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#142- Addiction, Depression & A Meaningful Life A Conversation with Johann Hari

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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12 November 2018 22:01
 

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Johann Hari about his books Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections.

#142- Addiction, Depression & A Meaningful Life A Conversation with Johann Hari


This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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13 November 2018 07:32
 

I’d love to hear a conversation between Johann Hari and Jordan Peterson, moderated by Sam Harris. Hari and Peterson seem to share similar low-level understanding about human nature. Hari knows how to talk and write about it without alienating half the world as a result.

 
 
TheBardUnshaven
 
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13 November 2018 14:14
 

Excellent, very enjoyable talk. Just a bit of nitpicking for whomever might be interested:
Near the end Johann Hari claims that the AFD (an openly right wing party) is the second largest party in Germany. Luckily, that is not true. It has about 13% of the seats in the parliament. It is the largest opposition party, as the government coalition holds about 56% of the seats, and the other 44% is shared among the 4 opposition parties almost evenly.

 
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14 November 2018 13:17
 

I want to make a perhaps not so slight correction to the impression Hari cultivates in this otherwise interesting podcast.  Unless my programs were exceptional, and unless the textbooks and reference articles were too, his depiction of depression and addiction as some kind of new revelation or “pioneering approach” is in fact the standard understanding of both in psychology and clinical social work—that it’s a multi-vectored phenomena of biological, social, and psychological causes, for which medications addressing so-called physical causes are limited solutions.  In any case his account is not some kind of new discovery he’s made by reading select research.  It’s pretty much what everyone outside of drug company advertisements knows, excepting perhaps family doctors (in the US at least), who often don’t even know the basics of DSM diagnosis (this may also be true in Britain; I don’t know), much less causal theories and current best treatment practices. 

I did some checking, and in fact Hari is a journalist with a degree in political science.  So it bemuses me somewhat that he would even pretend to be writing anything but a personal memoir on a topic so far from his field. 

That said, it was an interesting podcast, if a bit of a belaboring as new or original what is actually common knowledge in the field, and has been for quite some time.

[ Edited: 15 November 2018 10:25 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Russco79
 
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15 November 2018 06:34
 

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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15 November 2018 10:07
 
Russco79 - 15 November 2018 06:34 AM

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

This is the most sensible take on Trump supporters that I’ve read anywhere.  It seems to be autobiographic, yes?  In any case, you’ve changed the way I think of them, for what that’s worth.

 
nonverbal
 
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15 November 2018 11:31
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 14 November 2018 01:17 PM

I want to make a perhaps not so slight correction to the impression Hari cultivates in this otherwise interesting podcast.  Unless my programs were exceptional, and unless the textbooks and reference articles were too, his depiction of depression and addiction as some kind of new revelation or “pioneering approach” is in fact the standard understanding of both in psychology and clinical social work—that it’s a multi-vectored phenomena of biological, social, and psychological causes, for which medications addressing so-called physical causes are limited solutions.  In any case his account is not some kind of new discovery he’s made by reading select research.  It’s pretty much what everyone outside of drug company advertisements knows, excepting perhaps family doctors (in the US at least), who often don’t even know the basics of DSM diagnosis (this may also be true in Britain; I don’t know), much less causal theories and current best treatment practices.

He’s not claiming authorship of anything that’s already understood and accepted, but only phrasing it—presenting it—in a dynamic way. That’s what a serious author is able to do.

TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 14 November 2018 01:17 PM

I did some checking, and in fact Hari is a journalist with a degree in political science.  So it bemuses me somewhat that he would even pretend to be writing anything but a personal memoir on a topic so far from his field.

That said, it was an interesting podcast, if a bit of a belaboring as new or original what is actually common knowledge in the field, and has been for quite some time.

A cognitive psychologist once told me he could train any average fifth-grader in every useful skill a behavioral psychologist has, in 6 weeks!

 
 
LadyJane
 
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15 November 2018 13:37
 

Anyone bending over backwards in their efforts to understand the Trump supporter should consider doing the same to understand those who oppose the man.  The warm fuzzy feeling of tolerance means nothing if you aren’t able to see not only both sides but all sides.  There’s a difference between understanding something and making excuses for something.

