- Oct 24 20162 minutes
The Literacy Of Long-Form Thinking
A man from ancient Rome said it was better to know nothing about a subject than to half-know it. I’m worried that this Republic of ours is set on proving his wisdom all over again. Only, we aren’t even bothering to know 50% of what’s going on. Seems
- Oct 17 20161 minute
How Mindfulness Can Save You Money
IF YOU PUT PEOPLE IN BRAIN SCANNERS and give them something delicious—say, wine or chocolate—the reward centers of their brains light up. In other words, it’s making them feel good. But if you promise them a delicious item in the future, there’s no r
- Sep 26 20161 minute
Why We Should Watch Our Internal Clocks
IN OUR RELENTLESS QUEST TO LIVE healthier, happier, more productive lives, we often overlook a powerful tool within us: our internal sense of timing. The human body is genetically designed to coordinate the “when” of almost all aspects of life—sleep,
- Oct 1 20164 minutes
Does the World Really Need Nation-States?
To CHIGOZIE OBIOMA, there is more to writing fiction than crafting engaging characters and plots. Writers, he says, have an opportunity to assess and critique the world in which they live. The 2015 Global Thinker’s debut novel, The Fishermen, is a do
- Oct 24 20161 minute
How Thinking Like A Kid Can Spur Creativity
IT’S COMMON FOR ADULTS TO FEEL LIKE we’re drowning in judgment—“You’re not famous enough,” “You’re not smart enough,” “You’re not thin enough.” The weight of these appraisals, from others and from ourselves, can prevent us from looking at the world a
- Sep 5 20161 minute
The Bright Side of Darker Emotions
IT’S NATURAL TO WANT TO BE HAPPY all the time. But it’s telling that most of what many consider to be our seven basic emotions—joy, anger, sadness, fear, surprise, contempt and disgust—reflect the dark side of the human experience. These emotions are
- Nov 7 20161 minute
The Danger Of Having Too Many Experts
IN OUR GLOBALIZED, TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN world, we have convinced ourselves that the route to excellence and progress lies in specialization. Consider entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s recent argument that workers should make a lifelong commitment to a single c
- Nov 27 20161 minute
Bumbling Is Good For The Brain
JIHAN THOMPSON NEURONAL CONNECTIONS ARE created in the brain when you attempt something new. Plenty of research indicates this, including a 2010 study in The Journal of Neuroscience that found that even after just two sessions of practicing a new ta
- Nov 27 20162 minutes
Sucking At Stuff
Where, how, and why to play piano, bake sourdough, and learn Thai massage in spite—and because—of the fact that you’ll be very bad at it. At least at first.
- Sep 19 20161 minute
We Shouldn’t Dismiss People Who Deny Facts
IT’S EASY TO DISMISS PEOPLE WHO believe things that are factually incorrect—that vaccines cause autism, for example, or that climate change isn’t real. But if we really want to change how they think, we need to take an honest look at what’s driving t
- Nov 28 20161 minute
Hold Yourself Accountable—You’ll Be Happier
PEOPLE TEND TO EXTERNALIZE WHEN THEY encounter problems—to look beyond themselves and find fault with others when things go wrong. Society’s mantra is “There’s plenty of blame to go around!” You can hear it echo in the reactions to the election. But
- Nov 1 20162 minutes
You’re Already Good. Here’s How To Step It Up
Fortune reviews three major releases this season that promise to help you elevate your thinking, motivation, and creativity in work and in life.
- Dec 6 20164 minutes
Self-Control Is Just Empathy With Your Future Self
The same part of the brain that allows us to step into the shoes of others also helps us restrain ourselves.
- Jul 1 20161 minute
Focus on Staying Sharp
THE MONEY LINK: You’ve done a great job planning for retirement, so the last thing you want is to slip up and squander your savings once you get there. A new study by Texas Tech professors Michael Finke and Sandra Huston and the University of Michiga
- Oct 3 20162 minutes
Infinite Jests from The Good Place
DANIEL D’ADDARIO ELEANOR SHELLSTROP IS a bad person. She’s bad in the ways most of us are bad: she litters, she’s impulsive, she blows off commitments. So how’d she get to heaven? That’s the question that animates The Good Place, NBC’s bid to begin
- Aug 21 20165 minutes
Is It Story That Makes Us Read?
Plots: the who, what, and where—but maybe not why—of literature.
- Oct 16 20162 minutes
Barack Obama: There Are Disasters, and Then There Are News-Cycle Disasters
“THE BP OIL SPILL was the first event that taught me about a particular news cycle where there’s a real problem that can and will be solved—but one that garners, for whatever reason, 24/7 attention, with a sense of doom that gets ramped up and that w
- Oct 17 20161 minute
Time Travels In Two Directions
LILY ROTHMAN SOME BOOKS OUGHT TO COME WITH A warning—not for the reader but for those nearby, who are bound to be interrupted with passages read aloud. Mind-blowing ideas demand to be shared. Such a warning ought to come with both James Gleick’s Ti
- Jun 27 20162 minutes
Sebastian Junger The author “rants” about why people feel good after disasters, and the human connection that’s missing from modern life
- Sep 26 20162 minutes
Is it better to be messy or neat?
- Aug 7 20161 minute
Welcome to the Gutter
ANDREW SULLIVAN THROUGHOUT THE WEEK, I heard no specific policy proposals to tackle clearly stated public problems. It is almost as if governing, for the Republican right, is fundamentally about an attitude, rather than about experience or practical
- Sep 5 20161 minute
Talk May Be Cheap, but It’s Humanity’s Best Asset
NATE HOPPER IN THE KINGDOM OF Speech, Tom Wolfe offers an analytical history of humankind’s struggle to understand the origins of what he calls its “superpower”: speech. In Wolfe’s telling, the often dry, esoteric realm of academia is rife with coup
- Jun 1 20161 minute
Hot on the Trail
EVERY YEAR, Switzerland responds to about 1,000 backcountry search-and-rescue (SAR) emergencies—hikers injured in falls, thrill-seekers who’ve gone missing, campers stranded by rock slides or floods. Currently, the normal way to find people is to dis
- Dec 8 20163 minutes
The Best Music For Productivity? Silence
Studies show that for most types of cognitively demanding tasks, anything but quiet hurts performance.
- Dec 9 20164 minutes
How To Predict A Baby's First Word
A new study suggests what a toddler sees plays a major role.