Predicting the future of your marriage, algorithmically

Humans like to think that they know what’s coming, but algorithms usually come out on top Some things you can’t describe in numbers, we are told. You can’t reduce the beauty of romantic love to a list on a spreadsheet; you can’t express the pleasure of a good glass of wine with a formula; you…

Bananas, the fruit that changed the world

A tale of how cheap fruit made for a billion-dollar business: Tom Chivers on the voyage from exotic luxury to supermarket staple Some 10,000 years ago, there lived in the forests of south-east Asia a kind of flowering plant with broad fibrous leaves and whitish flowers, and roughly cylindrical berry-like fruit. Now, the fruits of…

If you could test for Alzheimer’s, would you want to?

First things first. The news that there’s a test for Alzheimer’s which is 90 per cent accurate, even taken completely at face value, does not mean that, if you take the test and it says you’re positive, you’re 90 per cent likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Graeme Archer has talked about this stuff in the…