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Idea/Politics & Government

Even the ancient Greeks thought their best days were history

Johanna Hanink

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Idea/Stories & Literature

So I exaggerate a little – am I wrong to jazz up my stories?

Andrea Askowitz

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Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

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Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Had a good think lately?

Not busy-work, ticking off to-do lists or keeping-up-with-stuff. Just sitting. And thinking. Is it so hard?

André Spicer

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Idea/Economics

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

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Essay/Subcultures

What is a cult?

Cults are exploitative, weird groups with strange beliefs and practices, right? So what about regular religions then?

Tara Isabella Burton

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Idea/History

For centuries European aristocrats proudly claimed foreign ancestry

Blake Smith

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Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

We could all do with learning how to improvise a little better

Stephen T Asma

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Essay/History

Why the Tudors still rule

The Tudors are always good box office, but their melodramatic lives distract from a much deeper legacy of civic nationhood

Anna Whitelock

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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

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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

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Idea/Space Exploration

Space exploration is still the brightest hope-bringer we have

Earle Kyle

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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/Cognition & Intelligence

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

Kate Fehlhaber

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Idea/Fairness & Equality

Marriage should not come with any social benefits or privileges

Vicki Larson

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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

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Idea/Values & Beliefs

How ‘The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ inspired Victorian hedonists

Roman Krznaric

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Idea/Ethics

Moral grandstanding: there’s a lot of it about, all of it bad

Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke

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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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Essay/Internet & Communication

What’s so new about news?

The interesting thing about news has never been its truth or falsehood but how it explodes our sense of onrushing time

Arthur Asseraf

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Essay/Sports & Games

Rules of ascent

For mountaineers, it’s not enough to get to the top – it must be done a certain way. But why is the harder way better?

Paul Sagar

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Idea/War & Conflict

Wars are not won by military genius or decisive battles

Cathal J Nolan

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Essay/History of Science

The cosmology of Poe

Drawing on intuition, Edgar Allan Poe offered some remarkably prescient ideas about the universe in his poem 'Eureka'

Paul Halpern

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Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Our world outsmarts us

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

Robert Burton

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Essay/History

The taboo of menstruation

All around the world, and throughout history, women have been shamed, sequestered, and medicalised for bleeding regularly

Janie Hampton

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Idea/Politics & Government

How Robert Nozick put a purple prose bomb under analytical philosophy

Brad Baranowski

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Idea/Wellbeing

If money can make you happy, does debt make you sad?

Cassondra Batz

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Idea/Automation & Robotics

Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities

Ahmed Alkhateeb

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Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Quantum cryptography is unbreakable. So is human ingenuity

Joshua Holden

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Essay/Politics & Government

Age of sincerity

In politics, as in militant religion, the performance of sincerity is everything, no matter whether right or wrong

Faisal Devji