Saturday, September 26, 2020

870: The Problem of the Present......

 We have seen enough evidence by now for the assumption that most people are OK. The willingness to assume the opposite is still strong.


We don't live in a world, where all co-operation is based on mutual trust. We develop all kinds of laws and regulations, because we mistrust each other.


I have to add another observation to it, which is at least equally disturbing and worrying.


There is no lack of explanations for the rise of populism, and most of them will oscillate somewhat 


between an emphasis on the economy. We should bring back the jobs to our own country and fight the threat from globalization 


and national culture: our national identity is threatened by immigration. We might even become a minority in our own country....


But political philosopher Michael Sandel, a professor at Harvard University, brings to the fore yet another factor: the scourge of meritocracy. 


The title of his latest book is "The Tyranny of Merit" (2020). According to Sandel, one of the world's most influential intellectuals, there is a great shadow over our societies 


in the form of the idea that everything is our own merit, both success and failure. In the US there even is a group that claims,


that when you are rich and wealthy it is because God bestowed it on you.  So, get rich and if you don't succeed you stay a loser and God seemed not to be interested in you.


It is a thought that flatters the ego of the winners and injures that of the losers. That is the source of the populist revolt. 


The growing inequality of the past four decades has been justified by meritocratic doctrine and the result is resentment. 


-quote- “The keynote of populism is resentment against the elite. Working class people realize that the elite look down on them, especially the university-educated professional elite. 


And it is important to recognize that the resentment is understandable given how the ruling elites have organized the global economy. 


A neoliberal system, added to a way of thinking that wants the winners to owe their success to themselves, ”according to Sandel. 


It is no coincidence that someone like Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon, was able to express the dissatisfaction of the losers.


He was never taken seriously by the financial, political and intellectual elite.


This reminded me of my lecture of more than a year ago, July 2020, lecture 729.


There I presented you with observations, which are completely in line with the observations of Sandel.


For the record...these were not MY observations, but those of the journalist, Leonie Breebaart, philosopher and editor of my morning newspaper "TROUW".


I quoted then: Another decade ago, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called humiliation the most underestimated factor in international politics. 


He was primarily referring to the hatred of young Muslims who, rightly or wrongly, feel humiliated by the West. 


But also the less violent cult around Trump is probably best explained by the fact that his whole appearance, personality 


and last but not least, his tweets give expression to the feeling with which the humiliated American can compensate for his loss of status, 


for example by marrying a far too young and beautiful woman, 


and not giving a shit about the impression you leave behind for all those arrogant know-it-all types who think they are better than him. (...)


.....if his predecessor, Obama, in his turn, stood for something, then it was for the type of man, that the older white American had never before considered a serious possibility. 


What a loss of status! Trump as avenger of the humiliated. It is of a huge sadness and dangerous, moreover. 


What the president achieves for the Americans, let alone for the North Koreans, or for the world peace, his fans are hardly interested. 


As long as he gives the losers the feeling of being great. And didn't Trump say it himself? He declared his own country a looser by his slogan "To make America great again" 


and thus he put himself on the thrown as the King of the Losers. What a sadness indeed.  

As you see, Michael Sandel is right and his book worth reading, like his other book "What Money Can't Buy" (2012).


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


[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:20] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so the reason why they behave like greedy assholes is because they feel humiliated by god?

[13:21] herman Bergson: Keep in mind...Trump is NOT a cause....he is the symptom of the huge gap between the elite and the others

[13:22] herman Bergson: no no Bejiita....

[13:22] Anuska (anuska.loon) is offline.

[13:22] CB Axel: Ni, Bejiita. The act that way because they feel entitled to by God.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): IN GOD WE TRUST!

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

[13:22] herman Bergson: The rich one do, indeedCB.....

[13:22] CB Axel: God made them successful, so they can look down on "losers."

[13:23] herman Bergson: yes...

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as usual religion is the source of soooo much bad :(

[13:23] CB Axel: They're allowed to look down on "losers."

