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.
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.