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    The Case Against Thinking Outside of the Box

    Social, cultural, economic, spiritual, psychological, emotional, intellectual: Everything is outside the box. And this new sheltered-in-place experience won’t fit into old containers.Photo Illustration by Africa Studio / Shutterstock Many of us are stuck now, sheltered in our messy dwellings. A daily walk lets me appreciate the urban landscaping; but I can’t stop to smell anything […]

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    Will Robot Surgeons Ever Be Creative?

    The idea that a surgical robot could ever substitute for the real thing is “a real stretch,” says Ken Goldberg, a distinguished U.C. Berkeley roboticist and researcher.Photograph by Elnur / Shutterstock You die at the beginning of Mass Effect 2. It’s 2183, and you—Commander Shepard—have just saved every space-faring species in the Milky Way from […]

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    Some Music Is Inherently Bad—But People Can Be Convinced Otherwise

    Artistic appreciation is a deeply subjective process, perhaps the most essentially personal thing that humans do. But are there some explanations for why we like what we do? Why, for instance, does a particular song get popular? Some of it has to do with the quality of the music—and by quality, I mean that there’s […]