Wednesday, December 05, 2018

[cochbzdy] Why people are the way they are

If you are proposing a method to change people, first explain why you believe they are the way they are.  Such a model should explain why they will stay the way they are in the absence of your proposed stimulus to change them.  Then, explain how your method works within your model.

These models ought to have names so they can be referred to concisely.

Inspired by seemingly willful ignorance, an attitude of "I don't want to know what's going inside the minds of those disgusting people whom I wish to change”, and likely wishful thinking about why people are the way they are.

I strongly suspect the reason people typically stay the way they are is because of some feedback system, probably involving society / social interaction; that is, their behavior is rationally optimal within the feedback system they are in.  Most attempts to directly change a person away from this optimal behavior aren't going to work.  Instead you need to change, (though of course first understand), the feedback system they are in.  But there's the willful ignorance mentioned above regarding studying such feedback systems.

Inspired by Rat Park: if drug addiction is a response to society having abandoned a person, then changing the person to stop addiction isn't going to help much: they still have to face a society that has abandoned them.  Willful ignorance and wishful thinking come into play when you have ugly and unpleasant-to-think-about reasons (e.g., class and racial prejudices) for which you might believe a person deserves to be abandoned by society.

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