Are You a Self-Interrupter?

    Distraction in the technology age.

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    A Linguist Responds to Cormac McCarthy

    If language began as a virus, here’s how it spread.

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    The 6 Most Surprising, Important Inventions From World War I

    British soldiers in a World War I trench.Photograph by Ernest Brooks / Australian War Memorial / Wikicommons Just over 100 years ago, on the 28th of June, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo. That set into motion a chain of events that, within several weeks, culminated in the European great […]

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    The Moral Importance of Understanding Consciousness

    As we get better and better ideas of what is conscious and what is not, they might change the kinds of experiments we will be able to comfortably and ethically perform.“The Scream” (1893) by Edvard Munch Debating whether other beings are conscious can sometimes feel like an unimportant academic exercise. But it’s not. The conclusion […]

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    The Physicist Who Denies Dark Matter

    Maybe Newtonian physics doesn’t need dark matter to work.

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    To Become a Better Investor, Think Like Darwin

    “It’s not surprising that the fight-or-flight response is not going to be the most helpful way to deal with a financial crash in the same way that it’s going to be helpful when you’re being attacked in a back alley. It’s because financial markets and financial threats are a relatively new phenomenon.”Photograph by Kenishirotie / […]

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    If ET Calls, Think Twice About Answering

    Why some say searching for ET is best done quietly.

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    A Little Paternalism in Medicine Is a Good Thing

    Informed consent has its limits. It isn’t always ideal to treat the patient as a consumer in the decision-making process.Photograph by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock My family had lived in America for only a handful of years when my grandfather had a heart attack. It was the early 1980s, before statins and baby aspirins […]

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    The Case for Less Solidarity

    The surprising effects of reducing empathy for your own ingroup.

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    The Hidden Sexism of How We Think About Risk

    If men take more risks than women, it’s not because of biology.