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The five universal laws of human stupidity

In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.<p>Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are …

University of California

7 Unexpected Signs Negative Self-Talk Is Impacting Your Physical Health

Unfortunately, the reality is for many people that negative self-talk is part of everyday life. Most times it just flies by and doesn't help or hurt. …

The US Army’s new algorithm tells you how much caffeine will hit your body’s peak performance

The Army wants you….awake. Since at least WWII, US military scientists have been tinkering with the human brain to keep pilots, soldiers and staff alert despite lack of sleep. Their enemies have as well: The Nazis infamously plied their ranks with methamphetamines (also known as speed).<p>But how can …

Here's Why Some Brains Really Are Smarter, According to This New Study

Are you 'neurally efficient'?<p>People with a higher IQ are more likely to have fewer connections between the neurons in the outer layer of their brain, …

The 25 Sexiest Movies of All Time

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New Archive Is Digitizing the Entirety of Phenomenology: Browse Works by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and More

Chances are, if you can define the word phenomenology, you’re already a student of the 20th century philosophical school, field, movement, or—as its …

Want to write a book? Stop talking about it. Entirely.

There’s an old Korean saying that my mother is fond of repeating: “You have nothing to fear from someone who threatens that he is going to kill you tomorrow.” In other words, if the speaker’s true intention were to kill you, he would have done it already. He would not have told you he was going to …

Writing

These Books Were Once Considered "Classics" But Are Now Largely Forgotten

The forgotten book that, rediscovered, takes its place among venerated classics is an age-old trend; "Don't call it a comeback," quoth LL Cool J. But …

What would happen if Mark Zuckerberg really did 'accidentally create Skynet'?

If you look up in the sky at night, you might notice one of over 1,300 active satellites orbiting the Earth. (There’s also another 3,000 up there that don’t work anymore.)<p>If you believe they are all controlled by human operators, think again.<p>Artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent in our …

We Just Got More Evidence That The 2 Human 'Sex Pheromones' Don't Actually Exist

Sorry.<p>When we talk about animal instinct, we're often talking about pheromones - chemicals that affect the behaviour of other animals, and make …

30 Books You Should Read Before You're 30

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YA Fiction Like Harry Potter Taught Millennials Stupid Views Of Politics

Clichés are bad when they create ambiguity. Compare the following passages: “The fog rolled into downtown Portland.” “The fog snaked through the …

The discovery of a giant neuron could help explain how the brain creates consciousness

Nobody yet understands how a collection of mushy cells in the brain gives rise to the brilliance of consciousness seen in higher-order animals, including humans. But two discoveries give scientists vital clues to how human consciousness works.<p>In 2014, a 54-year-old woman went to George Washington …

The Brain

How Different Cultures Understand Time

In the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Mexico employ time in such diametrically opposing manners that it causes intense friction between the two peoples.<p>In Western Europe, the Swiss attitude to time bears little relation to that of neighboring Italy.<p>Thais do not evaluate the passing of …

Northern Europe

Why Immortality Is Overrated

Helen was 82. She'd survived both breast cancer and outlived her husband.<p>One summer day she began bleeding from her colon and was admitted to the hospital. We assumed the worst — another cancer. But after she endured a series of scans and being poked with scopes, we figured out that she had an …

Medicine

“European culture” is an invented tradition

Think of culture, of literature, music, philosophy, the fine arts, and it means thinking of Europe. “The idea of culture, of intelligence, of great works,” wrote the French poet and essayist Paul Valéry in 1919, “has for us a very ancient connection with the idea of Europe.” In an anthropological …

Europe

A woman's brain changes in profound ways after she gives birth, new study shows

Along with the arrival of a new human being into the world, pregnancy also seems to result in something else life-changing — a woman's brain that's …

Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbor

(Reuters) - Scientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published on Wednesday showed.<p>The relative proximity of the planet, known as …

Always Hitting The Snooze Button? Science Says It's Linked To Your Creativity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to …

44 Essential Movies for the Student of Philosophy

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “philosophical film”? <i>The Matrix</i>, most likely, an obvious example of a movie—or franchise—that explores …

Franz Kafka Says the Insect in The Metamorphosis Should Never Be Drawn; Vladimir Nabokov Draws It Anyway

If you’ve read Franz Kafka’s <i>The Metamorphosis</i> in English, it’s likely that your translation referred to the transformed Gregor Samsa as a …

The 20 Most Influential Academic Books of All Time: No Spoilers

<i>A Brief History of Time</i> by Stephen Hawking<p><i>A Vindication of the Rights of Woman</i> by Mary Wollstonecraft (iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read …

Stephen Hawking

Was the Invention of Finance Responsible for Democracy?

The ancient city of Athens paid its citizens for various civic duties, priming them into a mindset that paved the way to participatory government.<p>Athens is most famous as the birthplace of democracy. Although the development of Athenian political institutions has long been the subject of study, the …

Athens

13 Wild Science Facts You Probably Didn't Learn in High School

Show kids the good stuff!<p>We learn about some awesome science in high school - like Einstein's theory of relativity, the Periodic table, and DNA …

6,000 Years of History Visualized in a 23-Foot-Long Timeline of World History, Created in 1871

A beautiful early example of visualizing the flow of history, Sebastian C. Adams' <i>Synchronological Chart of Universal History</i> outlines the evolution …

Stone Age

Creativity, Not Money, is the Key to Happiness: Discover Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s Theory of “Flow”

The title of the TED talk above, “Flow, the secret to happiness,” might make you roll your eyes. It does indeed sound like self-help snake oil. But …

Happiness

The Tree of Languages Illustrated in a Big, Beautiful Infographic

<i>Click image, then click again, to enlarge</i><p>Call it counterintuitive clickbait if you must, but Forbes' Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry made an intriguing …

What is the Good Life? Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, & Kant’s Ideas in 4 Animated Videos

We all have some vision of what the good life should look like. Days filled with reading and strolls through museums, retirement to a tropical …