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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,12:58   

Per request, a devoted thread. I'll copy-paste some previous posts.

What started this mess  :angry:

Amadan:
 
Quote (Amadan @ Oct. 26 2009,09:18)
I don't think it's quite that. Remember that, at its basic level, the YEC cult is part of a simplistic, anti-intellectual and paternalistic group identity. The dynamic works as long as members remained focused on the next life (or a fantasy apotheosis in this life where Jeebus comes and We watch the Others get skewered)  rather than the complicated, messy realities of this one. A form of emotional coercion, whereby you stick with Received Wisdom or face exclusion and damnation, keeps them doing just that. It is a very shallow faith that is easily threatened when (as with Floyd here) it is questioned by outsiders.

As far as I can see, "evolution" (like "socialism" or "atheism") is just a place-holder term for stuff that threatens that group identity. Because they are Wrong, it isn't important to examine the truth of their claims (or non-claims, in the case of atheism).

I suspect that Floyd sees Catholics as not-quite Christians, but can't trust his ability to handle the theological and doctrinal side of the argument, hence his concession (which pretty much punctured the rest of his argument). To be consistent, Floyd should have stuck to the approach that his version of Christianity is the only correct one. But I think Floyd has academic pretensions, as well as being an attention whore.

Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 26 2009,09:41)
There's a vicious circle at the core of it, also: the power-seeking paternalistic group identity is also profoundly anti-intellectual.

It reminds me of this documentary on the !Kung-San "Bushmen", one of whom rhetorically asks an interviewer, when faced with external agricultural pressures; "Why plant when there are so many mongongo nuts?"

Frank Zappa once observed that the symbology of being punished for eating fruits of the tree of knowledge of life and death indicated a profound anti-intellectualism at the core, yet to have real power in this world, information is an absolute necessity.  

Their main identifier tells them they have all the knowledge they need, and in this thread, you see the outcome of it as Flody's views -- when taken to logical extremes -- reject science itself, and anything else that might call into question the omnipotence of the ideology.

Quote (Amadan @ Oct. 26 2009,12:24)
 
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,11:22)
       
Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 26 2009,09:41)
Frank Zappa once observed that the symbology of being punished for eating fruits of the tree of knowledge of life and death indicated a profound anti-intellectualism at the core, yet to have real power in this world, information is an absolute necessity.  

I would disagree with this part of the statement.  I guess it depends on how you define power.  

In terms of political power, intelligence appears to be not required, perhaps even selected against.  It seems to me that the smart people are off busy with things that are important, like saving lives and keep aircraft in the air.  While politicians (and lawyers for that matter) sit around and ignore the reams of data that shows their pet ideology is stupid.  Instead they create false dichotomies to convince people that their very lives are at stake unless they follow the 'leader'.  


I disagree. I often work with politicians and many of them are very very intelligent. I suspect you're conflating intelligence with academic eminence.

And lay off the lawyers or I'll sue you in the Admiralty Courts, from which nobody has ever emerged alive, sane or solvent.

     
Quote


The smart people keep saying, 'look you idiots...', but unless the smart people are willing to try for political power, we will always have the least intelligent people as leaders... some with access to squadrons of fighter-bombers and nuclear weapons.


Politicians are aware that Adam Smith's notion of the rational actor as the basis for economics is utter crap. Many, if not most decisions, are taken on non-rational grounds and only rationalised after the fact. That is particularly true for voting, where perceptions of identity, affirmation and such like are powerful influences (even determinants). And clever politicians, who want to get and keep power, use this. So they talk dumb just like we does, and they manipulate our fears because we like them to.If there is a demand for intelligent discussion of policy someone will eventually spot the gap and sell to it. But don't underestimate the irrationality of politics, or the intelligence of (most of) those who play the game.

     
Quote
Consider monetary power.  There are few smart people that are really wealthy.  (Bill Gates does NOT count.)  Again, the smart people seem to just want to do their thing.  The unethical take advantage of smart people (and the system) to gain monetary power... and do whatever they have to to keep that power.


Not wishing to be completely cynical, but was it ever different?
(I pause to savour the moment while the terms 'Microsoft' and 'ethical' compete for the same space in my brain)


     
Quote
Unless the smart people want to pull an Atlas Shrugged (and I'm not saying that's a bad plan), the smart people will have to step up into the political and monetary arenas and fight to keep things even reasonable.  I mean, you really ought to see what these idiots are trying to do in Texas.  Our "history expert" hired by the school board at great expense doesn't even know where Rosa Parks made her stand (as it where).


