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.
Quantifying reputation and success in art. Tales From the Warhol Factory. A massive crater has been discovered underneath the Greenland icesheet. Largest overhaul of scientific units since the French Revolution wins approval. Transforming the global food system. What if the placebo effect isn’t a trick? Review of Eyes to See: The Astonishing Variety of Vision in Nature. A previously unpublished interview with David Foster Wallace. And more.
Darwin comes to town: How the urban jungle drives evolution. The big meltdown. Boston Dynamics' robot dog can now perform a short dance routine. And Atlas can do Parkour. Repackaging Stoicism for the 21st Century. Shred the Love: The Director's Cut. Interview with Bruno Latour. The world’s strongest MRI machines are pushing human imaging to new limits. Can Optical Illusions fool Artificial Intelligence too? And more.