Looking Back on Tomorrow

If the century ahead turns out to have a theme, what will it be?

Stalking the American Lobster

Government scientists say that lobsters are being dangerously overfished. Lobstermen insist that stocks are plentiful. It's a familiar kind of standoff—except that now a new breed of ecologist has taken to the waters, using scuba gear, underwater robots, and even nuclear submarines, in order to figure out what's going on. It turns out that the lore and lessons of the lobsterman are worth paying attention to

Behavior Modification

Soon after the Afghan war began, the Air Force dramatically altered its tactics. What lay behind the change?

The Other Deficit

America's ballooning trade deficit may be the worst economic problem we face—and no one wants to talk about it

The Splendor of Angkor

Now is the best time in many decades to visit Cambodia and its ancient Khmer capital

The Air-Power Revolution

Historians and military analysts have long stressed the limitations of air power. Their arguments are no longer tenable

Blind Spot

Racial profiling, meet your alter ego: affirmative action

Fore Street

Restaurants worth building a trip around

The Case Against Europe

The very things that Europeans think make their political judgment better than Americans' actually make it worse

Fast-Free Living

What Americans would do if they were serious about stopping to smell the flowers

How to Stuff a Wild Enron

Everyone blames too little regulation for the Enron mess, but maybe the culprit was too much

On Plagiarism

In the wake of recent scandals some distinctions are in order

Seeing Around Corners

The new science of artificial societies suggests that real ones are both more predictable and more surprising than we thought. Growing long-vanished civilizations and modern-day genocides on computers will probably never enable us to foresee the future in detail—but we might learn to anticipate the kinds of events that lie ahead, and where to look for interventions that might work

Dances With Daffodils

A fanciful form of wordplay known as "N plus 7" can be surprisingly effective at exposing literary pretense

Nixon and the Chiefs

In the last days of 1971 President Richard Nixon and his closest aides met to discuss the astonishing discovery that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been spying on the White House. Transcripts of Nixon's secret tapes of these meetings, published here for the first time, offer a case study in Nixon's paranoid style of governing—and his surprisingly successful efforts to salvage advantage from misfortune

Conducting: A Backwoods Guide

In the intense quiet of a Maine camp aspiring conductors work on bossiness, passivity, and how to move to the music

A Magnificent Misfit

Lorna Sage rejected empty romanticizing in favor of complex truth

A Generation of Gidgets

Female surfers are back in the lineup, in droves

The Medals of His Defeats

Our author takes the Great Man down a peg or two—and still finds that Churchill was a great man


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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