Basic Instinct.

People are basically good.

Roger MacNamee

What’s your thoughts on that statement? MacNamee repeats this phrase throughout the three interviews I have listened to. It almost gets annoying. He doth protest too much, methinks.

If you’re not familiar with MacNamee, he was instrumental in making Facebook the behemoth it is today, but after Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential election he began to see that the emperor had clothes alright, and he was also packing heat (work with me here, the emporer is social media…sorry I had to explain that, I didn’t want you to picture Trump in the nude!) Here’s today’s listen – The TED Interview with Chris Anderson. (For those who say there was no Russian interference, Facebook have admitted fault and put measures in place. Not enough, but measures to some extent. Cambridge Analytica have come undone, but not all the way. Renee DiResta began investigating Anti-Vaxxers on social media and found a rats nest!)

If history is anything to go by people are good, but ‘People‘ can go either way. The past is littered with stories, and bodies, as testament that People can be very rotten indeed. And I’m not even talking about the Dark Ol’ Ages. You just have to watch the news for grist for this mill. For every Take Back the Night March in recent history there’s at least one or two riots, a looting and a mass shooting. People are losing their shit at all too regular intervals. I even heard Bob Thurman suggest recently that the Gilets Jaunes were being organised by the Russians! (Interview with Duncan Trussell. Listen at your own risk…) Crazy times.

Are People basically decent? My friends are, and so is most of my family. (There are some who think I am going to Hell because I don’t go to their church, but hey, they’re concerned for my soul, so that’s pretty ‘decent.’) I’ve met a few people in my time. I’ve met a couple, maybe just 2 or three that I would describe in less than flattering terms, but I am grateful to say that I’ve never really met a true monster. I’ve met some lost people, some sick people, some damaged people. I know there are truly evil people out there but I’ve been lucky.

We love a good horror movie, a good thriller, something to scare the bejeebers out of ourselves. We love to entertain ourselves with baddies. Is this because good always triumphs over evil in a story? I just hope we’re no kidding ourselves.

BBC – Future – Are we basically good.

Scientific American

BBC – Are we born good or evil – by Tom Aglietti