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By Robin | A Magazine of ideas from The Paradigm Shift

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 …

Donald Trump

'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 …

Religion

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 …

Democracy

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

This Facebook post is no longer available. It may have been removed or the privacy settings of the post may have changed.<p>Its findings are so …

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> …

Theology

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 …

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 …

Quantum Mechanics

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 …

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> …

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 …

Martin Van Buren

The Death of Moral Relativism

Considered by conservatives to be one of postmodern society’s greatest threats, moral relativism may now be a relic of the past.<p>Four years before he was hoisted to Speaker of the House, a smooth-faced Representative Paul Ryan declared, “If you ask me what the biggest problem in America is, I’m not …

Morality

Terrorist atrocities in western Europe

ON MARCH 22nd, exactly one year after a series of suicide bombings killed 32 civilians in Brussels, a terrorist attacked central London. The …

Terrorism

Donald Trump and the rise of tribal epistemology

Journalism cannot be neutral toward a threat to the conditions that make it possible.<p>Back in November 2009, as the Obama backlash was just gathering steam, Rush Limbaugh devoted a segment of his radio program to “Climategate.”<p>That was the episode in which a climate research institute was hacked and …

7 psychological concepts that explain the Trump era of politics

American politics can seem baffling. Psychology is here to help.<p>These are strange, unsettling times. And for the past several months, I’ve been asking psychologists variations on a basic question: What research can best help us reckon with uncomfortable social and political realities — like the …

Vox

Most people think of beards as fashion statements, but researchers say their popularity might be tied to economics instead.

A New Book Argues Concerns Over Violent Video Games Are a Moral Panic

There’s been an interesting shift in the psychological profession when it comes to video games. For a while, the only time you’d ever see a …

Psychology

Escape to another world

As video games get better and job prospects worse, more young men are dropping out of the job market to spend their time in an alternate reality. …

Kerbal Space Program

The Conversation

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Fascism

Where do the terms 'fascist' and 'fascism' come from and do they help us make sense of the world today?

Democracy

What Does Steve Bannon Want?

President Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of systematic ideologies. He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his agenda in that way. So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who does have a gift for thinking …

Why Video Game Movies Fail as Adaptations

There are few film genres worse than the video game movie. Throughout the years, we’ve been graced with the likes of <i>Resident Evil</i>, <i>Hitman</i>, <i>Warcraft</i>, …

Tracking the fortunes of America’s white working-class men

DURING Donald Trump’s inauguration speech he declared that America’s “forgotten men and women” will be “forgotten no longer”. Then, earlier this …

The corpse factory and the birth of fake news

<b>Think fake news is a new phenomenon? Think again. Dr David Clarke from Sheffield Hallam University looks at a 100-year-old story that fooled the world.</b><b>Fake news, false stories that masquerade as real news are not new.</b><p>In the spring of 1917 some of Britain's most influential newspapers published a …

History

Richard Rorty’s prescient warnings for the American left

This liberal philosopher predicted Trump’s rise in 1988 - and he has another warning for the left<p>A prescient passage from a forgotten book has been making the rounds since Donald Trump’s election. It’s plucked from a 1998 book titled <i>Achieving our Country</i>. The author is Richard Rorty, a liberal …