Sally Davies
Conversations
30

Edited by Sally Davies

Idea/Death

What are the ethical consequences of immortality technology?

Francesca Minerva & Adrian Rorheim

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

Idea/Stories & Literature

Black stories matter: on the whiteness of children’s books

Andrea Adomako

Idea/Illness & Disease

Fatal nurture: what a rare disorder says about ‘bad mothers’

Chris Millard

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

Idea/Stories & Literature

This is the Muslim tradition of sci-fi and speculative fiction

Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad

Idea/Medical Ethics

White coats and mild manners: how to style a good doctor

Jessica Baron

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

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Polar bears need to be fat, and they can’t be without sea ice

Thea Bechshoft

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

Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

How to get your kicks in the hermit kingdom of North Korea

Laya Maheshwari

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

Idea/Personality

Pigs, parrots and people: the problem of animal personality

Antone Martinho

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

Idea/Neuroscience

The brain-heart dialogue shows how racism hijacks perception

Manos Tsakiris

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

Descartes was wrong: ‘a person is a person through other persons’

Abeba Birhane

Idea/Values & Beliefs

‘Free speech’ is a blunt instrument. Let’s break it up

Robert Simpson

Essay/Law & Justice

The legal imagination

Hypotheticals, fantastical beings, and a fictional omnibus: legal reasoning is made supple by its use of the imagination

Maksymilian Del Mar

Idea/History of Science

Science funding is a gamble so let’s give out money by lottery

Shahar Avin

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines

Ben Medlock

Essay/Subcultures

Going underground

Subterranean metaphors have been a powerful tool of political resistance. Today, is there anywhere left to hide?

Terence Renaud

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Intelligence: a history

Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots

Stephen Cave

Idea/Ethics

There is a moral argument for keeping great apes in zoos

Richard Moore

Essay/Economics

The great cryptocurrency heist

Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There's just one problem: trust

E J Spode

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