futurism
When Will Robots Deserve Human Rights?

Films and TV shows like Blade Runner, Humans, and Westworld, where highly advanced robots have no rights, trouble our conscience. They show us that our behaviours are not just harmful to robots—they also demean and diminish us as a species. We like to think we’re better than the characters on the screen, and that when the time comes, we’ll do the right thing, and treat our intelligent machines with a little more dignity and respect. Read More >>

science
Can a Pill Make You More Moral?

It’s a reasonable goal to want everyone on Earth to be more moral. Maybe there’d be less suffering, and people would be happier or more prosperous. But what is morality? Are there any drugs that can make us more moral humans? Are they ready for us to debate about their use? Read More >>

environment
India and New Zealand Were Wrong to Recognise Rivers as Persons

Courts in New Zealand and India have granted legal personhood status to three rivers. The strange status is meant to protect the waters from pollution, but the measure could lead to unintended consequences, while undermining efforts to grant personhood status to living beings who actually deserve it. Read More >>

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Why Are We So Damn Nostalgic These Days?

It’s not the fault of Hollywood, Netflix, or even the internet. Or, well, it’s not all their fault. We’re to blame for encouraging all these nostalgic re-releases and poorly re-hashed versions of things from our childhood, too. 8-Bit Philosophy delves into our need for nostalgia and cites philosopher Svetlana Boyn, who has said that nostalgia has historically coincided with revolution. Read More >>

education
Glasgow Uni Offers Chance to Study the Teachings of Homer (Simpson)

Some cartoon people are about to be used to give students an easy grounding in the art of philosophy, with a course titled "D’oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy" ready to launch this January. Read More >>

science
Generation Cryo: Fighting Death in the Frozen Unknown

In a vat of liquid nitrogen on storage platform 17, the youngest person ever to be put into cryogenic storage has been waiting for the future for one year and eight months Read More >>

space
Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects. Read More >>

space
New Calculation Shows We’ll Make Contact With Aliens in About 1,500 Years

The disturbing Fermi Paradox suggests we should have made contact with an extraterrestrial civilisation by now, yet we haven’t. By applying a 500-year-old philosophical principle, a Cornell University researcher has shown that the Great Silence is not unexpected—we just need to give it more time. Read More >>

science
Gene-Editing, Aliens, and More: Experts Identify the Most Exciting Science of 2016

Each year, Edge.org editor John Brockman poses a provocative question to a select group of thinkers. For this year’s installment, nearly 200 brainy contributors were asked: “What do you consider the most recent scientific news?” Here’s what they had to say. Read More >>

science
This is the Thinking Behind Sending CEOs to Prison

The Knobe Effect is a psychological double-standard that allows us to blame people for a bad outcome, yet not give them credit for a good one. Researchers have now studied the brains of the blamers to pinpoint a possible culprit for why we do this. Read More >>

uncategorized
Do Numbers Really Exist?

Here’s a nice, simple topic for first thing on a Friday afternoon: do numbers really exist? Well, do they? Read More >>

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How Do You Know You’re Real?

It's Friday morning, and maybe you're questioning your life a little: is it worth this long hard slog each week? But there are bigger questions to ask yourself, like, do you even exist in the first place? Read More >>

google
Google’s Design Mastermind Explains the Future of Android

Two years ago, as Google first showed off Android Jelly Bean, we sat down with then-Director of Android User Experience Matias Duarte to discuss where the operating system was heading. Fast forward to this week's Google I/O, where Duarte—now Google's Vice President of Design—introduced Material Design. We had the chance, once again, to ask him about Android's latest design gambit, and what it means for Google's future. Read More >>

wtf
Beckistentialism — The “Philosophical Awakening” of David Beckham

Yes, you read that right. David Beckham, curver of footballs and purveyor of haircuts, is now having a philosophy named after him, based on his "imagined philosophical awakening during his time with Paris Saint Germain". What. Read More >>

uncategorized
Parallel Worlds: How Human History Turns on the Tilt of the Multiverse

Andy Murray’s unexpectedly strong start against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon 2013 final put the Daily Telegraph columnist Matthew Norman in a science fiction mood. Contrasting Murray with the doubles champion Jonny Marray, who still rents a flat and drives a Ford Fiesta, despite holding a Grand Slam title, the Daily Mail opined: ‘The stark reality is that the two champions, who share a passion for tennis, live and work in a parallel universe.’ Read More >>