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The Everybody Paradigm

Get the top minds (and others) to hash out exactly what *is* humanity
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With so much focus on diversity these days, it's easy to overlook our glaring similarities. In fact, our differences cannot be accurately measured until we know both the basis of our similitude, and it's quantitative measure. Thus we need a new and obsessively maintained documentation project: The Everybody Paradigm.

For instance, take the example of a Farsi-speaking (note, I didn't say *english* speaking) engineering grad student teaching statics to a classroom full of bored American undergrads, and thinking to himself that the food from his native land is so much better than McDonalds. At the same instant, some 20 miles to the east, a nine year old girl puts a soggy bag of herbal tea into her mouth, thinking that no one is paying her any attention. And they are both right.

On the face of it, we may conclude that "being right" is a good candidate for inclusion in The Everybody Paradigm. However, we can as easily shift 14.5 miles northward, where a high-school sophmore track star is preparing to snap a National Merit Scholar's bra strap, because he believes it will endear him to her. He is wrong of course, and thereby provides a magnificent foil to our first attempt at defining a portion of The Everybody Paradigm.

Despite this apparent first failure, if we step back a bit, a pattern does begin to emerge from these three vignettes. In each case, the protagonist *believed* they were right, whether they *actually* were or not. This conclusion is more robust than the first, and survives further tests. For instance, I believe I am right in everything I have proposed thus far. It may be argued that some people actually suspect they are wrong, but one must assume that they have some basis for their suspicion, and therefore, in a sense, believe they are right (about being wrong).

This is a facile example of a common trait which should be included in The Everybody Paradigm. I leave the other traits as an exercise for the foremost thinkers of our time, and for old guys in sports bars with little else to do.

We must quantify our sameness; only then will we be able accurately discern and weigh our differences. Once we can factor out our common traits, will we be able to determine which differences are completely intolerable, and should therefore be disliked.

dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

Humanity's Common Bonds http://www.users.bi...gh/Common_Bonds.htm
John Greenhalgh believes he's right. [dijontoothpaste, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Landmark http://www.landmarkeducation.com/
[dijontoothpaste, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Landmark http://www.rickross...ml#Special%20Report
[dijontoothpaste, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Book: Donald E. Brown: Human Universals http://www.amazon.c...etail/-/007008209X/
Brown is an anthropologist who has been researching traits all human societies have in common. [jutta, Jan 26 2005]

Steven Pinker's summary of Browns universals http://www.c2.com/c...iki?HumanUniversals
Pretty good description of the halfbakery at the beginning of the first list of items, too. [jutta, Jan 26 2005]


       Baked: Human Genome Project.
snarfyguy, Jun 03 2003

       The Human Genome Project is defining what we all are in a physiological sense, not in a philosophical sense. In fact, in a physiological sense, the Human Genome Project making great headway in determining our commonality with and differences from white mice. They're doing great work, but it's a different sort of task.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       // which differences are completely intolerable, and should therefore be disliked //   

       This is all a bit self evident, is it not?
saker, Jun 03 2003

       You're always right but I'm *the best*.
my face your, Jun 03 2003

       [sartep]: //This is all a bit self evident, is it not?//   

       It may be to you and me, but I assure you, there are plenty of folks out there who have no clue what is an adequate basis for dislike of another.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       [m-f-y] //You're always right but I'm *The best*.//   

       I am glad you have the courage of your convictions. And you're usually right.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       Write that down! Make a note of that! <scribbling> my face your is usually right</scribbling>
k_sra, Jun 03 2003

       What might undermine this endeavor is the very problem it sets out to fix, that is, the difficulty of a group of people arriving at a consensus on what we all are in a philosophical sense.   

       Since many schools of thought / philosophies are at odds with one another, how are we to establish enough commonality to even begin this undertaking?   

       Assemble a panel of clerics, scientists, artists, world leaders, etc. given the task of assembling universal human traits. I can't imagine the panel agreeing on thing one.
snarfyguy, Jun 03 2003

       My school will occasionally have "Character Education" classes, which is the district's attempt to enlighten a white bread community (read: 1 african-american per grade k-8, 2 total in the high school; 2 jewish kids per grade, whole district). With so much emphasis on the "differences that make everything so interesting," it often ends up encouraging racism (derision of religions, etc.). If it instead focused on similarities like this...
my life would be so much more bearable!
igirl, Jun 03 2003

       But [snarfguy], your imagined panel of experts has demostrated the validity of the example trait I gave in this idea: for why else would they disagree so vehemently if each of them did not believe he or she was right?
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       Let me add another trait as a further example, and as an exercise to prove the feasibility of this endeavor: I will assert that a human's confidence in his or her rightness is invulnerable until his view comes into contact with others.   

