Noema’s Top 10 Reads Of 2023

Our best longform journalism and essays from 2023.

Jonathan Zawada for Noema Magazine

How Modernity Made Us Allergic

Our very old immune systems can’t keep up with modern lifestyles and diets, leading to increases in all sorts of chronic health problems like allergies and obesity.

by Theresa MacPhail

Anthony Gerace for Noema Magazine

What AI Teaches Us About Good Writing

While AI can speed up the writing process, it doesn’t optimize quality — and it endangers our sense of connection to ourselves and others.

by Laura Hartenberger

Lucas Foglia for Noema Magazine

Finding Awe Amid Everyday Splendor

A new field of psychology has begun to quantify an age-old intuition: Feeling awe is good for us.

by Henry Wismayer

Sanchit Sawaria for Noema Magazine

AI Is Life

Technology is not artificially replacing life — it is life.

by Sara Walker

Still image from Ho Tzu Nyen’s “The Nameless,” a film about a mysterious Sino-Vietnamese communist and spy working in Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century. (Courtesy of the artist and Kiang Malingue Gallery)

The World China Is Building

China’s diplomats and tech companies pin their hopes on partnerships in the Global South.

by Jacob Dreyer

Refael Idan Suissa for Noema Magazine

The Secret History And Strange Future Of Charisma

How our culture, politics and technology became infused with a mysterious social phenomenon that everyone can feel but nobody can explain.

by Joe Zadeh

Gretta Johnson for Noema Magazine

The Seductive Vision Of Green Aviation 

Air travel is profoundly bad for the environment but one of the hardest industries to decarbonize. Can green technologies make a difference before it’s too late?

by Henry Wismayer

Alex Valentina for Noema Magazine

The Extraordinary Green Promise Of A Tiny Molecule

Hydrogen produced by renewable energy makes it possible to fully transition to a global green economy. So what’s stopping us from going all in?

by Holly Jean Buck

Jonathan Zawada for Noema Magazine

Degrowth In Japan

Mending the “metabolic rift” of capitalism.

by Nathan Gardels

Cecilia Erlich for Noema Magazine

Artificial General Intelligence Is Already Here

Today’s most advanced AI models have many flaws, but decades from now, they will be recognized as the first true examples of artificial general intelligence.

by Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Peter Norvig

Honorable Mentions

Vera van de Seyp for Noema Magazine

The Sounds Of Invisible Worlds

by Karen Bakker

Like the microscope and the telescope did centuries ago, new technologies to capture and analyze sound are leading to startling discoveries about what the eyes cannot see.

wa sei for Noema Magazine

What If Money Expired?

A long-forgotten German economist argued that society and the economy would be better off if money was a perishable good. Was he an anarchist crank or the prophet of a better world?

by Jacob Baynham

Favorites From Previous Years