Sally Davies
Conversations
35

Edited by Sally Davies

Essay/History of Science
Does science need mavericks?

Staid and conformist, science risks losing its creative spark. Does it need more mavericks, or are they part of the problem?

Adrian Currie

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations
Mrs Myself

Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?

Polina Aronson

Classic /Social Psychology
CLASSIC

The herd instinct

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, 1921

With a new introduction and commentary by Elizabeth Lunbeck
Essay/Data & Information
The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States
Model hallucinations

Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?

Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby

Essay/Cultures & Languages
Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent

Essay/Economics
Of money and morals

Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance?

Alex Mayyasi

Essay/Cities
Common ground

When we think of urban public space in terms of competing rights, we create a battleground. Is there a better way to share?

Farhan Samanani

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
fAIth

The most avid believers in artificial intelligence are aggressively secular – yet their language is eerily religious. Why?

Beth Singler

Essay/Technology & the Self
Natural, shmatural

Mother Nature might be lovely, but moral she is not. She doesn’t love us or want what’s best for us

Molly Hodgdon

Essay/Meaning & the Good Life
End-times for humanity

Humanity is more technologically powerful than ever before, and yet we feel ourselves to be increasingly fragile. Why?

Claire Colebrook

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

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

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

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics
Against flow

In the myth of flow, the performer soars when the music starts. But it's grit and self-analysis until the very last bar

Barbara Gail Montero

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
Raising good robots

We already have a way to teach morals to alien intelligences: it's called parenting. Can we apply the same methods to robots?

Regina Rini

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