       For instance, let us suppose, that based on something I read, I began calling myself a "ragged individual." I would go about calling myself by that title, and most intelligent people would smile or chuckle or look askance at me, assuming I was making a pun. But then eventually I would meet someone who was not so sophisticated who would say, "Isn't the term 'rugged individual'?" Of course, I would smile, chuckle and then look askance at him, but really, down inside, I'm wondering if my ruse was a little too subtle. My confidence in my own rightness was thereby shaken by another individual. Please also note that it was not important in this example that the unsophisticated person was right. He was entirely correct in what he said, but he was not right to assume that I was mistaken. This fact allows me to quickly resume thinking I am right, while simultaneously allowing the unsophisticated gentleman to believe he is right. Therefore trait #1 can coexist with trait #2.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       So what exactly do you foresee being done with any data you collect? That would be important stuff, and open to abuse...
saker, Jun 03 2003

       " This is all a bit self evident, is it not? "
"Since many schools of thought / philosophies are at odds with one another, how are we to establish enough commonality to even begin this undertaking?"
I disagree on the grounds of believing there to exist "truth"(something that really is fact). This being the case i think given enough experience and contemplation i think a person comes to realizations. These realization themselves not being truth, however still being based on reasons could leads to truth. So i would agree that putting people together to discuss long enough and thoughts will draw ever closer to one anothers. because although we all believe differently, taking into account the exist of truth, our beliefs are not unfounded and are rooted in truth and are parts of the greater truth. I think we all hold parts of the truth and in coming together we learn and take into account more understandings.
"It may be to you and me, but I assure you, there are plenty of folks out there who have no clue what is an adequate basis for dislike of another."
I think there to be no reason ever to dislike another person. I think it comes from judging a person that leads us to dislike another. If we realize that everyone believes the way they do for a reason then we are lead to be more understanding. If we realize that these ideas are not who the person is but just something the person thinks it again leads use to like everyone. Because i think the avenue for which judging comes into play is in the instance of judging ideas. Applying that we see that we can disagree and dislike an idea (and behavior associated with the idea), without disliking the person because of realizing that the idea isn't the person. This also leaves open for growth because if we dissociate the idea with the person on this level we see that the idea can change without the person being wrong. The idea isn't the person so the idea can be wrong and the person who thought it could still be right because granted that persons idea was founded in the truth that they knew. Also leading us to realize that we are selves should be more open and begin to realize that what we think and how we act because of what we think is not who we are, also realizing that we aren't wrong simply by realizing that the idea was wrong. Leading us to greating impact on others is the reaction of assuming a person had reasons for how they feel, to feel comfortable questioning a persons actions and reasons for actions, because we want to help understand one anothers reasons not because we want to prove one another wrong. People listen and are more effected when spoken to nicely. If you think a person has a wrong idea disliking them will show through when talking to them and lead them to think less of what you say. However is one is to always love everyone then surely they are more likely to listen.
love2everyone, Jun 03 2003

       Well, [saker] you're absolutely right, it would be powerful stuff, but only inasmuch as large numbers of people came to agree on the conclusions of the Paradigm. Frankly, there isn't much hope of an universal acceptance, so the project would largely be of intrest only in the halls of academia. Several years after version 1.01 of the Paradigm (just when version 7.4 is coming out) some corporate-speak guru will pick up on it and forge it into the basis for a new retread on his failed organizational behavior tactics. That truly is abuse, but not any worse than what goes on today (see links "landmark").   

       [love2everyone] I totally agree with the tenor of your annotation. But I disagree with you on this point:   

       //...if we dissociate the idea with the person on this level we see that the idea can change without the person being wrong.//   

       It is condescending to dissociate the idea from the person. It is simply a more courteous way of saying "You're misguided and I'm right." People who have beliefs have them for specific and real reasons, and sometimes for incorrect reasons. Nevertheless, to call off the arguing in favor of a gigantic "tie game" is insulting to those whose ideas are right and also to those whose right to think what they choose has allowed them to reach wrong conclusions.   

       We must find a way to esteem our fellow man while arguing passionately that he is wrong. Indeed, to remonstrate respectfully with someone who is mistaken is to reinforce the value of pursuading him.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       Wait a minute. Sucking tea bags and thinking in Farsi... I thought the whole idea was kind of a thought bubble for humour. A pun at the expense of the intelligensia, a rib in the side of academia. Am I wrong? Because I think I am right. And if I'm not right then I still may be correct in my wrongness. If this is the right interpretation of your idea, [dijon]. Is it?
k_sra, Jun 03 2003

       Well, [k_sra], that brings me to another important point. The Everybody Paradigm consortium would do well to take note of commonly used phrases such as "everybody's a comic" to see whether there might be some truth to them.   

       At any rate, if you know so much, why didn't you think of The Everybody Paradigm?
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       Because I was too busy sucking on a tea bag and thinking of bra straps in Farsi.   

