Book cover of The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure by Yascha Mounk
International & World Politics

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure 

From one of our sharpest and most important political thinkers, a brilliant big-picture vision of the greatest challenge of our time—how to bridge the bitter divides within diverse democracies enough for them to remain stable and functional

Some democracies are highly homogeneous. Others have long maintained a brutal racial or religious hierarchy, with some groups dominating and exploiting others. Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly. […Learn More]

Book cover of Human Frontiers: The Future of Big Ideas in an Age of Small Thinking by Michael Bhaskar
Computers & Technology

Human Frontiers: The Future of Big Ideas in an Age of Small Thinking

Why has the flow of big, world-changing ideas slowed down? A provocative look at what happens next at the frontiers of human knowledge.

The history of humanity is the history of big ideas that expand our frontiers—from the wheel to space flight, cave painting to the massively multiplayer game, monotheistic religion to quantum theory. And yet for the past few decades, apart from a rush of new gadgets and the explosion of digital technology, world-changing ideas have been harder to come by. Since the 1970s, big ideas have happened incrementally—recycled, focused in narrow bands of innovation. […Learn More]

Book cover of AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee
Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future

AI will be the defining development of the twenty-first century. Within two decades, aspects of daily human life will be unrecognizable. AI will generate unprecedented wealth, revolutionize medicine and education through human-machine symbiosis, and create brand-new forms of communication and entertainment. In liberating us from routine work, however, AI will also challenge the organizing principles of our economic and social order. Meanwhile, AI will bring new risks in the form of autonomous weapons and smart technology that inherits human bias. AI is at a tipping point, and people need to wake up—both to AI’s radiant pathways and its existential perils for life as we know it. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines by Malcolm Gay
Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines

The gripping and revelatory story of the dramatic race to merge the human brain with machines

Leading neuroscience researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of the mind. On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, they are developing miraculous technologies that will enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs and will give all of us the power to manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone. These fiercely competitive scientists are vying for government and venture capital funding, prestige, and wealth. […Learn More]

Book Cover of The Future History of the Arctic by Charles Emmerson
Arctic & Antarctica

The Future History of the Arctic

Long at the margins of global affairs and at the edge of our mental map of the world, the Arctic has found its way to the center of the issues which will challenge and define our world in the twenty-first century: energy security and the struggle for natural resources, climate change and its uncertain speed and consequences, the return of great power competition, the remaking of global trade patterns […Learn More]

Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans

Melanie Mitchell separates science fact from science fiction in this sweeping examination of the current state of AI and how it is remaking our world

No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. The award-winning author Melanie Mitchell, a leading computer scientist, now reveals AI’s turbulent history and the recent spate of apparent successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears surrounding it. […Learn More]

History

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success

From the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Bad Religion, a powerful portrait of how our wealthy, successful society has passed into an age of gridlock, stalemate, public failure and private despair.

Today the Western world seems to be in crisis. But beneath our social media frenzy and reality television politics, the deeper reality is one of drift, repetition, and dead ends. The Decadent Society explains what happens when a rich and powerful society ceases advancing—how the combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline creates a strange kind of “sustainable decadence,” a civilizational languor that could endure for longer than we think. […Learn More]

Philosophy

The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long – Term Thinking

The most important question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we being good ancestors?”

So said Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in 1953 but refused to patent it—forgoing profit so that more lives could be saved.

Salk’s radical generosity to future generations should inspire us. But when leading philosopher Roman Krznaric examines society today, he sees just the opposite: Our short term, exploitative mindsets have “colonized the future.” […Learn More]

Business & Money

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught? […Learn More]