Why Scientific Discovery Thrives on ‘Creative Anarchy’

By Rewarding Bold Experiments, the Ecosystem of Funding and Research Could Produce More Breakthroughs

Science is one great success of our civilizations, from the erudition of the ancient Greeks and Arabs, to the practicality of the Renaissance and the Modern era. It is one of the key drivers of our increased prosperity and our ability to cause problems, but also our ability to solve them. Science has stimulated and satisfied our curiosity about the world around us and the universe beyond.

But the way that we organize our scientific research is bafflingly tribal. As a practicing scientist who has moved through large-scale industrial projects …

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How Jack Benny Revolutionized Radio by Being the Butt of His Own Jokes

The Lovable Schlemiel Forged an Intimate Bond With Audiences While Creating a Template for Situational Comedy

Of all the 20th century’s great comics and clowns, none did more than Jack Benny to update vaudevillian shtick into a far more intimate and lucrative media form: broadcast radio …

Why Older Voters Are Prone to Nationalism

Nostalgia, Risk Aversion, and Economic Priorities Foster Parochial Loyalties Among the Elderly

Just a few decades into the latest wave of globalization, the “nation-state” is striking back with a vengeance. From the United States and the Russian Federation, to Hungary, the Philippines, …

How America Invented ‘Young Adult’ Fiction for a New Kind of Teenager

In the '60s and '70s, Books Like The Outsiders and The Chocolate War Told Stories That Dealt With Complex Emotions and Social Realities

Like jazz, the Broadway musical, and the foot-long hot dog, young adult literature is an American gift to the world, an innovative, groundbreaking genre that I’ve been following closely for …

The Amazon Headquarters Sweepstakes Is Bad for Cities

The Tax Incentives Doled out to the Online Shopping Giant Aren't Worth the Gains in Jobs

Envious of Silicon Valley’s success, more than 80 places throughout the world have renamed one of their neighborhoods “Silicon-something,” including “Silicon Beach” in Los Angeles, “Silicon Bayou” in New Orleans, …

When the Black Panthers Lobbied For ‘Open Carry’ Laws

In 1967, Two Dozen Black Radical Activists Entered California's State Capitol With Unloaded Shotguns

In 1966, it was legal to openly carry loaded firearms in the state of California—a legacy of the Gold Rush. In Jackson, a Sierra foothills town that retained the flavor …