Thursday, February 27, 2020

830: The Realistic view of Man......

“I should have thought,” said the officer as he visualized the search before him, “I should have thought that a pack of British boys
—you’re all British, aren’t you?—would have been able to put up a better show than that—I mean—” 
“It was like that at first,” said Ralph, “before things—” He stopped. “We were together then—”  

This is a quote from the last paragraphs of the book "Lord of the Flies" written by William Golding (1911 - 1993).
Do you know the story? A plane crash on an uninhabited island. A group of children in the ages of 6 to 12 are the only survivors. No adults present....
Here you'll find the whole novel fo 290 pages:

The story was used twice for movies, the first time in 1963 and the second time in 1990.
-quote- The winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Literature, William Golding is among the most popular 
and influential British authors to have emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. 
Golding's reputation rests primarily upon his first novel, Lord of the Flies (1954), which is consistently regarded 
as an effective and disturbing portrayal of the fragility of civilization. -end quote-
Effective and what sense? Golding's belief was that even if we would be born and begin life with a blank sheet, then yet our nature would force us to make a mess of it,
or as he once said: " Man produces evil like a bee produces honey"
This belief in the form of his book was translated in more than 30 languages. Millions of copies of "Lord of the Flies" were sold all over the world.
From -quote- Golding's book about the fall of society and how humans are really animals at heart and when all rules are removed, the "beast" is let loose. 
The book is full of metaphors, For example the title "The Lord of The Flies" means Satan. 
The title was originally "Strangers From Within" this again represents how fragile human society is and how different we all are when the rules are removed. 
There is a lot of mention in the book to the "beast". This again is just another form of satan and how he can corrupt man- 
eventually making the character Jack to go mad and lead the rest of the tribe to kill Simon and Piggy and attempt at killing Ralph. -end quote-
The book was qualified as a REALISTIC narrative, but in fact it is a perfect example of the veneer-theory: 
the conviction that civilization is just a thin layer of veneer. Take away the moral (self) control and man will turn into a beast: Homo homini lupus (Hobbes).
It is an almost ineradicable belief that man is evil by nature and basically inclined toward evil.
If you try to criticize or even refute this belief, you will be laughed at, qualified as a naive idealist, an unrealistic dreamer.
The belief in a basic positivity of man is a threat for those in power. 
It implies that we are not selfish animals that have to be controlled, kept in check and tamed.
A company with intrinsically motivated workers doesn't need managers. I know of a real example, where there are no managers indeed 
and where the workers organize their tasks by mutual agreement.
We live in a weird situation. Like we are addicted to the sensational news of everything that goes wrong in this world
we also seem to be addicted to belief in the negative nature of man.
Tell about warcrimes, Auschwitz, massacres. What will be the default response?....something like...yes I understand...what else would you expect of man?
Tell, that all human evil is not rule but the exception, that most people are ok and the response will be.....
a compassionate smile. In all human history the bad things are as easily remembered as the good things are easily forgotten.
It is time to change this attitude....thank you for your attention.

