Interview with mathematician Corina Tarnita who deciphers patterns in the soil created by competing life-forms. MIT researchers overturn old theories about how memories form and recall works. Inequality in nature and society. Everything we know about black hole growth says this one is too young to be so big. A literary tour of the U.S. with 50 State-set books. Slavoj Žižek on ideology as the original augmented reality. The radical chic of Rick Owens. Inside China's vast new experiment in social ranking. Erik Brynjolfsson and Tom Mitchell on workforce implications of what machine learning can do. Five recent books about bread. Longreads Best of 2017.
A new theory may explain the success of deep learning. How do you make an AI curious? Suketu Mehta on the reasons people migrate to the West. What the US heroin epidemic looks like. How many infinities are out there? On the semiotics of emoji. An interview with philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah. Ghost malls across the US. A trucker’s tales of life on the road. A conversation with John Cleese.
Two recent books about the mind of the octopus. How much more can we learn about the universe? A pre-history of post-truth, East and West. Nobel laureate Sheldon Lee Glashow weaves some threads in the tapestry of physics. Religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy. The greatest civilisation ever forgotten? Gregory Chaitin takes a look at complexity using algorithmic information theory. J.M. Coetzee on a great writer we should know. 100 books set in/about Los Angeles. 25 Articles and essays by David Foster Wallace.
Charles Taylor on some conditions of a viable democracy. Alaska's permafrost is thawing. An appreciation of Fernando Pessoa. Arthur Schopenhauer the first European Buddhist. Francis Fukuyama still believes in progress. The mysteries of the Russian mindset. Karl Ove Knausgaard by the book. An interview with mathematician and author John Mighton.
A fascinating new theory of the history of life on Earth. The mathematics of juggling. New experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms. Can a mind can be located outside of the head? Chris Ware on Saul Steinberg's view of the world. Where oil rigs go to die. The world is running out of sand. The quantum thermodynamics revolution. Kevin Kelly on the myth of a superhuman AI. Tim Parks on the pleasures of pessimism. And Alex Tizon writes about his family's slave.