Ming the Mechanic:
Being consistent

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Being consistent2007-04-02 21:10
16 comments
by Flemming Funch

Scott Adams on Dilbert Blog:
I’m reading a great book called “Influence: Science and Practice” by Robert B. Cialdini. It’s full of research and anecdotes about how to influence people. It’s a real eye-opener.

One of the most potent forms of persuasion has to do with people’s innate need to be consistent. Studies show that people will ignore logic and information to be consistent. (In other words, we are moist robots.) According to the research, humans are hardwired for consistency over reason. You already knew that: People don’t switch political parties or religions easily. What you didn’t know is how quickly and easily a manipulator can lock someone into a position.

For example, researchers asked people to write essays in support of a random point of view they did not hold. Months later, when surveyed, the majority held the opinion they wrote about, regardless of the topic. Once a person commits an opinion to writing – even an opinion he does not hold – it soon becomes his actual opinion. Not every time, but MOST of the time. The people in these experiments weren’t exposed to new information before writing their contrived opinions. All they did was sit down and write an opinion they didn’t actually have, and months later it became their actual opinion. The experiment worked whether the volunteers were writing the pro or the con position on the random topic.

Most of the truly stupid things done in this world have to do with this consistency principle. For example, once you define yourself as a loyal citizen of Elbonia, you do whatever the King of Elbonia tells you to do, no matter how stupid that is. And your mind invents reasons as to why dying is a perfectly good life strategy.
It's an odd thing. We bend over backwards to appear to be normal and consistent and logical, and in doing so, we tend to become easy to manipulate, and we'll do crazy things without even blinking.


[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic]

Category:  

16 comments

3 Apr 2007 @ 11:50 by rayon : Momentary Expediency
only surely Ming: sooner or later the written words will be superceded by others if not based on some personal substance. This statement assumes a static situation, and that is the problem with science. Science takes a fragment and PROCLAIMS louding of its finding. We all know of things in continuam, not staticum - some of us do think!!!  


3 Apr 2007 @ 13:13 by swanny : Continuum
Continuum has two u ' s....
but she has somewhat of a point, there are a few people that actually try to make sense of the world and life. Most people though, can't spare the time or effort and pay someone else to think or just do stuff for them.

ed  



3 Apr 2007 @ 15:21 by dewf @72.178.11.61 : inner consistency, adopted identities
"oh what a tangled web we weave..."

1. person finds themselves in a situation of fear

2. person lies in order to "resolve" situation

3. this involves further pretense-- lies to cover up lies, until they become quite automatic and internalized

4. person forgets the context of the original lie, so far it has gone. now makes justification to make lie correct, attacks others, etc

5. repeat steps 1-4 repeatedly until you find yourself as a human, locked into time and space. sucks!  



3 Apr 2007 @ 23:34 by ming : Humans
It seems to be a design limitation of humans, the human brain in particular. We can do something, pretty much on automatic, which at first glance seems to be consciousness, but which is sort of the opposite. We make up cover stories for why things are they way they are, even though we really don't understand them. And if somebody hands us some suitable pieces of a story, we tend to use those, still without understanding what's underneath.

At the same time we're obviously capable of self-reflection. We can wake up and become conscious about something, and we can examine it, and try to get closer to what really is. If we couldn't, there would of course be no point in even talking about it.

We have brains that in part serve to filter reality away from us, and garbage-in garbage-out circuitry that will regurgitate the BS we're being fed, as explanations for all sorts of things.

And at the same time we're occasionally aware, and we actually pay attention, and we can transcend those limitations. And we're paying attention to those limitations, some of the time, which is a good thing. So, maybe, just maybe, that means we're in the middle of an evolutionary jump, towards really being conscious most of the time.  



