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  1. #61
    Dawnstorm,

    I work in a numbers industry, where the meaning of average is known in its precise numerical term. Yet all my staff who HAVE to beat an average (that's their job), believe they are better than average. And all the the people at our competitors doing the same job also believe they are better than average.

    Now clearly half of them are wrong, and they all know that collectively the entire industry cannot be better than average. Yet these are the same people that determine the fate of companies, economies and industries. They control literally trillions of dollars collectively, my own teams run billions.

    If you do the maths, on average every single one of them is overconfident. In other words they over-emphasise their own predictive ability and accuracy.

    "A trait of human conversations is that the meaning of words can shift mid-conversation and no-one notices." Dawnstorm a common behavioral trait is what you're claiming here. You might be right, I've not seen the testing on this (though I have on all of the above). Now if you're right and let's assume you are then do you think everybody knows this? If not then you have a considerable comparative advantage which at judicious moments you can apply to further your own agenda. Furthering your own agenda precisely because there ARE common human behavioral traits.

    Scott, I haven't read that book, I'll look it up.

    Cheers

    BW

  2. #62
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boll Weevil
    Dawnstorm,

    I work in a numbers industry, where the meaning of average is known in its precise numerical term. Yet all my staff who HAVE to beat an average (that's their job), believe they are better than average. And all the the people at our competitors doing the same job also believe they are better than average.

    Now clearly half of them are wrong, and they all know that collectively the entire industry cannot be better than average. Yet these are the same people that determine the fate of companies, economies and industries. They control literally trillions of dollars collectively, my own teams run billions.
    So when you ask them if they're "worse than avarage drivers" you can reliably assume that they all compare themselves to all drivers, rather than rate their skill on a scale?

    If you asked the question whether worse than avarage drivers should own cars, what would the probable reply be?

    Do you see what I'm driving at (no pun intended)?

    "A trait of human conversations is that the meaning of words can shift mid-conversation and no-one notices." Dawnstorm a common behavioral trait is what you're claiming here. You might be right, I've not seen the testing on this (though I have on all of the above). Now if you're right and let's assume you are then do you think everybody knows this? If not then you have a considerable comparative advantage which at judicious moments you can apply to further your own agenda. Furthering your own agenda precisely because there ARE common human behavioral traits.
    Have no test ready to show you, but listen around a bit and you'll notice. That's part of why science asks for exact definitions, isn't it?

    Apart from that, I don't doubt that human traits can be tested, exploited etc.

    It's just that your particular test didn't convince me.

    I'm not proud of using the term "party trick". I'm in a strange mood today.

  3. #63
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    Funny little stat from the Dunning book: 94% of college professors believe their work is better than their peers.

  4. #64
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    Throughout the world, actually, though I would prefer waiting until TTT is out before discussing it.

    Have you been banging your head against the big Nazi at York there, TsarShev?

  5. #65

    Bias

    So do I think I know it all? Me? No. *wry smile* (letters fall too short...)
    I have to say I'm one of the lucky ones. My point of view, of course, all my pov. Lucky to be alive and thinking. A bit of Decarte. Hows the phrase go: 'cortigo ergo sum'? Twas a starter for thinking. And a bit of all that Ive come across. Im well past thirty and hope my mind isnt totally 'made up' (as some statistician above claimed I 'could' be...)! You're all too clever, too much to say. Some of you may well be intelligent . Still too much to say. Letters and typed words not the best of ways to say it, maybe. Doubt and imprecision. Right/wrong; invariably this/inevitably that; ratios/perspectives; reductionist/hardwired/genes/neurons... Communication! Are we not more than individuals because of that word? Communication? Theres been a lot of debate about what we do inside our own heads, but what about getting any of that across to someone else? Simply doesnt happen. 'Cant transfer the entirety of our 'minds' to 'make' our point. (Make? Agenda... something else...) Oh, I dont think I'd like to be able to do such a thing: Ive 'kind of faught' for over 20 years for whats in my nonce, but I'm sure intrigued by what you folks think. And thinking is key. 'Tis the whole point of this thread, isn't it?
    I was intending to make this one quote, since theres so much to talk about, but Ive kind of veered off track, as I could have guessed I might. 'Was another 'good' point though:
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bakker
    ...they're simply taught how to go through the motions of critical thinking - enough to fool them into thinking they are critical thinkers...
    Yeah...
    Fooled. Could be key, too.
    Most people dont truly wish to use their brains. Hormones and the rest of their physiology 'kind of' gets the hold of them. Of course, personally I dont mind classifying myself as an animal. Fair bit of cortex, but not every part of it is needed all the time!
    Some way to go before we end up as 'mental-man', I reckon. For now, we barely touched the floor and stood upright... *wry smile*

