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Wounded Ronin
25th March 09, 09:01 PM
Today I decided that I hate CEOs because of the AIG fallout with the big bonuses using bailout funds.

Basically, I get the feeling that CEO types go around thinking that they're more valuable as human beings than everyone else becase they get paid more. They've bought into the capitalist dogma that people are paid what they're worth to society, which is why Kobe Bryant gets paid more than a scientist doing research to cure AIDS, or a soldier putting his life on the line for his country in Iraq.

I remember a college roomate, a rich white guy, back in my freshman year in Cornell. We'd been having a discussion about welfare, and I remember him saying that "we" (meaning us Ivy leage students) deserved more money and other good things because we were the most productive members of society. Whenever I think about these AIG execs getting their bonuses I keep seeing this old college roomate in my mind.

I also think about how people with BMWs always drive super aggressively and seem to think that they have right of way over everyone. Right there, that's putting one's own expediency as a higher priority than the lives, safety, and property of others using the road.

This kind of arrogance infuriates me and I think that CEO types represent the very worst that our society has to offer. I'd argue they are more pernicious to society than the garden variety criminals filling our prisons (eg. burglars) because they cause more damage to more people. If someone breaks into your house and rips off your TV he has harmed one person and caused a certain dollar amount of damage and loss. If some idiot CEO runs the economy into a ground and contributes to massive layoffs and housing foreclosures he has caused much more damage than a garden variety criminal can manage to do in one lifetime.

I'm kind of surprised that following this AIG cock-up there isn't more populist rhetoric about how blue collar workers should eat CEOs, or something like that. I mean, you'd think that the vast majority of workers across the US would be sick and tired of being looked down on and raped by CEO types all the time.

I don't think these CEO types can do anything worth a damn anyway, considering they very visibly dropped the ball. We hear all this rhetoric from AIG about how multimillion dollar bonuses are needed to retain the best talent but that is laughable. What talent? They failed. I expect that even a trained chimpanzee can take big leveraged risks when times are good only to hit a brick wall eventually. Recently I've been reading a Vietnam history about SOG operations during the Vietnam War and reading about all the highly talented courageous individuals who likely died under torture after being captured. Talent, courage, ability have nothing to do with multi million dollar bonuses being mandatory. That has to do with one thing, and one thing only: EGO.

So, basically, I think that there's nobody I hate more than business CEOs.

Phrost
25th March 09, 09:09 PM
Sounds like somebody needs to read Atlas Shrugged.

WarPhalange
25th March 09, 09:10 PM
Today I decided that I hate CEOs

Congratulations! Unfortunately, everybody else has already passed this milestone years and years ago. But I'm still happy for you. :)

Wounded Ronin
25th March 09, 09:14 PM
Sounds like somebody needs to read Atlas Shrugged.

Is that the one with the architect and Dominique? If so, I've already read it.

Wounded Ronin
25th March 09, 09:16 PM
Congratulations! Unfortunately, everybody else has already passed this milestone years and years ago. But I'm still happy for you. :)

I'd been making a concerted effort to keep an open mind and try to understand the mentality of Republicans for many years. So I had made a conscious effort to hold off making judgements like that.

WarPhalange
25th March 09, 09:29 PM
I'm sure there is more than one Democrat in that pile of CEO's trying to clutch at our money. This isn't a Rep vs. Dem thing, i.e. party affiliation won't make you do it or not do it, but it's a "I'm a capitalist and I really really want money and fuck the people who work for me and got me to the top." thing. Republican ideology may have allowed for this to happen, but that doesn't mean everybody who does it is a Republican.

It's also "I WANT MONEY NOW!!!" that's the problem. It's like selling all your furniture and your car in order to pay for an emergency medical bill. You do it when you have to, in order to get that temporary boost of cash that you really need, but instead these people were doing it and then leaving while smiling that they got a huge golden parachute for making the corporation money, nevermind that it will come back to haunt them later. Let some other guy take care of it.

Yiktin Voxbane
25th March 09, 09:31 PM
I also think about how people with BMWs always drive super aggressively and seem to think that they have right of way over everyone. Right there, that's putting one's own expediency as a higher priority than the lives, safety, and property of others using the road.




I used to work specialist construction for the local roads department . We were replacing a 100yr old culvert and partially altering the course of a natural waterway, as such we had a LOT of earth strewn around the site + LARGE gaping holes where the road formerly was .

To protect the workers and general public we had 400metres of the road closed (gated and chained) + roughly 10-15metres of cones preceding the gates . To even get to the gates a driver would have to alight from their vehicle and physically move cones @ which time they would find themselves at the gate . The gate had in LARGE letters, NO Admittance (local traffic excluded) NO thouroughfare .

Day 3 or 4 of this venture and I am astounded to see a Mercedes pull to a halt next to the stored concrete piping we had and beckon me over ....

Senor Asshat then asks of me " Please move your trucks, I need to get to the hotel at Nortons Summit "

I reply " excuse me, can you read English? "

"yes, yes I can, move your trucks please, this is a reasonable request "

" Did you have to move xx cones and then unbolt a signed gate to get here ? "

" yes, MOVE your trucks ! "

" Sir, the sign on the gate should of been your 1st clue that ONLY local traffic is allowed and even then NO through traffic is allowed "

" Can't you see I'm in a Mercedes ? "

By this time (thankfully) my leading hand had sauntered down to see what all the ruckus was about . As I went to move towards this social retard to Throttle him, Bill laid a hand upon my shoulder and told this ....... 'tard "Sir the police have been called, I have the details of your registration so leave if you want, the police will still have your details" .

Senor Asshatto then turns 17 shades of red through purple , looks like he's gunna start throwing punches, thinks better of it and gets back in his car . He the slaps his wife and SCREAMS at the kids *Shut the fuck up ya lil bastards* .

Reversing off @ speed he managed to scrape the entire length of his car along the previously opened gate (we could hear even more shouting at this point) .

FF 30 mins and the cops finally lob , we hand the rego details off to them and *casually* mention the physical assult on the wife and the verbal abuse directed to the kids . They note all of this down ...

5-6 days later, we have YET another mercedes do the same thing, except this time a suit gets out and starts snapping photos of the site . Turns out Senor Asshatto had started procedings to claim vehicle damages against us for an unsafe workplace .

After *interveiwing* us , he shakes his head and rings his boss . Turns out the driver was the bosses son in daddys' car and was trying to blame everyone else except his own stupidity ..

" Can't you see I'm in a mercedes " still makes me giggle when I doth recall it unto mine self .

Phrost
25th March 09, 09:41 PM
Is that the one with the architect and Dominique? If so, I've already read it.

No, that's The Fountainhead.

nihilist
25th March 09, 10:02 PM
Phrost, please explain why John Galt would approve of bailing out businesses that cannot keep themselves afloat using other people's hard earned money..

Phrost
25th March 09, 10:20 PM
He wouldn't.

He'd team up with Howard Roark to burn down AIG and then they'd head back to "The Gulch" to DP Dagny.

Have you somehow gotten the impression that I support the bailouts?

Wounded Ronin
25th March 09, 10:24 PM
No, that's The Fountainhead.

Oh, OK. Well, since you suggested that other book, I'll probably eventually order myself a used copy off amazon.com and read it.

nihilist
25th March 09, 10:28 PM
He wouldn't.

He'd team up with Howard Roark to burn down AIG and then they'd head back to "The Gulch" to DP Dagny.

Have you somehow gotten the impression that I support the bailouts?

I wasn't sure. Just wanted you to clarify.

Phrost
25th March 09, 10:28 PM
Oh, OK. Well, since you suggested that other book, I'll probably eventually order myself a used copy off amazon.com and read it.

Seriously though, if you're going to put sincere effort into reading it, don't go in expecting it to be a literary masterpiece. Rand's writing fucking sucks, and the story's just "ok".

Think of it as a framework to explain her philosophy, and go from there. And picture Angelina Jolie as the main character.

Just because she's already got the role:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/

Phrost
25th March 09, 10:31 PM
Also, haha:

by News Wire (February 23, 2009)


Washington, D.C., February 23, 2009--Sales of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

“Americans are flocking to buy and read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day” said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government’s increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we’re facing, and she offered, in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ a principled and practical solution consistent with American values."

"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

Japuma
25th March 09, 10:58 PM
I used to work specialist construction for the local roads department . We were replacing a 100yr old culvert and partially altering the course of a natural waterway, as such we had a LOT of earth strewn around the site + LARGE gaping holes where the road formerly was .

To protect the workers and general public we had 400metres of the road closed (gated and chained) + roughly 10-15metres of cones preceding the gates . To even get to the gates a driver would have to alight from their vehicle and physically move cones @ which time they would find themselves at the gate . The gate had in LARGE letters, NO Admittance (local traffic excluded) NO thouroughfare .

Day 3 or 4 of this venture and I am astounded to see a Mercedes pull to a halt next to the stored concrete piping we had and beckon me over ....

Senor Asshat then asks of me " Please move your trucks, I need to get to the hotel at Nortons Summit "

I reply " excuse me, can you read English? "

"yes, yes I can, move your trucks please, this is a reasonable request "

" Did you have to move xx cones and then unbolt a signed gate to get here ? "

" yes, MOVE your trucks ! "

" Sir, the sign on the gate should of been your 1st clue that ONLY local traffic is allowed and even then NO through traffic is allowed "

" Can't you see I'm in a Mercedes ? "

By this time (thankfully) my leading hand had sauntered down to see what all the ruckus was about . As I went to move towards this social retard to Throttle him, Bill laid a hand upon my shoulder and told this ....... 'tard "Sir the police have been called, I have the details of your registration so leave if you want, the police will still have your details" .

Senor Asshatto then turns 17 shades of red through purple , looks like he's gunna start throwing punches, thinks better of it and gets back in his car . He the slaps his wife and SCREAMS at the kids *Shut the fuck up ya lil bastards* .

Reversing off @ speed he managed to scrape the entire length of his car along the previously opened gate (we could hear even more shouting at this point) .

FF 30 mins and the cops finally lob , we hand the rego details off to them and *casually* mention the physical assult on the wife and the verbal abuse directed to the kids . They note all of this down ...

5-6 days later, we have YET another mercedes do the same thing, except this time a suit gets out and starts snapping photos of the site . Turns out Senor Asshatto had started procedings to claim vehicle damages against us for an unsafe workplace .

