Do we have the wrong model of human nature?

Are we wrong to believe that competitiveness must and always will be the central animating principle of human action? Media studies scholar Michael Karlberg thinks so. In fact, he believes that another animating principle, mutualism, is both central to human interaction and necessary to aid human society in meeting the myriad challenges it faces regarding climate change, inequality, governance, education and many other issues.

Mismodelling Human Beings – Rational Economic Man in Love, Politics and Everyday Life

Key to the conceptual confidence trick are assumptions about what people in general are like. It is all based on an implicit modelling of human beings. Certain types of behaviour (the type that allows economists to model people and markets) are called “rational”.

Ode to empathy

With the emergence of a global civilization, we need to move beyond the “us and them” mentality that lends itself to so much conflict, violence, and self-destruction. An absolutely essential ingredient for this is empathy. Empathy is the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, as the vernacular goes.