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Portrait young couple at voter polling place

The Case for Lowering the Voting Age

If the standard we hold for who can vote is the consent of the governed, why shouldn’t children be included?

Lingua Obscura

hawaii stars lava mana

The Mysterious Mana of Speaking

The Austronesian concept of "mana" helps us understand that behind the monolithic "magic" of modern power and authority, there is a fragile human dimension.

Public Intellectuals

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism

Hersh talks about his career as an investigative reporter, the fate of online media, and feeble responses to Trump.

The Digital Voyage

The U.S. Capitol Building at night

Has the Internet Weakened Our Political Institutions?

According to our columnist, the internet has destabilized many of the informal institutions that underpin our democracy.

Suggested Readings

A cute female jaguar cub walking in the hay and looking at the camera

Angry Women, Captive Jaguars, and Brainy Catholics

Well-researched stories from the New Yorker, Pacific Standard Magazine, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Most Recent

office email anthropology

The Anthropology of the Office Email

Researchers learn a lot from studying office workers' email. But the question remains: do they learn more about the people, or about the medium itself?
Vintage engraving from 1876 of a old victorian haunted house.

How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House

Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.
Boake Carter

Before Rush Limbaugh, There Was Boake Carter

When Boake Carter opened his mouth, he whipped up tempers and tempests. But who was he?

More Stories

Long Reads

Otto Weininger

The Man behind the “New Man”

Otto Weininger's only book, Sex & Character, is a misogynist, anti-Semitic screed masquerading as philosophy. Yet it was enormously influential in fin-de-siècle Vienna.
used styrofoam food containers

Is the 30-Year-Long Styrofoam War Nearing Its End?

Neither banning nor recycling will rid us of Styrofoam. Can we live without it?
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.

Porklife: Building a Better Pig

Can we reconcile our growing appetite for meat with our desire to treat factory animals better?

Franklinia only exists in cultivated places like arboretums; in the wild, it is extinct.

America’s Mysterious Lost Tree

Fishing boat in high seas

Governing Fisheries in the High Seas

Overfishing is a huge problem in international waters. Some suggest a fishing ban. Others stress a shared shift toward cooperation and long-term thinking.

Can Universal Basic Income Achieve Economic Security?

A wealthy country like the United States needs a solution for improving the supply and fairness of work overall. Is universal basic income the way to go?
solar city

Ecological Economics: An Oxymoron?

Mainstream economics has largely neglected to integrate ecological systems into its models. But the two disciplines don't have to be diametrically opposed.