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- Jun 13 20161 minute
How Islam is Different From Other Religions
WE WANT TO BELIEVE WE’RE ALL BASICALLY the same and want the same things, but what if we’re not? Islam, in both theory and practice, is exceptional in how it relates to politics. Because of its outsize role in law and governance, Islam has been—and
- Mar 1 20131 minute
3 Traits That Can Make or Break a Businessperson
Self-made business people will tell you that it's not what you've done, but how you did it that matters most.
- Nov 18 20166 minutes
This Simple Philosophical Puzzle Shows How Difficult It Is to Know Something
In the 1960s, the American philosopher Edmund Gettier devised a thought experiment that has become known as a “Gettier case.” It shows that something’s “off” about the way we understand knowledge. This ordeal is called the “Gettier problem,” and 50 y
- Mar 1 20132 minutes
Finding the Right Hire for Your Company
How do you make sure new hires will mesh well with your other employees and with your company's culture?
- Oct 1 20156 minutes
Why Science Needs Metaphysics: Science can’t tell us whether science explains everything.
Technology cannot keep pace with theoretical predictions about subatomic reality coming from physics. The same applies to our ability to observe the far reaches of the universe. Theory outstrips data and can become more extravagant with the claims it
- 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
- May 14 20131 minute
Are We Important to the Universe?
Is there something special about humanity’s method of understanding the world around us? If there are other intelligent beings in the world, would their knowledge be important in the same way?David Deutsch‘s research suggests an affirmative answer to
- Jul 1 20161 minute
Closing a Deal at a Bar? This Research Can Help.
Rule No. 1: Get to the bar early, so you control who sits where.
- Oct 3 20161 minute
Of Maladies and Miracles
SARAH BEGLEY IN HER NEW NOVEL THE Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Room) again tells the story of a woman struggling to protect a vulnerable child. Anna O’Donnell is a Catholic girl in 1850s Ireland who has not eaten since her 11th birthday, four months befor
- Jun 1 20153 minutes
How and When to Give Advice (Hint: It's Not as Simple as You Think)
The lowdown on helping with other people's problems.
- 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
- 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
- Jan 5 20175 minutes
Pop Culture Is Having a Metaphysical Moment
The OA, Westworld, Stranger Things, and other recent works toy with the idea of multiple realities—and bring the thrill of new religion.
- Aug 23 20163 minutes
The Uncanny Symbiosis of Modern Religion and Sports
There is a church in Argentina called Iglesia Maradona. In this church, God is football—soccer—and its prophet is the renowned player Diego Armando Maradona. Founded in 1998, the year after the star’s retirement, the Church of Iglesia Maradona now ha
- May 9 20133 minutes
A Moment When Animals Started to Seem More Like People
Any self-respecting pet owner will confidently claim that their dog or cat (or rabbit, or gerbil) seems sentient, exhibiting a distinct temperament and emotional responses. I know my many beloved pets over the years could feel pain, and fear, as well
- Feb 1 20171 minute
COGNITIVE DIVERSITY IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL As the head of Facebook’s secretive new hardware unit, Building 8, Regina Dugan leads a team of engineers who are trying to develop breakthrough technologies, much as she did when she was the first femal
- 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
- Oct 23 20163 minutes
How to Solve the World’s Hardest Logic Puzzle
While a doctoral student at Princeton University in 1957, studying under a founder of theoretical computer science, Raymond Smullyan would occasionally visit New York City. On one of these visits, he met a “very charming lady musician” and, on their
- Jan 20 20174 minutes
The Otherworldly Genius of The Good Place
After a promising debut last fall, NBC’s quirky, metaphysical comedy enjoyed a terrific first season—only to brilliantly upend its entire premise in the final episode.
- Oct 21 20153 minutes
How Many Real Friends Can You Have at Once?
My wife can’t seem to walk for a half-hour around Ottawa, a city with nearly a million people, without running into at least three of her friends. Some people, like my wife, seem to have a zillion of them, while others appear to be content with just