How can people be so different?
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06-02-2013, 07:26 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
(06-02-2013 04:55 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(06-02-2013 04:50 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  I think you really need to distinguish between the hard and the soft sciences.

I don't know that non science people are quite as you seem to suggest.
Yet, at the bottom line, we are all human beings, with our limited lifespan on this planet, most of us wanting to survive.

What I don't understand is: why people don't have that desire, that irresistable compulsion, to make sure that they know the truth?

I had had that compulsion from my earliest years I remember, long before I became a scientist.

That is why I became a scientist.

Don't people want to make sure that they are right in their opinion?

Their life my depend on it some day.

That is what I don't understand.
You say it may depend on it SOME day... which I think is exactly a flaw in your understanding of this differential trend. I see nothing irresistible about the desire to know what is more true. I have a strong desire but it is not on any level irresistible and I don't think it is for all people. It may be for some but there are much stronger more important compulsions.

Animals in general and people aren't evolved to focus more on what is going to be depended on some day. It's about what you must depend on at this point in time. I don't feel any desire other than the urges to find sustenance and content safety as irresistible; with that lingering desire to reproduce right behind all of those trends.

I read above it being said that it's a shame that people have feelings all over the place; I think that's a the complete opposite of "truth as I see it." Perhaps that's stemmed from a fear/dislike of conformity.

I think the issue of scientists being more likely to agree is because they are working on those conclusions in a "defined" system. As in the scientific method while using similar data. That's something that is more defined by rules from the beginning while I think there is more complexity to our organic systems. There is a wide scope of extreme ranges because there isn't a set rules of thought being agreed upon from the beginning; not even in the way we experience reality to some people.

I see there being a natural genetic reason that there are such strong differences in species themselves. There is a benefit to looking at things in different ways to survive in a community or even individually. It can create a benefit by a divergence of ideas and by a fault of our societies it has had devastatingly negative consequences, but that's part of the process of achieving information on how to improve the species we are socially.

"Love is hot, Truth is molten!"
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06-02-2013, 09:05 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
So, ClideLee, are you saying that people don't notice the glaring contradictions in and among their opinions (in their own heads), or they do but aren't bothered by them?

See examples in my previous posts (many more exist but those two will do for now).
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06-02-2013, 09:26 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
There are so many kinds of people and so many variables to why people think (or don't think) the way they do.

There is innate ability, or lack thereof, in a person's intellectual capacity.

Some people have a thirst for any and all knowledge while others are content to glide along blissfully ignorant. Those are two extremes and then you have all the people some place on the middle that have one particular focus or a small set of things that interest them enough to research and learn more about them.

Some families are pro-education and learning in general...some aren't, in fact some discourage it.

There are people that are disciplined in learning subjects such as science and math. Some of those have a knack for it and some don't.

Some people are more suited for artistic endeavors instead of the more academic areas of focus.

There are those among us that are driven and those that are simply lazy.

And some people are just dumb asses that can't do any better.

To ask why people are different on nearly any level involves too broad a range of variables to come up with an answer that fits every person and every circumstance.

We are all...snowflakes...a nod to Lewis Black.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted, and some showed up along the way. - JF
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06-02-2013, 10:17 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2013 10:23 PM by Zat.)
RE: How can people be so different?
Let me try to clarify.

I KNOW that people are different, with different abilities, orientations, past influences, present and future interests, allegiances, etc., etc.

I am not questioning this difference, they are obvious and highly visible.

What I am asking is the following:

- Why don't many of us see the gaping holes and contradictions in our own opinions?
- Why don't many of us ask those critical-thinking-questions I listed earlier?
- Why don't we seek to understand each others' opinions and try to reach a consensus, instead of blind opposition as it often happens?

I mentioned scientists as a counter example before.

I have been to many conferences where scientific papers are read and discussed. There is plenty of disagreement going on, but it usually follows this pattern:

X: I agree with A, C, F and G in your statement, but I have problem with B, D and E for the following reasons: J, K and L.
Y: You are right about J and K, however, I disagree with L. In view of your argument I am willing to revise B and D, but I still think I was right about E.

