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Modes of Manipulation

When most people think of a brainwashed individual, they imagine someone whose mind is completely controlled. Some evil but powerful authority is manipulating his or her will. In the most extreme cases — as when a cult leader instructs his followers to commit suicide, or when an oppressive political regime demands unquestionable [ … ]

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An Explorer’s Guide to Epigenetics

You just might be stuck with that crooked nose or receding hairline, but no longer are you sentenced to cancer, diabetes, depression, and other unwelcome inheritances from your forebears. The science of epigenetics is teaching us how we can better understand and perhaps override specific genetic tendencies. [ … ]

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The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Humanity has always been fascinated with the idea of artificial intelligence — if we manage to create it, it would be one of the pinnacles of human innovation, our own version of godhood, a manmade miracle. And, giving credit where it’s due, we have made leaps and bounds in the right direction [ … ]

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Our Brains Are Wired For Empathy

Empathy is wired in our brains. As a matter of fact, we have entire circuits dedicated to it. For instance, when we see someone engage in an activity or go through a particular experience, mirror neurons ignite in our brains. They play a role in helping us understand what someone else is going through [ … ]

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The Influence of Disgust on Morality

Morality is thought to rely on emotions, and disgust is one of them. In a legal system where guilt is not only determined by the existence of hard evidence but also by one’s intention to do harm, emotional persuasion weighs heavily on all parties. In court, moral decisions abound from the moment a criminal decides to commit a crime to the moment a judge determines his fate. [ … ]