It’s a fascinating question. Over at Charles Stross’ blog, he responds to a reader question: What would a technological society look like without written language? And could such a thing even happen?
Poverty is increasing in the U.S. A new series of detailed maps created by Justin Palmer plots its rise across the country.
Family is a moving target. Our ideas about what constitutes a “normal” family have changed a lot since the 1960s, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll stop changing. How weird could things get? Here are nine different ideas about the future of the family.
For the past eight years, 21-year-old Zack Kopplin has been fighting to keep creationism out of Louisiana’s science classrooms. Despite a series of setbacks and the feeling that he’s continually losing battles, Kopplin still feels he’ll win the war. We spoke with him to learn more.
Parts of the famously off-kilter "cube houses" project constructed back in 1984 to a design by architect Piet Blom in Rotterdam, Holland, have been transformed into new homes for 21 former prison inmates by Personal Architecture. The old, oddly angled complex has been updated with skylights and internal light-wells to…
The baby in this video understands an iPad, but she doesn't know how to read a magazine — and that could have some serious implications for the tech of the future.
We're living in a time of extreme technological change. Gadgets that didn't exist a decade ago are shaping your existence. So we need science fiction, more than ever, to speculate about the future of technology. But here's the hard part: You can't speculate about technological change without also speculating about…
In The Purge, a suburban family is put through hell because right wingers came up with a plan to eliminate the poor and the sick. And we all come face to face with how broken the American dream really is. Yadda yadda. Basically, it's like this year's Atlas Shrugged or Now: a clunky and implausible political screed in…
Drugs such as cocaine and heroin aren't just glamorous because they're illegal. Even when you could buy them at any pharmacy or grocery store, they still had a certain cool factor. Just look at these fantastic vintage advertisements for opium, coca-laced wine and "medicinal tonics."
Do you think obesity rates in the United States are on the rise? Despite what you've heard, they're not. The Centers for Disease Control says obesity rates plateaued for men, women, and children in the late 2000s.
Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, in January 1839 — but not before giving it some serious thought. In the months leading up to his marriage proposal in November of 1838, the preeminent naturalist maintained a number of lists, scrawled in his journal, dedicated to the pros and cons of marriage, and the…
Gossip is generally seen as malicious, something that destroys relationships and reputations alike with a deadly mix of garbled half-truths and outright lies. But did you ever stop to consider all the good that gossip does?
Our capacity for complex social interactions is a defining feature of humanity, but how did it evolve? It seems like it would have been a slow, gradual process, but a new statistical model suggests something very unusual happened 52 million years ago.
Why are so many societies based on hierarchy rather than egalitarian values, despite the fact that evidence suggests ancient human communities were often fairly egalitarian? Stanford researchers wanted to find out. So they designed a computer simulation that compared two basic types of societies: egalitarian ones, in…
Randall Lee Church didn't believe his fellow inmates when they warned him about culture shock after he got out of prison — he thought they were just jealous. But then Church, who'd been locked up since 1983, emerged into a world that made no sense.
The stat diggers at Pew dug up a new gem: in their nationally representative survey, "13% of cell owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them." This seems very, very low.
Çatalhöyük is one of the world's most ancient settlements, founded in what is now Turkey around 7,500 BCE. New analysis of the village's dead reveals something strange about this ancient village: nobody cared very much about family ties.
Humans are the only animals who display loyalty to individuals we don't personally know. Scientists had assumed this was a new development made possible by the rise of centralized governments. But it might actually be part of how we evolved.
Just like humans, chimpanzees yawn when they're bored or sleepy, and they also yawn contagiously when they see another chimp do it. That discovery could help unlock the secrets of human empathy.
Risk compensation is irony encapsulated; the more measures that are taken to ensure people's safety, the more dangerously people will act to make up for it. Perhaps people are just designed to seek a certain level of risk.