Foreign Affairs (metered paywall) - 1 Jul 2018
This is a must-read to understand what’s going on around the world. The human instinct to identify with a group is almost certainly hard-wired, with numerous neurological studies confirming that group identity can even produce physical sensations of satisfaction. Yet, the Yale professor argues that policy-makers underestimate (at their peril) the role that group identification plays in shaping human behavior. They also overlook the fact that the identities that matter most are not national but ethnic, regional, religious, sectarian, or clan-based (reads in 10-12 min).
Published in Weekly selection 23 June 2018
AEOn Magazine - 16 Apr 2018
Aeon psychology and health editor makes a fascinating point: what if war, famine and persecution - that inflict profound changes on bodies and brains - could trigger changes that persist over generations? The notion that we inherit the legacy of our ancestors, not just their wealth and facial features, is hardly new, but recent research in epigenetic trauma shows that induced epigenetic trans-generational inheritance can be observed in plants, insects, fish, birds, rodents, pigs and humans (reads in 12-15 min).
Published in Weekly selection 21 April 2018
AEON Magazine - 5 Sep 2017
The director at Demos (a think-tank) offers a provocative argument (and a lot of food for thought in the process): “Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century.” He asserts that a world without countries is possible as nation-states are increasingly out of step. This conviction is based on the premise that if a nation cannot defend or control its border, it ceases to exist in any meaningful way. What will replace nation-states? The city-state looks like the best contender (reads in 8-10 min).
Published in Weekly selection 15 September 2017