logo

issue_71

  • Flow

    Engineers tell us flow describes how fluids or gases behave in relationship to their environment. Flow can be smooth or turbulent. But when it’s turbulent, scientists are baffled about what in the world’s going on. Then again, flow can be a transcendent feeling. It can lift you out of time, make you feel one with […]

  • placeholder

    The Problem with the Way Scientists Study Reason

    Psychologists studying reasoning extensively rely on logic and philosophy, and neglect psychology’s more natural ally: biology. Portrait of Luca Pacioli (1445–1517) with a student (Guidobaldo da Montefeltro?) / Attributed to Jacopo de’ Barbari / Wikicommons In March, I was in Paris for the International Convention of Psychological Science, one of the most prestigious gatherings in […]

  • placeholder

    Nurture Alone Can’t Explain Male Aggression

    A young bank teller is shot dead during a robbery. The robber flees in a stolen van and is chased down the motorway by a convoy of police cars. Careening through traffic, the robber runs several cars off the road and clips several more. Eventually, the robber pulls off the motorway and attempts to escape […]

  • Tegmark_HERO

    Why the Flow of Time Is an Illusion

    Getting human feeling to match the math is an ultimate goal in physics.

  • placeholder

    Most Tech Today Would be Frivolous to Ancient Scientists

    The tech that most people depend on must appeal to our fears and vanities and must require continuous and rapid overturn. If it were truly necessary, the market would demand durability.Wikicommons Surrounded by advanced achievements in medicine, space exploration, and robotics, people can be forgiven for thinking our time boasts the best technology. So I […]

  • Hossenfelder_HERO

    When Beauty Gets in the Way of Science

    Insisting that new ideas must be beautiful blocks progress in particle physics.

  • placeholder

    Taking Another Person’s Perspective Doesn’t Help You Understand Them

    No moral advice is perfectly sound. The Golden Rule—do unto others as you would have them do unto you—is only as wise as the person following it. A more modern-sounding tip—take the perspective of others—can seem like an improvement. It was Dale Carnegie’s eighth principle in How to Win Friends and Influence People (it is […]

  • placeholder

    Viruses Have a Secret, Altruistic Social Life

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. Social organisms come in all shapes and sizes, from the obviously gregarious ones like mammals and birds down to the more cryptic socializers like bacteria. Evolutionary biologists often puzzle over altruistic behaviors among them, because self-sacrificing individuals would at first seem to be at a severe disadvantage […]

  • joshi black hole_HERO

    An Astrophysicist on What the Black-Hole Image Reveals

    The great irony of black holes is that, in all the decades that we astrophysicists have talked about them, we never had any direct observational evidence for them. When astronomers said they had “found black holes” in this or that location in a faraway location in the universe, what this really meant was a very […]

  • placeholder

    First Black-Hole Image: It’s Not Looks That Count

    FIRST LOOK: The Event Horizon Telescope measures wavelength in the millimeter regime, too long to be seen by eye, but ideally suited to the task of imaging a black hole: The gas surrounding the black hole is almost transparent at this wavelength and the light travels to Earth almost undisturbed. Since we cannot see light […]