Wednesday, September 16, 2020

868: Carrot or Stick....

 Our belief is, no...., we assume, that most people are OK and when asked most people value things like helpfulness, fairness and justice.


Yet it seems that a majority of people have trouble to believe that the others value these qualities too. 


On the one hand we value the OK qualities and on the other hand we don't believe others do too.


To take it somewhat further: The American cult of the individual denies not just community but the very idea of society. 


No one owes anything to anyone. All must be prepared to fight for everything: education, shelter, food, medical care. 


What every prosperous and successful democracy deems to be fundamental rights - universal health care, 


equal access to quality public education, a social safety net for the weak, elderly, and infirmed - America dismisses as socialist indulgences, as if so many signs of weakness.  


The fascinating thing is that the two great ideologies of the twentieth century, capitalism and communism, shared the same view of man. 


He does nothing by himself. You have to punish or reward him to get him into action.


The capitalist and the communist agreed that there are only two ways to get people moving. The carrot and the stick. 


The capitalist relied mainly on the carrot, in other words MONEY, while the communist mainly relied on the stick, in other words PUNISHMENT. But they agreed on one thing: people don't motivate themselves.  


There is however a strange kind of behavior of man. Behaviorism, a psychological theory of behavior 


based on the idea that all behavior arise as a result of punishment or reward, was very popular in the 1960s. 


This theory assumed that humans are passive beings through and through. We would only act for a reward or fear of punishment. 


But people are constantly doing strange things that do not fit the behaviorist view of man. 


Take mountain climbing. that is very hard, or voluntary work, where you get nothing paid for or having children, a rather painful undertaking.


We do things all the time that don't make money and are even exhausting or hurting, without being forced to. Why?

This is all caused by intrinsic motivation, which is the opposite of extrinsic motivation. 


For those who are not familiar with these psychological terms....intrinsic means that is comes from INSIDE,


while extrinsic means that the feeling of reward comes from the OUTSIDE,  from the carrot, so to speak.


In 1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor published his monograph “The Principles of Scientific Management.” 


This was the birth of the system we live in today,, a world filled with workers and their managers, All based on the assumption, 


that you have to MANAGE people, otherwise they won't move.


Thank you for your attention again and next time we'll see what this leads to.....


Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019


The Discussion


[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay

[13:23] herman Bergson: Beer is on the house :-))

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:24] CB Axel: Beer is far more motivating than a carrot.

[13:24] herman Bergson: other drinks too :-))

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe

[13:24] herman Bergson: It certainly is CBeer ^_^

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well I perform well at work because I think its fun and I also learn all this game development stuff by myself because I thin its fun

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and the more fun u think it is the easier it is to learn

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): motivation = performance

[13:25] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'm wondering why they limit the idea of reward to money. There are rewards for technical rock climbing, which I used to do, and they're probably about the same as the rewards for mountain climbing

[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita and that is what behaviorists have trouble to understand

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:26] Ludova (quippe.wylder): We evolved to   feel good about mastering a task, that's what motivates us to learn. Intrinsic for sure.

[13:27] Ludova (quippe.wylder): But there are extrinsic rewards other than money as well.

[13:27] herman Bergson: Maybe not in the world of managers.....

[13:28] herman Bergson: but yet there are interesting observations in relation to that....

[13:28] herman Bergson: we'l discuss them next time

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everything is money most sem to think today

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it isn't

[13:29] herman Bergson: what struck me is this obsession in American politics with the theme of "Creating jobs"

[13:29] herman Bergson: The winner is the one who created the most jobs...

[13:29] herman Bergson: but what is really means

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because jobs makes money and money = power

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what kind of jobs?

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): jobs that make people feel good?

[13:30] CB Axel: It doesn't matter to them if they are good jobs.

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well everyone wants a good job for sure

[13:30] CB Axel: But the jobs being created aren't good jobs.

[13:30] herman Bergson: what all respectful democracies have...general healthcare , social safety the US you need money for that

[13:31] Ludova (quippe.wylder): There's a social norm about everyone should work. I don't know why.

[13:31] CB Axel: They don't pay enough for people to live and raise their children on.

[13:31] herman Bergson: so the incentive to act is money....

