Art by algorithm
From book critiques to music choices, computation is changing aesthetics. Does increasingly average perfection lie ahead?
Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?
Is taxation theft?
The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused
The coming-of-age con
How can you go about finding ‘who you really are’ if the whole idea of the one true self is a big fabrication?
The healing power of nature
The idea that immersing yourself in forests and nature has a healing effect is far more than just folk wisdom
Return of the city-state
Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century
Mata Hari uncovered
Dancer, courtesan, spy: on the centenary of her execution, how much do we really know about the woman behind the legend?
Freud the philosopher
Before fathering psychoanalysis, Freud first slayed the dominant Cartesian intellectual tradition of mind-body dualism
Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?
Can novelists or psychologists better capture the strange multitude of realities in every human self?
Aliens in our midst
The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself
The sea was never blue
The Greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. Can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?
The quitting economy
When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit
Now you see it, now you…
Seeing things that are hidden; failing to see things in plain sight. How magic exploits the everyday weirdness of perception
Two people drive drunk at night: one kills a pedestrian, one doesn't. Does the unlucky killer deserve more blame or not?
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?
America’s hidden philosophy
When Cold War philosophy tied rational choice theory to scientific method, it embedded the free-market mindset in US society