The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: I lecture is so positive that no one has any remark :-)
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): history at school is about negative things in the world
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I remember that book, we had it for a school project
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so have read that
[13:22] herman Bergson: Interesting know it....
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wars and things like that
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:22] CB Axel: I read it so long ago that I can't remember the details.
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes seems that this world is shaped and created by all bad things that happen.....
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone is offline.
[13:23] CB Axel: Also, history is only about bad things if you look at it from the point of view of the losers.
[13:23] CB Axel: A war is a good thing to the winner.
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and if children hear that and learn that how can they be positive?
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): war is never something good
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just meaningless death
[13:24] CB Axel: Since history is "written by the winners" we learn that fighting and conquering is a good thing.
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): even in church we heard that we were no good
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is the issue here indeed Beertje......we are day after day educated with these negative ideas about man
[13:24] herman Bergson: Works like a self fulfilling prophecy...
[13:25] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i would appreciate a newspaper with positive news
[13:26] CB Axel: Try Reader's Digest.
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): on front page
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Bergie....and what a strange effect that would have on people....
[13:27] herman Bergson: I have heard only negative criticism about Reader's Digest
[13:27] CB Axel: It's a bit saccharine for my tastes.
[13:27] bergfrau Apfelbaum: maybe envy? if you read how well some people are doing
[13:28] herman Bergson: If it is a positive magazine, the criticism must come from the doom thinkers :-)
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): take the corona virus...we only hear how many ppl die...we don't hear how many recover
[13:28] CB Axel: Right, Beertje.
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the view I get from is that it is like the plauge more or less
[13:28] CB Axel: And not how it compares with influenza which is killing more people.
[13:29] herman Bergson: and besides that....the number of deaths is peanuts on a worldwide scale
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes CB
[13:29] herman Bergson: It was compared with a general flue epidemy here in the news program
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): positive news is not sexy
[13:30] CB Axel: I think it's good that countries are trying to contain it, but people are going crazy about it.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Less worse than SARS or Mexican Flue
[13:30] CB Axel: Avoiding going to Chinatowns in US cites, for instance.
[13:30] CB Axel: Chinese restaurants are having a terrible time. No customers. :(
[13:31] herman Bergson: People here say nasty things to Chines (looking) people....discriminating remarks
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its awful indeed
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well I eat Asia food as usual and not worried about it
[13:32] CB Axel: China, IMO, should do something about their markets where animals are kept together without good sanitation, but I don't blame all Chinese people for that.
[13:32] herman Bergson: Why should victims in The Netherlands or Sweden yet....if I am not mistaken
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but one positive thing happened...a chinese girl is all alone now in the restaurant, her parents are in China and can't come home,...ppl are collecting money to help the parents and the girl to survive the coming weeks
[13:33] CB Axel: Oh, that's nice.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:33] CB Axel: I hope she does ok.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she does CB:)
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she can smile again
[13:33] CB Axel: :)
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:33] herman Bergson: You see....most people are OK :-)
[13:34] theo Velde is offline.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Let that again be our lesson of today ^_^
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] herman Bergson: And now it is time to celebrate Beertje's Rezday :-)
[13:34] CB Axel: :)
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay:))
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:35] herman Bergson: I offer everyone a free afternoon/evening now :-)
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Hermanis going to sing now...
[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum:
[13:35] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ....^_^
[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class!
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:35] herman Bergson: Lang zal ze leven....
[13:35] herman Bergson: Lang zal ze leven....
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:36] herman Bergson: Lang zal ze de gloria
[13:36] herman Bergson: in de gloria
[13:36] herman Bergson: in de gloria
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hiep hiep hiep;...........................
[13:36] herman Bergson: Hiep Hiep......!
[13:36] herman Bergson: HURRRAAAAAAAA
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Hoooo!
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Hooo!!!
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol:)))))
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (hugs Beertje again
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): nederlandse lol

Friday, February 21, 2020

829: Reasons of our negativism....

