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jerryking : nest-building   1

Elect your local hypocrite
June 12, 2004 | G&M | Doug Saunders.

Hypocrisy now has the backing of science. Keith Stanovich, a cognitive scientist at the University of Toronto, has built a strong scientific case in defence of hypocn'sy

Mr. Stanovich, in his fascinating book The Robot's Rebellion, defines hypocrisy as the collision of first-order and second-order thought. First-order thought consists of the basic, animal desires promoted by our genes — reproduction, self-preservation, mate-finding, nest-building, self-aggrandizement and personal defence

People whose thoughts are mostly first-order are known as wantons: Their personal desires and aspirations are their only goals, and their principles consist of remaking the world to suit those goals People who vote for right-wing parties entirely because they want to pay less tax are wantons. So are people who vote for left-wing parties just because they want their organizations to get more grants.

Second-order thought looks beyond personal needs into rational calculations of larger principles and goals: If I give up this desire right now, it says, we all could be better off. It is higher, more principled intelligence. It constantly battles with our first-order desires, tending to require an even higher order of thought to reconcile those collisions. in Mr. Stanovich's system, the people who engage in this kind of thinking are known as strong evaluators.
Hypocrisy is a product of strong evaluation.
Doug_Saunders  decision_making  politics  hypocrisy  thinking  political_expediency  instant_gratification  delayed_gratification  wisdom  books  first-order  second-order  tradeoffs  self-preservation  mate-finding  nest-building  self-aggrandizement 
september 2012 by jerryking

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