At some point I posted here my theories of sadness vs anger. Roughly, you have a version of the world that you prefer - for example, your loved one is healthy. Then something changes - there's a diagnosis. A feeling of anger is a drive for action to fight for the prior version of the world. Its function is to make you hunt for ways to revert the situation back to something you find acceptable. A feeling of sadness is the grief you feel at updating your version of the world - this bad thing is coming true, and I'm having to update my reality in a way that I really don't want to. So my summary was more or less that anger is about driving you to change your external reality, and grief is how you wrestle with changing your internal reality.
I want to extend this to talk about trust and forgiveness. I feel a little like a conehead or anthropologist when people talk about forgiveness, and also in some ways trust.* I very much understand that a person can hurt you, and quite badly, and that with time, the hurt person can do emotional work and get to a place where they're not quite as angry and hot about the violation. But often I think people use "forgiveness" to mean "can you will yourself not to harbor anger anymore?" and that's where the framework above comes into play. You can't change what happened. What is the updated reality to absorb?
So here's how it fits into the framework above: you had an internal version of the person, and based on the quality of that internal version, they seemed trustworthy in a given domain. Trust is saying, "Obviously no system of evidence is perfect, but I have evidence that you behave according to this pattern, and I'm going to extrapolate it and assume you behave well in situations I haven't seen yet." The more you extend the pattern, the more you trust them in that domain.
Then they commit the action that violates your trust. You're hurt by this. Your task as the hurt person is to grieve the fact that your internal version of the person was wrong, and to update your internal version of the person to include "the kind of person who can do this shitty thing."
Then you can decide to what extent you want to be involved with this new reality of a person. You can still be friends/relationship/etc with them and have an updated understanding of them, with newly restricted trust. Or you can decide that the quality of the person is low enough that you no longer want the friendship/relationship. Neither of those is forgiveness - they're just realistic. That's where I don't really get forgiveness as a concept. The task of the hurt person is to update their internal version of the person to accord with the new, unwelcome reality. This part sucks a lot.
Of course this can be a monumental task! I think it's especially hard for grown children of shitty parents - your trust was based on the extremely limited information that small children have, and our profound need for love and care-giving. As an adult coming to terms with it, you have to update your internal version of your parents to be "they were shitty parents and the version of them that I wished I had did not exist, and based on that, I may or may not want them in my life now."
Sometimes, people just use "forgiveness" to mean "I found peace around this hurtful thing someone else did." That's pretty compatible with how I'm using it here - if you truly internalize the new, shittier reality of the person who hurt you (and assuming you're now protected from them) there's a sense of peace in that.
Of course the offender can say, "I deeply apologize and I'm going to earn your trust back." And then the hurt person may choose to give them a chance. The hurt person should withhold trust until they've accumulated enough of a pattern of behavior that they can extrapolate again and trust the person. I guess you could use "forgiveness" here to mean, "I got enough evidence to believe that the event really was an outlier and restore my belief in the pattern." But people usually mean forgiveness in a much more leap-of-faith/sheer will kind of way, I think.
One last thing: Again, I realize I'm being very cut-and-dried and clinical about these things. To me, the intensity of emotions is not in tension with clinical language. It doesn't have to trivialize the intensity just because I'm talking like a robot.
*I really don't understand any version of global trust and not domain-specific trust. You can trust me not to walk out on my kids, but you can't trust me to pick my socks up off the floor.
I saw this tweet claiming "Video games are a form of exercise for the brain" and was curious enough to find the original paper (which includes a link to the full text, although I didn't read the actual paper.)
Moderator analyses indicated that action video game play robustly enhances the domains of top-down attention and spatial cognition, with encouraging signs for perception. Publication bias remains, however, a threat with average effects in the published literature estimated to be 30% larger than in the full literature. As a result, we encourage the field to conduct larger cohort studies and more intervention studies, especially those with more than 30 hours of training.
It is worthwhile studying the positive effects of videogames, but calling it "exercise" seems like a stretch. (At first I read the last sentence as saying "we should study those with more than 30 hours per week of training". That seemed ludicrous for different reasons.)
My conclusion: video games are not extremely bad nor extremely good. They're just medium.
My school is next to a trailer park with 250 tenants. Roughly 30% of the students at my school live there. Recently, it sold for $16.8 million.
I got a call this last week from a grandparent who got an eviction notice taped to her door. The company that bought the trailer park told all tenants to pay rent through an online portal, but the portal doesn't work. This grandmother dropped off a check to pay rent, but the landlord didn't cash it. Now she thinks she's being evicted, and she's worried her grandson she has custody of will have to change schools.
