Monkey See, Monkey Do

AuthorTopic: Monkey See, Monkey Do
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Why is it that humanity strives, above all otther things, to imitate each other, and gain supremecy. Whenever people see something new and "popular" we do exactly that to try to imitate the most liked and succesful people around us. If one makes an effort to make something "popular," as long as you are liked by the masses, it is easy to spread something throuh communities. It is so simplistic, and easy, but almost nobody realizes it. Humanity is so easy to win over, that it is no wonder that governments usually have a group of campaigners trying to make their party look the best. Nobody is immune to this. Those who claim to stay away from mainstream activities just go with the unpopular mainstream. What would humanity be without their leaders?
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Just cuz.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

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quote:
Originally written by Reyes:

What would humanity be without their leaders?
I'm not sure how to approach your post, so I'll just answer the question at the end.

Without leaders, humanity would be in chaotic anarchy. See every period of time after the fall of a central government. The most famous being the Dark/Medieval Ages.

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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Goldenking:

quote:
Originally written by Reyes:

What would humanity be without their leaders?
I'm not sure how to approach your post, so I'll just answer the question at the end.

Without leaders, humanity would be in chaotic anarchy. See every period of time after the fall of a central government. The most famous being the Dark/Medieval Ages.

Dude. You are sooo out of order.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
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Not without leaders to control their people. Without leaders to imitate. Without people to bring in new ideas.
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IMAGE(http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/libraries/rare/modernity/images/hobbes2-1.jpg)

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
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This tendency makes complete sense in general: for example, as we're growing up, we see what our peers are doing and try to learn from them, and mimic them. We take in advice from people we trust or like, like our friends and parents (or not, depending).

This also means that one person or group can persuade a lot of people, and this can create trouble. See Nazi Germany... or organized religion.

But all this means is that we should be skeptical of authority. To suggest that we inherently need some strong central authority is bogus, as Salmon pointed out. We have far less central authority today than the middle ages ever did.

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Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
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But it leads to a large possability of stunted growth in humanity. If people were to follow someone that didn't take steps forward, than our civilization would freeze, and possibly permanantly hurt. Too many people can't think for themselves and just look to others. There should certainly be some of this, but more people should be able to come up with more individual ideas.
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I was referring not necessarily to a strong central government, but a government on the whole. And the Middle Ages not as a time of strong leadership, but as the result of the fall of strong leadership.

Now that Reyes has clarified himself a bit, I think that plenty of people are capable of thinking for themselves. However, it's just easier to let the established, successful people pave the way forward, and try to emulate them in order to get the same amount of success.

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If nobody followed anybody it would quite literally be every man for himself.

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=:T:=
Posts: 454 | Registered: Monday, August 20 2007 07:00
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By leaders you really just mean trendsetters, and you imply that they're conscious trendsetters. But you're making a mistake in thinking that most people never do anything original or imitated. In fact, everyone does little things on their own. If there were no big leader up in front, everyone would just pick up ideas from those around them. There might be a little more meme-chaos, but life would go on.

—Alorael, who thinks far too much conscious manipulation and far too little unconscious micro-imitation is being hypothesized. Also, for an idea to be popular, it needs to have something going for it. You can't just cry, "Stagnation!" and expect the world to stagnate with you.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Reyes:

Those who claim to stay away from mainstream activities just go with the unpopular mainstream.
I find both silly, to be fair. I'm not a wanker or a banker.

quote:
What would humanity be without their leaders?
Less hungry.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
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By Goldenking
quote:
Without leaders, humanity would be in chaotic anarchy
John Lennon's dreamworld, another reason not to like the song Imagine.
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Sorry, Excalibur cannot come to the phone right now, but Excalipur will gladly answer it for you.

[ Saturday, November 10, 2007 23:16: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea" Luke 21:25
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

By Goldenking
quote:
Without leaders, humanity would be in chaotic anarchy
John Lennon's dreamworld, another reason not to like the song Imagine.

I think anarchy is pretty much the second-best thing to a technocratic socialist leisure state. I don't like being told what to do and I especially don't like when people usurp the right to issue orders and command respect.