The thing I always loved about the notion of 'Going Galt' is that you would have to enforce trade-union style discipline if you wanted to stop an enterprising free-market blackleg Galt stepping in to take your place at a discount. Ironic, much?


Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 26 2009,12:41)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,11:22)
I would disagree with this part of the statement.  I guess it depends on how you define power.  
[major snippage]

I'm always happy when others seem interested in concepts of power. I mean, it's a cliche that college students gravitate towards Machiavelli, Catcher in The Rye, Ayn Rand, Nietzsche, etc. in order to begin to understand/overcome the commonly unstated forces that dominate their own youthful lives -- yet people tend to kind of lose interest in the subject, despite it being so essential to who we are. Also, it's amazing how little work has been done in synthesizing research on power from various fields of study, even though its relevance to all aspects of human existence is unquestioned.  

Anyway, I could yap for a long time on the subject, but I'll try to make this brief: Old French  "poeir,"  means "to be able to act," and is used to refer to a relative measure of the ability to control the physical and social  environment, particularly the thoughts and behaviors of other entities ("actors").
In short, power is the ability to do or (more importantly) to get others to think/do what one wants them to. Power can be based on multiple sources of power ranging from brute Coercion to claims of Positional Power based on legitimization.  In order to achieve and maintain power, however , information is crucial. In every example of "Power" there is some form of information underlying the claim, even if it's just appeals to tradition. Knowledge and power are two sides of the same coin, ultimately.
 
I'll just offer an example from a visiting prof. I took a class from once:  A spaceship lands on Mars, loaded with valuable minerals and awesome weapons. However, it is disabled and there are only two humans left alive : the captain who has access to the "wealth" and weapons, etc.--but can't repair the ship. Then there's an engineer who only knows how to run the computers and fix the ship. Who has power? Granted this is an oversimplification, but it helps to analyze bases of power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_(philosophy)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authority
Steven Lukes (1974) Power: A radical view.  
Max Weber's Basic Concepts in Sociology (1952) and The Three Types of Legitimate Rule (1958)
Keith Dowding's  (1996) Power . This last one is a little skinny book, but pretty important.

ETA: I got interested in concepts of power early on, but it really hit me when I began looking at how cultures "evolve" from hunter-gatherer groups to tribes, chiefdoms, states, etc. Information is everything in that regard.


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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,13:13   

Basic concepts, copy-pasted from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_(philosophy)

POWER: A relative measure of the ability to control the physical and social  environment, particularly the thoughts and behaviors of other entities ("actors").

Aspects of Power:
(1) Power to (Outcome Power) -- the ability of an actor to bring about or help bring about outcomes
(2) Power over. (Social Power) -- the ability of an actor to change the incentive structures of other actors in order to bring about outcomes.

Sources/Bases of Power:

Positional Power
Also called "Legitimate Power", it refers to power of an individual because of the relative position and duties of the holder of the position within an organization. Legitimate Power is formal authority delegated to the holder of the position. It is usually accompanied by various attributes of power such as uniforms, offices etc. This is the most obvious and also the most important kind of power.
Referent Power
Referent Power means the power or ability of individuals to attract others and build loyalty. It's based on the charisma and interpersonal skills of the power holder. A person may be admired because of specific personal trait, and this admiration creates the opportunity for interpersonal influence. Here the person under power desires to identify with these personal qualities, and gains satisfaction from being an accepted follower. Nationalism or Patriotism counts towards an intangible sort of referent power as well. For example, soldiers fight in wars to defend the honor of the country. This is the second least obvious power, but the most effective. Advertisers have long recognized referent power in making use of sports figures for products endorsements, for example. The charismatic appeal of the sports star supposedly leads to an acceptance of the endorsement, although the individual may have little real credibility outside the sports arena.[7]
Expert Power
Expert Power is an individual's power deriving from the skills or expertise of the person and the organization's needs for those skills and expertise. Unlike the others, this type of power is usually highly specific and limited to the particular area in which the expert is trained and qualified.
Reward Power
Reward Power depends upon the ability of the power wielder to confer valued material rewards, it refers to the degree to which the individual can give others a reward of some kind such as benefits, time off, desired gifts, promotions or increases in pay or responsibility. This power is obvious but also ineffective if abused. People who abuse reward power can become pushy or became reprimanded for being too forthcoming or 'moving things too quickly'.
Coercive Power
Coercive Power means the application of negative influences onto employees. It might refer to the ability to demote or to withhold other rewards. It's the desire for valued rewards or the fear of having them withheld that ensures the obedience of those under power. Coercive Power tends to be the most obvious but least effective form of power as it builds resentment and resistance within the targets of Coercive Power.

