What We Mean When We Say "That's Not Fair"
The often-overlooked function of our justice system is its putative role. So how far are people willing to go to punish criminals? How many of your own resources would you sacrifice to punish a thief?
What's the Latest Development?
What do we mean when we say something is unfair? And how far will we go to punish the wrongdoer? A pair of experimental psychologists sought to answer those questions by rigging a game in which a pair of individuals could steal money from each other. An important twist to the study was that retaliation (she stole from me so I'm going to steal back) cost the retaliator money in addition to what was lost to the thief. So the question became: Will the victim of a crime retaliate even though they will be financially worse off for doing so?
What's the Big Idea?
What the researchers found is that the willingness of a person to sacrifice their resources in order that the thief be punished ultimately depended on the severity of the thief's crime. If the thief stole a small amount of money, such that the victim still had an equal amount of money or more money than the thief, only about 15% of victims were willing to sacrifice additional money in order to punish the thief. However, in cases where the thief stole a majority of the victim's money, making them better off than the victim, the propensity to retaliate rose to 40%. The study suggests we are especially offended by dishonest reversals of fortune.
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Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.