After *interveiwing* us , he shakes his head and rings his boss . Turns out the driver was the bosses son in daddys' car and was trying to blame everyone else except his own stupidity ..

" Can't you see I'm in a mercedes " still makes me giggle when I doth recall it unto mine self .

Had the same thing happen on our job not too long ago. A guy in a BMW X5 decided to ignore our lane closure and drive thur our freshly poured concrete paving. He only made about 50 ft before the wire baskets ripped his tires to shreds and the concrete stopped him. He ended up with a 800-ish dollar fine plus a shit ton of damage to his ride.

nihilist
25th March 09, 11:05 PM
If assfuckinamercedes had read Rand, he would know that the rich don't need others to do anything for them.

HappyOldGuy
25th March 09, 11:07 PM
If assfuckinamercedes had read Rand, he would know that the rich don't need others to do anything for them.

CEO's don't read Rand. It's strictly for wannabes.

jvjim
25th March 09, 11:10 PM
CEO's don't read Rand. It's strictly for wannabes.
Fuck.

nihilist
25th March 09, 11:13 PM
CEO's don't read Rand. It's strictly for wannabes.

I want to sig that.

Robot Jesus
26th March 09, 03:12 AM
I've been thinking baout this for some time, I've been calling it the arrogance of capitalism.


The most basic example of this I can think of is the employer employee relation. The employer will generaly try to pay his employees as little as possible. This is a position of flawed arrogance for three reasons. Firstly, generaly speaking, even when dealing with unskilled labour; a well paied workforce is more efficent that a poorly paid one (Fordism).

Secondly It ignores a good half of the cycles of the employment market; I understand that as a personal anticdote this next bit is not nessecarly reepresentative of the whole. For three years I was employed by the source by curcut city (basicly radio shack) during this entier period Westeren Canada was in a massive labour shortage brought on by an oil boom, and during this period my store was at all times short of employees. There was a large push by local management to increace the wages in the west as a whole to attact applicants. This was resisted tooth and nail by head office, even though retention was so low that for a month or so my store had no manager and was run entierly by entry level employees. When we did get a manager he lasted two weeks as all he did was play WoW. Just before I left the pay was reworked, one could give up commision in exchange for a small increase to hourly wages. The only wayh that makes any sence is if you think the boots on the ground employee is meaningless to the bottom line. They also had a chrismas pay plan that removed your commision under the guise of “letting you earn more if you sell more (than the largest store in canada by yourself) durring the chrismas season”.

Thirdly it ignors the laws of supply and demand. The employer abuses his monopoly over the supply of work artificaly lowering wages, but as cullion would tell you, monopolies are self defeating. Market forces will drive countermeasures to come into existance. If the factorys whernt hellish and dangerous, there would be no unions.


There are other examples of this arrogance. Arrogance agaist the consumer: the near disposable car created by american car companies, only to be nearly wipes out by the japanese once they reached their pace.

I don't really have a point, just something I've been thinking about.


Also I cant seem to get the spell checker for open office to work.

Robot Jesus
26th March 09, 03:30 AM
also Rands faith in captialism borders on the fanatical.

"Corporate America wants people who seem like bold risk takers, but never actually do anything; actually doing things is what gets you fired."

Robot Jesus
26th March 09, 03:35 AM
t-t-t-triple post

a bit of perspective on the bailout vs bonuses
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/1000_times.png

jkdbuck76
26th March 09, 07:26 AM
I've worked for three CEO's in my life. One was a priveledge cock-sucking asshole who I hope rots and burns in hell forever. Our purpose in working at the company his daddy gave him was to make sure their family could buy toys, play golf all fucking year and buy a new GD car every 3 months and rub it in our faces.

I've moved on to a new company, but our CEO is a generous man. HE grew up in the projects of Boston. Went to community college. Taught highschool. Saved enough money for an MBA at night school. He worked his way up over the decades. I can honestly tell you that he works more hours than anybody else here. He is a leader. Yes he has money. But it wasn't fucking handed to him.

The first CEO I worked for married his money and hated his wife. He practically lived at the company so he didn't have to go home to his Skeletor wife. And he hated all of us. Paid us shit. Screamed. Hit things. Hollered at us all the time. We were un-humans to him.

The AIG bonuses.....didn't the guhment know about it beforehand?

Sun Wukong
26th March 09, 09:53 AM
Personally, I think the bonus crap is a small thing considering some of the other audaciousness involved in the business philosophies so prevalent in the banking communities. The only reason people are pissed off about this is it's easier to understand and our global economy is struggling to stay solvent.

I would only suggest reading Ayn Rand if you are purposefully attempting to lower your IQ by 5 points.

TM
26th March 09, 11:09 AM
Congratulations! Unfortunately, everybody else has already passed this milestone years and years ago. But I'm still happy for you. :)

An adage from my childhood; "Two things float to the surface, cream and scum."

jkdbuck76
26th March 09, 11:13 AM
NOB,

I bet CEO's are like truck drivers: about 10% are shitty and make the rest look bad.

The AIG bonuses were part of their contracts....contracts that the guhment should have looked at beforehand. Or maybe they did and didn't say anything, but who knows?

TM
26th March 09, 11:17 AM
JP Morgan said he would never lend money to a company where the highest paid employee made more than twenty times what the lowest paid employee made because he believed it was unstable.
In 2004 the average CEO made 11.8 million. The average worker made 27,460.
That ratio is 431 to 1.

nihilist
26th March 09, 11:21 AM
Ayn Rand wrote fiction.

nihilist
26th March 09, 11:28 AM
What does a CEO actually PRODUCE?

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 11:31 AM
I would say this is right, but 2 percent instead of 10.
Bullshit. The whole nature of the job and how you get it selects for manipulative narcisists. Nothing wrong with that, it's what the job needs, and weasels need to eat too, but they aren't welcome in my house.

Fearless Ukemi
26th March 09, 11:45 AM
The AIG bonuses.....didn't the guhment know about it beforehand?

Yup, our current secretery of treasury oversaw that.

KO'd N DOA
26th March 09, 11:52 AM
I worked a couple years at a farm owned by a feed mill CEO as a tax write off, (+ bonus for selling massive amounts of feed to a farm - his own).

His sons were useless and 'ran' the place. Completely and utter of no practical use, always drunk and they eventually ran it into the ground. One wrapped his car around a tree, drunk SOB was still in a coma, last I heard.

nihilist
26th March 09, 12:04 PM
Ayn Rand's philosophy works best when it is implemented by our elected officials to work for their own self-interest.

Fearless Ukemi
26th March 09, 12:50 PM
Doesn't that go for just about everything?

nihilist
26th March 09, 12:53 PM
Could you be more vague?

Fearless Ukemi
26th March 09, 01:57 PM
Could you be more vague?


' ' works best when it is implemented by our elected officials to work for their own self-interest.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 02:00 PM
' ' works best when it is implemented by our elected officials to work for their own self-interest.
So this is some kind of replacement for the fortune cookie "in bed" game?

Let's try it out.

My wang works best when it is implemented by our elected officials to work for their own self-interest.

Cool!

Phrost
26th March 09, 02:01 PM
Everything in the entire world is done for one's own self interest. Ayn Rand just took a stab at pointing this little bit of reality out, and many people get butthurt when forced to deal with it.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 02:04 PM
Everything in the entire world is done for one's own self interest. Ayn Rand just took a stab at pointing this little bit of reality out, and many people get butthurt when forced to deal with it.

If that's all she is pointing out, then on what basis does she get to decide that the CEO's self interest outweighs the workers.

Fearless Ukemi
26th March 09, 02:27 PM
So this is some kind of replacement for the fortune cookie "in bed" game?

Let's try it out.

My wang works best when it is implemented by our elected officials to work for their own self-interest.

Cool!


I bet all of your MadLibs are full of vulgarities.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 02:28 PM
I bet all of your MadLibs are full of vulgarities.

Never more than one. It wrecks teh funnay otherwise.

bob
26th March 09, 02:40 PM
NOB,

I bet CEO's are like truck drivers: about 10% are shitty and make the rest look bad.



Well according to your own experience 66.6% have been shitty.

Phrost
26th March 09, 04:40 PM
If that's all she is pointing out, then on what basis does she get to decide that the CEO's self interest outweighs the workers.
I don't think she gave a shit about "CEOs" one way or another. CEO != Owner != Entrepreneur.

Edit: as I recall the CEO of Taggart Railroads was portrayed as one of the villains of Atlas Shugged.

Besides, targeting CEOs of publicly owned companies is stupid, and those of privately owned companies is irrelevant. The former's position rests on the decisions of the board and shareholders, and the latter is determined by the person or persons who own the company.

Companies should be allowed to fail. The only exceptions to this come under the interests of National Security.

Cullion
26th March 09, 06:12 PM
Sounds like somebody needs to read Atlas Shrugged.

Never mind the books. Sounds like somebody needs to meet a selection of CEOs first hand.

Sun Wukong
26th March 09, 06:20 PM
Everything in the entire world is done for one's own self interest.

The person who said this had no sense of aesthetics.



Ayn Rand just took a stab at pointing this little bit of reality out, and many people get butthurt when forced to deal with it.

Ayn Rand was a self professed epicure and hedonist who fell in love with being self centered and invented an intellectual STD to cover up for her lack of personal depth.

Cullion
26th March 09, 06:32 PM
I'm a Libertarian of a slightly different flavour to Phrost. I don't like this 'fuck the poor' style of Libertarianism.

I hold the economic beliefs I do because I think people at the bottom of the economic pile are often held back most by the economic burden placed on them by (usually well-intentioned) expensive public programmes and systems of regulation.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 06:41 PM
Everything in the entire world is done for one's own self interest. Ayn Rand just took a stab at pointing this little bit of reality out, and many people get butthurt when forced to deal with it.

She took an idea that is a sentence long and decided to expand it into a 1000 page book, and you think she is worth listening to?

Wounded Ronin
26th March 09, 06:55 PM
I think CEOs do deserve the money they make and the bonuses, and more productive members of society (productive as in making goods, providing services, making others money, etc, not productive as in being a good person or saving the whales or other hippie crap) deserve more $$.


So in your mind, non-lucrative activities are all hippie crap?

Phrost
26th March 09, 07:08 PM
Never mind the books. Sounds like somebody needs to meet a selection of CEOs first hand.