 
 
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15 November 2018 14:19
 
nonverbal - 15 November 2018 11:31 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 14 November 2018 01:17 PM

I want to make a perhaps not so slight correction to the impression Hari cultivates in this otherwise interesting podcast.  Unless my programs were exceptional, and unless the textbooks and reference articles were too, his depiction of depression and addiction as some kind of new revelation or “pioneering approach” is in fact the standard understanding of both in psychology and clinical social work—that it’s a multi-vectored phenomena of biological, social, and psychological causes, for which medications addressing so-called physical causes are limited solutions.  In any case his account is not some kind of new discovery he’s made by reading select research.  It’s pretty much what everyone outside of drug company advertisements knows, excepting perhaps family doctors (in the US at least), who often don’t even know the basics of DSM diagnosis (this may also be true in Britain; I don’t know), much less causal theories and current best treatment practices.

He’s not claiming authorship of anything that’s already understood and accepted, but only phrasing it—presenting it—in a dynamic way. That’s what a serious author is able to do.

My criticism isn’t based on any claim on Hari’s part to original authorship but on his framing of his material as something relatively new or somehow revolutionary—the “pioneering approach” is a quote from the podcast.  The thing is, the approach he dynamically presents—and he presents it effectively, like a good author does—is not a pioneering approach at all because it’s been the standard model in the field for decades.  The simplistic physical cause model of depression—what you still get from some family physicians who simplify for patients and from drug companies who advertise to the same (though I haven’t even seen an advertisement with it lately)—persists in the popular mind even as it’s been long discarded by the profession (assuming it was ever all that firmly held).  And whether it was ever the dominant view or not, it was in any case discarded as soon as the studies about the relative effectiveness of the new anti-depressants with and without concurrent therapy started coming in, which was almost immediately.  Anyway, I’m not criticizing the material he presents, or his effectiveness in communicating it, but his way of framing it.  He reveals nothing unexpected or pioneering that hasn’t been expected or understood for at least the last 20 years.  Yet he talks as though he’s reporting on the leading edge of change…

A cognitive psychologist once told me he could train any average fifth-grader in every useful skill a behavioral psychologist has, in 6 weeks!

This is not surprising because the skills taught in cognitive behavioral therapy are what every healthy, well–adjusted child learns long before puberty.  It’s a remedial making good of what was missed, not the introduction of anything radically new.  This speaks, I think, to it’s staying power as a therapeutic method.   

 

[ Edited: 15 November 2018 14:32 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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15 November 2018 14:21
 
LadyJane - 15 November 2018 01:37 PM

Anyone bending over backwards in their efforts to understand the Trump supporter should consider doing the same to understand those who oppose the man.  The warm fuzzy feeling of tolerance means nothing if you aren’t able to see not only both sides but all sides.  There’s a difference between understanding something and making excuses for something.

To quote a would-be sage who situates herself above the vices of others on the forum, while practicing them herself.:

This is the difference between listening and merely waiting for your turn to talk…

Wanting to understand and giving the benefit of the doubt is the only way to truly communicate. 

The speculation about my emotional state is grossly inappropriate…

There’s a common occurrence of filling in blanks with information that wasn’t provided.  I realize this is how the brain operates but what often happens when we fail to separate the posters from the posts is patrons insert their own assumptions in order to disagree with those they dislike and agree with those they do.  Making everything overly personal.

My splendid relations with Jan_CAN—someone who adamantly opposes Trump—suggests I have no trouble coming to understand those who oppose the man.

And only a fool ever thinks she’s appreciated all sides.

 

[ Edited: 15 November 2018 14:27 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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15 November 2018 14:43
 

Mr. Anus, you seem to have yet another bee in yer bonnet and I can’t for the life of me understand why you think everything I say is about you.  This cross contamination of threads may lead to confusion as many new members frequent the forum when podcasts are posted.  I’d like to keep this area clear for those discussions.  Please take any further quibbles to The Klein Bottle.  I’ll be happy to address them there.  More than happy.

 
 
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16 November 2018 04:52
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 15 November 2018 10:07 AM
Russco79 - 15 November 2018 06:34 AM

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

This is the most sensible take on Trump supporters that I’ve read anywhere.  It seems to be autobiographic, yes?  In any case, you’ve changed the way I think of them, for what that’s worth.

