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Recent Pieces

September 14, 2023

At the heart of reality, things only exist in relationship to other things. This is the theory underlying relational quantum mechanics, which argues that, from subatomic particles to human beings, existence is a vast relational unfolding.

August 16, 2023

As Barbie and Oppenheimer end their cinematic runs, they leave behind one of the strangest memes of recent times: Barbenheimer. But beyond the glaring polarity between the two films, what really drove the meme and created such a powerful cultural moment?


August 6, 2023

The philosopher Empedocles, who lived two and a half thousand years ago, saw reality as an interplay of two opposing forces: Love and Strife. In his view, all of the elements that make up existence come from the dance between these forces, just as they permeate human relationships. 

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April 3, 2023

A Leviathan is stirring in the depths. On the surface, those who called it into being are reeling in their nets, terrified it will pull them down. Our Leviathan is artificial intelligence. Our hapless fishermen are the growing number of technologists, ethicists and sociologists calling for a halt in research as Microsoft and Google face off in a new AI arms race.

March 7, 2023

Intelligence comes in many forms, and in many guises we don’t understand. One of the most fascinating is fungi. Neither plant nor animal, fungi have more in common with us genetically than we do with plants. They make up the most populous kingdom on the planet, with an estimated 3.8 million species, 90% of which remain undiscovered.

February 3, 2023

Men are in trouble. Around the world, boys are rapidly falling behind girls in education, and are increasingly feeling adrift in society. Men are committing suicide at significantly higher rates than women, and living increasingly isolated lives in many developed nations. Our cultural story around masculinity is fraught and confused, and the struggles faced by men and boys has become fuel for a ruthless culture war.

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December 22, 2022

As a child, James was regularly beaten by his alcoholic father. His mother was emotionally distant and pretended not to notice. His home was a living nightmare, a threatening place where he never felt safe or loved. As an adult, James struggled with addiction, and found it hard to maintain intimate relationships.

November 25, 2023

I’m worried things are getting out of hand. I’m in Barcelona, sitting in a circle of twenty people: peace builders, a local government official, philosophers, a university lecturer, NGO activists and artists. We’ve gathered to find new ways to have conversations that move beyond identity politics.

September 21, 2022

In an age in which so many cultural conversations fixate on identity politics, it can be easy to forget just how fundamental class is to our increasing polarisation. Most tribes in the culture wars are reacting to this in some way, from QAnoners to the New Right to social justice activists. But with so many different tribes shouting at once, the conversation is noisy and hard to follow. So noisy, in fact, that we sometimes need to turn toward art for clarity.

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