• The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya
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    The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya

    A cold January day of 2005, I took one of my most important drives of my life. I was on this road in upstate New York, trying to find this old factory. The day before, I received a flyer in the mail that said, “Fully equipped yogurt plant for sale.” I threw it in the garbage can. And 20 minutes later, I picked it up and called the number. The plant was 85 years old, and it was closing. So I decided to go see it. At this time, I wasn’t sure where this road or my life was going. I owned a small cheese shop but really hated business.…

  • The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder
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    The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder

    “How much pain medication are you taking?” That was the very routine question that changed my life. It was July 2015, about two months after I nearly lost my foot in a serious motorcycle accident. So I was back in my orthopedic surgeon’s office for yet another follow-up appointment. I looked at my wife, Sadiye; we did some calculating. “About 115 milligrams oxycodone,” I responded. “Maybe more.” I was nonchalant, having given this information to many doctors many times before, but this time was different. My doctor turned serious and he looked at me and said, “Travis, that’s a lot of opioids. You need to think about getting off the…

  • How to control someone else’s arm with your brain | Greg Gage
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    How to control someone else’s arm with your brain | Greg Gage

    The brain is an amazing and complex organ. And while many people are fascinated by the brain, they can’t really tell you that much about the properties about how the brain works because we don’t teach neuroscience in schools. And one of the reasons why is that the equipment is so complex and so expensive that it’s really only done at major universities and large institutions. And so in order to be able to access the brain, you really need to dedicate your life and spend six and a half years as a graduate student just to become a neuroscientist to get access to these tools. And that’s a shame…

  • Where are all the aliens? | Stephen Webb
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    Where are all the aliens? | Stephen Webb

    I saw a UFO once. I was eight or nine, playing in the street with a friend who was a couple of years older, and we saw a featureless silver disc hovering over the houses. We watched it for a few seconds, and then it shot away incredibly quickly. Even as a kid, I got angry it was ignoring the laws of physics. We ran inside to tell the grown-ups, and they were skeptical — you’d be skeptical too, right? I got my own back a few years later: one of those grown-ups told me, “Last night I saw a flying saucer. I was coming out of the pub after…

  • A beginner’s guide to quantum computing | Shohini Ghose
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    A beginner’s guide to quantum computing | Shohini Ghose

    Let’s play a game. Imagine that you are in Las Vegas, in a casino, and you decide to play a game on one of the casino’s computers, just like you might play solitaire or chess. The computer can make moves in the game, just like a human player. This is a coin game. It starts with a coin showing heads, and the computer will play first. It can choose to flip the coin or not, but you don’t get to see the outcome. Next, it’s your turn. You can also choose to flip the coin or not, and your move will not be revealed to your opponent, the computer. Finally,…

  • Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth
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    Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

    Just over a year ago, for the third time in my life, I ceased to exist. I was having a small operation, and my brain was filling with anesthetic. I remember a sense of detachment and falling apart and a coldness. And then I was back, drowsy and disoriented, but definitely there. Now, when you wake from a deep sleep, you might feel confused about the time or anxious about oversleeping, but there’s always a basic sense of time having passed, of a continuity between then and now. Coming round from anesthesia is very different. I could have been under for five minutes, five hours, five years or even 50…

  • Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari
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    Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

    One of my earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of my relatives and not being able to. And I was just a little kid, so I didn’t really understand why, but as I got older, I realized we had drug addiction in my family, including later cocaine addiction. I’d been thinking about it a lot lately, partly because it’s now exactly 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States and Britain, and we then imposed that on the rest of the world. It’s a century since we made this really fateful decision to take addicts and punish them and make them suffer, because we…