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 :-))

Monday, September 14, 2020

867: You think that he thinks, thence you.......

 I guess you are all familiar with the situation, that you do something to another and that the other is surprised about your action.


Then you explain, that you thought that he thought it would be ok. You anticipated on a supposed expectation of the other.


In many cases we call this empathy and we are quite well in feeling what the other feels and we act upon it. 


It often works well in individual cases, but imagine the situation that you think that everybody thinks that something is the case,


for instance that the price of gold will go up tomorrow. Then you rapidly buy a lot of gold which is noticed by others who immediately gonna believe that they should buy gold too.


Or you attend a lecture of which you don't understand a word, but those around you listen attentively and make notes (like you do :-).


If you'd ask every individual in the room, they all might have said...I didn't understand the speaker at all, 


but I saw  that the others probably did, so I guess, it was just me who didn't.  


In social psychology it is called pluralistic ignorance. It is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, 


but go along with it because they assume, incorrectly, that most others accept it. This is also described as "no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes".


It works in many areas. Take racism. If you ask an individual person....are you a racist, you probably would get the answer ...of course not.


But when that person sees all racism around him, he believes that he might be the only non racist here 


and when all others think along the same lines, you can imagine what that leads to. Homo Sapiens finds it difficult to oppose the group.


I wonder, could our negative view of mankind also be a form of pluralistic ignorance. 


Do we fear that most people are selfish because we think others think so too? 


And do we end up following that cynicism, when in fact we long for a life of kindness and togetherness?


Capitalism and communism are founded on precisely this cynical view of mankind. 


“What employees want most from their employers, more than anything else, is a high wage,” stated one of the first business consultants, Frederick Taylor, a hundred years ago. 


Taylor became famous for his “scientific management,” which assumed that you need to measure performance as accurately as possible to make factories as efficient as possible.


 A manager with a stopwatch had to be standing next to the conveyor belt to record how long it took to tighten a screw or pack a box. 


Taylor saw the ideal worker as a thoughtless robot, "so stupid, so indifferent, he is mentally more like an ox." 


With this message, Frederick Taylor became one of the most influential business scientists ever. 


At the beginning of the twentieth century, everyone adored their ideas: communists, fascists and capitalists. 


From Lenin to Mussolini, from Renault to Siemens - Taylor's management philosophy spread like a virus around the world.


We'll look into this more next time...


Thank you for your attention again....


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


The Discussion

[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:28] CB Axel: I bet the only people who didn't like it and knew it for the garbage that it was were the people doing the work.

[13:28] Daph Tachikawa: Seems like that is a very simplistic view of human motivation

[13:29] herman Bergson: It is indeed Daph....

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well u certainlty don't get motivaated by that, rather stresed to death

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sadly this practice still continue at many places

[13:29] herman Bergson: What we will be looking for is intrinsic motivation and how we deal with that

[13:29] Ludova (quippe.wylder): It seems to me that because I believe that people are OK a lot of those OK people call me naive, so there's social pressure too.

[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes BEjiita

[13:30] herman Bergson: YEs Ludova, that is the problem with this pluralisic ignorance :-)

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

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

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

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so therefore u fall into th line despite thinking different

[13:31] Ludova (quippe.wylder): But if I'm pretending I'm not different I'm not me. I stick out like a sore thumb wherever I go.

[13:31] Quippe Wylder en>es: Pero si estoy pretending No soy diferente que no soy yo. Me quedo fuera como un pulgar dolorido donde quiera que vaya.

[13:32] herman Bergson: Teh individual believes  he is deviating from the gropup belief...that is ...what he thinks the group which he is mistaken....

[13:32] CB Axel: So you all do believe, as I do, that people are NOT ok? lol

[13:33] herman Bergson: That is the problem, CB...that is a deeply engrained belief in our culture....

