Patterns of human behaviour: The clique implosion.

Recently an Internet community or clique (including some fairly well known Youtube video producers) had a bit of an implosion, resulting in one or more of the group leaving that community. I won’t go into the specifics of the people involved, or their various disagreements, and complaints about each other. I’ll just focus on the pattern of human behaviour to which they have fallen victim.

Any time a community forms, whether on the Internet, a tribe in a sparsely populated land, a subculture in a city, or any other community, there is at the core some common interest which brings the members together. That’s a fundamental aspect of the whole thing: common interest. Generally that means the members of the community agree with each other, at least to the extent that co-operation for mutual benefit is possible, more often than not.

However, in any community, individual interest plays a part, as per Maslow’s famous pyramid. Sooner or later, spikes of self-interest rise above the general level of co-operation and mutual benefit. These spikes of self-interest cause friction, as they are points where one suddenly appears outside the norm. Whether the individual exhibiting such self-interest has good or bad reasons for doing so is irrelevant. The fact is they cause friction. Anyone still in the mainstream or more communal level will automatically see that outlier as the outlier he or she is, of course. That unavoidably creates an Us And Them division, or an adversarial relationship; it’s inevitable. Regardless of the reasons for that spike of self-interest and differentiation, once it occurs, it causes the adversarial relationship, and any social interactions on either side motivated by self-interest result in exacerbating the variance. And when I say self-interest on either side, remember that when that adversarial relationship is established, those not in the outlier position, those in the mainstream of the community, are then acting on self-interest in their thoughts, words, and actions intended to reinforce the validity of the mainstream community. This exacerbation of the adversarial relationship can be cut off simply by recognising what is happening and forgoing the need to act on such self-interest.

So, the result of all that is: the pattern results in the ejection of the outlier, for the psychological or other safety and validation of the mainstream. That’s the pattern.

I’m not saying that, in all cases, the pattern is a bad thing and should be avoided. The reason it happens is because it served our evolution by helping to keep communities strong and secure. Not right, not good, but strong. What that means is that the individual arguments or positions of the outlier or the mainstream are not necessarily right or wrong in any way (other than the might/survival/evolution aspect) simply because one is the outlier or the mainstream.

It’s for the greater good.

Any time anyone tries to take away anyone’s right to think or say anything, claiming that it’s “for the greater good”, it’s not for the greater good.  It’s just another attempt to initiate another form of tyranny.  When politically correct people try to outlaw various ideas or words, that’s what’s happening.

GDP as an indication of economic health.

GDP is not, and never has been, a reliable or useful indication of a nation’s (or its citizens’) economic health.  Consider the massive growth of Nigeria’s GDP after oil drilling started there.  GDP went through the roof.  But most people were still dirt poor.  In Australia, you might say our GDP is growing, and based largely on services and retail.  Now add a dollar to the cost of every product and service.  That forces a growth in GDP.  But it doesn’t indicate a healthier economy at all; it only inflates the GDP based on spending.  But given the increasing household and personal debt (due to that spending), that increase in spending does not indicate an increased ability to afford things; it only indicates more debt.  And as we saw with the Great Depression and the GFC, increasing debt is not good.  The only truly valuable and worthwhile economic indicator is the median capacity for savings (i.e. the difference between median income and median cost of living).  A nation and its people prosper and grow when they aren’t absolutely enslaved by debt and necessity, when they earn enough to progress and improve their lives.  Savings capacity is the means by which that growth happens.  Then people are free to spend more, if they wish, which means more economic activity.  And yes, lower taxation results in greater savings and therefore economic activity, but our politicians have traditionally been too stupid to realise it.

Economic growth and regulation.

An inverse relationship exists between economic growth and government regulation. As nations grow from infancy, government regulation is minimal, and both creativity and jobs growth are maximal. As a nation reaches its peak, government regulation takes over from growth, and begins to choke development. As development wanes, regulation becomes the main source of revenue, and the nation declines.

Those who wish to restrict civil liberties.

Anyone who advocates restrictions upon fundamental civil liberties of the entire population, such as free speech, for the sake of protecting some portion of the population from having their feelings hurt, lacks the intellectual competence to comprehend the importance of the civil liberties they wish to eradicate.

Outrage.

The degree to which one feels moral outrage about something tends to be inversely proportionate to the amount of knowledge one possesses about it.

Forbidden ideas.

The more an idea is forbidden, the more its proponents are persecuted, the more likely it is to be true.

Why government?

The first mistaken thought among people living under any form of government is to assume that there should be a government. Why should there be a government? Is there an intelligent reason to have a government? Can the benefits which one associates with government be achieved through any other means which are more conducive and of less hindrance to a free society?

Morals versus dogma.

Morals obtained through absorption from one’s culture, rather than through reason, are not actually morals but dogma, and are as hollow and meaningless as mindless obedience any other dogma.  And like any other mindlessly followed dogma, such beliefs are quite possibly entirely wrong.

The only true fake news.

About the only thing you can accept as true regarding the mainstream news companies is that if they say anything which encourages war, it’s a lie.