There's quite a few updates from the original post, who is trying to figure out how to fight shadowy corporations and just kind of seeing that they're slippery and shadowy. I think this story represents thousands of this kind of thing playing out all over the country. It's not novel or interesting to journalists, and so it doesn't garner any attention, and the people being evicted don't have any purchasing power or political power, and so their life just becomes more precarious and more likely to tip towards homelessness or instability.
Probably worth having a Paul Pelosi thread, except I don't know what to say about it. This is exactly what happens when you tell violent people to go kill Democratic leaders? It's amazing this doesn't happen with more frequency? Republicans are autocratic thugs?
(This is the first installment in a discussion of Brad DeLong's Slouching Toward Utopia in three-chapter chunks. I forgot to get people signed up for future chunks before starting, so if you're up for one, particularly for chapters 3-5 next, volunteer in the thread. The following is a very sketchy summary, intended to start a conversation rather than to draw any particular conclusions).
Introduction: DeLong outlines the argument of the book. Starting in 1870, progress in useful human knowledge sped up significantly, and for the first time in history increased significantly faster than population growth, making humanity increasingly wealthier per capita over the ensuing 140 years. Surprisingly, we still have distributional problems. Markets, as theorized and championed by Hayek, are terrific for getting people who hold property rights the things they consciously want, but not great for satisfying other social needs and wants, as theorized by Polanyi (who I haven't read and should apparently get around to sometime).
DeLong emphasizes how unprecedented this was -- technology had improved over the course of history before 1870, but never to a degree that increased living standards on average. Any prior increase in human productivity was matched by an increase in population, so the typical person remained living at a bare subsistence level. Only in the 20th century was it possible for the typical person to become significantly wealthier, and the rest of the book is devoted to talking through the extent to which that happened, and how or why it failed to happen.
Chapter 1: Malthus Was Right (Until Not Long After He Published, At Which Point He Became Completely Wrong)
We all remember Malthus, obviously. Published around 1800, basic thesis was that religiously motivated sexual continence was necessary, because unrestricted reproduction would make population increase faster than available resources and people would starve. At the time and place he was writing, technology was already taking off in the form of the British Industrial Revolution, but not fast enough to allow societal productivity to outpace population growth -- the typical person was still barely surviving. (DeLong quantifies the rate of change of useful knowledge throughout the book. I kind of wish he hadn't -- while he's clear that the numbers he gives are estimates for argument's sake, I get very resistant to arguments that use numbers like that, where they're not really tied to anything measured). So when Malthus wrote, he was right -- even though England was rich among countries globally, it wasn't rich enough that people were secure from hunger.
Starting in 1870, though, the world began to get much richer. Globally, the real wages of unskilled workers in 1914 were 150% of what they were in 1870. DeLong's explanation, to be expanded on in later chapters, is that this was due to "the coming of the industrial research laboratory, the large modern corporation, and globalization". Industrial labs were a vastly more efficient way of developing technology than individual inventors. Steamships and railroads were a cheap and efficient way of transporting goods and allowing mass global migration, although where that migration came from and went to was largely affected by the racial goals of European powers.
Different regions, globally, specialized in different types of products, with poorer tropical countries producing things like rubber, oil, sugar, and cotton, while temperate regions with mass European settlement produced grains, meat, and wool for shipment to Europe. This global economic pattern kept poorer tropical countries poor enough that they didn't develop a rich enough middle class to create demand for domestic industrial production. For that reason, and because there were substantial advantages for industrial production in being located in areas with other industrial enterprises, and of course because of restrictive decisions made by colonial powers, during the pre-1914 period industrial development did not spread significantly through what could be loosely described as the global south.
Chapter 2: This Book Spends A Surprising Amount Of Time Talking About Herbert Hoover (It's A Globalization Thing)
Hoover, as we all remember, was a mining engineer, and got remarkably rich doing it. He graduated from college in 1895, in the period when industrial labs had made invention routine and efficient: the change in technologies used by ordinary Americans during the first part of the 20th C was remarkably fast (electricity, flush toilets, washing machines, natural gas for heating and cooking, vast increases in steel production for buildings and machines, you know the kind of thing). Look at Tesla -- great with the inventing stuff, probably too much of a weirdo to have done much with it if he hadn't been employed by organizations that could exploit his ideas.
The US remained very unequal, but had an unusually well-educated workforce that contributed to persistent technological and industrial dominance over the rest of the world for most of the rest of the century. Even Trotsky, who spent ten weeks living in NYC in 1917, was impressed.