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As a science journalist, I love this kind of thing — the symbolism, the potential to teach basic concepts about nature, science, and social policy. But what about a college like Hampshire — which prides itself on giving students creative outlets but is often under scrutiny for its nontraditional approaches, from no grades….. She said they had to make the case to the college administration for the rigor of slime mold.

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If they get any new insights into, say, border policy or food distribution, they plan to show the results to the World Bank, the United Nations and maybe the Springfield City Council. And even though it's unlikely those institutions will base policy on what the slime mold tells them, Keats insisted the message is more than a metaphor.

Benjamin Wolfe sticks his nose into a Ziploc bag and takes a whiff. That's actually kind of nice," he says. Inside the bag is a pungent, beige goop.

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It's a sourdough starter — a slurry of water, flour, yeasts and bacteria — from which loaves of delicious bread are born. And it's those microbes that have the attention of Wolfe, a microbiologist at Tufts University. Comedian Negin Farsad traveled all over the U. She calls this form of activism "social justice comedy. But it's what's happening inside the building that's brought me here. Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy.

An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature.

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Franklin County, Mass. Hampden County, Mass. Hampshire County, Mass. Worcester County, Mass. Share Tweet Email. To reduce the conflict greed could create, societies, through their laws and religions, said that an extreme desire for wealth was harmful to the society since it concentrated too many resources in too few hands. Thus greed was decreed and decried as excessive and harmful, and proscribed.

The ancient proscriptions were to avoid societal conflicts. The proscriptions were also often easy to follow when people were nomadic. They had to carry everything they owned around with them, and thus there was little desire to accumulate things that would simply increase the burden. For example, the! Kung people of Africa have lived this nomadic life for centuries and have few material possessions. Leakey, The desire for wealth is especially apparent in those cultures descended from or adhering to the Western European tradition of "progress" and "growth", a legacy of the eras of scientific discovery and world exploration.

The former led people to believe that they could know everything, the latter increased what they knew and opened the world to trade. Trade became a major factor in European life after the Black Death, a plague that killed three-fourths of Europe 's population in the 14th Century.


This massive decrease in the work force had three results. First, the end of the feudal system, since the serfs, their numbers now low and thus their value as a workforce now high, could now demand wages for their labor. Second, a surplus of goods and food since the number of consumers was so low. And third, a sudden increase in personal wealth as people inherited the belongings of all their relatives that had died.

These three factors led to a greater sense of individualism and a decline in spiritual and intellectual interests in favor of material interests. Burke, With the new high-demand products, such as spices, tea and silk, made available by world exploration, trade and exploitation of markets became the goals of European societies and individuals in those societies. This continues to this day. The standard of living for the members of societies practicing such materialism gives them a major advantage over those people and societies that don't.

They can gather more resources, live longer, raise more children in better conditions that can pass on their parents' and ancestors' genes, and generally outstrip any competition that doesn't practice greed.

Social Basis of Human Behavior: Greed

Today, because of the standard of living materialism provides those who follow the idea that some is good, more is better, too much is just right, much of the world "goes for the gold". Thus, although legal and religious proscriptions against greed have been in effect and given at least lip service for millennia, the fact remains that, as it was for Oog and Ugh, deep down inside people believe "greed is good".

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It might be disguised as capitalism, expanding the range of possibilities, or enlightened self-interest, but deep down inside it's greed. Why then, if greed is not only biologically desirable but socially and societally desirable as well, does greed have such a bad name? It goes back to the fact that humans are social and cultural animals, not just individuals.

Remember that greed is a valuable trait for the individual.

It makes rher fight for a larger piece of the pie, a good idea from a biological point of view. However, since humans are social creatures, and greed says that an individual should take more than rher own share, greed creates social conflict, as those who lose out resent those who win more than an even share.

Those that are particularly greedy read, particularly good at getting larger pieces of pies are particularly resented. Recall Donald Trump and Leona Helmsley : many people cheered their downfalls. After all, who did they think they were? Besides successful, rich, competent, and capable. They were also manipulative, vain, egotistical and arrogant. However, how many people would, if they were honest, have changed places with them in a second, at least while the Donald and Leona were at their peak?

Why are lotteries and sweepstakes so successful? Why do Reno and Las Vegas attract millions of people to their casinos? Because, no matter how much it is decried, people are greedy: they all want more than they have, the more more the better. The thing to bear in mind is that "greed is good. Unrestrained greed in an individual can lead to callousness, arrogance, and even megalomania. A person dominated by greed will often ignore the harm their actions can cause others.

Sweat shops, unsafe working conditions and destruction of livelihoods are all consequences of people whose personal greed overcame their social consciences. However, even a society that bans individual greed can suffer. It is greed that makes people want to do things, since they will be rewarded for their efforts. Remove that reward, and you remove the incentive to work. The former Soviet Union provides an example of this: the collective farms provided no individual incentive to strive, and thus produced an insufficient supply of food. The SharpBrains blog has over Antonio is a powerhouse in the neuromarketing field with over 30 years of experience in the industry as well as several top management positions in large US companies.

At SalesBrain he uses a wide range of techniques such as facial imaging, eye tracking and layered voice analysis to predict the effects of a sales message or strategy. Through his seminars, Art helps individuals and organizations improve their knowledge on liberal arts and social and behavioral sciences.

Brynn is an expert in business-brain sciences and travels around the world with her presentations on Building Better Business Brains. Her presentations about neuroleadership, subconscious success secrets, the aging brain, persuasion, influence and engagement have helped companies like Coca-Cola, Deloitte and Novartis just to name a few. Carol has over 25 years of experience in the marketing field specializing in designing consumer research and marketing communications programs.

Through her numerous online qualitative research studies she has helped her clients achieve important consumer insight and has helped pioneer online design innovations. Senior Editor at the New York Times — cduhigg. Charles is a long time reporter for the New York Times and has written the Pulitzer prize winning iEconomy series about Apple. His work focuses on productivity and about the science of habit formation in our lives, companies and societies. She spent 8 years as a venture capitalist and has built and sold 5 businesses and invested in more than startups including Google.

She has consulted to the White House during both the Clinton and Bush administration and also finds time to run a leadership column in Forbes Magazine.

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Craig develops CogNeuro software and hardware for private customers and companies as well as tools to help understand human brain function. His methods include magnetic resonance imaging and developmental cognitive neuroscience to understand risk perception, decision-making, cognitive-emotional integration and fMRI methods. He also runs the blog Prefrontal. Daniel is a cognitive scientist, philosopher of mind and renowned author. His impressive career includes 18 books and more than articles on various aspects of the mind, evolutionary biology and cognitive science.

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He is an atheist and outspoken supporter of the Brights Movement. Science, mind and psychology writer — Neuronarrative. David has written several books about the brain and cognitive psychology as well as articles for magazines such as TIME, Forbes and Psych Today.