This tag is associated with 4 posts

Morality and filth

cleanliness is next to godlinessDisgust is an odd emotion. I can be (and am) disgusted by ketchup. I can also be (and also am) disgusted by cruelty. We use the same word – disgust – to mean both physical revulsion and strong moral disapproval, and yet it’s not terribly obvious why they might be related, at least logically speaking. In a long essay¬†published in Aeon, Katherine McAuliffe explores how triggers for physical disgust may affect or sense of morality. As with much of sociobiology, there is a lot of correlation without much certainty of causation, but the data and accompanying speculation are interesting.… Read the rest

What do we need to know?

This video from the RSA is short but entertaining.… Read the rest

Fake it until you become it

It is estimated that well over half of face to face communication is non-verbal, ie body language. The usual breakdown is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% the actual words. Much of the information being communicated is emotional; we look to someone’s body language to judge if they are sexually attracted, frightened, shy or aggressive. If you’re prone to evolutionary speculations as I am, it makes sense that as pack animals one of the first things we need to establish is hierarchy, and that our body language is a good indication of where we think we should be in the pecking order.… Read the rest

Olympic badminton and the penumbra of values

Eight Olympic badminton players have been disqualified for throwing matches in order to obtain what they considered a more favorable position in the tournament.Click here for the details.

There is always a certain gap between the bare bones of what the rules say and what they intend, between the letter and the spirit of the law. This gap is a dangerous and contentious zone, primarily because it is within this zone that we must appeal to the higher, more nebulous concept of values. The rules lay out what we all agree to be clearly intolerable. When we enforce concepts not within the rules, we inject uncertainty into our dealings with others, which is what the rules are there to avoid.… Read the rest

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