Friday, June 12, 2015

[ytmzocvv] Identity and manipulation

People with a strong sense of identity (not strictly defining the concept of "identity" for now) can be manipulated through it.  The stronger their sense of identity, the easier it is to manipulate them.  Therefore, we hypothesize that such people will never amount to much in the world, as they will always be subject to the whim and will of their puppeteers.

Contrapositively, we hypothesize that great people, powerful people, tend not to have a strong sense of identity.  They can do this with their lives, then turn around and do that: a Protean personality.

We therefore look with deep suspicion the institutions and mechanisms in society that encourage people to develop identities: turning yourself into a puppet.  What are those institutions and mechanisms?

Historically, nationalism -- people holding a national identity -- was prominently used to manipulate, giving us a world war and plenty of genocide.

Game theoretically, it is not all bad.  Identity is something that will remain constant about you (by psychological mechanisms to be explored in a future post).  An identity makes it credible to someone else that you will behave in a certain way in the future, and credibility is extremely important for negotiation.  That "someone else" could be, for example, a potential mate.

The "puppeteers" that manipulate people through their identity might be decentralized.

Originally, the observation was of people who define their identity as a victim (there are many), then generalizing to all identity.

No comments :