14 articles
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    The Strange Physics of How Babies Talk

    Different arrangements of words can be likened to microstates in statistical mechanics—the total set of ways a system’s constituent particles can be configured.Photo illustration by Khomich Yauheni / Shutterstock Like all new parents, I must sound like a kook when I babble along with my 9-month-old daughter. That’s okay: It delights her. I sometimes ask […]

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    Why Campaigns to Change Language Often Backfire

    Opponents of the phrase “car accident” argue that language is intertwined with accountability.Photograph by Alan Poulson Photography / Shutterstock In the first decades of the 20th century, people around the world began succumbing to an entirely new cause of mortality. These new deaths, due to the dangers of the automobile, soon became accepted as a […]

  • Moffett_HERO


    How Freedom Divides

    An expert on animal societies on what sets human societies apart.

  • Schneider_HERO


    Would You Survive a Merger with AI?

    The cost of brain enhancement may be your identity.

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    Making a Future Among the Stars

    Elon Musk has helped to advance self-driving electric cars and an implantable brain-machine interface, but when he greeted the crowd in Boca Chica, he said, gesturing at Starship, “This is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen.”Photograph by SpaceX In Boca Chica, Texas, presenting SpaceX’s latest prototype vehicle, Starship, Elon Musk remembered how, 11 years […]

  • Hodgkins_HERO


    Why Symbols Aren’t Forever

    The removal of cultural emblems is not the erasure of history but part of it.