Fuck you I watch Dragon's Den on your state-sponsored propaganda network.


She took an idea that is a sentence long and decided to expand it into a 1000 page book, and you think she is worth listening to?

Depends on the idea. This one, despite the fact that it should be self-evident to any person committed to understanding things via objective reasoning instead of faith, ideology, or hope.

Cullion
26th March 09, 07:22 PM
Fuck you I watch Dragon's Den on your state-sponsored propaganda network.

I was talking about WR, obviously. It's nice that you want to help me out in this debate, but you need to sharpen up and stop making our side look stupid.




Depends on the idea. This one, despite the fact that it should be self-evident to any person committed to understanding things via objective reasoning instead of faith, ideology, or hope.

The key point WR hasn't got yet is how many of those crooked CEOs only managed to loot the public treasury with the conivance of 'big government' politicians of the type he'd normally vote for and how many of their businesses only ever traded at all because of fundamentally anti-free market legislation that maintains them in a protected, privileged position.

He does not yet grasp how free-markets operate, why they don't just tolerate but need the personality types he finds distasteful at the helm of so many companies, and how important it is that a strict seperation of that culture from the body-politic is necessary to allow the market to remain free.

Anybody who thinks trillion dollar ever-expanding bailouts for the politically well-connected which was triggered by govt. licensing of what amounts to counterfeiting and misguided attempts to centrally control the price of borrowing money as an example of 'capitalism' or 'free markets' failing basically doesn't understand what capitalism really is.

Robot Jesus
26th March 09, 07:23 PM
I will concede that Rand writes one delicious rape scene.
Are there any rapes in atlus shrugged?

Sun Wukong
26th March 09, 07:31 PM
I think that Phrost's issues are mostly fueled by vitriol and less fueled by cool rational thinking. I realize that is hypocritical of me to say, given my own bitterness regarding a great many things.

The simple matter of fact is that most people are NOT completely self centered. There is a word for people that are; they are called sociopaths.

The following picture is of a little girl who died shortly after the picture was taken. To my understanding, she was trapped for 60 hours by debris but despite repeated efforts, nothing could be done to save her.


http://pdngallery.com/20years/photojournalism/images/07_frank_fournier.jpg

If people were truly self interested, then nobody would have cared what happened to her. Nobody would have taken this picture. Nobody would have bothered to offer her comfort. This was a 13 year old girl and if part of you is bothered remotely by the thought of her slowly dying from exposure over 60 hours then don't be alarmed, you still have your humanity intact and perhaps you aren't so self interested naturally as you would like to be.

If this is really our natural state, to be truly selfish, if this is really who all of us are, then why does anybody care what happens to strangers? Why do non-jews care what happened in Auschwitz or feel some measure of dissapointment in our fellow man when they fail to live up to an ineffable standard?

Is it a majority of people who are mislead by their values for the protection of the weak and endangered or it is a minority who have chosen to forgo their own humanity for the sake of "self interest"; the personal enjoyment and convenience? Would that not make charity a perversion, mercy a luxury afforded only to friends who can help you, community a grotesque necessity and self sacrifice an absurdity?

Look again, how is that not fascism? Rhetorically inoculating people against valuing the lives of others on the grounds that it may impeed progress seems a lot like the basis of fascist programming to me.

Cullion
26th March 09, 07:33 PM
I'm a Libertarian because I think it will be good for a lot of other people too. Like an unlocking of potential that has been held-down by a great burden. If I was entirely self-centered I'd simply be looking for whatever mix between private sector and public sector activity earned me personally the most money and best fluffed my sense of self-importance, like guys like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have spent their careers doing.

Truly self-centered people don't really give a fuck about ideologies and 'isms' beyond what they think the person they're trying to get money and/or status out of wants to hear.

Phrost
26th March 09, 07:41 PM
I think that Phrost's issues are mostly fueled by vitriol and less fueled by cool rational thinking. I realize that is hypocritical of me to say, given my own bitterness regarding a great many things.
1st, to be fair I haven't yet read your post. I'm just responding because you mentioned Phrost and I know you disagree with me on just about everything.

You're not looking at things at their basest level.

Everything you do, you do for you. If you do something to help others, you do so because you believe it will eventually benefit you by increasing your social standing, earn you some recognition, provide you the satisfaction of of accomplishing something in-line with your values, or just because it makes you feel good. Whatever the reason, you do things because it is in your interest on some level, otherwise you wouldn't do them.

Unless you're just insane.

Pure altruism is completely illusory. It's no different than the concept of Love; a useful tool to explain complex social interations that often just boils down to people who want to get their fuck on.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 07:48 PM
Everything you do, you do for you. If you do something to help others, you do so because you believe it will eventually benefit you by increasing your social standing, earn you some recognition, provide you the satisfaction of of accomplishing something in-line with your values, or just because it makes you feel good. Whatever the reason, you do things because it is in your interest on some level, otherwise you wouldn't do them.

Unless you're just insane.

Pure altruism is completely illusory. It's no different than the concept of Love; a useful tool to explain complex social interations that often just boils down to people who want to get their fuck on.

Of course people who do things for other people do it because they enjoy it. But some people do those things for others, and other people don't. And we need a word for those people. Give me a second, I'll come up with one.

Phrost
26th March 09, 07:52 PM
That's not the point. The point is that despite all protestations and desperate belief to the contrary, people are unavoidably selfish.

Consequently, the only just system is one in which that selfishness is allowed to flourish while seeking to mitigate any negative side effects. Doing otherwise is simply, in the purest sense of the term, inhuman.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 07:57 PM
That's not the point. The point is that despite all protestations and desperate belief to the contrary, people are unavoidably selfish.

Consequently, the only just system is one in which that selfishness is allowed to flourish while seeking to mitigate any negative side effects. Doing otherwise is simply, in the purest sense of the term, inhuman.

People are not all equally selfish. And "mitigate side effects" answers exactly nothing.

Phrost
26th March 09, 08:03 PM
I'm not trying to answer anything.

And you're confusing natural selfishness for social selfishness. I'm speaking about the former, which is the default state of a human being, not the one which is little more than a subjective value judgment.

Cullion
26th March 09, 08:10 PM
Everything you do, you do for you. If you do something to help others, you do so because you believe it will eventually benefit you by increasing your social standing, earn you some recognition, provide you the satisfaction of of accomplishing something in-line with your values, or just because it makes you feel good. Whatever the reason, you do things because it is in your interest on some level, otherwise you wouldn't do them.

Unless you're just insane.

You sound like you've been listening to or reading an awful lot of sociobiology and/or Kaballah home study courses.

Human beings are mammals, not machines. We have apparently irrational emotions wired into us that can have survival utility and can also make us act directly against the survival 'optimum path' for ourselves and our genetic descendants.

Do you view the entirety of the two world wars as a simple act of mass insanity in this reductionist way ? You never see anything noble when people deviate from this reductionist path, you see nothing that makes survival worthwhile, rather than making survival merely more likely ?

I'm going to pre-empt you. I know you do. If you didn't, then stepping off the path of increasing technical certification and management responsibility to start a couple of niche websites dealing with martial arts and a sort of Internet bar for frustrated quasi-intellectuals to shoot the shit wouldn't really have made much sense. It's far less likely to put your child/children through college than the alternatives available to you, and you don't realistically have the gambler's excuse of potential massive payoff in the future. Rationally, you know this. But you still do it because something other than that hard-edged will to power drove you to.

Please don't try and rationalise this by claiming that these sites are your path to zillionaire-hood, because I will laugh and then troll the shit out of the rest of the thread.

I'm just telling you that it's nothing to be ashamed of. We're all glad these sites are here.

I am not going to attempt to convert you to Christianity, as I'm not a believer myself, but I think that your political thought has a hard, reductionist edge tinged with anger from your youth.

I think you ought to read some C.S. Lewis.



Pure altruism is completely illusory. It's no different than the concept of Love; a useful tool to explain complex social interations that often just boils down to people who want to get their fuck on.

Yes, but love feels different from lust, doesn't it? and we act differently under those two influences. And we reap different rewards (and different sorrows when we are thwarted).

Step back. You aren't a machine. Read some more of the greats. C.S. Lewis is perhaps most accessible to you because he's relatively recent and he was also a believer in classical liberalism.

Phrost
26th March 09, 08:16 PM
You're still missing the point. Let's make it even simpler:

All actions of human beings, even self-damaging ones, are done because they further the interests of said beings. Even if those interests are simply a matter of masochism.

The only exceptions to this come when you have a complete breakdown of mental health.

I challenge you to name a single action that does not benefit the actor in some manner.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 08:24 PM
Phrost, we all get that. It's not the earthshattering concept you seem to think it is. It actually doesn't change anything.

Yes, all actions are fundamentally selfish. But we need words to describe those actions motivated by a fundamentally selfish need to help others, from the ones that are motivated by a fundamentally selfish need to only help oneself.

Cullion
26th March 09, 08:25 PM
You're still missing the point. Let's make it even simpler:

All actions of human beings, even self-damaging ones, are done because they further the interests of said beings. Even if those interests are simply a matter of masochism.

The only exceptions to this come when you have a complete breakdown of mental health.

I challenge you to name a single action that does not benefit the actor in some manner.

That's an absurd point.

You've just challenged me to disprove that people do things they didn't want to do, and/or were compelled to do.

It's a null proposition with no political, philosphical or artistic implications or any scientifically testable predictions.

It would be like a communist trying to demonstrate their point by saying 'well, uh, we're all part of a community, right?'

I think you need to step back from the Rand-crack.

Cullion
26th March 09, 08:27 PM
C.S. Lewis, head, now.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 08:30 PM
EDIT: Any way we can get bolded text inside of a quote to be more white? It doesn't stand out that much the way it is now.


Everything you do, you do for you. If you do something to help others, you do so because you believe it will eventually benefit you by increasing your social standing, earn you some recognition, provide you the satisfaction of of accomplishing something in-line with your values, or just because it makes you feel good. Whatever the reason, you do things because it is in your interest on some level, otherwise you wouldn't do them.
If my values tell me it's better to help someone else than help myself, you're saying I'm actually doing something for myself because I *chose* to do something inline with my values?

You're saying that if someone tries to save a kid who fell into a river by jumping into the river himself, he's doing it for himself somehow?


