Saturday, September 26, 2009

We are made up of false beliefs

Eventually, we all need to be willing to face the deepest, darkest beliefs we have about ourselves. Only in this way can we come to know they are only beliefs, and not the truth of who we are.

- ezra bayda, from The Three Things We Fear Most

Friday, September 4, 2009

What are these things called dogs - children or wolves?

Interesting update on an old Piaget experiment. Here's how it works.

Take a toy, an ordinary toy, and a kid 10 months of age or younger. Have an adult put the toy in Hiding Place A. Let the kid loose. He'll drag, crawl, or catch the first bus accurately to Hiding Place A to get the toy.

Do it with a dog. Same results. They'll go to Hiding Place A each and every time.

Dogs are just like our children.

All right, well, let's add some confusion and check it out further. Have the adult now move the toy to Hiding Place B. The babbling child still first crawls to Hiding Place A and only then moves onto Hiding Place B.

But WWDD (what would doggie do)? The dog will ALSO move first to Hiding Place A, and only then proceed to Hiding Place B. Creepy!

Children and dogs are really no different, until it comes to the Health Care , but that's a different experiment concerning the number of sheep you can get to stampede away from change.

Interestingly enough, wolves behave differently from either kids or dogs (wolves raised by humans/not wild wolves since there's no toys in the wild). Put the toy in Hiding Place A and the wolves will find it. Then put it in Hiding Place B, and the wolves say the hell with Hiding Place A, I'm headed straight for B and they'll find the toy there too. Wolves be not fooled.

Lesson: toys are no deterrent against wolves in the wild.

Second lesson: there's more similarity between babies and dogs than between dogs and wolves. So which species evolved from which?

Particularly, it seems, both dogs and babies look to the adult as a teacher with information to convey. They'll follow rules set by the teacher rather than believe their own "lying" eyes. Wolves don't fall for it.

But now throw in a whole bunch of adults, like say, a set of parents or a church congregation. Have the whole bunch of them put the toy first behind Hiding Place A, and then move it to Hiding Place B. What happens? The babies still crawl to Hiding Place A, and only then to Hiding Place B to actually find the toy.

But that's when dogs get all wolfish, and go right to Hiding Place B. It seems dogs can tolerate one alpha human adult laying down the rules, but more than that it's as confusing as democracy, and they'd prefer to go with their own understanding of where the toy is hidden.

While babies believe any old adult that comes along, even as they mature into voters, which would explain an election or two we've seen.

The lesson - it takes a village to raise a child, but just one human to raise a pup. Or, put another way, pups are more cost effective than children.

Now that's baseball.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Is this a democracy?

I went to last night's Move-On for Health Care in Boulder. I think there were a zillion similar events around the country. I know there was one in Denver, but I only made it to the one in Boulder.

I went down early to help set up. It was a very democratic affair - completely unorganized and then with a flash of brillance it all came together at the last minute.

As I get older, I realize, I'm sort of an organization nut. Like why didn't we hang up the crowd attracting advertisements on the Pearl Street Mall first, rather than wait until five minutes before the event started. And if was really going to be a candle light vigil, did anything think of bringing matches.

I fretted over many petty little things like this, and in the end it came off beautifully, and was well attended to boot. But I question now if my frustration at the lack of organization isn't really democratic? Isn't democracy supposed to be chaotic. Isn't that the spirit that makes it run? And if I - a good leftie - can't settle into the chaos, how can I expect those on the right to?

So that's the fear I'm hearing from them. They'd rather stick with the worst and most costly system in the industrialized world, rather than face the potential of it getting somehow worse still. I thought democracy was supposed to be that the best and the brightest perculate to the top. Instead it's dissolved into a lock step craving for the status quo.

That's not quite baseball.