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The Hidden Link Between Farm Antibiotics and Human Illness

For almost seven decades, we've routinely fed antibiotics to the animals we eat. That's just a few years less than we've taken antibiotics ourselves. And for just about as long, it’s been clear that those antibiotic doses have been creating drug-resistant bacteria that pass from meat animals to make humans sick. The first outbreaks of drug-resistant foodborne illness were spotted as early as the mid 1950s, when an epidemic of resistant salmonella swept through southeastern England. That was the first of waves of outbreaks that occurred over decades, some small…

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The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals

Structured learning didn't serve me particularly well. I was kicked out of kindergarten for running away too many times, and I have the dubious distinction of having dropped out of two undergraduate programs and a doctoral business and administration program. I haven’t been tested, but have come to think of myself as “neuroatypical” in some way. “Neurotypical” is a term used by the autism community to describe what society refers to as “normal.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 59 children, and one in 34 boys, are…

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Welcome To The Highly Probable World of Improbability

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the problem of intergalactic travel is ultimately solved by suspending an atomic vector plotter in a nice hot cup of tea. The tea, it turns out, is a strong producer of Brownian Motion: The molecules of water are moving pseudo-randomly, and any given specific configuration of those molecules is highly improbable. The vector plotter takes the improbability of that particular nice hot cup of tea, converts it into the identical improbability of intergalactic travel, and, presto, spaceships can travel, instantly, through every point…

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Fake Meat, Served Six Ways

Around the time I turned 40, I decided to address the trifecta of concerns I had about climate change, animal rights, and my health: I went hard vegan. My doctor had been warning me to cut down on red meat, and I had also moved to a rural Japanese farming village populated by farmers growing a wide variety of veggies. They were delicious. After a while, the euphoria wore off and the culinary limitations of vegan food, especially when traveling, became challenging. I joined the legions of ex-vegans to become…

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How Do You Know You Are Reading This?

The only thing you know for sure is that you are conscious. All else is inference, however reasonable. There is something in your head that generates experiences: the words you are reading on this page, the snore of a bulldog on a red carpet, the perfume of roses on a desk. Your experience of such a scene is exclusive to you, and your impressions are integrated into one unified field of perception. It is like something to be you reading, hearing a dog, smelling flowers. But what is going on…

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How ISIS and Russia Won Friends and Manufactured Crowds

Since November 2016, a national battle has raged about the role of social media in politics. People bemoaned the viciousness of trolls, the impact of incendiary fake news, the frog memes and Twitter bots and YouTube conspiracy videos. All the stories of manipulation and unintended consequences began igniting angry debates and prompted a long overdue conversation: what is the proper role of social networks in public discourse? This important question stems from a new paradigm that started roughly a decade ago. That’s when social media turned everyone into a content…

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The Next 25 Years of WIRED Start Today

In the first issue of WIRED, published 25 years ago this year, founding editor Louis Rossetto declared that “in the age of information overload, THE ULTIMATE LUXURY IS MEANING AND CONTEXT.” (Caps his.) If anything, that simple observation rings even truer today. That’s why WIRED has always valued depth. We dig deep into our subjects, reveling in wonky engineering details that other publications skip. We think deep thoughts about the future. And we form deep relationships with our audience—connecting them to a community of ideas and encouraging them to think…

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20 Signs Youre Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Youpaid the bills this month, and maybe even had extra to spend on non-necessities. It doesn’t matter how much you belabored the checks as they went out, the point is thatthey did, and you figured it out regardless. You question yourself. You doubt your life. You feel miserable some days. This means you’re still open to growth. This means you can be objective and self-aware. The best people go home at the end of the day and think: “or… maybe there’s another way.” You have a job. Forhowever many hours,…

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