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David Berreby

Author, Us and Them: The Science of Identity

David Berreby is the author of "Us and Them: The Science of Identity." He has written about human behavior and other science topics for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Smithsonian, The New Republic, Nature, Discover, Vogue and many other publications. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Paris, a Science Writing Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, a resident at Yaddo, and in 2006 was awarded the Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship for the first edition of "Us and Them." David can be found on Twitter at @davidberreby and reached by email at david [at] davidberreby [dot] com.

How Stories Mislead Us

For the past few days I’ve been thinking out loud about the importance of narrative form to the mind—that way we have of being much more impressed by information in […]

Why Are Humans So Drawn to Stories?

Literary types used to run the world. To understand life and society, people counted on great orators and poets and interpreters of sacred texts. Political, moral and literary power were […]

To Care for the Old, Trust Government, Not Families

Deriding the Democratic Party’s “Julia” propaganda yesterday, Ross Douthat recycled a conservative truism. Unlike those admirable (because safely extinct) old-timeliberals, he wrote, today’s Democrats want the government to do what families should: “The liberalism […]

How We Decide to Decide

A lot of ink has been spilled over the inconsistent and illogical ways that human beings make choices. Not as much attention has been paid to the decision to make […]

Cory Booker, Kim Jong Il, and Stalin

If I were trapped in a burning building, here’s who I would want to see coming up the smoke-filled stairwell: A trained professional firefighter in full gear. Not Mayor Bloomberg. […]

How Alchemy Led to the Modern Economy

For a certain kind of economic conservative, the cardinal sin of modern governments is printing money whenever they please. Currency’s value should be tied to something real, they say, as […]

What a Tolerant Society Should Not Tolerate

Here at Mind Matters, we aren’t big fans of militant atheism, or any other doctrine that prefers to explain away other views, rather than engaging them. I’m convinced that rhetorical […]

A Non-Stupid Case for Economic Nationalism

Orthodox globalization declares that any hindrance to rational market efficiency is a Bad Thing. So there’s no sensible counter to that unnamed Apple executive in the New York Times‘ series […]

The Powerful Bond of Being Ex-Enemies

Twenty years from now, could veterans of Afghanistan be trading war stories over friendly dinners with ex-Taliban fighters? It sound inconceivable, but then, it always is—when the war is still […]

Study: HPV Vaccine Is Not A Gateway to Sex

A frequently cited objection to widespread use of the Gardasil vaccine against Human Papillomavirus is that it will give children the message that it’s normal, expected and inevitable that they […]

Americans: An Invented People

Newt Gingrich was almost right about the Palestinians when he said they were an “invented people” (though the difference between right and almost right, to paraphrase Twain, is the difference […]