As a direct consequence of the evolution of the human social brain, and owing to the importance of our theory-of-mind skills in that process, we sometimes can’t help but see intentions, desires, and beliefs in things that haven’t even a smidgeon of a neural system. In particular, when inanimate objects do unexpected things, we sometimes reason about them just as we do for oddly behaving—or misbehaving—people. More than a few of us have kicked our broken-down vehicles in the sides and verbally abused our incompetent computers.
The aging brain is networked differently.
The artifacts were often made from found objects – an Ivory dish-soap bottle transformed into an earthenware figure.
Americans are more willing to put the greater good above their own interests today than in the 1950s.
On New Year’s Eve 1899, the captain of this Pacific steamliner sailed into history. Or did he?