Who are we?

Question: How do you understand human nature?

Transcript:I believe that there is human nature, and that good . . . what we consider to be good or virtuous, and what we consider to be bad are all in us – in each and every individual. But that as conscious beings, we are able to discern what we consider good and to develop that, and to suppress the bad side in us – the jealousy, the unkindness, the desire to dominate and, you know, kill. All these desires are in us. But the more we become aware of them, the more we are able to control them, to restrain them. And that that is part of reason, _________ with reason. There are more and more people coming up and attacking reason and saying that’s not the case; but I do believe that that’s . . . all of us are born with it. It doesn’t mean to say we are all born reasonable, but the faculty is there.

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali answers the question, "Who are we?"

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

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

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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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Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

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34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
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How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

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  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.