[13:33] Daph Tachikawa: but not in all cultures

[13:33] herman Bergson: We really have trouble to think positively

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you are ok CB:)

[13:34] herman Bergson: I speak for Western culture, Daph....there may be different views indeed

[13:34] CB Axel: So I don't think people are OK because the media has led be to believe that and not because people have not been ok to me.

[13:34] Daph Tachikawa: I see and from a Christian perspective as well

[13:35] herman Bergson: Christianity hasn't made us positive thinkers about the human condition :-)

[13:35] CB Axel: Christians believe people are OK? I thought we were all sinners according to Christians.

[13:35] Ludova (quippe.wylder): No, we're all forgiven

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:35] herman Bergson: Christians think we basically aren't ok and need the help and support of a god

[13:36] herman Bergson: otherwise we go down the drain

[13:36] Ludova (quippe.wylder): NO, we think  it's oK to need help.

[13:36] herman Bergson: So they pray like hell  :-)

[13:36] CB Axel: Then they should let God do the judging and not them.

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they better pray like heaven

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): pray

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): while telling everyone that pleasure and happiness are sinful

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so is sex

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everything that feels good is a sin

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I mean come on

[13:37] CB Axel: Especially sex with the wrong people

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like who CB?

[13:37] herman Bergson: To thinkk it is OK we need help implies that we are doing insufficient....

[13:37] herman Bergson: that we are failing

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that depends on what is the definition of wrong people

[13:37] CB Axel: Like homosexuals or people in mixed race relationships.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but yes that can be true in some cases but probably with another kind of bad people then (rapist ect)

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): those are wrong people?

[13:38] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I don't need to be told that I'm not perfect, that's obvious. I need to be told that it's OK to be not perfect.

[13:38] theo Velde is online.

[13:38] CB Axel: According to most Christians, Beertje.

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

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

[13:39] Daph Tachikawa: why do you need to be told that?

[13:39] herman Bergson: Who should tell you Beertje...and why should there be one to do so....think for yourself I would say

[13:39] Ludova (quippe.wylder): You folks have a funny idea of Christianity. Some sects are like that but the mainline denominations aren't.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there are some more extreme verions then others indeed and things are changing

[13:39] herman Bergson: In what sense they aren't Ludova?

[13:39] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Because if I think i have to be perfect to be OK, I think I'm not OK and that hurts.

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

[13:40] CB Axel: You're probably right about that, Ludo. It's only the noisy ones we hear, though.

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm I guess

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:40] herman Bergson: Hold on....

[13:40] CB Axel: You're probably OK, Ludo. :)

[13:40] herman Bergson: Interesting point here....

[13:40] CB Axel: I certainly don't expect perfection.

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I just want all to be able to feel good and be in love with whoever they want

[13:40] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'm an Episcopalian. I've studied the Episcopal churca and other religions.

[13:40] herman Bergson: Ludova has an idea about what perfect means with repect to being human

[13:41] CB Axel: I was raised Episcopalian.

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): The Episcopal Church will celebrate gay marriage, in general.

[13:41] herman Bergson: Discard the details....

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): The Methodist church is about to split over that issue.

[13:41] herman Bergson: who defined the idea of the perfect human?

[13:42] Daph Tachikawa: is there a definition for that?

[13:42] Daph Tachikawa: I missed that :-)

[13:42] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I did, from what I was taught growing up.

[13:42] herman Bergson: Ludova wondered about being perfect...

[13:42] CB Axel: In general. We had one old priest who may as well have been Catholic. He was very conservative.

[13:42] herman Bergson: in relation to be OK

[13:42] Daph Tachikawa: ahhh.. why do we have to be perfect to be OK

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): being ok doesn't mean that you have to be perfect

[13:43] Daph Tachikawa: that seems more real to me

[13:43] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Jesus says I don't have to be  perfect, that "no one is perfect but God"

[13:43] herman Bergson: Allow me to quote you Ludova...

[13:43] herman Bergson: " Because if I think i have to be perfect to be OK, I think I'm not OK and that hurts."

