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Not to be a bore but it does say "Lady Average" not "Sir or Madam Average".

Not to be a bore but it does say "Lady Average" not "Sir or Madam Average".

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I'm probably referring to all of the above. That's an interesting speciation of anti-intellectualism, but I am meaning it in the broad sense, because I've seen all of them.
If someone calls me a "liberal elitist", is it version 1, 3, or 5? Does the class issue also result in a gut reaction? Is the traditionalism directly related to the totalizing? I understand the differences as described in the article, but I'm not sure they are easily separable. Sometimes yes, but not always. So: A. I think the differences are interesting, and useful, but not always clearly delineated, and B. when generalizing about a group, I'm not sure it's necessary. If I say "New Yorkers really like dogs", it's probably not cricitcal which breed I mean. If I say "that person really likes his/her dog" then it matters more.

(and we all know that when you generalize about things it's like when you assume things: it makes a general out of I and, um, ze)

As relates to the original quote: which type was Godin referring to? He talks about being ashamed at being uninformed, which touches on 1 and 5, possibly 2, and interacts with 3. (pobre quatro) One of the things we've slowly seen is the other side: being unashamed at being informed...or politically unpunished, for that matter. Politicians want to be "regular people" because they are berated for using subclauses in sentences (John Kerry), for being a know-it-all (Gore), elitist (everyone, per Palin), destroying the fabric (Obama), utopiansim (the 90's Clintons), etc...

But if you are settling a question of morality, I take it as being a question between multiple people (that's not explicit, but seems to be implicity part of the above). One's personal ethical system needn't aspire, but when settling a question of group ethics or morality, how do you proceed?
Or for that matter, how do I analyze my own ethics? How do I know if I'm achieving ataraxia without looking at the evidence: do my actions reduce displeasure, etc? The result of my (or other people's) actions are relevant evidence, providing necessary feedback to my personal system of ethics, no?

A. I'm not entirely sure that things that used to be human nature no longer are. We deal with them, surpress them, sublimate, etc. Anger responses, fear, lust, possesiveness, nesting. The animal instincts of the human animal. How those manifest does indeed change, but not the "nature" of them.

B. We live (in the USA) in a long-term culture of anti-intellectualism. Obviously this doesn't mean it can't change... Sometimes it seems like it will (remember the days before nerd-chic?), but in a nominally democratic society, there will always be a minority of people who are relatively "intellectual" by definition, we should recognize that you don't have to overcome anti-intellectualism, you just have to raise the bar. While still anti-intellectual, in many ways even the intentionally uninformed know more than the average person did back in the day. (just like there will always be a minority of people who will be "relatively tall", even as the average height has tended to increased over the generations)

My subjective impression is that people who talk a lot about tradition are more interested in "the past" than they are interested in "history". e.g. the history of our nation does not bear out the traditional idea that everyone is equal. Or for that matter, the tradition of social mobility in our country, or the tradition of a wedding veil, or the tradition of Christmas caroling v. wassailing, etc.

After all, in a thousand years or so, Russian revolution and the USSR will be as important as the Mongol invasion and the Khanate of the Golden Horde are today.

Which is to say: pretty important. Not that it's important what exacly some boundary was, or who did what to whom...but all these things are part of the overall development of our current state of affairs, from the development of paper money to credit systems, from Chinese approach to Tibet to the extent of distribution of Islam.

I think it's risky to assume that "science", while more easily identified as rational, is in fact more rational than the rational facts of history, and its causal relationship to the present.

Discoveries in science are, in a sense, what "has to be". But while histroy could have been different, itt wasn't, and it simply "is what it is".

It seems (to me) to be analogous to a lot of fairly technical pursuits: Seismic analysis from purcussion events for finding oil. Tracking the impact of an object on the moon to detect water. Looking for the decay of particles produced and collided by accelerators. Pitching to a batter, over time, will reveal the best way to pitch to that batter (what are his/her strenghts and weaknesses). Haggling.

Approaching its most distilled form: If a system is not giving you information, affect the system in some way [doesn't have to be an "attack" per se]. How the system changes based on your input is instructive, so absorb all of that data.

But if you put out maximum effort, you can leave longevity and/or quality on the table. Silverbacks, pitchers, office workers, day-to-day-life, running, eating... Short term maximum effort might detract from long-term maximum utility. The cost/benefits analysis is at times subjective. "Utility" can mean different things to different people. "Utility", as I interpret in a Rationalist context has a very specific almost "economic" meaning. But you can choose to reduce effort and not push the envelop, and go home, have dinner, relax, and enjoy your life. Some people might refer to that as utility, others as low hanging fruit, still others as a healthy balance.

This doesn't seem rational. One must develop an instinct for what one really needs to/wants to/should achieve, and judge whether maximium effort (which I assume would be required to achieve the barely-achievable) is worth the return on that investment.

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