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By Robin | A Magazine of ideas from The Paradigm Shift

Why put a ring on it?

<b>All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.</b> By Rebecca Traister. <i>Simon & Schuster; 352 pages; $27 and £16.99.</i><p><b>Enter</b> …

28 Psychological Experiments That Revealed Incredible And Uncomfortable Truths About Ourselves

Although as humans we have always been fascinated with the workings of the mind and the reasons behind our behavior, it wasn’t until the beginning of …

Psychology

Blind in the mind: why some people can't see pictures in their imagination

Imagine an apple floating in front of you. Now see if you can rotate it around in your mind. Look at it from the top, bottom – does it have any …

Neurology

The NRA-ification of American politics

IN THE annals of political intransigence, few beat Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. On abortion or gay rights Helms was unyielding, insisting …

LGBTQ

What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind?

Everyone knows what it feels like to have consciousness: it’s that self-evident sense of personal awareness, which gives us a feeling of ownership …

Consciousness

What Manifest Destiny Really Meant and How It Impacted America

Manifest destiny was a term that came to describe a widespread belief in the middle of the 19th century that the United States had a special mission …

History

Friday essay: why grown-ups still need fairy tales

For as long as we have been able to stand upright and speak, we have told stories. They explained the mysteries of the world: birth, death, the …

Literature

Does the size of the universe prove God doesn't exist?

Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception …

Atheism

Ctrl, Alt-Right, Delete: How the alt-right are exploiting videogames

I woke up last week to read that Dan Harmon, one of the creative forces behind the excellent Rick and Morty, had publicly denounced a number of the …

The Downfall of Rosewater, Once America’s Favorite Flavor

Until the 1840s, adding a dash of rosewater to sweets was the norm.<p>Every morning, pie bakers find themselves elbow-deep in several requisite …

We Can’t Stop Checking the News Either. Welcome to the New FOMO

This other type of FOMO, the all-news, all-the-time kind, is new enough that nobody has really studied it much, yet of the half-dozen experts in …

Two in three Australians think religion does more harm than good in the world

A bigger share of Australians than respondents in most other countries think religion does more harm than good in the world, new polling has revealed.<p>…

Atheism

The crooked timber of humanity

Nearly two centuries ago, France was hit by the world’s first cyber-attack. Tom Standage argues that it holds lessons for us today<p>WannaCry, a …

The Ezra Klein Show

Why we fell for clean eating

The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked – but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it. By Bee Wilson<p>In the spring of 2014, Jordan Younger noticed that her hair was falling out in clumps. “Not cool” was her reaction. At …

Nutrition

So many in the West are depressed because they're expected not to be

Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide, a standing to which it has progressed steadily over the past 20 years. Yet …

Psychology

Inside the minds of Trump’s 'true believers'

When Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that “America has always been the land of …

Trump University

'Cultural Marxism': a uniting theory for rightwingers who love to play the victim

The culture war that so defines current debates between the left and right sides of politics has its history in the barmy theory of ‘cultural Marxism’<p>What do the Australian’s columnist Nick Cater, video game hate group #Gamergate, Norwegian mass shooter Anders Breivik and random blokes on YouTube …

Theodor W. Adorno

How a Right-Wing Obsession With Art Theory Became a Racist ‘Star Wars’ Boycott

Opinion<p>Apparently everyone's favorite art theorists are a source of evil, pure evil.<p>,<p>Last week, the new trailer for <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i> …

Book review: The Death of Expertise

I have to start this review with a confession: I wanted to like this book from the moment I read the title. And I did. Tom Nichols’ The Death of …

explicit

Saying 'enough is enough' is to misunderstand terrorism completely

London, Melbourne, now Tehran. There is something undeniably true about British Prime Minister Theresa May's declaration this week that "enough is …

Curious Kids: Why do adults think video games are bad?

<i>This is an article from Curious Kids, a new series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to</i> …

The Economist

Its findings are so intriguing that "Everybody Lies" would be a page-turner even if it were structured as a laundry list

Whatever Happened to Hippy Jesus?

Serious, Biblically correct films like Son of God make it easy to forget the Jesus Christ Superstar-style whimsical messiah who once reigned at box offices.<p>Jesus Christ is serious business. The remarkable ratings of <i>The Bible</i> miniseries on the History Channel led to the release of the new film <i>Son of</i> …

The dark allure of conspiracy theories, explained by a psychologist

Believing in them is a coping mechanism to deal with an uncertain world.<p>Donald Trump touts conspiracy theories more than most presidents in recent history, or perhaps any president ever. Trump has claimed that President Obama wiretapped his phone during the presidential campaign (a charge the FBI …

Psychology

The Case Against Reality

A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.<p>As we go about our daily lives, we tend to assume that our perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, tastes—are an accurate portrayal of the real world. Sure, when we stop and think about …

Alan Turing

The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society

THE arrival of the “post-truth” political climate came as a shock to many Americans. But to the Christian writer Rachel Held Evans, charges of “fake news” are nothing new. “The deep distrust of the media, of scientific consensus — those were prevalent narratives growing up,” she told me.<p>Although …

Scientific Research

The seven deadly sins of statistical misinterpretation, and how to avoid them

<i>Statistics is a useful tool for understanding the patterns in the world around us. But our intuition often lets us down when it comes to interpreting</i> …

Data Science

Podcasts Are the New Xanax

“I could take a bath in Paris while listening to someone in Los Angeles complain about her dating life.”<p>I’m not an early adopter. I’ll only start wearing new styles of clothing once they’re practically out of date, and I won’t move into a neighborhood until it’s fully saturated with upscale coffee …