    [Edit: too much 'reckon'ing!]
    Last edited by Hieroglyph; January 18th, 2006 at 10:53 PM.

  6. #66
    Hiero,


    I'm struggling to see your point. Is it we're all too complex, inarticulate and primitive to even make the effort?

  7. #67
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Query:
    Consdering the historical reality of a Confucius, a Gilgamesh, a Julius Ceasar, a Socrates, a Genghis Khan, a Winston Churchill, an Adolph Hitler, a Josef Stalin, a Martin Luther, a Queen Elizabeth, a Thomas Jefferson, or a myriad other historical personages, all of whom seemed to have wrested their conscious from the societal norm that surrounded them, could not one make the case that there is no history without individuals?
    If we can make that case, can we make the case that we are "hardwired" to examine our culture and react to the things that make no sense? Would that not explain the existence of historical personalities and, even, this thread?

  8. #68

    The Point...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boll Weevil
    I'm struggling to see...
    I'm not making a point, BW. To think that I was trying to, is in itself giving rise to difficulty. I was alluding to how we try to see things as individuals (lest we are of Faithful dint) and compairing that to how we attempt to make sense of things through communication.

    [And the Art of writing, to me, is like telling a story of this kind, of the Kellhus kind. Though my blurry attempts are so much less eloquent. And Bakker has spent 20 years or so upon this kind of question...]

    If you have the time, take your time in going over all the replies to this particular thread. Firstly, you might be inclined to think it has a valid question. Later you might get annoyed that there IS no answer. Or you may have fixed it within your own mind to believe you have the answer.

    Whatever the answer is, it is POV. Whatever the answer is that you supply is 'communication'. Most of communication is analogy.

    Its akin to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: the more specific you attempt to be, the less precise appears your reply! And so forth... *wry*

    Or: 'lost in translation'. And so many more analogies.

    How am I to get across any point if I think it will lose its meaning while sat waiting for a reply?

    The Darkness That Comes Before... circumvents all interpretation!

    Kellhus has no 'need' to interpret anything. Thus do I set aside "The Tao of Pooh"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye
    ... historical reality of ...
    How is there reality in the Past? That is surely a perception, right? You look to history in the light of what you know... To encompass the whole of what occured before, during any instant, is asking a little too much of a single mind...


    "Belief formation / challenging stigma and taboo / knowing 'what's what' ..."

    It's grand food for thought. But what I would really like to know is how each and every one us defines 'evil'. You know: that sliding scale from 'good' to 'bad', and so forth... Without that reference between us, you and I, past and present, then what is the POINT of asking if we think we know it all?

  9. #69
    Clarity thy name is not Hieroglyph.

    And back to the early morning radio phone in..."Your POINT caller?"

  10. #70

    Eh?

    Beats me, Boll Weevil.

    The more I think about it the more cortex I feel slough away...

    ["Wait! There are no nerves in your cortex."
    "You're telling me?"
    "Then..."
    "No, I think I am being rhetorical. Or is that metaphorical? A metaphor within a metaphor?"
    "Stick to bombastic. I dont think it matters..."]

