The drug revolution that no one can stop. Designing narcotics online skirts the edges of legality while making overdose treatments more difficult. Super thorough article from Matter.
The Pleasure and Pain of Speed. Nautilus article that looks at whether there are biological thresholds to how fast our brain can process information. Toward the end it considers whether these thresholds are static or whether we’re adapting to faster processing speeds over time.
Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab. Science relies on the replication of experiments. The concern is that a startlingly small number of published papers hold up to attempts to reproduce the results. The Economist looks at what that means for the field and for academic research more broadly.
I genuinely believe that the biggest part of the belief in a STEM shortage results from our cultural obsession with technology and our perpetual belief that it will cure all of our ills.
Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest. Surprise, the biology you learned in high school isn’t necessarily correct.
Obama’s Ethanol Policy an ‘Ecological Disaster.’ A story of how one borderline environmental policy can have far-reaching and disastrous consequences.
The most dramatic videos of climate change — where you can actually see it taking place — are made by time-lapse, a process that converts non-human timescales to those that fit into our narrow perceptual filters. Time-lapse reduces days to seconds, and years to minutes, but the conversion can go the other way as well. When we expand our vision of the natural world from human time to geologic time, our own individual consciousness and the consequences of our action and inaction become thin strata in a geologic archive that contains aeons.
An astronomer’s vision for an energy revolution. Feature story about Roger Angel and his goal for bringing sustainable energy sources on to a smarter electric grid.
Humanity’s deep future. Interesting survey of future-oriented human thinking. The bit on Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s notion of a great filter is new to me.
The importance of stupidity in scientific research. Sometimes fully realizing the infinite scope of our stupidity is the most liberating thing. This is a cool essay about the importance of productive stupidity.