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OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,13:27   

Now, this is thinking out loud here, so bear with me.

On Going Galt:  There would be nothing that would prevent a singleton or small group from 'selling out' back into the world.  However, that presupposes two things 1) that the rest of the world would be interested in buying and 2) that there are not significantly limited resources in the enclave (i.e. if you sell these, then we all starve or run out of O2)  How exactly would that be bad?

Anyway, the point behind an enclave as envisioned by Rand would be no contact mainly because such contact is intellectually impossible.  It wasn't so much dealing with stupidity that caused them to leave, it was the stupidity of the rules.  Taxing the people who work to provide for the people who don't.  Taking innovation and distributing it to everyone for the sake of 'fairness'. etc.  

OK back to power:

To me: Power is the ability to get something done.  (In science that would be work, but politicians don't do 'work'.)  The thing you want done is immaterial (unlike Hobbes).  If you have money, you can pay to have something done.  If you have political power, there are lots of ways to get something done.  If you have some percieved authority, you can command it be done.

deadman:
 Well, in your example, each of the players has power.  Only the engineer can fix the ship, but he has been 'trained' to accept the authority of the captain. This can apply in almost any condition.

 To everyone it's obvious that the engineer has the power... except to the engineer.

In terms of creationism, the few true zealots have spent decades indoctrinating people to accept the power that they assume for themselves as 'the chosen of god' or whatever.  They use fear of hell and moral rightesnous to cement their power.  Believe me, nothing motivates the populace to go vote like a preacher saying that they ought to vote a certain way.  

Because people have granted them a small amount of power (much like politicians), then they begin a campaign to cemet that power.  Then, sometimes under the highest of ideals, they (religious and political leaders) begin to increase their power.

end ramble.

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,13:46   

Well, you seem to be emphasizing ideological power over other forms, which is kind of problematic from a historical-archaeological POV -- if that's what you're suggesting.

Either way, it's still information that underlies religious or other ideological powers. This is why it becomes "mystified," to use a social science term.

Religious leaders claim to have special access to knowledge (information) that is granted them by (an, a) ancestor/spirit/god/gods. They use rituals and language that is designed to mystify outsiders and confer special status on the holders of power.

I try to see things from as simple a view as possible, in regard to social complexity. I prefer looking at hunter-gatherers first, then move up the social-complexity chain. Look at how shamans operate.

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FrankH



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,13:50   

To paraphrase Mao (or however it's spelled now)

"Power flows from the business end of the one with the biggest weapon"

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khan



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,14:25   

How much does 'power' relate to 'privilege'?

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OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,14:45   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 26 2009,13:46)
Well, you seem to be emphasizing ideological power over other forms, which is kind of problematic from a historical-archaeological POV -- if that's what you're suggesting.

Either way, it's still information that underlies religious or other ideological powers. This is why it becomes "mystified," to use a social science term.

Religious leaders claim to have special access to knowledge (information) that is granted them by (an, a) ancestor/spirit/god/gods. They use rituals and language that is designed to mystify outsiders and confer special status on the holders of power.

I try to see things from as simple a view as possible, in regard to social complexity. I prefer looking at hunter-gatherers first, then move up the social-complexity chain. Look at how shamans operate.

I agree with that.  I mean look at L. Ron Hubbard.

But then again, the entire politcal process (as practiced in America and I, believe, the UK as well) and judicial processes have many of the same 'mystical' trappings to the uninitiated.  

Is it inherit in humanity to want to be special and therefore use mysteries to control others?  If this is the case, then is intelligence required to be a leader or is it more intuition akin to animal cunning?

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improvius



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,14:49   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,15:45)
Is it inherit in humanity to want to be special and therefore use mysteries to control others?  If this is the case, then is intelligence required to be a leader or is it more intuition akin to animal cunning?

It seems that the only real requirement to being a leader is the will to do so.  Most people don't really want to be in charge.  It's always easier to let someone else make the big decisions.  So if you really want to be a leader, no matter how stupid or ignorant you are, it won't be too hard to find someone to follow you.

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Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,15:09   

Quote (improvius @ Oct. 26 2009,14:49)
   
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,15:45)
Is it inherit in humanity to want to be special and therefore use mysteries to control others?  If this is the case, then is intelligence required to be a leader or is it more intuition akin to animal cunning?