Eight out of ten western adults spend an hour on average on news. News means here the reporting of recent, incidental and sensational events.
Why does it fill our hearts with gloom? Why do we have such low expectations?
There are two simple explanations. The first one is what psychologists call the NEGATIVE BIAS. it is a simple fact that we are more sensitive to the bad than the good.
It has its roots in our evolution. Millennia ago, when we were still hunters and gatherers it was wiser to be a hundred times too often afraid  of a spider or snake than one time to little.
Secondly, we are burdened by the AVAILABILITY BIAS. What does that mean?
If people can easily give an example of something, they are inclined to think that such an event happens more often.
Thence the fact that we are bombarded by a continuos stream of atrocities, accidents, political disasters, airplane crashes and so on,
reports you not quickly forget, it is easy to understand, how we get such a twisted view of the world.
What is the most valuable asset of today? YOUR ATTENTION.....
Google, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Netflix, they all WANT your attention, so that they can burry you under personalized advertisements.
We have to be young and adventurous. Life has to be exciting and sensational, even though the live of the most of us is sympathetic, but rather dull and ordinary.
This negative view of man also trickled down in sciences like biology and economy. Altruistic behavior among primates was interpreted as driven by self-interest,
Our whole economy is based on this negative view of man. Economists invented a nice name for us: homo economicus.
It was assumed that we constantly are busy with our own gain, as selfish and calculating robots. 
Economists built an abundance of theories and models on this view of mankind, on which a lot of legislation is based.
The concept of the Homo Economicus was more or less regarded as obvious and self-evident. It wasn't till the year 2000, 
that scientists asked themselves the question: does this homo economicus really exist?
Joseph Henrich, born in 1968,  is an anthropologist. He is the Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology of Harvard University and a professor of the department. 
With a few colleagues he visited 15 small communities in 12 countries on five continents, They asked farmers, nomads, hunters, gatherers 
to participate in certain tests in search of the confirmation of this selfish man driven by self interest, this homo economicus.
Without result. Time and again people turned out to be too social and sympathetic. The article begins with the statement:
"Recent investigations have uncovered large, consistent deviations from the predictions of the textbook representation of Homo economicus (...). 
One problem appears to lie in economists’ canonical assumption that individuals are entirely self-interested..."
Here you find the article:
Thucydides, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Luther, Calvin, Bentham, Nietzsche, Freud, the American Founding Fathers,
they all believed that civilization is just a thin layer of veneer.
This line of thinking is so consistent through history, that people who claim the opposite are regarded as lunatics.
Fortunately slowly but steadily scientists begin to realize, that most people are in fact OK.
Thank you for your attention..

