Our top global posts might change how you think about hunters, AI and hellos
We did a lot of coverage of viruses this year (see this post) but other stories went viral as well.
The post with the most pageviews tackled a diverse array of topics. New research upends hunter/gatherer gender stereotypes. Preliminary results from a study in Kenya on how to help peope who are poor show the power of handing over cash — and a lump sum seems more effective than a monthly payout. And psychologists are finding that when a stranger gives a greeting, it's not just an empty gesture.
Here are our most popular stories (not about viruses) from 2023.
The study focuses on a universal basic income and spans 12 years and thousands of people in Kenya. How did the money change lives? What's better: monthly payouts or a lump sum. Published December 7, 2023.
For decades, scientists have believed that early humans had a division of labor: Men generally did the hunting and women did the gathering. And this view hasn't been limited to academics. Now a new study suggests the vision of early men as the exclusive hunters is simply wrong – and that evidence that early women were also hunting has been there all along. July 1, 2023.
New Zealand has declared war on tobacco with a remarkable new law. The indigenous Māori population, with the country's highest smoking rate, has a lot to gain. But they have a bone of contention. October 1, 2023. (Editor's note: New Zealand's new conservative government has vowed to repeal the anti-smoking law; we covered that development as well.)
Just saying "hello" to a passerby can be a boon for both of you. As researchers explore the impact of interactions with strangers and casual acquaintances, they're shedding light on how seemingly fleeting conversations affect your happiness and well-being. August 23, 2023.
Researchers were curious if artificial intelligence could fulfill the order. Or would built-in biases short-circuit the request? Let's see what an image generator came up with. October 6, 2023.
On December 14, 2022 billionaire philanthropist and novelist MacKenzie Scott announced that her donations since 2019 have totaled more than $14 billion and helped fund around 1,600 nonprofits. But as much as the scale, it is the style of giving that is causing a stir; it's targeted at a wide spectrum of causes, without a formal application process and — it appears — no strings attatched. January 10, 2023.
The playful term is trending on social media: Urban workers are embracing (even while joking about) easy-to-fix, healthy Western-style lunches — think sandwiches, veggies ... a lonely baked potato. July 10, 2023.
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