Essay/Stories & Literature

The truth about tarot

Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis

James McConnachie

Essay/Epidemiology

Who names diseases?

Swine Flu, Naples Soldier, Ebola. Disease names express fear, create stigma and distract attention. Can they be improved?

Laura Spinney

Idea/History

The Malmedy trial: how the truth trumped fake torture stories

Steven P Remy

Video/Subcultures

Deep faith and rough rides – life at an evangelical rodeo Bible camp

23 minutes

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Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Polar bears need to be fat, and they can’t be without sea ice

Thea Bechshoft

Video/Mathematics

Getting down with squares – the dance styles of geometry

6 minutes

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Essay/History

Resist or collaborate?

The Nazis have occupied France. It’s easy to condemn the collaborators. But be honest: what would you really do?

Robert Gildea

Idea/Values & Beliefs

To be happier, focus on what’s within your control

Massimo Pigliucci

Video/History of Ideas

How quantum superposition could unravel the ‘grandfather paradox’

3 minutes

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

The mathematics of mind-time

The special trick of consciousness is being able to project action and time into a range of possible futures

Karl Friston

Popular this month

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Our world outsmarts us

Social problems are fantastically complex, while human minds are severely under-engineered. Is democracy doomed?

Robert Burton

Classic /Meaning & the Good Life
CLASSIC

On the happy life

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 64 CE

With a new introduction and commentary by Massimo Pigliucci

Essay/Religion

Monks with guns

Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam?

Michael Jerryson

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

The mathematics of mind-time

The special trick of consciousness is being able to project action and time into a range of possible futures

Karl Friston

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Idea/Space Exploration

Space exploration is still the brightest hope-bringer we have

Earle Kyle

Video/Law & Justice

The farmer turned human rights activist who breaks France’s laws to defend its values

25 minutes

Essay/Stories & Literature

Sands of time

The North Sea is rich in signs of what made the modern world. It's also a monument to what awaits us in the Anthropocene

David Farrier

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Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence

Kate Fehlhaber

ORIGINAL
Video/Film & Television

Why do we crave the awful futures of apocalyptic fiction?

5 minutes

Essay/Politics & Government

Democracy needs politeness

Autocrats shouted, cursed, and bullied, while American revolutionaries used politeness as a tool of radical politics

Steven Bullock

Idea/Fairness & Equality

Marriage should not come with any social benefits or privileges

Vicki Larson

Video/Mental Health

Artistic genius and fragility intersect in this surreal, Oscar®-winning animation

14 minutes

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Essay/Economics

Platonically irrational

How much did Plato know about behavioural economics and cognitive biases? Pretty much everything, it turns out

Nick Romeo

Idea/Medicine

We need ecstasy and opioids in place of Prozac and Xanax

Marc Lewis & Shaun Shelly

Video/Values & Beliefs

An urban cowboy rides through gang-ridden streets, preaching a gospel of redemption

7 minutes

Essay/Art

Has art ended again?

Ever since Hegel, artists and critics alike have been claiming that art is finished. But what could that actually mean?

Owen Hulatt

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Idea/Values & Beliefs

How ‘The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ inspired Victorian hedonists

Roman Krznaric

Video/Evolution

Watch as the whale becomes itself: slowly, slowly, from land to sea, through deep time

10 minutes

Essay/Economics

What is human capital?

Human capital theory was invented as an ideological weapon in the Cold War. Now it is helping to Uberise the world of work

Peter Fleming

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