Why Kids Love Harry Potter—and Hogwarts School

Children need to take risks, and the perils of Hogwarts give them that opportunity.

In Baltimore, an Empty Stadium and a Lack of Noise

Quiet baseball symbolizes a potential for hope as protests rack the city

Why "I Am Charlie" (And a Bit Danish too)

The attacks on free speech in France (and now Denmark) cannot be justified by a country's social problems

Why 'Je Suis Charlie'

Jihadists slaughtered Charlie Hebdo's staff for printing a provocative cartoon of Mohammed. The mass reaction in support of the satirical weekly teaches us something about France--and about essential freedoms as well (Part 1 of 2)

What Does It Mean When a Comet Plays Music?

A comet plays music, and suggests parallels not only with other cosmic music, but with our lives.

Are We All Suffering From E-bola?

In this Brave New Wired World, our personal cognitive map has been altered in ways we don't fully understand, making far-off dangers seem close and immediate

Kids Need a Charter for Smart Internet Use

Careless use of any infotech boosts stress and saps creativity. Here's a solution.

To Survive Information Sickness, Board This Lifeboat

Board this lifeboat to save yourself from the shipwreck of teledysfunction, aka information sickness

Stop Tele-Dysfunction Now!

Addiction to our online devices is degrading our humanity.

I Am Not a Luddite

Instead of seeking a nonexistent silence, we need to find a better balance between quiet and noise

Why Writers—and Everyone Else—Need Silence

Absolute silence is also what follows a traumatic shift in the balance of things. If you've ever heard a bomb go off; if you've ever been in a bad car crash, you know what I mean.

Even in the West, Writers Must Make Friends With Silence

Western culture pounds the value of noise into our heads, but writers and other artists know why they must continue to use silence as a tool

Silence of the Shepherd

Cardinals, already complicit in the coverup of child abuse in the Catholic church, have elected a pope who is a past master at consigning to silence crimes against humanity: In this case, the torture and murder of thousands in 1970s Argentina

Information Overload: It's Not Just a Bloody Nuisance

When our senses and consciousness are deluged with far more data than we evolved to deal with, we run into trouble

The De-Touching of America, Part Two: Taste

American consumers are being forcibly addicted to mass-produced foods, rich in salt, fats, and sugars. As a result, they are losing the ability, or the desire, to taste more subtle fare.

Why Americans Are Becoming Functionally Deaf

"Americans are functionally deaf." These words of sound expert Greg Miller are as true as they are unrecognized.

I Am So Like Totally Into the Kardashian Babes

They are everywhere. They have big breasts. They tweet. They date sports stars. They are rich as hell and getting richer. What's not to like?

Is Sex Dead?

As we learn to "service ourselves," we grow less tolerant of human partners.

Christmas, perception, and the lights of Co-op City

Probably the greatest danger lies in expecting normal life to offer the excitement and fast pace of film and video

On Kanazawa: It's time for a little perspective (and some history)

The debate has been hot, not to say inflammatory, surrounding Satoshi Kanazawa's blog on the physical attractiveness of black women, the storm of response that followed the blog, and Psychology Today's decision to suppress that post. It's time for a little perspective on all of this--and some history as well.

The Rapture! Omigod! We're all gonna die!

Relax. You know why? Because Armageddon already happened. It happened ten or so millennia ago when sedentary agriculture allowed stockpiled wealth to fund a class of priest-kings who made up idiocies like organized religion, and Armageddon--and had the power to enforce them.

How Snooki Affects Global Warming

You can measure the opportunity cost of watching content-free TV shows in a new metric: Micro-Snookis