Current Issue


Volume XIV, Number 2 | spring 2021


Researchers at Yale and UC San Diego found that among a sample of almost two thousand subjects, none of them related, pairs of friends were significantly more likely to share gene variants than pairs of strangers; on average, close friends were the genetic equivalent of fourth cousins, making them “functional kin.” “Not only do we form ties with people superficially like ourselves,” said sociologist Nicholas Christakis, one of the study’s authors, “we form ties with people who are like us on a deep genetic level.”

The path of social advancement is, and must be, strewn with broken friendships.

—H.G. Wells, 1905

More FriendshipGo to Issue Page >



Escape Artists


Man steals money and runs from the law—after leaving behind a fake suicide note.


Nun grows tired of the convent and runs from the church—after leaving behind a dummy of herself.


The World in Time

Charles Foster

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness. More

Lapham's Daily

Not Belonging to the World