IDW News

The Latest Publications from the Intellectual Dark Web

Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 on

Was 2017 really the “worst year ever,” as some would have us believe? In his analysis of recent data on homicide, war,...

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Can a divided America heal?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 on

How can the US recover after the negative, partisan presidential election of 2016? Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the morals...

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Can we build AI without losing control over it?

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 on

Scared of superintelligent AI? You should be, says neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris — and not just in some theoretical way....

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The long reach of reason

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 on

Here’s a TED first: an animated Socratic dialog! In a time when irrationality seems to rule both politics and culture, has reasoned...

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How common threats can make common (political) ground

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 on

If an asteroid were headed for Earth, we’d all band together and figure out how to stop it, just like in the movies, right? And yet,...

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Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

Posted by on Mar 14, 2012 on

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt asks a simple, but difficult question: why do we search for self-transcendence? Why do we attempt to lose...

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A global culture to fight extremism

Posted by on Jul 14, 2011 on

Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold? Maajid Nawaz, a former...

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How social networks predict epidemics

Posted by on Sep 16, 2010 on

After mapping humans’ intricate social networks, Nicholas Christakis and colleague James Fowler began investigating how this...

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The pattern behind self-deception

Posted by on Jun 14, 2010 on

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things — from alien abductions to dowsing rods — boils down to two...

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The hidden influence of social networks

Posted by on May 10, 2010 on

We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of...

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Science can answer moral questions

Posted by on Mar 22, 2010 on

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can —...

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Human nature and the blank slate

Posted by on Sep 26, 2008 on

Steven Pinker’s book The Blank Slate argues that all humans are born with some innate traits. Here, Pinker talks about his thesis,...

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The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Posted by on Sep 17, 2008 on

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or...

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The surprising decline in violence

Posted by on Sep 10, 2007 on

Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even...

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What our language habits reveal

Posted by on Sep 9, 2007 on

In an exclusive preview of his book The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds...

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Why people believe weird things

Posted by on Nov 8, 2006 on

Why do people see the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich or hear demonic lyrics in “Stairway to Heaven”? Using video and music,...

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