The Great Library of Amazonia

120,000 fully searchable texts and counting … Jeff Bezos is building the world’s biggest digital book archive. It’s an info-age dream come true – and the best way to sell books ever…

The Key to Genius

Autistic savants are born with miswired neurons – and extraordinary gifts. The breakthrough science behind our new understanding of the brain..

The Love Machine

Aesthetic impact in music depends on creating listener expectations then evocatively foiling them. So along comes atonality…

Stand on a cliff: you are free to move a few inches and plunge into the abyss. So terrifying, says Jean Paul Sartre, people hide from the fact…

Good manners count, as Oscar Wilde well knew. “The world was my oyster,” he lamented, “but I used the wrong fork”…

Greece vs China: Greeks liked rivalry and competition, ancient Chinese looked for collaboration and agreement. Chinese contemplated, Greeks reasoned…

Books are still the cheapest, most flexible, wash-and-wear way to transport ideas, says Umberto Eco. Computers race ahead of you; books walk with you…

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s only known musical work has at last been performed. It’s only four bars long, but after all, “Whereof one cannot speak…

one must be silent,” Wittgenstein told philosophers at the end of the preface to his only book published in his lifetime, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. What an artist understands and a philosopher doesn’t is that there are other much more eloquent forms of expression than mere language…

Adolf Hitler could not find much to like about the U.S.– except for the country’s admirable eugenics policies…

Conceptual art. At least what Marcel Duchamp did with a urinal had the virtues of originality. But that was a long time ago. The joke is getting a little stale…

Alexander Pushkin, lout and vulgarian, drank like a frat boy, treated women as whores, was toady to the tsar, grew dirty nails to claw-like length…

It’s a curious phenomenon, and by no means a harmless one: counseling has replaced fortitude today as our way of dealing with misfortune…

Cultural Studies flourished in the 1960s and 70s. But now the golden age is past. A rueful Terry Eagleton wonders why things fell apart…

Don’t botox the universe: you can find intensely beautiful wrinkles everywhere, from faces to fruit to the fabric in Renaissance paintings…

Husband hunting when you’re over 35 goes on in a marriage market. So why not use the Harvard Business School’s best marketing tools?…

Cellphone calls often begin with “Where are you?” The answer might be “By the pool” or “Madagascar.” Cellphones make us all nodes on a network…

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