IDEAS

  • HOW THE FUTURE LOOKS TO SNOWDEN

    ~ Posted by Anthony Gardner, March 17th 2015

    How will we celebrate New Year 2050? With blueberry champagne, apparentlyand the microbes it contains will be so healthy that the government will introduce Champagne Mondays to promote it. This was one of the many predictions at last weekend’s FutureFest, a two-day jamboree of talks and demonstrations about the shape of things to come held at the Vinopolis complex by London Bridge.

    Wandering along the purple-lit passages, I felt at first as if I were travelling back in time, to the Science Museum of my childhood: although I was surrounded by adults of all ages (and, it seemed, nationalities), there was the same unifying sense of wonder. We gazed at a robot with a holographic face, a model of an “emotive city” designed around feelings, and people wearing virtual-reality headsets being whirled around in an electronic chair for a simulated thrill ride. If there was a slightly makeshift, Professor Branestawm-ish quality to it all, that only added to the enjoyment.

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  • THE REAL MEANING OF RIVALRY

    ~ Posted by Ed Smith, February 12th 2015

    The Australian Open final, between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, was an ill-tempered match. The handshake at the net afterwards was brisk and cold, which is unusual for a Grand Slam men’s final these days, when the behaviour so often matches the brilliance of the play. The animosity this time, people have assumed, centered on Djokovic’s apparent injury and exhaustion early in the third set. Was he faking it? Murray appeared confused, then distracted, then angry. Djokovic stormed back into the lead and trounced Murray 6-0 in the fourth set to take the title.

    Many pundits have argued that Murray was hoodwinked by Djokovic’s gamesmanship, causing Murray to “melt down” and squander the title. I am much less confident that the injury incident altered the result. But I am certain that it changed—and diminished—the event. The coldness and disappointment of each player at the end was partly self-directed. Djokovic knew he could have won better. Murray knew he could have lost better. That’s why, for all its early promise, the match did not have the same uplifting effect as the other epic duels in this exceptional era of men’s tennis. It was not quite a shared victory, as so many finals have been.

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  • THE BIG QUESTION: THE RESULTS

    ~ Posted by Charlie McCann, October 10th 2014

    What’s the point? It might be the biggest question of them all. Puzzled over with a furrowed brow or flung out with an expletive, it’s also one of the most flighty. We challenged seven writers to pin it down and explain the meaning of life, and then invited readers to vote for the best answer in our online poll.

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  • READERS PICK THE DEADLIEST SIN

    ~ Posted by Lucy Farmer, June 9th 2014

    Ever since Pope Gregory the Great defined them in the sixth century, the seven deadly sins have shaped our moral landscape. To err is human, and most foibles are forgivable. But some sins, especially when taken to their limits, are worse than others, damaging not just individuals but the fabric of society, too. For our last Big Question, we asked seven writers to pick the deadliest sin today. We then invited readers to vote in our online poll.

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  • HAVE SEMI-COLON; WILL DIGRESS

    ~ Posted by Lucy Farmer, April 11th 2014

    As journalists we are naturally fond of punctuation. Following our latest Big Question, we have discovered that readers of Intelligent Life are too. Our question was seemingly benign: what is the best punctuation mark? But those strange little squiggles kindled some high passions. We asked six writers to pen a plea for their favourite, and then invited readers to vote in our online poll. Each had its cheerleaders, but there was one champion: the semi-colon. It’s invaluable for “those of us whose thoughts digress”, said the novelist Claire Messud. 27% of voters also can’t live without it.

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  • DOUBT EVERYTHING, EVEN THE RESULT

    ~ Posted by Georgia Grimond, June 17th 2013

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  • A MINIBAR FOR THE MIND?

    School of LifeThe School of Life operates out of a smart shop in London’s Bloomsbury, but this is not the place to buy knick-knacks. Rather, this is where to go if all the knick-knacks fail to gratify. Dissatisfied with your high-end job? Wonder where all the time has gone and why your days don’t make sense?

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  • READ US ON IPAD

    iPad  dogSure, this website is grand, full of smart content from Intelligent Life magazine alongside articles and blog posts commissioned exclusively for More Intelligent Life. It's also free, and run by people who read poetry, shelter puppies and care for the elderly. Who would complain?

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  • AN URBAN LABORATORY

     Rudrapur Bangladesh schoolThis morning brought an interesting announcement about a new initiative that is meant to consider the changing needs of urban life.

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  • THE Q&A: ELIZA GRISWOLD, AUTHOR

    Eliza Griswold Though history tells us that Islam and Christianity were both borne out of a small sliver of the middle east, the world's largest population of Muslims today is in Indonesia.

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