[13:43] Ludova (quippe.wylder): That 'be ye perfect" line is a mistranslation.

[13:44] Daph Tachikawa: so when we give up on the perfect part, many more of us are OK

[13:44] herman Bergson: We have no concept of perfect...

[13:45] CB Axel: No one will be perfect to everyone.

[13:45] herman Bergson: That is a kind of Aristotelian metaphysics :-)

[13:45] herman Bergson: the "telos" of man

[13:45] CB Axel: Not in everyone's opinion

[13:46] herman Bergson: The use of the concept "perfect" in relation to homo sapiens sounds pretty weird to me

[13:46] herman Bergson: a sphere can be perfect....a circle can....

[13:46] herman Bergson: but a human being?

[13:46] CB Axel: Well, now...Trump is a perfect asshole.

[13:47] CB Axel: And that's all I want to say about him today.

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

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

[13:47] Ludova (quippe.wylder): To me it partly meant never making mistakes and partly being like everyoone else. I knew from early elementary school that I couldn't be like everyone else.

[13:47] herman Bergson: Ahhhh...

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but he is not human, He is Jabba the Mutt

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

[13:47] herman Bergson: Leave Trump out of this for today please ^_^

[13:48] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I didn't learn until my fifties that nobody can be like everyone else but they can think they can.

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we should be as good as we can

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but not push our selves to hare

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

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

[13:48] CB Axel: Making mistakes is my greatest ability. And no one can be like everybody, because there is no one everybody.

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and as happy as possible

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

[13:48] Daph Tachikawa: happy as possible?

[13:49] herman Bergson: That is the theme of today...pluralistic ignorance...

[13:49] Daph Tachikawa: what about happy regardless

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:49] herman Bergson: we all say individually what we are.....but  in relation to the group...we keep silent about it and join the group

[13:50] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Or we joining the group and stick out like a sore thumb

[13:50] Daph Tachikawa: but even if we seem to be a part of the group - there are times when our actions and efforts are not supporting that direction

[13:50] herman Bergson: That is not easy Ludova....

[13:50] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Nope, but it's real

[13:51] herman Bergson: Whistleblowers are almost always "killed"

[13:51] herman Bergson: for instance

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :( yes

[13:51] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Since I seem to naturally notice the good in others I haven't been killed yet.

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are all nice n here I think or

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:52] herman Bergson: Going against the group isn't easy too Daph...

[13:52] herman Bergson: Ture Bejiita...this is the friendliest place in SL :-)

[13:53] herman Bergson: true

[13:53] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'm disagreeing with wha t seems to be  the group belief about Christianity, and I wonder if anyone here agrees with me.

[13:53] Daph Tachikawa: exactly but it happens.. then it is a matter of if it impacts the group think or the group determines it to be an anomoly and goes back to the way it was

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm not a christian

[13:54] herman Bergson: Indeed  Daph....there may be created a paradigma shift

[13:54] Ludova (quippe.wylder): That's OK

[13:54] herman Bergson: What is the group belief of christianity, Ludova?

[13:54] CB Axel: I think she may be confusing my noisy beliefs about Christianity with what the group thinks. :)

[13:55] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I don't know, but so far I've heard a lot of secular misinterpretations of Christianity from several people. That's why I wonder how many silent Christians there are.

[13:56] herman Bergson: What misinterpretations, if I may ask?

[13:56] CB Axel: Secular misinterpretations or seeing too many Christians misinterpreting the Bible?

[13:56] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'll scroll back

[13:56] herman Bergson: ok...take your time...

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed CB

[13:57] Ludova (quippe.wylder): [13:34] herman Bergson: Christianity hasn't made us positive thinkers about the human condition :-)

[13:35] CB Axel: Christians believe people are OK? I thought we were all sinners according to Christians.

