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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology: Emotions in animals

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 10:58:18 -0800
Message-id: <BA283FCC3F024AE68D2A4B9648FFAF36@Gateway>
Dear John and Doug,    (01)

Yes, the first documentary is a bit riveting, but
they get even better the more you watch.  There is
a line of "century of the self" which plays
throughout the rest of the documentaries as well.
He describes self interest, which he conflates
with freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and the
dangers of organizations that are convinced they
are righteous, whether, as you say, they are
governments, corporations, religions, families, or
any other form with a plurality of interacting
humans.      (02)

He describes the work of Isaiah Berlin, who was
first so far as I know in describing how
organizations can be so blinded by righteousness
that they bring about the destruction of the very
thing they are working for.  For example, the
communist revolution in Russia was motivated by
high sounding goals of making everyone happy
through redistribution of wealth.  But the very
righteousness that drove the revolutionaries, they
felt, justified taking inhumane steps to force
people to be in line with their plans, since they
felt their plans would bring good.  Instead, their
convictions turned out to be the cause of their
downfall.      (03)

Berlin claimed that this story repeated throughout
history.  In the cold war, the US and UK set out
to defeat communism, and through their
righteousness, actually brought about great
suffering.  The Sandinistas, for example, which
even Reagan supported.  But Berlin's point was
that righteous organizations ALWAYS bring about
the very thing they wanted to fix.  No
organization is exempt from this characteristic
response, according to Berlin, so it must be part
of human behavior, at least that is my tentative
conclusion for now.      (04)

I hope you enjoy the rest of Curtis's
documentaries as well.  They very nicely summarize
what I think of as self interest.      (05)

-Rich    (06)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (07)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 10:32 AM
To: doug@xxxxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest
Ontology: Emotions in animals    (08)

Rich and Doug,    (09)

> This is a post from another newsgroup    (010)

I have only watched the first documentary so far,
and I agree
that it's interesting.    (011)

> I find it curious to equate "emotional drives"
> "self interest".  I agree that there are
> between various drives and *perceived* self
> but would hold that the relationship between
them and
> self interest is more complex.    (012)

The basic point I found in the documentary is that
people can play on people's emotions to get them
to do things
that are not in their own self interest.    (013)

But that is true of manipulative people in any
group of any size,
ranging from a nuclear family up to organizations
of any kind.
Those include a nuclear family, a school clique, a
or other social group with perverse hazing
practices, and huge
groups with the power to manipulate millions of
people -- for
example, governments, corporations, and organized
religions.    (014)

> But both of these people told me that it was the
> emotions of the subject which are incongruent
> the words, or the situation in which they fit.    (015)

That's a good point.  But note that it takes a
great deal of
training and experience to learn how to detect the
the liars.    (016)

And there are many professional liars who are able
to manipulate
experts who should know better -- Bernie Madoff,
for example.    (017)

John    (018)

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