What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?

27 Feb 14 | David Graeber, The Baffler
Animals play. Humans play. To explain play in Darwinian or utilitarian terms means arguing that it is something else in disguise. But what if play is the real point of our lives? Friedrich Schiller had already argued in 1795 that it was precisely in play that we find the origins of self-consciousness, and hence freedom, and hence morality. “Man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man,” Schiller wrote in his On the Aesthetic Education of Man, “and he is only wholly a Man when he is playing.”

The End of Nation States

13 Feb 14 | Harry J. Bentham, H+ Magazine
Perhaps parallel to the physical enhancement of human ability and longevity through technology, enhancements to civilization could be the neglect and final dissolution of borders and “nations”.

Everyone Should Read More

23 Dec 13 | Devin Largent, Thought Catalog
Reading wouldn’t be labeled with such importance if there weren’t obvious, universal benefits. But often these benefits seem vague and perhaps we just gloss them over. 15 reasons why reading is incredibly beneficial to absolutely anyone.

3.700 Year Old Psychotropic Wine

5 Dec 13 | Rachel Nuwer, Smithosian
Ancient Canaanites knew how to have a good time. They were fond of wine bursting with the flavors of mint, honey and psychotropic resins, new archaeological evidence reveals.

Best-Case Scenarios for Our Future

1 Dec 13 | George Dvorsky, io9
Should we find a way to manage the risks and avoid dystopic outcomes, our far future looks astonishingly bright. If things go really well, our civilization will continue to evolve and diversify, leading to many different types of futures.

A Climate Change-Fueled Global Green Revolution?

29 Nov 13 | Michael Klare, TomDispatch
Mass environmental protests are gaining strength. If governments won’t take the lead on an imperiled planet, someone will.

First Artists Were Mostly Women

13 Nov 13 | Virginia Hughes, National Geographic
Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturns decades of archaeological dogma.

Reading the world in 196 books

13 Nov 13 | Ann Morgan, BBC
Writer Ann Morgan read a book from every country in the world in one year. She learned that she was not an isolated person, but part of a network that stretched all over the planet and that fiction makes the world real.

The meanings of life

1 Nov 11 | Roy F. Baumeister, Aeon
Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Ecology That Really Works

28 Oct 13 | Alexis Zeigler, Reality Sandwich
Living Energy Farm uses no gasoline, no diesel, and no grid electricity. The project is being built inexpensively so that people may live comfortably, support themselves economically, and do so in a manner that is easily replicated by others.

Mind Mirror

17 Oct 13 | Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times
When Timothy Leary died in 1996, he was eulogized as the godfather of the drug-fueled Sixties counterculture. Now, material unearthed in his archive at the New York Public Library shows him as an early adventurer in another arena: video games.

Arcadia

7 Oct 13 | Emma Crichton Miller, Aeon
What fantasies are we playing out in our various idealisations and realisations of gardens – a piece of paradise, a refuge from urban mayhem – but can a garden embody something deeper and wilder?

How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter

1 Oct 13 | Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think, argues that our technological tools are now inextricably linked to our minds, and this is a promising rather than perilous thing.

2013 Right Livelihood Laureates

1 Oct 13 | The Right Livelihood Award
This year’s award goes to Paul Walker, USA, Raji Sourani Palestine, Denis Mukwege, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Hans Herren/Biovision Foundation, Switzerland.

Beyond Homo Economicus

27 Sep 13 | Tania Singer, Project Syndicate
It is time to replace the framework of homo economicus with a model that reflects humans’ capacity for altruism, pro-social behavior and human cooperation.

Sharing News About Solutions

27 Sep 13 | Frances Moore Lappé, Yes!
Scary stories of kidnappings and explosions lead our news feeds, but it’s the good news that helps break down the myth of our own powerlessness.

The Beginning of Festival Earth

1 Sep 13 | Maraya Karena, Reality Sandwich
Festivals evolve, but individuals evolve faster. Nature unites and diversifies to unite again at a higher level of complexity. Festivals are not dead; they are poised to undergo the next process of evolution.

Peace Drone

7 Aug 13 | Liz Stinson, Wired
Drones have a lot of uses, but spreading peace and distributing drugs are typically not among them. Axel Brechensbuaer’s Peace Drone would deliver Oxycontin instead of Missiles.

Giving Everyone a Million Dollar Education

7 Aug 13 | Hugo de Garis, H+ Magazine
The internet now allows books and journal articles to be downloaded for free using file sharing sites and the conversion of paper format documents into electronic format documents.

Trash is the Gold of Tomorrow

7 Aug 13 | Katell Gélébart, TEDxHamburg City 2.0
Modern nomad Katell Gélébart is an autodidact, ecodesigner, pluridisciplinary artist, who develops and promotes the potential of re-using waste and unwanted materials in the field of design. Video.