What Makes Music Special to Us?
Clarifying the differences between what animals and humans hear.
Forget Everything You Think You Know About Time
Last April, in the famous Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution in London, Carlo Rovelli gave an hour-long lecture on the nature of time. A red thread spanned the stage, a metaphor for the Italian theoretical physicist’s subject. “Time is a long line,” he said. To the left lies the past—the dinosaurs, the big bang—and […]
Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. As far as anyone knows, we have always been alone. It’s just us on this pale blue dot, “home to everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of,” as Carl Sagan so memorably put it. No one has called or dropped by. And yet […]
The Well-Meaning Bad Ideas Spoiling a Generation
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt on politics, morality, and the coddling of the American mind.
How Imagination Will Save Our Cities
Scientists might need to take a cue from artists to adapt our cities for climate change.
How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games
The responsibilities and challenges of programmed luck.
Hallucinogen Therapy Is Coming
How shrooms can spring people from fears and destructive habits.
Cloudy With a Chance of War
His weather forecasts changed the world. Could his predictions of war?
Empathy, Morality, Community, Culture—Apes Have It All
Primatologist Frans de Waal takes exception with human exceptionalism.