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  1. #1
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    Default Are Ideology and Morality like AIG and Citibank?

    Are Ideology and Morality like AIG and Citibank?


    Are AIG and Citibank too big and complex to fail?

    Can our high tech capitalism, where extraordinary power rests in ordinary hands, survive such a situation?

    How can capitalism adjust?


    Are ideology and morality too big and complex to be encompassed by science?

    Can our high tech species, where extraordinary power rests in ordinary hands, survive such a situation?

    How can the human species adjust?



    I am really only interested in this later sequence of questions.

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Are AIG and Citibank too big and complex to fail? No

    Can our high tech capitalism, where extraordinary power rests in ordinary hands, survive such a situation? Yes

    How can capitalism adjust? Balance.


    Are ideology and morality too big and complex to be encompassed by science?

    Science as we know today? Yes. Although in theory, it can be encompassed by science. We are just not at that level, and may never be.

    Can our high tech species, where extraordinary power rests in ordinary hands, survive such a situation?
    Yes, despite our technical advances. We have the ability to survive great catastrophes. If need be, we could all go back to agriculture. Or even further back, hunter gatherer. As a species, our survival depends on more things then just idealogy and morality. But both idealogy and morality can have great influence on our lives nonetheless. Both great as well as horrible influence. In theory.

    How can the human species adjust?
    Absolutely. Out of any living being known to man. Humankind is the most adaptive. We're pretty much at the technological level to live in freaking space if we would need to survive, as a species.

  3. #3
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    No real answer, but this reminds of an article I read in National Geographic a while ago.

    National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    No real answer, but this reminds of an article I read in National Geographic a while ago.

    National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com

    Swarm Theory & Group Psychology

    Scientists are studying and trying to develop an ability to emulate the actions of animal swarms. The birds and the bees can do it; why cannot humans emulate their behavior to our advantage?

    The collective behavior of animal swarms displays advantageous collective actions without the guidance of organized leadership. Ants, as individuals, are not clever—as a collective ants, bees, birds, caribou, etc. are amazingly clever—there seems to exist something one might label as swarm intelligence—simple creatures following simple rules equal swarm intelligence.

    Computer engineers attempt to emulate swarm intelligence to solve complex human problems.

    Compare animal swarm intelligence with group psychology. What is the nature of the ‘group mind’, i.e. the mental changes such individuals undergo as a result of becoming a group?

    A bond develops much like cells which constitute a living body—group mind is more of an unconscious than a conscious force—there are motives for action that elude conscious attention—distinctiveness and individuality become group behavior based upon unconscious motives—there develops a sentiment of invincible power, anonymous and irresponsible attitudes--repressions of unconscious forces under normal situations are ignored—conscience which results from social anxiety disappear.

    Contagion sets in—hypnotic order becomes prevalent—individuals sacrifice personal interest for the group interest.

    Suggestibility, of which contagion is a symptom, leads to the lose of conscious personality—the individual follows suggestions for actions totally contradictory to person conscience—hypnotic like fascination sets in—will and discernment vanishes—direction is taken from the leader in an hypnotic like manner—the conscious personality disappears.

    “Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization.” Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian—a creature acting by instinct. “He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.”

    There is a lowering of intellectual ability “pointing to its similarity with the mental life of primitive people and of children…A group is credulous and easily influenced”—the improbable seldom exists—they think in images—feelings are very simple and exaggerated—the group knows neither doubt nor uncertainty—extremes are prevalent, antipathy becomes hate and suspicion becomes certainty.

    Force is king—force is respected and obeyed without question—kindness is weakness—tradition is triumphant—words have a magical power—supernatural powers are easily accepted—groups never thirst for truth, they demand illusions—the unreal receives precedence over the real—the group is an obedient herd—prestige is a source for domination, however it “is also dependent upon success, and is lost in the event of failure”.


    Perhaps human groups cannot develop in a similar manner as does swarm intelligence but the existence of such successful ways of handling complex problems indicates that some critical thinking regarding human group behavior is certainly in order.

    Questions for discussion:

    Do you think it is possible for humans to significantly improve performance within a group?

    Do you think that we can find a way to make group behavior to be smarter?

    Sources for ideas and quotes in this OP come from “Swarm Theory”--an article in the July 2007 edition of “National Geographic” and from “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego” by Freud.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    That swarm theory thing is very interesting. I've read things about it before.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Do you think it is possible for humans to significantly improve performance within a group?
    Definitely! The way I see it, it can't possibly get worse. So any thing would be an improvement. Essentially everyone is gathering capital (and other broader or more specific things like wealth, health care, ..) entirely as individuals. There is no "group" whatsoever, except for military operations or corporate operations.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Do you think that we can find a way to make group behavior to be smarter?
    There's no way I can answer that although I hope someone else can. I think it would require an event of some sort, never seen before, to really make a change in the current state of mind of people in general. To even create a group-based thinking. Utopian almost.
    Considering how instinctive swarm behavior is, we would all need some unconscious borg like mentality to emulate it.

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