4 Apr 2007 @ 05:29 by gravitonring : no way out of political correctness ???
there is always a yin-yang :)

i went door to door to interview people in their homes for Gallup, one of the most well known and respected public opinion pollsters, and maybe the best at webbing the whole scene of humanity at its most consistent;
[link] a LARGE percentage of people would ASK ME what their opinion SHOULD BE ??? in 1985, one out of three people answered a door knock, sat down for about a half hour and gave opinions...by 1995 NO ONE ANSWERED THEIR DOOR, out of a hundred homes LUCKY if one person responded ???

if i argue ANY point, then i will move toward the point which i am making; however most WHO HEAR ME move toward the position they had BEFORE i defended a point; stupider positions ARE REINFORCED !!! if there are LESS stupid positions then these move toward an even LESSER stupid position; the problem is anything has fuzzy logic, no point is completely stupid nor unstupid in any small group where 'morality' rules, however within a LARGE group NOTHING is too stupid nor immoral, just more or less convenient ???

we can be led into ANYTHING provided the group has enough social conformance ie politically correctness however there is a missing factor: brain disorders on a mass scale, biological, psychological, spiritual or any human vulnerability can disarm millions of people, [drug abuse, holocausts, endless local conflicts] then the way out becomes impossible, if one announces publically that millions of people abuse drugs THEN MORE people actually abuse drugs than before the public news, any news about a local conflict reinforces the conflict!  



11 Apr 2007 @ 21:02 by a-d : Defintion for Creativity
is to do old things in new ways -as with a new twist, so to speak. To be consistent (with the old ways) does NOT promote creativity and hence is thee most styffling of our human traits. THAT is most likely thee trait that makes us and keeps us HUMAN -instead of letting our Spirit/creativity soar and make us -again- Cosmic Beings!  


17 Apr 2007 @ 17:28 by swanny : improv
well we're back to the improv theory
I wonder if evolution is natures take on improv....???

sort of make it up as she goes along...

what are you making Gaia?

ed  



17 Apr 2007 @ 20:06 by Lee @72.154.8.12 : Being consistent
The human brain can not produce life conscious awareness. The human, brain, mind, being, is just one of many spirit mind conscious awareness states of experience. If you really want to be a bird or something else or if you want to visit Heaven or Hell just follow truth with your spirit mind free will decisions until you reach the state of spirit mind conscious awareness you think you want. WARNING: be carefull, you may get what you think you want or don't want? Everything is a state of spirit mind conscious awareness based on Truth Law. Learn more truth for a more abundant life conscious awareness experience.  


21 Apr 2007 @ 23:15 by vaxen : Consistency
Self-Reliance

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay “Self-Reliance”  



22 Apr 2007 @ 11:07 by bapty : Consistency
Any belief or opinion is possible to the conscious mind and to the wilful self that it hosts, but the conscious is our mind's lesser part. The higher part of the human mind is the postconscious, whose function (the only possible function of a free and independent mind)is moral truth, offered to consciousness (which regularly ignores it) by conscience. The postconscious endeavours to promote a morally true reality as the proper state for a supremely intelligent species.

But the present reality, to which the conscious self has to adjust to greater or lesser degree, is largely amoral or immoral, rooted in instinct exemplified by the competitive money economy which makes no morally true sense. A strong instinct, that should be redundant, as Scott Adams says, is contrived consistency - not swerving from the fixed position you have adopted.

Truth is the absolute source of agreement. To discover and realise truth, if to be achieved, must be our firm intention. We then doubt, question and criticize everything, especially our own beliefs and opinions. In this way the door to the postconscious is held open. A reality consistent with truth would not stifle creativity - quite the reverse for the hard unsolved practical problems that have long plagued us would then be settled, leaving us free for harmless abstract exercises of all kinds.

I have offered Humantruth by way of my website and occasionally in these columns with very little result. The reason could be that readers regard my work as my own defensive, contrived consistency. Or it could be that nobody really believes truth to be discoverable by us, nor that a humantrue reality is possible.  



22 Apr 2007 @ 15:00 by vaxen : We...
are living a "humantruth" reality which is naught but vaporous dream. Morality? Such as the "NAZI" state? Or, indeed, the present American (Oh so moral) police
state? The moral of morality? Forget it! Post consciousness by another name is: death. Take a good look at the Ethics pushers, the moralists, the 'good...' throughout time...

