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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 31 20172 minutes
The Internet Is Mostly Bots
More than half of web traffic comes from automated programs—many of them malicious.
- Jun 1 20162 minutes
How Real Brilliance Is Measured
Rather than looking at typical benchmarks, we focus on the ideas, almost all fueled by passion and implemented by strong leaders.
- Feb 2 20177 minutes
Why You Didn’t See It Coming: When scale confounds our perceptions, stories can clarify them.
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
- Jan 9 201410 minutes
Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree: Understanding the impermanence of everything—including ourselves.
I remember my grandfather commenting—wry amusement tinged with grim resignation—that what made him finally feel old was seeing his children reach middle age. I was a child then. Now I see my own children, not quite middle aged, starting to have child
- Apr 1 20141 minute
How to Build Your Personal Website in Less Than 10 Seconds
Strikingly pulls from LinkedIn to build customized websites in one easy step.
- Feb 7 20175 minutes
Video Games Do Guilt Better Than Any Other Art
The idea that motion pictures can be works of art has been around since the 1920s, and it hasn’t really been disputed since. It’s easy to see why—cinema shares characteristics with theater in terms of acting, direction, music, set design, narrative,
- Dec 1 20152 minutes
How One Man Used Artificial Intelligence to Generate Genuine Sales Leads
A CRM startup gets the hookup to find leads via machine learning about its best customers.
- Jun 1 20154 minutes
15 Time-Tested Apps Your Business Can't Live Without
Make these apps work for you, in areas like travel, money, communications and more.
- Jan 1 20171 minute
Three New Tech Tools To Upgrade Your Work Life
The whiteboard gets interesting.
- Feb 2 20178 minutes
What Quantum Gravity Needs Is More Experiments: Math won’t solve quantum gravity. Experimentation will.
In the mid-1990s, I studied mathematics. I wasn’t really sure just what I wanted to do with my life, but I was awed by the power of mathematics to describe the natural world. After classes on differential geometry and Lie algebras, I attended a semin
- Jan 17 20178 minutes
The OA And The Dark Side Of Science
Brit Marling discusses the folklore and real-life research that went into her trippy Netflix series.
- 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
- 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
- Oct 1 201613 minutes
The Deep-Learning Revolution
Why decades-old discoveries are suddenly changing your life and electrifying the computing industry, and why they’ll soon transform corporate America.
- 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 16 201710 minutes
Atheism, the Computer Model: Big data meets history to forecast the rise and fall of religion.
In the United States, the nones have it. The nones being people with no organized religion and increasingly no belief in God or a universal spiritual power. They have the momentum, attention, and an expectation that in the future they will become a m
- 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 9 201710 minutes
Raising the American Weakling: There are two very different interpretations of our dwindling grip strength.
When she was a practicing occupational therapist, Elizabeth Fain started noticing something odd in her clinic: Her patients were weak. More specifically, their grip strengths, recorded via a hand-held dynamometer, were “not anywhere close to the norm
- Sep 1 20161 minute
The Low-Tech Hack You're Not Prepared For
Haven't heard of visual hacking? It could be a real threat to your business, says Daniel Burks, senior VP and enterprise chief privacy officer for U.S. Bank.
- Oct 6 201610 minutes
The Problem with Modern Romance Is Too Much Choice: Are we happier with few or many choices? One subject settles the debate—dating.
In the age of online dating there are more romantic options than there are fish in the, well, you know. On the appropriately named site Plenty of Fish, for instance, you can pore over profiles of hundreds or thousands of potential mates before decidi
- Apr 21 201624 minutes
Not All Practice Makes Perfect: Moving from naive to purposeful practice can dramatically increase performance.
In just our fourth session together, Steve was already beginning to sound discouraged. It was Thursday of the first week of an experiment that I had expected to last for two or three months, but from what Steve was telling me, it might not make much
- 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
- Dec 18 201627 minutes
The 50 Best Podcasts of 2016
From politics shows to horror series, highlights from a year of listening
- 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:
- 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.
- Nov 29 20166 minutes
How Will Our Religions Handle the Discovery of Alien Life?
What would your priest, rabbi, or imam say if we discovered alien life?For the religious, knowing that life on Earth is not unique may demand radical new ways of thinking about ourselves: How special and sacred are we? Is Earth a privileged place? Do
- Dec 1 20152 minutes
How This Company Creates Instant Websites
Now, websites are as easy as drag-and-drop.
- Sep 4 20165 minutes
Consciousness Is Made of Atoms, Too
In his first lecture on physics to freshmen and sophomores at the California Institute of Technology, in 1961-62, Richard Feynman said:If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the nex
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