Sunday soapbox

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Sue Fitzmaurice, Author's photo.

Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree, and at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way, that is not within everyobody’s power and is not easy. – Aristotle.

16 Responses to Sunday soapbox

  1. TraceyS says:

    An interesting article highlighting how coercion can reduce individual responsibility and increase passivity.

    The recent discussion on banking (among others) revealed that some commenters don’t really believe in promoting individual responsibility because it supposedly encourages a dog-eat-dog world. Might be useful to consider the alternative…

    “Interestingly, coercion also reduced the neural processing of the outcomes of one’s own action. Thus, people who obey orders may subjectively experience their actions as closer to passive movements than fully voluntary actions. Our results highlight the complex relation between the brain mechanisms that generate the subjective experience of voluntary actions and social constructs, such as responsibility.”

    http://www.iflscience.com/brain/why-good-people-will-follow-evil-orders

    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(16)00052-X?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS096098221600052X%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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  2. Andrei says:

    So what do you think of this Tracey?

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

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  3. Andrei says:

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  4. Andrei says:

    Interesting Tracey that you are prepared to engage in discussions of bread making (an interesting topic) but the sinister developments in global politics which carry huge echos of 1914 and 1941 you choose to turn a blind eye to

    I’m kind of mystical and there are prophesies which seem to match what is unfolding….

    Of course with prophesies you can pick and choose what you listen to and ignore those which might not match your world view

    Which is why a I rarely share them.

    However there are distinctive ones involving Greece, Russia and Turkey that seem to be unfolding before our very eyes….

    Interesting times

    We live(d) in a golden age but golden ages are short lived if history is any guide

    It’s my children I am scared for

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  5. TraceyS says:

    “It’s my children I am scared for…”

    And are they scared for themselves?

    Or living lives full of hope?

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  6. Andrei says:

    Pithy Tracey

    Of course they are going forth in hope – that doesn’t mean that the idiots who think they rule the world can’t screw up

    It’s happened before and it’ll happen again

    Then its a whole new ball game

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  7. TraceyS says:

    But you only answered one of my questions.

    Are they scared for themselves?

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  8. Andrei says:

    Of course not Tracey – they are young and have never had their lives turned upside down by psychopathic politicians.

    But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen nor that we are not on the road to it happening – now does it?

    You babbled on about people blindly following authority and performing evil acts at the start of this thread while you yourself are countenancing them, while pretending not to see

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  9. Will says:

    Interesting topic Tracey, one I have looked into myself. Have you read any of Hannah Arendt’s work? I have “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, am trying to find other works. Interestingly, she was Jewish, but mistress of the Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger. It seems to me she was ahead of the rest in researching this topic.

    I don’t put any store in prophecy, if you know the future, why be so vague about it? Just come out and say something like “the Arctic will be free of ice by 2014″…Maybe that’s why.

    Seriously though, I wonder if Greece, Russia and Turkey are important enough to set the world on fire anymore. All have had their moment.

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  10. Andrei says:

    Greece, Russia and Turkey are not going to set the world on fire Will, it is on fire already

    We are safe here though so it ok

    Prophecies are spiritual they involve spiritual matters which is why they seem obscure

    The world is not as it seems sometimes

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  11. TraceyS says:

    I asked: Are they scared for themselves?

    “Of course not Tracey – they are young and have never had their lives turned upside down by psychopathic politicians.”

    If a precondition of fearing for themselves is to experience having their lives “turned upside down by psychopathic politicians” then it will be too late because what you fear, Andrei, will already be upon them.

    There has to be something else.

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  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The recent discussion on banking (among others) revealed that some commenters don’t really believe in promoting individual responsibility because it supposedly encourages a dog-eat-dog world.”
    Tracey, you are referring to a comment of mine in an earlier thread and are being dishonest in your representation.

    Remember my comments were in relation to your response to my concerns regarding lenders’ moral responsibilities. I felt that it was too easy to borrow money and that a more precautionary approach from banks would be safer for our economy. You expressed the view that banks should change their approach and it was the lenders responsibility to be fiscally aware and their own fault if they accepted poor advice. This was in relation to the $40 billion of debt within the dairy industry and the level of defaults that will undoubtably occur for many who borrowed just before the commodity crash. To say that banks do not have some responsibility and it is the borrowers fault is naive insensitive given the number of farmer suicides that are partially due to poor financial advice.

    I am not against individual responsibility at all as you dishonestly imply, I just think that it is unreasonable to expect everyone to have enough financial understanding to see through bad advice and some regulatory controls and ethical standards should exist to manage financial advisers and lenders.