Thanks.  Autobiographical in the extent that I’m from a working class background and a lot of my old friends would probably be Trump voters.  One thing that working class people have as an upper hand on understanding the world than say more white collar folk is an exposure to shall we say ‘bad people’.  When you go to a rough school you will have definitely been f**ked over by someone who thought was your friend, maybe they never paid you back money or something trivial but memorable.  You’ll also be very familiar with people who are always slacking off and lying about it.  Maybe you’ve been beaten up badly one time too. Well these people (sad for them I know as maybe blame lies with the parents) then usually go on to maybe be drug addicts or maybe criminals.  You’ll rarely see them after you leave school but you’ll always remember them.  Working class people often go on to have hard lives with tough jobs too. 

So if any of them heard Johan speak in his compassionate tones it would be like he was from another planet.  What would be central first in their minds is the ever present reality of their hard life at work, the efforts they make to play by the rules.  Then would be the images of the actual people they’ve met who not only don’t, but have actively f**ked them over before.  Painful memories sometimes.  This in my opinion explains the ‘DON’T TREAD ON ME’ way of thinking.  They just wanna be left alone to go to work first and foremost, but as a caveat what they feel a heart-wrenching passion over is not rewarding the people who have wronged them and probably everyone around them. 

They don’t think maybe giving crackheads free crack may be economically prudent in the long run, they think over my dead body am I paying for the kid that robbed me to get free drugs while I’m going to work.  They don’t care that Trump brags, says anything regardless of fact, is an awful husband, etc etc they are exposed to that all the time, it’s normal.  They just wanna get on with their lives and not be told they are awful by people who know nothing about them.

 

 
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16 November 2018 05:13
 

That’s an interesting explanation, Russco!

If we say people with a strong moral code and love of honesty are gravitating to Trump, how do we explain the cognitive dissonance of that?

 
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16 November 2018 05:21
 
Russco79 - 16 November 2018 04:52 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 15 November 2018 10:07 AM
Russco79 - 15 November 2018 06:34 AM

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

This is the most sensible take on Trump supporters that I’ve read anywhere.  It seems to be autobiographic, yes?  In any case, you’ve changed the way I think of them, for what that’s worth.

Thanks.  Autobiographical in the extent that I’m from a working class background and a lot of my old friends would probably be Trump voters.  One thing that working class people have as an upper hand on understanding the world than say more white collar folk is an exposure to shall we say ‘bad people’.  When you go to a rough school you will have definitely been f**ked over by someone who thought was your friend, maybe they never paid you back money or something trivial but memorable.  You’ll also be very familiar with people who are always slacking off and lying about it.  Maybe you’ve been beaten up badly one time too. Well these people (sad for them I know as maybe blame lies with the parents) then usually go on to maybe be drug addicts or maybe criminals.  You’ll rarely see them after you leave school but you’ll always remember them.  Working class people often go on to have hard lives with tough jobs too. 

So if any of them heard Johan speak in his compassionate tones it would be like he was from another planet.  What would be central first in their minds is the ever present reality of their hard life at work, the efforts they make to play by the rules.  Then would be the images of the actual people they’ve met who not only don’t, but have actively f**ked them over before.  Painful memories sometimes.  This in my opinion explains the ‘DON’T TREAD ON ME’ way of thinking.  They just wanna be left alone to go to work first and foremost, but as a caveat what they feel a heart-wrenching passion over is not rewarding the people who have wronged them and probably everyone around them. 

They don’t think maybe giving crackheads free crack may be economically prudent in the long run, they think over my dead body am I paying for the kid that robbed me to get free drugs while I’m going to work.  They don’t care that Trump brags, says anything regardless of fact, is an awful husband, etc etc they are exposed to that all the time, it’s normal.  They just wanna get on with their lives and not be told they are awful by people who know nothing about them.

I had working class jobs all through college and graduate school, and even afterwards the first time around, including owning a working-class business for many years.  Now that you put it this way, what you describe jibes well with my experiences with my co-workers and employees.  As irresponsible and self-defeating as they were (a lot of missing work, slacking, etc.), all of them could say, at least, that they were struggling to get by on their own two feet—and they took an implicit pride (is that the right word?) in that.  Having grown up that way myself, it was no fabrication on my part to identify with them, as different as my underlying values were.

