icubud: (Default)
An interesting article about differences in cultures and beliefs and how open civil discussion is good for everyone.
icubud: (Default)
An interesting article about differences in cultures and beliefs and how open civil discussion is good for everyone.

Do Right

Jun. 9th, 2012 07:49 am
icubud: (ancient secrets chalk drawing by me)
Article from Thursday's NYT

The Moral Diet

In the 1970s, the gift shop at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was an informal affair. It was staffed by about 300 mostly elderly volunteers, and there were cash drawers instead of registers. The problem was that of the shop’s $400,000 in annual revenue, somebody was stealing $150,000.

Dan Weiss, the gift shop manager at the time who is now the president of Lafayette College, investigated. He discovered that there wasn’t one big embezzler. Bunches of people were stealing. Dozens of elderly art lovers were each pilfering a little.

That’s one of the themes of Dan Ariely’s new book “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.” Nearly everybody cheats, but usually only a little. Ariely and his colleagues gave thousands of people 20 number problems. When they tackled the problems and handed in the answer sheet, people got an average of four correct responses. When they tackled the problems, shredded their answers sheets and self-reported the scores, they told the researches they got six correct responses. They cheated a little, but not a lot.

That’s because most of us think we are pretty wonderful. We can cheat a little and still keep that “good person” identity. Most people won’t cheat so much that it makes it harder to feel good about themselves.

Ariely, who is one of the most creative social scientists on the planet, invented other tests to illustrate this phenomenon. He put cans of Coke and plates with dollar bills in the kitchens of college dorms. People walked away with the Cokes, but not the dollar bills, which would have felt more like stealing.

He had one blind colleague and one sighted colleague take taxi rides. The drivers cheated the sighted colleague by taking long routes much more often than they cheated the blind one, even though she would have been easier to mislead. They would have felt guilty cheating a blind woman.

Ariely points out that we are driven by morality much more than standard economic models allow. But I was struck by what you might call the Good Person Construct and the moral calculus it implies. For the past several centuries, most Westerners would have identified themselves fundamentally as Depraved Sinners. In this construct, sin is something you fight like a recurring cancer — part of a daily battle against evil.

But these days, people are more likely to believe in their essential goodness. People who live by the Good Person Construct try to balance their virtuous self-image with their selfish desires. They try to manage the moral plusses and minuses and keep their overall record in positive territory. In this construct, moral life is more like dieting: I give myself permission to have a few cookies because I had salads for lunch and dinner. I give myself permission to cheat a little because, when I look at my overall life, I see that I’m still a good person.

The Good Person isn’t shooting for perfection any more than most dieters are following their diet 100 percent. It’s enough to be workably suboptimal, a tolerant, harmless sinner and a generally good guy.

Obviously, though, there’s a measurement problem. You can buy a weight scale to get an objective measure of your diet. But you can’t buy a scale of virtues to put on the bathroom floor. And given our awesome capacities for rationalization and self-deception, most of us are going to measure ourselves leniently: I was honest with that blind passenger because I’m a wonderful person. I cheated the sighted one because she probably has too much money anyway.

The key job in the Good Person Construct is to manage your rationalizations and self-deceptions to keep them from getting egregious. Ariely suggests you reset your moral gauge from time to time. Your moral standards will gradually slip as you become more and more comfortable with your own rationalizations. So step back. Break your patterns and begin anew. This is what Yom Kippur and confessionals are for.

Next time you feel tempted by something, recite the Ten Commandments. A small triggering nudge at the moment of temptation, Ariely argues, is more effective than an epic sermon meant to permanently transform your whole soul.

I’d add that you really shouldn’t shoot for goodness, which is so vague and forgiving. You should shoot for rectitude. We’re mostly unqualified to judge our own moral performances, so attach yourself to some exterior or social standards.

Ariely is doing social science experiments and trying to measure behavior. But I thought his book was an outstanding encapsulation of the good-hearted and easygoing moral climate of the age. A final thought occurred to me. As we go about doing our Good Person moral calculations, it might be worth asking: Is this good enough? Is this life of minor transgressions refreshingly realistic, given our natures, or is it settling for mediocrity?