    A good analogy would be that you would also expect all car owners to understand the mechanical workings of their cars so that they can’t be duped by dodgy mechanics…absolute nonsense.

    That is why I don’t support a dog eat dog environment where everyone is out for themselves. There does need to be an expectation of honesty and professionalism in the financial world and people do need to be able to trust advice in areas where they lack expertise. Your world view is a very cruel and inhuman one I’m afraid 😦

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  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Sorry, 2nd paragraph above should read “You expressed the view that banks shouldn’t change their approach….”

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  14. Andrei says:

    Tracey you are just indulging in empty sophistry to divert from the issues I raise

    There is nothing worse than war!

    You have no idea about it because you have been sheltered from it

    New Zealand has never known it on its own territory – all you have are Hollywood movies starring John Wayne and Brad Pitt and the memories of old men most of whom were young men who came home to an undestroyed land leaving the devastation behind them.

    History doesn’t repeat but has resonances – and the events of today have resonances

    What you don’t understand, probably cannot understand are the spiritual, religious undertones of current events……

    Its a funny old world – New Zealand is as close to paradise as anywhere on the planet, long may that last but New Zealanders are spiritually asleep it seems to me

    Saw the Memorial service for Christchurch on TV News – some dullard tipped a “brown substance over Jerry Brownlee” – you are angered, I guess – it is totally inappropriate of course and made the headline for the event

    But the kiwis were sitting in deck chairs basking in the sun during the service – that too seems so crass to me, They also showed a Chinese man and he was being reverent and I related to that instantly though his spiritual expression was not quite as mine would be – And a woman who from her attire and reverent demeanor was so familiar , Russki

    And the thought occurred to me that had the people at the service being behaving like that Chinese man and that Russki woman the angry man who tipped “brown substance over Jerry Brownlee” might not have been angry and might not have seen the need to do what he did

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  15. TraceyS says:

    Yes we have been sheltered from it. My Great-grandfather barely talked about his experiences in World War 1. I have been interested enough to research him though and managed to find out about what he did to win his medals and honours. There is also evidence that experiences (including traumas) can be passed on epigenetically. His were concentrated in his only child, my Grandmother. So I do have more than Hollywood movies to go by. It’s not much, but I value it, and that’s what counts.

    “Saw the Memorial service for Christchurch on TV News – some dullard tipped a “brown substance over Jerry Brownlee” – you are angered, I guess – “

    No not angered – but deeply saddened, yes, especially if it was poo like the reports say. I feel incredibly sorry for Gerry Brownlee. What a sad thing to happen to a person who has decided to give service to the public.

    “And the thought occurred to me that had the people at the service being behaving like that Chinese man and that Russki woman the angry man who tipped “brown substance over Jerry Brownlee” might not have been angry and might not have seen the need to do what he did

    You may well be right, but had all of the people been behaving with utmost respect, I suspect that someone else might have done exactly the same thing (maybe for different reasons).

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  16. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, you are referring to a comment of mine in an earlier thread and are being dishonest in your representation.”

    How?

    “You expressed the view that banks should change their approach…”

    No I didn’t.

    “…it was the lenders responsibility to be fiscally aware and their own fault if they accepted poor advice.”

    It is their responsibility given that they are left holding the baby.

    “To say that banks do not have some responsibility and it is the borrowers fault…”

    I didn’t say that.

    “…I just think that it is unreasonable to expect everyone to have enough financial understanding to see through bad advice…”

    We were not talking about everyone, Dave, were we? We were talking about businessmen and women. You’ve previously stated that business people who can’t afford to pay decent wages, and/or don’t understand minimum entitlements and other employee protections, shouldn’t be in business. Simply apply this logic to finance. Get it now?

    “…some regulatory controls and ethical standards should exist to manage financial advisers and lenders.”

    Some don’t already exist? Really?

    “A good analogy would be that you would also expect all car owners to understand the mechanical workings of their cars so that they can’t be duped by dodgy mechanics…absolute nonsense.”

    There is no need to understand the detailed machinations of the banking system. The machinery of primary relevance in this case is the business itself. And yes, you should know your business inside-out, better than anyone else.

    The choice of such a terrible analogy has only served to further expose your lack of business nous.

    “There does need to be an expectation of honesty and professionalism in the financial world and people do need to be able to trust advice in areas where they lack expertise.”

    There does, and they can. But no amount of integrity will prevent bad business decisions being made. Your faith in professionalism to save people from themselves is heartwarming…but very stupid. Not to mention terribly misleading.

    “Your world view is a very cruel and inhuman one I’m afraid”

    My world view is just fine. However, I respect a man who can admit to having fears. Will keep you on your toes! After all there are some things to watch out for in the big wide world…

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