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God is an algorithm: why we're closer to a Black Mirror-style reality than we think

This article contains spoilers about Black Mirror, season four Do we have free will, or are we controlled by a higher power? The capacity to act and determine one’s own actions in an increasingly technologised world is the most prominent theme in the latest season of Netflix’s Black Mirror. And the question writer Charlie Brooker...

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New ways scientists can help put science back into popular culture

How often do you, outside the requirements of an assignment, ponder things like the workings of a distant star, the innards of your phone camera, or the number and layout of petals on a flower? Maybe a little bit, maybe never. Too often, people regard science as sitting outside the general culture: A specialized, difficult...

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The Force of biology is strong in 'Star Wars'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows the journey of Rey as the heroine discovers and learns about the Force, just as her teacher Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin did in the Galactic Rebellion and Clone Wars (more on this later). This raises an obvious question: What is the Force and where does it come...

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Why Hollywood needs more films like Star Wars

Try to imagine a world without Star Wars. It’s 40 years since George Lucas unveiled the first in his sci-fi franchise and, with The Last Jedi now upon us, it’s a question worth asking. A recent Vanity Fair article came to the conclusion that it’s almost impossible – unless, that is, we can imagine the...

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