Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Thought

I feel that:
We are powerless creatures toiling under subconscious influences formed when we were very young, say before twelve years of age. Whatever we do is under the compulsions of those influences and eduaction only helps achieve those notions.

Rather vague. Let me elaborate. All of us have ideas of achievement, happiness, fulfilment, personal satisfaction and so on. We labour all our lives to achieve these. However, the seeds of these notions are laid at a time when we cannot even understand them, let alone regulate them.

To give a bad analogy but one that will serve the purpose nevertheless, it is like we are on a journey to oprimize some objective function, say happiness, success and so on. Education helps one achieve that maximum but the answer to the question of why different individuals have different objective functions lie in the environmental infleunces when they were say, less than ten years old.

Let me give two cases. Say, an individual went through financial difficulties in the first ten-fifteen years of his life, he/she will most probably conclude that money is God and nothing else matters in this world and devote himself to that pursuit.
Another individual growing up in an environment where the Mathematican uncle is the most admired person in the family would most likely want to end up as a mathematician.
Perhaps, both may have equal intelligence and both may get what they want, but the reason for these two individuals to chose these diverse paths will most strongly be influenced by those factors.

These are examples, and they are for illustration purposes only. I am not using them as arguments.

The first objection will come in the question of genius. Aren't geniuses in a sense independent of their environment? The few cases I can think of, it seems to be the case. So leaving individuals who are later pronounced as geniuses, I believe for the rest of us it is a matter of influences only.

If anyone is sufficiently provoked by this statement and/or jobless enough to retort, comments will be highly appreciated!

5 comments:

Guthi - the Ace of Spade said...

sorry, not provoked but was jobless enough to post a comment. :)

Guthi - the Ace of Spade said...

just to carry the discussion furhter... u never talked about the changes that can happen. Say in your second example, sometime later, our ramaswami realises that he needs money and was carried away by all the praises his uncle recived... and gets money minded.

crumpledbrownbag said...

There is no one theory on how people react to different environments..
but yeah i've felt people look to optimize functions all thier life! happiness, money, time..

themiddler said...

@crumpledbrownbag

Whoa... how can I counter an economist on people responding to incentives?

Anyway I shall try.

Agreed that there may be broad rules which can govern people's behavior but the fact that human response is always a distribution i.e any set of people will have a variety of reactions to a situation, is due to difference in perceptions.

Now this difference in perceptions is attributable most strongly to the early enviornment is my contention.

themiddler said...
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