Blame & Punishment

Morality is not like some kind of cosmic bank, where you can deposit good deeds and use them to offset future misdeeds. People ignore heroic pasts when assigning blame.

Being a fine, upstanding citizen with lots of accolades will not help if one is accused of crime — in fact it will hurt, U.S. researchers suggest. "People may come down even harder on someone like the Dalai Lama, than they do on 'Joe Blow,'" says study author Kurt Gray. "However, in our research those who have suffered in the past received significantly less blame — even if such suffering was both totally unrelated to the misdeed and long since past." In the experiments involved in the study, those who highlighted past suffering were held less responsible for transgressions and given less punishment.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
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10 reasons to be optimistic in 2019


Rwanda is pioneering the regulation and use of drones - such as delivering blood

Photo: STEPHANIE AGLIETTI/AFP/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Even the optimists among us would have to admit 2018 was a challenging year. The fractured world that became the focus of our 2018 Annual Meeting a year ago came under further pressure from populist rhetoric and rising nationalist agendas. At the same time, the urgent need for coordinated global action in areas such as climate change, inequality and the impact of automation on jobs became more intense.

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