10 Quora Threads to Follow This Month

superheroyou quora september 2015

There are hundreds of thousands of interesting Q&A threads on Quora – and we’ll probably never get to them all. But we’re all for improving knowledge, so here are 10 Quora threads to follow this month. Some are seasonal, some relate to recent world crises but all will help you live life more like a superhero.

1. What is the European migrant crisis all about?

Sample Answer: 

The violent upheavals in a number of Arab countries – Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and in Turkey & Iran – are causing desperate people to flee from there. They see very little hope at home, or in “brother” countries in the Gulf region. Therefore, they move toward Europe.

Europe hardly welcomes asylum seekers in such huge numbers. The result is that people smuggle themselves on boats across the Mediterranean, or packed in containers in trucks, even while knowing they have a 50% chance of reaching alive. Those who do reach the European coasts or lands, then try to move toward more prosperous countries.

It is an appalling human tragedy. Should countries try to insulate themselves and let thousands, tens of thousands, perish? Brings to mind the old argument about whether there should be “countries” dividing humankind, or should there be just one planet with people free to settle wherever they want? Natives worry, with reason, how their lives will be affected.

Meanwhile, the desperate, for whom it is a question of life or death, keep dying.

Kamal Gupta

2. What images will change the way a person sees the world after viewing them?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

1) The original “Earthrise”

This picture was the first taken of Earth from another body floating in space. 

– Jon Davis

3. Why is stealing money wrong?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

In the United States, my home country, the average life expectancy is 78.4 years. The median age of graduation from a university, a requisite for most career paths, is now 27. It takes about 5 years to establish oneself and begin earning a respectable living after college. Most Americans expect to retire at 66.

This means I have 34 years to earn money, but it takes an average of 18 years to pay off my student loans – so 13 of my 34 prime earning years. That gives me 21 years of real earnings, assuming I’m not spending a large amount of capital on my children. The slightest deviation from the mean and that number is suddenly in the teens.

There are so many things in life that we never experience because of this wage structure. We never visit places we dreamed of as kids, we miss our children’s milestones, and we miss decades of our parents wisdom because we were working through their twilight years. A career, though necessary, already takes so much LIFE from us.

That small, prescious amount of life we have left over, particularly when we are young and vibrant, is represented by our tangible assets. That is to say by money, or the things it might purchase.

When you steal from another person, you think you are taking money. What you are actually stealing is that person’s life. Thousands of heartbeats, days of work that we wish we had the ability to spend on something meaningful; spent with the hope of earning enough to make our free time more worthwhile.

When you steal money, you kill a part of that person. Because their time on this Earth is finite, you literally rip away part of their life force and transfer it to yourself.

That is why it is a crime, and wrong.

Ian Armstrong

4. Who are the likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidates and which is most likely to prevail?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

It is hard to tell at this point but pundits seem to think the following have a shot.

1. Hillary Clinton – High approval rating among democrats and second only to President Obama in fundraising ability

2. Andrew Cuomo – Governor of New York. Has a lot of name recognition from being governor of one of the largest Democrat states.

3. Joe Biden – Name recognition. Dozens of years in Congress. National and foreign policy experience.

4. Martin O’Malley – Governor of Maryland. Chairman of the Democratic Governor’s Association. He is a strong Obama supporter would could get the President’s endorsement if he runs.

5. Deval Patrick – Governor of Massachusetts. Close friend of President Obama.

If I had to choose, I’d say Hillary Clinton has the best chance. As a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State she needs no introduction. Her ability to fund raise and high approval among Democrats makes her a strong front runner at this early vantage point.

– Sam Swinton

5. What are the best short scary stories?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

A couple decided that they wanted to go out for the night, so they called up their usual babysitter to take care of the kids. When the babysitter arrived, the children were already asleep, so she decided that she would pass the time by watching some TV. However, the only TV in the house that had cable was situated inside the parents’ bedroom, so she called them to see if it was cool with them. The parents agreed, but then the babysitter asked if she could cover up the angel statue which was situated in the room, as it made her feel nervous. Upon hearing this, the father hesitated, then instructed her to immediately get the kids out of the house and call the police, because they did not own an angel statue.When the police arrived, the babysitter and children were found lifeless in a pool of blood, and the statue had disappeared.