It seems that the only real requirement to being a leader is the will to do so.  Most people don't really want to be in charge.  It's always easier to let someone else make the big decisions.  So if you really want to be a leader, no matter how stupid or ignorant you are, it won't be too hard to find someone to follow you.

I kinda think most people do want to be in charge, but they fear the consequences of being in charge and being wrong, or doing wrong.

I tend to view humans as (in loaded terms) innately selfish and lazy. Selfish in the sense of desiring to live and reproduce, lazy in the sense of attempting to do so at the least differential cost.

In other critters, social hierarchy isn't that difficult, but with humans, it gets real complicated. When you're wrong about leading your group, the penalties are usually more than an ass-kicking, as with other primates. A baboon that fails to lead the troop to fruiting trees in time to save some starving members won't get killed, from what I have seen.

This is another reason that the swiss-army knife (multipurpose tool) of religion is useful: it allows leaders to pawn off "guilty responsibility" on spirits or gods or demons.

Act with bad leadership like that in a human group and it might well mean death at the hands of the coalitions that form against you, when you fail to bring about desired results to save lives. BUT if you pretend that evil spirits are really responsible and that you have access to that special knowledge, then you can manipulate others much more effectively and save your own life for as long as you can bullshit well.

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,15:14   

Quote (khan @ Oct. 26 2009,14:25)
How much does 'power' relate to 'privilege'?

Cross-culturally, it correllates highly. There are always exceptions, though. Think of mendicant buddhist monks or something.

In archaeology...some of the forces that cause an increase in social complexity are warfare & competition for scarce resources in the face of population increase and resulting social or geographical conscription. People tend to aggregate and form heirarchies, with leaders that either earn or are granted leadership roles. Groups differentiate in various ways: segmentation, scheduling, ranking, grades of stratification, etc. Alliances form, usually based on kinship and the extensions of kinship until groups begin to concieve of themselves as "the people." Ritual and ceremony reinforce this. There's changes in subsistence. There's elaboration of technology, such as storage of food and irrigation that allows for control over food resources. There's more specialization of roles, some become horticulturalists/farmers while others hunt or herd. Specialization can lead to trade, "banking" systems and demands for luxury items and prestige goods, blah, blah, blah. Whole books can be written on this and are, it gets horribly complicated as one looks at examples ranging from Aborigines in Oz to Mesopotamian irrigationalists, to Northwest Coast American Indian groups that "farm" the sea. There's no set material pattern for all groups to follow--as Jared Diamond emphasizes, it's all contingent.

But there are "universals" in human cultures, and myth and religion fall in that category. We all need to eat, sleep and reproduce, and we all seem to need stories to hear.

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Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,16:08   

Wherz Lolcatz?

I want.

Edited by Dr.GH on Oct. 26 2009,14:10

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,16:28   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 26 2009,16:08)
Wherz Lolcatz?

I want.

Just 4 U:







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Reed



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,16:35   

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....=149808 might be of interest.

ETA, as I said in that post, I'm not entirely convinced by Altemeyer's arguments, but it's interesting study of the people involved in these movements.

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,21:09   

I think the disturbing thing to me is that these groups/people that gain some measure of power, suddenly feel as if they are the answer to everything and they know all.  

I mean, consider Floyd.  He really doesn't have a clue as to why we don't see his vision.  He has been indoctrinated for (probably) all of life that a certain way is correct.  When presented with reality, he can't say that he's wrong without ripping the rug out from under his whole life.

Same thing with politicians.  Scientists and researchers can present thousands of facts and studies that show x is really actually a good thing.  But to someone who has voted against x for a long time, admitting being wrong is worse than death itself.

We look at these people and say, 'Geez, they're dumb'... and maybe they are.  Or maybe they don't have the courage to stand up and say, 'wow, that changes everything'.  Or maybe they really have been brainwashed so much that they really CAN'T see reality.

Again, the scary part is that these are the people in control of our lives, in a very real sense.  Almost the entire Texas School Board is made up of these religious nuts.  They want everyone to vote against allowing state money to be used for university research grants, 'because those schools should be teaching'.

I'm really nervous about my kid ending up a smart, but second class citizen, because he is smart.

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Constant Mews



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2009,22:25   

America's political system - from the point of view of a relative outsider - is fascinating.  Jefferson and Madison hit upon an interesting combination of factors to prevent the execution of power by the governors, but they utilized a system of selecting those governors apparently based on emotional appeal to the masses, rather than intelligence.