Pure altruism is completely illusory. It's no different than the concept of Love; a useful tool to explain complex social interactions that often just boils down to people who want to get their fuck on.
So when someone dies for a person they love, in this case they love this person romantically, they died so that they can fuck that person? Or what? Clearly it doesn't benefit you to die.

And you were in the fucking Army. You're saying that if a buddy of yours jumped on a grenade to save your ass, you'd claim "Meh, it's not that big of a deal. In the end, he did it for himself."? Seriously? Do you honestly think that people who do these heroic acts think "Holy shit, these people are going to love me after I do this!!"?

You think people become firefighters because they want the prestige that comes with it?

Looks like Phrost the Robot encountered a stack overflow when trying to define every emotion in one sentence or less.

Cullion
26th March 09, 08:37 PM
Yes, Phrost just made a null statement. He said 'if you do something, it's because you wanted to, whether you did it to directly to save your skin, or for your kids' benefit, or because you just sorta wanted to'. It's a non-statement.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 08:55 PM
Whatever. My programming knowledge is pretty low, I just wanted something that sounded computer-y.

Cullion
26th March 09, 09:04 PM
I wasn't talking computers specifically. By 'null statement' I just meant something that when analysed in a raw logical way doesn't really have any meaning or convey useful information.

Sun Wukong
26th March 09, 09:08 PM
The only exceptions to this come when you have a complete breakdown of mental health.
Altruism is the product of a diseased mind you say? Yes, it's so simple... why have I never thought of this before; like in college while I was reading Nietzche or Hagakure or Chuang Tzu; why did this simple thought never occur to me. Oh wait, it did, when I read Ayn Rand in high school and chucked that ridiculous piece of crap out because she was obviously straining logic in every concievable way to romanticize feebleminded short-sightedness and intellectual mediocrity.




I challenge you to name a single action that does not benefit the actor in some manner.
Why bother, you already said that you believe altruism to be a product of insanity. Since I cannot argue against the existance of insanity (and even if I were a Doctor of Psychology or Psychiatry any statement to the contrary would be a matter of opinion) you have effectively removed any route to logical appeal.

So why is it that you care for your family? Because you can teach your kids "stupid human tricks?" Clearly they are parasites and you'd be better off casting them out into the streets before they suck up all your hard earned resources. You realize any civil damages they do until they are no longer in your legal custody will result in you being held liable.

If you wanted a friend you should have just gotten a dog and a mistress. Why take the chance such an intimate financial relationship on an asset that will probably cost you far more than it could ever return to you.

I suggest an immediate psychiatric or clinical evaluation to determine which malign psychological pathologic condition or mental illness you are suffering from. Then I suggest you shift your assets into a legal numbered offshore account.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 09:15 PM
Phrost, you really do have a black-and-white view of the world. I thought that was just in politics, but it looks like it's actually in the very core of your being. That's not good. You are reducing complex and even vague ideas to these one-sentence definitions, not by finding an accurate description of them, but by chopping off everything that makes it complicated.

By cutting out exceptions to rules, grey areas, and other details, you are doing yourself a disservice. Best case scenario, it makes you look like an ass on an internet message board forum. Worst case scenario, your life gets a lot more complicated when you constantly try to apply simple reasoning to complex events, and being totally baffled when it doesn't work, and then simply trying harder.

Trying to come up with a formula for human emotions is great, but we've already seen that humans go against nature itself when they sacrifice their ability to pass on their genes, so that someone else can, or maybe even not. An example is dying for someone else.

You can say it's better for society, and that was ingrained into us. But how? If the altruistic people die, why would altruism become genetic? Humans can't be described that easily at this point. Psychology has come a long way, but you are completely ignoring the "nurture" part of "nature vs. nurture". Hell, even nature endows us with some altruism.

An example is a child helping an adult. This was on the Science channel. I'll try to find a clip of it. What happened was an adult was holding a rope attached to the ceiling while he was standing up, and reaching for a tool that was out of reach. The chimp was fucking clueless and bored, whereas a toddler picked up the tool and gave it to the guy. What did the kid have to gain? It can barely think at this point. Unless you are saying it's subconscious selfishness, which still wouldn't make sense. How the fuck does your body know that helping someone else will help you if you don't even know that?

Cullion
26th March 09, 09:16 PM
Phrost is smart enough to invoke the 'selfish gene' hypothesis when you mention his family. He is not smart enough to explain in sociobiological terms why he runs these two websites though.

Phrost
26th March 09, 09:18 PM
Altruism is the product of a diseased mind you say?

Fuck, if you're going to respond to my posts actually read what I write. If you don't understand it, then ask for clarification.

That's not what I said. Either you're being intentionally dense in order to produce a strawman for you to argue with, or you're a fucking idiot.

Phrost
26th March 09, 09:23 PM
Phrost, we all get that. It's not the earthshattering concept you seem to think it is. It actually doesn't change anything.

Yes, all actions are fundamentally selfish. But we need words to describe those actions motivated by a fundamentally selfish need to help others, from the ones that are motivated by a fundamentally selfish need to only help oneself.

Apparently this point is lost on people who posted below you.

My point is that this reality needs to be considered when making evaluations about what is best for mankind. Were this so, Stalin would have been a fucking goat farmer and the planet would be a much different place now.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 09:27 PM
Apparently this point is lost on people who posted below you.

My point is that this reality needs to be considered when making evaluations about what is best for mankind. Were this so, Stalin would have been a fucking goat farmer and the planet would be a much different place now.

If people thought "Everybody is selfish", Stalin would not have risen to power? Do you think humanity would have survived long enough to see Stalin running around in diapers? People wouldn't trust each other nearly as much, and society would grow much slower, wars would be more common, and there would be many more smaller countries instead of a few big ones. Not to mention academia would be non-existant.

Phrost
26th March 09, 09:33 PM
Phrost is smart enough to invoke the 'selfish gene' hypothesis when you mention his family. He is not smart enough to explain in sociobiological terms why he runs these two websites though.

Sociobiological? I run these sites for a dozen reasons including:

As an exercise in my personal ideologies of Skepticism, free speech, justice, etc
Because working in a corporate environment fucking sucks.
Because I enjoy full-contact-discourse in an unrestricted environment
To challenge my own beliefs, ego, and ideology.If I were to throw myself in front of a bus to save someone else, it would be because I believe it was the right thing to do, with some hope for being remembered for my heroism.

Members of Opus Dei subject themselves to pain because they believe it will bring them closer to God. A parent sacrifices themselves for their child because nature compels them to do so, and because they feel their offspring's survival is more important.

The fact that we're debating this ridiculously simple concept is proof enough for why Ayn Rand felt the need to "write 1000 pages" on the subject.

Phrost
26th March 09, 09:37 PM
If people thought "Everybody is selfish", Stalin would not have risen to power? Do you think humanity would have survived long enough to see Stalin running around in diapers? People wouldn't trust each other nearly as much, and society would grow much slower, wars would be more common, and there would be many more smaller countries instead of a few big ones. Not to mention academia would be non-existant.

You're still failing to look at the individual trees.

Trust, cooperation, affection, etc, are all in-line with people's self interest. Being selfish doesn't mean you won't help someone cross the street. It means you do so because you derive some form of benefit that's important enough to compel you to do it, instead of turn a blind eye.

That benefit could be as simple as feeling good, or as complex (and irrational) as hoping the old lady is a secret millionaire who'll reward you with a Mercedes.

HappyOldGuy
26th March 09, 09:51 PM
Apparently this point is lost on people who posted below you.



Well Cullion certainly gets it, and understands the problems with it.

I make no claims about poops.

nihilist
26th March 09, 09:59 PM
Somebody needs to read Dianetics.

WarPhalange
26th March 09, 11:44 PM
A parent sacrifices themselves for their child because nature compels them to do so, and because they feel their offspring's survival is more important.

The fact that we're debating this ridiculously simple concept is proof enough for why Ayn Rand felt the need to "write 1000 pages" on the subject.

Seriously? Parent thinks child's life is more important than his own, therefore he is being selfish by dying for the child? And if he let the child die so that he himself could live, of course you'd say "See! He's selfish!"

How about this: you are asserting this ridiculous belief, so tell us what you would need to see in order to falsify it. If no such thing exists, then your idea is meaningless and pointless to even discuss.


I make no claims about poops.

:(

Sun Wukong
27th March 09, 02:33 AM
Fuck, if you're going to respond to my posts actually read what I write. If you don't understand it, then ask for clarification.

That's not what I said. Either you're being intentionally dense in order to produce a strawman for you to argue with, or you're a fucking idiot.
Yeah, I'm sorry. I seem to have gotten something you wrote stuck in my eye that somehow obfuscated what you apparently were really trying to say.


All actions of human beings, even self-damaging ones, are done because they further the interests of said beings. Even if those interests are simply a matter of masochism.

The only exceptions to this come when you have a complete breakdown of mental health.

hmmm, i'm having a problem reconciling exactly what it is that I am being dense about. But thank you for mentioning that I am indeed a fucking idiot, now I can rest assured that I'm the one who has somehow encapsulated the workings of the human mind in one easy to understand philosophical interpretation of human behavior for which I can leave no plausible doubt for exceptions to exist. My bad.

Phrost
27th March 09, 08:06 AM
Seriously? Parent thinks child's life is more important than his own, therefore he is being selfish by dying for the child? And if he let the child die so that he himself could live, of course you'd say "See! He's selfish!"
:(

This must be such an alien concept for some of you to grasp that the very words I type here just go unparsed by your brains.

I didn't say the act was "selfish", I said it was in the parent's interests, and done because they felt it would benefit them in some manner.

Which is the point, if an action has no benefit to the individual whatsoever, the individual will not do it.

Phrost
27th March 09, 08:15 AM
hmmm, i'm having a problem reconciling exactly what it is that I am being dense about. But thank you for mentioning that I am indeed a fucking idiot, now I can rest assured that I'm the one who has somehow encapsulated the workings of the human mind in one easy to understand philosophical interpretation of human behavior for which I can leave no plausible doubt for exceptions to exist. My bad.
It's just that a few of you seem to be completely indoctrinated by preschool-level social programming geared towards keeping you from sharing your toys.

It'd be one thing if we presented the lesson to our kids in the objective, realistic sense: that sharing things, like building friendships, is in our individual and collective interests.