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): only the rich should be able to live

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats sad way of thinking

[13:31] herman Bergson: I know CB...butthat is another aspect of it

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed how it seems to work over there

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:32] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Maybe more rich people would contribute to worthy causes if there weren't also a social norm about conspicuous consumption. The man who dies with the most toys wins.

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like you said. all for themselves. Selfishness

[13:32] CB Axel: I think the only US politician who's read Rutger Bregman is Andrew Yang.

[13:33] herman Bergson: A sad observation CB....

[13:33] CB Axel: If people earned enough to live on they could be free to concentrate on other things.

[13:33] herman Bergson: Like they all should have read Michal Sandel...but they don't

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a basic income for everyone CB?

[13:34] CB Axel: I think that would help.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes something like that...we are rich enough for that...

[13:35] herman Bergson: but it all depends on the distribution of wealth and resources...

[13:35] herman Bergson: which is a political issue and there we are...back among the political neanderthals

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:36] herman Bergson: they all think only of short term goals

[13:36] herman Bergson: their own re-election for instance

[13:37] herman Bergson: but what we are talking about today is that we do things just for free often...:-)

[13:37] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I don't know why anyone would want to be a politician. It's a headache.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might, power

[13:38] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I don'tknow why anyone would want power

[13:38] herman Bergson: Well I don't know anymore, Bejiita.....

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just look how trump behaves F U ALL! IM BETTER THEN ALL OF UUU HAAAAAAHHHHAAAHH!

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least that is what he think he iss

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): uugh

[13:39] herman Bergson: If you look what republicans say to disguise the fact that T leid to his own people about COVID...I wonder what drives them

[13:39] CB Axel: They're not OK.

[13:39] CB Axel: And they would never imagine doing anything for free.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed not ok

[13:39] CB Axel: But I'm trying to think about why I volunteer for things.

[13:40] herman Bergson: no  CB...I sow that Kennedy fellow from Illinois....what a disgrace of common sense

[13:40] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Some aren't OK, some yield to group pressure, some have constituents that listen to Trump so they have to.

[13:40] herman Bergson: what motivates such a man to behave like that

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): here in the Netherlands we have repair-cafes, where people work for free to repair things that are broken

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I don't just work to make money, I want to make good stuff thats usable and provide some good use all around

[13:41] herman Bergson: Right Beertje....

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they don't earn anything but a cup of coffee

[13:41] CB Axel: I don't know what Kennedy you're talking about. :(

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): our stuff I think is not just for us making money, there should be good golf courses, sport areas, parks and other nice outdoor areas I summer for everyone and thats what we provide

[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes describe intrinsic motivation

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I sometimes volunteer for the fun of doing what I volunteered to do

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): someone have to do it

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everyday I see nice stuff that we have made

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Sometimes because I see a need.

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:42] herman Bergson: But our whole (production) system is based on rewards

[13:42] herman Bergson: the extreme cases

[13:42] CB Axel: I think I volunteer partly because, as much as I hate human beings, it gives me a chance to socialize.

[13:42] CB Axel: Although, when I volunteered at the humane society I only socialized with cats.

[13:43] herman Bergson: That is a good start CB...I prefer the cats too ^_^

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:43] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Wrong rewards.   I am not too unhappy about not having a career any more because I wasn't getting the money I should have gotten and my programs were tossed in the wastebasket every five years or so.

[13:43] CB Axel: Most cats are ok.

[13:44] herman Bergson: Mine is..he  is in heaven :-)

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is haven a reward too for some people?

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): heaven

[13:45] Ludova (quippe.wylder): "The kingdom of heaven is within you."

[13:45] herman Bergson: If they think so....^)^

[13:46] herman Bergson: Ahh...then you can stay at home ^_^

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:46] herman Bergson: Well, my friends...we have to deal with the issue of intrinsic motivation

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:47] herman Bergson: It doesn;t fit into the picture of  man not makes us OK...

[13:47] herman Bergson: In other words....can there be a world where most people are OK indeed...

[13:48] herman Bergson: We'l try to find out in coming lectures...:-)

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well now im motivated to play turtles if anyone else is on

[13:48] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation....:-)

[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:48] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Sure, I'm a turtle

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:48] herman Bergson: Class dismiised...turtles on......^_^

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay

[13:49] CB Axel: thank you, Herman.

[13:49] CB Axel: And happy birthday. :)

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed interesting theme

[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you CB

[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you good people :-))