  11. #71

    ah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boll Weevil
    ...And back to the early morning radio phone in..."Your POINT caller?"
    ...which reminds me of Jack Lucas from 'The Fisher King'...
    Dont go getting ideas, listeners :P

  12. #72
    I didn't do it! Fantasyeatergal's Avatar
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    I think most people know they don’t possess the Knowledge. However, most people don’t have the leisure to philosophy on a daily basis about it. Accordingly, they live by what they think is right, which ultimately is the best we can do. Live with doubt.

    I also think that to doubt is of an uttermost necessity. Someone who has stopped questioning his/her beliefs is potentially dangerous. There is nothing more frightening than an altruistic monster. Someone who can reach the far end of monstrosity with the unyielding assurance that it’s for the greater good. (Although I have to admit such character makes entirely too good fiction’s villain… )

    I’m doing a major in history, so I work with doubts all day long. And guess what? I’m not on the edge of depression yet! The reason would be that I have the intimate conviction that doubts are positive little buggers.

    But you know… I can be wrong…

  13. #73
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    I don't think I know it all. In fact, I KNOW that I know very little.

    I am very confident in the little I do know, though. Because I am confident in it, I have no reason or inclination to force it on others. Truth reveals itself with no help from me.

  14. #74
    " I think those kind of issues of "how does society function?" or "what is the true relationship between my faith and God?", they take a backseat to survival at times, but when the people I come across think about it, they have almost always accepted that these questions may be beyond them, or beyond all of us, and the best thing to do is just muddle by the best you can."
    Believing that we hold the truth in our hands, and that we are special (and, once we become parents, that our children are the most wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, ever) has survival value. At least it has for most of our history. And this truth is so obviously true that the fact that others don't see this truth proves our superiority.

    Maybe that explains something about the second question as well. Most people think the truth is obvious, and should be taught. No need for the messy stuff about questioning our own beliefs.
    Attitudes like the ones talked about here are attitudes that were possesed by the vast majority of people who argued and called people who thought the world was round idiots. When people claimed that the earth was not the center of the Universe, and the moon, stars, and planets are not gods they were called heretics. An attitude that i get alot from people is " Most people believe this, therefore its true", or "Everybody does it". With these kinds of attitudes we will never progress intelectually, and discover new things.

    A lot of people I talk to despise the idea that history is relative. I was taught in school that the civil war was fought to free the slaves. A lot of germans dont even believe that the holocaust happened.
    Our children are gonna be taught that the Campaigns in afghanistan and Iraq were fought against terrorists, and to free the muslim women, and to liberate kuwait from the wrath of a dictator.

    Imagine, for instance, if we all suddenly stopped believing in the propriety of 'casual consumption'? Thing would deteriorate pretty damn quick! The last thing a society needs is millions of truly critical, individual thinkers, second guessing all the assumptions that entrench its existing hierarchies. The best thing for it to do, rather, is to cultivate the illusion of independent, critical thought. That way, it's members can convince themselves they have already done all the work required (which seems to land me back in the lap of your second point, Prunesquallor!).

    I'm convinced that in our society we call this illusion 'INDIVIDUALISM.'
    Indeed. Capitalism cannot thrive without deceit, The guy in store A isnt gonna tell you that store B next door has a better product for the same price. Or for that matter that you dont need to buy his product to be happy. He wont thrive if he tells you the truth.

    Willful denial the single most dominating factor in how people think about the metaphysics of the world. We should never stop questioning everything thats shouved down are throats, and we should teach are children to question everything.

  15. #75
    I find it funny that a lot of people say that they work and dont have time to discuss philosphy, yet they have the time to read this thread and post on it. I work 60 hours a week and I still have time to think about this stuff. Not having time and not wanting to think about perplexing questions are two different things.

    I didnt interprets Scotts question as implying that he "knows whats what", I got the impression that he was saying we, him included dont know anything for certain. No one wants to believe something if its not flattering, therefore people get mad at the implication that nothing they beleive is certain. Then they say its a waste of time to even doubt things. Our own ego is are worst enemy.

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