Instead, that lesson is presented in the context of "hurr it's just the right thing to do and being selfish is evil". Which is just as asinine as teaching creationism.

For fuck's sake, stop confusing the natural state of selfishness with the necessary kindergarten lessons against anti-social behavior.

We're not discussing being anti-social, we're discussing the fact that social behaviors such as consideration, politeness, sharing, compassion, exist because they are always in the best interests of the individual.

Seriously, would this concept be easier to understand if I put on a cardigan and was joined in song by puppets?

Truculent Sheep
27th March 09, 08:19 AM
One should be very careful about presupposing one's own nature and then projecting that onto other people. Saying genuine altruism doesn't exist is a bit like claiming that the colour orange doesn't exist because you haven't yet seen it. I'm with Loops on this one.

Phrost
27th March 09, 10:19 AM
It's not that it's my nature (it's yours too, you're just so conditioned to think "selfishness" a sin that you refuse to accept it). It's a retardedly simple, undeniable fact that people only do things that they derive some form of benefit from. And when there is absolutely no benefit, even one as simple as assuaging guilt or feeling good, then you wouldn't do it.

Altruism is the term we assign to actions that greatly benefit other people. But it's really ignorant to imply that you don't derive benefit yourself from altruistic acts, or that they're done truly selflessly.

TM
27th March 09, 10:55 AM
This thread is now a click or two off. re-plot the coordinates, shoot a new azimuth and carry on.

jvjim
27th March 09, 11:24 AM
I want a golden parachute.

nihilist
27th March 09, 11:57 AM
It's just that a few of you seem to be completely indoctrinated by preschool-level social programming geared towards keeping you from sharing your toys.

It'd be one thing if we presented the lesson to our kids in the objective, realistic sense: that sharing things, like building friendships, is in our individual and collective interests.

Instead, that lesson is presented in the context of "hurr it's just the right thing to do and being selfish is evil". Which is just as asinine as teaching creationism.

For fuck's sake, stop confusing the natural state of selfishness with the necessary kindergarten lessons against anti-social behavior.

We're not discussing being anti-social, we're discussing the fact that social behaviors such as consideration, politeness, sharing, compassion, exist because they are always in the best interests of the individual.

Seriously, would this concept be easier to understand if I put on a cardigan and was joined in song by puppets?

Many of the founding fathers of this country acted against their own self-interest when they penned the Constitution.

Why would they do that?

Phrost
27th March 09, 11:58 AM
Because it was in-line with their Enlightenment beliefs, because they sought a place in history, or because they derived some other benefit that was greater for them, personally, than the ones involved with choosing a different course.

Phrost
27th March 09, 12:00 PM
You fuckers are desperately overthinking this.

nihilist
27th March 09, 12:26 PM
Thinking is something that we do because it is in our best interests.

Phrost
27th March 09, 01:28 PM
Unfortunately, not everything you believe is in your best interests, truly is.

Robot Jesus
27th March 09, 01:53 PM
Yes, Phrost just made a null statement. He said 'if you do something, it's because you wanted to, whether you did it to directly to save your skin, or for your kids' benefit, or because you just sorta wanted to'. It's a non-statement.

QFT

WarPhalange
27th March 09, 03:22 PM
This must be such an alien concept for some of you to grasp that the very words I type here just go unparsed by your brains.

I didn't say the act was "selfish", I said it was in the parent's interests, and done because they felt it would benefit them in some manner.

Which is the point, if an action has no benefit to the individual whatsoever, the individual will not do it.

Which is why this is a tautology.

Premise: People only do things to benefit themselves.

Ergo: When you do something, it's to benefit yourself.

Good job, you've shown that X = X.

The flaw here? Your premise has no basis. Prove you premise somehow and you're golden. I can easily say you do everything because you hate yourself, and give some contrived explanation for every single thing you do that would be in line with that.

Like I said, tell me how your idea could be falsified, and then we can talk. If you just make this sweeping statement with absolutely no way to disprove it, then it's pointless.

You can even use axioms for your proof if you want, or some hypothesis. For example, we can all agree that people like to be happy (unless they are mentally ill somehow). Add in a few more of those and see if you can get anywhere with it. At this point, you're just stating a conclusion as if it were blatantly obvious, when in fact you are pulling it out of your ass. A 1000 page book doesn't prove anything. Come on, Phrost, you should know that better than anyone if you call yourself a skeptic. PROTIP: The Bible.

Phrost
27th March 09, 04:34 PM
That would take entirely too much effort, considering the comment was simply a way of justifying why Rand felt the need to write so much to explain a simple idea.

Which I've demonstrated simply by the fact that this conversation has spread to several pages and derailed the thread.

Sun Wukong
27th March 09, 05:38 PM
It's just that a few of you seem to be completely indoctrinated by preschool-level social programming geared towards keeping you from sharing your toys.

By that you mean we are exclusionary and have formed a online club of the internet equivalent of stuffed shirt ideologues?



It'd be one thing if we presented the lesson to our kids in the objective, realistic sense: that sharing things, like building friendships, is in our individual and collective interests.

Instead, that lesson is presented in the context of "hurr it's just the right thing to do and being selfish is evil". Which is just as asinine as teaching creationism.


Hello, I quoted Nietzsche in my sig line here. Of course I realize that the common accounting for good and evil in American society is wrong. It is up to us as groups and individuals to redefine good and evil on a daily basis leaving nothing for politics to corrupt and dictate to us.

However, I still cannot agree that every action a person does is basically self serving, unless you are actually saying that people do things because they want to and if they do something other than what they really want to do, it's because they have another reason that they want to happen even more.

In the first case, I think you are simplifying everything far too much to basic pleasure seeking and pain avoidance, likening everyone to pack animals or creatures without the facilities to determine a new path for themselves that doesn't follow instinct.

Which clearly you have defined as being a person who has decided to act for the good of his perceived group, so he is still basically selfish (except for all the places where he isn't since he may not get to enjoy the benefits which he has bequeathed on others through action)



For fuck's sake, stop confusing the natural state of selfishness with the necessary kindergarten lessons against anti-social behavior.

I would caution you against confusing the natural state of selfishness with being an all powerful force that cannot be overcome.



We're not discussing being anti-social, we're discussing the fact that social behaviors such as consideration, politeness, sharing, compassion, exist because they are always in the best interests of the individual.

Seriously, would this concept be easier to understand if I put on a cardigan and was joined in song by puppets?

Oh, I understand what you are saying, I just think you've reduced a far more complex social organism to an ideologically over simplistic level.

WarPhalange
27th March 09, 06:18 PM
That would take entirely too much effort, considering the comment was simply a way of justifying why Rand felt the need to write so much to explain a simple idea.

I may be a real dumbass here, but how exactly does that justify anything? You've just created a clusterfuck of a debate over it instead of making people go "Ahh... I see."


Which I've demonstrated simply by the fact that this conversation has spread to several pages and derailed the thread.

No, that just proves you're a stubborn idiot. We keep pointing out why your argument is flawed, and you basically point to the Bible and claim that you have faith. You know that doesn't fly here.

Wounded Ronin
27th March 09, 06:31 PM
He does not yet grasp how free-markets operate, why they don't just tolerate but need the personality types he finds distasteful at the helm of so many companies, and how important it is that a strict seperation of that culture from the body-politic is necessary to allow the market to remain free.


Okay, Cullion, back when I was an undergrad, off the top of my head, I remember having passed Econ 101, Econ 102, International Trade and Finance, and possibly one other economics class I perhaps don't recall right now. Then, as a grad student, I remember having passed a course on global economic development as it relates to public health.

How many classes on economics must I pass before I finally have t3h r34l economics, which will presumably work better in t3h str33t?

Truculent Sheep
27th March 09, 07:03 PM
It's not that it's my nature (it's yours too, you're just so conditioned to think "selfishness" a sin that you refuse to accept it).

Err, no because you could equally have been conditioned to be unable to understand true altruism.


It's a retardedly simple, undeniable fact that people only do things that they derive some form of benefit from. And when there is absolutely no benefit, even one as simple as assuaging guilt or feeling good, then you wouldn't do it.

Assertion is not the same as convincing argument.


Altruism is the term we assign to actions that greatly benefit other people. But it's really ignorant to imply that you don't derive benefit yourself from altruistic acts, or that they're done truly selflessly.

Again, this is an extreme position rooted in cynicism; it doesn't take into account the variety and complexity of the human condition - indeed, it sells it short.

Phrost
27th March 09, 08:35 PM
Let's switch gears:

Prove to me that there is such a thing as a truly selfless act.

Sun Wukong
27th March 09, 08:53 PM
I have a better one, prove to me that there is such a thing as a truly evil act.

RickTheCritic
27th March 09, 08:54 PM
Time to hop on to this derailed train!

I agree with Phrost (gasp)

I believe their has been a major misunderstanding caused by conflicting views on the nature of selfisness.

So first lets straighten this out.

Selfishness is in no way evil it is a neutral emotion similiar to passion. There are two kinds of "selfish" the first is rooted in logic, the second in emotion.

The first one wants to do what is in your best interest

The second wants to do what feels good

This is where the fun begins because what feels good often leads us to helping others.

Now for examples!

"My friend sacrificed his life for me that can not be selfish"

Your friend couldnt live life without you, so he would rather die. Sounds selfish to me.

"I spent my weekend serving soup in the homeless centre I cant be selfish"

You did that to make yourself feel good, to feel like your making a difference. Not bad, but very selfish.

It seems clear that selfishness is deeply tied to emotions. We get something out of every action we perform in life. Our "reward" doesnt have to be tangible, it can be something more basic such as satisfaction or pleasure.

HappyOldGuy
27th March 09, 08:54 PM
I have a better one, prove to me that there is such a thing as a truly evil act.

Carrot top exists.

RickTheCritic
27th March 09, 08:58 PM
I have a better one, prove to me that there is such a thing as a truly evil act.

Is this supposed to be hard? The murder of an innocent.

HappyOldGuy
27th March 09, 08:59 PM
Is this supposed to be hard? The murder of an innocent.

I bet slaughtering unicorns would be bad too.

nihilist
27th March 09, 09:02 PM
When I stop to help a stranded motorist it does not make me feel good. It makes them feel good.


Selfish people cannot grasp what it means to help someone out of no particular impetus other than good will any more than a blind man can grasp the beauty of watching a triple Lundy.

