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Good & EvilA study has been conducted as to whether the basic impulse of humanity is pro-social (benefiting a community at a cost to one’s self) or selfish. The scientists found that the quicker the person’s decision making the more likely they will make the pro-social choice. Conversely, when instructed to take more time, or when merely primed to do so, individuals were more likely to make a selfish choice. The paper’s conclusion is that we as a species are predisposed to help other people and only overcome that impulse with effort.

The original paper’s abstract is here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22996558

As a self avowed optimist and general believer in the overall decency of people, I find this immensely validating. It also helps me to maintain my faith in humanity, even when I look at cases coming through my office every night with people stealing, cheating, and beating one another to bloody pulps. It makes me think that there must be something about the circumstances these people live with that push them away from their natural inclinations to help others and hurt them instead.

Looks like Jeff Winger was wrong!

What do you think?

The title of the article is “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ Found by Nazis is from Space”

That’s certainly an auspicious beginning.  It appears a Buddhist statue taken from Tibet by Nazis is made out of a meteorite that landed on earth 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.  The Nazis probably took the statue because it was carved with a swastika, an ancient Buddhist symbol later adopted by the Nazi party.  The original paper also notes that the meteorite is exceptionally hard and would not normally be appropriate for sculpture, so to have taken the time and effort to make the statue shows that the artists likely knew they were working with something special.

The sheer awesomeness of this discovery is reason enough to read about it, but I can’t help but think that this is begging for a Call of Cthulhu or Unknown Armies plot!

Full Article: http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/09/buddhist-iron-man-found-by-nazis-is-from-space.html/

Original Paper’s Abstract: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01409.x/abstract

Hello to the Great Unknown!

I think it obvious by looking at this blog, but right now this is all a work in progress.  Hopefully in the next week or two I will begin posting my thoughts, dreams, and stories here.  Please feel free to comment and discuss!

~XenoSean