"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Untrustworthy Trust 

The big news today is the discovery that exposure to an oxytocin aerosol makes people more likely to trust others. The potential for abuse is of course staggering, as the Beeb article emphasizes, but for me it's just a very cool discovery about how the social brain operates.

El WaPo takes a slightly different angle, promising a 'cure' for those who "hold others at arms length." For me, this is every bit as scary a prospect as politicians spraying the crowd: some people are loners and some are social butterflies, and that's part of a healthy society. 'Making' everyone 'normal' is a dangerous concept. Then again, it's the "ethicist" here who suggests using the spray to manipulate political factions, which says a lot about ethics.

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