How Our World Is Changing

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

The boiling-frog thesis holds that if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will leap out, but if you put it in cool water and slowly turn up the heat, it will blithely get cooked. If there's a thesis to our annual 10 Ideas issue, it is that things are changing in fundamental ways, but the changes are gradual enough--and enveloping enough--that we're not always aware of them. I'm not suggesting we're all getting cooked; some of these changes are definitely for the better. Some examples: More of us than ever are living alone, but that isn't...

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