I'm something of a natural elitist - that is, I'm fine with people with relevant skills and knowledge having a mien of authority and expecting obedience. Engineers, doctors, teachers - all of those are, in a basically functional society, figures who should be given a good amount of credit (if kept in check by skeptical members of the same elite class and inquiry from outside of it) by default.

If you can't have that - if the ONLY people running the show aren't doing it by virtue of being the best woman or man for the job - then no point having a government. Otherwise, you're just gonna be taking orders from a succession of jumped-up wealthy cokeheads. I think, if that's the only government we're being offered, I'll be fine governing myself, thanks.

At least I probably won't turn a major Middle Eastern country into a terrorist freehold.

(This doesn't extend to economics - I find the same arguments I use for aspects of society actively repugnant for aspects of the economy, largely because the economy is predicated around issues we'd find horrifying in society. Casual things like gouging consumers at the pump during a natural disaster are more or less akin to using that disaster as an excuse to vent frustration by shooting at them. If you can't engineer a good society, leave society alone - but beyond all, make sure that capital is not left to its own devices, or it will create an evil society to fill the vacuum you leave.)

[ Sunday, November 11, 2007 00:52: Message edited by: Najosz Thjsza Kjras ]
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
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I'm ot saying not to use anybody else's idea, and I'm not saying that people don't think for themselves. I'm saying they should think more for themselves. There are too many that don't think enough. Too many people are essentially sheep. They go where they're told, do what they're told, and think what hey're told. It shouldn't be like that.
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Very conscious of the danger of a Strawman, I'd like to point out that on the extreme side of that argument you will find a lot of loonies who don't really deserve the support.

quote:
This is my war: one man's war against humanity, governments and weak-minded masses of the world.


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quote:
Originally written by Reyes:

I'm ot saying not to use anybody else's idea, and I'm not saying that people don't think for themselves. I'm saying they should think more for themselves. There are too many that don't think enough. Too many people are essentially sheep. They go where they're told, do what they're told, and think what hey're told. It shouldn't be like that.
So what portion of the population would be "enough" sheep?

In my experience, people do what they want to do, based on the information they have (as well as whether they choose to use it) and their values, such as they are. I think it's true that we're all a lot more easily influenced than we'd like to believe; thus the problem, for example, where we know that we should limit advertising to children, but we nevertheless pause when we can't (or perhaps are unwilling to) acknowledge/prove that ads have such an effect.

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
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quote:
I'm saying they should think more for themselves. There are too many that don't think enough. Too many people are essentially sheep.
I agree with Drew. I've never met a person who obeyed everything society supports. Based on my observations, most of the people on these boards disagree with society in some way or another.

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"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea" Luke 21:25
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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It would be a good start if people abandoned church as authority.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
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They still do that? Must be Catholics.

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"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and the tossing of the sea" Luke 21:25
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"Society" is not a monolithic entity. We may disagree with your society, or with the majority society of America or of the Western world, but we have our own society or societies. Even Spiderweb is a little virtual society.

—Alorael, who thinks any spiritual beliefs that are not entirely unique to oneself are part of a society. A religious society might as well, if that religion is Christian, be called a church.
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

They still do that? Must be Catholics.
And you rag on the Mormons.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
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Reyes, I think you answered your own question.

Stuff that works gets socially accepted. Mainstream is mainstream, offshoots are offshoots. People need to worship and mimic something, and the objects of that worship dictate what works and what doesn't.

As for the rest of the discussion:

A person is intelligent. People are like sheep.
A single person is mathematically unpredictable.
With enough research, you can determine and predict behavior of any number of social groups in reaction to any combination of social phenomena. People make a lot of money by demonstrating this fact, particularly in ratings periods and before elections.

"Social groups" are defined by selecting a group of individuals with one or more shared trait, such as age, race, location, or opinion. The majority of individuals in a social group tend to behave in a certain way, especially in regards to that shared trait.

I personally have yet to meet someone who agrees with "society". Of course, I spend most of my time sequestered with a bunch of paranoid Baptists. But even my contacts outside of college have some sort of "norm" that they fight against.
Let's face it. Normal people are idiots.

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Yes, that's what he means by "no".

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All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Lenar:

With enough research, you can determine and predict behavior of any number of social groups in reaction to any combination of social phenomena. People make a lot of money by demonstrating this fact, particularly in ratings periods and before elections.
Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00