Dispatches

Essays

Not With a Whimper but With a Bang

Instead of trying to predict how soon the world will end or reaching for a static, reassuringly rigid worldview, we need to take in new information every day, brush our teeth with it, readjust our internal model of the world as we go.

Finding a Decorated Army Nurse

She had likely been in more countries and combat zones than WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle and had helped save many lives, maybe even someone in your family. But few remember her from life, the records are mostly lost, and I know of no markers.

Why James Cameron’s Skynet Is Even More Disturbing as Reality

Extreme and eccentric though they be, transhumanists represent a movement to take control of human evolution. Artificial intelligence will, they predict, accelerate itself into a superintelligence far more powerful than anything our human brains are capable of. The consequences? Nothing less than immortality, some say. Certainly an end to much of our disease and suffering. Maybe an end to us.

Reviews

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The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.

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