Last month Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote a sobering investigative report about the dark side of the porn industry. His work inspired some concrete reforms designed to protect victims of crippling shame and sexual abuse. But are these reforms enough as long as porn continues on? Is the widespread availability of porn, now so easy to access via smartphones and the internet, a "stealth public health crisis" as one feminist scholar argues? If so, what other steps can be taken to address it?
“Gossiping is good,” says The Atlantic. Is it, though?
An article from The Atlantic says gossip can strengthen interpersonal bonds and make us better people. I am dubious.
The Stupid Case for Professors of Stupidity
A blog post at Nautilus argues that we need a whole new class of experts who study the science of stupidity. But don't such people already exist?
Book Review: ‘Doomsday Book’ by Connie Willis
Connie Willis' award-winning sci-fi novel 'Doomsday Book' is one of the few time travel stories where a female perspective forms the core of the drama. Is it worth the read?
Stars Beyond Our Reach
Traveling to the nearest star would require a generation ship. Can such a thing be done? As sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson explains with alacrity and precision, no, it can't.
Facebook Was Foreshadowed in 1909 (and a Score of Other Things You Didn’t Know about Science Fiction)
Why is 'Frankenstein' considered the mother of the genre? How did we go from seeing so many utopian stories to dystopian ones? Where did the word "robot" come from? Will SF ever be recognized as "true" literature?
(Not Quite) Getting Over Cyber Punk
In a Slate op-ed published earlier this week, author Lee Konstantinou argues that "something is broken in our science fiction" and that we need to move beyond the cyber punk aesthetic. Perhaps, but there's one particular insight of cyber punk we should never abandon, which is that technology doesn't just serve us, it changes us---and not always for the better.
My Essay on Free Will, Hacking, and Transcendent Narrative
Best-selling author Yuval Harari recently claimed that free will is a myth, humans are more hackable than ever before, and religion has no place in addressing the scientific and technological challenges of the future. Here's why he's wrong.
From ‘Cryptonomicon’: The Importance of Time-Tested Moral Frameworks
Historian Yuval Noah Harari does not believe religion has anything relevant to say about the technological challenges of the future. His argument reminds me of a passage from an award-winning novel that suggests otherwise.