According to a new Pew Research survey, Americans are cautiously optimistic about what the future of technology holds. The survey found that 59 percent of Americans think future technologies will make the world a better place, while just 30 percent think new developments will leave the world worse off.
Most people living today are acutely aware of the breakneck speed at which technology is evolving, and this awareness was reflected in the survey's results. Here's how people answered when asked what new developments they think will take place in the next 50 years.
81 percent of surveyed participants think replacement organs will be custom grown in laboratories by the year 2064. 51 percent of people think computers will be able to create paintings, novels, and music that is indecipherable from creative works made by humans. 39 percent think scientists will have solved teleportation, and 33 percent believe humans will have established long-term space colonies. 20 percent of people think humans will control the weather by 2064.
In addition to questions about future technologies, participants were asked for their opinions on whether certain tech developments would make the world a better or worse place. This is where the majority of people displayed a healthy skepticism about the future.
65 percent of people think robot caretakers for the elderly and disabled would make the world a worse place (side note: Japan already uses robots for this exact purpose). 66 percent of respondents think the world would be worse off if parents could alter the DNA of their prospective children. 63 percent think the world would suffer if airspace was opened up to personal drones. Finally, 53 percent of people think the use of digital devices to constantly display information to people in real time would make the world a worse place.
Some more interesting finds from the survey: 48 percent of people said they would be open to traveling in a driverless car. 72 percent of people would oppose using brain implants to improve mental capacity and performance. 78 percent of people say they would not eat genetically engineered meat grown in a laboratory.
As you’d expect, young people (ages 18-29) were the most excited about the future of technology. Meanwhile, 41 percent of people ages 65+ could not even think of one possible future technology they would enjoy using.
Source: Pew Research Internet Project
Eleanor Roosevelt was the nation’s best first lady, according to a Siena College Research Institute and C-Span poll that was released on Saturday.
The Siena College survey ranked first ladies based on their background, public image, integrity, accomplishments and value to the country.
“Among First Ladies of the 20th-21st centuries,” Director of Siena Research Institute Don Levy wrote, “she is seen as best on advancing women’s issues, as the strongest communicator, greatest political asset, performing the greatest service to the country after leaving office and as creating a lasting legacy.”
During her time as first lady Roosevelt held news conferences, traveled the country and expressed her opinion freely in a daily newspaper column.
Roosevelt was followed by Abigail Adams; Jacqueline Kennedy came in third.
Michelle Obama was ranked for the first time in fifth place, bumping Hilary Clinton down two spots from fourth to sixth.
Among the first ladies who were considered most capable of running the country, however, Clinton held the top spot. The ranking could prove beneficial as Clinton is seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016.
Obama was seen as the third most likely first lady to head the Oval Office because of her wish to balance family life, interest in women’s issues and well-regarded communication skills.
Americans are good at a lot of things – business, football, eating, and making muscle cars, to name a few.
Want to know something thing we’re not good at? Science. For all of our money and international prowess, America is ranked just 17th in the world in science education. Not good.
In 2010, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called America’s mediocre educational rankings “an absolute wake-up call for America.”
“The results are extraordinarily challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth,” Duncan said. “We have to get more serious about investing in education.”
Well, here we are four years later and still not doing much better. The National Science Foundation just released the results of their latest scientific survey, and the findings are embarrassing. Let’s take a look at what some of our fellow countrymen and women think about science.
One in four Americans doesn’t realize the earth revolves around the sun. Let that sink in. It’s been over 400 years since Copernicus proved that all planets revolve around the sun, yet over a quarter of people in the richest nation on earth don’t know it.
21% of respondents answered that the sun revolves around the earth, while 7% were humble enough to admit they didn’t know the answer.
Next up: light.
Despite the best efforts of Queen, Chris Brown, and your science teacher, nearly one in four Americans doesn’t know that light travels faster than sound. It is a basic fact that nothing in the known universe travels faster than the speed of light. Einstein told us this over 100 years ago.
Here are two more head-shaking findings.
63% of respondents thought antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria.
43% said that electrons – tiny, negatively charged particles inside of atoms – were bigger than atoms. 37% were unsure which particles were bigger, and just 20% answered the question correctly.
The survey asked participants nine basic scientific questions. The average score was a 6.5 out of 9 – good for a 72%. America was three points away from getting a D on a test of things we should have learned in 5th grade.
American Jews are proud to be Jewish, though nearly one in five describe themselves as having no religion, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Tuesday.
The opinion is generational, the survey reports, with 32 percent of Jewish Millennials identifying as Jewish because of their ancestry, ethnicity or culture. Those who were born between 1914 and 1927 identified as Jewish based on their faith.
Altogether, those who said they followed the Jewish faith have dropped by half since the 1950s.
"This shift in Jewish self-identification reflects broader changes in the US public," Pew's Religion and Public Life Project reads. "Americans as a whole - not just Jews - increasingly eschew any religious affiliation.”
A total of 22 percent of American Jews reported that they were atheist or agnostic, or simply did not follow any religion, identifying as “Jews of no religion”.
Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, president of Jewish philanthropy group the Wexner Foundation, said the numbers are unsurprising.
"They are not connected to Jewish life the way their parents or grandparents were," he said. "I don't think this means we count them out."
Pew interviewed 3,475 Jewish Americans by telephone between February and June, giving a statistical margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
A survey has found that a brand new iPhone 5 might be more intriguing than a love interest to a small percentage of men.
The Blaze reports that a survey, which was done by a website in the United Kingdom, found that one in eight men would select a new iPhone over a girlfriend and that three percent of respondents would dump their current love interest for the new iPhone.
Apparently, a new smartphone, even if it’s not the iPhone, would be a good enough reason for some men to end their relationships.
