Categorie: Samenleving

Is big brother really watching you?

In his dystopian novel ‘1984’, George Orwell introduces a society which is controlled by the government. All the news is fabricated and everything is monitored by the so-called “Thought Police”. The book discusses the consequences of an authoritarian government and how the manipulation of facts influences politics. For instance, the main job of the protagonist, Winston Smith, is to alter the news shown to society when it did not coincide with the way things really happened. Luckily, in our era things are way less extreme (at least in the Netherlands), but similarities can be drawn […]

26 januari • Door Simon Elgersma Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

Should we prohibit fireworks?

Every year during New Year’s Eve a lot of fireworks are being fired. Even though this is a very old tradition and brings many people great joy, it also brings us nuisance, injuries, and damage costs. This year, the government decided to prohibit all fireworks during New Year’s Eve 2020-2021, due to the circumstances around Covid-19. It is not yet certain whether this prohibition will be continued for the years after 2021, but more and more people are becoming an advocate of prohibiting fireworks. In this article, I will explain both arguments for and against […]

10 december • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

A station wagon full of data tapes vs. the internet

“Since we do not have up-to-date information on your order, we do not know whether or not it has arrived.” You or any of your acquaintances have probably received an email containing such a sentence. Due to the combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Friday and Sinterklaas package delivery services had one of its worst weeks of all time. People start to wonder how these services are still so lacking in this modern world. However, never underestimate the power of the courier industry.   Sending data Suppose you want to send a humongous amount of […]

08 december • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

Black Friday

It is almost that time of the year again: Black Friday. The day were most of us spend a lot of money (almost 90% more than usual) on presents for ourselves, friends, and relatives. A day which is well-known for its raging hordes of Black Friday shoppers. We have all seen the extreme videos were usually well-behaved individuals act like animals. The men and woman who run down the escalators at full speed and try to grab whatever they can on their way to the checkout desk. Interestingly, due to COVID-19, this year’s Black Friday […]

26 november • Door Berke Aslan Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten
New Zealand covid free

The price of a COVID-free society

  While almost the whole world is struggling to get a grip on COVID-19, New Zealand has been held up as an example by many of how to handle the virus outbreak. Due to closing their borders to non-citizens and enforcing a strict lockdown for six weeks, life in New Zealand was able to return to normal at the beginning of June, with most of the world looking on with envy. But with the number of infections rising up once again in most of Europe, we hear virtually nothing about them. So how have they […]

Rethink the way you think about randomness!

Imagine you get the opportunity to flip a coin for only 1 dollar : if it turns up heads, you win 50% and if it turns up tails you lose 40% of your initial bet. Of course we’re all familiar with calculating expected payoffs: since this bet has an expected payoff of 0.5*1.5 + 0.5*0.6=1.05, you should take it. Right? Well, it might be a little less obvious.   Suppose you flip the coin another time. Your wealth will, depending on the flips, either be 2.25 (two heads), 0.9 (one heads, one tails),  or 0.36 […]

12 november • Door Simon Elgersma Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

Is it mathematically possible for Trump to win the US election?

Running the US election takes many years, billions of dollars, a lot of self-efficacy and most importantly, 270 electoral votes. Last Thursday was the Election Day for the presidential elections of 2020. Joe Biden led the national polls since the start of the year and one day before the election he was still polling 52% ahead of Donald Trump. You might think it is obvious that the candidate with the most votes wins, but this is actually not the case…  During five different presidential elections (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016), the person who became […]

05 november • Door Renske Zijm Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

Embrace the spook

Scratching noises, soft but certainly close and drawing closer. You wake up and listen to them getting louder. Right in front of your bedroom door, the noise stops. The door handle starts to move down and the door is opening. Startled you reach for the light on your nightstand and turn it on. Movement at the doorpost. A hand, black and rotten, as if the owner has been dead for years, pulls back from the doorpost, back into the hallway. You scream. You hear loud stumbling noises in the hallway and the next moment the […]

29 oktober • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

Do you really need a VPN?

Are you reading this article using a VPN? If so, what made you decide to buy one? If not, did you ever consider getting one? Chances are quite small you have never heard of them, as everywhere you surf, advertisements flood you with the advantages of using a VPN. Many famous youtubers are getting sponsored by VPN companies to inform you about discount opportunities at the start of their videos. They all make claims about how you are unsafe on the internet and how using a VPN will solve these problems and wholly protect your privacy. […]

22 oktober • Door Pieter Dilg Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

Do we need medication to cure diseases?

The whole world has been undergoing quite some big changes since the start of the year 2020, all due to the new disease COVID-19. The scientists are in a hurry to find either a preventative vaccine or a curing medicine. However, what if something as harmless as a sugar pill could cure the disease? Now, I’m not saying this would work in this situation, but this kind of treatment has worked for different situations. This mysterious idea is called the placebo effect.  What is the placebo effect? The placebo effect is based on the idea […]

20 oktober • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

How can a secret stay secret?

The more people know about a secret, the greater the chance it will come out. Sounds logical right? Everyone has experienced what it is like to keep a secret and it is not exceptional that the truth comes out. Actually, secrets are like mini-conspiracy theories, so imagine the impact of how many people know the truth on a large and important conspiracy theory. Oxford University researcher David Robert Grimes developed a mathematical equation for the success rate of conspiracy theories. How long does it take for the truth to come out? One of the most […]

06 oktober • Door Renske Zijm Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

Stop the Democracy

The liberal democracy. For long, we have been led (or rather misled) to believe that the liberal democracy is the ideal system of governance. On one hand, it is true that democracies tend to give their subjects great freedom and prosperity. However, on the other hand, decision-making in democracies is negatively affected by emotions and biases. The average individual is politically uninformed, biased, and even incompetent, resulting in irrational decision-making. Perhaps, in our increasingly complex world, we need another system of governance. A system where rational political decisions are made to achieve optimal outcomes. Epistocracy […]

29 september • Door Berke Aslan Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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