Samir’s Selection 03/21/2013 (p.m.)
Frans de Waal’s Bottom-Up Morality: We’re Not Good Because Of God : NPR
“It wasn’t God who introduced us to morality; rather, it was the other way around. God was put into place to help us live the way we felt we ought to…
Our brains have been designed to blur the line between self and other… It is an ancient neural circuitry that marks every mammal, from mouse to elephant.”
de Waal doesn’t go so far as to equate animal goodness with morality. “I am reluctant to call a chimpanzee a ‘moral being’,” he writes. “There is little evidence that other animals judge the appropriateness of actions that do not directly affect themselves.”
What sets human morality apart, he believes, depends on our greater powers of abstraction, and involves “a move toward universal standards combined with an elaborate system of justification, monitoring, and punishment. At this point, religion comes in…
The enemy of science is not religion. Religion comes in endless shapes and forms… The true enemy is the substitution of thought, reflection, and curiosity with dogma.”
What is a sovereign wealth fund? | Simon Taylor’s Blog
So my pension advice to anyone is marry a Norwegian[!]
The difference is in what the assets are held for. A SWF typically has a long term investment horizon, possibly generations in length, and aims to maximise some risk-adjusted return, accepting some risk and illiquidity along the way. A central bank that manages foreign exchange reserves usually puts the emphasis on safety and liquidity, since these reserves are held against the risk of a sudden loss of foreign investor confidence of an abrupt shortage of foreign exchange liquidity. Returns are secondary or irrelevant.
David Remnick: A Scandal at the Bolshoi Ballet : The New Yorker
BBC News – Planck satellite: Maps detail Universe’s ancient light
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.