Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? [Adam] Grant, 31, is the youngest-tenured and highest-rated professor at Wharton....
Grant might not seem so different from any number of accessible and devoted professors on any number of campuses, and yet when you witness over time the sheer volume of Grant’s commitments, and the way in which he is able to follow through on all of them, you start to sense that something profoundly different is at work. Helpfulness is Grant’s credo.... For Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. In some sense, he has built a career in professional motivation by trying to unpack the puzzle of his own success. He has always helped; he has always been productive. How, he has wondered for most of his professional life, does the interplay of those two factors work for everyone else?
Chimp Fights and Trolley Rides
from Radiolab's morality episode
: "try to answer tough moral quandaries. The questions--which force you to decide between homicidal scenarios--are the same ones being asked by Dr. Joshua Greene. He'll tell us about using modern brain scanning techniques to take snapshots of the brain as it struggles to resolve these moral conflicts. And he'll describe what he sees in these images: quite literally, a battle taking place in the brain. It's 'inner chimp
' versus a calculator-wielding rationale
Start Your Own Currency
- "In the Catalonia region of Spain, a restaurant and a community garden are part of an experiment in alternative cash--they are accepting a home-grown currency called the Eco
as well as the Euro
. gated article
. The Wörgl Experiment
Steven Pinker on the "False Allure of Group Selection
", with comments by Daniel Dannett, Stewart Brand, and others. Richard Dawkins's take
on group selection. Jerry Coyne's take
A New Career of Caring, Started in Death on 9/11.
Brooke Jackman was a 23 year-old assistant bond trader who was one of 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees to die on the morning of 9/11/2001. In her memory, her family created a Foundation
in her name, dedicated to promoting literacy, especially among elementary school children in New York City. Today, 'first responders' from New York's Police and Fire Departments "took some time off from their day jobs to read aloud to children at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, as part of the first ever Brooke Jackman Foundation read-a-thon
." [more inside]
"Out of the blue, in the middle of a recession, the phone rang. What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org
, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site? The founder, Charles Best, thought perhaps the female caller would hang up when he tossed out his best guess: "Something over $1 million," he told her. A day later, Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. (DonorsChoose: previously on MeFi) [more inside]
"Sure, Bono and Richard Branson can change the world. But there are millions of individuals making a difference who are not rich or famous." The Christian Science Monitor's ongoing Making a Difference
section focuses on "that unheralded community – 'to honor the decency and courage and selflessness that surround us.'” [more inside]
Love Thy Neighbor: Why Have We Become So Suspicious Of Kindness? Most people, as they grow up now, secretly believe that kindness is a virtue of losers. But agreeing to talk about winners and losers is part and parcel of the phobic avoidance, the contemporary terror, of kindness. Because one of the things the enemies of kindness never ask themselves - and this is now an enemy within all of us - is why we feel it at all. Why are we ever, in any way, moved to be kind to other people, not to mention to ourselves? Why does kindness matter to us?
"From a review of the anthropological and evolutionary literatures [Edge.org]
... there were three best candidates for being additional psychological foundations of morality [embedded video]
, beyond harm/care and fairness/justice
. These three we label as ingroup/loyalty
(which may have evolved from the long history of cross-group or sub-group competition...); authority/respect
(which may have evolved from the long history of primate hierarchy, modified by cultural limitations on power and bullying...), and purity/sanctity
, which may be a much more recent system, growing out of the uniquely human emotion of disgust
, which seems to give people feelings that some ways of living and acting are higher, more noble, and less carnal than others. [more inside]
You are most welcome.
sigh. Bill Gates must feel like several billion dollars.
evolution of cooperation
apparently the evolution of cooperative behavior has been something of a rough spot for evolution researchers. Some guys (Mikhail Burtsev & Peter Turchin
) developed a computer simulation that helps to explain how the essential selfishness of survival is not mutually exclusive to altruism and cooperation as well as how these behaviors can arise naturally. (further reading from google: ###
An evolutionary basis for altruism. These findings suggest that true altruism, far from being a maladaptation, may be the key to our species' success by providing the social glue that allowed our ancestors to form strong, resilient groups.
Sharing isn't just caring, it's surviving.
The U.S should not help tsunami victims
according to those ever-thoughtful fellows at the Ayn Rand Institute
. Why not? Because, Objectively speaking, altruism is evil
Anger plays a key role in human cooperation.
And not only that, anger is altruistic! The link covers a behavioral experiment probing individual versus group benefits, freeloading, punishment and altruism.