Tying this back to Hari, I didn’t listen to the last part of the podcast.  Did he suggest giving out free crack, or are you just making an argument of kind?  And I follow you completely on the foreignness of his compassionate tones.  As much compassion as I had for my co-workers and employees who ultimately moved in another orbit at different velocities with different horizons, it would have been patronizing—to say the least—to express it to them in any way other that unexpressed breaks and material benefits (which I gave as often as was feasible).  Compassion can easily imply a position of superiority—or as one can observe on this forum, a position of superiority can be asserted when people talk about Trump supporters, just absent the compassion.  There’s a difference between adding to a conversation and finding an occasion to denigrate.

It looks like you just joined here.  I hope to see you around more.

[ Edited: 16 November 2018 06:13 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Russco79
 
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16 November 2018 06:52
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 16 November 2018 05:21 AM
Russco79 - 16 November 2018 04:52 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 15 November 2018 10:07 AM
Russco79 - 15 November 2018 06:34 AM

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

This is the most sensible take on Trump supporters that I’ve read anywhere.  It seems to be autobiographic, yes?  In any case, you’ve changed the way I think of them, for what that’s worth.

Thanks.  Autobiographical in the extent that I’m from a working class background and a lot of my old friends would probably be Trump voters.  One thing that working class people have as an upper hand on understanding the world than say more white collar folk is an exposure to shall we say ‘bad people’.  When you go to a rough school you will have definitely been f**ked over by someone who thought was your friend, maybe they never paid you back money or something trivial but memorable.  You’ll also be very familiar with people who are always slacking off and lying about it.  Maybe you’ve been beaten up badly one time too. Well these people (sad for them I know as maybe blame lies with the parents) then usually go on to maybe be drug addicts or maybe criminals.  You’ll rarely see them after you leave school but you’ll always remember them.  Working class people often go on to have hard lives with tough jobs too. 

So if any of them heard Johan speak in his compassionate tones it would be like he was from another planet.  What would be central first in their minds is the ever present reality of their hard life at work, the efforts they make to play by the rules.  Then would be the images of the actual people they’ve met who not only don’t, but have actively f**ked them over before.  Painful memories sometimes.  This in my opinion explains the ‘DON’T TREAD ON ME’ way of thinking.  They just wanna be left alone to go to work first and foremost, but as a caveat what they feel a heart-wrenching passion over is not rewarding the people who have wronged them and probably everyone around them. 

They don’t think maybe giving crackheads free crack may be economically prudent in the long run, they think over my dead body am I paying for the kid that robbed me to get free drugs while I’m going to work.  They don’t care that Trump brags, says anything regardless of fact, is an awful husband, etc etc they are exposed to that all the time, it’s normal.  They just wanna get on with their lives and not be told they are awful by people who know nothing about them.

I had working class jobs all through college and graduate school, and even afterwards the first time around, including owning a working-class business for many years.  Now that you put it this way, what you describe jibes well with my experiences with my co-workers and employees.  As irresponsible and self-defeating as they were (a lot of missing work, slacking, etc.), all of them could say, at least, that they were struggling to get by on their own two feet—and they took an implicit pride (is that the right word?) in that.  Having grown up that way myself, it was no fabrication on my part to identify with them, as different as my underlying values were.

Tying this back to Hari, I didn’t listen to the last part of the podcast.  Did he suggest giving out free crack, or are you just making an argument of kind?  And I follow you completely on the foreignness of his compassionate tones.  As much compassion as I had for my co-workers and employees who ultimately moved in another orbit at different velocities with different horizons, it would have been patronizing—to say the least—to express it to them in any way other that unexpressed breaks and material benefits (which I gave as often as was feasible).  Compassion can easily imply a position of superiority—or as one can observe on this forum, a position of superiority can be asserted when people talk about Trump supporters, just absent the compassion.  There’s a difference between adding to a conversation and finding an occasion to denigrate.

It looks like you just joined here.  I hope to see you around more.

Thanks.  It was heroin actually lol.  It may well be effective but the problem with too much compassion is it can mess with deterrence.  If a soft landing creates more heroin addicts then you are doing more harm than good.  I don’t know much about the issue, maybe it doesn’t, but regardless it’s a moral issue in either direction, not just one which people like Johan like to claim.