2 cents:
I could list verse references that state in the eyes of God the human race, our Adamic nature, is sinful and generally self-serving. The key IMO is to "Do the right thing". Another way to view the behavioral paradigm is Kant's Categorical Imperative which when summed up states that one should only DO something (behave) in such a manner that if everyone followed your example that the result would be justice, good, harmony. So in the example of the art gift shop clearly the right behavior was no thievery because if everyone stole X amount then the shop would operate into a loss and would close down which is not promoting justice, harmony, etc.

icubud: (Belief and understanding)
I had a thought about God and justice and the question why doesn’t God act against all injustices? What if the matter is He actually does but defers it into an account or bucket to be dispensed with in the future? Something similar to accounting and budgets where you have dollars allocated into a bucket (a general code/account) and the funds are there though there is nothing tangible until you dispense the funds into the world/marketplace. So it is with God, He dispenses judgment and has been storing up these actions in bowls, vials and cups and at the time of the great tribulation or whenever He sees fit, He has the angelic beings pour His wrath onto the earth thereby visibly dispensing judgment: - So judgment had been accruing all along.

This means God often – not always - uses the accrual basis in reference to judgment. According to the dictionary, “the method of keeping accounts that recognizes income when earned and expenses when incurred regardless of when cash is received or disbursed.”

Of course this does not mean that God treats all judgment in this way but it does answer the fairness of God (being that He is just & holy) and the apparent success of the wicked. Ultimately those who deserve judgment for wrong doing WILL receive it. For further explanation and background read Psalm 37.
icubud: (Belief and understanding)
I had a thought about God and justice and the question why doesn’t God act against all injustices? What if the matter is He actually does but defers it into an account or bucket to be dispensed with in the future? Something similar to accounting and budgets where you have dollars allocated into a bucket (a general code/account) and the funds are there though there is nothing tangible until you dispense the funds into the world/marketplace. So it is with God, He dispenses judgment and has been storing up these actions in bowls, vials and cups and at the time of the great tribulation or whenever He sees fit, He has the angelic beings pour His wrath onto the earth thereby visibly dispensing judgment: - So judgment had been accruing all along.

This means God often – not always - uses the accrual basis in reference to judgment. According to the dictionary, “the method of keeping accounts that recognizes income when earned and expenses when incurred regardless of when cash is received or disbursed.”

Of course this does not mean that God treats all judgment in this way but it does answer the fairness of God (being that He is just & holy) and the apparent success of the wicked. Ultimately those who deserve judgment for wrong doing WILL receive it. For further explanation and background read Psalm 37.
icubud: (Default)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/15/possible-flash-mob-hits-maryland-7-eleven-police-say/%27?test=latestnews

Considering the story at the link above and the fact of degenerates using Twitter and other social networking sites to create mobs of looting vandals and criminals in the UK  the inevitable is going to happen. The way I see it, because a handful of degenerates exploit a system to cause crime we will see legislation and policies inacted in some way to restrict the easy availability for all (Twitter, etc) so we can stop the unethical carbon based life forms from violating other individuals life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Of course their will be the screams of free speech and the legal and ethical arguments back and forth and the polarization of the whole thing distilling it down into political camps and political philosophy — NEVERTHELESS — it will happen in our lifetime….maybe within the next five years….


What do you think?
icubud: (Default)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/15/possible-flash-mob-hits-maryland-7-eleven-police-say/%27?test=latestnews

Considering the story at the link above and the fact of degenerates using Twitter and other social networking sites to create mobs of looting vandals and criminals in the UK  the inevitable is going to happen. The way I see it, because a handful of degenerates exploit a system to cause crime we will see legislation and policies inacted in some way to restrict the easy availability for all (Twitter, etc) so we can stop the unethical carbon based life forms from violating other individuals life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Of course their will be the screams of free speech and the legal and ethical arguments back and forth and the polarization of the whole thing distilling it down into political camps and political philosophy — NEVERTHELESS — it will happen in our lifetime….maybe within the next five years….


What do you think?
icubud: (piles of documents)

I came across an interesting article this morning at the NYT titled The Elusive Big Idea. Some of the interesting, thought provoking quotes are:

"If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding."

