Evolution of Moral Outrage: I’ll Punish Your Bad Behavior to Make Me Look Good

Standing up for what’s right can come with a cost to the individual – but also a benefit. Michael Fleshman, CC BY-NC It helps society function when people punish selfish acts, even at a personal cost. A new theory suggests third-party punishment also confers some benefits on the punisher. By Jillian Jordan / 02.24.2016 PhD Candidate in Psychology Yale University What makes[…]

Say Goodbye to the Information Age: It’s All about Reputation Now

Not faking it. From the Apollo 15 mission. / NASA By Dr. Gloria Origgi / 03.14.2018 Philosopher, Tenured Senior Researcher CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we[…]

The Dancing Plague of 1518

Detail from a 1642 engraving by Hendrik Hondius, based on Peter Breughel’s 1564 drawing depicting sufferers of a dance epidemic occurring in Molenbeek that year — Wikimedia Commons 500 years ago this month, a strange mania seized the city of Strasbourg. Citizens by the hundreds became compelled to dance, seemingly for no reason — jigging trance-like[…]

The Amarna Letters: Diplomacy in the Ancient World

These clay tablets (letters) were found in the ruins of Akhenaten’s capital, Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. They were inscribed with Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions, not hieroglyphs. The letters represent the diplomatic correspondence sent by various vassal princes of the Egyptian Empire to the pharaoh Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, and Tutankhamun. They document a turbulent period when Egypt’s preoccupation with domestic policy led to insurrection and instability throughout[…]