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No Exit: The Challenges to Space Colonization

With negative consequences ranging from retinal and brain damage to carbon emissions, mass space travel is likely a long, long way off.

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Government Sponsors Truthy Study of Twitter

The debate over the National Science Foundation study of Twitter is getting off track. The sole issue at stake is whether it is appropriate for the government to fund Truthy — no matter how worthwhile it may be.

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Why Privilege Nonprofits?

People on the right view nonprofits as a civil-society bulwark against big government. People on the left think that profit is inherently bad, and therefore they view nonprofits as inherently good. Both views can be questioned.

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Chinese Check: Forging New Identities in Hong Kong and Taiwan

In both Hong Kong and Taiwan, residents are identifying less and less as Chinese, a trend that troubles Beijing.

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The Origins and Traditions of Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a most unusual American holiday and has become a day 'to celebrate not only an intrepid searcher but the dreams and opportunities that brought so many here after him.'

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Do the Locomotive

Fifty years after the first rapid train began its scheduled service, this comfortable, safe, and efficient mode of transport still has not caught on in North America.

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Will Venture Capitalists Drive the Next Spectacular Breakthrough?

Peter Thiel’s Zero to One is a provocative and stimulating book, however, the Silicon Valley institutional structure may not drive the future as much as it has the recent past.

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Scientists Sit Out Genetic Engineering Debate

If scientists cannot or will not explain the issue, then farmers have very little chance of protecting a technology that has immense value to consumers.

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Good News from Africa

The power of individuals and markets in the development process is key to the continued economic dynamism of sub-Saharan Africa.

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The U-9 and the Realm of the Unexpected

Exactly 100 years ago the world was reminded yet again that war — declared or undeclared — is in many ways a chronicle of disastrous assumptions and unpleasant surprises.

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Telecommuting: Good for Workers, Good for Bosses

Challenges abound, but the trajectory is plain.

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Closing the Racial Gap in Education

The usual explanation for the academic achievement gap is that blacks come from a lower socioeconomic background and their schools have fewer resources. But research finds the problem transcends class and its roots lie elsewhere.

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The Improbable Practicality of the Humanities

Prospects for the humanities can be more promising than ever.

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The Truth, Probably

We will never attain certainty about our concerns, but with care and luck we approach it by increments. Above all, we learn to be skeptical of grand visions and their visionaries.

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100 Years of the Panama Canal

One of the supreme engineering feats of the early 20th century, the canal has been an immense boon to shipping and of major geopolitical benefit to the United States.

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The Long-Hours Luxury

One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours. The rich now work more than the poor.

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Melodrama at the Met

The 130-year-old Metropolitan Opera is under threat from unions – and philanthropists.

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The Most Important of Unimportant Things

During the last few weeks, one’s confidence about the essential unimportance of sports has been cast into the shadows of doubt.

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Capitalizing on the Capitalist Peace

The next time the United States is compelled to try to rescue and rehabilitate a broken nation, Washington needs to pay as much attention to building free markets as to holding free elections.

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This Astounding Enterprise

'The first self-constituted, self-declared, self-created people in the history of the world.'

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