[13:35] Ludova (quippe.wylder): No, we're all forgiven

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:35] herman Bergson: Christians think we basically aren't ok and need the help and support of a god

[13:35] herman Bergson: otherwise we go down the drain

[13:36] Ludova (quippe.wylder): NO, we think  it's oK to need help.

[13:36] herman Bergson: So they pray like hell  :-)

[13:36] CB Axel: Then they should let God do the judging and not them.

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they better pary like heaven

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): pray

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): while telling everyone that pleasure and happiness are sinful

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so is sex

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:57] Ludova (quippe.wylder):  everything that feels good is a sin

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I mean come on

[13:37] CB Axel: Especially sex with the wrong people

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like who CB?

[13:37] herman Bergson: To think it is OK we need help implies that we are doing insufficient....

[13:37] herman Bergson: that we re failing

[13:58] herman Bergson: was thrown out of paradise because of his shortcomings

[13:58] herman Bergson: to begin with

[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:59] Ludova (quippe.wylder): And Handel wrote a song about that that blessed the apple, saying it was good that Man got thrown out of paradise.+

[13:59] Ludova (quippe.wylder): And is it a shortcoming to want to understand good and evil?

[13:59] herman Bergson: Then I would say...who had the right to throw him out....on what authority...?

[14:00] Daph Tachikawa: But that is taking it literally, perhaps it was meant to coincide with the actual human condition.

[14:00] Ludova (quippe.wylder): That was a story a priest made up as Judaism developed, and they would say God did.

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I love eating apples thats for sure

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:00] herman Bergson: Because He created the place (for what reason) ???

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YUM

[14:00] Daph Tachikawa: hope

[14:01] Daph Tachikawa: the idea of paradise is an ideal to strive for

[14:01] herman Bergson: I wonder why Daph...

[14:01] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Possibly to keep his kids safe until they were ready to go out into the world, knowing something about good and evil.. Not enough apparently.

[14:01] Daph Tachikawa: but we live daily with the difficulties of life

[14:02] Daph Tachikawa: so we need philosophies on how to handle those

[14:02] Daph Tachikawa: and still be happy even when it is not perfect

[14:02] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Well said, Daph.

[14:02] herman Bergson: yes, Daph. like all biological creatures is our luck/misforture that we have a brain and know about it ^_^

[14:03] Daph Tachikawa: yes

[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:04] herman Bergson: So...let's continue our journey in philosophy here in our class :-))

[14:04] herman Bergson: But for today  we have done our best already, I'd say

[14:05] herman Bergson: so, thank you all again for this interesting exchange of thoughts....

[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again

[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes agree

[14:05] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[14:05] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....

[14:05] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu Tuesday then

[14:05] Daph Tachikawa: Thank you  all  !

[14:05] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[14:05] CB Axel: Bye. See you all next week.

[14:05] herman Bergson: You will Bejiita :-))

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

866: What is wrong with us....?

You would expect that the observation that positive expectations influence people in a positive way, would become THE way to approach your fellowmen.


Yet Rosenthal's discovery did not trigger the revolution he and his colleagues had hoped for.    


The Pygmalion Effect is great science that is hardly ever applied. It hasn't made the difference it should have done, which is very disappointing.


As expectations can become reality, unfortunately nightmares can too. 


The evil little brother of the Pygmalion effect is called the Golem effect, after the Jewish legend of a beast that was created to protect the people of Prague but turned into a monster. 


The Golem effect is also ubiquitous. We down on people from whom we expect less from. We take more distance. 


We smile less at them. In short, we do exactly what Rosenthal's students did when they let go of the "dumb" rats in the maze. 


Little research has been done on the Golem effect, as it is rather immoral to burden subjects with poor expectations. 


But what we know is shocking. For example, in 1939 psychologist Wendell Johnson divided about twenty orphans in Davenport, Iowa into two groups. 


One group was told they talked nicely en good, while the other group was told they would become stutterers. 