And the argument continues in this fashion, sometimes for hours, sometimes for years.

On forums, however, this pattern seems to be missing. Instead, you get statements like "fella, you are full of shit" -- to which the other replies: "no, it is YOU who is full of shit."

Of course I exaggerated a bit to make a point but you know what I mean.

Usually what really happens on forums is: most people don't respond to the entire post but pick out 'trigger-words' that irritate them and ignore everything else: the context, the logic, the real meaning of the thread and argue with what they think the post said, instead of what it actually said.

If science were done in this fashion, we would still be in the caves.

I did NOT say that scientists are better human beings -- far from it: many are just as irrational in their private and political/social lives as most of us. I am only saying that, in their own narrow area of specialization, they are more SUCCESSFUL in making progress, and this way they demonstrate a METHOD of relating to each other that could benefit us all -- especially if this method and this critical thinking was actively promoted in the education system.

I hope I managed to make it clear what I am after in this thread?
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06-02-2013, 10:20 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
(06-02-2013 06:53 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(06-02-2013 05:56 PM)nach_in Wrote:  With social stuff is very similar, logic can help us of course, but it can't solve everything, there's a creative element in the process to find a way to know what is the best course of action and how to take it, and in that point people start to disagree.
We have to differentiate between two things:

a./ knowing the truth
b./ finding "the best course of action"

I was talking about a./ -- people's professed convictions about how they think things are.

And, to this area, the list of critical thinking questions I listed earlier does apply.

Except most people never think of applying them and they don't seem to be bothered by harboring glaring contradictions in their own heads, conveniently obscured by compartmentalization (like religion and science in the same head). Another example: many conservatives preach the sanctity of life, try to prevent abortion and euthanasia, while supporting the death penalty and sending young people abroad, by the hundreds of thousands, to kill and be killed. And they don't seem to think that their heads are full of contradictions.
Ok, fair enough, but take ethics for example, if you apply those questions to ethics it's of little help, and in this area almost everyone disagrees with everyone in some point, it seems that there're no two people who think alike about ethics.
There're some attempts to come up with some system of rules that apply to everyone but it only led to schools of thought that are very well justified.
Some things are just too complex for us to fully know in a simple way.

I suspect that you're generalizing from some particular cases, believing in god is one for sure, in this case I agree with you that critical thinking is enough to at least level the beliefs and get them closer. Sadly it doesn't work well with every major issue of society.

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06-02-2013, 10:30 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
nach_in, I tried to clarify my main question. You posted just after mine and may have missed it. Look up! Smile
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06-02-2013, 10:38 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
(06-02-2013 10:30 PM)Zat Wrote:  nach_in, I tried to clarify my main question. You posted just after mine and may have missed it. Look up! Smile
Yeah, I missed it, thanks Big Grin

I see now your point and it's true, I've noticed it also.

I'm with you about more education needed on critical thinking for that kind of debate, and I'd like to add to that that humans are very emotional, and many (if not all) times we just can't keep objective, for some people is easier and for others is harder to keep it cool. Maybe it's an empathy thing, if we don't live in an empathic environment then we'll have a harder time understanding what others mean when they talk to us and that could lead to emotional, rather than intellectual, responses to disagreement.

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06-02-2013, 10:43 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
Hey, Zat.

Quote:So, ClideLee, are you saying that people don't notice the glaring
contradictions in and among their opinions (in their own heads), or they
do but aren't bothered by them?

I know this isn't your opinion, but I picked up on it.

Divide a cherry pie in three using the fraction system.
Now do it using the decimal system.

One of those systems tells you that it's impossible.

This is the thing about ideology. All ideologies contain contradictions. All of them. Without exception. There are mechanisms in place to naturalise those ideologies (make them seem like they're just common sense, like the 24 hour clock, utterly fabricated but it's so naturalised that we can't even conceive of the passage of time without it) and to suture the contradictions so that we don't pay attention to them (like creating terms like "irrational numbers" to cover up the fact that we all know that the idea that you can't divide one by three is bullshit).

