Essay/Digital Culture

The ages of distraction

Busy, distracted, inattentive? Everybody has been since at least 1710 and here are the philosophers to prove it

Frank Furedi

Essay/Physics

Operation: neutrino

How the neutrino went from ghost particle to vital physics tool – a tale of bombs, espionage and subtle flavours

David Kaiser

Idea/Sports & Games

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism

Kate Raworth

Video/History

The amazing and awful outcome of releasing over a million balloons into the sky

7 minutes

Ideas make a difference

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Video/Physics

How the ‘identity agnostic’ neutrino exists in three states all at once

3 minutes

Idea/Astronomy

What high-speed astronomy can tell us about the galactic zoo

Christopher Kochanek

Essay/Bioethics

The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

Video/History of Science

In 1938, a fish thought extinct for 65 million years resurfaced, nearly unchanged

7 minutes

Idea/Mental Health

Psychopaths have feelings: can they learn how to use them?

Arielle Baskin-Sommers

Essay/History

America’s hidden philosophy

When Cold War philosophy tied rational choice theory to scientific method, it embedded the free-market mindset in US society

John McCumber

Popular this month

Idea/History of Ideas

Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

Jennifer Stitt

Essay/Philosophy of Mind

I attend, therefore I am

You are only as strong as your powers of attention, and other uncomfortable truths about the self

Carolyn Dicey Jennings

Essay/Values & Beliefs

Dissolving the ego

You don’t need drugs or a church for an ecstatic experience that helps transcend the self and connect to something bigger

Jules Evans

Essay/Economics

Of money and morals

Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance?

Alex Mayyasi

Video/Ethics

Pain leads to empathy and self-preservation: should we make robots ‘feel’ it?

12 minutes

Idea/Politics & Government

Moderation may be the most challenging and rewarding virtue

Aurelian Craiutu

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent

Video/Personality

Magic from the mundane – paper towels flourish in the hands of a coffeeshop artist

2 minutes

Idea/History

Concentration camps reveal the nature of the modern state

Dan Stone

Essay/History of Ideas

The anger of Achilles

Homer’s warrior is no mere tragic human figure: fuelled by anger, he is at once a man of honour and a sword of the gods

C D C Reeve

Video/Demography & Migration

An immigrant mother and her daughter finally explore the things they had left unsaid

5 minutes

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

How we learn to read another’s mind by looking into their eyes

Tobias Grossmann

Essay/Demography & Migration

Law in the Jungle

The ultimate ‘outsider’ space, the Jungle refugee camp in Calais became its own society, the no-borders idea made real

Natasha King

Video/History of Technology

What does innovation sound like? For a century, typewriters chattered an evolving story

21 minutes

Idea/History of Ideas

Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

Jennifer Stitt

Essay/Neuroscience

When is stress good for you?

The subtle flows and toxic hits of stress get under the skin, making and breaking the body and brain over a lifetime

Bruce McEwen

Video/Cultures & Languages

The reverence and revelry of a New Orleans jazz funeral procession

2 minutes

Idea/Anthropology

Ancient ruins keep being ‘discovered’: were they ever lost?

Christopher Begley

Essay/Philosophy of Mind

I attend, therefore I am

You are only as strong as your powers of attention, and other uncomfortable truths about the self

Carolyn Dicey Jennings