Biography & Autobiography

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road

Once we were drivers, the open road alive with autonomy, adventure, danger, trust, and speed. Today we are as likely to be in the back seat of an Uber as behind the wheel ourselves. Tech giants are hurling us toward a shiny, happy “self-driving” future, selling utopia but equally keen to advertise to a captive audience strapped into another expensive device. Are we destined, then, to become passengers, not drivers? Why We Drive reveals that much more may be at stake than we might think. […Learn More]

History

Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge

The director of the famed Bodleian Libraries at Oxford narrates the global history of the willful destruction―and surprising survival―of recorded knowledge over the past three millennia.

Libraries and archives have been attacked since ancient times but have been especially threatened in the modern era. Today the knowledge they safeguard faces purposeful destruction and willful neglect; deprived of funding, libraries are fighting for their very existence. […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]

Biological Sciences

Clean: The New Science of Skin

A preventative medicine physician and staff writer for The Atlantic explains the surprising and unintended effects of our hygiene practices in this informative and entertaining introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics. […Learn More]

Business & Money

Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giants Leaps in Work and Life

A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it’s not. Rather, it’s the apex of a certain thought process — a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. It’s the same thought process that enabled Neil Armstrong to take his giant leap for mankind, that allows spacecraft to travel millions of miles through outer space and land on a precise spot, and that brings us closer to colonizing other planets. […Learn More]

Book cover of Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
Health and Psychology

Humankind: A Hopeful History

If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It’s a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.  […Learn More]