Five percent of those surveyed indicated they would be willing to end their relationship in order to get a smartphone not made by Apple, according to The Telegraph.
The survey’s findings come from the website SaleLand.co.uk, which asked more than 500 men to share their opinions.
"There’s been so much excitement building up around the release of the iPhone 5 with many believing it the ultimate smartphone,” said a spokesperson for the website. “Nevertheless, you don’t expect to see one in eight men prepared to forgo love, or in the case of three per cent, ditch their current partner to get their hands on one.”
The spokesperson understands the excitement for the new iPhone, but wonders about giving up love for it.
“The Apple product has a wide variety of functions but even the iPhone’s most recent incarnation can’t offer some of the things that romance can.”
According to a recent study, 11 million Americans over the age of 18 do not use the Internet. That’s about 15 percent of adults nationwide.
Buzzfeed reported statistics from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project Spring Tracking Survey from April 17 through May 19, 2013.
According to the report, 3.3 million people surveyed claim the Internet has no relevance to them. The majority of non-users say the Internet is a “waste of time,” they don’t have the time or need, or they “just aren’t interested.”
“Most offline adults either don’t see the Internet as relevant to them, or feel that it would not be worth the effort,” Kathryn Zickuhr, the author of the study, told BuzzFeed.
These statistics may come as a shock to those of us who rely on the Internet for nearly everything in our daily lives. It would be the equivalent of the entire population of Seattle deciding the Internet is of no use to them, Buzzfeed noted.
Other reasons people stated for not using the Internet included lack of access, too expensive, physically unable (e.g. poor eyesight or disabled), or worries about privacy.
A summary of the report can be seen below:
A new Rasmussen Report poll has found that George Zimmerman and President Barack Obama share roughly the same disapproval rating.
Only 32 percent of Americans view Zimmerman favorably, while 48 percent view him unfavorably. The poll also found that 44 percent of Americans now agree with the not guilty verdict, which is down slightly from last week.
Likewise, 44 percent of Americans view Obama favorably and 48 percent view the him unfavorably.
The disapproval ratings on these two controversial figures are identical, but Americans are more likely to take a neutral stance in their approval for Zimmerman than they are with Obama. It is not surprising that Americans tend to have a strong stance on Obama one way or another. After all, it is easy to be apathetic about a Florida court case, but it is much harder to be disinterested in the politics of the president of the United States.
Rasmussen Reports surveyed 1,000 adults and estimates a margin of error of about +/-3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
Obama recently reached out to black voters when he said in a press conference, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” Perhaps it would have been more accurate if Obama had compared himself to Zimmerman instead.
How do you compare Obama to Zimmerman? Do you dislike them equally? Do you like one much more than other? Considering that both of these men have been central figures in national debates regarding gun control and race, Zimmerman and Obama may have much more in common than either of them realize.
War is hell. Based on a new study, it might be more appropriate to amend that famous quote to “Daily life is hell.”
The Graduate Institute in Geneva recently released a study revealing that a whopping 90 percent of gun deaths are caused outside of international armed conflict. The study found that approximately 526,000 people died from guns worldwide between 2004 and 2009, and most of those deaths did not involve international conflicts or wars.
The Graduate Institute also estimates that civilians dwarf the military forces of the world by owning about 75 percent of the 875 million firearms worldwide. That translates into about 656 million guns in the hands of civilians and 219 million guns owned by military forces, or about 1 gun for every 8 people. This statistic includes all forms of handheld firearms, from revolvers and hunting rifles to machine guns and assault rifles. Stationary weapons like ships’ turrets are not included in these figures.
The study also argues that the economics surrounding firearms has a direct impact on armed conflict. "We see that ammunition prices are, in fact, following levels of fatalities in Syria,” said senior researcher Glenn McDonald. He pointed to an incident in Syria when the rise in price of ammo cartridges caused Syrian fighters to dump FN FAL rifles in favor of AK 47s, which had cheaper ammunition.
Further, the study found that between 40 to 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by an intimate partner, often with a gun. The researchers noted that these numbers spike if the woman keeps a gun in her home.
Overall, the study does not paint a very positive picture of firearms. The fact that guns kill so many people isn’t very surprising. What is shocking is just how many of those deaths are caused by civilians, and that there is such a huge number of guns in the world.
Source: Huffington Post
A new report detailing how Republicans lost the confidence of young voters during the 2012 elections was made public on Monday.
Conducted by the College Republican National Committee, the 95-page report was based on a pair of 800-subject surveys and six ethnically and economically diverse focus groups. Entitled “The Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation,” the report says the GOP faces a "dismal present situation” and that survey takers called the party "closed-minded, racist, rigid."
This is on the front page of the CNC’s website:
Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation
President Barack Obama won 5 million more votes than Gov. Mitt Romney among voters under the age of 30 in the 2012 election. Despite Romney holding a 2 million-vote advantage over the President among voters aged 30 and older, Obama’s significant lead with the youth vote was enough to ensure his re-election. While it is true that the Democratic Party is on a recent winning streak with the youth vote, this was not always the case. Young voters have broken for the Republican Party in the past, and not just in midterm elections.
We believe that Republicans can win young voters but that it will require a significantly different approach than has been used in recent elections. In this report, we propose what such an approach would entail and offer research-based insights that can guide Republicans wishing to find success with a new generation.
Making in-roads with young voters is both possible and essential, and must begin today.
The report took a look at many key issues facing the GOP including:
Gay marriage: “On the ‘open-minded’ issue … [w]e will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.”
Hispanics: “Latino voters … tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”
Perception of the party’s economic stance: “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”
Surprisingly, just 17 percent of respondents to one of the surveys called the fight against terrorism a priority for elected officials, Newser reported.