Essay/Ethics

Hell on Earth

What happens to life sentences if our lifespan is radically extended? A philosopher talks about future punishment

Ross Andersen

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics

It is and it isn’t

Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ is not just a radical kind of art. It’s a philosophical dialetheia: a contradiction that is true

Damon Young Graham Priest

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Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex

Walter Vannini

Video/Space Exploration

Imagine alien signals are detected. Here's what happens next

3 minutes

Ideas make a difference

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Video/Sports & Games

Life as a young referee: you get berated on the pitch; at home, mother does it too

17 minutes

Idea/History

America’s Declaration of Independence was pro-immigrant

Steven Pincus

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Essay/Stories & Literature

Books for life

There is something deeply revealing about the books one truly loves in childhood and adolescence

Adam Gidwitz

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Idea/History of Science

Opposition to Galileo was scientific, not just religious

Christopher Graney

Video/History of Technology

The last day of hot metal press before computers come in at The New York Times

29 minutes

Essay/Law & Justice

What kind of citizen was he?

Conventional wisdom sees Socrates as a martyr for free speech, but he accepted his death sentence for a different cause

Josiah Ober

Popular this month

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Essay/Ethics

The case against pets

A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That’s true animal rights

Gary L Francione Anna E Charlton

Essay/Internet & Communication

The world wide cage

Technology promised to set us free. Instead it has trained us to withdraw from the world into distraction and dependency

Nicholas Carr

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Essay/Internet & Communication

And their eyes glazed over

My college students are never entirely present in class, addicted to texts and tech. Is there any hope left for learning?

Joelle Renstrom

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Essay/Sleep & Dreams

Dreams and revelations

The world’s great religions and spiritual journeys emerged from dreams and visions. Neurochemistry tells us how

Patrick McNamara

Idea/Philosophy of Mind

Why panpsychism fails to solve the mystery of consciousness

Keith Frankish

Video/Family Life

‘Space to grow’: on being young, anxious and American in a Zen Buddhist family

12 minutes

Essay/Mood & Emotion

A theory of creepiness

A bear chasing you is simply scary but a guy with a big mouse’s head can give you the creeps. What’s the difference?

David Livingstone Smith

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Idea/Law & Justice

How US prisons violate three principles of criminal justice

Judith Lichtenberg

Video/Social Psychology

How gang violence is American violence: it shows alienation at all social levels

5 minutes

Essay/Religion

Religion without belief

Most Japanese reject religious belief while embracing multiple forms of ritual practice. Are they religious or secular?

Christopher Kavanagh

Idea/Neuroscience

The fugue of life: why complexity matters in neuroscience

Joel Frohlich

Video/Politics & Government

In the US, linking guns to owners is, by design, a convoluted and absurd process

7 minutes

Essay/Physics

Taming the quantum spooks

Reconciling Einstein with quantum mechanics may require abandoning the notion that cause always precedes effect

Huw Price Ken Wharton

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Idea/Nature & Environment

Do only humans have souls, or do animals possess them too?

Michael Jawer

Video/Art

The flickering ray of hope in the stark loneliness of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

8 minutes

Essay/History of Technology

Getting things moving

The most important moments in invention are sometimes the imaginative leaps – even when they turn out to be dead-ends

Brian Clegg

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Idea/History of Technology

How Cold War rivalry helped launch the Chinese computer

Tom Mullaney

Video/History of Technology

Why Ancient Pacific mariners were the NASA scientists of their day

2 minutes

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Essay/Internet & Communication

And their eyes glazed over

My college students are never entirely present in class, addicted to texts and tech. Is there any hope left for learning?

Joelle Renstrom