This study is now called "The Monster Study" because it has left several children with lifelong speech problems.


The Golem effect is everywhere. It causes students to fall even further behind, homeless people give up hope and lonely teenagers can radicalize or commit suicide. 


It's one of the ways that racism does its dirty work. People of whom is less expected, do less well, 


so that even less is expected of them, which causes that they perform even worse, a downward spiral.  


There is even evidence that the Golem effect can pull entire organizations into the abyss if negative expectations pile up among its workers?


In 2002 John C. Edwards, William McKinley, Gyewan Moon published the article: "The Enactment of Organizational Decline: The Self‐Fulfilling Prophecy".


They say."We present two self‐fulfilling prophecy‐based models of organizational decline, one in which decline is enacted unintentionally through the predictions of an organization's managers, 


and a second in which decline is enacted unintentionally through the predictions of external constituencies."


If it wasn't so sad, it almost sounds fun to witness such prophecies in action. What is it with us? Why are we so negative about ourselves.


Fact is that religions paint us black. We are sinners. Our governmental social system is based on distrusting the subject. Should I mention Hobbes.....and so on?


If you accept that we are members of the animal kingdom, biological organisms driven by pain and pleasure,


then there may be an answer to this WHY, based on how brain is programmed, how the organism strives for survival: FEAR.


To accept that most people are OK might be achieved , when we overcome this primordial fear...... To achieve that might be a matter of evolution, I guess.


Thank you for your attention again :-)

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


The Discussion

[13:15] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why do religions paint us black?

[13:16] CB Axel: They tell us that we are sinners.

[13:16] herman Bergson: It means that religions tell us that we are the weak ones, the sinners, the ones that need help

[13:16] CB Axel: And we need their religion to save us.

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ,because pleasure is a sin, it starts wars ect

[13:16] herman Bergson: indeed CB

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i never heard anything positive of the nuns in school

[13:17] herman Bergson: indeed Beerjte :-)

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): their thoughts were as black as their long skirts

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): however I have seen many horror films featuring rageous nuns

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that says something

[13:18] herman Bergson: cool Bejiita.....send me some titles :-)

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ill have a quick check

[13:18] CB Axel: That's what happens when you're sexually repressed.

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but why, what is the benefit to tell young children that they are no good?

[13:19] herman Bergson: Control, Beertje

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): The Nun (La Monja) 2005 and also there is another The Nun film made recently

[13:19] herman Bergson: All religions and ideologies are about control of the other

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at a very young age i quit church..i didn't want to be there anymore

[13:20] CB Axel: I liked the music, so I joined the choir and kept going.

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sorry lots of typos

[13:20] CB Axel: My parents dragged us there.

[13:21] herman Bergson: music is always seducing

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the first is about a nun torturing her students to death while telling them they are bad sinners and after they got revenge on her many hears later she comes back in the form of a water monster and have her revenge on them

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its creepy in a good way

[13:21] herman Bergson: Slow down on nuns Bejiita, please :-)

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I just wanted to get u interested cause I liked it

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:22] herman Bergson: What is begin to believe is that the basic drive in man is FEAR

[13:23] herman Bergson: A biological fear....

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

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): fear of death

[13:23] herman Bergson: Power is the opposite of fear, it seems

[13:23] CB Axel: Fear of pain and loss of control

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess

[13:23] herman Bergson: but in fact it is a way to fight the fear...

[13:23] CB Axel: Power is a way to control what frightens us.

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is fear biological?

[13:24] herman Bergson: I'd say YES Beertje...

[13:24] CB Axel: I agree.

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

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have to be

[13:24] CB Axel: It's what keeps us alive.

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

[13:24] herman Bergson: it is part of the reptilian brain as it is called

[13:25] herman Bergson: part of our brain which we have in common with almost all animals

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not all?

[13:25] herman Bergson: What do you mean, Beertje?

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are there animals without that brain part?

