Browsing: Digital_type_epub

Peel back one balance, and you find another. In this issue, each balance leans against the next: mental against physical, evolutionary against ecological, one infinity against another. The web of balances that make up our world is intricate, full of tiny stable points and unexpected transitions.

Problems of power resist solution. As other aspects of our lives have been entirely transformed for the better—the ability to communicate with each other, for example—just a little over a tenth of the world lives in a full democracy, and democratization has stalled or reversed in many parts of the world. Why is power a […]

They say it’s better to be lucky than good. But shouldn’t statistics have put the idea of “being” lucky to bed? Or is luck really all about story, rather than statistics?

Where have all the real heroes gone? It’s a refrain you find in articles on our celebrity culture, movie reviews wondering why modern superheroes need to be so flawed, and in our own private conversations.

We are more concerned than ever with fakes, maybe because it’s easier than ever to manufacture them. From fake diamonds to fake journals, we inhabit a space created by technology, complexity, and a fracturing of authority, and spend plenty of time making stuff up.

Even Mother Nature can seem reluctant to choose, keeping cats both dead and alive, and running up a large multiverse tab. By some accounts, there is no such thing as time, or events, which means that what we experience as choices are just mathematical solutions to distant boundary value problems.

Have you seen the videos of the crow solving an eight-stage puzzle? Or of Lee Sedol losing to DeepMind? Learning seems to extend everywhere from the mobile above an infant’s crib to machines to, some argue, evolution and physical law. As we discover and build new learning systems, the biggest lessons may be about how […]

When we think of sports science and technology, the physics of a curveball might come to mind—the hardware. But there is also a high technology, of sorts, in the software of sport. Without it, would we understand sportsmanship, and what it means to love playing more than winning?

There is a miles-long solitary wave trundling its way across an ocean right now. It will travel for days on end before dissipating its billions of joules of energy. From motes of methane pushed by distant starlight, to words smuggled out of a silent place, our world is full of unseen currents that carry and […]

It’s hard to imagine any signal coming from space that would be of no interest. Our modern definition of noise, as unwanted sound or signal, is a relatively recent one—the word used to mean strife, and nausea. Is the new meaning useful? Or does it encourage us to dismiss what we can’t interpret?     […]