Inverse Daily

Are you the asshole? Here’s maybe why one subreddit has exploded in popularity

Plus: We now know what exoplanets are made from and it’s wild.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Today, we have a story about the court of public opinion. It also happens to be one of the best guilty pleasures available on the internet. It’s on reddit. (Of course it is!)

I’m Nick Lucchesi and this is Inverse Daily, the newsletter from Inverse that highlights four stories published by us, for you.

A technical note — We know our consecutive open counter is broken, and we’re trying to fix it. 🚧🚧🚧

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Thursday, November 4, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

Glenn Harvey/Inverse

Why Reddit's favorite question is more popular than ever The subreddit exploded in popularity during the pandemic, writes Emma Magnus in a new feature story. Here’s a sample:

US-based photographer Marc Beaulac created the subreddit in 2013 to settle a dispute about the air conditioning temperature in his office. He tells Inverse that AITA offers “a catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you.”

The premise is simple: Users explain the conflict, and the crowd judges either You’re the Asshole (YTA) or Not the Asshole (NTA). The final verdict is determined by upvotes, prioritizing well-reasoned responses.

“We’re a small claims court,” Beaulac tells Inverse. He describes AITA as “crowdsourcing morality.” His big hope is that the subreddit can open people up to differences of opinion.

Read the full story.

Related:

This image is from the Book of Boba Fett trailer, which debuted on Monday.Disney+

Book of Boba Fett trailer has a prequels Easter egg A blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the new trailer for the Disney+ Star Wars series Book of Boba Fett may be from the prequels' cutting room floor. Here’s a snippet of the story by Dais Johnston:

The Book of Boba Fett trailer promises to deliver what the prequels failed to. Diplomacy and mediation proved tedious in Attack of the Clones, but the Boba of this Disney+ spinoff aims to rule an empire of his own through political maneuvering grounded in mutual respect.

That strategy is in stark contrast with Jabba’s more militant approach, as the first trailer for the series lays out. But there’s more than just diplomacy returning from the prequel years. A key droid in the trailer may be inspired by a rejected concept from The Phantom Menace, proving a long-standing Star Wars theory. Here’s what you need to know.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Exoplanets are more diverse than we realized Studies of white dwarf stars eating their planets suggests the types of rocks and minerals that comprise these planets outside ours solar system are stranger than scientists thought possible. Jon Kelvey spoke with the researchers behind the discovery. Here’s a preview:

Generally, geologists like Keith Putirka spend their careers peering down at rocks and pondering the rules of planetary evolution, not looking up at the stars.

But when Putirka, a professor of volcanology at California State University, Fresno, learned of a certain kind of star known as a “polluted white dwarf,” he realized there was a way to do both. By examining polluted white dwarfs in our Solar System’s neighborhood, Putirka could learn what those exoplanets had been made of, and how similar they were to Earth or other rocky planets around our Sun.

“They're not Mars-like, they're not like the Moon, they're not like Mercury,” Putirka tells Inverse. “They look like stuff that is not anything like what is in our inner Solar System.”

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

The surprising role of whales in the ecosystem Tara Yarlagadda talks to scientists who have discovered baleen whales consume three times as much prey as previously thought, highlighting their role in recycling ocean nutrients through poop. Here’s a teaser:

“If we want to protect whales and make sure they are thriving in modern oceans, then knowing how much food they need to survive and reproduce is critical,” lead author Matthew Savoca, a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, tells Inverse.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

Matthew McConaughey and Jodie Foster in Contact. McConaughey marks a birthday today.Warner Bros.
  • About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to newsletter@inverse.com.
  • Alright alright alright: Matthew McConaughey (pictured above) is 52, Sean “Puffy” Combs is also 52, Ralph Macchio is 60, Kathy Griffin is 61, and Laura Bush is 75. (Source: AP.)
  • Song of the Day: “Asshole Pandemic” by Pkew Pkew Pkew.