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    Why Beauty Is Not Universal

    We’re all human—so despite the vagaries of cultural context, might there exist a universal beauty that overrides the where and when? Might there be unchanging features of human nature that condition our creative choices, a timeless melody that guides the improvisations of the everyday? There has been a perpetual quest for such universals, because of […]

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    The $1 Billion Misunderstanding of Aging

    Robert Conquest, a historian of Soviet Russia and a poet, once summarized Shakespeare’s 28-line poem, “The Seven Ages of Man,” in five lines. They go like this: Seven Ages: first puking and mewling Then very pissed off with your schooling. Then fucks and then fights. Then judging chaps’ rights— Then sitting in slippers—then drooling. For […]

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    Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense

    What the Bard can teach science about language and the limits of the human mind.