Global Cooperation & the Lack Thereof

Nearly every major initiative to solve the new century's most pressing problems has ground to a standstill amid political gridlock, summit pageantry, and perfunctory news conferences.

International cooperation has stalled. From climate change and trade to nuclear nonproliferation and U.N. reform, macroeconomic rebalancing and development funding — and the list could go on — nearly every major initiative to solve the new century's most pressing problems has ground to a standstill amid political gridlock, summit pageantry, and perfunctory news conferences. We're trapped in a debilitating paradox. People around the world increasingly perceive their interconnectedness and interdependence. In principle, they recognize that this implies a need for closer international cooperation. Yet governance at all levels — public and private as well as global, national, and local — is struggling to adapt.

Personal Growth

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher" – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and 8th – were perhaps random but inevitable.

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For thousands of years, humans slept in two shifts. Should we do it again?

Researchers believe that the practice of sleeping through the whole night didn’t really take hold until just a few hundred years ago.

The Bed by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Surprising Science

She was wide awake and it was nearly two in the morning. When asked if everything was alright, she said, “Yes.” Asked why she couldn’t get to sleep she said, “I don’t know.” Neuroscientist Russell Foster of Oxford might suggest she was exhibiting “a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern." Research suggests we used to sleep in two segments with a period of wakefulness in-between.

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'Self is not entirely lost in dementia,' argues new review

The assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" is wrong, say researchers.

Photo credit: Darren Hauck / Getty Images
Mind & Brain

In the past when scholars have reflected on the psychological impact of dementia they have frequently referred to the loss of the "self" in dramatic and devastating terms, using language such as the "unbecoming of the self" or the "disintegration" of the self. In a new review released as a preprint at PsyArXiv, an international team of psychologists led by Muireann Irish at the University of Sydney challenge this bleak picture which they attribute to the common, but mistaken, assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" (as encapsulated by the line from Hume: "Memory alone… 'tis to be considered… as the source of personal identity").

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