– Faisal Romshoo

6. Is Columbus Day potentially offensive to Native Americans? Why?

Sample Answer:

Of course it is.

If it were just ‘He was the explorer who discovered the land’ then perhaps not (although as Kat Li says even on that view you could see him as initiating bad things and it might be tactful not to boast about it).

But Columbus was no mere explorer: as Governor he was directly responsible for the capture, enslavement and murder of hundreds of thousands American Indians. It is no exaggeration to say he was directly involved in genocide and celebrating him personally is as offensive as celebrating any other genocidal murderer.

– Rupert Baines

7. What are the best airport hacks?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

A couple things for airport/airplanes that came to mind:

1. When I was a flight companion for a friend who worked for an airline, she instructed me to bring bagged candy for flight attendants.

There’s good karma in this, and the attendants are also generally appreciative and offer seat upgrades and/or free food and drinks.

You can also try giving candy to people at the gate. They’ve very appreciative, and 1 out of every 3 or 4 times, they’ll also look to see if they can upgrade your seat – or at least stamp you to get through security faster.

2. If you want to check for upgrades and/or are flying Southwest, schedule your calendar to check in 24 hours before departure. You’ll see upgrades first and/or get the best boarding number available.

3. Bring extra water onto the plane. You need more while flying and unless you ask for a million tiny cups, you’re not going to have enough.

4. Keep a list of Internet-free things you can work on when on the plane. Often you can buy in-flight internet, but sometimes having no internet and no distractions can mean you’re crazy productive.

5. Buy compression socks and wear them for flights over 5 hours. This helps a ton with jet lag.

– Rachel Rofé

8. What is the most awe-inspiring rags to riches story ever?

Sample Answer:

A poor, junior high school dropout, who rose in rank from Janitor’s Assistant to CEO at Goldman Sachs while overcoming oppression.

He rescued Goldman Sachs from bankruptcy during the Great Depression and transformed the company into the premier investment bank in the world, all while overcoming the heavy anti-semitism that characterized the financial industry during that time period.

Sidney Weinberg may not be the richest, but his rags-to-riches story is one of overcoming oppression with a keen sense of social strategy.

Read Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent article about him in the New Yorker: Rags to riches: Goldman Sachs’ Sidney Weinberg

Michael Ishigaki

9. What are some of the best ways to become extremely smart?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Experience new experiences as much as humanly possible.

That’s the one and only rule. That’s it. You are done.

Your brain is the most wonderful creation in the universe. Our human brain is something exceptional and bizarre. Our frontal cortex is so unbelievably large in comparison to any other animal that it makes me wonder why many religions talk about the creation of Men in the image of God.

Our bodies… are mediocre at best. They are an amazing machine don’t get me wrong.. but many other animals possess much more impressive body characteristics than us.

When you experience NEW experiences your brain is in hyper drive. It creates NEW electrical connections and becomes even more complex and amazing than it already is.

Just make sure you remember what learning is while you are doing it.

Learning = Experiencing new experiences = Download + Process

Examples of “Download” = Reading, Hearing some other person speak, Viewing a new place, Watching a movie, Tasting a new taste, Smelling a new smell, Reading this answer right now.

Examples of “Process” = Thinking about what happened today, sleeping, Discussing your life with other people, talking to yourself, pausing for a moment while reading my answer and hearing your inner voice discuss your opinions up till now.

Gilad Soffer

10. What are some of the best ideas to make your mood better if you feel lonely?

Sample Answer:

For 10 minutes, hold a pencil between your teeth without touching the pen with your lips. I’m not joking. This forces you to smile, kind of. After 10 minutes you will be genuinely happy. This isn’t another new age self help nonsense. It’s a scientific theory supported by scientific research, called “Facial Feedback Hypothesis” Try it right now and give me an upvote when you’re happy.

By the way, when you start feeling happy, follow with some of the good advices given in the other answers. Faking a smile only gives you a jump start. You have to follow it with something meaningful to make your happiness last longer. I recommend helping others.