So most of the time, we don't notice the contradictions in our ideologies. And we are at all times both the agents of and affected by ideology. All of us. At all times of the day.

Sometimes we do notice and then we try to deconstruct those ideologies (like transgendered people who are trying to deconstruct the ideology of the male/female dichotomy) but another mechanism kicks in and the ideology tries to reassert itself (like when people tell a Toronto family raising their child without a gender distinction that they're wrong to do so).

As far as your main question, there are two systems evolving: our biological systems (the hardware) and our cultural systems (the software). As with computers, changes in hardware pretty much have to be implemented in the next generation, but changes in software can happen at will (through patches, re-installs, or software upgrades). So culture evolves at a much faster rate than biology. Culture can undergo dramatic changes in a day, but biology takes decades.

In terms of overlap, there is overlap. I just came back from the Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins game (fuck you Boston!!!). They sang both national anthems at the beginning. Two countries. Both of them like hockey. Both of them HAVE national anthems. And the music? It came from both countries. French hip hop next to American rock, next to AC/DC from down under. Will Smith was there. American star, Canadian arena knew exactly who he was and understood why they were playing "Gettin Jiggy Wit It" on the PA. So there is often cultural overlap.

But there is also cultural drift. As in genetic drift, cultures, separated by space-time (geography, political borders, distance), build up differences in traits. That's what makes cultures different. But because space-time doesn't mean much to humans anymore (satellites, undersea fiber optic cables, the Internet, telephones, cars, highways, airplanes, boats and other technologies that annihilate space-time) there is a great deal of cultural flow. But some traits can't flow as freely as others because cultural traits form complexes that are made up of interdependent traits, that represent an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) and that are resistant to invasion (Sharia ain't making an appearance in US federal law any time soon and neither is Leninist communism).

So cultures are different. There is overlap. Sometimes cultural flow is restricted.

As for forums, remember, the Internet annihilates space time. I'm from Montreal, Vosur's a German, Fulton's from Australia, there's more than one Yank around here and that's just off the top of my head. So when we're here, in this forum, we're connecting people who are otherwise very much separated geographically. That is the context we LIVE in; our sociocultural context. So we come to this forum as people from very different cultures. This forum IS the place of culture flow. It's here that ideas are flowing back and forth between previously separated people and it's here that some things overlap and where some cultural complexes are resisting invasion.

Science and math can travel across cultural borders very easily because science uses a dead language and math uses a language only used in math. So neither are tied to a specific culture. So everyone can use it as long as they learn the code. If science and math were both in English, it would likely be a different story. Also, science and math allows it's users to verify things on their own and as long as you use science and math to do it, it will be validated. So it's very decentralised. It also provides some easily measurable benefits and doesn't clash with many pre-existing cultural complexes (with some notable exceptions).

But science and math are not everything.
Quote:What we call "science" is only one
particular science, a style of filtering experience that has been designed by
and for a culture of uniformity and central control. It accepts only
experiences that can be translated into numbers, that are available to everyone,
and that can be reproduced on command. This is what scientists mean when they
demand "proof." But this is only a tiny thread of all possible
experiences, most of which are unique, not quantifiable, not reproducible, and
not the same for all observers.
-Ran Prieur

There are many cultural traits outside of science and math. Makes sense. Math is a few thousand years old, science is a few hundred and culture is tens of thousands of years old.

MOST cultural traits are not empirical. MOST. So not only are there differences, but the traits are qualitative, not quantitative. Maybe I think Bud Light tastes like piss, but maybe a German doesn't like Molson, but the Dane thinks that Carlsberg is the shit and the Japanese dude is like, "Sapporo, mutha fuckas!" It's all beer. But different cultures prefer theirs (or not) for very qualitative reasons. Same with music. Same with fashion. Same with a lot of things.

