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TIME
2 min read

Limbo of the Patriarch

NATE HOPPER GEORGE SAUNDERS, THE COMIC empath, introduces President Abraham Lincoln as he unwittingly enters a bardo—a Buddhist limbo, here populated by ghosts he cannot sense. These specters travel around the cemetery where Lincoln’s son Willie has been interred. They believe they are not dead and hope to return to life as they knew it. Yet if they succumb to temptation or resignation, they know they will experience the “matterlightblooming phenomenon” and disappear to the afterlife in an indescribable flash and crack. “And for what?” one reasons. “You do not know. A most unintelligent wager
Nautilus
2 min read
Science

The Weird Age of “Previvors” Is Coming

Siddhartha Mukherjee has an arresting thought experiment: What if, along with your familiar elementary-school report card, you had a genetic report card—one that read out your propensity for getting each letter grade in each subject? If you get an A in math, and your genetic report card says that your propensity for getting that grade is 7 percent, would that change your evaluation of your performance? What if your propensity was 97 percent? Such perplexing, and perhaps uncomfortable, questions lie on the horizon, Mukherjee told Nautilus recently, in his Ingenious interview. He’s the author of
The Atlantic
22 min read
Politics

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

“I remember looking at her and thinking, ‘She’s totally lying.’ At the same time, I remember something in my mind saying, ‘And that doesn’t matter.’” For Daniel Shaw, believing the words of the guru he had spent years devoted to wasn’t blind faith exactly. It was something he chose. “I remember actually consciously making that choice.” There are facts, and there are beliefs, and there are things you want so badly to believe that they become as facts to you. Back in 1980, Shaw had arrived at a Siddha Yoga meditation center in upstate New York during what he says was a “very vulnerable point in