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.
Hunger Is Psychological — And Dieting Only Makes It Worse
We all feel hungry before dinner and full after a banquet, but those moments are the tip of the iceberg. Hunger is a process that’s always present, always running in the background, only occasionally rising into consciousness. It’s more like a mood.
What Happened To American Childhood?
The percentage of 12-to-17-year-olds who had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year shot up from 8 percent to 13 percent. Among girls, the rate was even higher; in 2017, one in five reported experiencing major depression. Here’s what we can do about it.
Nietzsche On How To Find Yourself And The True Value Of Education
Friedrich Nietzsche considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. “Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. “Be yourself! All that you are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you.”
That Time We Almost Built 8 Gigawatt-class Floating Nuclear Power Plants
In 1969, at the height of the First Nuclear Era, an engineer at New Jersey’s PSE&G utility company named Richard Eckert wondered, what if huge nuclear plants could be built in serial at a production facility, put on a barge, and floated to sites out at sea?
When Gravity Breaks Down
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is more than a hundred years old, but still it gives physicists headaches. Not only are Einstein’s equations hideously difficult to solve, they also clash with physicists’ other most-cherished achievement, quantum theory.
Can You Die From A Broken Heart?
The emotional devastation of losing a loved one can certainly feel like physical pain. But can you really die from a broken heart? As it turns out, you can, from “broken-heart syndrome,” also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy.
How To Keep The Earth As Inhabitable As Possible
We’ve been behind where we need to be for decades now, and the fact that we’ll be living in a hotter, less hospitable world is an inevitability. The only uncertainty left is how quickly we respond and how much damage we’re going to be able to prevent.
Inside X, Google’s Top-Secret Moonshot Factory
Within Alphabet, Google’s parent company, it is grouped alongside Deepmind in “Other Bets”, although in that metaphor, X is more like the gambler. Its stated aim is to pursue what it calls “moonshots” – to try to solve humanity’s great problems by inventing radical new technologies.
We’re Getting Closer To The Quantum Internet, But What Is It?
Instead of the bits that today’s network uses, which can only express a value of either 0 or 1, the future quantum internet would utilize qubits of quantum information, which can take on an infinite number of values. A quibit is the unit of information for a quantum computer; it’s like a bit in an ordinary computer.
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.
The Weird Power Of The Placebo Effect, Explained
Placebos seem to have the greatest power over symptoms that lie at the murky boundary between the physical and psychological. Placebos seem to move the needle on pain, nausea, asthma, and phobias, with more inconsistent results for outcomes like smoking, dementia, depression*, obesity, hypertension, insomnia, and anxiety.
Hollywood Is Quietly Using AI To Help Decide Which Movies To Make
AI will tell you who to cast and predict how much money you’ll make. Despite skepticism about specific applications, the tide might be turning. A single factor has convinced Hollywood to stop dismissing big data: Netflix.
Does The Data We Produce Serve Us, Or Vice Versa?
Humans generate far more actionable information than is encoded in all of our combined genetic material, and we carry much of it into the future. The data outside of our biological selves—call it the dataome—could actually represent the grander scaffolding for complex life.
Why Can’t The World’s Greatest Minds Solve The Mystery Of Consciousness?
Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots. Why aren’t we just brilliant robots, capable of retaining information, of responding to noises and smells and hot saucepans, but dark inside, lacking an inner life?
Escape From The Matrix
The fear of missing out, a spawn of technological advancement and proliferating social information, is the feeling that we’re missing out on something more exciting, more important, or more interesting going on somewhere else. FoMO haunts our social networks and our real lives alike. But there is a way to break free.
Digital Technology Is Not To Blame For Our Hyperfast Lives
Life in the 21st century, we are told, is faster than ever. Time is scarce, the pace of everyday life is accelerating, and everyone complains about how busy they are. For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?
Can Vertical Farms Reap Their Harvest? It’s Anyone’s Bet.
Food futurists and industry leaders say these high-tech vertical farming operations are the future of agriculture. Indoor-grown produce is available in more than 20 supermarket chains nationwide. But despite massive investment, questions remain about efficiency and costs.
This Was The Decade Climate Change Slapped Us In The Face
Broken temperature records, unnatural disasters, and homes lost would show just how catastrophically humans had transformed the planet. It’s been a decade of adapting to a new normal while clumsily figuring out how to safeguard the future from a climate crisis that’s only going to get worse.
The True Toll Of The Chernobyl Disaster
On 26 April 1986 reactor number four at the power plant suffered a catastrophic explosion that exposed the core and threw clouds of radioactive material over the surrounding. Covered up by a secretive Soviet Union at the time, the true number of deaths and illnesses caused by the nuclear accident are only now becoming clear.
Religion Is About Emotion Regulation, And It’s Very Good At It
Sigmund Freud argued that we humans are naturally awful creatures – aggressive, narcissistic wolves. We have the civilizing influence of religion to steer us toward charity, compassion and cooperation by a system of carrots and sticks, otherwise known as heaven and hell.