When it comes to how to organise human systems, it's been proven that content is irrelevant. Success depends only on whether or not everyone has bought into the system. That's not a philosophy, it's an empirically demonstrated fact put together by those hippies at Harvard. So the things you list like "social organization (Socialism or Capitalism), Justice (death penalty or
not), foreign policy (policeman of the world versus international
bully), sexual orientation (perversion versus natural), religion (final
truth versus delusion) etc., etc, " should be EXPECTED to be different from culture to culture (and there's mass media theory on top of that that adds even more to the complexity of difference).

Quote:Ordinary (non-scientist) people however like extreme and antagonistic
positions and don't seek out common ground with each other.

You're seeing it wrong.





Culture exists in context. Traits form complexes. Things need to be consistent WITHIN those complexes (and inconsistencies and contradictions are sutured). Science IS a complex. So scientists agree because science exists HORIZONTALLY across cultures. They're all working within the same complex. But many other complexes exist vertically within a given culture and can only be compared and contrasted with other complexes in other cultures.

Difference invariably means conflict. There's nothing wrong with conflict, it's a perfectly natural byproduct of social interaction. It's how that conflict is dealt with that is the issue. Sometimes people from different cultures can have a dialogue. Sometimes they scream and shout and stomp their feet. Sometimes they try to kill each other.

So these people are in cultural conflict. That can create antagonism and rigidity. We can only work through it if we recognise it.

Conflict resolution is a skill set. And it's a remarkably difficult skill set to learn.

So you should expect that different cultures will have different views. You should equally expect that this will lead invariably to conflict. What you don't have to expect is how that conflict will play out and how it will be resolved. That is within all of us to affect.

Hope that helps.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-02-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: How can people be so different?
(06-02-2013 10:17 PM)Zat Wrote:  Usually what really happens on forums is: most people don't respond to the entire post but pick out 'trigger-words' that irritate them and ignore everything else: the context, the logic, the real meaning of the thread and argue with what they think the post said, instead of what it actually said.

If science were done in this fashion, we would still be in the caves.

Personal Observations:

Anonymity

In my opinion people have trouble prefacing their comments and stongly held beliefs and ideas with the words "in my opinion". Wink

In my view I think thinking sometimes hurts people's heads. It's so much easier to parrot what someone else says that "sounds" right than to take the time to do your own research. Einstein


People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. Dave Barry Argue

Throughout history conversions happen at the point of a sword, deconversions at the point of a pen - FC

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain in Eruption
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06-02-2013, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2013 11:23 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: How can people be so different?
Quote:- Why don't many of us see the gaping holes and contradictions in our own opinions?
One reason is as stated already: we don't care about logic, or even truth; we care about winning - even if not winning anything tangible, just trouncing the other guy, looking good to the audience, or to ourselves, feeling powerful.
Another reason is, we're not actually expressing our own opinions but repeating a party line, an article of faith, an unexamined assumption, a slogan.
Another reason is deception or self-deception. For example, a system of government or a kind of economy gives the person an advantage of some kind. So he doesn't question the justice, efficiency or sustainability of it but pretends he's speaking from conviction; that his system is inevitable, ethical, the only one that works - whatever.

Quote:- Why don't many of us ask those critical-thinking-questions I listed earlier?

Cynically, because they don't serve our present agenda.
Pathetically, because we don't expect any truthful or accurate answers.
In most cases, probably because we don't know what questions to ask, when, of whom. Sources of information are obscure and unreliable; issues are murky and contentious; language itself is a minefield.

Quote:- Why don't we seek to understand each others' opinions and try to reach a consensus, instead of blind opposition as it often happens?

We've tried. They are full of shit and won't budge.

Really, though, most of us, most of the time, are doing all of that. In our jobs, with our families and neighbours, in our community actions, in deciding which lawn-mower to buy and whether to drive to Sarnia this weekend, we can be perfectly sensible. It's only faith (political, economic and religious doctrine) that defies reason.

Because it is stacked - designed and built and triple-reinforced to withstand assault by reason.
It's nothing like science.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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