Sun Wukong
27th March 09, 09:03 PM
Let's switch gears:

Prove to me that there is such a thing as a truly selfless act.

You are essentially asking people to engage you in what is obviously circular logic.

If I say X did thing A which benefited Y where X had no contact or relationship with Y, you will simply say that X did thing A because Y is a noun and thus has some importance to person X by relation of ideology and therefore X is selfish.

You are enforcing a bubble of circular logic from which there is no escape.

You are preaching the politics of greed and while they may appear novel and appealing to you, it only appears shallow to me. You are using this crutch to liberate yourself from any personal feelings or societal pressure to be something more than what you are now.

If you wanted to accomplish this, you could simply just say you just don't give a damn what anyone else wants or thinks. You could simply say, "I refuse to be a part of this vulgar play called humanity and wish to abstain from your moralities because I will it to be so."

You could say that, but instead what you said was, "Hey, everyone else is as selfish as I am, no more or less, and whatever I want to do is just as sacrosanct as anything you believe or want you bunch of hypocrits. Those Salvation Army assholes are just a bunch of co-dependent slobs feeding bums because it makes them feel good. Pathetic. Those "Doctors without Borders assholes are just doing it because they don't have the brass tacks to use their talents in the open market. Greed is good, I am good no matter what I do or say. A-religious Calvinism FTW"

HappyOldGuy
27th March 09, 09:06 PM
Circular logic is always true. It's just never useful.

It's round though. That part's cool.

nihilist
27th March 09, 09:11 PM
God exists because the bible says so.

HappyOldGuy
27th March 09, 09:15 PM
:confused

Arhetton
27th March 09, 09:22 PM
if anyone's actually read ayn rand they would have understood that she favoured innovators and entrepeneurs and hated beurocrats and managers. Its not just a individual vs government mentality, the distinction was between producers and consumers.

Ie - she favoured inventors, scientists, industrialists - and hated economic middlemen - men only interested in 'budgets', costs and consequences.

For instance one of the characters decisions was to stay 'within budget' and not make critical investments in a new railroad - because he was interested only in the bottom dollar (running the company) and was not interested in the purpose of railroads. In the book this character is one of the main 'enemies'.

There are guys who go to ivy league schools and do commerce degrees and are anointed into positions of power in multibillion dollar corporations - but what the fuck do they know about how an internal combustion engine works, or how to extract petroleum from the ground? they don't know shit about it, don't have the talent to do the productive work themself. And then you've got the opposite, people who do hard years of science and technology who branch out and start their own car company...

HvzOdYVw6Pw

rand favoured technocrats. And I think she hated bankers. I mean most of the characters in the book reverted to a gold standard and bartering goods.

RickTheCritic
27th March 09, 09:24 PM
When I stop to help a stranded motorist it does not make me feel good. It makes them feel good.


Selfish people cannot grasp what it means to help someone out of no particular impetus other than good will any more than a blind man can grasp the beauty of watching a triple Lundy.

Excellent point I am a very selfish person and proud of it. In response to your example I would say that as much as we want to feel good we also dont want to feel bad. Im sure we all had a moment in our life when we felt shame or regret when we failed to help someone.

Doing good to avoid negative emotions is still selfish.

nihilist
27th March 09, 09:37 PM
Doing good to avoid negative emotions is still selfish.

I don't help people to avoid guilt.

RickTheCritic
27th March 09, 09:52 PM
I don't help people to avoid guilt.

Elaborate. why do you do it?

Cullion
28th March 09, 07:08 AM
Okay, Cullion, back when I was an undergrad, off the top of my head, I remember having passed Econ 101, Econ 102, International Trade and Finance, and possibly one other economics class I perhaps don't recall right now. Then, as a grad student, I remember having passed a course on global economic development as it relates to public health.

How many classes on economics must I pass before I finally have t3h r34l economics, which will presumably work better in t3h str33t?

When you stop saying dumb shit about it.

Truculent Sheep
28th March 09, 08:22 AM
Doing good to avoid negative emotions is still selfish.

That's not why people feel that way in such situations - they feel bad for not helping someone because that in itself was a bad thing, and because they empathise with the person involved. You're confusing cause and effect here.

Also, we should do good because it is good. You're so convinced of your own selfishness that you deem it universal, which is a fallacy.

Robot Jesus
28th March 09, 09:20 AM
selfless act: yesterday at the grocery store I helped a short woman by grabbing a box of Kashi bars from the top shelf for her. I did it in a purely robotic manner and did so upon request without thought. I derived no satisfaction from the act and completely forgot about it until I stated reading this thread again.

Cullion
28th March 09, 10:06 AM
That's a sign of mental illness then. Absurd sociobiological reductionism ftw!

nihilist
28th March 09, 10:19 AM
Elaborate. why do you do it?

I did it for the same reasons the founders of this great nation formed a more perfect union.

Shawarma
28th March 09, 10:47 AM
Elaborate. why do you do it?
If you have to ask this question, you won't understand the answer.

I go out of my way to help others, even strangers, in their daily lives because I consider it to be the right thing to do. I believe that receiving help from a stranger makes the world a better place by a tiny amount.
Altruism is THE ONLY THING that puts us above the beasts of the field and to claim that it is somehow IMMORAL is faggotry on a biblical scale. I can sympathise with the point of view that ENFORCED altruism, such as having a lot of your tax dollars go to welfare recipients, could be seen as immoral but putting the needs of others above your own is perhaps the most moral thing anyone can do.

Ayn Rand was a misanthropic cunt and her followers are cockgoblins. That is all.

Arhetton
28th March 09, 10:53 AM
humans are not the only animals that exhibit altruism.

choosing others above yourself must be a choice, not a rigid social morality that is passed down from generation to generation. Ie - if it is best, most glorious, most 'moral', then others will easily discover it for themself.

Robot Jesus
28th March 09, 11:04 AM
Rands main point is that the greatest heights of human achievement generally come from self interest. She just over applies it and goes off the deep end; claiming the the goal of every socialist is the destruction of humanity, that a real woman would want to be raped, etc.

RickTheCritic
28th March 09, 01:49 PM
It still seems to me that many of you are biased and continue to think selfish = bad

Doing something because it is the right thing to do can be an selfish. Failing to live up to our standards can make someone feel miserable. You have already made up your mind and wont be changing it any time soon.

So in vain I will continue...

The difference between you and me is I admit I am selfish. This doesnt mean I am ammoral, immoral or any variant. I still help old ladies across the street. I still perform the same good deeds you do. Everytime I do this I get a payoff. It does not have to be instantaneous or big. It can be as simple as a minor tinge of satisfaction knowing that helped someone.

and who the fuck is Ayn Rand

RickTheCritic
28th March 09, 04:42 PM
New question!

If you were a executive working at AIG would you take the bonus?

Cullion
28th March 09, 04:45 PM
If I was in charge of a part of AIG that was actually profitable, I'd take it without guilt. If I was involved in running a division that had made massive losses and was just surviving by looting the public treasury, I'd be too ashamed to and I'd probably resign.

HappyOldGuy
28th March 09, 05:01 PM
Agree with Cullion. Although I handle failure badly. So I most likely wouldn't still be there even if I felt like I had done my job well.

Shawarma
28th March 09, 05:47 PM
Fine, be selfish. I won't judge you. Just don't think you're anything special by being selfish and don't assume that everybody's selfish like you are or even work the same way you do on an emotional level.
This is what randians do - A randian believes that selfishness is a great virtue and that realising this makes you some sort of ubermensch. A randian believes that altruism is amoral. Randians use the writings of a very poor writer and horrible human being to justify them having oversized egos and claiming to be part of an elite selfish few. Randians are generally very petty human beings, but that's okay, because they're morally superior.

And I'd take that bonus without blinking. Free money from the government, what's not to like?

Arhetton
28th March 09, 10:10 PM
You've already judged me, which is funny because I was just shooting down your 'what seperates man from the beasts of the field' comment.

I'm sorry but I probably wouldn't fit into your labels. I agree that selfishness is 'nothing special' (in fact its far from uncommon), and I agree that people do not work the same on emotional levels when they have vastly different social values.

Your generalized summary of Rand just shows that you haven't read any of her books. I'm not sure what a 'randian' is - maybe someone whose modus operandi comes from a few select books of hers - I found her writing aspirational, and aspects of it stuck in my psyche. But I've read widely, and books of hers are not the only ideas swirling around in my head. I imagine others are the same.

Its very poor form of you to lump someone who likes a book of hers, or aspects of her books, into such a category.

Some of your comments, Randians are:
- Generally petty human beings
- Self righteous
- Believe altruism is amoral

I think here is an appropriate place to bring up word associations. There are certain words which carry associations - for instance if you said someone was very critical, that would normally have negative implications. But the word critical itself is not negative, the connotation simply comes with the label. So if you said someone was very critical of religions, or carefully evaluated fantastic claims that others made to them - how is that a bad thing? In that case, being critical is a positive thing (in my opinion anyway).

Altruism is a word that carries a 'positive' connotation. I'm sure if you took a few minutes to think about it, you could think of many cases in which altruim would actually be a bad decision. And if you're talking about taking personal actions 'for the greater good', i'm beginning to wonder which greater good are you talking about? For instance, if you had to fight in WWII, which side would you have been on, and why? If you made a personal decision to fight for the USA, personal freedoms, freedom from oppression, tyranny, defence of democracy etc - then how is your decision altruistic? It benefits the members of your own in group but its highly adversarial (fucking dangerous) to the out-group (japan, germany etc). You've made a very personal choice. Perhaps you would counter that the selfish thing to do would be to not fight at all and hope that others would fight and die to protect the group. In which case, you might value your own life above those very values we were discussing, for whatever reason.

I don't think you have more than a surface impression of the philosophical issues of the the subject. Personally my impression is just that you have a 'waaah selfish is bad' attitude, because of the connotations of the words selfish and altruistic.

Wounded Ronin
28th March 09, 10:12 PM
When you stop saying dumb shit about it.

Would you prefer I copy and paste self serving logic about how the doctrine comparative advantage means developing countries exporting raw materials makes unicorns sprout testicles? Maybe how de-regulation and lobbying for de-regulation is entirely the responsibility of politicians and not CEOs and their fat sacks of cash? Or maybe I should massage you by saying that the AIG CEOs are not as "bad" as burglars because they're of a higher order of human being necessary for the healthy functioning of society.

