Steven Poole

A computer will never write the Brandenburg Concertos

20 April 2019 9:00 am

What is creativity? Marcus du Sautoy, a mathematician and Oxford professor for the public understanding of science, offers this pert…

Credit: Getty Images

Catchwords for today — what’s in, what’s out

12 January 2019 9:00 am

The mid-term elections in the US, when Democrats took over Congress, were hailed as a victory for ‘progressives’, while David…

Georges Barbier’s imaginative illustration of an opium den c. 1921

In the garden of good and evil: the power of the poppy

3 November 2018 9:00 am

America has for years been struggling with a shortage of the drugs it uses to execute people, yet it was…

The play’s the thing: concept art for The Last of Us™ , 2013–14, created by Naughty Dog

High culture or state-of-the-art murder simulators?: Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt reviewed

15 September 2018 9:00 am

For the past few decades, admirers of video-games have every couple of years mounted a new attempt to persuade the…

David Sedaris, the current king of humorists, is often not funny at all

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Since the 17th century, a ‘humourist’ has been a witty person, and especially someone skilled in literary comedy. In 1871,…

The young Descartes: I fought, therefore I thought

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Descartes is most generally known these days for being the guy who was sure he existed because he was thinking.…

Wonder is all around

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Different people find different things impressive. Some claim, for instance, to experience a sense of wonder at the fact of…

Princess Margaret at the races in Kingston, Jamaica in 1955

Princess Uppity

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Princess Margaret was everywhere on the bohemian scene of the 1960s and 1970s. She hung out with all the famous…

Life gets faster — as the Earth slows down

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Modern life is too fast. Everyone is always in a hurry; people skim-read and don’t take the time to eat…

The ZX81

When Britannia ruled the digital waves

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Everyone, we hear these days, must learn to code. Being able to program computers is the only way to be…

Matt Ridley manages to Pangloss over the nastier aspects of evolution

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Before I read this book, I wasn’t aware that I was a creationist. But Matt Ridley tells me I am,…

William Blake’s depiction of Urizen, creator and lawgiver

Is truth really beauty after all?

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Mediterranean crockery has a lot to answer for. It famously spoke thus to John Keats: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,…

Carl Jung meets David Icke (and writes a book of bonkers business-speak)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross renegade psychoanalyst Carl Jung with lizard-men conspiracist David Icke? It is a question…