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- Feb 2 20179 minutes
Against Willpower: Willpower is a dangerous, old idea that needs to be scrapped.
Thomas1 was a highly successful and mild-mannered lawyer who was worried about his drinking. When he came to see me at my psychotherapy practice, his wine intake had crept up to six or seven glasses a night, and he was starting to hide it from his fa
- Jan 1 20172 minutes
Research-Backed Ways To Impress Anyone In Two Seconds
Got two seconds? Make the most of them.
- Apr 1 20141 minute
3 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People
Unfortunately, you can't change them. But you can change the way you interact with them.
- Feb 3 20174 minutes
Trump Says A Lot, But Not With Words
The president-elect is a fascinating study in the power of nonverbal forms of communication.
- Feb 9 201715 minutes
Love Is Like Cocaine: From ecstasy to withdrawal, the lover resembles an addict.
George Bernard Shaw knew the power of romantic love and attachment. Both, I will maintain, are addictions—wonderful addictions when the relationship is going well; horribly negative addictions when the partnership breaks down. Moreover, these love ad
- Feb 9 201726 minutes
Bias In The ER: Doctors suffer from the same cognitive distortions as the rest of us.
The dazed young woman who arrived at Sunnybrook Hospital, Canada’s first and largest regional trauma center, from a head-on car crash presented the surgeons treating her with a disturbing problem. In addition to her many broken bones, the rhythm of h
- Feb 14 20172 minutes
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of mad
- Feb 16 201711 minutes
The Anatomy of Charisma: What makes a person magnetic and why we should be wary.
For weeks I had been researching what science has to say about the power of charisma. Why do some people so clearly have it and others don’t? Why do we fall so easily under its influence? Charismatics can make us feel charmed and great about ourselve
- Feb 17 20176 minutes
How to Understand Extreme Numbers
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
- Jan 16 20171 minute
Are Some Years More Important Than Others?
LILY ROTHMAN THE YEAR 2016 MIGHT BE OVER, BUT debates rage on about whether it was one of the most important—or worst—years ever. Yet amid talk of surprising election results and shocking celebrity deaths, these conversations often miss a key point:
- Sep 15 201611 minutes
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: The building blocks of understanding are memorization and repetition.
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
- Apr 1 20132 minutes
4 Tips for Launching Your Fashion Company
A veteran clothing designer gives custom advice to fashion 'treps.
- Jan 20 20173 minutes
Alphabet's Eric Schmidt: Embrace Machine Learning
The executive chairman of Alphabet explains how technology will improve lives on a scale we’ve never seen before in history.
- Feb 10 20175 minutes
The Universe Is as Spooky as Einstein Thought
In a brilliant new experiment, physicists have confirmed one of the most mysterious laws of the cosmos.
- Feb 6 20176 minutes
Minority Groups Lose When They Collaborate with Power
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
- Jan 26 201711 minutes
The Multiple Multiverses May Be One and the Same: Physics:If multiverses seem weird, it’s because we need to revamp our notions of time and space.
The name of the image—the “Flammarion engraving”—may not ring a bell, but you’ve seen it many times. It depicts a traveler wearing a cloak and clutching a walking-stick; behind him is a varied landscape of towns and trees; surrounding all is a crysta
- Jan 5 20174 minutes
What Sea Slugs Taught Us About Our Brain: Neuroscience:The simple nerve cells of sea creatures helped scientists fathom human memory.
When Leonid Moroz, a gregarious Russian-born neuroscientist and geneticist at the University of Florida, began studying ctenophores nearly a decade ago, he had a fairly simple goal in mind. He wanted to determine exactly where the blobby marine creat
- Oct 1 20142 minutes
4 Ways to Keep Learning Beyond the Classroom
You don't have to get a new degree to expand your knowledge base.
- 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
- Dec 9 20164 minutes
Profanity's Roots In Brain Chemistry? Damn Right
Swearing has its own home in our brains, separate from where we generate polite conversation.
- Jun 13 201312 minutes
The Coin Toss and the Love Triangle: Information Theory:There are two flavors of uncertainty in our lives. Math helps with both.
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
- 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.
- Oct 1 20162 minutes
Love it or loathe it, brainstorming is a ubiquitous part of office culture. Whether it is an effective tool for generating ideas and solving problems is up for debate. And since we love a good debate, we invited 50 leaders in the design community—typ
- Sep 1 20163 minutes
If You Work From Home, Do This Every Day
It's time to give yourself a break.
- May 30 20133 minutes
A Crowdsourced Expert Interview: Nautilus readers delve further into the idea that metaphors make us human.
In “Metaphors Are Us,” biologist and neurologist Robert Sapolsky made a good case for why symbolic thinking may be the key feature separating humans from our nearest animal relatives. But that essay didn’t end the discussion, which spilled onto socia
- Sep 8 20168 minutes
Teaching Me Softly: Machine learning is teaching us the secret to teaching.
When Pyotr Stolyarsky died in 1944, he was considered Russia’ s greatest violin teacher. He counted among his pupils a coterie of stars, including David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein, and a school for gifted musicians in his native Odessa was named af
- Dec 12 20161 minute
Building the Workforces Businesses Need
JOHN RICE WHEN A COMPANY INVESTS IN A country, it asks: Do we have the right people with the right capabilities? This makes people think of new facilities, new jobs. Too often they forget the importance of developing new skills. Most educational sy
- Jan 1 20171 minute
A New Mind-Set
Shorter employee attention spans are driving companies like Walmart and PayPal to rethink corporate training.
- Aug 1 20152 minutes
Don't Just Build a Business -- Build a Business With Soul
You need more than brains to create and sustain a business that has a lasting impact.
- Aug 1 20134 minutes
A Treatise on Miracles by History’s Most Famous Atheist: Are some things too good to be true?
The Scottish philosopher David Hume was in many ways an enemy of the unlikely. The quintessential empiricist of his age, Hume’s 1748 treatise, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, put forward the groundbreaking argument that careful reasoning o