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Stories by John Horgan

Health

Why B. F. Skinner, Like Freud, Still Isn't Dead

Behaviorism is back! That's what David Freedman proclaims in the June Atlantic cover story, "The End of Temptation: How the creepy science of behavior modification is reshaping our desires." The article is, on one level, a hyperbolic report on apps that are "transforming us into thinner, richer, all around-better versions of ourselves" by helping people (including Freedman's brother) overcome overeating, smoking and other bad habits...

June 1, 2012 — John Horgan
Mind & Brain

Christof Koch on Free Will, the Singularity and the Quest to Crack Consciousness

I met Christof Koch in 1994 at the first of series of big conferences on consciousness held in Tucson, Ariz. A professor at Caltech, Koch had helped popularize consciousness as a topic for serious scientific investigation—instead of windy philosophical supposition—through his collaboration with the great Francis Crick, who had already cracked the genetic code and now wanted to solve the riddle of mind as well...

April 2, 2012 — John Horgan
Environment

Are We Doomed to Wage Wars over Water?

Water, water, everywhere. But will we always have enough to drink? Wash away our waste? Grow crops and raise livestock? Some prominent progressives are warning that, as our population grows and our planet warms, water will become increasingly scarce, and humans will inevitably start fighting over it.War-correspondent-turned-antiwar-firebrand Chris Hedges expressed this idea during a radio interview with Brian Lehrer of WNYC radio, NPR's affiliate in New York City...

March 26, 2012 — John Horgan
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