Posts by Yale University Press

Can Human Beings Understand the Economy?

Pascal Boyer— It is in the nature of human beings that they create societies. Philosophers have known and said that much for millennia. These days, scientists can paint a detailed picture of how evolution by natural selection made us social animals, providing us with those capacities and preferences that makes

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Who Was Ben Hecht?

Adina Hoffman— Ben Hecht was “a genius,” Jean-Luc Godard declared in 1968. “He invented 80 percent of what is used in Hollywood movies today.” He “wrote stories—and he made history,” proclaimed Menachem Begin four years earlier, at Hecht’s standing room-only Manhattan funeral. When Hecht was still alive, and invariably kicking,

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Ghostcatching

Emily Coates and Sarah Demers — Physics and dance share the singular problem of our universe: time moves in one direction. Events that occur can never be repeated exactly. A detector captures the collision of two black holes as an abnormal frequency—a cosmic blip, like the notation for a billion-year-old

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From Automatic Writing to Artificial Intelligence: On Translating Can Xue’s Fiction

Annelise Finegan Wasmoen— Across interviews and essays, the experimental writer Can Xue characterizes her fiction in two ways that speak to what are also questions about translation: as, at once, the embodied performance of freedom, and, at the same time, as an automatic process predicated by a logic or mechanism.

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David Garrick and the Club

Leo Damrosch— When I got the idea of telling the story of a famous eighteenth-century club that called itself simply “the Club,” I knew that there were incredibly rich resources in the writings of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, and the rest – as well as fascinating

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The Great Whales of Stellwagen Bank

Patrick J. Lynch— Just north of the northern tip of Cape Cod, Stellwagen Bank is an underwater glacial outwash plain that rises above the deeper waters of the southern Gulf of Maine. The bank can be as shallow as 65–100 feet deep at its southern end, but the waters immediately

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She Didn’t Start It: Jane Ellen Panton, a Victorian Marie Kondo

Sarah Bilston— Marie Kondo seems to be everywhere these days. Home-dwellers across the planet debate whether the objects in their home “spark joy” and throw out those that don’t — after thanking them for their service first, as per a key KonMari™ precept. Kondo’s website proudly asserts “She started it,”

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Ep. 72 – Threat-Mongering in America

The greatest threats to America are often overblown, and the world is a much safer place than we’re led to believe. How does this happen and what can we do about it? Subscribe:Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud

How Old is the Hebrew Bible?

Ronald Hendel and Jan Joosten— The age of the Hebrew Bible is a complicated and controversial topic. For traditionalists, the age of a book is the age of its author – Moses for the Pentateuch, David for the Psalms, Solomon for the Song of Songs, and so on. For modern

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Six Tips for Avoiding Misinformation on Social Media

Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall— Is that article fake news?  Is this meme trustworthy?  Is that scientific claim reliable?  Over the last few years, it has become clear that most of us are not very good at answering such questions.  For this reason, social media has contributed to a

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