Bradford Tuckfield
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Contagions and Control
Plucking Out the Heart

Damon Centola’s new book offers real insights into how ideas and behaviors can spread—but its implications for social control are ominous.

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THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images
A Dismal Performance

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected the Great Recession. Why didn’t America’s highly paid economists have a clue? Will they ever get their act together?

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Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Opera
The Once and Future Macbeth

Verdi’s opera Macbeth showcases in thrilling music the crux of Shakespeare’s play: that humans have free will, and suffer the consequences.

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Paramount Pictures
Identity and Art
The Mists of Scorsese’s Silence

The auteur’s latest offering, decades in the making, provides a meditative look at adventure, faith, cultural clashes, and redemption.

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JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
Science and Politics
A Hard Future for a Soft Science

Behavioral economics, the science behind governmental “nudging” and studies disparaging conservatives, has run aground. It’s time to reform the field for the benefit of scientists and citizens alike.

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