[13:23] herman Bergson: This winner / loser philosophy is deeply engrained in US culture

[13:23] Ludova (quippe.wylder): So the guy who most obviously looks down on losers is the champion of the losers?

[13:24] herman Bergson: it  is not common believe in Europe for instance

[13:24] herman Bergson: That is why Europe could have social democrate governments

[13:25] herman Bergson: Any help for a 'loser' in the US is socialism or other words...BAD

[13:25] CB Axel: There is a local politician here who has an add saying that his opponent wants to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance and "in God we trust" from our money.

[13:25] herman Bergson: I don't know why..but yet...

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

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

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

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

[13:25] CB Axel: He says his opponent wants to remover God from government.

[13:26] CB Axel: A god that doesn't  belong in our government in the first place.

[13:26] herman Bergson: be is about time...:-)

[13:26] herman Bergson: But this dichotomy in society is growing......

[13:26] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'd like to remove us vs them thinking from religion

[13:27] CB Axel: All that stuff was added in something like the 50's or 60's when we were paranoid about communism.

[13:27] CB Axel: Those godless commies!

[13:27] CB Axel: We couldn't be like them.

[13:27] herman Bergson: I was taught as a kid to take cover under the stairs when the bomb would fall

[13:28] CB Axel: Ludova, if Christians didn't keep trying to shove their beliefs down our throats there wouldn't be a divide.

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a god that says that you are a looser if not having most money of all, no wonder there is a such inequality over there

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not a healthy culture

[13:28] Ludova (quippe.wylder): OK, let's look at the society of the losers. Is it a society that believes everybody in it is OK, or is it just as bad.

[13:28] CB Axel: I refuse to live under a Christian version of Sharia law.

[13:28] herman Bergson: it is the meritocratic believe.....

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): something have to change for sure about that

[13:29] herman Bergson: It overlooks all luck you had....

[13:29] CB Axel: Meritocracy only works if everyone starts from the same point.

[13:29] CB Axel: And if everyone has all the same advantages.

[13:29] Ludova (quippe.wylder): If you got it you're OK, otherwise you're not, no matter how you got it if no one catches you.

[13:30] herman Bergson: and if everyone has the same talents and capacity, CB

[13:30] CB Axel: And belief in some invisible dude from a book of fairy tales is not an advantage.

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eee O!

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): NO

[13:30] herman Bergson: and if not...? What then....waht to do with the lesser gifted?

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): throw them on the streets :(

[13:30] CB Axel: Differently gifted. I may not have the same talents as you, but I bet there are things I can do that you can't.

[13:31] Ludova (quippe.wylder): They only need to be gifted enough to contribute something. I keep getting into places requiring training I don't have just because no one else around has it either.

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

[13:31] herman Bergson: That is what society is based on....everyone respected for his own qualities...

[13:31] herman Bergson: equally

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa as it should be

[13:31] CB Axel: Except that's not what society is based on.

[13:32] herman Bergson: should be that way in my opinion

[13:32] CB Axel: At least not in the US.

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ther its based on how rich u are

[13:32] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I agree Herman

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least mostly

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): status status status

[13:32] CB Axel: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs" ?

[13:33] CB Axel: The US will never accept that. It's communist.

[13:33] Ludova (quippe.wylder): If everyone is OK, then we need to support everyone.

[13:33] herman Bergson: We have reached the stage that we have to formulate the ideas and possibilities about a society based on the believe that most people are OK

[13:34] herman Bergson: Believe me..I am in trouble for the coming lectures...:-)

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Trump might nuke you

[13:34] CB Axel: Oh?

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:34] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Eh?

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully he is not aware of our little discussions

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

[13:35] herman Bergson: I have to come up with plausible ideas on how to build a society based on this belief

[13:35] herman Bergson: belief

[13:35] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Yes, and i've been trying to do that without much success.

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

[13:36] herman Bergson: You really are encouraging Ludova ^_^

[13:36] CB Axel: Since only most people are OK, we need a plan on how to deal with the ones who aren't.

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

[13:36] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Well, Herman, you' have the merit of knowledge of philosophy and I don't.

