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sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems

the individual or the common good

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herds and the individual - sociology, the ephemeral nature of groups
counting beliefs - irrational associations
logicians, 'logic' and madness
intelligence and madness
irrational actions - analysis of behaviour
co-operation and being nice
the problem of moderation
expanding and dying chains
the individual or the common good
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The individual or the common good continues from The problem of moderation and expanding and dying chains.
Here, abelard examines how many people appear to behave in manners that are against their own best interests, as well as those of society.
on sociology on socialism 'social' economics supporting resources
and background documents
For more on sociology and socialism:

Introdution - socialism & sociology
sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems

Labour Party pamphlets:


  1. I've spent decades studying this stuff. It is damnably complex, which is why it has interested me. So you're not going to get a just-so story in a Ladybird book.

      the way the world is -
      survival is not just about grab, grab, grab
  2. There is no such thing as a group. There are humans, and even evolution can act as if it is in pursuit of survival and other advantages.

  3. The planet can act as a thing (or a 'group')

  4. Individuals appear to have what might be thought to be a malfunction (it seems conflicting to me). For example, a human or a species or even a planet, appears to have a tendency to grab any closely available energy/matter for its own purposes. If this were effective, it would lead any other entity to be without resources.

  5. Thus, entities struggle against each other for resources.

  6. As long as humans are at the mercy of these tendencies they cannot escape from war or famine. Religions have tried to mitigate these effects with arbitrary rules and forms of wise sayings. A useful approach but ....
the way the world is
free agents - herd animals
universals are unsound
shooters are losers
you cannot read another person's mind
covid-19 and cytokine storm
increasing awareness of the magic number, reporters stll pretty clueless
mutation, politics and naked monkey egos
which one is one?
belonging to a herd
  1. ... to escape the trap it is necessary to understand the fundamental logic and to act with full knowledge of the mechanisms which entrap humans. This amounts to replacing hubris with humility, and exchanging selfishness and megalomania for degrees of altruism - acts of will and conscious choice.

    Therefore, survival is not just a matter of power.

  2.   free agents - herd animals
  3. Humans act as free agents and as herd animals. They teeter totter between the two. Some are more inclined one way, some the other. Different creatures have different strategies for optimising their success.

  4. Sometimes the mobs will over-ride the independence of individuals. Sometimes they will not. Sometimes the individuals will act independently for good or bad.

  5. In many people, the sheep tendency rules. This is nurtured, for instance, in socialism and other extremist religions.

  6. Sometimes people learn and advance.

  7. These things are in tension.
    The 'sheep' hate independence of mind.
    The individualists are uncomfortable with the cloying mob.

  8. Finding balance is a lot of the learning that humans are engaged in.

  9. 'Race science' is bunkum.
    It is entirely the product of 'social scientists' who do not understand statistics.

  10. A Groaniad item goes on about Charles Murray, who is of a different class than the others. He is very careful not to step over the line regarding 'racism'.

  11. The Groaniad is notorious for its inability to handle anything smelling of science. Every day it misuses number/statistics to sell the cult.

  12. There is no evidence that 'IQ' tests measure any mysterious essence called 'intelligence'.

  13. Groups of chimps fight each other. So do groups of humans.
    The reasons are obvious - they want what the others have.

  14. It is easy to look at Socialists as the herders and Conservatists as the individualists.

      Universals are unsound
      continues from Irrational actions - analysis of behaviour.
      Here, abelard considers the propensity to generalise situations, ideas and to organise human 'herds' behaviours, choices.

  15. All universals are unsound/confused.
    (See Gödel and sound sets and Why Aristotelian logic does not work

  16. In the real world, every tree is different.

  17. There is an irrationalist project to build 'sociology' on the foundations of Aristotelian logic, following its useful applications in the physical sciences of 'inanimate' objects.

  18. This has led to attempts to categorise societies into insecure groups such as democracies and dictatorships.

  19. Humans, in their 'laziness', or time-saving efforts, look at inchoate realities and attempt to force confused information into categories.

  20. Bob looks at a tree and thinks "that will make a nice table".
    Henry VIII dreams of turning it into a battleship.
    A squirrel sees the tree as an attractive home-base.
    Jim looks forward to the shade it will provide on a hot, summer's afternoon.
    Jennifer cursed the tree for blocking her view from the kitchen window, and tries to pressure Jim into cutting it down.
    A myriad of ants and caterpillars live among the leaves, or set about eating them.
    The tree just sets about its business of growing taller than its neighbours, as it seeks the sunlight and wishes everyone else would leave it alone.

  21. There is no such thing as stability.
    Everything is changing all the time.
    Build a house or a pyramid in the desert and, given time, they will change.

    In among this maelstrom, life strives to maintain homeostasis and fights against 'death', a struggle that always fails.

    Humans have become semi-conscious of the struggle, and often confuse themselves into imaging they can prevail.

    In this process, there is a fight for wealth, power, and some imagined, unlimited resources (see crowding in Feedback and crowding).

  22. The human attempts to weave all the bits of incoming light, sound and data into a coherent and unified story or pattern. They often call that picture their personality, religion, a theory, or ethnicity, as they try to co-ordinate their struggles with allies - labelling these allies their 'nation' or a 'village'.

  23. None of these assemblies in individual heads form a clear unity outside those heads.

  24. 'Sociology' tries to use these collections as objects in the real world, but they are abstracts and arbitrary. These collections vary from head to head, and within the real heads.

