Skip to main content
Move the World.

Welcome back to This Week in Ideas, where we share the best stories shared on Freethink’s internal Slack channels. Let’s get started.

HTC spends big on VR in (where else!) China: Tawainese tech company HTC will spend $1.5 billion on a VR initiative in China. The race for a market-penetrating VR system is officially on.

Google Earth through VR will blow your mind: “Never have I uttered the phrase ‘holy f—k’ so many times in one virtual reality session,” writes Mashable’s Adario Strange. “That's how amazing the new Google Earth VR is when you experience it using the HTC Vive.”

**China goes all-in on gene editing:** The cutting edge (and somewhat controversial) gene-editing technology CRISPR has finally been tested on a human being. And it didn’t happen here in the U.S.: “On 28 October, a team led by oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu.” One American researcher anticipates the trial will lead to a 21st century medical technology race between China and the U.S.

The biggest internet issue in the world isn’t net neutrality: It’s actually free speech.

A cancer “vaccine” developed in Cuba is coming to the U.S.: “The country has a whole arsenal of unique drugs locked behind the U.S. embargo,” writes The Atlantic ’s Sarah Zhang.

What science says to do if your loved one has an opioid addiction: Over at 538, Maia Szalavitz has written “an evidence-based guide about what the science of opioid addiction recommends for people trying to help a loved one suffering from addiction.”

Up Next

Hong Kong Protests
Inside Hong Kong's "Resistance Economy"
hong kong protest update
Hong Kong Protests
Inside Hong Kong's "Resistance Economy"
Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters are using protest strategies that go beyond the street, which may be crucial as police enforce social distancing.
By Tien Nguyen

Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters are using protest strategies that go beyond the street, which may be crucial as police enforce social distancing.

Dispatch
NY’s Bail Reform Challenges a Biased System
new york eliminates bail
Dispatch
NY’s Bail Reform Challenges a Biased System
Seeking justice in a broken system, the state of New York eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors.

Seeking justice in a broken system, the state of New York eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors.

Social Entrepreneurs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
Watch Now
Social Entrepreneurs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
This amazing organization is doing whatever it takes to help domestic violence victims survive on their own.
Watch Now

Often the biggest barrier to leaving an abusive relationship is its cost. Without the means to support themselves or their children, or as a result of economic abuse, many people end up suffering domestic violence for far too long. FreeFrom was founded by Sonya Passi, a law student who’d co-founded the Family Violence Appellate Project to provide pro-bono legal representation for survivors of domestic violence. She...

Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for
Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.
By Leah Shaffer

The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.

Dispatches
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
Dispatches
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
Hey, it works!

Hey, it works!

Crossing The Divide
Making America Dinner Again
Make America Dinner Again
Watch Now
Crossing The Divide
Making America Dinner Again
What happens when you put people of all political persuasions together over dinner?
Watch Now

In the wake of the 2016 election, Tria Chang and Justine Lee felt frustrated and confused by the results. But they also realized that they didn’t know a single Trump voter. And most of their friends didn’t either. Tria and Justine wanted to find a way to get out of their bubble and talk to people who had different views. So they started Make America Dinner Again. At each dinner, they bring together eight people from across...