Psycho-Babble Social Thread 1094743

Shown: posts 1 to 8 of 8. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

volunteering

Posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:14:52

Yeah, that seems to be the volunteering situation here, too.

Some of our most powerful organisations seem to operate under the rubric of 'charity'.

They can't turn a profit, but can certainly invest in health property / real estate. Ambulances. Helecopters.

They can employ a bunch of people ('renumeration for your time').

They can get a bunch of people doing work for free - with the lure of future opportunities.

I think it is as hard to work your way up with charities as it is to work your way up with any business. Not sure how much you have to put up with not getting much in the way of anything done in order to start getting started... If they'll let you do anything...
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I always have this thing. This sort of 'the truth will out' thing. This idea that people will get to know me eventually. The more I get to know people the more faith that I have that I have things of merit / value that aren't all that common... But then I worry more that the relevant people will never find me... Appreciate me for the strengths I have...
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But I suppose I still have this thing about how it is better to be hated for what one is than loved for what one is not.
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I went to this talk today that was weird. About Alzheimer's / Dementia. About how social embeddedness seems to be protective. About how there is some established survey thing that they use to assess whether people are lonely or not. How people who are lonely are badly off etc etc etc.

And it upsets me because I think that this line (along with 'cultural appropriateness') is used to justify practices like... Free range prisons. Where you don't get an individual cell but where you have to share with another person or where there aren't individual cells at all but you have to share with everyone. And the people can just... Beat each other to death, or whatever. Because that is the pro-social culturally appropriate way of things, you see.

And I think this line is used to justify practices like... Forcing elderly people into a similar set-up 'retirement village' where they don't even get their own bedroom... In exchange for all their assets, you see. Or the home / government takes some and the kids take some and the old person is... Happy. The studies show. Less demented. Judged by others to be.
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The lonley thing is hard... Thinking about what that is about. How you can be lonley even though you have masses of people about you (whether it be online or IRL). It's about the *quality* of the relationship, of course.
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These national science challenges are... Awful. Politics is... Awful. It's about power, I guess. Something for nothing. A whole bunch of people trying to get something for nothing.

The guy said something about social embeddedness. About how that was what made life worth living / meaningful. About how it was hard to see what on earth else could make your life worth living / meaningful when you were older. About how young people are driven by narcissistic goals like the accumulation of assets and the desire to have a family etc...

That's his view of life... Of what it's about...

Having a family is narcissistic...

I guess that's why so many people want to have them...
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Civilisation...

Is receeding...

I think his message was mostly that those of us concerned enough to be at the talk weren't really those people who were likely to be accused of Alzheimer's / Dementia later in life...

A bunch of adolescent puppies jostling about each trying to get their leg up to take delight in pissing over the other one - just because they can and that's what life is about...

I'm tired of here.

 

Re: volunteering

Posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:26:30

In reply to volunteering, posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:14:52

And sometimes you see people pull together.

I remember when I was a kid (very young) and parent volunteers built a playground. Wooden beams and weaving ropes into climbing nets and stuff like that. Working class people. Plumbers and builders and so on would literally help build the school on weekends.

And my Father used to volunteer for this thing called the Lion's Club. Which involved beers on Friday after work (pretty sure) but also involved half day projects - for other people's schools - and things like that.

And what happened?

You do see the odd thing... I watched this Ted talk on cleaning up Mombai. How people did things like painting walls and providing spit pots for people to spit in the pots. Or partly sheltered outdoor urinals that stopped people from pissing all over the wall as they had been doing before (so an improvement, yeah). On cleaning up subway underpasses. On how once these things were cleaned up (intelligently like with the pots and urinals for minor behavioral change) the changes were maintained months later...

But mostly...

Not.

I'm really tired of where I'm living. Awful people. I don't know what to say. I used to work at a place and I did cleaning work as part of that. Worked in the kitchen. And I knuckled down and got on with it and did the job well with cheer in my heart. And the people who are paid to do work here... Bitch and moan and complain. Cut as many corners as they can. Leave their stuff all strewn about (have you set a trap for others today?) And when it isn't beligerance it is incompetence. A genuine inability to see... And I simply don't understand why they are paid to do their job when they don't get on and do it. And I'm tired of living with such awful people.

I'm tired of these awful people making me feel bad that I'm not happy and delighted to live with them. That there is something wrong with me that I'm not delighted about the cleaners antics of trying to trip people up with the vaccum cleaner cord etc.

I'm tired of this whole 'be grateful for what you have got because you could be living in the slums of Mombai or Tonga'.

We don't have much housing, here. That's basically the issue. There isn't much in the way of habitable housing. Most of the stuff that's advertised is... More about driving up property prices, I think. Price fixing sort os stuff so people think they've found the best they can find at that price and they sign contracts to pay that price... We don't have much in the way of government laws... And people come here / invest in here accordingly. If it isn't legally prohibited then that makes it an opportunity - yes?

It's just awful.

 

Re: volunteering

Posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:35:49

In reply to Re: volunteering, posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:26:30

You really could spend your life arguing / interacting with people about rubbish. You really could. Your whole life. Some people really have nothing better to do / can't envisage a better way for them to spend their time.

I keep coming back to Frank... How is it that co-operation is possible, at all?

That's the thing... How could co-operation have evolved? How is it that it managed to evolve at all given the problem of social free-riders (who will take whatever they can get and shirk their responsibilities)?

There was this... Attitude of just how lucky we were. To have a great group of people... So smart... So hardworking... To live in this wonderfully quiet environment where we could get on with work. To have wonderfully efficient support staff that did their jobs (and went above and beyond) so things went smoothly and we were able to really make good inroads on the work. What a wonderful environment it was to work in and to be part of that.

