The suburbs are the spiritual home of overconsumption. But they also hold the key to a better future

Economic "degrowth" may be difficult to achieve, but a "prosperous descent" is possible.

Suburban affluence is the defining image of the good life under capitalism, commonly held up as a model to which all humanity should aspire.

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What are we really doing here? 10 quotes from Yuval Noah Harari

The Israeli historian has plenty to say.

HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG - JULY 09: Israeli historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari makes a lecture of artificial intelligence during the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit Forum on July 9, 2017 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
  • In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari investigated the last half-million years to understand how we've arrived here.
  • In Homo Deus, he speculated on how our present course will influence the future of humanity.
  • Harari's insights are strongly influenced by his thoughts on religion, sexuality, and animal rights.
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Reach out, listen, be patient. Good arguments can stop extremism

None of these steps are quick or easy, but practice and online courses can help.

Many of my best friends think that some of my deeply held beliefs about important issues are obviously false or even nonsense. Sometimes, they tell me so to my face. How can we still be friends? Part of the answer is that these friends and I are philosophers, and philosophers learn how to deal with positions on the edge of sanity. In addition, I explain and give arguments for my claims, and they patiently listen and reply with arguments of their own against my – and for their – stances. By exchanging reasons in the form of arguments, we show each other respect and come to understand each other better.

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Why not all uncivilized people are barbarians

Oppression causes many people to run for the hills. Literally.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
  • We often imagine that civilization was formed when people agreed to from societies together and then attracted others out of the wildreness to join them.
  • Some historians and anthropologists argue that a huge part of Asia is filled with people who did the opposite.
  • If true, the idea could flip our understanding of how states and civilizations form on its head.
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There was no relationship between obesity and poverty — until high-fructose corn syrup

A new study out of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville traces a disturbing correlation.

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  • Before 1990, there was no noticeable correlation between obesity and poverty.
  • Within a quarter-century, impoverished regions showed a massive uptick in obesity and type 1 diabetes.
  • Researchers chart the relationship between "food deserts" along with obesity levels.
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