  25. The sociologists and other dreamers have even come to believe that they can invent 'perfect' or desirable (to them) societies.

  26. These fairly random assemblages gain collective names like Marxism, or Islam, or Democracy.

  27. So we have random assemblies that become adopted in the real world, and others that remain as theories and in books.

    The distinction between the fictions becomes muddled and often dangerous.

  28. 'Them' is 'the enemy' or competing 'tribe'.

  29. Thus much of strife takes place in a world of the imagination - a world that is thereby turned from confusion and beliefs into real mayhem and war.

    Other people's lunacy becomes your reality.

  30. By the will to control of the 'leader', your life is defined by struggle for freedom or by conforming to the sheep fold.

  31. Most leaders are more concerned to cling to their thrones than to encourage education and develop enhancement of lives in that society.

  32. The more such 'leaders' cling to power, the greater the reaction develops. The more insecure they become, the more paranoid they become, until they find they are riding the tiger, too frightened to let go. By then, such a 'leader' is thrashing around like a terrified child, as their society sinks into a bloodbath.

  33. What is to be done?

  34.   shooters are losers  
  35. Losers seek to bolster their ego by self-serving stories.
    They take those stories from the sewers of local myths.

  36. Fifty years ago, they hallucinated themselves as Jesus or Napoleon.
    Now they become ethnic warriors - choose sides according to taste.
    By such routes they become mad.
    Then the Leftist fossil media seek to use them in the culture wars.

  37. In an earlier age, 'Napoleon' would end in a mad house.
    Now they  are locked in a prison, for a while, and are treated as if they are serious.

  38. What has happened to make people and society re-label lunacy as criminality,
    To take a lunatic seriously and punish them in a manner similar to alleged witches?

  39. All views are 'equal', even the self-declared witch.
    No person shall be constrained unless 'criminalised.
    Instead, a fake legal sentence must be given for a real act driven by madness.

  40. you cannot read another person's mind
  41. All human relationships range from speculative to delusional.

  42. covid-19 and cytokine storm
  43. When a person is infected with covid-19, their immune system goes after covid-19, and goes into overdrive. This is called a cytokine storm.

  44. Then there is a balance to be judged, do you lower the immune response, or let it continue its attack?
    Obviously, that demands very technical judgements.
    sub text
    An auto-immune disease can be a great pain in the arse, a well known example is MS (multiple sclerosis) and that comes in a variety of levels of seriousness. MS is normally treated by immune suppression of varying means and degrees

    With your immune system suppressed, you are more vulnerable to opportunistic infections (this is seen with AIDS) some of those are zoonotic like, for instance, covid!

    increasing awareness of the magic number, reporters stll pretty clueless
  45. The magic number is now being widely referred to as 'r zero'.

    Be aware that the more people infected, the lessĀ  remain to be infected....t

  46. That will lower the number available for infection, assuming that those infected will widely become immune.

  47. Of course, dead people are also immune and that is, a limited, vulnerable part of the population.
    Thus, the death toll also lowers the real problem along with the magic number.
    This is something politicians cannot readily discuss with the widespread snowflakery of society.

  48. Further, distancing lowers the magic number. This is a statistical measure...t
    Thus, doubling distances will lower the magic number,
    and each increase in distance will tend to lower the magic number with diminishing returns.

  49. This also applies to the mealy-mouthed nonsense concerning face masks.
    Of course, their use lowers the magic number,
    but we rather want to keep the masks for our wonderful NHS,
    or to export to our loving brothers and sisters around the world.
    And anyway, the masks need paying for!

  50. I should add that the magic number can be applied to both the infection rate and separately to the death rate.

  51. There is no current panic over the cold viruses (some of which are also corona viruses!).

    mutation, politics and naked monkey egos
  52. Viruses tend to mutate a lot.
    When do we decide it is a new virus or strain of a virus?
    There is no useful definition.
    A major way we decide is 'does it kill us'.

  53. There are claims that there are strains which are not so annoying,
    such as that which reached ANZ (Australia and New Zealand). Or are their hospitals better run?

    We do not know
  54. We do not know. At the core of much that is being published is that central fact - we do not know.

  55. Some are suggesting some (alleged) strains are more infectious. We do not know.

    We also do not know why one alleged 'strain' spreads faster than another.

    If there are differences, we do not have much of a clue why.

  56. We do not know which changes are relevant and, therefore, which or whether to target the virus, or why.

  57. But none of this will stop 'news' papers and wanabee 'scientists' pronouncing daily.

  58. Nor stop politicians telling me that 'they are just following the science'.

  59. Now shutting down the country, now intruding in our privacy, now touting for an international sociallist paradise.

  60. They are all rather mad!

    Which one is one?

  61. belonging to a herd
    People join demonstrations, and sometimes clubs, as a wish to be part of a herd, and not necessarily with much else mental clarity.


Smart swarm by Peter Miller (in particular, chapter 2, pp. 33-43, mostly on the work by Thomas Seeley)

Smart swarm by Peter Miller

Avery, 2010, hbk

ISBN-10: 1583333908
ISBN-13: 978-1583333907

Avery Trade, pbk,
reprint 2011

ISBN-10: 1583334289
ISBN-13: 978-1583334287

$10.88 []
£7.19 []

Avery, 2010
Kindle edition


$13.36 []

  On the various ways individuals animals and insects respond in groups.
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