I mean, what the fuck do you want? Anything that isn't exactly conforming to your particular ideology about the ideal role of government is dumb shit? I guess that everyone besides for you and just a few other writers are just constantly spewing dumb shit, then. I mean, I guess things are either correct or else they're dumb shit.

nihilist
28th March 09, 10:27 PM
There are different degrees and types of selfishness.

Not all are bad.

WarPhalange
28th March 09, 11:49 PM
Of course. But then there is saying "Shit, I really don't want to do this... but I have to because X."

Like having your last $5, but giving it to some starving kid instead of feeding yourself. I guess that would still be selfishness, though, with degree = 0.

RickTheCritic
29th March 09, 12:04 PM
Of course. But then there is saying "Shit, I really don't want to do this... but I have to because X."

Like having your last $5, but giving it to some starving kid instead of feeding yourself. I guess that would still be selfishness, though, with degree = 0.

emotional selfishness > locical selfishness

But I would feed myself first of course

nihilist
29th March 09, 12:09 PM
But I would feed myself first of course and then let the kid suck nutrients out of a tube.

nihilist
29th March 09, 12:11 PM
I just invented a new term:
Aynally retaintive.

RickTheCritic
29th March 09, 12:47 PM
But I would feed myself first of course then give the kid crumbs and the leftover wrapper

Huraaa for self qoutes!

Whats with all this Ayn Rand talk I never even heard of her until now. How dare you think I would be her follower.

I hate selfish people.

Robot Jesus
29th March 09, 01:58 PM
i hate shellfish people

Wounded Ronin
29th March 09, 10:15 PM
SA has a very entertaining rant on this subject: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/feature-articles/death-wall-street.php?page=1



While you assholes on Wall Street were lining up for your first round at the government trough, the poor fuckers that had been using credit cards to maintain their standard of living from the 1990s were beginning to lose everything. Their houses, cars, health care, and even their jobs were disappearing. Fuckers at Merrill-Lynch, A.I.G., Citi Group, Bank of America, and on, and on, and fucking on were taking huge bonuses or executive compensation packages. They were "retiring" to third world countries where their fortunes would set them up like kings.

Arhetton
30th March 09, 12:23 AM
debt is not, has not, and never will be real capitalism.

What is collapsing is not capitalism, but an enornmous debt pyramid of malinvestment.

I think people are rightly outraged at the bailouts towards these irresponsible people. They should fail, fall, and never rise again. Only the responsible and the good banks/institutions should be left standing.

oh well.

Sun Wukong
30th March 09, 05:17 AM
selfless act: yesterday at the grocery store I helped a short woman by grabbing a box of Kashi bars from the top shelf for her. I did it in a purely robotic manner and did so upon request without thought. I derived no satisfaction from the act and completely forgot about it until I stated reading this thread again.


Allow me to play devil's advocate and recite Phrost's opinion apparent here:

What you did was clearly a pavlovian style conditioning wherein factors surrounding your life have trained you to be subservient to the needs of others.

You've essentially been partially programmed by the many personal rewards, both real and imagined, that you have received by helping others.

Surely somewhere it probably did make you feel good to provide help to people and your brain is merely mimicking the behavior that makes you comfortable.

Free will is an illusion, you are a base animal.

HappyOldGuy
30th March 09, 10:58 AM
Allow me to play devil's advocate and recite Phrost's opinion apparent here:

What you did was clearly a pavlovian style conditioning wherein factors surrounding your life have trained you to be subservient to the needs of others.

You've essentially been partially programmed by the many personal rewards, both real and imagined, that you have received by helping others.

Surely somewhere it probably did make you feel good to provide help to people and your brain is merely mimicking the behavior that makes you comfortable.

Free will is an illusion, you are a base animal.
That isn't Phrosts point. Phrosts ideology is all about the human as independent operator. And Rand is pretty much the polar opposite of pavlov et al.

I rock a skinner now and again if anyone around here does.

WarPhalange
30th March 09, 12:54 PM
I think the main question I have for Phrost is "So what?"

This statement that people only do things that benefit them is meaningless if you define "benefit" as anything from basic survival, to material gain, spiritual gain, or just plain doing it because you want to. No information is gained and none can be infered. What will Seņor Shitcock do when given the choice between gaining a small amount of cash by firing his employees, or losing some cash to keep employees that have been loyal to him over the years? You have no way of infering his choice from this principle, since you'd have to rank "benefit" according to his scale.

If there were some concrete set of rules we could follow, say (hypothetically) "A person will do something that benefits himself more than others", we could infer that Seņor Shitcock will in fact fire his employees just to get some gas money. This is "concrete" because we can define things that both are or are not in line with that definition. Giving up your bread so that someone else can eat clearly violates that rule. If the rule is true, we could say nobody would ever give up their bread for someone else. Therefore, if you have a choice between more than one option, there can be one or more options amongst them that do not follow that rule, and hence we can discard. This is how information is gained, by discarding options.

With your rule, there is no way not to be in line with it, so we cannot gain any information. Our list of options will never shrink if we apply your principle. We will never know more than we did before, no matter how many times you try to apply this rule. Therefore, it is completely meaningless. You can't even call it mental masturbation, since it's so simple.




That isn't Phrosts point. Phrosts ideology is all about the human as independent operator. And Rand is pretty much the polar opposite of pavlov et al.

Biological reflexes kind of piss all over that.

nihilist
30th March 09, 12:58 PM
It's like a murderer rationalizing his actions by saying "well, you eat meat so you are a killer too."

Cullion
30th March 09, 01:17 PM
^ Bingo

Sun Wukong
30th March 09, 01:40 PM
That isn't Phrosts point. Phrosts ideology is all about the human as independent operator. And Rand is pretty much the polar opposite of pavlov et al.

I rock a skinner now and again if anyone around here does.

He didn't say independent operator, he said people are essentially selfish and only do things because of the rewards they feel.

The guy I was answering said he got no personal pleasure out of helping somebody but did it anyway. Since obviously this could not be true given Phrosts postulate, I was offering a solution as to why he had indeed done this but felt nothing.

Basically, Ayn Rands arguments about human nature rely on epithetic evidence. I was merely providing yet another conveniently contrived argument that cannot be argued against.

You weren't looking at my post in context.

Phrost
31st March 09, 08:54 AM
Again, you fuckers are dramatically overthinking this. You're like those Muppets on Sesame Street going nuts when the phone rings.

Unfortunately it's so retardedly simple that I can't clarify it any further. You act in your own self interest, adjusted for personal priorities, belief systems, cultural conditioning, and benefit.

The point being is that "selflessness" is an illusion some of you willingly participate in, in order to feel good about yourself or unconsciously comply with judaeo-christian cultural values drilled into you since birth.

The "nyuh-uhs" here have been of the exact same flavor as when you confront the delusions of any other true believer; emotional and garnished with a bit of indignant outrage. *Gasp* "Why, I..." Yeah, that.

Your mistake is in thinking that selfishness is amoral, or even "EEEVILLL". It's not, it just is. The only way you can justify this thought is if you mistakenly believe that morality comes from religion or the supernatural. It comes from survival.

Self-sacrifice is generally held as a high form of morality, and that's perfectly in-line with this reality. You derive benefit from from self-sacrifice because you ensure the survival of an idea, or another life, or even an entire species. But it still benefits you, because of your value system or goals.

new2bjj
31st March 09, 09:27 AM
From what I've read in some Behavioral Economics books, people altruism is based on things such as time available, etc. Basically, if one has the time, one may be inclined to help, if they are in a hurry, that is where peddle hits the metal. There was a study of seminary students going to give a paper on the "good samaritan", on the way to delivering it, a man had fallen ( a plant by the scientists). Despite these students being supposedly alturistic, if they were in a hurry (didn't have time) they rushed past the fellow so they could give a paper on helping their fellow man. I read this in a new book called the "time paradox".

People's values shift with situations and pressure, according to these studies cited. It was found that those inclined to help others needed help themselves, and we not in the best situation too help others. Meanwhile, those that were in good situations were the least likely to help. Sadly, Californians came off as bad as frantic New Yorkers- the had a leisurely lifestyle and still wouldn't help.

WarPhalange
31st March 09, 10:39 AM
Unfortunately it's so retardedly simple that I can't clarify it any further. You act in your own self interest, adjusted for personal priorities, belief systems, cultural conditioning, and benefit.

The point being is that "selflessness" is an illusion some of you willingly participate in, in order to feel good about yourself or unconsciously comply with judaeo-christian cultural values drilled into you since birth.

The "nyuh-uhs" here have been of the exact same flavor as when you confront the delusions of any other true believer; emotional and garnished with a bit of indignant outrage. *Gasp* "Why, I..." Yeah, that.

Your mistake is in thinking that selfishness is amoral, or even "EEEVILLL". It's not, it just is. The only way you can justify this thought is if you mistakenly believe that morality comes from religion or the supernatural. It comes from survival.

Self-sacrifice is generally held as a high form of morality, and that's perfectly in-line with this reality. You derive benefit from from self-sacrifice because you ensure the survival of an idea, or another life, or even an entire species. But it still benefits you, because of your value system or goals.

Phrost, oppostion to your idea has died a long time ago. We are now mainly pointing out how meaningless and stupid the idea is in the first place. It's akin to saying "Fossils are a way God tests our faith!" There is no way you can falsify this idea, hence it is completely meaningless. Did you not read my post? Something that is always true no matter what gives you NO knew information. It's a post-hoc explanation of whatever happened, but there is no possible way you could use it to predict any certain behavior.

It's like True Believers (TM) claiming that no matter what may happen, God is good. House flooded? God had his reasons. Son died of cancer? God loves him so much that he wanted him to suffer (SRSLY, I'm sure you've heard that reasoning before). You CANNOT show these people a counter example, because these people simply decided that there is none. That's what you are doing. And that's why your idea has absolutely no merit, purpose, or meaning. It's like Cullion said, it's a non-statement.

Zendetta
31st March 09, 10:43 AM
Back on topic: Obama just pimpslapped/fired the head of GM!!!

I feel like I'm in Bizarro World.

EuropIan
31st March 09, 11:02 AM
Back on topic: Obama just pimpslapped/fired the head of GM!!!

I feel like I'm in Bizarro World.
How does it feel to be able to watch him speak publicly and not cringe?