[13:37] herman Bergson smiles

[13:37] herman Bergson: I hope it might help :-)

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

[13:37] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I think everyone has the potential to be OK and the ones that aren't acting OK need help, not punish  ent.

[13:37] herman Bergson: I agree, LUdova

[13:38] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I was lucky.  When I was not OK I got help.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): id say i any case that the "losers" are the ones that are the ok ones because their looser title comes from the not ok and greedy ones

[13:38] CB Axel: Me, too, but can't we punish them just a little first before we rehabilitate them? lol

[13:38] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Why? What good does that do?

[13:38] herman Bergson: ^_^

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

[13:39] herman Bergson: Just for fun, Ludova....I guess :-)

[13:39] CB Axel: None, really. It just allows me to vent my frustrations. :)

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

[13:39] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Every rich person is not OK, is that what we're coming up with?

[13:39] herman Bergson: No....

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not every rich one but the ones that chase more and more for status and thing anyone not as rich is a looser

[13:39] Ludova (quippe.wylder): It sounds that way sometimes.

[13:40] herman Bergson: YEs I understand.....

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like Trump and similar ones believing wealth being all there is to have a value  at all

[13:40] CB Axel: I think the US will have to make marijuana legal before I can not want to punish people.

[13:41] Ludova (quippe.wylder): I'm in an interesting position. I'm fairly well off, but I spent 25 years being considered not OK by just abot everyone.

[13:41] herman Bergson: We have coffee shops in the Netherlands for you CB :-)

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they are legal:)

[13:41] CB Axel: I know! I think I'd like living in the Netherlands.

[13:41] herman Bergson: keep it clear....

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what make u an ok person to me and to gain respect is to be nice and social, no matter how much money u have or little

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats being Ok to me among other things

[13:42] herman Bergson: With OK we mean here.....helpful, empathic, willing to share....

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

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

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

[13:42] herman Bergson: everybody can be that....

[13:42] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Yes, if they aren't too scared to be.

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and afraid to be losers

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

[13:43] herman Bergson: it is just that for instance this meritocratic belief makes some people less willing to help others...

[13:43] Ludova (quippe.wylder): True.

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u are a looser to me if u behave like a greedy AH trampling down on others, not the other way around like they think

[13:44] herman Bergson: And such people only don't understand that this meritocratic belief is an error....doing  no right to others with less abilities etc

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what is scary is that they get support from others (like trump do) when behaving like this when it should be the other way around

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): from so many people

[13:45] Ludova (quippe.wylder): You've got to be taught to think you're better, because for every level of talent there's someone else better and someone else worse.

[13:46] herman Bergson: ok.....let's try to figure out a future in the coming lectures based on the belief that most people are ok....we've already seen that the assumption makes sense

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

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

[13:47] herman Bergson: Ao..thank you all again for your participation...:-))

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

[13:47] Ludova (quippe.wylder): Great, that's why I come to this class.

[13:47] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismisse....

[13:47] herman Bergson: d

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sould we try to draw some TRUE winners now in turtle?

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

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

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

[13:48] CB Axel: I'll see you all next week.

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

[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class:-))

[13:48] herman Bergson: Take care CB

Thursday, September 24, 2020

869: Intrinsic Motivation.....

The question is not: How do we motivate the other, bonuses, rewards, money, carrots? The real question is:


How do we create a society in which people motivate themselves?


This must be possible, if you accept that most people are ok. This means most people like to work, do something they feel proud of.


But what is the common narrative? Don't give them a 600 dollars, because then they become reluctant to work.


In the Netherlands you hear the same pub talk...all those people with social assistance benefit?....too lazy to work.


Conclusion: we need an extensive control system to check all those people. Result: a huge bureaucracy.


If we only had the courage to look at the world differently. One Dutchman had: Jos de Blok.


At the website of "Thinkers50" we read about the award winner: Creator of the pioneering Dutch healthcare system, 


Buurtzorg, de Blok has developed a transformational model of collaborative, patient-centric community care. 


By empowering nurses in self-organized teams, Buurtzorg has turned traditional healthcare models inside out. 


