How tweets and the web can boost the power of long-form thinking: My latest Wired column
Wired magazine just published my latest column, and this one is about the relationship between what I call “the…
How this laughing baby video can make you smarter
Behold the famous “laughing baby” video. Since it was first posted in 2006, this infant’s crazed giggle has been…
This clipboard picture is more evidence of what I blogged about earlier this week — i.e. the visual effect…
Who feels chills while listening to music? People “open to experience”
Do you ever experience chills while listening to music? Recently, scientists have gotten interested in this question, and they’ve…
Will the word processor destroy our ability to think?
In October of 1962, Douglas Englebart imagined a remarkable new technology for writing. Englebart is a serial visionary; among…
@cavafy probably wouldn’t be on Twitter
As a casualty — or side benefit (is it a bug? or a feature!) — of having read and…
How Instagram changes the way I look at things
That door above? It’s from a brownstone about three blocks from my house. It’s on the way to the…
The “Milky Way Transit Authority” map
This one is really lovely. Samuel Arbesman, a computational sociologist at Harvard, has created the “Milky Way Transit Authority”…
Should automobile software be open-sourced?
Back in the late 90s, many newspapers reported this apocryphal exchange between Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and General Motors:…
My Bookforum review of Jaron Lanier’s “You Are Not A Gadget”
You may have heard about You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto, the new book by Jaron Lanier, the…
Molecular secrets of the “iron-plated snail”
Life isn’t easy for the “scaly-foot gastropod”. This humble snail lives in hydrothermal vent fields two miles deep in…
Garry Kasparov, cyborg
Back in 1997, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov played against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, and lost. At the time…
In Praise of Obscurity: My latest Wired column
My latest column for Wired magazine is now online, and it’s a fun topic: I analyze the downside of…
TV watching and education “almost perfectly inversely correlated”, says Hunch
How much TV do you watch? What’s the highest level of educational level you’ve attained? According to data gathered…
Using the economics of “free” to help Haiti
Last week, Sean Patrick Fannon got an interesting idea on how to raise money for Haitian relief. Fannon works…
Owl in flight
I’ve got nothing to say about this, really; it’s just awesome. (Thanks to TYWKIWDBI for this one!)…
Asking Wolfram Alpha “Does God exist?”
Wolfram Alpha is a super cool question-answering system. Ask it about something factual, and it’ll offer up whatever specific…
The zen humidifier
This humidifier is awesome for two reasons. The first is that it uses no electricity: Instead, water is drawn…
What would it be like if the US president grew up playing video games?
While doing some egosurfing today, I hit upon this interview I did last spring with WNYC’s On The Media….
Study: Shorter search queries produce better search results
Here’s a study with an interesting finding: If you want to get better results on Google, try using a…
Does calorie labeling get Starbucks customers to eat light? With food — but not with drinks
Why do people eat unhealthy, high-calorie fast food? Is it because they don’t realize how bad it is for…
Study: Testosterone injections change the way you use language
James Pennebaker is a psychologist who specializes in analyzing how your use of seemingly innocuous words — like “I”,…
Is Taylor Swift really good, or is she a “self-fulfilling prophecy?”
Can you convince people that something is good merely by telling them that other people like it? This is…
Mind hack: Think of your pay in hourly terms, and money impacts your happiness more
For some time now, economists and psychologists have been learning a curious fact about money: The way that you’re…
“Why can’t I own a Canadian?” And other delights from Google Suggest …
Back in November, I saw the incredibly excellent “Google Suggest” contest at Slate. You know about Google Suggest —…
Is it ethical to eat plants — when they’re fighting for their lives?
Is it ethical to eat plants? The argument against using animals for food has been gaining a lot of…
Please please please somebody bring this concept to market
The world of desktop-computer design has come a long way. Back in the 90s, we moaned about how all…
I wasn’t supposed to take this picture
I wasn’t supposed to take this picture. Here’s the backdrop: Last week I was in Toronto for the holidays,…
The science of surviving a zombie invasion
A couple of weeks ago the New York Times Magazine published its annual “Year In Ideas” issue, for which…
In a few months I’m moving to a new and bigger place, and one of the best things is…
Why “trending topics” are so spectacularly useless
Why are the “trending topics” on Twitter so frequently dull? When Twitter first began running trending topics, I was…
Humboldt squid: Soft, gentle kittens of the briny deep?
If you’ve been diligently following your giant-squid news, you probably heard two weeks ago about the invasion of Humboldt…
Teleportation, the last battle, and the Creator talks: How the world ends inside an online game
Three years ago, I wrote a piece about how people behave in a world that’s about to end. The…
My latest Wired magazine column: Troll taming at Whitehouse.gov
Wired magazine just published my latest column, and this one ponders a question: How could the White House open…
Apparently NASA is filled with Joss Whedon fans
So, I’m reading the New York Times this morning on my Iphone when I come across this news brief:…
Incredibly weird, inch-wide single-celled creatures discovered rolling across the sea floor
It’s a single cell, it’s the size of a grape, and it propels itself across the ocean floor: Behold…
In praise of the 3-hour game: My latest Wired News video-game column
Two years ago I wrote a column for Wired News about “The Mythical 40-Hour Gamer”, in which I bemoaned…
James Bridle publishes two years of his tweets in a hardcover book
If you’ve used Twitter for any length of time, eventually it probably occurs to you: Hmmm, this lifestream is…
The meaning of Etsy: My latest Wired magazine column
This month, Wired published my latest column — and this one is about the cultural and economic meaning of…
Chimp carefully planned stone-throwing attacks on zoo visitors
This is really lovely: A researcher at Lund University has a new paper reporting on a chimpanzee in a…
I'm Clive Thompson, a writer on science, technology, and culture. This blog collects bits of offbeat research I'm running into, and musings thereon.
Currently, I'm a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. I also write for Fast Company and Wired magazine's web site, among other places. Email or AOL IM me (pomeranian99) to say hi or send in something strange!
May 20, 2011 » 02:28 PM
From Christopher Kennedy’s very droll book “Neitzsche’s Horse”.
July 28, 2010 » 07:35 AM
“Wr” - S
July 06, 2010 » 10:05 AM
My Xbox broke, and I was trying to Google some possible technical solutions, when I noticed that Google appears to be encouraging me to make a typo. I suppose it’s possible that Google’s algorithms know that typing “wont” instead of “won’t” would produce better results.
June 29, 2010 » 05:00 PM
On the other hand, when I tried the test for multitasking, I was pretty abysmal. I performed worse than people who identify themselves as heavy multitaskers, and those who identify as low multitaskers.
June 29, 2010 » 04:58 PM
I finally got around to trying out the interactive “test your distractability and multitasking” page at the New York Times, which they put up alongside their story earlier this month about how computer distractions are eroding our lives.
According to the test, I guess I have good focus — I’m not very distractable!
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