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

The discussion

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:16] herman Bergson: The floor is yours....:-))
[13:16] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): glad someone took the time to check it out
[13:17] herman Bergson: It is amazing indeed that no one ever before questioned the idea of the Homo Economicus
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never was more easy tho to do it as when the media was so easy to check up on it
[13:17] Shiloh Emmons: Why do you think altruism was not integrated into economic theory but predicated on the idea of self -interest?
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the economists themself probably have this idea because that is how themself are, greedy bastards just wanting MORE MONEY and basing upon that that we all are like that
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): luckily it is not the case
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and they have had this view because if it was like that they would make most profit
[13:18] herman Bergson: To answer is because the basic belief through many centuries was that man by nature was bad....
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats my theory, its a made up utopia for the greedy ones
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that luckily is not true
[13:19] Florimell Farstrider: It's not just the economists, though. Egotism was a motif for evolutionary psychologists for a long time too. Social Darwinists and the like.
[13:19] herman Bergson: And like Adam Smith bake a bread to please your customer, but it is primarily to create your own income
[13:20] Florimell Farstrider: Herman even mentioned Thychidides. This goes back a long way
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:20] Shiloh Emmons: Hmmm  I might have to re-read Spencer now.
[13:21] herman Bergson: Well to be honest....I was quoting someone...didn't check Thucydides myself today ^_^
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well  believes it probably did go that far back
[13:22] herman Bergson: no no, may accept what an authority  in the field says....
[13:22] Shiloh Emmons: The idea of self-interest would be the under girding of capitalism, would it not?
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is as old as man had religious beliefs anyway
[13:22] herman Bergson: but must be able to check it yourself too if necessary
[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes Shiloh, I"d agree with that...
[13:23] herman Bergson: But the point self interest really what we are?
[13:23] Shiloh Emmons: Do you interpret Spencer has having postulated self-interest as a factor that organizes society?
[13:23] herman Bergson: The belief in greed.....the greed is good idea...
[13:24] Shiloh Emmons: [I am thinking:  I may have to re-read Durkheim , as weell]
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lots of homework
[13:24] herman Bergson: Indeed....
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bookmarked the article for later
[13:24] herman Bergson: and I am not that close with Spencer that I can answwer your question Shiloh
[13:25] herman Bergson: I should have to re-read him myself :-)
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will let you both reread and report
[13:26] herman Bergson: The basic idea here is still that the belief that we are mainly driven by self interest (and greed) is a misperception of reality
[13:26] Shiloh Emmons: a discussion w one of my teachers, years ago, about co-operatives:  he said, in theory they work.. but in reality.. people are motivated... by their own self -interest.. and will take more than what is allowed... but is that greed?
[13:26] herman Bergson: But it has a long long tradition in Western thinking
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): greed is when u want all for yourself without sharing and never gets satisfied, just MORE MORE MORE
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats greed
[13:27] herman Bergson: I think greed is a psychological equivalent of the need of security....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the pinnacle example of it
[13:28] herman Bergson: the more food you gather the bigger the chance on the caveman thought
[13:28] Shiloh Emmons: ah... good point.. so.. security... whether food -security.. or financial security.. drives the behavior?
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it seems some do actually take on that
[13:29] herman Bergson: That is what we are made to believe Shiloh....and the thesis of today is that that belief is wrong....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): who runs huge corporations
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): abd why
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not charity
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good thing there are charities
[13:30] herman Bergson: LEt me give you another example
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:30] Shiloh Emmons: okay... *listening...
[13:31] herman Bergson: The Economist Robert Frank wondered how the view that man is primarily an egoist affected his students....
[13:31] herman Bergson: With tests he discovered that the longer students studied economy the more egoistic they became....
[13:31] Shiloh Emmons: but.. I also hear a value-judgement... see, I wonder, How is "sharing" being qualified... and how is "need" being viewed or assessed..... but.. *listening
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): interesting
[13:32] Shiloh Emmons: I wonder what made them increasingly ego-istic?
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes me too
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never studied economy
[13:32] herman Bergson: We are no saints...but what we believe, we make or accept as truth
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true!!
[13:33] herman Bergson: I guess the idea that the primary goal of good economics is to make profits....
[13:33] herman Bergson: to gather as much as you can
[13:34] herman Bergson: and so we are back to the caveman and his feeling of security :-)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well I guess the study books was like a bible stating that "thou shall be greedy and make as much profit as possible at all measures possible"
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I bet there is nothing about sharing in that study material
[13:34] herman Bergson: You may be right indeed Bejiita
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just making profit for whatever company they will work for
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): CAN be a reason
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I suspect
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the economy has to grow and grow..untill how high??
[13:35] herman Bergson: question too, Beertje....
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): exactly thats also the primary goal I also bet are in that study material
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): infinite growth forever is your goal
[13:36] herman Bergson: There have been experiments with self supporting economies....not grows but maintaining a status quo as goal
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats how all companies more or less base their goals
[13:36] herman Bergson: and it worked...
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): never to get satisfied
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) whispers: just MORE MORE AND MORE
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and logically that can not hold
[13:36] Florimell Farstrider: I would think that good economics would be to accurately describe how values are generated and propagated, but looking at the state of economic science, I must be wrong.
[13:37] Shiloh Emmons: well said, Florimell
[13:37] herman Bergson: I am no expert on that Florimell :-)
[13:37] Florimell Farstrider: More likely it's about dressing political ideology up in mathematics.
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): these economic collapses that have occures is a direct result of the strive for infinite growth and when not succeeding the entire worlds economy falls like a card house
