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    Here’s Where Our Minds Sharpen in Old Age

    Fluid intelligence has several aspects, and aging affects them differently.

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    Why You May Have More Friends Than Your Friends Do

    There’s a rude charm to the title, “Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You.” It’s catchy, like the title of an antagonistic explainer: Here are the causes of your lackluster social life. It sounds more like a New York Times op-ed than an academic paper. But in fact, “Why Your Friends Have More Friends […]

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    The Economic Case for Vaccine Passports

    Requiring vaccine passports would not violate any individual rights that a well-ordered society would choose to defend.

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    Why Your Sleeping Brain Replays New Rewarding Experiences

    It turned out that, yes, the participants’ brains revealed they were doing a kind of “neural replay” of the game they had been manipulated to win.Illustration by Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock During this Olympics, I’ve been rooting for Kelleigh Ryan, who is on the women’s foil team. She’s from Ottawa, where I live. Whenever she […]

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    Electrons May Very Well Be Conscious

    Panpsychists look at the many rungs on the complexity ladder of nature and see no obvious line between mind and no-mind.Illustration by Yurchanka Siarhei / Shutterstock Last year, the cover of New Scientist ran the headline, “Is the Universe Conscious?” Mathematician and physicist Johannes Kleiner, at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy in Germany, told […]

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    What Misspellings Reveal About Cultural Evolution

    Stable cultural forms do not have to result from close replication; they can emerge continuously out of subtle changes.Illustration by VectorMine / Shutterstock Something about me must remind people of a blind 17th-century poet. My last name, Miton, is French, yet people outside of France invariably misspell it as “Milton”—as in the famed English author, […]

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    Talking Pop Science with Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder

    As abstract as it is, physics enriches your life.Image via Sabine Hossenfelder / YouTube Science without the gobbledygook.” That’s the name, and promise, of Sabine Hossenfelder’s YouTube show. The German theoretical physicist, whose main gig is as a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, has attracted over 300,000 subscribers. Her videos—some of […]

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    Humans Are One Mixed-Up Ape

    If you look at every ape protein, they have every bone we have, every muscle we have, the same type of hair, and on and on. They’re just better adapted to their tropical rainforest environment.Illustration by BRO.vector / Shutterstock Recent fossilized bone discoveries in China and Israel support the exciting possibility of new, previously unknown […]

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    New Evidence That Therapy Can Make You Happier

    What are the interventions that are supposed to make us happier? What doesn’t work? And if something does work, how much good does it do?Pixabay In “All Eyes on Me,” a song from his new Netflix special Inside, the musician-comedian Bo Burnham pauses to ask, “You want to hear a funny story?” He tells us […]

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    How the Drug Industry Has Exploited Reforms Started in the Fight Against AIDS

    The push by AIDS activists for an effective treatment was a breakthrough in the medical industry. It showed the power of a grassroots movement to spur the government and Big Pharma to action. But it had a dangerous and lasting side effect.Photograph by Cagkan Sayin / Shutterstock Three decades ago, a small group from within […]