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Signs and symbols

“Usefulness” may be a utilitarian term but it does the job of capturing what’s remarkable about maps, and what inspires this issue of Nautilus—illuminating the signs and symbols, notably language, that imperfect humans employ to represent reality.

An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience: We’re mapping the brain in amazing detail–but our brain can’t understand the picture, by Grigori Guitchounts

Why Astrology Matters: Seeing meaning in the stars is a vital part of the scientific story, by Michael Brooks

Never Say Wolf: How taboo language turned the wolf into a monster, by David Adger

This issue also includes contributions from Marcia Bjornerud, Alexander Boxer, Chris Fisher, Brian Gallagher, Cody Kommers, Ryan Manuel, George Musser, M.R. O’Connor, Steve Paulson, Corey S. Powell, and Aditha Rajagopalan.