Too dumb to care? Albuquerque, Everest and Cho Oyu outrage guided by intelligence, study says

Posted: Sep 15, 2014 07:06 am EDT

(Tina Sjogren) Another fall season unfolding in Himalaya, climbers' chatter sound around camps but Nangpa La pass lay silent. 


Few now recall the shooting of underaged Tibetan refugees near Cho Oyu BC some years ago. Back then, of hundred plus mountaineers only two picked up their sat phones to send word about the murders. One called a big paper in Manilla, another National Geographic in US.  The story wouldn't take off untill finally ExplorersWeb broke the news


Months earlier on Everest north side a large group of guided clients stepped over a dying mountaineer who wasn't part of their team while two years ago on the south side a small team of independent climbers were attacked by 50 Sherpa guides. Only a handful (led by a woman) came to their aid. 


Why didn't more of people react? Climbers generally claimed they feared for their own lives. So claimed also the officers involved in a police shooting of a homeless man in Albuquerque last spring.


The heart is in the head


Adventurers often celebrate villains while cops sometimes smugly refer to their more caring colleagues as "empats", implying they are dumb and lame.


Science shows the opposite is true.


Concern for justice is linked with reason, not emotion a study shows. In MRI brain scans "people with high justice sensitivity showed more activity than average participants in parts of the brain associated with higher-order cognition," said the report, adding, "brain areas commonly linked with emotional processing were not affected."


The doctors' conclusion: "Individuals who are sensitive to justice and fairness do not seem to be emotionally driven. Rather, they are cognitively driven."


People who care are smarter.  And needed beyond Albuquerque and Everest. 




In God we trust, maybe, but not each other





BL: Inaki Ochoa took a stand against the Olympics in Beijing before he lost his life on Annapurna. TL: A few months later, Pavle Kozjek - the first mountaineer to send pictures from Nangpa La - perished on Trango Tower. BR: Luis Benitez, who blew the whistle on the Cho Oyu shootings, was forced out from Himalaya by his guiding peers. Middle: Everest climber speaking up for Tibet.

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