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Rather than looking at typical benchmarks, we focus on the ideas, almost all fueled by passion and implemented by strong leaders.
You don’t see it coming. You probably couldn’t if you tried. The effects of large changes in scale are frequently beyond our powers of perception, even our imagination. They seem to emerge out of nowhere: the cumulative effects of climate change, the
Brit Marling discusses the folklore and real-life research that went into her trippy Netflix series.
The late statistics wizard Hans Rosling, who died this month at age 68, brought at least 10 toilet paper rolls to some of his beloved presentations. He would stack them into a tower on a table, each roll representing one billion people. In a 2012 t
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
From politics shows to horror series, highlights from a year of listening
I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague. So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and t
A conversation with Michael Lewis about his new book on the research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky
Is there a danger in governments offering too-specific advice on sugar consumption?
A prototype is often the only way to know if your idea will fly, and if your startup is ready to launch.
There is a reason the film’s machines seem stuck in the 20th century.
Ebbe Altberg, CEO of the company that created the virtual 3-D world Second Life, answers your VR questions.
I had little idea of what I would discover when I set out to find and photograph the oldest living things in the world. I expected that researching, traveling, and photographing would stretch my perspective, and force me to learn a lot of science: bi
The OA, Westworld, Stranger Things, and other recent works toy with the idea of multiple realities—and bring the thrill of new religion.
Are you there, God? It’s I, robot.
Michael Belfiore Form and function Security cameras may be ubiquitous, but they still miss a lot. And humans have to monitor their feeds for unusual activity. The Movidius Myriad 2 vision-processing chip is designed to help newer-model cameras inte
Cailin O’Connor—a philosopher, scientist, and mathematician—may not enjoy tense situations, but they fascinate her. Last year, in a Huffington Post article titled “Game Theory and The Walking Dead,” she wrote that the zombie show’s “plot lines are ri
Luck can seem synonymous with randomness. To call someone lucky is usually to deny the relevance of their hard work or talent. As Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United K
Capitalism changed how humans perceive the passage of hours, days, and weeks. This made people more productive, but did it make them any happier?
Science is a meticulous process, requiring experiment after experiment to arrive at a new truth. So it may come as a surprise to learn that the specific results of science can be illustrated with metaphors, which leave room for interpretation. That’s
Nick Leiber Wi-Fi networks dependent on radio waves are growing more congested all the time—and can’t be used everywhere—so various researchers and companies are betting light waves from LED lamps and overheads can also stream data and connect peopl
These startups have created tools you didn't know you needed, from a platform to improve the interviewing process to automated wealth-management services and more.
There is nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule. Its burnished aluminum feels cool against your lips, and if you hold it level to the light you can see God’s most perfect right angle in each of its corners. When you tip it sideways, it g
The polymath computer scientist David Gelernter’s wide-ranging ideas about American life.
The ice on Lake Baikal in Siberia is thick and endless, a deep blue covered with fresh powdery snow. It’s a long journey to reach this middle of nowhere. First a six-hour flight from Moscow to Irkutsk, then three hours by car, and finally four hours
When the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld assigned his most brilliant student a subject for his doctoral thesis in 1923, he admitted that “I would not have proposed a topic of this difficulty to any of my other pupils.” Those others included such g
If there really is a music of the spheres, the sound of a fundamental harmony in the universe, it has to be Just Ancient Loops, a 2012 work by composer Michael Harrison. Played on the cello, and complemented by a film created from archival clips and
Another study argues there was no sea-surface slowdown in warming.
Chance appears to name a single, unitary thing. But its genealogy, its family history, turns out to be a tangled one. One way to understand its branching origins is to turn to literature: We may look, in turn, to two very different novels.Anton Chigu
In a brilliant new experiment, physicists have confirmed one of the most mysterious laws of the cosmos.