M Selman Sogut

Liked this? Check out the Quora threads we suggested in September!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc

There are hundreds of thousands of interesting Q&A threads on Quora – and we’ll probably never get to them all. But we’re all for improving knowledge, so here are 10 Quora threads to follow this month. Some are seasonal, some relate to recent world crises but all will help you live life more like a superhero.

1. What is the European migrant crisis all about?

Sample Answer: 

The violent upheavals in a number of Arab countries – Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and in Turkey & Iran – are causing desperate people to flee from there. They see very little hope at home, or in “brother” countries in the Gulf region. Therefore, they move toward Europe.

Europe hardly welcomes asylum seekers in such huge numbers. The result is that people smuggle themselves on boats across the Mediterranean, or packed in containers in trucks, even while knowing they have a 50% chance of reaching alive. Those who do reach the European coasts or lands, then try to move toward more prosperous countries.

It is an appalling human tragedy. Should countries try to insulate themselves and let thousands, tens of thousands, perish? Brings to mind the old argument about whether there should be “countries” dividing humankind, or should there be just one planet with people free to settle wherever they want? Natives worry, with reason, how their lives will be affected.

Meanwhile, the desperate, for whom it is a question of life or death, keep dying.

Kamal Gupta

2. What images will change the way a person sees the world after viewing them?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

1) The original “Earthrise”

This picture was the first taken of Earth from another body floating in space. 

– Jon Davis

3. Why is stealing money wrong?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

In the United States, my home country, the average life expectancy is 78.4 years. The median age of graduation from a university, a requisite for most career paths, is now 27. It takes about 5 years to establish oneself and begin earning a respectable living after college. Most Americans expect to retire at 66.

This means I have 34 years to earn money, but it takes an average of 18 years to pay off my student loans – so 13 of my 34 prime earning years. That gives me 21 years of real earnings, assuming I’m not spending a large amount of capital on my children. The slightest deviation from the mean and that number is suddenly in the teens.

There are so many things in life that we never experience because of this wage structure. We never visit places we dreamed of as kids, we miss our children’s milestones, and we miss decades of our parents wisdom because we were working through their twilight years. A career, though necessary, already takes so much LIFE from us.

That small, prescious amount of life we have left over, particularly when we are young and vibrant, is represented by our tangible assets. That is to say by money, or the things it might purchase.

When you steal from another person, you think you are taking money. What you are actually stealing is that person’s life. Thousands of heartbeats, days of work that we wish we had the ability to spend on something meaningful; spent with the hope of earning enough to make our free time more worthwhile.

When you steal money, you kill a part of that person. Because their time on this Earth is finite, you literally rip away part of their life force and transfer it to yourself.

That is why it is a crime, and wrong.

Ian Armstrong

4. Who are the likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidates and which is most likely to prevail?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

It is hard to tell at this point but pundits seem to think the following have a shot.

1. Hillary Clinton – High approval rating among democrats and second only to President Obama in fundraising ability

2. Andrew Cuomo – Governor of New York. Has a lot of name recognition from being governor of one of the largest Democrat states.

3. Joe Biden – Name recognition. Dozens of years in Congress. National and foreign policy experience.

4. Martin O’Malley – Governor of Maryland. Chairman of the Democratic Governor’s Association. He is a strong Obama supporter would could get the President’s endorsement if he runs.

5. Deval Patrick – Governor of Massachusetts. Close friend of President Obama.

If I had to choose, I’d say Hillary Clinton has the best chance. As a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State she needs no introduction. Her ability to fund raise and high approval among Democrats makes her a strong front runner at this early vantage point.

– Sam Swinton

5. What are the best short scary stories?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

A couple decided that they wanted to go out for the night, so they called up their usual babysitter to take care of the kids. When the babysitter arrived, the children were already asleep, so she decided that she would pass the time by watching some TV. However, the only TV in the house that had cable was situated inside the parents’ bedroom, so she called them to see if it was cool with them. The parents agreed, but then the babysitter asked if she could cover up the angel statue which was situated in the room, as it made her feel nervous. Upon hearing this, the father hesitated, then instructed her to immediately get the kids out of the house and call the police, because they did not own an angel statue.When the police arrived, the babysitter and children were found lifeless in a pool of blood, and the statue had disappeared.