And saying stuff like "Because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak"..

WarPhalange
31st March 09, 11:07 AM
If someone threw a shoe at Obama, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be screaming for blood. I find that hilarious.

Phrost
31st March 09, 12:32 PM
Phrost, oppostion to your idea has died a long time ago. We are now mainly pointing out how meaningless and stupid the idea is in the first place. It's akin to saying "Fossils are a way God tests our faith!" There is no way you can falsify this idea, hence it is completely meaningless. Did you not read my post? Something that is always true no matter what gives you NO knew information. It's a post-hoc explanation of whatever happened, but there is no possible way you could use it to predict any certain behavior.
It's not meant to help you predict anything. The concept is there to help break people out of an unproductive, religion-derived frame of reference.



It's like True Believers (TM) claiming that no matter what may happen, God is good. House flooded? God had his reasons. Son died of cancer? God loves him so much that he wanted him to suffer (SRSLY, I'm sure you've heard that reasoning before). You CANNOT show these people a counter example, because these people simply decided that there is none. That's what you are doing. And that's why your idea has absolutely no merit, purpose, or meaning. It's like Cullion said, it's a non-statement.
I'm ok with this as long as it helps get people out of the mindset that acting in their own self interests is amoral.

WarPhalange
31st March 09, 01:18 PM
It's not meant to help you predict anything. The concept is there to help break people out of an unproductive, religion-derived frame of reference.
How does it change absolutely anything about the world than if people thought of it in an unproductive, religion-derived frame of reference? Describing something differently doesn't matter if it gives you the exact same results. That's why there is usually more than one theory for any given, as yet unexplained, scientific phenomenon. They all say the same thing at the end. The only reason some of them get dumped later one and only one (if any) survives is because they throw in more data and realize that shit, other theories can't account for that new data and only one (if any) of them can. That's how you find

As it stands, your view of the world doesn't tell me anything new than if I had thought of it as God having his hand up my ass and forcing me to do everything. Tell me how we can see the two differ and we can talk.

Let me put it another way: Why should I believe you? How do I know what you are saying is true?



I'm ok with this as long as it helps get people out of the mindset that acting in their own self interests is amoral.
Ha! That is what this is all about, isn't it? You want to justify your selfish deeds, such as fucking over some guy for your own gain, by saying the fireman who died in the fire while tryingn to save a family from being burned alive was also selfish because he wanted to save those people.

What's next? Claiming everybody is homoesexual because, even if they aren't attracted to other people of the same sex, they are still touching themselves, even if only to wash themselves, and since they are of the same sex as themselves, that means they are homosexual?

You have no right to ever laugh at someone else for saying stupid shit, such as a True Believer Christian, or even a Wing Chunner, if you keep this stupid ass idea in your head. It's exactly the same sort of thing.

Shawarma
31st March 09, 02:14 PM
"Hey, dude, can you tell me where the post office is?"
"I WILL TELL YOU WHERE THE POST OFFICE IS, BUT ONLY BECAUSE BY DOING SO I FEEL PERSONAL SELFISH GRATIFICATION AND NOT BECAUSE I ACTUALLY WANT TO HELP YOU OUT OF ALTRUISTIC PRINCIPLES!"
"Uh, okay...thanks?"

HappyOldGuy
31st March 09, 02:18 PM
It's not meant to help you predict anything. The concept is there to help break people out of an unproductive, religion-derived frame of reference.

It fails.

If you want to understand (one approach to) why, start with the social contract and add the original position.

Robot Jesus
31st March 09, 03:12 PM
I have an escape clause in my social contract.

Phrost
31st March 09, 04:53 PM
Ha! That is what this is all about, isn't it? You want to justify your selfish deeds, such as fucking over some guy for your own gain, by saying the fireman who died in the fire while tryingn to save a family from being burned alive was also selfish because he wanted to save those people.

More like he'd feel more bad if he stood there and did nothing. Also, he was a fucking fireman.

Just like I feel bad when I don't make fun of Ninjas, because I'm a fucking... err... ninjamakerfunerofer.

RickTheCritic
31st March 09, 05:16 PM
So this thread isnt dead yet?

Good, because I just made up an equation to clarify my point.

Price=Payoff

Price is lets say time, energy, resources

Payoff is personal gain satisfaction etc.

Example:

You grab something from the top shelf for a short woman

almost no energy or time spent = almost no payoff

I willl stop comparing humanity to evil selfish people and just to myself

If you want to do something for free, by all means

Phrost
31st March 09, 05:18 PM
If you want to disprove my hypothesis then you can immediately send me the remaining balance in your checking account, upon which I will make fun of you and post your IP address.

That'll scientifically ensure that you're not doing it out of anything remotely resembling self-interest.

HappyOldGuy
31st March 09, 05:24 PM
If you want to disprove my hypothesis then you can immediately send me the remaining balance in your checking account, upon which I will make fun of you and post your IP address.

That'll scientifically ensure that you're not doing it out of anything remotely resembling self-interest.

But you'll just spend it on cigars.

Really, I'm doing you a favor.

Phrost
31st March 09, 05:26 PM
Which is in-line with your personal morality.

Phrost
31st March 09, 05:26 PM
Besides, I bought cigars yesterday; Rocky Patel.

WarPhalange
31st March 09, 09:23 PM
If you want to disprove my hypothesis then you can immediately send me the remaining balance in your checking account, upon which I will make fun of you and post your IP address.

That'll scientifically ensure that you're not doing it out of anything remotely resembling self-interest.

Except that you can claim that he was doing it because he wanted to, in order to prove you wrong. So no, that is totally self-interest. The only difference is it also works in your self-interest, which is irrelevant.

nihilist
31st March 09, 09:45 PM
Don't ask Poop Loops to send you any checks.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p272/moleculo_9000/wtf.jpg

EuropIan
1st April 09, 04:45 AM
euler's number is far superior to normal numbers

nihilist
1st April 09, 08:42 AM
What now, bitches? -Euler

Wounded Ronin
2nd April 09, 06:47 PM
Cullion, have you told me yet why the economy "needs" people who are simultaneously ecomaniacal, incompetent, and who accrue multi-million dollar bonuses?

Cullion
2nd April 09, 06:58 PM
Cullion, have you told me yet why the economy "needs" people who are simultaneously ecomaniacal, incompetent, and who accrue multi-million dollar bonuses?

The economy needs CEOs. Many of them are going to be egomaniacs, from your persepctive. It does not need incompetent ones, and this is a big part of why I oppose any and all bailouts.

As to why they 'need' million dollar bonuses, well, because that's what the good ones demand. And the good ones are worth it.

I know this is a brief answer, and I'm happy to expand this point if you have further questions.

Wounded Ronin
4th April 09, 02:10 PM
The economy needs CEOs. Many of them are going to be egomaniacs, from your persepctive. It does not need incompetent ones, and this is a big part of why I oppose any and all bailouts.

As to why they 'need' million dollar bonuses, well, because that's what the good ones demand. And the good ones are worth it.

I know this is a brief answer, and I'm happy to expand this point if you have further questions.

OK, thanks for your response. Let's see, then...

1.) So you're saying that in order to successfully run a business you likely need to be an egomaniac? Why would it be better for someone to be an egomaniac rather than more problematic? After all, aren't the petty politics and backstabbing that sap the efficiency of offices a function of butthurt ego? Isn't ego the impetus that makes people backstab and step over one another, thus wasting energy on internal conflict instead of broader organizational goals?

2.) Who the hell is worth those millions? You're tellling me that just because a handful of talented people might concievably demand millions of dollars that there is some kind of shortage of tenacious, bright young people out there who would always do something comparable for less money? I mean, I've been fortunate enough in my life to have known many very intelligent, tenacious, and talented people who I'm confident could do just as good as the Enron people and who at the same time wouldn't demand millions of dollars just to walk in the door. It's not like nobody has seen a business succeed without a multimillion dollar stuffed shirt.

Cullion
4th April 09, 03:42 PM
OK, thanks for your response. Let's see, then...

1.) So you're saying that in order to successfully run a business you likely need to be an egomaniac? Why would it be better for someone to be an egomaniac rather than more problematic? After all, aren't the petty politics and backstabbing that sap the efficiency of offices a function of butthurt ego? Isn't ego the impetus that makes people backstab and step over one another, thus wasting energy on internal conflict instead of broader organizational goals?


No, that isn't what usually happens. You haven't met enough CEOs yet.



2.) Who the hell is worth those millions? You're tellling me that just because a handful of talented people might concievably demand millions of dollars that there is some kind of shortage of tenacious, bright young people out there who would always do something comparable for less money?

Yes, there is such a shortage, that's why the wages are so high.



I mean, I've been fortunate enough in my life to have known many very intelligent, tenacious, and talented people who I'm confident could do just as good as the Enron people and who at the same time wouldn't demand millions of dollars just to walk in the door.

No you haven't.



It's not like nobody has seen a business succeed without a multimillion dollar stuffed shirt.

Which large, succesful business are you thinking of, and how much do the people who run them get paid?

HappyOldGuy
4th April 09, 04:51 PM
Being a sociopath is not a prerequisite for being a successfull CEO, but there is a fair amount of correlation.

There are exceptions. Geshke and Warnock at Adobe were two of the nicest guys you would ever want to have a beer with. IIRC they've stepped out of the day to day, but they had exactly zero of the traits we're talking about. There are also degrees. The head if the last company I worked at was an asshole, clinically narcissistic, and every kind of negative stereotype you want. He was also a really good salesman who made me a nice chunk of change on my options. Current CEO is the son of the founder, so he's a decent guy, but the heads of divisions are all pretty solidly finned.

Cullion
4th April 09, 04:55 PM
Being a sociopath is not a prerequisite for being a successfull CEO, but there is a fair amount of correlation.

Yup.



There are exceptions. Geshke and Warnock at Adobe were two of the nicest guys you would ever want to have a beer with. IIRC they've stepped out of the day to day, but they had exactly zero of the traits we're talking about.

But did they get paid a lot? If so, then in WR's world, they are by definition sociopaths, because he thinks the economy is a zero-sum game.

Wounded Ronin
4th April 09, 10:00 PM
Yup.



But did they get paid a lot? If so, then in WR's world, they are by definition sociopaths, because he thinks the economy is a zero-sum game.

NO U