Reading Howl in China
My generation, once impassioned by the Western literature of rebellion, is now lulled by ‘Wealthy Socialism’
Albert Einstein was a genius, but he wasn’t the only one – why has his name come to mean something superhuman?
The sun does not rise
How magical thinking haunts our everyday language, and fossilised ideas live on in even the most sophisticated science
What is a dude?
How the strange history of the ‘dude’ helps throw a light on why the West still feels like the real America
Our anaesthetic times
Nobody wants to go back in time, but did we lose our sense of sympathy when we lost the shared experience of pain?
Under the influence
How did enlightenment thinkers distinguish between ‘drugs’ and ‘medicines’? And how should we?
Like the world fairs of old, Silicon Valley runs on booms, busts, and showboating impresarios. That's a good thing
Each tree and farm, street and courthouse of my home county rests on shallow-buried stories of slavery and Civil War
My grandfather was a legend – a holy vagabond whose life spanned India’s 20th century. Why did I let him elude me?