Does Money Buy Happiness?

In most of the world, yes. In the United States, not any more.

The Elephantiasis of Reason

The CIA's brand of rational analysis is perpetually half right in a way that makes it completely wrong

Blue Movie

The "morality gap" is becoming the key variable in American politics

The Forgotten Home Front

What are the main elements of national well-being? It is startling how out-of-date and out-of-touch our official politics has become

The Wifely Duty

Marriage used to provide access to sex. Now it provides access to celibacy

The Wartime Toll on Germany

W. G. Sebald wrote of the pain of belonging to a nation that, in Thomas Mann's words, "cannot show its face"

What Now?

Developments, encouraging and otherwise

Stuffed Smoked Sablefish

Pacific Northwest ingredients, Asian theme

Going to Extremes

Richard Powers is getting bigger and more ponderous. Nicholson Baker is getting smaller and more evanescent. Decision: Baker

Back to Square One

My own private Groundhog Day

The Louse is in the House

A malady that does not speak its name

A Miscarriage of Justice

Celebrity trials can turn into media lynchings. Last year a Connecticut jury convicted Michael Skakel of killing his neighbor Martha Moxley twenty-seven years ago, even though the prosecution had no fingerprints, no DNA, and no witnesses. The author, a former New York City prosecutor, argues that his cousin's indictment was triggered by an inflamed media, and that an innocent man is now in prison

Suspicious Minds

Too much trust can actually be a bad thing—a polity of suckers is no better than a nation of cynics. But Americans' steadily declining faith in one another is a warning

Mongrel America

The most important long-term social fact in America may be the rising rates of intermarriage among members of ethnic and racial groups. A glimpse into our mestizo future


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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