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Essay/
Economics
Economics as a moral tale

The development sector set out to summon the magic of capitalism from the ashes of communism. How is it going?

John Rapley

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Philosophy of Science
The blind spot

It’s tempting to think science gives a God’s-eye view of reality. But we forget the place of human experience at our peril

Adam Frank, Marcelo Gleiser & Evan Thompson

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Memoir
The lost children

The adults who joined Bhagwan’s ashram sought freedom, love and light. Many of their children found darkness instead

Lily Dunn

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Gender & Sexuality
Seduction, Inc

The pickup industry mates market logic with the arts of seduction – turning human intimacy into hard labour

Rachel O’Neill

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Education
Gold among the dross

Academic research in the US is unplanned, exploitative and driven by a lust for glory. The result is the envy of the world

David Labaree

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Ethics
Against moral sainthood

As philosopher Susan Wolf argues, life is far more meaningful and rich if we do not aim at being morally perfect

Daniel Callcut

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The Home
Creating some slack

A household is a miniature ecosystem with inputs, outputs and flows: thinking like this can make life a whole lot better

Misty McLaughlin & Michael Erard

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Cultures & Languages
Who decides what words mean

Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge

Lane Greene

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Space Exploration
Rules in space

If we don’t invent a legal framework for space colonisation the consequences could be catastrophic: the time to act is now

Marko Kovic

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Cognition & Intelligence
The broad, ragged cut

Aptitude and IQ tests are used to distinguish those young people who deserve a chance from those who do not. Do they work?

Elizabeth Svoboda

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Anthropology
At home with the homeless

Is a home made of bricks and mortar or hopes and dreams? Dispatches from among the rough sleepers on the streets of Paris

Johannes Lenhard

Essay/
Making
Material intelligence

The chasm between producers and consumers leaves many of us estranged from beauty and a vital part of an ethical life

Glenn Adamson

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Stories & Literature
What War of the Worlds did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today

Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

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Social Psychology
Make up your mind(s)!

A pair of cognitive scientists, married for half a century, explain why two argumentative heads can be better than one

Uta Frith & Chris Frith

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Childhood & Adolescence
Fearing fear itself

Once parents felt children needed a little fear to grow up well. Today they are desperately protective. What went wrong?

Frank Furedi

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Future of Technology
AlphaGolem

When we pit ourselves against machines, the game can only end in tears. It is in our gift to imagine another way

John Cornwell

Essay/
Law & Justice
End intellectual property

Copyrights, patents and trademarks are all important, but the term ‘intellectual property’ is nonsensical and pernicious

Samir Chopra