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Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
12-24-2009, 06:32 AM,
#1
Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
TED: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

Quote:About this talk
Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Whether the actual incidence of violence is up or down is a mystery to me -- I wasn't there and record keeping is written by the winners and stats serves agendas. There are some points such as the cat torture for entertainment, torture devices and barbaric laws that can be referenced.

Philosophically this video did a good job in giving an overview for an understanding of why people do horrible things to their fellow human beings. I think an oversimplified but root explanation of how they are capable of doing so is summed up by three main mentalities similar to those highlighted in the lecture.

1) Life is cheap. Babies are replaceable human life is a dime a dozen and the people die every day line of thinking that is being pushed more every year. If death occurred in real life as much as it did on television we would be extinct within 14 years. The average kid will see 250,000 deaths on television by the time they are 18 (most of them on Robot Chicken). The more life is valued - the less it is extinguished.

2) Fear. If one is scared that they will be the victim of attack from the other side or victimized in some way they will strike preemptively to avoid the fate they perceive - be it real or imagined. Revenge plays into this emotion as well since there has already been an attack that may soon be perpetrated again.

3) Distance, separation and division. The less people see someone else as the more emotionally distant and the less empathetic they become. If the slave owner sees a slave as an animal he is more likely to inflict misery on it without regret.

As much as I hate lectures that rely heavily on poorly referenced statistics, especially in a conference sponsored in part by IBM, the above points still stand true. But the human mind is complex and can't be limited to such simple classification and analysis.
There are no others, there is only us.
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12-24-2009, 07:54 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-24-2009, 07:56 AM by countdown.)
#2
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
i think the blank slate theory is wrong. jmo
just another academically lauded rightwing judatheist transhumanist i'd say so.
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12-24-2009, 08:35 AM,
#3
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
(12-24-2009, 07:54 AM)countdown Wrote: i think the blank slate theory is wrong. jmo
just another academically lauded rightwing judatheist transhumanist i'd say so.

I'm not disagreeing nor am I surprised by the conclusion considering my previous statements but please elaborate. This lecture was supposedly a chapter out his Blank Slate book, almost verbatim. Is there anything right about it - the points I'd picked out seemed logical? What is your opinion on the the stats Pinker used to support his conclusions - were they even close, has there been a downward trend in violent murder at all?

There were some big killing sprees to factor in maybe we could factor some of those in starting with a few wars and genocides.

WWII 60 Million
WWI 20 Million
Mongol Invasions 30 Million
Fall of the Ming Dynasty 25 Million
Native American (North & South) Genocide ~180 Million
Holodomor (Stalin's Death by Famine) in the Ukraine 10 Million
Mao's Famine Genocide 50 Million
Crusades ???
Drugs and Manufactured Disease ???

Obviously it would be a great undertaking to compile our own numbers but we can take a shot at a rough estimate. Maybe direct contact is not tallied by Pinker as 'violence' but it is just as horrific and you have the same result. I'll try to contact him for an interview to check his facts after New Year.
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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12-24-2009, 11:55 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-24-2009, 12:18 PM by Apocalypso Now!.)
#4
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
I'd spend longer reading up on discussions of his work before trying to contact him..jmo..

personally I think a lot of contemporary work where neuro-biology is interfacing with the humanities is suspect in lieu of the transhumanist agenda many of the leading academic lights are proponating..

the blank slate is a coup by the humanists and the judatheists imo. tabula rasa is false, Locke was wrong.

Q).why set out to prove the ghost in the machine false?

A).so you are left with just machines.
I agree with the 3 points you cited, generally speaking - but again, just because they are being voiced by an academic sponsored at an IBM event..you know..like Bush talk about peace while waging war..I see it kinda the same ie. doublespeak

I wouldn't thought trying people the right to have a soul would magnify the negative consequences rather than negate them.

Also, census taking in the ancient world won't have been so great really - not less because it would be harder to find people because they were so fewer lol
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12-24-2009, 07:51 PM,
#5
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
Yikes -- I've seen this Blank Slate thinking consistently pushed by the media, AI and Ghost in the Shell being prime examples. I see the connection now between the points and his discussion with no need to sift through the garbage. Our (the sheep at large) program has been changed to a more violent nature in recent decades though. It has yet to fully manifest itself yet - but the next generation could be indoctrinated and when faced with crisis it is designed to take hold. That being said is their any truth to the statistics he is referencing on the relative state of peace or at least less murder we are having today as compared to previous eras?
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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12-25-2009, 04:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-25-2009, 04:06 PM by standvast.)
#6
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
(12-24-2009, 07:51 PM)FastTadpole Wrote: Yikes -- I've seen this Blank Slate thinking consistently pushed by the media, AI and Ghost in the Shell being prime examples.

G.I.T.S. is a prime example of what ?

1)People have been discussing and philosophizing about blank slate VS innate for centuries.
2)Shirow wrote a story which is a futuristic hypothetical scenario not presented as Utopian or Dystopian ,
which raises many philosophical questions as to what is the essence of consciousness (Ghost).
3)Shirow chooses to entertain the age old question of whether
Mind and Body (Ghost and Shell) are 2 or 1 in essence, and has characters
appear which have no Ghost but appear to have consciousness.

could you explain in what sense you think G.I.T.S is used as a tool
for pushing the theory of tabula rasa in particular and how it has a conditioning or familiarizing potential ?

There are so many of my anime movies / childhood cartoons which deal with the idea of humans and machines converging,
but also of humans and animals naturally communicating and cooperatively coexisting ,
having special (innate) abiilities , and portraying future worlds / future humanity
which could potentially familiarize people with their current situation
and where they / we are colletively heading..
in my opinion, that sort of starts with certain questions as
"What are we /humans" / "what is consciousness / soul / a Ghost" ...

what i mean to address is that they (the many future scenarios in film / series )
cover about every philosophical quandary / notion / idea of consciousness and future vision.. also quite contradictory ones.

they could all be used as propaganda, to an extent
but are they all geared to bring us into certain acceptance of future scenarios ,and if so ; qui bono ?

Quote:the transhumanist agenda

perhaps,..

peace'
If Thine I that I spy with my own little I Doeth Offend thee ; Pluck It out.

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12-25-2009, 04:56 PM,
#7
RE: Steven Pinker on The Myth of Violence
GITS = Machine + Environment = Humanity
I'm oversimplifying a much deeper storyline. This asserts that humanity is not inborn and in relating with the character - I think I stretched the analogy a bit likely due to high levels of fructose, caffeine and a shortage of zees.

Quote:There are so many of my anime movies / childhood cartoons which deal with the idea of humans and machines converging, but also of humans and animals naturally communicating and cooperatively coexisting , having special (innate) abiilities , and portraying future worlds / future humanity which could potentially familiarize people with their current situation and where they / we are colletively heading.
I've gotten huge influences from anime. I'm currently watching Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion (+ R2) in my limited free time atm. It weaves a story of revolution from a number of perspectives including the military, the media, the elite, the privlidged civilians and the oppressed victims (Japan) of a military occupation (Brittania) - all set in the not too distant future. Familiar themes like man-machine symbiosis and mind control persist in the storytelling. Next up for me is Mushi-Shi which fits well with the "humans and animals naturally communicating and cooperatively coexisting" theme. Great show - I've made a Anime few recommendations in the What Books, Movies, Music, Documentaries Best Represent Our Philosophy at ConCen? thread:
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=16522&pid=176291#pid176291

Mushi-Shi
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=5923

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=6704
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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