Cover Photo: iStock/CSA Images
iStock/CSA Images

How I Learned to Tell Signal from Noise and Appreciate Calm

It can be easy to confuse real emotion with the shiny drama enfolding it. Sometimes grand gestures are signs of grand feeling—sometimes they’re not.

This is DATA, a column by Angela Chen on numbers, nerdery, and what it means to live an evidence-based life.

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It tried your patience, it made you hungry for a man who was hungry.
I am that man, I said, but I said it calmly.

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Angela Chen is a science journalist and the author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex, which was named one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, Electric Literature, and Them. Her reporting and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, MIT Technology Review, The Guardian, National Geographic, Paris Review, Lapham's Quarterly, and more.