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Announcing My Latest Project: New Website Dedicated to Promoting Wide Range of News and Information Related to the “Science of Evil”

March 3rd, 2013 by Howard Ditkoff

Just over a year ago, I announced what I consider a milestone for me: The release of a series of four very long, comprehensive pages on topics related to the question of whether that often referred to as “evil” – harmful malicious or willfully negligent activity, for example – has a biological basis.

As I explained in the post that introduced that series, after years of thinking about our world and the systems in which humans participate, especially from the perspective of a concern for health and sustainability, I came to the conclusion that this question and these related topics are crucial. That is why I invested over a year in preparing for and writing these pages.

They include pages covering:

Of the four, the most important and the one that encompasses all of the others is the page on ponerology.

What originally convinced me that these subjects deserved priority was the combined impact of several books that all came to my attention within a period of just a few years before I wrote the series, including:

And, as I worked on it, the flow of relevant material coming to my attention only increased. During that span of over a year, I encountered an almost constant stream of articles, books, stories, news, television shows, movies, research studies, websites and other resources touching on these topics.

It was inspiring to witness the escalating attention being paid to these matters because it precipitated a realization that my own interest in them was just part of a rising consciousness of and intensifying curiosity about them throughout our society. And it was validating that many of these resources put forth information strongly supporting the merit of some of the arguments I had put forth in my writing. This affirmation helped me sustain the energy to keep going until the writings were finished.

However, while I was still busy actively writing the pages, I didn’t have time to stop and really focus on these new developments or incorporate them into the work. Had I tried to, I may never have finished. So I made a choice to only include information and resources that I had digested prior to the point at which I started working on them.

But once the series was released and shared and I’d had a chance to catch my breath, I finally had time and energy freed up to explore my interest in the more recent ponerology-related developments. And those developments continued to pop up on a regular basis.

For many months, I had in the back of my mind the idea that I should start cataloguing this emerging material for a variety of reasons ranging from a desire to further support the writing I had done to promoting these developments to those who wanted to keep up to date. But, I continued to put off doing so.

Finally, around a month ago, the universe gave me the nudge I needed, in the form of a coincidence, to take action.

One night, I was talking with a friend about ponerology. Specifically, we were discussing the problems posed when pathological people attain positions of power. Right as our discussion was happening, I checked Yahoo’s home page and there, on one of the more mainstream sites on the web, was a top headline, complete with an image, entitled “Why your boss might be a psychopath.”

That was the last straw. I finally decided to put in the effort to document the emerging material related to the work I had done.

I could have created a place to do so on this site. But, while I’m heartened that many of its readers have expressed interest in these topics since I’ve released my series, I don’t believe this is the right place to do that. This site features a diverse range of material and draws visitors in through a variety of angles from an interest in personality types to a taste for an eclectic assortment of insightful quotes. I know that not everyone - or perhaps even most people - that visits my site has a strong interest in the “evil” related topics.

And I myself don’t really want this, my personal site, where I try to convey that which intrigues me at each stage of my journey, to become bogged down and overrun by a non-stop barrage of that type of material.

So I started a new site to house this work. I had a couple snags early on while getting things set up, but now it’s up and running smoothly and I’m excited to share it with you.

The site is PonerologyNews.com.

PonerologyNews.com is a website devoted to promoting news and information that falls within the purview of the field of ponerology – also known as the “science of evil.” Its material includes work from a variety of disciplines from neuroscience to criminology to clinical psychology to the arts and media and beyond. And it aims to help raise awareness and educate the public about these issues.

The first post on the new site tells the story of the discussion and Yahoo headline/article that inspired its creation.

In the weeks since then, I’ve posted stories about:

…and much, much more!

I hope that, through documenting and offering my commentary on the gamut of ponerology-related material that is emerging daily, the site will accomplish several things:

  • Continue to reinforce the importance of information associated with ponerology
  • Extend readers’ knowledge about these subjects
  • Provide evidence to help discern, as best we can, what is and is not true in the field
  • Serve as a coordination point for the disparate people and groups with an interest in learning about and promoting ponerology – In my original writing on ponerology, I spent a lot of time discussing the fact that there are many people doing wonderful work related to the subject, but that they are doing it in a scattered fashion dispersed throughout a variety of disciplines and fields of endeavor. I also took pains to explain how powerful the solid establishment of ponerology as a discipline could be in bringing these forces together in an organized fashion to shine a light on this material and serving as a clear, steadfast reminder that the influence of the pathological must always be considered.
  • Attract new audiences of people who might not be directly drawn to investigate ponerology to the field by publishing compelling stories that connect it with other interests that they have
  • Draw attention to the people – from researchers to educators to activists – doing great work to increase and spread our knowledge on these important topics

…and to do all of those things in a place dedicated to that mission, rather than here on this site.

In just the first few weeks of the new site’s existence, I’ve already received some encouraging feedback on the initial batch of posts I’ve written there and had some interesting conversations catalyzed by them.

So if this topic intrigues you, please visit PonerologyNews.com

While you’re there:

  • Subscribe/Follow so you’ll receive updates via RSS, Email, Twitter or Facebook
  • Use our sharing tools in the sidebar to Tweet, Like, Google +, Email, etc. and let others that might be interested know about any page on the site
  • Leave your questions, thoughts and ideas in the comments section of posts
  • If you’d like to support this new project, you can donate through the site, as well

In addition, if you know of or come across any news or stories that you think we might want to post about on the site, please alert us to them.

I won’t hesitate to write about something related to ponerology here on this site when it is appropriate as part of a larger subject. But, for the most part, I’ll be posting most frequently about these issues on PonerologyNews.com.

As for the future of SystemsThinker.com, if there is anything you’d like to see me write more about here, please let me know. I’d love some feedback on what those of you who visit here want to hear about.

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Related Posts

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  • Four Pages Regarding a Biological Basis of Evil: Introducing My Most Important Work to Date
  • Announcing the SystemsThinker.com Newsletter (& What I Learned While Creating It)
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