Behind the scenes, our world is constantly rebooting. Rebooting is not just frequent, it is structured and varied. We are engineering this kind of granularity not just into computers, but also ourselves.
Why Black Hole Interiors Grow (Almost) Forever
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. Leonard Susskind, a pioneer of string theory, the holographic principle, and other big physics ideas spanning the past half-century, has proposed a solution to an important puzzle about black holes. The problem is that even though these mysterious, invisible spheres appear to stay a constant size as viewed from the outside, their interiors keep growing […]
The Case Against Geniuses
Once you’re called a “genius,” what’s left? Super genius? No, getting called a “genius” is the final accolade, the last laudatory label for anyone. At least that’s how several members of Mensa, an organization of those who’ve scored in the 98th percentile on an IQ test, see it. “I don’t look at myself as a […]
Yuval Noah Harari Is Worried About Our Souls
The big-data makeover of humanity could be a recipe for disaster.
Why Social Science Needs Evolutionary Theory
My high school biology teacher, Mr. Whittington, put a framed picture of a primate ancestor in the front of his classroom—a place of reverence. In a deeply religious and conservative community in rural America, this was a radical act. Evolution, among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history, was then, and still is, deliberately […]
What Defines a Stem Cell?
Our cells have more diverse regenerative capabilities than anyone expected.
Iron Is the New Cholesterol
Elevated iron is at the center of a web of disease stretching from cancer to diabetes.
What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. The tree of life just got another major branch. Researchers recently found a certain rare and mysterious microbe called a hemimastigote in a clump of Nova Scotian soil. Their subsequent analysis of its DNA revealed that it was neither animal, plant, fungus, nor any recognized type of protozoan—that it in fact fell far […]
Why We Love Dinosaurs
If museums of natural history are temples to science, dinosaurs are their shrines.
Holding Hands with a Chimp
How my suburban-hewn world-view was flipped on its head.