nautil.us

PRESS X TO SATISFY BASIC HUMAN NEEDS

Psychologists found that video games that allowed players to play out their "ideal selves" (embodying roles that allow them to be, for example, braver, fairer, more generous, or more glorious) were not only the most intrinsically rewarding, but also had the greatest influence on our emotions.
WILL IT END WITH A WHIMPER?

There are two tantalizing mysteries about our universe, one dealing with its final fate and the other with its beginning, that have intrigued cosmologists for decades. The community has always believed these to be independent problems — but what if they are not?
NO TELLING WHAT THEY'LL COMPUTE NEXT

Because we confuse the knowledge in our heads with the knowledge we have access to, we are largely unaware of how little we understand. We live with the belief that we understand more than we do — including how machines will behave.
GOING OUT IN STYLE

This Friday, NASA’s Cassini probe will run out of fuel and take pictures as it plummets at 75,000 miles per hour through Saturn’s atmosphere. It won’t be crashing — the heat from friction will make Cassini immolate in the sky.
CAN WE GET TO GALAXY BRAIN?

What lies beyond our universe? What is our universe expanding into? Will our universe expand forever? These are natural questions to ask. But there is an even deeper question at play here. Fundamentally what we really want to know is: Is there a boundary to our knowledge? Are there fundamental limits to science?
DID THE FTC CLEAR THIS ONE?

A rumor that LIGO has detected another gravitational wave—the fourth in two years—is making the rounds. But this time, there’s a twist: The signal might have been caused by the merger of two neutron stars instead of black holes. If the rumor holds true, it would be an astonishingly lucky detection.
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