Is it wrong to feel happy about someone else’s misfortune?

Known as schadenfreude, this feeling may appear unseemly, but it’s better to face it as part of human nature

Sam Bankman-Fried's misfortunes have aroused a widespread sense of schadenfreude among commenters and op-ed columnists. PHOTO: REUTERS
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The Japanese have a saying: “The misfortune of others tastes like honey.” Some who have been following the ongoing morality tale in the financial world may be savouring that honeyed sensation.

The hitherto tech wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried, who had been lauded as a different kind of crypto titan and messiah, one who advocated for regulation and accountability in the Wild West of the cryptocurrency world, and who had pledged to give away most of his earnings to charitable and liberal causes, is now seen as a grifter operating one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes.

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