Who Needs Handwriting?

Remember the torture of penmanship class when you were a kid? Now, how often do you take a pen to paper these days? If you’re like the average American, it’s been more than a month since you did. So why do we still bother teaching handwriting in school?

Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?

If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed “just a little bit below average,” it’s not really their fault. So what should be done about it?

Do Boycotts Work?

At issue: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, the South African divestment campaign, Chick-fil-A! Almost anyone can launch a boycott, and the media loves to cover them. But do boycotts actually produce the change they’re fighting for?

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12 13 2011

What's the Story With Shark Fin Soup?

A reader named Chuck Armitage writes in with a question about which I know nothing but which I'd like to know much more.So what do you say, readers? What do you know, and think, and what can you tell us?Here is my question... Why is shark fin soup still popular?Ostentation is not a trait that is normally...

How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future

Experts and pundits are notoriously bad at forecasting, in part because they aren’t punished for bad predictions. Also, they tend to be deeply unscientific. The psychologist Philip Tetlock is finally turning prediction into a science — and now even you could become a superforecaster.

Win Free Tickets to See Dubner on Stage in Brooklyn on January 14

When Stephen Dubner’s new podcast Question of the Day launched in August, it immediately shot to No. 1 on the iTunes chart. Last month it was selected as one of iTunes "Best of 2015." (You can subscribe here.) Now you can come see a live taping of the show on Thursday, January 14, at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Join Dubner, his Question of the Day co-host, James Altucher, and their special guest Negin Farsad for an evening of conversation that will run from the ridiculous to the sublime (and occasionally both).

The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap

Discrimination can’t explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy.

How to Fix a Broken High-Schooler, in Four Easy Steps

Our take: maybe the steps aren’t so easy, but a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble.

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When Willpower Isn’t Enough

Sure, we all want to make good personal decisions, but it doesn’t always work out. That’s where “temptation bundling” comes in.

Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition

A team of economists have been running the numbers on the U.N.’s development goals. They have a different view of how those billions of dollars should be spent.

Is Migration a Basic Human Right?

The argument for open borders is compelling — and deeply problematic.

The Cheeseburger Diet

Bite into this: One woman’s quest to find the best burger in town can teach all of us to eat smarter.