“You are what I think.” B.F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner (1904 – 1990) was a Harvard psychologist who advocated behavioral engineering and thought that people could be controlled through rewards and punishments. Human free will is an illusion, human action the result of genetics and nature. Farewell to free will.
“Poppycock”, says Popeye, "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam."
Distant memories of Psychology 101 at KU come back to me. Taught by a Turkish professor who regaled us with stories of his own revolutionary days as a student in Turkey; quite appropriate, I thought, for the times. Listen to everyone, I also thought, for they have something to say, but make up your own mind.
Skinner’s debate still rages on in my head. I like to think, like Popeye, that I am what I think, that I can influence the future with positive thoughts. It is my own form of behavioral reinforcement.
Make up your own mind. This is what I tell the next generation. It's empowering.
So I say to you, in 2015 think happy thoughts in the coming year.