It's the day before the doomsday, as supposedly prophesied by ancient Mayans. Scientific American has been dutifully mocking the prediction, while also cannily capitalizing on it by offering discounted subscriptions in an "End of the World Flash Sale." Brilliant!I figured I'd take advantage of apocalypse fever by reprinting something I posted last June about a prominent popularizer of the 2012 meme, psychedelic scholar-entertainer-guru- Scientific-American -fan Terence McKenna...
I'm still brooding over the Connecticut massacre. Here are some points I'd like to add to those I raised in my column on Friday:One respondent to my previous post chided me for my inflammatory language...
It's happened again: a lone gunman has carried out a massacre, this time in an elementary school in Newtown, CT. A young man killed 18 children and eight adults, reportedly including his mother, a teacher at the school, before taking his own life.And so once again I'm dragging out my plea for gun control, just as I did last summer, after James Holmes shot 12 people to death in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and in January 2011, after Jared Laughner killed six people and wounded 14 others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson, Arizona.Every time a deranged American male goes on a rampage, shooting down dozens of people, gun lovers trot out the familiar excuses: Guns don’t kill people, people do...
I'm pondering complexity again. The proximate cause is the December 11 launch at my school, Stevens Institute of Technology, of a Center for Complex Systems & Enterprises.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb can be a pain in the ass. After I invited him to speak at Stevens Institute of Technology a year ago, he made all kinds of demands about where, when and how the event should take place and be publicized—or rather, not publicized...
Is heaven real? Eben Alexander thinks so. He is a neurosurgeon who learned his craft at Duke and honed it at Harvard. In 2008 he fell into a coma, his brain infected by bacterial meningitis...
The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding over recent scientific portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes.
I'm teaching Darwin again this semester, in two separate courses, and I'm confronted with a familiar dilemma: How should I respond to students who reject evolutionary theory on religious grounds?One course is a freshman survey of the humanities and social sciences, and the other reviews the history of science and technology...
Over the past two days, The New York Times published a two-part essay titled "Rethinking the 'Just War,'" by philosopher Jeff McMahan of Rutgers. I got excited when I spotted the headline on the Times website yesterday...
In 2005, I became, briefly, a tool of the military-industrial complex. My service began when I received an email from Centra Technology, a defense contractor.
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