Other animals are exceptionally good at identifying and reacting to predators, rivals and friends. They never act as if they believe that rivers or trees are inhabited by spirits who are watching. In all these ways, other animals continually demonstrate their working knowledge that they live in a world brimming with other minds as well as their knowledge of those minds' boundaries. their understanding seems more acute, pragmatic, and frankly, better than ours at distinguishing real from fake. So, I wonder, do humans really have a better developed Theory of Mind than other animals? ...Children talk to dolls for years, half believing or firmly believing that the doll hears and feels and is a worthy confidante. Many adults pray to statues, fervently believing that they're listening. ...All of this indicates a common human inability to distinguish conscious minds from inanimate objects, and evidence from nonsense. Children often talk to a fully imaginary friends whom they believe listens and has thoughts. Monotheism might be the adult version. ...In the world's most technologically advanced, most informed societies, a majority people take it for granted that disembodied spirits are watching, judging, and acting on them. Most leaders of modern nations trust that a Sky-God can be asked to protect their nation during disasters and conflicts with other nations. All of this is theory of mind gone wild, like an unguided fire hose spraying the whole universe with presumed consciousness. Humans' superior Theory of Mind is in part pathology. The oft repeated line humans are rational beings is probably our most half-true assertion about ourselves. There is in nature an overriding sanity and often in humankind an undermining insanity. We, among all animals, are most frequently irrational, distortional, delusional, and worried. Yet, I also wonder, is our pathological ability to generate false beliefs...also the very root of human creativity?

~ Carl Safina

Bernstein was impressed by Sloan's thoughtfulness. Sloan seemed convinced that the President, whom he very much wanted to see re-elected, had known nothing of what happened before June 17; but he was as sure that Nixon had been ill-served by his surrogates before the bugging and had been put in increasing jeopardy by them ever since. Sloan believed that the prosecutors were honest men, determined to learn the truth, but there were obstacles they had been unable to overcome. He couldn't tell whether the FBI had been merely sloppy or under pressure to follow procedures that would impede an effective investigation. He believed the press was doing its job, but, in the absence of candor from the committee, it had reached unfair conclusions about some people. Sloan himself was a prime example. He was not bitter, just disillusioned. All he wanted now was to clean up his legal obligations - testimony in the trial and in the civil suit - and leave Washington forever. He was looking for a job in industry, a management position, but it was difficult. His name had been in the papers often. He would not work for the White House again even if asked to come back. He wished he were in Bernstein's place, wished he could write. Maybe then he could express what had been going through his mind. Not the cold, hard facts of Watergate necessarily - that wasn't really what was important. But what it was like for young men and women to come to Washington because they believed in something and then to be inside and see how things worked and watch their own ideals disintegrate.

~ Carl Bernstein