       The customer is always right.
k_sra, Jun 03 2003

       There are two kinds of people in this whirled:
Those who agree with me.
And those who are are wrong.
thumbwax, Jun 03 2003

       Ah, I love Paris in the the Spring!
k_sra, Jun 03 2003

       Any time there is an intellectual sea change with respect to the conception of what humanity is, potential power accumulates. The promoters of that change in thinking usually benifit.   

       This is what happened in Europe in the 20's and 30's. It took alot of British, French and American blood to refute that perspective, and to assert a different world view.   

       The same sort of change is underway in western culture again today: despite the retrenchment or outright collapse of Marxism in the east, it seems that academia still dallies with it in the west. Under the guise of more tolerance for different cultures, we are being posited a view of humanity which is fundementally different from that of mainstream western culture since the Reformation. This new human paradigm views humanity as a resource, which can be managed, weilded and shaped into a more perfect society. Preferably this would be done by experts, people who know what they're doing, and know better than the average person what's best for society.   

       The old paradigm places more emphasis on the value of the individual *even, in some cases, at the expense of the many*. This paradigm depicts humanity as a creation which, provided a basic (and limited) democratic government whose purpose is essentially to maintain order, will live in order and in peace (when possible), and will even, as a society, voluntarily extend themselves beyond mere self preservation to assist those in need.
dijontoothpaste, Jun 03 2003

       [ dijontoothpaste ] <lb> I didn't mean to convey that i feel like disagreements should be deemed ties. I definately think everything could and should in most instances be discussed through completion. I love to discuss ideas passionately, it is somethings then that i however overwelm others. My point was that i think people are often overwelmed because they think i'm telling them they are wrong, when i simply think i'm right. <lb> <lb> //What if he just killed six nuns down at Fat Harry's with a baseball bat? // <lb> I think even in this situation i would love this person. I see that we can't help a person nor change a person if we don't first show compassion. I think everybody is entitled to being cared for. We should not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with goodness.
love2everyone, Jun 09 2003

       Perhaps one thinks that they are either right or wrong ( and believe they are correct in their wrongness) because there is huge probability of fault. One can not even state that a flower is blue with utter certainty. I have a friend, who for everything that I believe is Blue recognises it as Purple. Have his eyes been ‘taught’ to recognise the colour as purple (a simply be a linguistic fault?), ordo his eyes percevethe colour so it IS blue? If you imagine that the entire human race is my friend, percieving the world around them in ways that can neither be proved nor disproven you see that there is a much higher probability that we are wrong. For our one perception of reality there are infinate other probabilities. As we are most likely wrong in everthing, science and philosophy go in search of other ways of being wrong, but with a (hopefully) higher probability of correctness. Your sophmore, if his intentions for endearment were true he would have (hopefully) learnt from the experience, and next time he snaps a bra strap will expect at the very least a scowl, and he will most probably be right. Perhaps this lack of certainty and improbablity of correctness unifies humanity, in a search for correctness (in one way or another) ? This search for correctness is impelled by our constant pursuit of pleasure. Hopefully is this budding track star can predict female responces with growing accuracy he will someday have a stable relationship or at least have sex. Even in suicide we are testing our correctness, if life is deemed unpleasurable one puts faith in a benevolent god or at least nothingness. And again, I’ll bet on us being wrong.   

       (And I’m most probably wrong. Damn! the Epimenides paradox)   

       Be gentle..
ninni, Jan 03 2004

       Maybe if I read this one again up-side-down...   

       sp: sophomore.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2004

       Awww. I thought I was the only person who sucks teabags.........................
p1stonbroke, Jan 03 2004

       <ninni>//Perhaps this lack of certainty and improbablity [sic] of correctness unifies humanity, in a search for correctness ...//</ninni>   

       Bravo, ninni! I declare you have identified trait #3 for the Everybody Paradigm! I'm naming you Rotary Chairman Emeritus of the EPC (Everybody Paradigm Consortium) for the month of February. I'm almost certain you'll do the job very well.   

       Now let's see, with death and taxes we are up to 5 traits...
dijontoothpaste, Jan 23 2004

       Hmm... more traits needed...   

       A preference for having knees?
moomintroll, Jan 26 2005

       You remind me of Hari Seldon in 'Prelude to Foundation', who is trying to come up with a usable psychohistory, and travels around the Galaxy looking for simple generalisations to simplify the galaxy.
dbmag9, Dec 22 2005

       Absurdism does not counter nihilism.
undata, Sep 13 2006

       Doesn't it? Surely, by definition, *anything* counters nihilism.
zen_tom, Sep 13 2006

       Absurdism (the search for order in the universe is pointless and self defeating) could be said to be complimentary to philosophical Nihilism (nothing can be known or communicated).
DrBob, Sep 13 2006


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