As for the cognitive dissonance of Trump the honesty is regard to what he actually thinks— I think he believes his bs lol.  And I think a lot of people would prefer someone who might be wrong than someone who is hard to read and may be lying to them.  This is the awfulness of punitive political correctness, it’s creating a society of liars.  Some of the issues around political correctness are extremely complicated, certainly beyond the scope of most people’s day-to-day reasoning.  Punitive political correctness doesn’t allow people to think themselves to the correct solution, it just tells them the lines they should say.  This will never ever work and will obviously cause people to revolt.  That revolt looks like Donald Trump!

 

 

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  1262
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16 November 2018 07:37
 
Russco79 - 16 November 2018 06:52 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 16 November 2018 05:21 AM
Russco79 - 16 November 2018 04:52 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 15 November 2018 10:07 AM
Russco79 - 15 November 2018 06:34 AM

Listening to this podcast made me think of Jonathon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (HIGHLY recommended).  Johan seems a perfectly likeable person with a good heart and sense of humour yet his attempts to analyse the political divide are way way off.  He is of course clueless about economics, that anecdote about the bike shop co-op was just embarrassing, shows he’s never ran a business, yet the point I want to make has nothing to do with economics.  Where he goes wrong is actually on ethics, and it’s the same error a lot of leftists make and Haidt nails it perfectly in TRM.

Johan suffers from a compassion bias, in that his outlook is hampered by a complete over-saturation of compassion.  This blinds him to everything else and stops him from being able to understand those on the ‘other side’ if you like.  What he doesn’t get about the average working-class Trump voter is they have a strong moral code and would rather suffer a bad roll of the dice than be seen as some whiny weakling who has to whinge and sponge off others to get what they want.  The ethic that a lot of working class people have simply likes success whether ill-gotten or not, they like winners, they love the dream and they don’t really care if it comes at the risk of themselves not winning.  They like to fight, 90% of my childhood was talking about fighting even thought 0.1% of it was spent actually doing it.  They also cherish honesty and deeply understand that disliking things is part of life including disliking people.  Working class people love a good moan, my family is always moaning about something or someone yet it’s done almost like sport, a humour device in some senses and most working class humour is based around mocking one another. 

Once you understand this you can see why they like Trump.  He’s a winner.  He’s honest with what he thinks even though his thoughts aren’t based in facts, but the working classes aren’t data spouting pedants and never will be.  Trump loves to mock people.  But most of all he gives them the pride they crave from being the fighter.  Then when you compare Trump to the current left who have the reputation whether accurate or not that is the antithesis of working class ethics, championing egalitarianism over competition, diplomacy over fighting, seen to be politicking as opposed to honest (think Hilary), and worst of all want to police people’s ability to mock each other in the way they see fit.

That is the divide.  Johan’s offering of ‘lets open up together about our psychological issues’ is literally the last thing a working class Trump voter would ever want to do they would rather suffer in silence.  Bleeding hearts like Johan will just never get it, no matter how good their intentions.

This is the most sensible take on Trump supporters that I’ve read anywhere.  It seems to be autobiographic, yes?  In any case, you’ve changed the way I think of them, for what that’s worth.

Thanks.  Autobiographical in the extent that I’m from a working class background and a lot of my old friends would probably be Trump voters.  One thing that working class people have as an upper hand on understanding the world than say more white collar folk is an exposure to shall we say ‘bad people’.  When you go to a rough school you will have definitely been f**ked over by someone who thought was your friend, maybe they never paid you back money or something trivial but memorable.  You’ll also be very familiar with people who are always slacking off and lying about it.  Maybe you’ve been beaten up badly one time too. Well these people (sad for them I know as maybe blame lies with the parents) then usually go on to maybe be drug addicts or maybe criminals.  You’ll rarely see them after you leave school but you’ll always remember them.  Working class people often go on to have hard lives with tough jobs too. 

So if any of them heard Johan speak in his compassionate tones it would be like he was from another planet.  What would be central first in their minds is the ever present reality of their hard life at work, the efforts they make to play by the rules.  Then would be the images of the actual people they’ve met who not only don’t, but have actively f**ked them over before.  Painful memories sometimes.  This in my opinion explains the ‘DON’T TREAD ON ME’ way of thinking.  They just wanna be left alone to go to work first and foremost, but as a caveat what they feel a heart-wrenching passion over is not rewarding the people who have wronged them and probably everyone around them. 

They don’t think maybe giving crackheads free crack may be economically prudent in the long run, they think over my dead body am I paying for the kid that robbed me to get free drugs while I’m going to work.  They don’t care that Trump brags, says anything regardless of fact, is an awful husband, etc etc they are exposed to that all the time, it’s normal.  They just wanna get on with their lives and not be told they are awful by people who know nothing about them.

