Mark Mykytiuk

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The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

Douglas Hofstadter, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach, thinks we've lost sight of what artificial intelligence really means. His stubborn quest to replicate the human mind.<p>“It depends on what you mean by <i>artificial intelligence</i>.” Douglas Hofstadter is in a grocery store in …

A Big Heart Open to God: An interview with Pope Francis

<i>Editor’s Note: This interview with Pope Francis took place over the course of three meetings during August 2013 in Rome. The interview was conducted</i> …

Christianity

How consciousness works. And why we believe in ghosts – Michael Graziano | Aeon Essays

Scientific talks can get a little dry, so I try to mix it up. I take out my giant hairy orangutan puppet, do some ventriloquism and quickly become …

10 Free Stories by George Saunders, Author of Tenth of December, “The Best Book You’ll Read This Year”

For writers and serious readers, George Saunders is anything but a newcomer. Saunders published his first short story with <i>The New Yorker</i> back in …

The Poorest Rich Kids in the World

The black Chevy Tahoe picked up speed as it careened down the curving Wyoming mountain road, the two frightened children inside clutching their …

Crime

The Killing Machines

How to think about drones<p><b>I. Unfairness</b><p>Consider David. The shepherd lad steps up to face in single combat the Philistine giant Goliath. Armed with only a slender staff and a slingshot, he confronts a fearsome warrior clad in a brass helmet and chain mail, wielding a spear with a head as heavy as a …

Classic Literature

Michael Lewis: Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?

A month after ace programmer Sergey Aleynikov left Goldman Sachs, he was arrested. Exactly what he’d done neither the F.B.I., which interrogated him, nor the jury, which convicted him a year later, seemed to understand. But Goldman had accused him of stealing computer code, and the 41-year-old …

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements

Nutrition experts contend that all we need is what's typically found in a routine diet. Industry representatives, backed by a fascinating history, argue that foods don't contain enough, and we need supplements. Fortunately, many excellent studies have now resolved the issue.<p>On October 10, 2011, …

Mouseunculus: How The Brain Draws A Little You

Inside each of us is a miniature version of ourselves. The Canadian neurologist Wilder Penfield discovered this little person in the 1930s, when he opened up the skulls of his patients to perform brain surgery. He would sometimes apply a little electric jolt to different spots on the surface of the …

Big Law Firms in Trouble: When the Money Dries Up

Of all the occupational golden ages to come and go in the twentieth century—for doctors, journalists, ad-men, autoworkers—none lasted longer, felt …

Buried Secrets

How an Israeli billionaire wrested control of one of Africa’s biggest prizes.<p>One of the world’s largest known deposits of untapped iron ore is buried inside a great, forested mountain range in the tiny West African republic of Guinea. In the country’s southeast highlands, far from any city or major …

A deadly triangle: Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

In a nation whose government has often been run by the military, and whose foreign policy has been seen as carried out by the ISI, General Kayani has …

The Gut-Wrenching Science Behind the World’s Hottest Peppers

The 17 tribes of Nagaland are united, historically, by an enthusiasm for heads. The Nagas: Hill Peoples of Northeast India—my reading matter on the …

NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar

Author: James Bamford. James Bamford Security<p>Date of Publication: 06.12.13.<p>Time of Publication: 9:00 pm. 9:00 pm<p>Inside Fort Meade, Maryland, a …

All Aboard the SS Kid Rock

The recent trend of rock 'n' roll cruises hasn't worked for every band that's tried it—let's pour out some PBR for the sadly canceled Sugar Ray cruise. But there's one boat that's been packed from stem to stern since it launched, with more than half its passengers coming back for another drunken …

In Defense of Henry Kissinger

He was the 20th century's greatest 19th-century statesman.<p>In the summer of 2002, during the initial buildup to the invasion of Iraq, which he supported, Henry Kissinger told me he was nevertheless concerned about the lack of critical thinking and planning for the occupation of a Middle Eastern …

Our American Pravda

In mid-March, the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> carried a long discussion of the origins of the Bretton Woods system, the international financial framework that …

Landays: Poetry of Afghan Women

Girl:<p>Slide your hand inside my bra.<p>Stroke a red and ripening pomegranate of Kandahar.<p>Boy:<p>I’d slide my hand inside your bra,<p>but who will drop coins in …

In the Crosshairs

Chris Kyle, a decorated sniper, tried to help a troubled veteran. The result was tragic.<p>On the morning of August 2, 2006, three Navy <i>SEAL</i>s walked onto the roof of a four-story apartment building in Ramadi, in central Iraq. One of them, a petty officer and a sniper named Chris Kyle, got into position …

The future of iOS design?

Sweating the details of iOS 7<p>“Completely flat,” “Like Android,” “Microsoft-flat,” etc., etc., etc.<p>The talk about how Apple is going to “flatten out” …

World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together

For one time only, Germans and Allies fought together in WWII. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie.<p>The most …

‘The Great Gatsby’ Still Gets Flappers Wrong

Have you heard? There’s a new swell in town named Gatsby, and he’s bringing flapper flair back into fashion. Baz Luhrmann’s latest cinematic …

Cities Of The Future, Built By Drones, Bacteria, And 3-D Printers

As scientists make huge strides in robotics, natural building materials, and new construction methods, our urban architecture could take on a much different form than the rigid construction we’re used to.<p>Editor’s Note<p>This is part of our Futurist Forum series, where we’ve been exploring what the …

Bots

Schulz: Why I Despise The Great Gatsby

<b>The best advice I ever got</b> about reading came from the critic and scholar Louis Menand. Back in 2005, I spent six months in Boston and, for the fun …