[ExI] Existential hysteria [Mirco Romanato]

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Sun Aug 3 14:40:45 UTC 2014

Il 01/08/2014 18:29, Angel Arturo Ramirez Suárez ha scritto:

> ​>​
> Policymakers, more than people, are all interested in the "seen", what
> is "glamorous", "cool" and useful for their career.

> ​Which is why changing our culture it's important. We can't have people
> caring only about the glamurous, cool and useful making decisions that
> affect everyone of us.

This will not happen because we just talk about it.
You do not change culture by sheer force of will.
Not even if the will is the will of many people.
The existing culture will try hard to stay alive and continue.
It could mutate to adapt to the challenge in many ways, not all 
favorable to you.

For example, Rodney Stark, in his books about Christianity and 
civilization give a very interesting and documented theory of how 
Christianity was successfully spread in the Roman Empire.
And the strategy is, for me, reminiscent of the articles of Diego 
Gambetta on trust and trust development in society.

The main big advantage of Christianity, at the time, was it cared of 
every human life whatsoever. So they adopted abandoned, orphan children 
(Romans would have, at best, taken them as slaves), they didn't 
practices exposition of the infants (so they had less dead children and 
more surviving one). They were altruistic and cared of their own and 
other's poor. And when plagues hit the cities, the clergy of the other 
gods flew away in the country leaving their own and every one else to die.
Christians were willing to risk and die to take care of the others. So, 
in the end, after very plague, more people were cared and exposed to the 
behavior of Christians. Some would convert, some would change their 
attitude to them from negative to neutral to friendly.
They had this rule, left by St. Paul, about "who do not work shall not 
eat". So they were industrious and hard working (the first religion, I 
think, conceiving manual labor as a way to heaven).
These rules made them more fit, as a whole, than the heathens.

>> Because if a culture can be imposed from the top to the bottom, by fiat
>> of a cadre of leaders, today will be conservation, tomorrow will be mass
>> slaughter of unbelievers. If YOU can do the former YOU can do the
>> latter. And if YOU can do it, then others also can do it.

> Don't take me wrong but that's a pretty dumb argument. We're rational
> people and there are laws and societies built so that certain limits
> aren't crossed. Proof of that is that our societies these days are
> somewhat functional and we aren't going around with a club imposing our
> will on others.

My understanding is different:
you have the rules before and the society after.
You can not have a society where these rules are not understood and 
enforced before any formal arrangement is spoken or written.
It is a fundamental question of trust; if I do not trust you to keep 
your word, I will not trust you to keep the words written on dead trees 
by dead men.

You exchanged the cause for the effect (it is easy to do so when there 
is a feedback loop).

> I like to think we're better than those fanatic nutjobs that protest
> everyday.

Surely we are different from them. Better? Probably.
But person have many different facets and we could be better about 
something and they could be better than us about something else.

> But agree with you that it must be self sustainable, but we have to
> start somewhere. Both in developing the technology and ​helping people
> understand how their actions impact the environment.

My opinion is different:
we need to help people, better if the right people, to understand 
because a better environment is good for them. If they buy the idea, 
they will, by themselves, act to obtain a better (for themselves) 
environment. They will be willing to pay more than their fair share to 
obtain their goals. But more people join, more they will be able to 
obtain reducing the cost of obtaining it at the same time.
It start will the wealthy and then go down to the less wealthy.

>> The differences is my patients damage mainly themselves with their
>> obsession and marginally others. These people damage mainly others and
>> marginally themselves. But it is always someone else fault things do not
>> work as they would like.

> I don't see what your patients have to do with it. Policies have to be
> discussed obviously, and as I wrote above we can't have self interest
> taking the central role in discussions or let our leaders decide based
> on them.

Psychiatric patients, if you observe them enough, are not so different 
from normal people. Their reactions to the environment are just to 
strong, too weak or malformed with reality.

The nutjobs protesting all day are not so different from us and they are 
not different from psychiatric cases. Their genetics and their 
environment (parents and society included) shaped their personality as 
shaped ours.

For example: why we need to leaders to decide (for us? for all?) when we 
also must check them not to take the wrong decision?

Maybe it is better, in some matter, not have any leader deciding for and 
imposing his decisions on others.

Thinking there is the need of leaders to decide for us and others was 
imprinted on you and you probably didn't even think about it rationally 
because you just take the idea as given; an axiom, not a theorem.

If you take the time and effort, you could explain the concepts to the 
people; many will understand it rationally but they will not get it 
emotionally (many more than you think - but if you start looking at it 
around you will notice a lot of people acting in this way).

For example: Andreas Antonopulous talked about this phenomenon when he 
explain how bitcoin work. They ask "Who control Bitcoin". You explain 
Bitcoin is decentralized, P2P, open source, mathematically proof, etc. 
They say "ok. I get it. .... But who control it?" "Who is Satoshi 
Nakamoto? Is he a good person?"

These are not psychotic persons, but they have a delusion anyway. They 
are unable to get out a certain train of thoughts even if you bring them 
logically out, they will fall back. If you actually force them out they 
could become angry, sad, etc.

Do not get me wrong, the mechanism is useful, or we would always 
reevaluate everything every time, and this would be exhausting 99% of 
the time. But on a Bell curve distribution someone will be easier to 
sway out of their train of thinking than others. Someone will be very 
hard and someone near impossible or impossible. Others will be easy to 
sway wherever you like.


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