"It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief. But post-Enlightenment and post-idea, while related, are not exactly the same.

Post-Enlightenment refers to a style of thinking that no longer deploys the techniques of rational thought. Post-idea refers to thinking that is no longer done, regardless of the style."

"The real cause may be information itself. It may seem counterintuitive that at a time when we know more than we have ever known, we think about it less.

We live in the much vaunted Age of Information. Courtesy of the Internet, we seem to have immediate access to anything that anyone could ever want to know. We are certainly the most informed generation in history, at least quantitatively. There are trillions upon trillions of bytes out there in the ether — so much to gather and to think about."

"In effect, we are living within the nimbus of an informational Gresham’s law in which trivial information pushes out significant information, but it is also an ideational Gresham’s law in which information, trivial or not, pushes out ideas.

We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends and our cohort. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information, usually personal information. Where are you going? What are you doing? Whom are you seeing? These are today’s big questions."

"The implications of a society that no longer thinks big are enormous. Ideas aren’t just intellectual playthings. They have practical effects."

"No doubt there will be those who say that the big ideas have migrated to the marketplace, but there is a vast difference between profit-making inventions and intellectually challenging thoughts. Entrepreneurs have plenty of ideas, and some, like Steven P. Jobs of Apple, have come up with some brilliant ideas in the “inventional” sense of the word.

Still, while these ideas may change the way we live, they rarely transform the way we think. They are material, not ideational. It is thinkers who are in short supply, and the situation probably isn’t going to change anytime soon.

We have become information narcissists, so uninterested in anything outside ourselves and our friendship circles or in any tidbit we cannot share with those friends that if a Marx or a Nietzsche were suddenly to appear, blasting his ideas, no one would pay the slightest attention, certainly not the general media, which have learned to service our narcissism.

What the future portends is more and more information — Everests of it. There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.

Think about that."

2 cents: While reading this article, two Bible verses came to mind.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4 KJV)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away….Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  

(2 Timothy 3:1-5, 7 KJV)

 

In the above quotes I underlined a few words and phrases.

 

I find myself struggling with information overload and a lot if not most of it, is usually of no real value. The concept of studying about a subject, pouring over it to learn, grasp and be a master of a subject has given way to typing into what you think is the most powerful search engine so as to give you the information you wanted before and simply bookmark it so if you need you can get to it. My bookmarkers are like my bookshelves in that they are buy genre but unlike my books a lot of them I have not read. They are saved in the event. The goal to increase my exposure and reach to information and data, yet little processing has occurred. What has ended up happening is exposure not saturation. Surface level not depth. If one does not have saturation and depth, then how can one speak or think and develop ideas? The result – instead – is opinion. Let’s be honest, we know the analogy about opinions. What makes one’s opinion of real value is that it is based on knowledge, understanding and experience.  

 

From an eternal perspective the verses point to the reality that though information increases, the people are further from the truth and understanding it. The majority of the human race that even believes in an afterlife and eternity has decided their opinion is what counts and if there is a supreme being then that being will have to take their opinion into account and that it will matter. But the truth is He will take it into account and its matter will be that it was incorrect and now the human being faces an eternity in a place that no person in their right mind would want to even spend a minute in it and yet they will now reside and endure life there forever.

 

John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

2Peter 2:2:  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

 

 


icubud: (piles of documents)

I came across an interesting article this morning at the NYT titled The Elusive Big Idea. Some of the interesting, thought provoking quotes are:

"If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding."

"It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief. But post-Enlightenment and post-idea, while related, are not exactly the same.

Post-Enlightenment refers to a style of thinking that no longer deploys the techniques of rational thought. Post-idea refers to thinking that is no longer done, regardless of the style."

"The real cause may be information itself. It may seem counterintuitive that at a time when we know more than we have ever known, we think about it less.

We live in the much vaunted Age of Information. Courtesy of the Internet, we seem to have immediate access to anything that anyone could ever want to know. We are certainly the most informed generation in history, at least quantitatively. There are trillions upon trillions of bytes out there in the ether — so much to gather and to think about."

"In effect, we are living within the nimbus of an informational Gresham’s law in which trivial information pushes out significant information, but it is also an ideational Gresham’s law in which information, trivial or not, pushes out ideas.