I had working class jobs all through college and graduate school, and even afterwards the first time around, including owning a working-class business for many years.  Now that you put it this way, what you describe jibes well with my experiences with my co-workers and employees.  As irresponsible and self-defeating as they were (a lot of missing work, slacking, etc.), all of them could say, at least, that they were struggling to get by on their own two feet—and they took an implicit pride (is that the right word?) in that.  Having grown up that way myself, it was no fabrication on my part to identify with them, as different as my underlying values were.

Tying this back to Hari, I didn’t listen to the last part of the podcast.  Did he suggest giving out free crack, or are you just making an argument of kind?  And I follow you completely on the foreignness of his compassionate tones.  As much compassion as I had for my co-workers and employees who ultimately moved in another orbit at different velocities with different horizons, it would have been patronizing—to say the least—to express it to them in any way other that unexpressed breaks and material benefits (which I gave as often as was feasible).  Compassion can easily imply a position of superiority—or as one can observe on this forum, a position of superiority can be asserted when people talk about Trump supporters, just absent the compassion.  There’s a difference between adding to a conversation and finding an occasion to denigrate.

It looks like you just joined here.  I hope to see you around more.

Thanks.  It was heroin actually lol.  It may well be effective but the problem with too much compassion is it can mess with deterrence.  If a soft landing creates more heroin addicts then you are doing more harm than good.  I don’t know much about the issue, maybe it doesn’t, but regardless it’s a moral issue in either direction, not just one which people like Johan like to claim.

As for the cognitive dissonance of Trump the honesty is regard to what he actually thinks— I think he believes his bs lol.  And I think a lot of people would prefer someone who might be wrong than someone who is hard to read and may be lying to them.  This is the awfulness of punitive political correctness, it’s creating a society of liars.  Some of the issues around political correctness are extremely complicated, certainly beyond the scope of most people’s day-to-day reasoning.  Punitive political correctness doesn’t allow people to think themselves to the correct solution, it just tells them the lines they should say.  This will never ever work and will obviously cause people to revolt.  That revolt looks like Donald Trump!

If he actually suggested free heroin, either in general or for addicts, then that confirms my misgiving that maybe he is misreading the addiction literature.  He is right that mitigating factors dictate the frequent use leading to physiological addiction (his mice example), but he is wrong that habitual use does not lead to physiological addiction, absent those same mitigating factors.  One can be as psychologically satisfied as his happy mice, but if those mice are administered equivalent doses as frequently as those bored mice who frequently use, then those satisfied mice will become addicted.  Same for people who frequently use, even if that use is because of a positive benefit instead of a compensation for an underlying dissatisfaction, as mitigating factors for frequent use often are (this is the risk with prescription opioids; it’s why the frequency and doses are carefully controlled).  Free heroin for addicts will keep them addicted, and free heroin all around will create droves and droves of addicts.  Perhaps I should have listened beyond my realization that’s he not saying anything leading edge or new about depression.  I didn’t get as far as a suggestion for free heroin.  He really said that?  I know there are tapering treatments for addiction, but free heroin?!

Yes, I agree that “political correctness” is a complex phenomenon, and that whatever it is, revolt against it looks like Donald Trump.  His appeal in this regard jibes with my own thoughts on why middle-road, more or less a-political Americans are—or rather were, prior to the mid-terms—leaning away from the Democrats.  Because of the radical elements on the left, the stink of “political correctness” and other intellectual pathologies (like “white privilege” and the ideology of the “social justice warriors”) lingers on the Democrats, but perhaps now that the revolt is here and it arguably stinks as much or worse, the valence is sliding back the other way—kind of a recoil against the revolt (after all Trump won the electoral college by the slimmest of margins and decisively lost the popular vote).  In any case, yes, Trump is that revolt, just as he is a revolt against so many undesirable political norms.  I think John Stewart hit the nail on the head when he called Trump the first “openly asshole candidate.”  Intuitively people know that the likes of Cruz and Clinton are fakes covering assholes, and maybe after long habituation they just wanted one out of the closet.  I admit this was my recreational appeal for the man even as I was horrified at the prospect of him as President.

 

[ Edited: 16 November 2018 07:45 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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