With collaboration key to his model, de Blok has uncovered new ways of working and new areas of care, at home and internationally. Buurtzorg is now active in 25 countries.


In simple English this means...nurses, you are perfectly skilled to organize your own work. So we don't need a supervisor, manager or whatever. Just do your job.


Buurtzorg Nederland is a Dutch home-care organization which has attracted international attention 


for its innovative use of independent nurse teams in delivering relatively low-cost care. The word "Buurtzorg" is Dutch for “neighborhood care”.


The organization has teams that regulate themselves. There are no managers. For every 50 teams there is one coach who will help out if there is some problem.


They started with 4 nurses in 2007. At the moment the organization covers the whole of the Netherlands with more than 10.000 self organizing teams.


This is all based on the conviction that most people are ok, are intrinsically motivated for the job they love. Google on Jos de Blok and you'll see for yourself.


The idea "Let people decide themselves about how they want to organize their work" does not only apply to healthcare.


Take this quote: "A lot of people believe that working based on lots of freedom and trust cannot work in a factory or production setting. 


FAVI proves them terribly wrong and shows how powerful an organization can become once it unleashes the full potential of its employees." -end quote


It is from this article:


From its site: "FAVI develops and supplies complete sub-assemblies and technical parts for industry in brass, copper and aluminium die casting."


In 1983 Jean-Francois Zobrist took over the factory and made the workers themselves organize their work and got rid of the management layer in his organization.


Like Buurtzorg FAVI believes in the personal motivation, the intrinsic motivation of their workers. 


What was the question? How do we create a society in which people motivate themselves? Here are the examples and they prove that this world exists...


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

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

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

[13:17] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:17] herman Bergson: How is it at your company Bejiita...lots of managers there?

[13:18] Lecturehall 1.0: There was someone in the Lecturehall:  Guillo Elan!

[13:18] herman Bergson: Supervisors. controlers?

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): as Imentioned last time there are Repair-cafes in the Netherlands were people work without payment, the help others to repair all kind of things

[13:18] herman Bergson: Good example too Beertje

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I just thought if that, we manage our own work a lot, sure we have a boss who runs the show but for example I take responsibility for my own projects all way through

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just for a cupof coffee

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): from CAD to shipment ad so I know how the entire chain works

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and its fun

[13:19] herman Bergson: Sound OK, Bejiita ^_^

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:19] oola Neruda: teachers are pretty much on their own...

[13:19] herman Bergson: Indeed oola...

[13:19] herman Bergson smiles

[13:20] herman Bergson: Like I am :-))

[13:20] oola Neruda: nods

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you are one of a kind Herman:)

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:20] herman Bergson: But I agree...I always have been able do design my own curriculum for instance

[13:20] herman Bergson: Thank you Beertje :-))

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))

[13:21] herman Bergson: I RL...

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think that not everyone can handle the freedom

[13:21] herman Bergson: But that is not the case everywhere,,,,

[13:22] herman Bergson: there we have that disbelieve your words Beertje....

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:22] herman Bergson: We should begin with saying that everybody can handle this freedom.....

[13:22] herman Bergson: and then...

[13:23] herman Bergson: those who can't we'll help as colleagues

[13:23] herman Bergson: That is what the self-organizing teams in the healthcare do

[13:23] oola Neruda: farmers are on their own too but often must cooperate with neighbors on various jobs in the field or when they need to share machinery

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

[13:24] herman Bergson: yes oola, but that is simple cooperation....not management or control over their actions

[13:24] oola Neruda: good point

[13:24] herman Bergson: The farmers are a team...sharing tools and resources

[13:24] oola Neruda: yes

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

[13:25] herman Bergson: they dont need a manager

[13:25] Laz Dresler is offline.

[13:26] herman Bergson: in the period 1998 -2006 the fastest growing group of professions was "manager in healthcare organisations'

[13:26] herman Bergson: the reason was this....

[13:27] herman Bergson: All kinds of healthcare organizations all of a sudden didn't offer care.....they offered a PRODUCT....

