Another old myspace blog. Enjoy my angry rant!
People have many traits and those traits can be named, grouped, or organized in many different ways. Psychologists have discovered five personality traits that have a long term aggregate picture of behaviour. That is they don’t predict behaviour in one situation but over many different but similar situations they reveal a pattern or trend of behaviour that can be predicted.
- Openness – appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. Heritability 57%.
- Conscientiousness – a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behaviour. Heritability 49%.
- Extraversion – energy, positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others. Heritability 54%.
- Agreeableness – a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. Heritability 42%.
- Neuroticism – a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability; sometimes called emotional instability. Heritability 48%.
As you can see roughly half of your personality is genetic in origin so realistically a campaign to increase interest in policy or science or compassion is limited in what it can do to make the world a better place.
No matter how many times you take a redneck to an opera you’re probably not going to open his mind to “elitist” liberal media. Or how many times you show through fair argument (defined as A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood) to someone with a low openness trait they simply lack the tools intellectually and the curiosity about the world to overcome their limitations and the hold tradition has on them.
There is a reason that in science and academia the MAJORITY are atheist/nontheist/deist and reject supernatural/wishful thinking while in countries with high status/income inequality like the USA and Zimbabwe the vast majority are religious and obsessively so. Or in other words Scandinavian countries and Japan have overall the best equality between the sexes, education, literacy, quality of life, lifespan, and income and correspondingly the lowest level of religiousity and supernatural thinking. The USA is embarrassingly low in just about everything during the 21st century when during the 60’s we were on top of the world if not the best in all of the above and a much less religious country…Bush calls it the third awakening. In this first century of the US the big religious leaders complained constantly that no presidents were calling themselves christians (some even swore the oath on the constitution because they refused to so on a bible) and now every candidate loudly proclaims his religion….hmm…causality maybe?
There is a successful theory involving schizotypal personalities as the core group of witch doctors, shamans, and priests in all cultures since they don’t have the full blown brain frying issues as their cousins with schizophrenia they are more able to operate in society while at the same time be amazingly effective at achieving power and money leading to more opportunities for breeding which explains why evolutionarily speaking the schizotypal are such a high percentage of the population and why the full blown mindfuck is an acceptable risk. It compares well to sickle cell anemia in which the rare individuals with full blown sickle cell die but those with partial are resistant to malaria and more likely to live to breed.
This is a hard concept to accept for many including myself who rejected this when I was a youth thinking I could change the world for the better even if it was one person at a time.
At best you can open a path or introduce a concept to someone with the right mix of traits to allow them to pursue it. The average person of today is never going to want to learn for the sake of learning or work hard for the sake of earning their own self respect no matter how you reason with them.
I used to think reason could work miracles and that if you just calmly explain something to someone they could understand. People don’t want to question their beliefs and they don’t want to improve their beliefs they just want to be left alone in their stone age minds unless what they learn makes them money, gives them status, or directly improves breeding chances…..Which makes perfect sense since those goals lead to spreading their genes or their relatives genes since money and status have a way of impacting other family members especially in family strong cultures.
So, to win the hearts and minds of the average dull mind and muddled heart you can’t depend on reason…you have to persuade and manipulate…As a friend told me a few days ago good social skills amount to learning how to manipulate people and noticing social cues to pick the right tools for that situation.
I find manipulation offensive and most of the people with high openness traits do as well but the common man expects it and uses it as their main tool of survival. This is how they pass tests or get promoted because if promotions went to the person who does quality work then what would happen to quality work if that is a rare quality? The jobs of most congressmen could be done by people on the street especially given that most don’t read the bills or have the intellect to comprehend complex ramifications which explains why the patriot act passed! The jobs of their assistants require skill and fortitude since they are the ones doing most of the real work and getting paid correspondingly well.
How do you operate in a social environment if you are part of the small minority that treat people compassionately and fairly (refuse to manipulate), appeal to reason, have high standards and seek to be a good person who does good deeds while working hard. When the WAY you say something is more important than WHAT you say or do there is something greatly wrong. Content is much more important than style though style has some impact. Its like Shaq refusing to granny style his free throws even though that would increase his percentage by 30% and win games but it doesn’t look “cool.” I am on the side of reason obviously but most people would pick being cool or conforming instead.
This is the enemy. Groupthink, conforming, and obeying authority allow those without scruples to do as they wish and even conscientious objectors don’t stop the average person from shocking another person to death! There is nothing wrong with torture as long as everyone else agrees that torture isn’t bad as long as you fit in….while those with reason and who seek truth find this brutish and nasty even if they are threatened with death for objecting as in the case on the war of science versus religion which goes on to this day.
Pro-lifers kill doctors while at the same time having more abortions than pro-choice people. Let me say this again the pro-lifers are more likely to have an abortion than those who are pro-choice! After getting their abortion they go right back to the picket line and protest because their situation is so much different than anyone else and all those other women are whores. They don’t see the disconnect because they live in a fairy tale land where reason doesn’t intrude.
This is why diets rip people off of so much money since none of them really work through their own merit. People live in a land of pseudoscience because its easier than questioning and besides people with authority are saying its true because anyone on TV is special unless there one of those damned liberal elites.
If you refuse to change your mind even after evidence is put forth to you that shows you are wrong in one area of your life this type of thinking is probably indicative of all your thinking and poisons everything that you do.
If you believe its all right to call people niggers or fags and treat them differently because that is the way you are raised you probably believe that islamic people are subhuman (not christian, not american, not like you) and thus its easy to rationalize killing millions of their poor children by making it hard to import water as the USA did before W invaded under Bush senior and Clinton.
We all of delusions maybe not on the above scale of the average bible thumper in the midwest or south but the key is that some people can be weaned from such vileness if their openness/intellect and agreeableness is sufficient and others can’t without a major life experience.
Even though intelligence and atheism have been proven to be correlated its more I think a factor of openness to new ideas and a willingness to question. There are plenty of really smart people who are religious and some of them can even be fundies though its unlikely. Even though environment is a minor shaper in personality traits and childhood environment has nothing to do with personality traits it has everything to do with delusional or rational thinking. What a parent can do is nurture an environment in which the child is encouraged to USE their intellect or to blindly follow the herd. You’re not changing the trait you’re changing how the trait is being applied.
People without compassion don’t care if others are starving or in need of medical care like so many americans are. Given the extremely low cost to providing these basic services its really a shame to see a homeless child because some schmuck didn’t read his legalize and trusted someone not to fuck him and then the housing market collapsed. This one mistake can ruin a life and another life and another life….But the big companies have been bailed out on the multi billion dollar scale but the poor most affected…nadda.
I guess the point is that if you are afraid to look at yourself in the mirror on one topic you’ll be that way on other topics and honestly you’re not trustworthy as a rational person would be. The heritability is only around half if you really try you can change yourself even if you can’t change anyone else. Seek truth my friends!