Suggested Readings: Secrets, Pain, and Brains in Vats

Extra Credit Suggested Readings from JSTOR Daily Editors

Extra Credit: Our pick of stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.

Can you keep a secret? (New York Magazine)
By Drake Baer
Why do people break confidences? Researchers say it’s partly because keeping a secret while carrying on a conversation is harder than it seems—a little like texting and driving—and partly because telling secrets is really fun.

Let’s take pain seriously (The Conversation)
By Robert Caudle
The opioid epidemic has pushed doctors to curb the prescription of the drugs for pain treatment. Yet opioids are the best available treatment for many people who suffer chronic, debilitating pain. The science of pain treatment science needs more support to do better.

Whoa, dude, what if we’re all really brains in vats? (Vox)
By David Roberts
What if, as Elon Musk recently suggested, we’re all just artificial intelligences living in a computer simulation? This kind of thinking runs from Descartes through the Matrix, and plenty of philosophers have taken a stab at the question.

What was Harambe’s life like? (Pacific Standard)
by Francie Diep
The killing of Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla, underscores just how strange the lives of these intelligent creatures must be when they’re confined in an unnatural setting. Studies have found that gorillas in zoos behave in very different ways from their counterparts in the wild, including apparently getting very stressed out when a lot of humans show up to watch them.

How we beef up our immune responses (The New York Times)
by Moises Velasquez-Manoff
Autoimmune disorders like diabetes and celiac disease have become much more common in the developed world over the past 50 years. To see why, researchers compared children in Finland with others living just over the border in Russia.

Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.

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