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Stories by John Horgan

We Need Leaders Who Share John F. Kennedy’s Vision of World Peace

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, I’m reposting a column about his “Peace Speech,” which he gave less than six months before his assassination: I’m not a big fan of the literary sub-genre of political rhetoric, even the best examples of which usually reduce to schmaltzy, self-aggrandizing propaganda...

November 22, 2013 — John Horgan
We Must Start Thinking Again about the Unthinkable

We Must Start Thinking Again About the Unthinkable

For those titillated by Strangelovian fantasies of nuclear apocalypse, the early 1980s were a golden age. That was the height of the Cold War, when nuclear arms and rhetoric escalated, and President Ronald Reagan envisioned a space-based anti-missile “shield”—promptly dubbed “Star Wars” by skeptics—that could thwart attacks by the “Evil Empire,” also known as the [...]..

November 18, 2013 — John Horgan
Are “Big Data” Sucking Scientific Talent into Big Business?

Are “Big Data” Sucking Scientific Talent into Big Business?

Over the last few years, we’ve heard a lot about how “Big Data”—which as far as I can tell is just data mining in a glossy new wrapper–are going to revolutionize science and help us create a better world.* These claims strike me as all too familiar...

November 8, 2013 — John Horgan
The Meaning of Life: The Sequel

The Meaning of Life: The Sequel

In my last post, I argued that there is no single, “true” meaning of life, which applies to everyone. The meaning of life is a matter of taste, not of empirical truth.

October 26, 2013 — John Horgan
What “60 Minutes” Gets Wrong in Report on Mental Illness and Violence

What “60 Minutes” Gets Wrong in Report on Mental Illness and Violence

On Sunday night the television news program 60 Minutes broadcast “Untreated mental illness an imminent danger?” Correspondent Steve Kroft introduces the report by stating: “The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of 13 people, including the gunman, was the 23rd such incident in the past seven [...]..

October 2, 2013 — John Horgan
Did Antidepressant Play a Role in Navy Yard Massacre?

Did Antidepressant Play a Role in Navy Yard Massacre?

Once again, antidepressants have been linked to an episode of horrific violence. The New York Times reports that Aaron Alexis, who allegedly shot 12 people to death at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, received a prescription for the antidepressant trazodone in August...

September 20, 2013 — John Horgan
Violent U.S. Response to 9/11 Attacks Hurt More Than Helped*

Did United States Overreact to 9/11 Terror Attacks?

A year ago, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States, I argued that the U.S. overreacted to these horrific acts of terrorism.

September 10, 2013 — John Horgan
Why Optogenetics Doesn’t Light Me Up: The Sequel

Why Optogenetics Doesn’t Light Me Up: The Sequel

When asked about my style of journalism, I sometimes say that my goal isn’t necessarily to get people to agree with me. It’s to provoke readers into reconsidering some issue...

September 1, 2013 — John Horgan
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