Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Video - Magnets and Morality

A direct link to the above video is at

In the above video, I say that I'm talking about some new scientific research that moves beyond what I had been previously thinking about with this project. Nonetheless, a number of people commenting on this video at YouTube appear to be assuming that this is some wild new flight of fancy I've concocted from my own imagination. Let's be really clear here - this video, which is based upon my blog entry of the same name (Magnets and Morality, published this past April), reports on a serious medical study indicating that when magnetic pulses were focused on the junction between the temporal and parietal lobes in test subjects, those people seemed less likely to be able to apply moral judgment to observed outcomes.

Imagine this: if you and I were watching a boy scout help an old lady cross the street, and the old lady stumbled and fell, then a person with impaired moral judgment might assume that the boy scout did not have good intentions towards the old lady. Likewise, if we were watching a business man carry large bags of money to the bank, then a person with impaired moral judgment might not care how the businessman got the money: with this more limited viewpoint, the only thing that matters is the outcome.

Is this a modern malaise? And could the number of people in large cities, bathed in increasingly large amounts of electromagnetic energy twenty-four hours a day be suffering (to lesser or greater degrees) some symptoms related to the above study? This is an issue worthy of further consideration.

Last week, in 10-10-10: Look Before You Leap, I asked people to set aside a moment tomorrow on the tenth day of the tenth month in the tenth year of this century to think about their own participation in the reality they are helping to create. How's your moral compass? It's always good to do a little self-evaluation from time to time, to make sure you're heading in the right direction, and who knows what you might find?

I'd like to thank George Peterson, who in the comments for that previous entry reminded me that 101010 in binary translates to 42: the number Douglas Adams suggested was the "Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything". Too much pressure to put on tomorrow? I agree. And as regular readers of this blog know, my own ultimate answer is simply that we should always try to enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Poll 65 to 68 - Thinking Big

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