We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends and our cohort. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information, usually personal information. Where are you going? What are you doing? Whom are you seeing? These are today’s big questions."

"The implications of a society that no longer thinks big are enormous. Ideas aren’t just intellectual playthings. They have practical effects."

"No doubt there will be those who say that the big ideas have migrated to the marketplace, but there is a vast difference between profit-making inventions and intellectually challenging thoughts. Entrepreneurs have plenty of ideas, and some, like Steven P. Jobs of Apple, have come up with some brilliant ideas in the “inventional” sense of the word.

Still, while these ideas may change the way we live, they rarely transform the way we think. They are material, not ideational. It is thinkers who are in short supply, and the situation probably isn’t going to change anytime soon.

We have become information narcissists, so uninterested in anything outside ourselves and our friendship circles or in any tidbit we cannot share with those friends that if a Marx or a Nietzsche were suddenly to appear, blasting his ideas, no one would pay the slightest attention, certainly not the general media, which have learned to service our narcissism.

What the future portends is more and more information — Everests of it. There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.

Think about that."

2 cents: While reading this article, two Bible verses came to mind.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4 KJV)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away….Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  

(2 Timothy 3:1-5, 7 KJV)

 

In the above quotes I underlined a few words and phrases.

 

I find myself struggling with information overload and a lot if not most of it, is usually of no real value. The concept of studying about a subject, pouring over it to learn, grasp and be a master of a subject has given way to typing into what you think is the most powerful search engine so as to give you the information you wanted before and simply bookmark it so if you need you can get to it. My bookmarkers are like my bookshelves in that they are buy genre but unlike my books a lot of them I have not read. They are saved in the event. The goal to increase my exposure and reach to information and data, yet little processing has occurred. What has ended up happening is exposure not saturation. Surface level not depth. If one does not have saturation and depth, then how can one speak or think and develop ideas? The result – instead – is opinion. Let’s be honest, we know the analogy about opinions. What makes one’s opinion of real value is that it is based on knowledge, understanding and experience.  

 

From an eternal perspective the verses point to the reality that though information increases, the people are further from the truth and understanding it. The majority of the human race that even believes in an afterlife and eternity has decided their opinion is what counts and if there is a supreme being then that being will have to take their opinion into account and that it will matter. But the truth is He will take it into account and its matter will be that it was incorrect and now the human being faces an eternity in a place that no person in their right mind would want to even spend a minute in it and yet they will now reside and endure life there forever.

 

John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

2Peter 2:2:  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

 

 


icubud: (coffeespoons)

You may not be a fan but I think the short true story will touch your heart in a good way.

Read more... )
icubud: (coffeespoons)

You may not be a fan but I think the short true story will touch your heart in a good way.

Read more... )

Words

Mar. 27th, 2011 11:38 am
icubud: (Default)

It usually takes me awhile to articulate what I want to say because I really try to make sure that the words I am using represent me and my thoughts correctly. I do the same with emails, LJ and other written/typed media. Recently in a class it was reiterated to me via an assessment that I focus on words in my preferred learning style and leading style. I have been in situations of very unpleasant events because someone said something that they did not mean. I know words can be used as tools or weapons. So in my opinion it is always important to consider what words one will use when communicating - even if that communication is with ones own self. We communicate a lot with ourselves and we need to make sure that it is beneficial, correct and honest. It is all possible because of "words".

 


Words

Mar. 27th, 2011 11:38 am
icubud: (Default)

It usually takes me awhile to articulate what I want to say because I really try to make sure that the words I am using represent me and my thoughts correctly. I do the same with emails, LJ and other written/typed media. Recently in a class it was reiterated to me via an assessment that I focus on words in my preferred learning style and leading style. I have been in situations of very unpleasant events because someone said something that they did not mean. I know words can be used as tools or weapons. So in my opinion it is always important to consider what words one will use when communicating - even if that communication is with ones own self. We communicate a lot with ourselves and we need to make sure that it is beneficial, correct and honest. It is all possible because of "words".

