Matthew L Schwartz

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Researchers used these six critical thinking steps to kill 42 common climate change denialist arguments

Sixcess!<p>Trying to argue the case for manmade climate change against those that refuse to believe all those eggheaded book-learnin’ scientists has …

Critical Thinking

How Fake Surgery Exposes Useless Treatments

Two weeks after my husband had a couple of stents installed in his coronary arteries, he awoke to this headline in the <i>New York Times:</i> …

Medicine

Why We Love Gigante Beans, the Creamiest, Most Satisfying Legume Around

We like big beans and we cannot lie.<p>If <i>Jack and the Beanstalk</i> were a true story and not a cautionary fairytale, I am confident that the titular beanstalk would have sprouted from a handful of gigante beans. As their name suggests, these beans are big. And, we'll be honest, it's this bean's …

Cooking

The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem

You might think that the kind of extreme poverty that would concern a global organization like the United Nations has long vanished in this country. Yet the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, recently made and reported on an investigative tour of the United …

Poverty

The Second Coming of Ultrasound

Before Pierre Curie met the chemist Marie Sklodowska; before they married and she took his name; before he abandoned his physics work and moved into …

Medicine

The simple bi-weekly ritual that has drastically improved my happiness

When my wife and I moved to New York City in 2001, recently graduated from college and newly wed, we were eager to find friends. We knew nearly no one but were sure we'd soon find a fun-loving group like the 20- and 30-something New Yorkers who spontaneously dropped in on one another on TV shows …

Happiness

When A Tattoo Means Life Or Death. Literally.

The man was unconscious and alone when he arrived at University of Miami Hospital last summer. He was 70 years old and gravely ill.<p>"Originally, we were told he was intoxicated," remembers Dr. Gregory Holt, an emergency room doctor, "but he didn't wake up."<p>"He wasn't breathing well. He had COPD. …

The New England Journal of Medicine

How Democracies Perish

Everybody agrees society is in a bad way, but what exactly is the main cause of the badness? Some people emphasize economic issues: The simultaneous concentration of wealth at the top and the stagnation in the middle has delegitimized the system. People like me emphasize cultural issues. If you …

The False Promises of Worker Retraining

Despite assurances from policymakers that retraining is the key to success, such programs have consistently failed to equip workers with the preparation they need to secure jobs.<p>When Travis Busch graduated from high school in Jefferson, Iowa, in 1999, he followed many of his classmates on the …

Employment

3 Simple Steps to Mastering Any New Subject, According to a Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

Learn anything faster using the Feynman Technique.<p>As we get older, learning something new becomes more complex, tedious, and time-consuming than …

Physics

In 6 Words, Elon Musk Explained Why So Many People Are Afraid to Take Risks and Achieve Greatness

It's the most rational reason imaginable--but it can lead to a boring, ordinary life.<p><i>This series examines the stories behind some of the best inspiring quotes of all time. Check out the full list: the best inspirational quotes for 2018.</i><p>The most powerful threat to greatness isn't evil. It's …

The Retreat to Tribalism

Imagine three kids running around a maypole, forming a chain with their arms. The innermost kid is holding the pole with one hand. The faster they run, the more centrifugal force there is tearing the chain apart. The tighter they grip, the more centripetal force there is holding the chain together. …

The Best Books We Read in 2017

The Atlantic’s editors and writers share their favorite titles—new, classic, or somewhere in between—from a year of reading.<p>Editor’s Note: Find all of <i>The Atlantic</i>’s “Best of 2017” coverage here.<p><i>Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News</i> by Kevin Young<p>It’s too …

Books

'The difficulty is the point': teaching spoon-fed students how to really read

When the logic of capitalism means universities are run as businesses, much is lost. Reclaiming literature is crucial to understanding the times we live in<p>I’ve recently finished marking 40-odd exams, mostly written by people between the ages of 18 and 21. In them our students had to answer …

