Is ancient DNA research revealing new truths or falling into old traps? Robots, like people, use ‘imagination’ to learn concepts. Nicolas Carr reviews The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Poons v. Koons: The art of ‘The Price of Everything’. Towards a general theory of neural networks. Emerging evidence suggests the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space. John Kay on the concept of the corporation. Millions of people around the world rely on water from retreating glaciers. A robot reveals how ancient reptile ancestor moved. Interview with philosopher Frederick Eberhardt about causality. And more.
Brief interview with Albert-László Barabási about the five universal laws of success. Ocean warming is accelerating. Steven Strogatz on AlphaZero and the future of AI. The conceptual limits of machine learning. A breakdown of the costs proves tickets in London's West End are not a rip-off. Tattoos are copyrighted. How radical 1960s architecture got it so wrong. Film footage from Paris from around 1890 with speed corrected, image stabilized and sound added. 180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice. Longform's Best of 2018. And more.
How to be an artist. Some of Earth’s first animals are spilling out of Canadian rocks. Spider silk is five times stronger than steel. Humpback whale songs undergo a ‘cultural revolution’ every few years. The insect apocalypse. On the life and work of René Girard. Review of four books on the US opioid crisis. (Mis)Understanding Russia’s two hybrid wars. Global warming will happen faster than we think. Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years. And more.
Physics needs philosophy. Yet another interesting account of the discovery of CRISPR. An alternative interpretation of the famous gorillas in our midst experiment. The big melt. There Is More to Behavioral Economics Than Biases and Fallacies. Ghosts of the Tsunami. Rachel Kushner on Cormac McCarthy's existential westerns. Michel Houellebecq's sexual distopia. California burning. Michael Freeden on the contemporary role of political theory. Chris Marker’s playful aesthetics. And more.
A brief history of behavioural economics by Richard Thaler. Real-time pose estimation! In the browser! What makes a tree a tree? Recent fossil discoveries challenge ideas about Earth's start. The long-awaited data release from the Gaia space observatory has spurred a torrent of discoveries about the history and nature of our galaxy. Some machine learning algorithms turn out to be surprisingly good at predicting chaotic dynamic systems. Neural networks, faced with a navigation challenge, spontaneously evolved “grid cells”. More photos from NASA's IceBridge expedition to the Antarctic. Lisa Randall answers the question: What is dark matter? Freeman Dyson reviews Scale by Geoffrey West. Everything is a machine. Ray Dalio is the best student Deleuze never had. Photographer Naoya Hatakeyama discusses his work. The Triumph of Philanthropy. And more.