Category Archives: Society

What shape society must take in a post-pandemic world

Jill Lepore writes: In March 2020, Boris Johnson, pale and exhausted, self-isolating in his flat on Downing Street, released a video of himself – that he had taken himself – reassuring Britons that they would get through the pandemic, together. “One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is… Read More »

What collective narcissism does to society

Scott Barry Kaufman writes: In 2005, the psychologist Agnieszka Golec de Zavala was researching extremist groups, trying to understand what leads people to commit acts of terrorist violence. She began to notice something that looked a lot like what the 20th-century scholars Theodor Adorno and Erich Fromm had referred to as “group narcissism”: Golec de… Read More »

A lesson from Belgium on how to deradicalize your town

Carla Power writes: When I first went to Mechelen, Belgium, the summer was hot and angry. Leaders everywhere in 2018 seemed to be building ever-higher walls and declaring new definitions of us and them. In the United States, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. In Israel, the Knesset passed a law rendering… Read More »

How racism warps science

Alice B. Popejoy writes: Of the ten clinical genetics labs in the United States that share the most data with the research community, seven include ‘Caucasian’ as a multiple-choice category for patients’ racial or ethnic identity, despite the term having no scientific basis. Nearly 5,000 biomedical papers since 2010 have used ‘Caucasian’ to describe European… Read More »

As virus cases rise, anger increases among the vaccinated

The New York Times reports: As coronavirus cases resurge across the country, many inoculated Americans are losing patience with vaccine holdouts who, they say, are neglecting a civic duty or clinging to conspiracy theories and misinformation even as new patients arrive in emergency rooms and the nation renews mask advisories. The country seemed to be… Read More »

On dream sharing and its purpose

Matthew Spellberg writes: Among certain philosophers it is a commonplace that dreams are radically private, that no one can follow you into them. A fragment from Heraclitus distills the problem: “The universe for those who are awake is single and common, while in sleep each person turns aside into a private universe.” Hegel, commenting on… Read More »