Is Our Brain Hard-Wired To Be Optimistic?
Psychologists have found that 80% of people have, what they define as an optimism bias and that’s regardless of whether they believe themselves to be more pessimistic or realistic. The optimism bias is our tendency to underestimate the likelihood of negative events and overestimating the likelihood of positive events.
Scientists Found Ancient, Never-Before-Seen Viruses In A Glacier
Researchers have recovered evidence of ancient viruses in the glacier ice, including 28 viral groups that are new to science. As our planet undergoes climate change, these frozen records can inform predictions about which microorganisms will survive, and what the resulting environment will look like.
How Space Tries To Kill You And Make You Ugly
Outer space is the most noxious of substances: devoid of air and filled with a soup of deadly particles in the form of high-energy photons and energetic bits of atomic nuclei. The lack of gravity there affects every element of your being, as even the proteins in your body can’t figure out which way is up.
How To Survive 75 Hours Alone In The Ocean
In n February 2006, Robert Hewitt was scuba diving near Mana Island, off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Amazingly, Hewitt spent the next 75 hours in the water, drifting back and forth over a distance of nearly 40 miles before he was spotted by Navy diving friends and rescued.
Confirmation Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices
Confirmation bias is the human tendency to seek, interpret and remember information that confirms pre-existing beliefs. It is insidious. It affects every choice you make. Every. Single. Day. The things you choose to buy, your health, who you choose to marry, your career, your emotions, and your finances.
How Technology Is Hijacking Your Mind
I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked. When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
How Tiny Changes In Words You Hear Impact Your Thinking
In a fascinating look at language, Professor George Lakoff lays out how political parties can sway supporters with tiny tweaks in word choice. When trying to get your point across, refrain from using the other side’s language. Doing so will activate and strengthen their frames and undermine your own views.
We are on the verge of perhaps the greatest innovation in the history of our species — a genetically altered future in which many of us will conceive our offspring in labs. If we want to control this future, now is the time to question what we want it to be.
Pay Attention: Practice Can Make Your Brain Better At Focusing
Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says. This might explain why learning a new skill can start out feeling grueling, but eventually becomes more natural.
The Unexpected Benefits Of Being Weird
I went in search of outsiders who were thriving in communities where acceptance is hard to come by. It turns out, we might all learn from their approach to life.
‘Light Is My New Drug’: The Actually Convincing Science Of Light Therapy
In recent years, research on light therapy has moved from the fringes of scientific discovery to something closer to the mainstream; its commercial uses are now following the same path, as these devices, once available only in spas, gyms, or dermatologists’ offices, become increasingly affordable for consumers.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
Self Control Is Overrated. Willpower Is Too.
Psychologists are shying away from the concept, as years of work suggesting that willpower is a finite, essential resource has come under intense scrutiny. In a specific situation, sure, you can muster willpower to save yourself from falling back into a bad habit.
The Citizen Scientist Who Finds Killers From Her Couch
CeCe Moore has no scientific degree. Like other prominent figures in the genealogy community, she is self-taught. Moore is, in her own estimation, among the most experienced genetic genealogists in the world. Now she is using her genetic knowledge to expose murderers.
A Forest Submerged 60,000 Years Ago Could Save Your Life One Day
Before this underwater forest in the Gulf of Mexico disappears, scientists recently raced to search for shipworms and other sea life that could serve as incubators of unexpected medicines, churning out new lifesaving formulas and compounds that may not be found anywhere else on the planet.
How To Control Your Emotions In Tense Moments
The ability to recognize, own, and shape your own emotions is the master skill for deepening intimacy with loved ones, magnifying influence in the workplace, and amplifying our ability to turn ideas into results.
Are Rich People Heartless?
According to Chris Ryan, the author of ‘Civilized to Death: the price of progress’, rich people have the tendency to distance themselves from people because of their wealth differential.
The New Generation Of Self-Created Utopias
The United States has been a laboratory for experiments in alternative living since its founding. As so-called intentional communities proliferate across the country, a subset of Americans is discovering the value of opting out of contemporary society.
Inside SpinLaunch, The Space Industry’s Best Kept Secret
Last summer, a secretive space company took up residence in a massive warehouse in the sun-soaked industrial neighborhood that surrounds Long Beach Airport. The company is building a massive centrifuge to accelerate rockets and send them screaming into space.
The Pitfalls And The Potential Of The New Minimalism
The new literature of minimalism is full of stressful advice. Pack up all your possessions, unpack things only as needed, give away everything that’s still packed after a month. Or wake up early, pick up every item you own, and consider whether or not it sparks joy.
People With Extreme Political Views Have Trouble Thinking About Their Own Thinking
Your super liberal and super conservative relatives might all have one thing in common. Radicals can’t question their own ideas the same way more moderate individuals can.