Elements of surprise

29 August 2021 - 00:00 By and sue de groot

Much has been written about what sets humans apart from other animals. A lot of theories have been disproved - elephants understand death; cats have a sense of humour - but if there is one thing that is uniquely human, it is our capacity to be surprised at things that keep happening and are pretty much entirely predictable.

We should not be surprised when politicians turn out to be corrupt, yet we always are - and maybe this says something admirable about us. Even stranger, however, is our reaction to the weather...

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