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like the collapse 2008
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everything stopped and shut down even here in sweden
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): shall do some reading up on economics i think
[13:38] herman Bergson: Just keep in mind that economy was a part of psychology long ago....the introduction of mathematics gave it an air of science...
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well in gonna check some theories and see if my theories hold up
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): missed that class
[13:39] Shiloh Emmons: well.. that was partly driven by people who did not have the money to own houses, but felt they had a right to do so, but defaulted ...  I have never owned a house, my income prohibited me from doing so.. but.. if people value it, and feel it is a right, then.. that is their choice to pursue home ownership... However
[13:39] herman Bergson: you got econometrics....
[13:39] Shiloh Emmons: at what point should they be responsible for their economic choices?
[13:40] herman Bergson: I lost you there Shiloh....what is your point? :-)
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): before they buy!!
[13:41] Shiloh Emmons: the economic collapse was in part driven by people wanting more more more, (2008), in part it was driven by not vetting home owner purchasers well enough... :  could they financially take on the responsiblity of home owner ship...
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): unless they are scammed into believing  something told tto them by an official
[13:41] Shiloh Emmons: I thought.. Fany mae and Freddy Mac helped precipitate the catastrophe.. on a global scale..
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and that has been proven in many of those cases
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:42] Shiloh Emmons: but we are talking only about companies wanting more more more
[13:42] Shiloh Emmons: what about individuals?
[13:42] Shiloh Emmons: I was merely asking:  at what point should individuals be held culpable for their economic decisions and economic choices?
[13:42] herman Bergson: they are the victims, I guess
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:42] Shiloh Emmons: Are they?
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is so hard to answer
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at what point
[13:43] Shiloh Emmons: I thought we have free will.... Or , are we swayed into making senseless purchases?
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if hey are taking lessons, information from a liar and believing it
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least most, because just a handful have basically ALL the money
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the difference between rich and poor are to great
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is difficult to judge
[13:43] Florimell Farstrider: People need a place to live, and the price of housing is basically set by the banks, as they depend on the bank's willingness to lend. The borrower is the one who gets the shaft, unless there's inflation that's not priced in.
[13:43] Shiloh Emmons: Are our values on wanting more more more swayed by advertising
[13:43] Shiloh Emmons: ... go on:...  *listening..
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks so shiloh
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): advertising is to separate us from our money by buying stuff we don't need (well not all commercials are like that but way  to much is)
[13:44] herman Bergson: To have the security of woning your own is a basic need of every individual...also the caveman wanted his own cave....
[13:44] Shiloh Emmons: so... apply this to the idea of self-interest....I am only inquiring, that is all....
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true
[13:45] herman Bergson: It is easy to prey on basic needs of people....tell them fairytales etc
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I think its quite simply like this, we need to learn to get satisfied at some point
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): was done by those  mentioned banks
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): adn proven
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure a million would be nice but what are I as a single person to do with for ex a billion?
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): later
[13:46] herman Bergson: The 2008 crisis was not about loans on cars....or bicycles....but on HOUSES.....personal safety
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats too much money for one person id say
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there are other people needing too
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well at least we know we are mostly not all greedy people but well meaning ones
[13:47] Shiloh Emmons: yes, but that is your view, Bejiita... I mean, that one person might start factories or companies world wide that help out hundreds upon thousands...
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): id say when US house loans cause the entire world economy to crash there is a BIG problem going on
[13:47] herman Bergson: I agree Gemma ^_^
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it is I guess because of EVERYONE depending on the dollar
[13:48] Shiloh Emmons: but I spoke with people in France, German, Italy.. they said it was global
[13:48] Shiloh Emmons: not only the U.S.
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hangs on to that belief
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:48] Shiloh Emmons: but returning to the idea of self-interest...
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes yes....the sick loans were packaged in all kinds of derivatives thart were sold worldwide
[13:49] Shiloh Emmons: *nods..
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): near my work a door company had built a new factory and when the crisis struck they went out of business immediately before even moving in, the building now houses loaning of aids for handicapped instead
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): entire company just collapsed, I don't eve remember the name but it is not existing any more I think
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and indeed many house and building related companies shut down
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): luckily there have been no more of this events after that crash
[13:51] herman Bergson: OK...back to the self - interest....let's see what we can say about that in coming lectures :-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what more kinds of self interests are there
[13:52] herman Bergson: Unless you have the world saving remark of question. may I thank you for your participation again :-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): more then economics there are for sure
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well see that next time
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): great again
[13:52] herman Bergson: In deeed Bejiita ^_^
[13:52] Shiloh Emmons: very interesting talk and class, professor:  thank you.
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ....
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): time to check a party
[13:53] herman Bergson: Thank you're always welcome
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu all soon
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thanks for the interesting hour, Herman and class:-)
[1[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to be here Tuesday sigh
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): almost made it this week but no
[13:54] herman Bergson: Seems to be always a struggle, I guess, Gemma :-)
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: we too Gemma:-)
[13:54] Annie Oh (anniebrightstar): thank you Herman
[13:54] Annie Oh (anniebrightstar): Time to go
[13:54] herman Bergson: My pleasure Annie :-)
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): me too
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:54] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma :-)

