In Praise of Maintenance

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

This Is Your Brain on Podcasts

Neuroscientists still have a great deal to learn about the human brain. One recent MRI study sheds some light, finding that that a certain kind of storytelling stimulates enormous activity across broad swaths of the brain. The takeaway is obvious: you should be listening to even more podcasts.

How To Win A Nobel Prize (Rebroadcast)

The gist: the Nobel selection process is famously secretive (and conducted in Swedish!) but we pry the lid off, at least a little bit.

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04 26 2010

The Science of Genius: A Q&A With Author David Shenk

Photo: Heidi Schumann David Shenk

Practice makes genius? That's the idea behind the research of people like Anders Ericsson. It's also at the center of a new book, The Genius in All of Us, by journalist David Shenk. Shenk robustly disputes the popular belief that intelligence and talent are genetically predetermined,...

Why Are We Still Using Cash?

It facilitates crime, bribery, and tax evasion – and yet some governments (including ours) are printing more cash than ever. Other countries, meanwhile, are ditching cash entirely. And if Star Trek is right, we won’t have money of any sort in the 24th century.

Has the U.S. Presidency Become a Dictatorship?

Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances. But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. The result? An accumulation of power that’s turned the presidency into a position the founders wouldn’t have recognized.

Ten Signs You Might Be a Libertarian

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, likes to say that most Americans are libertarians but don’t know it yet. So why can't Libertarians (and other third parties) gain more political traction?

Why Uber Is an Economist’s Dream

To you, it’s just a ride-sharing app that gets you where you’re going. But to an economist, Uber is a massive repository of moment-by-moment data that is helping answer some of the field’s most elusive questions.

The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think

Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great.

Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset? (Rebroadcast)

The gist: we spend billions on end-of-life healthcare that doesn’t do much good. So what if a patient could forego the standard treatment and get a cash rebate instead?

Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush (Rebroadcast)

The comedian, actor -- and now, author -- answers our FREAK-quently Asked Questions

What Are You Waiting For?

Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet. Why haven't we found a better way to get what we want? Is it possible that we secretly enjoy waiting in line? And might it even be (gulp) good for us?