George Eliot

Weirder than the aliens: Trump's America in 2017

<b>(CNN) —</b> If in 2012 a stranger tapped you on the shoulder, leaned in and whispered: "Donald Trump will be the president of the United States in 2017 and also The New York Times, on a random Saturday in December, will publish a convincing report on the existence of aliens in our midst," you'd have …

Donald Trump

36 Taco Recipes So Good You’ll Never Want to Make Anything Else

Need a standout “Taco Tuesday” recipe? With these cheesy, meat- and veggie-packed tacos on the menu, you’ll want to have one (or three) every night.<p>1 …

Four Books That Deserved More Attention in 2017

One of the best novels published this year was also one of the most scandalously neglected, at least in this country. I greatly admired “<b>Go, Went, Gone</b>,” by Jenny Erpenbeck (New Directions), the most prominent and serious German novelist of her generation. When Erpenbeck wins the Nobel Prize in a …

Literature

When #MeToo Goes Too Far

Matt Damon gave an interview to ABC News last week in which he offered the following observation: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they …

Research Shows Employees Have Only 2.5 Hours a Day to Do Real Work. Here's How to Fix This.

To keep your team on track and working productively, follow this 3-step process for identifying and solving their time management issues.<p>As a leader, it's your responsibility to help everyone on your team do more of their best work. This means coaching them to prioritize their work, giving them the …

Beef Lasagna

Sorry, but this tastes better than your mom's.<p>"If you don't like lasagna, you're probably an idiot."<p>Servings: A Lot<p>Prep: 1 hour<p>Ingredients<p>1/2 cup canola oil<p>4 lbs ground beef<p>1 cup good olive oil<p>1 head of garlic<p>1 carrot<p>1 large onion<p>4 tablespoons tomato paste<p>3 tablespoons dried red chilies<p>1 liter beef …

Recipes

An Abomination. A Monster. That’s Me?

It used to be that when someone called me an abomination, I was in the presence of a homophobe.<p>But a recent opinion column in Texas State University’s main newspaper damned me for a different reason. I’m abominable because I’m white.<p>The column wasn’t aimed at me personally but at my kind, and the …

A New Way for Machines to See, Taking Shape in Toronto

TORONTO — In 2012, Geoffrey Hinton changed the way machines see the world.<p>Along with two graduate students at the University of Toronto, Mr. Hinton, a professor there, built a system that could analyze thousands of photos and teach itself to identify common objects like flowers and cars with an …

The Limits of ‘Believe All Women’

Ever since Eve gave Adam that forbidden fruit, demonizing and disbelieving women has been the planet-wide policy. You don’t need to reach back to the Pleistocene to see the truth of that.<p>“You’re just a child,” Roy Moore is accused of saying to Beverly Young Nelson, age 16 at the time, when he …

CNN

Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

Step into any college lecture hall and you are likely to find a sea of students typing away at open, glowing laptops as the professor speaks. But you won’t see that when I’m teaching.<p>Though I make a few exceptions, I generally ban electronics, including laptops, in my classes and research …

Motion Design: Why Incompetent People Think They're Amazing

The WWW (Wonderful Women at Wednesday Studio) invited Eze Matteo to collaborate animating some bits of this piece for Ted that explains why …

The 1 Sentence That Will Make You a More Effective Speaker Every Time

This one simple trick will make your speeches clear, concise and compelling every time.<p>"Clear writing is clear thinking." My tenth grade English teacher shared that morsel of wisdom once as I was slogging through a 20-page term paper with no idea where I was going or how to make the points I wanted …

The Patients vs. Paperwork Problem for Doctors

Every doctor I know has been complaining about the growing burden of electronic busywork generated by the E.M.R., the electronic medical record. And it’s not just in our imaginations.<p>The hard data have been rolling in now at a steady pace. A recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine used the …

The Dismal Science Remains Dismal, Say Scientists

When Hristos Doucouliagos was a young economist in the mid-1990s, he got interested in all the ways economics was wrong about itself—bias, …

Clinical Trials