The Science behind Charity
Our emotions can’t comprehend suffering on a massive scale. This is why we are riveted when one child falls down a well, but turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of people.
The first thing to note about giving away money is that it feels really good. For instance, several brain scanning experiments demonstrate that donating to a worthy cause leads to activation in the dopamine reward pathway. It’s the same part of the brain that’s turned on when we have sex, or eat a slice of chocolate cake. In fact, there is typically more "reward-related" activity when we donate money than we receive an equivalent amount. Giving is literally better than getting, at least from the perspective of the brain. But this generosity comes with a catch. Yes, we have altruistic instincts. Still, these instincts come with some real blind spots.
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It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
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