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AI Is Like … Nuclear Weapons?

The concern, as Edward Teller saw it, was quite literally the end of the world. He had run the calculations, and there was a real possibility, he told his Manhattan Project colleagues in 1942, that when they detonated the world’s first nuclear bomb,…


Why I Work Out

In the summer of 2015, one of my best friends died at work. Shannon was 38, childless, single and thriving, and working as an executive at a global public-relations firm, where she handled a major client.


My Friend Jules Feiffer

Jules Feiffer and I were born 94 years ago in the Bronx, two months apart. We both grew up to be terrible at sports, and we both started to draw characters from the comics when we were 8 or 9 years old.


Should Philosophers Be Profound?

Here is a story I have heard from more than one professional philosopher, though it has never, at least not yet, happened to me: You are sitting on a plane, the person next to you asks what you do, you tell them you are a philosopher, and they ask,…


Tattoos Are an Immunological Mystery

When you stick ink-filled needles into your skin, your body’s defenders respond accordingly. Scientists aren’t sure if that’s good or bad for you.


Crypto Is Mostly Over. Its Carbon Emissions Are Not.

Sign up for The Weekly Planet, The Atlantic’s newsletter about living through climate change, here. At this point, for most of us, cryptocurrency seems like nothing more than a fad.


The Rise of Gender-Neutral Names Isn’t What It Seems

Baby names just aren’t what they used to be. You can see it these days in all the little Blakes and Emersons and Phoenixes and Robins—and if you can’t immediately tell whether I’m talking about boy or girl names, then ah, yes, that’s exactly it.


Even Chatbots Have to Take the SAT

Last fall, when generative AI abruptly started turning out competent high-school- and college-level writing, some educators saw it as an opportunity. Perhaps it was time, at last, to dispose of the five-paragraph essay, among other bad teaching…


A Slice of ‘Bacon’ Made Me Believe in Fake Meat

Last month, at a dining table in a sunny New York City hotel suite, I found myself thrown completely off guard by a strip of fake bacon. I was there to taste a new kind of plant-based meat, which, like most Americans, I’ve tried before but never…


Don’t Let Crypto Bros Undermine Effective Altruism

The swift downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried brings unnecessary suspicion on a valuable form of philanthropy.


A Plan to Cool Off the Hottest Neighborhoods

“Grandma, is the air on?” Kisha Skipper was worried. She’s the vice president of the Yonkers NAACP and a member of the Climate Safe Yonkers Task Force, a group that’s planning projects to make the city safer in a hotter world.


Computers May Have Cracked the Code to Diagnosing Sepsis

Where doctors struggle to diagnose a condition that kills more Americans than stroke, machine learning could help.


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