Deception Detection

“Although people have been communicating with one another for tens of thousands of years, more than 3 decades of psychological research have found that most individuals are abysmally poor lie detectors. In the only worldwide study of its kind, scientists asked more than 2,000 people from nearly 60 countries, ‘How can you tell when people…

The Outlaw Sea

William Langewische, who wrote a wonderfully fact-filled and gripping account of the cleanup at Ground Zero as a three-part series in the Atlantic Monthly (later expanded and published as a book), has now written a book on the modern perils of plying the oceans. “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean—roll!” wrote Byron in…

Mind Map

“The final frontier lies not in outer space but inside your skull. Understanding the matter of the mind preoccupies today’s most brilliant brains, some of whom have concluded that the secret of its subtle complexity may forever elude our own grey cells. Ironically, self-understanding may be impossible for the smartest animal on the planet. Perhaps…

More on Sidney

“Friends and colleagues gathered yesterday at 201 East Broadway for the funeral of Columbia University philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, who died over the weekend at age 82. The John Dewey Professor emeritus of philosophy, who began teaching at Columbia in 1954, was known for his wit, erudition, and blunt conversational style. A writer once likened him…

Why We Lie

“David Livingston Smith’s Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind follows in the tradition of Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works, Matt Ridley’s The Origins of Virtue and Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal. Like those books, Why We Lie is well-written and likely to be embraced by fans of evolutionary…

Behavioral Economics: The new science of decision making. It’s not as rational as you think.

“For all its intellectual power and its empirical success as a creator of wealth, free-market economics rests on a fallacy, which economists have politely agreed among themselves to overlook. This is the belief that people apply rational calculations to economic decisions, ruling their lives by economic models… The new paradigm sweeping the field, under the…