[Findings] Findings, By Rafil Kroll-Zaidi | Harper's Magazine

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Those who believe in a just world are more likely to behave dishonestly. People think themselves to be morally superior even beyond their self-inflation of other positive qualities. Four fifths of 1 percent of American adolescents engage in chronic self-trolling. The most common known motivation for doxing is justice. Voting is not a crime deterrent. An odd shape does not reliably predict whether a district is gerrymandered. In Britain, only 17 percent of the public trust politicians, while 94 percent trust nurses and 64 percent trust the man in the street. People with an analytic cognitive style are less prone to conspiracy theories, but only if they value logic and evidence. Basic human social instincts — such as free-rider detection, fairness-based partner choice, and ownership intuitions — influence folk-economic beliefs. Attitudes of progressive mutualism in wildlife management face rising populist sentiments that call for a return to traditional, human-centered policy. Sea slugs practice kleptopredation. Salamanders in vernal pools can be lured with glow sticks. Plant scientists discovered why seeds form sprouts in the dark. Researchers warned of the loss of night.

Doctors questioned the practice of string tying as the preferred method for removing babies’ superfluous fingers. A study of 680 men who presented at a Burmese clinic with complications from penile self-injection of mineral oil found that 22 percent suffered from purulent secretion. A Taiwanese man presented with pornography-induced headaches. A study of Nigerian secondary school students found 20 percent to be suffering from Brain Fag Syndrome. Engineering students are more susceptible than social-science students to the Macbeth Effect. Schizophrenics may be helped by talking to a digital avatar who represents their auditory hallucinations. Neurologists identified a connectome pattern unique to seafaring sailors. High levels of hair cortisol predict postpartum depression. Low GPA at age sixteen predicts high suicide risk among middle-aged Swedes. Synesthesia fades with age, and oversharing increases.

Scientists warned that politicians underestimate the extent of public belief in global warming; that the world’s forests are now sufficiently depleted that they are emitting rather than absorbing carbon; that the atmospheric CO2 rise in 2016 was 50 percent higher than the average increase in the preceding ten years; that previous warming models may have underestimated the coolness of prehistoric oceans, which would mean the current rate of climate change is without precedent in the past 100 million years; and that rising temperatures are stupefying bearded dragons. Vikings, who may have adorned some of their textiles with the name of Allah, may also have spread pre-medieval English leprosy through their trade in red squirrels. An analysis of 1,347 eastern towhees, field sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, horned larks, and red-headed woodpeckers found that the first decade of the twentieth century was the time of peak sootiness in the US manufacturing belt. Archaeologists praised the craftsmanship of the Pylos Combat Agate, which was uncovered in the tomb of the Griffin Warrior. Muon radiography revealed a vast void in the Great Pyramid. Rising wealth inequality predicted the collapse of ancient societies. The First Apocalypse of James was preserved in its original Greek. The Bakhshali Manuscript was found to contain a true zero. Welsh mountain ewes can distinguish Jake Gyllenhaal from other white men. Coconut crabs, whom some suspect of having eaten Amelia Earhart, were reported to have killed a sleeping red-footed booby.

“Self-Titled Adaptation of ‘Guernica,’ ” a photograph by Niko Luoma, whose work was on view in December at the Finnish Museum of Photography, in Helsinki. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin

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