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Rajiv Narayan

You do you.

Since the 18th century, capitalism has been all about the assumption that we humans are fundamentally driven by self-interest.

GIF from "Wall Street."

This idea has become so pervasive that most people just accept it as true. Especially folks in power.

Sure, the thinking goes, we'd like to be nicer and more generous, but that's just not how we're built.

Well, Dr. Felix Warneken is here to prove that one of the biggest assumptions behind capitalism? Yeah. It's wrong. NBD.

Dr. Warneken, now a professor of psychology at Harvard University, developed experiments to suss out what humans — in their early toddler form — are really like.

And the experiments show that, without being asked, kids are moved to help those in need.

Warneken's research shows that we have innately altruistic tendencies. And not only do we want to help our fellow man — we derive joy from it.

The results, captured on video below, are pretty striking (and freaking cute):

GIFs via PBS.

Watch these adorable toddlers crush one of the major myths behind capitalism:


Just 2 Reasons Account For Why 80% Of Terrorist Groups Split Up

This video is so different from news reports and political speeches I've heard about terrorism. It's based on research. Go figure.

How do we stop terrorism? Seems like a big question, but after a decade of war, it's hard to say anyone has a good answer.

So what are we to do? First, here's the good news.

Why is it that terrorist groups stop committing acts of terrorism? It's not because they're outgunned or bombed away, at least not most of the time.

The next biggest reason is effective infiltration.

Seems a lot less bloody than a full-fledged reason, doesn't it?

Together, those two reasons account for why 80% of all terrorist groups eventually split up. So how much credit does military action get?

Mind you, knowing how terrorist groups split up is not the same as knowing what to do as a result. But we might conclude that military action should be pursued at best as an option secondary to counterintelligence.

Nipun Mehta's work is all about a fundamental question we've all asked at one point. Are humans inherently good to one another, or are we inherently selfish? Whole disciplines, like economics, are built on the latter assumption. Some might say democracy is built on the former assumption. Mehta built a company to prove you can rely on the best of people.

ServiceSpace, Mehta's company that incubates gift-economy projects, runs on the idea of giftivism.

And it works.

The four shifts are themselves pretty radical. But maybe that's what it takes to transform an entire economy.

Watch Nipun explain the shift toward a gift economy in his own words.


A Group Of Boys Ask Whether They're Next. What They Mean Makes My Heart Sink.

Have you ever had to ask any of the questions they're asking?

Police recently held the son of New York Times columnist Charles Blow at gunpoint. He was walking home from the library at Yale University. To the cops, he fit the description of a burglary suspect. He was shaken up, but his father was fuming.

The students of Georgetown University in the video below feel the same way.

Whether they're living in Ferguson, Missouri, or attending college at Yale or Georgetown, the point these students make is that they're always at risk of police brutality, always suspect to suspicion. They always have to ask a question many of us never consider: Am I next?