As Rathbard once said: "I'd rather be a King in Hell than a slave in heaven. I'm sure Gonzales, Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc., are very 'moral' men/women...

As were the Spaniards under Torquemada!

I sing, the wild moon wanders the sky.

I dance, my shadow goes tumbling about.

While we're awake, let us join in carousal;

Only sweet drunkenness shall ever part us.

Let us pledge a friendship no mortals know,

And often hail each other at evening

Far across the vast and vaporous space!

The Blue Lotus Recluse (Li "Wiseguy" Po)  



23 Apr 2007 @ 11:18 by bapty : True morality
The Ethics pushers were largely mistaken but were the source of misinformation that used to be dished out to the masses. Now the masses can learn truly from the web, despite authority. They have no such excuse, yet the prelavent view remains - that to fulfil intelligent potential is a vaporous dream.

We are not living in the past. The future need not conform to patterns of the past. We, the entire human race, are the good but deny it because it has always been denied to us. Humanity still looks to permanent leaders for guidance but does not need them.

According to my dictionary the word moral means character or conduct. To me it has come to mean 'good and true character and conduct'.

Humanity is highly intelligent. Surely it must be the way of high intelligence to live morally. But the sceptics think otherwise - that humanity can never live morally; a self fulfilling prophecy?

I myself remain optimistic, despite the fact that the discovery of human truth requires much deep thinking (the correlation of everything essential) which few people attempt, it seems, though I believe the numbers are growing. My book The Wrong Reality - see www.humantruth.org - is offered as stimulation of such thinking.  



24 Apr 2007 @ 12:34 by rayon : Judging there
Bapty - some of us refrain from judging others, not thro personal failing but thro respect of the others circumstance of which the ALL can not be apprehended. The new testament advocates as such. A group however, has some kind of sovereignity over its terrain and can ajudicate for the continuance of the group based on personal knowledge of the group (this "group" has a God given right apparently according to some masters). The individual can only theorise for the purpose of postulation. This either gets taken up by many or not, depending. The group is quite different to the individual.

While most people have to work to live, there will never be a Morality acceptable to Utopiaists. Switching to hindoo, life would be different, and moralities float to the surface, because of a basic universal acceptance of society form and function. It always depends on what paradigm is the basis of particular discussion. If this basis is ALWAYS a generalised view of Western Civilisation of American colouration (never current European pockets of advancement) slowly spreading across the globe - we will wear ourselves out deciding on a morality within a wholly and completely amoral by default society. Either one sees it in another individual or not, either one sees it in the corporate conglomerate or not, and so for governments too.

To quote an archbishop currently:

a moral society is only possible when those running things are convinced that there are values and ethical norms to which an entire society is answerable. In a relativist climate, this is difficult. Nothing much is left as a substantive moral basis for public life except a poorly defined principle of tolerance or avoidance of mutual harm.

Even from the point of view of the many with no religious commitment, there is a recognition that this is a thin diet.

Without a notional standard of human excellence and flourishing, the definition of what is good for people is always going to be vulnerable to what suits a dominant interest group. End of edited quote.  



24 Apr 2007 @ 14:42 by vaxen : Ethos/Morals
Ethics (from the Ancient Greek 'eθικός' ēthikos, the adjective of 'eθος' ēthos "custom, habit"), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility. It is divided into three primary areas: meta-ethics (the study of the concept of ethics), normative ethics (the study of how to determine ethical values), and applied ethics (the study of the use of ethical values).

[link]

Kohlberg's stages of moral development are planes of moral adequacy conceived by Lawrence Kohlberg to explain the development of moral reasoning. Created while studying psychology at the University of Chicago, the theory was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget and a fascination with children's reactions to moral dilemmas.[1] He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the university in 1958,[2] outlining what are now known as his stages of moral development.

