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22 July 2018

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Why do we laugh?

Economist Robin Hanson says laughter is about the preservation and violation of norms.
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In this video:

Down the QAnon rabbit hole

Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Will Sommer discuss the most popular right-wing conspiracy theory of the Trump era.

Why does Trump like Putin so much?

In the wake of the leaders’ joint press conference, Robert Wright and Jacob Heilbrunn consider the possibilities.

Try this at home

Philosopher Thomas Metzinger suggests using a hammer and a rubber glove to change your perception of your self.

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The wrong pick?

Matt Lewis argues that Trump erred by choosing Brett Kavanaugh instead of Amy Barrett for the Supreme Court.

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Sex, labor, and moral panic

Adult-film actress and activist Arabelle Raphael explains how the legal definition of “sex trafficking” is used to criminalize legal sex work.

The “awakening universe”

Theologian John Haught has a cosmic take on religion’s place in the scheme of things.

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Meet Judge Amy

Journalist Sarah Posner explains why prospective Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett appeals so strongly to both Trump and conservative Christians.

The path to becoming a “sex cult” leader

Vanessa Grigoriadis, who recently wrote about the controversial group NXIVM, describes its leader, Keith Raniere.

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The DMZ

Open season on mocking the right

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In light of Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest stunts, Bill Scher and Matt Lewis discuss why the right is so vulnerable to satire.

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Are the deepest questions unanswerable?

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Michael Shermer discusses his controversial Scientific American column on God, free will, and consciousness.

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The DMZ

Abolish ‘Abolish ICE’?

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Bill Scher lays out the political perils of the push on the left to shutter the agency.

The DMZ

Will Roberts become the new swing vote?

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Bill Scher and Matt Lewis analyze how Kennedy’s departure could push the chief justice to the left.