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Welcome to This Week in Ideas, where we share the best stories we’ve been discussing amongst ourselves. We hope these stories nourish your curiosity.

Can we treat opioid addiction with implants? There’s no silver bullet for America’s opioid abuse problem, but a new clinical trial suggests some simple, novel solutions are on the way: “In a 15-minute in-office visit, a doctor will insert four white, tube-like flexible implants into a patient’s upper arm. Those implants are each the size of a matchstick and will drip-feed Buprenorphine directly into the bloodstream and up to the brain. The drug will then fasten onto the same neural receptors triggered by heroin or prescription narcotic painkiller use, effectively curbing one's desire to get high.”

Better haircuts thanks to virtual reality: Virtual reality startup 8i (which you can learn about in a forthcoming Freethink episode!) is about to change how hair stylists learn their craft: “The VR experience features two photo-realistic humans—a stylist and a client—in a 360-degree environment. Students can step into the hairdressers' shoes, and shift position in the virtual salon to watch from any angle.”

Google’s AI wants you to respect its privacy: “Googlers Martín Abadi and David G. Andersen have willingly allowed three test subjects -- neural networks named Alice, Bob and Eve -- to pass each other notes using an encryption method they created themselves.” Good thing Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil.”

Live sports through Amazon Prime are on the way: The company is “in talks” with the NBA, the MLB, the NFL, and others about the possibility of a streaming service for Prime members.

Up Next

Catalysts
These Top Chefs are Helping End Child Hunger in the U.S.
Chefs work together to end child hunger.
Catalysts
These Top Chefs are Helping End Child Hunger in the U.S.
A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.

A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.

Crossing The Divide
Having Your Views Challenged is a Good Thing
Having Your Views Challenged is a Good Thing
Watch Now
Crossing The Divide
Having Your Views Challenged is a Good Thing
When we encounter ideas we don’t like, we often shut them down. Professor John Inazu explains why that’s a bad thing and what we can do to fix it.
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When we encounter ideas we don’t like, we often shut them down. John Inazu, the author of Confident Pluralism and the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University School of Law, explains why that’s a bad thing and what we can do to fix it.

Wrong
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Watch Now
Wrong
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Much of our shared understanding about drugs and addiction came from a series of studies done in the 1950s and 60s...
Watch Now

Much of our shared understanding about drugs and addiction came from a series of studies done in the 1950s and 60s on lab rats. But a skeptical researcher has designed his own study that involves, well... essentially an amusement park for rats, and the surprising results may show that everything we think we know about addiction is all… wrong.

Rise
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
Rise
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
Meet the proud, hopeful, ambitious people determined to build the life they’ve dreamed of.
By Michael O'Shea

Meet the proud, hopeful, ambitious people determined to build the life they’ve dreamed of.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions, Planet Earth is Back
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions, Planet Earth is Back
Culture
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions, Planet Earth is Back
Democratizing microscopes, how we heal our political divisions, and BBC's Planet Earth returns. These are our...
By Mike Riggs

Democratizing microscopes, how we heal our political divisions, and BBC's Planet Earth returns. These are our favorite stories of the week.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
A paralyzed woman runs a half marathon in an exoskeleton, Sri Lanka defeats malaria, incomes are rising. Here's...
By Mike Riggs

A paralyzed woman runs a half marathon in an exoskeleton, Sri Lanka defeats malaria, incomes are rising. Here's some good news since most of what we hear is just the bad.