[13:26] CB Axel: We have this relatively tiny amygdala that we just can't seem to control with our great big hominid cerebrums.

[13:26] herman Bergson: Insects...I guess

[13:27] CB Axel: I don't think fish have them.

[13:27] CB Axel: Not amygdala anyway.

[13:27] herman Bergson: .

[13:28] herman Bergson: I gonna study fear some more.....

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we have to tell children that they are good as they are

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:29] herman Bergson: It seems to exlain a lot of human behavior

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to become positive adults

[13:29] CB Axel: That can go too far, Berrtje.

[13:29] CB Axel: You don't want children growing up to think they're perfect and can do no wrong.

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): tell them that they are no good, creates a lot of damage

[13:30] CB Axel: There has to be a happy medium.

[13:30] herman Bergson: No..for then you got someone like the president of the US :-)

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i didn't say that they are perfect

[13:30] CB Axel: I was going to say that, Herman, but you don't want us to start talking about him again. :)

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but as good as they are, no negative thoughts

[13:30] herman Bergson: He is a perfect example of someone who thinks he can't do anything wrong

[13:31] CB Axel: Yes, Beertje. You have to tell them that they are good but sometimes do bad things.

[13:31] herman Bergson: only from a psychological perspective CB :-)

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, i didn't mention that they are perfect

[13:32] CB Axel: But, Herman, is that because of how he was raised or because of some psychological malfunction?

[13:32] herman Bergson: at least both, CB

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at least he is positive about himself ...:)

[13:34] herman Bergson: might be interesting  to think about FEAR as a basic human drive....

[13:35] herman Bergson: Look at behavior and ask what sense could fear play a role in this behavior

[13:36] herman Bergson: We are asked to assume that most people are assume scare is it?

[13:36] herman Bergson: Why aren't we able to by nature?

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): fear i guess

[13:36] CB Axel: Because people have hurt us in the past?

[13:37] herman Bergson:

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that makes us hard to trust a person

[13:37] herman Bergson: yes

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess its a part indeed

[13:38] herman Bergson: I was thinking about that Flower Power movement of the 70s....

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:38] CB Axel: But why do people hurt us in the first place?

[13:38] herman Bergson: It went for the absolute denial of that fear among people

[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes...CB!

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

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

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

[13:39] CB Axel: It goes back to the cavemen, I think.

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have not enough food,, not enough love..not enough...

[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes CB,....we have to think about it.....

[13:40] CB Axel: People were afraid of going hungry, so they protected their mastodon meat.

[13:40] CB Axel: Then someone else who was afraid of being hungry (and was a poor hunter) stole that meat.

[13:40] CB Axel: We've been afraid of each other ever since.

[13:41] CB Axel: There was a crappy hunter way back then who started it all.

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe

[13:41] CB Axel: :)

[13:42] herman Bergson: Well...Google on FEAR, maybe we'll find some interesting observations

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the word charing wasn't invented at that time:)

[13:42] CB Axel: sharing. :)

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ok

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you

[13:42] CB Axel: right

[13:43] CB Axel: People probably shared in their own families.

[13:43] herman Bergson: The word wasn't perhaps but all life was based in sharing in those days of gatherer - hunters

[13:43] CB Axel: I mean, kids couldn't go out and hunt a mastodon.

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

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but they could go hunt on rabbits

[13:44] CB Axel: Good idea. Put those kids to work!

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wasn't it just fear of death?

[13:44] CB Axel: Fear of suffering.

[13:44] CB Axel: Suffering is worst than death.

[13:44] herman Bergson: It all was about survival indeed

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but were these people ok?

[13:45] CB Axel: Suffering is why hell was created. To increase a person's fear of suffering for eternity.

[13:45] herman Bergson: To survive her, I guess we need to move on to the next lecture on Thusday :-)

[13:46] herman Bergson: So, thank you all for suffering in hell again and your attention :-)

[13:46] CB Axel: lol

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

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

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed .....