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#1960 - 08/09/00 01:55 PM Re: Politics and the Press
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>, how does it affect the youngsters you mentioned?

Oh, Honey--I really don't want to get all depressed right now. If anyone else wants to take this one, go right ahead.
I'll give it a shot later.




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#1961 - 08/10/00 01:38 AM Re: Politics and the Press
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
>>isn't it possible that there are deeper passions behind our decisions?
William,
Only rarely, I'd say. Many acts (I hesitate do say decisions) in our well-cared-for life arise from sheer boredom and a general drive to do something. Animal research has shown that if e.g. a bird has had no insects to peck at for a while it starts pecking at the empty ground, an instinctive movement, not because it is hungry.
Only a short timespan, in evolutionary terms, separates us humans from the epoch where we needed to be constantly active during waking hours, simply to survive.



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#1962 - 08/10/00 09:54 AM Re: Politics and the Press
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
>>Only a short timespan, in evolutionary terms, separates us humans from the epoch where we needed to be constantly active during waking hours, simply to survive.

how do you know that?

the bird doesn't peck because it read a newspaper article, but because something tells it to. science calls it instinct, but what does science know about the mind of a bird?
boredom can't be the answer, because everyone gets bored, but everyone doesn't do the same things!


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#1963 - 08/11/00 12:28 AM Re: Politics and the Press
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

boredom can't be the answer, because everyone gets bored, but everyone doesn't do the same things!


Doesn't necessarily follow. An instinct can express itself in all sorts of different ways. Take sex, for example. We all have a sex instinct, but the way it shows itself can take all sorts of different directions in different people at different times in their lives and in different circumstances depending on our environment in the womb and afterwards, up to and including who or what is available at the time.

Bingley

_________________________
Bingley

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#1964 - 08/11/00 07:36 AM Re: Politics and the Press
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>Only a short timespan, in evolutionary terms, separates us humans from the epoch where we needed to be constantly active during waking hours, simply to survive.

So that's why I'm so restless all the time! Thank you, Dear! I always love to find rational reasons for
behavior.

I will also point out that one way we know this is to look
on television or just open our eyes where we are, and see that there are people all over the world who still have to "be constantly active during waking hours, simply to survive." There are lots of jungle tribes living right beside us, right now. And some of those jungles are in modern cities. Those of us with education and lifestyles that allow us the knowledge to write on this Board, and have the luxury of free time to do it, are extraordinarly fortunate.








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#1965 - 08/11/00 07:45 AM Re: Politics and the Press
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>Now jaded and unconvinced

Unconvinced of what, Dear? Clarify, please?


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#1966 - 08/11/00 08:26 AM Re: Politics and the Press
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
william--

As I re-read your posts in this thread, I came to the conclusion that you are actually wanting to know why we (and other creatures) behave as we do.

The bottom line, but nonetheless supremely unhelpful, answer is: because of something we are born with (nature),
or because of something about the way we were raised (nurture).

Scientists have been studying the nature vs. nurture aspect for ages (that is how they do in fact know what goes on in the minds of birds). They have made a great deal of progress in some ways (I'm thinking of the recently-developed ability of the FBI to do quite accurate profiles of criminals they have not caught), and very little in others (studies of identical twins raised apart and unaware of each other have shown remarkable similarities in the two, but nothing conclusive has been learned).

It seems to be human nature to want to know the "why" of everything. I know I do! But each person's history is
unique: even identical siblings raised together are not raised identically, nor are their perceptions of how they were raised identical. Each will perceive, correctly or incorrectly, that they or the other was more favored or less favored. This will have effects on their behavior, in either subtle or obvious ways.

This provides a nice lead-in to your question of how children who have no one who cares enough to teach them right from wrong come to behave. We all do whatever we think will result in getting our needs met. Infants cry when they are uncomfortable, and hopefully that will bring a caregiver who will provide relief. We continue that pattern all our lives, in some way or another. Kids who are raised without enough attention being paid to them, by and large are going to find ways to secure that attention.
As they become teenagers and are more able to get around on their own (though some don't wait that long), these attention-seeking behaviors tend to escalate into very destructive acts, both to themselves and others. That always hurt me so much to watch that, because I knew they were acting out in pain from the circumstances they were in,
and I knew that 99 out of 100 of them were only going to be in more painful circumstances as a result. Many times, I just felt like shaking the kid's parents and yelling, "Just love him/her, that's all they're asking!".
And then I would realize all too often that the parents were maybe in just as much pain, and for whatever reasons truly didn't have anything left to give the child.

The kids who somehow (here I am thinking of nature, as in born with a strong personality) become successful adults
despite horrendous childhoods are the lucky ones. I define successful here not as accumulation of wealth, but as simply being able to survive without being destructive to a debilitating degree. Children born with naturally self-effacing personalities, or who have had standing up for themselves literally whipped out of them, are the unlucky ones, unless they are fortunate enough to find someone who genuinely cares for them.


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#1967 - 08/11/00 09:06 AM Re: Politics and the Press
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Jackie,
This last post of yours is really impressively deep and relevant. It has to be founded on personal experience.
There is no need for me to ad my grain of salt (or drop of vinegar). Just a recent anecdote: At lunch, I was complaining to a colleague about my current work situation. In the course of my lament, I said : It takes a lot for me to be angry at somebody. - "Oh, I believe THAT", said my colleague - and it sounded as if he had said: that's the problem with you...


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#1968 - 08/11/00 10:47 AM Re: Politics and the Press
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Thank you very much, I appreciate that.




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#1969 - 08/12/00 12:55 PM Re: Politics and the Press
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
Bingley,
so we have a sex instinct and it manifests itself in different actions in people according to their character and experiences. i would say that means it's not just the instinct at work.
instinct doesn't make our decisions for us. that must be obvious, or people couldn't abstain from sex, eating, drinking. the decision to do something (even something instinctual) is separate from the influences we can identify.
my point is that it's facile to say the media causes us to buy, kill, hate, vote and so on. each decision in these areas comes from somewhere inside the mind of an individual. if you could open that place up and look, it wouldn't contain a newspaper.


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