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,08:33   

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025205016.htm

Evolutionary Past May Determine How We Choose Leaders

Too appropriate.

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J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,08:52   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 27 2009,08:33)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025205016.htm

Evolutionary Past May Determine How We Choose Leaders

Too appropriate.

Ogre - from a sidebar headline on your link page:

Mathematical Model Shows McCain Ahead In Electoral College Votes

OOOPS! I think I found a great recruit for ID Science!

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OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,10:08   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 27 2009,08:52)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 27 2009,08:33)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025205016.htm

Evolutionary Past May Determine How We Choose Leaders

Too appropriate.

Ogre - from a sidebar headline on your link page:

Mathematical Model Shows McCain Ahead In Electoral College Votes

OOOPS! I think I found a great recruit for ID Science!

Quote mine!  Quote mine!

You forgot the date after the headline  "(Sep. 17, 2008)"

:D

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,15:28   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 27 2009,08:33)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025205016.htm

Evolutionary Past May Determine How We Choose Leaders

Too appropriate.

I can't find the references at the moment, but I recall reading statistical studies indicating that while 6-foot-tall males comprise a (relatively) small proportion of the U.S. population, that CEO's are predominantly 6 feet tall or more.

All other factors being equal (education level, "personality" etc.) people seem to view height as indicative of leadership rather than other factors.

Here's some anecdotal commentary on the subject: I'll try to hunt down the actual studies --

http://www.gladwell.com/blink/blink_excerpt2.html
http://www.extratall.co.uk/news_why_do_tall_people_succeed.htm

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,15:37   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,21:09)
I'm really nervous about my kid ending up a smart, but second class citizen, because he is smart.

THAT is a fascinating topic to me. It seems to me that in many cultures, "smart" is seen as a threat, particularly in the "West." It's seen all over the place, in the stereotypes and memes we use. Husbands in commercials are rock-dumb, women are "clever" but not smart, scientists are portrayed as nutty fuckers commonly. Smart seems to edge on madness in popular culture (and real life -- high-IQ people may well have a higher proportion of psychological issues by population percentages). At any rate, smart certainly appears to be threatening or scary in the popular view.

Contrast that to the "eastern" view of extolling early intelligence (youth) through to aged wisdom. There's something there that I can't quite put my finger on, but I think it may have to do with the peculiar trajectory that Eastern ancestor worship took, along with other factors. Maybe. I dunno, it's hard to get at such things.

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FrankH



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,15:48   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 27 2009,15:37)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,21:09)
I'm really nervous about my kid ending up a smart, but second class citizen, because he is smart.
THAT is a fascinating topic to me. It seems to me that in many cultures, "smart" is seen as a threat, particularly in the "West." It's seen all over the place, in the stereotypes and memes we use. Husbands in commercials are rock-dumb, women are "clever" but not smart, scientists are portrayed as nutty fuckers commonly. Smart seems to edge on madness in popular culture (and real life -- high-IQ people may well have a higher proportion of psychological issues by population percentages). At any rate, smart certainly appears to be threatening or scary in the popular view.

Contrast that to the "eastern" view of extolling early intelligence (youth) through to aged wisdom. There's something there that I can't quite put my finger on, but I think it may have to do with the peculiar trajectory that Eastern ancestor worship took, along with other factors. Maybe. I dunno, it's hard to get at such things.

Good point.

I think a lot of the "anti-smartness" in the west comes from the bible.  It was the "smart ones" who started noticing the problems with Floyd style blinders, of which we'll seen way too much of recently, and were vilified when they did.

Like the saying, "Too smart for your own good".

"Give me a simple mind that I may fill with unshakable faith"

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OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,15:56   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Oct. 27 2009,15:37)
Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 26 2009,21:09)
I'm really nervous about my kid ending up a smart, but second class citizen, because he is smart.

THAT is a fascinating topic to me. It seems to me that in many cultures, "smart" is seen as a threat, particularly in the "West." It's seen all over the place, in the stereotypes and memes we use. Husbands in commercials are rock-dumb, women are "clever" but not smart, scientists are portrayed as nutty fuckers commonly. Smart seems to edge on madness in popular culture (and real life -- high-IQ people may well have a higher proportion of psychological issues by population percentages). At any rate, smart certainly appears to be threatening or scary in the popular view.

Contrast that to the "eastern" view of extolling early intelligence (youth) through to aged wisdom. There's something there that I can't quite put my finger on, but I think it may have to do with the peculiar trajectory that Eastern ancestor worship took, along with other factors. Maybe. I dunno, it's hard to get at such things.

