There’s much to be said for nostalgia

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Instead of condemning it as dangerous fantasy, two new books argue that we should welcome nostalgia as ‘emotional armour’ in a fast-changing world

Why today’s youth is so anxious and judgmental

30 March 2024 9:00 am

In a well-evidenced diatribe, Jonathan Haidt accuses the creators of smartphone culture of rewiring childhood and changing human development on an unimaginable scale

Have we all become more paranoid since the pandemic?

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Covid-19 proved devastating to our self-confidence and faith in others, says Daniel Freeman, who describes the ‘corrosive’ effects of mistrust on individuals and society

The beauty of mid-range products

4 November 2023 9:00 am

Once or twice, when on a crowded overnight flight, I have taken a sneaky stroll through the different cabins for…

The bored teenagers who can disrupt the world

24 June 2023 9:00 am

Scott Shapiro describes five major hacks – the most serious of which, the creation of the Mirai botnet, was the work of three young men hoping to make a few quick bucks

Tribal loyalties

24 June 2023 9:00 am

In his ‘journey into the psychology of belonging’, Michael Bond focuses on the positive side of tribalism, leaving its darker aspects mostly unexplored

If buttons, balloons or premature burial terrify you, rest assured you’re not alone

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Every summer, during our holiday in Orkney, there is a moment of panic. We’re standing on a dizzying cliff –…

Has Carole the tarantula cured my arachnophobia?

30 April 2022 9:00 am

I’ve been an arachnophobe my whole life. I can’t remember a time when videos of spiders, or even photos or…

The cult of sensitivity

23 April 2022 9:00 am

I was extra pleased to have swerved the modern curse that is Wordle when I read that ‘sensitive’ words have…

Don't make war in Ukraine about Putin’s mental health

12 March 2022 12:05 am

There was a time when supposedly serious commentators on world affairs used to at least feign historical knowledge. They might…

The myth of the typical Brexit voter

5 February 2022 9:00 am

In Jake’s Thing, Kingsley Amis gave it a name: he called it ‘the inverted pyramid of piss’: ‘One of [Geoffrey…

Good things can come from guilt

22 January 2022 9:00 am

I do not know anyone in the Sackler family. I wouldn’t even have heard of them were it not for…

I tempted fate – and got Covid

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Well, I did warn you. As I typed my column last week on the imminent end of Covid I said…

Why must younger generations constantly ‘work on themselves’?

15 January 2022 9:00 am

If I could lift one thing from younger generations, unpeel one idea from their anxious minds, it would be the…

Sense and sensibility: Steven Pinker and Rory Sutherland on reason vs instinct

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Steven Pinker and Rory Sutherland on reason vs instinct

How men’s wardrobes prove constraints can be good for us

6 November 2021 9:00 am

One thing that surprised every-one during lockdown was how many people derived unexpected pleasure from living under imposed restrictions. Can…

How do we calculate the value of a painting?

25 September 2021 9:00 am

There’s an intriguing conversation on YouTube between Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, and the artist Damien…

From salivating dogs to mass indoctrination: Pavlov’s sinister legacy

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Peter Pomeranzev describes the refinement of thought-control techniques over the past century – and the worldwide competition to employ them

Champagne, sex or the Tories: what could you live without?

11 September 2021 9:00 am

In idle chatter the other evening, somebody pooh-poohed champagne. He was a brave soul because in certain circles — and…

What do oven chips have to do with virtue signalling?

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Why does virtue-signalling matter? It’s a fair question. After all, if people display virtuous behaviour, need we care about their…

How Prince Harry became celebrity frontman for a very questionable industry

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Prince Harry’s very questionable new job

The art of the public information ad

27 February 2021 9:00 am

The art of the public information ad

The power of cold showers

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Why I’ve warmed to cold showers

The problem with pop psychology

23 January 2021 9:00 am

The problem with pop psychology


The Trumpian mirror

19 October 2020 7:43 am

Trump hatred has been with us since he announced his candidacy five years ago. But we can all feel the…