– Faisal Romshoo

6. Is Columbus Day potentially offensive to Native Americans? Why?

Sample Answer:

Of course it is.

If it were just ‘He was the explorer who discovered the land’ then perhaps not (although as Kat Li says even on that view you could see him as initiating bad things and it might be tactful not to boast about it).

But Columbus was no mere explorer: as Governor he was directly responsible for the capture, enslavement and murder of hundreds of thousands American Indians. It is no exaggeration to say he was directly involved in genocide and celebrating him personally is as offensive as celebrating any other genocidal murderer.

– Rupert Baines

7. What are the best airport hacks?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

A couple things for airport/airplanes that came to mind:

1. When I was a flight companion for a friend who worked for an airline, she instructed me to bring bagged candy for flight attendants.

There’s good karma in this, and the attendants are also generally appreciative and offer seat upgrades and/or free food and drinks.

You can also try giving candy to people at the gate. They’ve very appreciative, and 1 out of every 3 or 4 times, they’ll also look to see if they can upgrade your seat – or at least stamp you to get through security faster.

2. If you want to check for upgrades and/or are flying Southwest, schedule your calendar to check in 24 hours before departure. You’ll see upgrades first and/or get the best boarding number available.

3. Bring extra water onto the plane. You need more while flying and unless you ask for a million tiny cups, you’re not going to have enough.

4. Keep a list of Internet-free things you can work on when on the plane. Often you can buy in-flight internet, but sometimes having no internet and no distractions can mean you’re crazy productive.

5. Buy compression socks and wear them for flights over 5 hours. This helps a ton with jet lag.

– Rachel Rofé

8. What is the most awe-inspiring rags to riches story ever?

Sample Answer:

A poor, junior high school dropout, who rose in rank from Janitor’s Assistant to CEO at Goldman Sachs while overcoming oppression.

He rescued Goldman Sachs from bankruptcy during the Great Depression and transformed the company into the premier investment bank in the world, all while overcoming the heavy anti-semitism that characterized the financial industry during that time period.

Sidney Weinberg may not be the richest, but his rags-to-riches story is one of overcoming oppression with a keen sense of social strategy.

Read Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent article about him in the New Yorker: Rags to riches: Goldman Sachs’ Sidney Weinberg

Michael Ishigaki

9. What are some of the best ways to become extremely smart?

Sample Answer Excerpt:

Experience new experiences as much as humanly possible.

That’s the one and only rule. That’s it. You are done.

Your brain is the most wonderful creation in the universe. Our human brain is something exceptional and bizarre. Our frontal cortex is so unbelievably large in comparison to any other animal that it makes me wonder why many religions talk about the creation of Men in the image of God.

Our bodies… are mediocre at best. They are an amazing machine don’t get me wrong.. but many other animals possess much more impressive body characteristics than us.

When you experience NEW experiences your brain is in hyper drive. It creates NEW electrical connections and becomes even more complex and amazing than it already is.

Just make sure you remember what learning is while you are doing it.

Learning = Experiencing new experiences = Download + Process

Examples of “Download” = Reading, Hearing some other person speak, Viewing a new place, Watching a movie, Tasting a new taste, Smelling a new smell, Reading this answer right now.

Examples of “Process” = Thinking about what happened today, sleeping, Discussing your life with other people, talking to yourself, pausing for a moment while reading my answer and hearing your inner voice discuss your opinions up till now.

Gilad Soffer

10. What are some of the best ideas to make your mood better if you feel lonely?

Sample Answer:

For 10 minutes, hold a pencil between your teeth without touching the pen with your lips. I’m not joking. This forces you to smile, kind of. After 10 minutes you will be genuinely happy. This isn’t another new age self help nonsense. It’s a scientific theory supported by scientific research, called “Facial Feedback Hypothesis” Try it right now and give me an upvote when you’re happy.

By the way, when you start feeling happy, follow with some of the good advices given in the other answers. Faking a smile only gives you a jump start. You have to follow it with something meaningful to make your happiness last longer. I recommend helping others.

M Selman Sogut

Liked this? Check out the Quora threads we suggested in September!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: striatic via Compfight cc

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