Thought Provoking

By Ramesh Prabhu | Stories, articles and pieces that make you go... "wow", "hmm", "holy sh.."

Americans worked more and slept less last year

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News Corp

It’s Time To Break Up Amazon

With its mega-acquisition of Whole Foods, the retail behemoth moves to suck the value out of yet another market, writes Douglas Rushkoff.<p><i>This story reflects the views of this author, but not necessarily the editorial position of Fast Company.</i><p>“Amazon just bought Whole Foods,” my friend texted me …

Trends

Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods

The retailer’s $14 billion bet isn’t just about the future of food. It’s about the future of commerce—especially for rich urban consumers.<p>Amazon announced on Friday morning that it’s buying Whole Foods for just under $14 billion, the retailer’s largest acquisition ever. The purchase holds …

Whole Foods

How to Raise a Feminist Son

We’re now more likely to tell our daughters they can be anything they want to be — an astronaut and a mother, a tomboy and a girlie girl. But we don’t do the same for our sons.<p>Even as we’ve given girls more choices for the roles they play, boys’ worlds are still confined, social scientists say. …

Parenting

Leaving the Paris Agreement Would Be Indefensible

I was Obama’s chief climate negotiator. Whether to stay in the agreement is not a close call.<p>Reports suggest that President Trump has finally decided to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement after many weeks of a back and forth administration tug-of-war. Trump himself has tweeted that he …

Climate

We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment

We are misnamed. We call ourselves Homo sapiens<i>,</i> the “wise man,” but that’s more of a boast than a description. What makes us wise? What sets us apart from other animals? Various answers have been proposed — language, tools, cooperation, culture, tasting bad to predators — but none is unique to …

The Backfire Effect: Why Facts Don't Win Arguments

Let's say you're having an argument with a friend about oh, let's say, Obamacare, or even who the best quarterback in the NFL is. You present your …

What if we’re living in a computer simulation?

Virtual reality technology is making great advances, but it has also helped popularise a theory long debated by philosophers and now gaining supporters in Silicon Valley – that the outside world is itself a simulation<p>Have you ever wondered if life is not exactly what it’s cracked up to be? OK, …

American Philosophy

Facebook wants you to vote on Tuesday. Here's how it messed with your feed in 2012.

On Election Day, political campaigns, candidates, consultants, and pollsters pay close attention to who votes and why—and so does Facebook. For the …

People won’t stop staring at their phones, so a Dutch town put traffic lights on the ground

As anyone who lives in a city knows, public sidewalks these days are a free-for-all of pedestrians staggering along, zombie-like, staring intently at the screens of their phones. As well as infuriating other pedestrians, there’s some evidence that this behavior increases our chances of being hit by …

Urban Design

7 Signs Your Phone Runs Your Life (and Not the Other Way Around)

Do you put your phone on the table next to you at meals? Do you check it every 10 seconds? Do you panic when it runs out of battery, or, <i>gasp</i>, you …

Why do Greek statues have such small penises?

Don’t pretend your eyes don’t hover, at least for a moment, over the delicately sculpted penises on classical nude statues. While it may not sound like the most erudite subject, art historians haven’t completely ignored ancient Greek genitalia either. After all, sculptors put as much work into …

Ancient Greece

Are We Raising Racists?

DES MOINES — Last year at this time, my 7-year-old was running around singing the praises of George Washington. I was happy to see her so engaged with what she’d learned at school. But I was dismayed that the peace- and diversity-centered curriculum she gets at her public school had left her with …

List-Worthy

New Study

Of all the philosophical concepts Immanuel Kant is known for, the one I’ve had to struggle the least to grasp is his description of the <i>sublime</i>, a …

21 Thought-Provoking Books That Will Stay On Your Mind For Days

Prepare to make your bookshelf considerably heavier.<p>Posted on February 21, 2017, 10:42 GMT<p>We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which clever books left them thinking for ages. Here are some of their suggestions.<p>1. <i>The Vegetarian</i> by Han Kang.<p>Hogarth<p>Jeff Spicer / Getty …

Who doesn’t read books in America?

About a quarter of American adults (26%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year. Who, exactly, are these non-book readers?

Pew Research Center

Hate Trump supporters? Hate liberals? Here's why

Deep in the brain, your amygdala generates a knee-jerk response to political enemies and other threats. But experiments show the divide can be bridged<p>I was walking back to my room on the ninth floor of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur last October, and I happened to meet the guy in the room next door, …

The Brain

Trump’s “America first” policy will promote monolingualism—which will be bad for the American economy

Top US economist Larry Summers recently tweeted in relation to America’s focus on its so-called special relationship with the UK. And he’s right. The economic impact on the US—or any other country—that closes off its trade barriers with countries that are different to it would be enormous.<p>Language …

Economics

I went 200 days without buying anything new and learned how toxic our need for possessions is

A few months ago, I went through the worst experience of my life: my father passed away.<p>It was a cancer which took him, and a small part of myself as well. As I reflect on the time preceding his death, there were so many hard parts. One of the hardest was not being able to mourn in peace.<p>Nope, in …

Minimalism

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

Survival of the Richest<p>Why some of America’s wealthiest people are prepping for disaster.<p>Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, which is valued at six hundred million dollars, was nearsighted until November, 2015, when he arranged to have laser eye surgery. He …

New Zealand

Democracy Index 2016 - The Economist Intelligence Unit

Yes, I want to receive special e-mails about new features, events, special offers and for market research purposes.<p>The Economist Intelligence Unit is …

Stopping Regular Exercise for Just 10 days Shows Decline in Neural Blood Flow and Brain Health

One persistent question has echoed for decades in regards to exercise: how much? Current government guidelines suggest either 150 minutes of moderate …

The Brain

Ashley Judd on How to Put an End to Online Gender Violence

“It started the minute I went online.” Ashley Judd has been on Twitter for six years, and for six years she has endured unrelenting abuse at the …

Feminism

What Your Pronunciation of These Words Tells Other People

Where do you put flowers? People are ready to infer a whole lot about you by the way you say your answer.<p>In a recent survey, over 1,000 participants …

Cool Stuff

Breaking Digital Addiction

<i>The first step is admitting.</i><p>Digital addiction is quickly becoming a public health crisis. Space is the newest product to help you break it.<p><b>The</b> …

Bees Are Now Officially On The U.S. Endangered Species List

So, this is bad news<p>In what is obviously terrible news for anyone familiar with cinematic classic <i>Bee Movie</i> (and, you know, in possession of a minimum degree of knowledge with regard to overall environmental health), it's been announced that a species of bumble bee will be placed on the endangered …

Bees

Hooked on Our Smartphones

The many men, women and children who spend their days glued to their smartphones and social media accounts might learn something from Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the groundbreaking megahit “Hamilton.” Asked in an interview with Delta Sky magazine when and where he finds time to be creative, Mr. …

Lin-Manuel Miranda

How Trump Voters Who Say They Aren’t Racist Can Prove It

Trump voters who say ‘Not me!’ when racism charges fly should see the new film about the three black women at NASA—and how John Glenn treats them—and contemplate its lessons.<p>Since the election a seemingly never-ending debate has raged between those who voted for Donald Trump and those who did not. …

Racism

New York's incredibly expensive new subway explains why we can't have nice things

As President-elect Donald Trump is about to take office having promised a burst of infrastructure spending, it's worth taking a look at the newest, shiniest piece of infrastructure in Manhattan and what it says about why it's so hard to get anything big built in major American cities.<p>On January 1, …

Long Island Rail Road