This theory holds that moral reasoning, which is the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages. He followed the development of moral judgment beyond the ages originally studied by Piaget,[3] who claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages.[4] Kohlberg expanded considerably on this groundwork, determining that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice and that its development continued throughout the lifespan,[2] even spawning dialogue of philosophical implications of his research.[5][6]

Kohlberg used stories about moral dilemmas in his studies, and was interested in how people would justify their actions if they were put in a similar moral crux. He would then categorize and classify evoked responses into one of six distinct stages. These six stages are broken into three levels: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional.[7][8][9] His theory is based on constructive developmental stages; each stage and level is more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than the last.

[link]

===

1. Metaethics


The term "meta" means after or beyond, and, consequently, the notion of metaethics involves a removed, or bird's eye view of the entire project of ethics. We may define metaethics as the study of the origin and meaning of ethical concepts. When compared to normative ethics and applied ethics, the field of metaethics is the least precisely defined area of moral philosophy. Two issues, though, are prominent: (1) metaphysical issues concerning whether morality exists independently of humans, and (2) psychological issues concerning the underlying mental basis of our moral judgments and conduct.
1a. Metaphysical Issues: Objectivism and Relativism

===

The field of ethics, also called moral philosophy, involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves. Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others. Finally, applied ethics involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion, infanticide, animal rights, environmental concerns, homosexuality, capital punishment, or nuclear war. By using the conceptual tools of metaethics and normative ethics, discussions in applied ethics try to resolve these controversial issues. The lines of distinction between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry. For example, the issue of abortion is an applied ethical topic since it involves a specific type of controversial behavior. But it also depends on more general normative principles, such as the right of self-rule and the right to life, which are litmus tests for determining the morality of that procedure. The issue also rests on metaethical issues such as, "where do rights come from?" and "what kind of beings have rights?"

[link]

===



Baruch Spinoza

Ethics
Demonstrated in Geometric Order

AND

DIVIDED INTO FIVE PARTS,

WHICH TREAT
I. Of God.
II. Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind.
III. Of the Origin and Nature of the Affects.
IV. Of Human Bondage, or the Power of the Affects.
V. Of the Power of the Intellect, or of Human Freedom.

[link]

...

Trance Formation Team

[link]

===

Peer Service

[link]  



25 Apr 2007 @ 12:47 by bapty : True morality
Not meaning to judge but to identify truth which emanates from that major part of the mind, the free and independent postconscious whose concerned interest is truth. The lesser conscious mind's interest, at present, is to interact with the reality that rules it. How far the individual is true depends upon the degree to which he or she chooses to be guided by their postconscious. It is our intelligent nature to be so guided whereas to follow the largely instinctive aims and drives is false to intelligent humanity's nature. This present is the wrong reality because it follows the directions, compulsions and unnecessarily complex contrived arguments of the conscious, a mind that is not free and independent and therefore incapable of truth. We no not need to study ethics, for moral truth arises commonly from every postconscious, whether or not heeded.

To study ethics with the conscious mind is a mammoth task that invites confusion. It cannot be done. Truth is to be established by the huge reasoning capacity of the free and independent postconscious, imparted to the conscious. This is difficult enough.

There is no reason to suppose that we have rights, for there is no body to bestow them, but there is every reason for us to have responsibilities, which more or less amounts to the same thing. The work of Spinoza, and philosophers like him, is to be applauded (as I applaud the erudite wisdom of Vaxen)for attempting the impossible - deducing ethics from the history of a wrong reality, using conscious minds whose thinking has been shaped by the same wrong reality.  



13 May 2009 @ 01:48 by shanshan @125.70.58.208 : http://www.tbcgold.fr
thank you  


Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
Subject:       
Comment:
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:


Other stories in
2012-01-24 00:50: Intellectual Property
2011-11-03 16:51: Seeing the world through the Internet
2009-06-11 18:53: Blogging/Microblogging and work
2008-02-23 17:19: Web 1, 2, 3 and 4
2008-02-22 11:07: Illusion
2008-01-09 22:45: A Communication Model
2007-12-02 20:41: Give One Get One
2007-10-25 21:47: Static or dynamic web metaphors
2007-09-18 22:54: Rethinking blogs
2007-07-04 23:59: Scrutiny of Information



[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic] [PermaLink]? 


Link to this article as: http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001818.htm
Main Page: ming.tv