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hope to see you next time Gemma

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

828: Why are we so Negative..... ?

In 2011 two psychologists, Clayton and Dunning, published an article with the title:" No Good Deed Goes Unquestioned".
They presented situations to their test people, in which a person did something good, e.g. an altruistic act.
In almost every unselfish act the test people saw self-interest, helping someone implies you do to feel good yourself, givimg money to a homeless person is just to show off how "good" you are.
For some reason we are well trained in believing that eventually we are motivated by self-interest and egoism. Why is that.....?
Suppose we introduce a new drug, highly addictive and free available. Research then reveals that the use of the drug causes side effects like
misperception of risks, fear and anxiety, negative feelings, a feeling of helplessness, animosity against others and blunting.
Would we love to use such a drug, offer it to our kids. Would the authorities legalize it? The answer is a threefold YES!
Yes... ???????
Yes, we consume it every day and offer it to our children too: it is the NEWS. We are educated with the belief that we have to keep up with the news, be well informed citizens, good for democracy.
Research shows, that people who keep up with the news are more inclined to agree with statements like :Most people only think of themselves.".
They more often believe that the individual person can contribute little to creating a better world. They are more stressed and depressed.
Recently people in 30 countries were asked this question: What do you think, is the world improving, staying the same or getting worse? 
The majority of respondents from Russia to Canada, Mexico to Hungary, answered that the world was getting worse, that it was deteriorating.
"Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" is a 2018 book 
by Swedish statistician Hans Rosling with his son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund. 

In the book, Rosling suggests the vast majority of human beings are wrong about the state of the world.
Wrong indeed. The extreme poverty, the number of war victims, the infant mortality, crime, hunger, child labor,
the number of deaths from natural disasters and the number of airplane crashes have gone down in the past decades.
We live in the richest, wealthiest, safest and healthiest time ever.
Why don't we know that? Why are we inclined to assume that the world is slowly going down the drain?
The answer is simple: it is because the NEWS only reports about the exceptions. Haven't you ever noticed? 
A terrorist attack, a natural disaster....the news programs go on and on reporting about it, even when there is hardly anything to report 
they still have a reporter on location who offers us interviews with victims and eyewitnesses again and again.
You never see the headline "The number of people in deep poverty has been decreased by 132.000 yesterday",
while this headline could have been on the frontpage of every newspaper for the past 25 years
Do we seem to be blind for the Factfulness?
Let's investigate that in our next lecture....Thank you for your attention.