And it was.

So why the hell did I leave it?

Because I wanted more?

Not more... Because I wanted different. Because I didn't feel that I was making a meaningful contribution. I saw that they were. I didn't see that I was.

I don't understand why people are so determined to revel in their sh*t, here.

 

Re: volunteering

Posted by baseball55 on August 30, 2017, at 20:35:19

In reply to Re: volunteering, posted by alexandra_k on August 29, 2017, at 23:35:49

> I keep coming back to Frank... How is it that co-operation is possible, at all?
>
> That's the thing... How could co-operation have evolved? How is it that it managed to evolve at all given the problem of social free-riders (who will take whatever they can get and shirk their responsibilities)?


Humans are naturally cooperative and always have lived in groups. We are too weak physically and our children require too long a period of care to have survived outside of groups. Free-riding is a problem that increases with the size and level of interaction of the group. In small groups or groups where everyone's actions are eventually widely known, free-riding is much less of a problem.

Economists and psychologists have done a lot of experiments on whether people will cooperate or free-ride under various circumstances. Findings: people who are made to feel that they are "special" or "powerful" in some way are more likely to free-ride. People are more likely to free-ride when they are anonymous and won't participate in future experiments with those with whom they are interacting. An interesting factoid (I am an economist): subjects for these experimental games are usually college students. Economics students who take classes with right-wing, free-market ideologues (and there are a lot of those in economics) are more likely to free-ride.

 

Re: volunteering baseball55

Posted by alexandra_k on August 31, 2017, at 1:39:42

In reply to Re: volunteering, posted by baseball55 on August 30, 2017, at 20:35:19

I have never studied economics. I wonder, though, whether economists are trained that:

- Every one acts to further their own self interest
- Every one is rational

Then when people do things that don't seem to further their self interest the conclusion is that people are irrational. So then... To prove yourself to be particularly smart or clever... Involves your getting your leg up over someone else and pissing on them (furthering your self interest at the expense of their self interest).

I have never studied economics so perhaps that is unfair. I have been to a lot of talks where economists seemed to think that they were so very clever for screwing other people over, however... And I thought that they seemed to be playing a very different game indeed, from the rest of us. Maybe... Because the rest of us weren't playing that game...

I don't know.

> Humans are naturally cooperative and always have lived in groups. We are too weak physically and our children require too long a period of care to have survived outside of groups. Free-riding is a problem that increases with the size and level of interaction of the group. In small groups or groups where everyone's actions are eventually widely known, free-riding is much less of a problem.

Yes. I have heard of these things...

> Economists and psychologists have done a lot of experiments on whether people will cooperate or free-ride under various circumstances. Findings: people who are made to feel that they are "special" or "powerful" in some way are more likely to free-ride.

That is interesting to me. I didn't know that. I have, of course, heard of 'power corrupts'. I like to think it wouldn't corrupt me. But of course... What would I know?


> People are more likely to free-ride when they are anonymous and won't participate in future experiments with those with whom they are interacting.

Yeah. I have heard of that. Why tip when you are travelling? And yet... People do...

> An interesting factoid (I am an economist): subjects for these experimental games are usually college students. Economics students who take classes with right-wing, free-market ideologues (and there are a lot of those in economics) are more likely to free-ride.

Yeah. I think there is something about 'you know the system - now beat it!' sort of an appeal to students who like to study such things.

But I don't know... I know students coming more from a philosophy, politics, economics perspective. Which is different from a management / economics perspective...

I have never studied economics. I have read Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments... Not his stuff on the free market so much. Maybe his free market presupposed that people had moral sentiment / lack of sociopathy... I don't know...

 

Re: volunteering

Posted by alexandra_k on August 31, 2017, at 1:42:12

In reply to Re: volunteering baseball55, posted by alexandra_k on August 31, 2017, at 1:39:42

I wonder if it is partly because of the devaluation of tradeschool types of stuff. I mean... I don't know many people who are capable of doing things... Competent plumbers or electritions or whatever. People who have the skill and expertise to get things done.

I know a bunch of people who will happily shuffle numbers or words about on a page...

It seems all the money goes to the latter and none of the former gets done, anymore.

 

Re: volunteering baseball55

Posted by beckett2 on September 1, 2017, at 17:37:18

In reply to Re: volunteering, posted by baseball55 on August 30, 2017, at 20:35:19

> > I keep coming back to Frank... How is it that co-operation is possible, at all?
> >
> > That's the thing... How could co-operation have evolved? How is it that it managed to evolve at all given the problem of social free-riders (who will take whatever they can get and shirk their responsibilities)?
>
>
> Humans are naturally cooperative and always have lived in groups. We are too weak physically and our children require too long a period of care to have survived outside of groups. Free-riding is a problem that increases with the size and level of interaction of the group. In small groups or groups where everyone's actions are eventually widely known, free-riding is much less of a problem.
>
> Economists and psychologists have done a lot of experiments on whether people will cooperate or free-ride under various circumstances. Findings: people who are made to feel that they are "special" or "powerful" in some way are more likely to free-ride. People are more likely to free-ride when they are anonymous and won't participate in future experiments with those with whom they are interacting. An interesting factoid (I am an economist): subjects for these experimental games are usually college students. Economics students who take classes with right-wing, free-market ideologues (and there are a lot of those in economics) are more likely to free-ride.

Interesting, and thank you for the food for thought. A hot topic in our country. Then there is Harvey.

 

Re: volunteering beckett2

Posted by alexandra_k on September 10, 2017, at 15:29:01

In reply to Re: volunteering baseball55, posted by beckett2 on September 1, 2017, at 17:37:18

> Then there is Harvey.

?



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