 


icubud: (Belief and understanding)
Like I wrote earlier today

From the WSJ:

The United States has formulated a new strategy in response to the recent anti-government protests that have broken out through the Arab world since the start of 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. After weeks of internal discussions, the US decided to put its support behind longtime allies who may be willing to initiate political reform, even if that means citizens' demand for full democracy are delayed.

Despite the fact that US officials are still calling for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's immediate removal from power, White House officials have formed the "Bahrain model." The proposed system endorses the ruling power to stay in control but works with the local population to create democratic reforms that suit demands of the protesters.

2 cents: Talk, words and no action, the O model. He can now have speeches crafted to be eloquent and beam to him on his teleprompters but positive democratic action will not be taken. Words are his tool and weapon of choice because with words you turn a democratic republic to a socialist nation. You change the government by policies and legislation. You wear out the citizens with words.

See the evil beauty is that words do nothing now for the citizens in nations wanting to democracy BUT words do everything here to rid a nation of the same democracy.

icubud: (Belief and understanding)
Like I wrote earlier today

From the WSJ:

The United States has formulated a new strategy in response to the recent anti-government protests that have broken out through the Arab world since the start of 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. After weeks of internal discussions, the US decided to put its support behind longtime allies who may be willing to initiate political reform, even if that means citizens' demand for full democracy are delayed.

Despite the fact that US officials are still calling for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's immediate removal from power, White House officials have formed the "Bahrain model." The proposed system endorses the ruling power to stay in control but works with the local population to create democratic reforms that suit demands of the protesters.

2 cents: Talk, words and no action, the O model. He can now have speeches crafted to be eloquent and beam to him on his teleprompters but positive democratic action will not be taken. Words are his tool and weapon of choice because with words you turn a democratic republic to a socialist nation. You change the government by policies and legislation. You wear out the citizens with words.

See the evil beauty is that words do nothing now for the citizens in nations wanting to democracy BUT words do everything here to rid a nation of the same democracy.

icubud: (Reagan is calling on you)
From the Nov 19, 2010 issue

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

The Tea Party “provided the fire and passion” of last week’s congressional elections, said Peggy Noonan, and won some major victories. But it also got some conservative candidates nominated who were “lacking in dignity and stature,” and were thus rejected by mainstream voters. “In the future, the Tea Party is going to have to ask itself: Is this candidate electable?” That reality seemed lost on Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin, who defended her endorsements and her own unfounded celebrity by saying, “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in Bedtime for Bonzo, Bozo, something?”

That was “ignorant” even for “a nincompoop” like Palin. Before running for president, Reagan served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild for a dozen years and as a spokesman for General Electric for eight years. He was elected governor of the nation’s most populous state, California, twice—and actually served out both terms. He embodied and popularized conservatism long before it had much public support. Reagan, in short, ran for president “as a fully mature, fully seasoned” adult, with real accomplishments. Sorry to break the news, Sarah, but “it’s not just the message, it’s the messenger.”



2 cents: She is spot on! This is not a knocking of Palin as a person but of her reasoning.
icubud: (Reagan is calling on you)
From the Nov 19, 2010 issue

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

The Tea Party “provided the fire and passion” of last week’s congressional elections, said Peggy Noonan, and won some major victories. But it also got some conservative candidates nominated who were “lacking in dignity and stature,” and were thus rejected by mainstream voters. “In the future, the Tea Party is going to have to ask itself: Is this candidate electable?” That reality seemed lost on Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin, who defended her endorsements and her own unfounded celebrity by saying, “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in Bedtime for Bonzo, Bozo, something?”

That was “ignorant” even for “a nincompoop” like Palin. Before running for president, Reagan served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild for a dozen years and as a spokesman for General Electric for eight years. He was elected governor of the nation’s most populous state, California, twice—and actually served out both terms. He embodied and popularized conservatism long before it had much public support. Reagan, in short, ran for president “as a fully mature, fully seasoned” adult, with real accomplishments. Sorry to break the news, Sarah, but “it’s not just the message, it’s the messenger.”



2 cents: She is spot on! This is not a knocking of Palin as a person but of her reasoning.
icubud: (Default)
this is from a UN presentation on sustainability


icubud: (Default)
this is from a UN presentation on sustainability


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