Why some people are more altruistic than others - Abigail Marsh
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Would you sacrifice one person to save five?
Imagine you’re watching a runaway trolley barreling down the tracks, straight towards five workers. You happen to be standing next to a switch that will divert the trolley onto a second track. Here’s the problem: that track has a worker on it, too — but just one. What do you do? Do you sacrifice one person to save five? Eleanor Nelsen details the ethical dilemma that is the trolley problem.
The End of History Illusion
Time and time again, we’ve failed to predict that the technologies of the present will change the future. Recently, a similar pattern was discovered in our individual lives: we’re unable to predict change in ourselves. But is there anything wrong with assuming that who we are now is who we will continue to be? Bence Nanay details the consequences of seeing ourselves as finished products.
How to be more empathetic
What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
What happens when you remove the hippocampus?
When Henry Molaison (now widely known as H.M.) cracked his skull in an accident, he began blacking out and having seizures. In an attempt to cure him, daredevil surgeon Dr. William Skoville removed H.M.'s hippocampus. Luckily, the seizures did go away — but so did his long-term memory! Sam Kean walks us through this astonishing medical case, detailing everything H.M. taught us about the brain and memory.
Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.
How to let altruism be your guide
What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.
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