[13:27] herman Bergson: so you needed a sales manager....

[13:27] oola Neruda: grrrrr

[13:27] herman Bergson: a product manager...

[13:27] herman Bergson: All was converted into the economic production/profit model

[13:28] herman Bergson: at my own college....

[13:28] herman Bergson: all of a sudden we didn't have students anymore.....we had clients, consumers....we as teachers generated a product...

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they dot care if the patients die as long their tax paradise is flourishing and they can buy another expensive car

[13:29] oola Neruda: that is like the petroleum people... who cares about climate change when money is to be made

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed :(

[13:30] herman Bergson: The neoliberal turn of the 1970s-80s converted all social activity like healthcare, education municipial officers into pruduction groups....generating a product

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): business business business

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh

[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes the basic idea was...generate profits....

[13:30] oola Neruda: ethics, ethics, ethics.... missing

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): even hospitals had to make profits

[13:31] herman Bergson: and the management idea was that this all increased efficiency

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some things you just don't convert onto business like healthcare and schools

[13:31] herman Bergson: and would lower the costs...opposite happened

[13:31] herman Bergson: indeed Bejiita

[13:32] herman Bergson: Buurtzorg decreased the costs with 40% by kicking out the management layers in its organization

[13:32] oola Neruda: smiles

[13:32] herman Bergson: and all based on the comviction that most people are OK :-)

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds like a good idea for sure

[13:33] herman Bergson: Beertje still has a problem believing it :-)

[13:33] CB Axel: But what happened to all those poor, unemployed managers? :)

[13:33] herman Bergson: Yhey should become real nurses again, CB

[13:33] CB Axel: Do they have to go out and get honest jobs?

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no, i see lot's of people working in the repair-pub, they work for a cup of coffee:)

[13:34] CB Axel: Man cannot live on coffee alone.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Right Beertje....I would do the same.....just for the fun of help people...and many of us would do so

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my husband works just for a cup of coffee

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): never get payed for the work he does

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa, sure I need to get around and I want a buffer but also I like doing what I do just for the thing of it

[13:35] herman Bergson: Ahhh he is a golden asset to the workshop with his expertise

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): create good stuff so we can have a nice round of golf ow and then

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

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

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and making other things like parks etc nice for the summer hangouts

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats our thing

[13:36] oola Neruda: there is not a liot of sharing of work among artists.... so many of them are isolated

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but thats just a small part of everything that is needed all around

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its our part

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

[13:37] Rebecca (rebecca.rozen) is offline.

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well on my spare time im an artist and indeed I create my stuff mostly alone at moment

[13:37] herman Bergson: Depends....

[13:38] oola Neruda: musicians...share

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I want to share it though

[13:38] herman Bergson: musicians need to play in a group most of the time....not a lonely job....

[13:38] CB Axel: That's one of the things I like about live theater. It's a collaborative art form.

[13:38] herman Bergson: actors...the same

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

[13:39] theo Velde is offline.

[13:39] herman Bergson: so, it depends on the kind of art you produce, I guess

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I make mostly graphical stuff though , but indeed music is also a part of it although I do it with a DAW

[13:39] oola Neruda: yes

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but since my artist work in in the game development area I learn all sorts of art at same time

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because that is what it all is, everything mixed together and given life with programming

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): graphic music, animation , story

[13:40] herman Bergson: But I think that today we have seen the first examples of the fact that intrinsic motivation can have great and positive effects on how we organize our world

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

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

[13:41] herman Bergson: like the believe in the other is....

[13:42] herman Bergson: With the decline of neoliberalism...maybe there is a chance to move toward a more cooperative society

[13:43] herman Bergson: For today..let's end the cooperation here and let me thank you for your attention again

[13:43] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^

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

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:44] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman and class. :)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a good concept this

[13:44] herman Bergson: introduce it in your company, Bejiita

[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman and class! for the interesting hour

[13:44] CB Axel: I'll see you all on Thursday.

[13:44] herman Bergson: you're already halfway, it sounds like

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ill think of it

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe


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 :-))