Social Trends

Conversation with Samantha, the artificial intelligence

To a certain extent, loneliness is part of the human condition. You can be lonely anywhere, even surrounded by friends. But modern life has exacerbated it, and that requires modern solutions. Indie game designer Jason Rohrer has one — an artificial friend named Samantha.

A wall with the asexual flag colors

One of the first assumptions we make about a relationship is that it begins with sexual attraction. But what about desire without sex? Angela Chen explores the contradictions — and the possibilities — of asexuality in her new book.

microphones

Starting in 2013, former Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshwan Lynch refused to speak in post-game press conferences, a public form of resistance against exploitation and racial bias in the sports industry. Writer David Shields has just released a documentary him.

woman in wispy colors

Clinical psychologist Filip Bromberg says many young Swedes are suffering from serious stress and burnout, to the point where they’re abandoning seemingly good, high-paying jobs in search of more meaningful lifestyles.

Picking up leaves on a leisurely hike.

Our lives have never been more optimized to save us time. But is it all time well spent? Maybe it’s time to embrace inefficiency, argues typewriter collector and philosopher Richard Polt.

A french bulldog doing a snooze.

Philosopher Lars Svendson thinks we shouldn't be stressing about learning to bake sourdough or memorize TikTok dances in quarantine. He thinks we need to learn to be lazy again.

Overstimulated and over everything.

The pandemic, the protests, the President’s Twitter feed — everything is exhausting. But maybe it doesn’t have to be?

crystal meth

When anthropologist Jason Pine traveled to rural Missouri, he wound up spending a lot of time observing underground meth labs. And he came to a startling conclusion: that the meth cooks of the Ozarks are today’s alchemists.

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