Hmmm... You see, I grew up with a form of ancestor worship.  It wasn't really worship, but my grandfather was the man.  He was like my own personal John Wayne.  A very smart (both practical and book) man, very wise, slow to speak, slow to anger, always with time for explanations.

I have spent my entire adult life trying to not disappoint him (or his memory).

Compare that to the kids I used to teach.  Average was 40% of their fathers were in jail.  Another 20% did not know who their father was.  Most (according to an informal survey) spent less than 30 minutes a day 'with dad'... meaning if they both watched the Simpsons, that counted.

Yet, evolutionarily, those are the people we're breeding for.  I waited late for my one child.  Some of my female students in high school already had 2, some of the males could point to 4 or 5 children as theirs.  

When democracy is full of people like this, then the decisions of democratic leaders will not be optimal... for anyone.  The power really is in the people, just in the wrong people.

* Please don't get me wrong.  I am generalizing in a very broad way here.  This is not meant to be disrespectful to any group, race, creed, or whatever.  It applies to all of them.

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FrankH



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,15:58   

The movie "Idiocracy" does a good job of showing what will happen if those trends continue.

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,16:05   

My experience was much the same, Ogre, except my mentor wasn't related to me, just a smart, decent person that I was lucky enough to meet early on. Other people tell me their mentors were often simply long-dead authors in books they could find.

Anyway, this early realization that (most) other people didn't think very rationally was inducive to my whole educational track -- and my interest in power and how it manifests itself in ancient and modern cultures. That's also why I think that information is key to concepts of power and how it is gained and wielded.

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khan



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,16:16   

Not bragging or complaining, just my viewpoint concerning power wealth & status relating to me in modern USA society:

On the plus side: White & heterosexual

On the minus side: female & small

Not sure: IQ near 4 sigma, aspergers, atheist, analytical
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Most of those who are born to power/privilege don't see it.

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,16:18   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 27 2009,15:56)
 

When democracy is full of people like this, then the decisions of democratic leaders will not be optimal... for anyone.  The power really is in the people, just in the wrong people.

Heh. I remember having an argument with a "conservative" about the "disintegration of the Nuclear Family." His view was basically it was all the fault of them damn libruls and their fancy-book larnin' that left God out of the picture, etc. You know the arguments, I'm  sure. All social ills are due to liberals in the post-WW2 world. It's like others on this site mentioned about paternalistic structures.

So, I cite data showing parents, esp. women with kids being forced to increasingly find work and fail in parenting due to economic pressures brought about by conservative values in corporate-capitalist environments. (both parents "having " to work to keep up with the Joneses in an industrialized world). I point out that increased information flow and education can help alleviate the problems, but..that didn't make him feel comfy so I was dismissed as an egghead godless liberal. "Smart" is dangerous and threatening. It presents the potential of change, which is itself threatening and the notion of complex solutions to complex problems means actual ...like, thinking, which is also skeery.

Fuck, it's like one big vicious feedback loop.

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khan



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,16:27   

The "nuclear family" is a rather recent construct.

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
deadman_932



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,16:31   

Yep. Still alien to most of the world, too. But we were focusing on his standard Limbaugh-inspired claim.

Hell, popular figures catering to the lowest common denominators -- like Limbaugh -- are also a useful indicator of smart being scary. He has to play the masses in a "I'm just a regular guy" way.

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OgreMkV



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Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2009,17:07   

See, I still disagree that 'information is power and currency in the modern world'.

People want what they want and no amount of information will change that.

At least where I was (briefly) involved in politics, I was all who you knew and who you were willing to do favors for.  Everyone 'knew' that the people in positions were crooked as a three dollar bill, but they still got elected again and again.

I'm not really sure how you mean information is key to power.  I can kinda see it's key to gaining power (who you know, but also what power you give up to them).  But it's also about restricting information to those that are not in power.  BY creating enough confusion in information, one can mask their role in 'questionable' events, even if those events are recorded for all time.

Sorry blathering here again.

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Rrr



Posts: 146
Joined: Nov. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2009,14:45   

Quote (khan @ Oct. 27 2009,16:16)
Not bragging or complaining, just my viewpoint concerning power wealth & status relating to me in modern USA society:

On the plus side: White & heterosexual

On the minus side: female & small

Not sure: IQ near 4 sigma, aspergers, atheist, analytical
--------------------------------------------------------
Most of those who are born to power/privilege don't see it.

FWIW, Khan, I liked you even before this :-)

  
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