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as I said before
[13:21] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the negative and terrible sell
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not the positive
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats why
[13:21] herman Bergson: That's the question Bejiita.....
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and this gives us this pessimistic view that the world will soon end
[13:22] herman Bergson: The real question is WHY is this selling so well?
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even that is far from true
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes I think of the reporters...leave it..You already told that hours ago
[13:22] CB Axel: I think that book proves that Swedes are a very optimistic people.  ;)
[13:22] herman Bergson: Not just Swedes too :-)
[13:22] herman Bergson: And I am Dutch :-))
[13:22] CB Axel: Also, airplane crashes have gone up dramatically since 1903. :)
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] herman Bergson smiles
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): before 1903 there were few air crashes...
[13:23] CB Axel: Exactly. Mostly birds and such. lol
[13:23] herman Bergson: Especially because there were no airplanes before that date, I guess :-)
[13:24] herman Bergson: Like the number of car accidents :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also not the entire sky full of planes 24/7.
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bird droppings...
[13:24] herman Bergson: I know that site is astonishing to see what flies around...!
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and ALL of these u see at moment will probably land all safe
[13:25] herman Bergson: they will
[13:26] herman Bergson: Bu tthe question remains WHY is the bad news selling so well?
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are the people more depressed since facebook ed?
[13:26] herman Bergson: I'll discuss it in the next lecture, ut maybe you already have some ideas about it
[13:27] herman Bergson: Social  media as a cause?
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe people think...gladly it's not about me...the bad things happend to someone else
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: thesis: generally people love to do something and they love to have a choice and then change something for the better - negative news has a certain motivational factor
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: we are just not used to having so many choices.
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in earlier days people had many choises too
[13:29] herman Bergson: Negative news as motivational....
[13:30] herman Bergson: I recall CB telling she reduced het NEWS consumption and fewlt better because of it....
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: sure - if everything is ok there is no sense in doing anything - then you just can be happy and isn't that boring?
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: yes - we are not used to mass
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: so we have to  pick
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: until we can balance better ;)
[13:30] CB Axel: When I find myself yelling at the TV or radio I know it's time to stop watching/listening to the news and do something else.
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but the news picks bad news..not happy news
[13:31] herman Bergson: and being happy is boring....:-)
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I prefer being happy
[13:31] CB Axel: My local TV news station tries to include a happy story every day or so.
[13:31] herman Bergson: We are educated to call that fake news these days ^_^
[13:32] herman Bergson: So do I, Bejiita ^_^
[13:33] herman Bergson: Research shows that the news the way it is now produced has a negative effect on many people
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i can imagine
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why give so much attention to bed things
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bad
[13:34] herman Bergson: just imagine...take this corona virus.......
[13:34] CB Axel: No thank you
[13:34] CB Axel: lol
[13:34] herman Bergson: Dozens of times it is reported that 1780 people have dieded from it....
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how many are cured?
[13:34] herman Bergson: They almost forget to tell you that 13.000 people recovered without a problem
[13:36] herman Bergson: Slowly they begin to report that only 2% dies, which is with respect to the numbers something equal to a general flue epidemic
[13:36] herman Bergson: In other words....the good news is that it is just another flue epidemic....with a new virus
[13:36] CB Axel nods
[13:37] herman Bergson: But the emphasis is on FEAR....on DANGER.....on the worldwide THREAT
[13:37] herman Bergson: that is how the news programs started of
[13:38] herman Bergson: From the negative perspective....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Those dirty Chinese.....!
[13:38] CB Axel: In the meantime, Flint Michigan's water is still polluted with mercury. But no one seems to care about that any more.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Indeed CB.....
[13:38] CB Axel: It's easier to demonize the Chinese than US businesses and governments.
[13:38] herman Bergson: The news focus obscures a lot.....
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:39] herman Bergson: Hardly anybody is aware of the fact that Trump abolished almost all environmental protection measures of Obama....
[13:40] CB Axel: I'm aware!
[13:40] herman Bergson: The News is only all about his impeachment
[13:40] CB Axel: I hate Trump so much.
[13:41] CB Axel: I know so many things are better than the were in "the good old days," but Republican policies are going to make them worse.
[13:41] herman Bergson: So....the News we are fed can distort our view on the world and life considerably
[13:41] herman Bergson: Bejiita even exploded...!
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:42] CB Axel: Yikes!
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): poor Bejiita
[13:42] herman Bergson: That's  NEWS!
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): call a reporter!!'
[13:42] CB Axel: It just doesn't pay to be an optimistic Swede. LOL
[13:42] herman Bergson: Seems so indeed.....
[13:43] herman Bergson: I have to be careful myself as an optimistic Dutchman, I guess :-)
[13:43] CB Axel: :)
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but not a boring dutch man
[13:44] herman Bergson: and yet I feel happy ,  Beertje :-))
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but that's not news I guess
[13:44] herman Bergson: no...just boring :-)
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)) good
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm a happy woman ...very boring
[13:45] herman Bergson: I guess htis is becoming a boring lecture :-)))
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)))
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we are leaving with a smile
[13:46] CB Axel: Not at all boring. :)
[13:46] herman Bergson: Maybe we'l wait for the next one when we try to  understand and unraffle waht is behind this lust of negativism of homo spaiens :-)
[13:47] CB Axel: Maybe it's schadenfreude.
[13:47] herman Bergson: I can tell really is interesting.....
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we'll wait fr the next lecture then..
[13:48] CB Axel: I'll be looking forward to it.
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in the meantime we are happy and boring
[13:48] herman Bergson: Believe me..I have the feeling the more we dig into this subject the more optimistic we'll become
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:49] herman Bergson: So....keep on smiling till Thursday at's worth it ^_^
[13:49] CB Axel: Bye, everyone. See you Thursday.
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all again......class dismissed :-)))
[13:49] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman