On Twitter, furious posts poured out of the nation with the gruesome hashtag #CoronavirusJihad. The inference was clear: many Indians were using the pandemic as an excuse to victimise its Muslim population. Critics claim its government has done little to stop this, while others say the threat is exaggerate...

How can I help others during coronavirus / COVID-19?

The coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic will impact people in deeply asymmetric ways. While many people have access to healthcare, robust immune systems and the ability to pay for, transport and store stockpiles of groceries, many others are not as lucky. How can those better able to cope help those more vulnerable?

Should transgender people use the bathroom that matches their identity?

There is continued controversy around which bathroom trans people should use - that which is true to their identity, or that which matches their assigned gender at birth. While radical feminist women's groups characterise this as an issue of safety, it can also be seen as a fundamental contravention of trans people's rights to not allow them to use the bathroom that matches their identity.

Is advertising morally wrong?

Advertising is ubiquitous to modern day society. You would be hard-pressed to go a day or even an hour without seeing some form of advertising. However, the whole point of advertising is to manipulate our minds into largely pointless purchases. Should we condone the amount of advertising we see? Or is it wrong?

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