Thursday, January 5, 2012

We're All Suffering. And We Don't Know it!

Don't you just love claims about what you do and do not know regarding yourself?

You are, for instance, an alcoholic, but you didn't know it.  You have to learn it, through time.

In other words, the more familiarity and specificity claims come with, the more we are likely to buy in to the idea that they apply to us.

To add a bit of confusion: a lot of the fundamental definitions that we learn to apply to ourselves, like "alcoholic" itself, is in a sense, very much created.  It describes a pattern of behaviors, any one of which, by itself, may or may not be enough to tip the scales.

And another bit: we've already assumed many definitions already, without full knowledge.  We cannot operate in the world without assumptions regarding our own efficacy, goals, and desires.

The final bit: often times our professed self-belief runs contrary to the understanding of peers we interact with.

This is very strange.  Why should there be such inconsistency?

Another question: what is truly motivating?  How do we create the best incentives?    Must they be universal?

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