Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dream about William the Conqueror

Last night, I had a dream about William the Conqueror (tommorrow is the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics).

In the dream, I was one of a group of about a half dozen people, that included William the Conqueror. We ran across an open flat area in front of a cliff, while people were shooting at us. Then we climbed the tall cliff to get to the top. The cliff was irregular, almost vertical, it had dark green vegetation of various sorts on it. It was like the storming of Dargai Heights, which I had been reading about earlier this week.

While we were doing this, William the Conqueror was talking to us. He emitted a huge amount of information for every minute he talked; he talked fast. His memory and knowledge were encyclopaedic. He did not have to stop and think before saying knowledgable things, his memory was instantaneous. His voice was like the voice of this guy who appears on US national cable TV and talks in a British accent. His voice was grandfatherly, deep, somewhat gruff, but amiable. His voice could produce relaxation in a coward under fire. Not sure if my memory is right but what I was thinking when I awoke was that his voice was like that of the actor Richard Burton.

The Conqueror spoke of many things, while we were in the process of storming across the plain in front of the cliff and climbing the cliff. Unfortunately, I do not now remember most of the things that he said. All I remember was that at one point he asserted that men had a small penis like thing, other than the penis, somewhere in their torso; I think he said that this thing was in the area of the scrotum. He said that this thing was bigger in some men than in others.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Unspanked & the 'Contrast Effect'

I suspect that workplaces are being polluted by misconduct that is a result of a combination of workers not having been spanked as children, & workers influenced by what psychologists call the 'contrast effect' (people feeling uncomfortable due to the presence of beautiful persons, because their presence makes them by way of contrast look & feel ugly, etc). I am concerned that supervisors in the workplace, are blythely naive regarding how workers in general, especially workers influenced by the unspanked/contrast-effect combination, selfishly clash with fellow workers, & potential fellow-workers, the result being persons of superior competence excluded from the workplace.


Although the Bible advises parents to physically discipline their children (Proverbs 22:15, 23:13, 29:15), spanking is on the decline in the United States; given the decline in percent of adults who endorsed spanking in 1968 (94%) to the percent that endorsed spanking in 1999 (50%), one could expect that only 32% of adults in the US now approve of spanking.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, "presented a series of scenarios (the scenarios are mysteriously unexplained) to (U.S) parents with children 2-17 years old and asked how likely they were to use different discipline strategies with their child". Overall 22% said they were "very likely" to respond to the mysterious "scenarios" by spanking their children. "Parents who live in the West (31%) and South (20%) regions
of the country are more likely to spank their children (given the mysterious 'scenario') compared to parents in the Midwest (16%) and Northeast (6%)".

Assuming 22% of US parents being 'very likely' to spank in response to the mysterious 'scenario' & 32% of US parents approving of spanking, one could extrapolate that nowadays in the U.S., 45% of parents in the West, 29% of parents in the South, 23% of parents in the midwest, & 9% of parents in the Northeast approve of spanking.

The 'Contrast Effect'

Psychology Today describes the 'Contrast Effect':

Psychologists call it the "contrast effect": You feel prettier around ugly people and uglier around pretty people. These social comparisons happen not only when you deliberately scrutinize passersby, but constantly and automatically. In one study, people given a subliminal glimpse of an attractive female face subsequently rated themselves as less attractive than those who saw a homely one, though no one remembered having seen the images at all. Our self-concepts are built on thousands of these comparisons.

The Unspanked & the Contrast Effect

I believe that generally amongst the unspanked one can find both commendable and objectionable behavioral tendencies. I am not well-informed re the behavioral characteristics of the unspanked, but during the course of my life, based on what I've heard from others & seen myself, I've developed some 'prejudices' re what the unspanked are like. What concerns me is the intersection of the 'contrast effect' & the unspanked personality. I suspect that the unspanked personality tends to be (compared to the spanked personality), less able to overcome the temptations produced by the 'contrast effect', less able to with fairness tolerate the presence of relatively beautiful persons.

I worry that this inability to tolerate the presence of gifted competitors extends beyond being unable to tolerate the presence of beauty. I suspect the inability extends to: intolerance of those who beautiful persons find to be attractive, intolerance of the intelligent, intolerance of those with interesting attractive personalities, intolerance of those with relatively beautiful voices, intolerance of the well-educated. For example, the presence of an intelligent person can make people feel stupid, whereas people like to feel intelligent.

The essays I have read regarding the contrast effect concern themselves with human behavior in general, not human behavior specifically in the workplace. I am concerned that the unspanked/contrast-effect combination produces even worse results in the workplace, than it does outside of the workplace. In the workplace the unspanked/contrast-effect problem is probably exacerbated, because in the workplace, fellow employees are seen as competitors for a promotion, potential replacements for one's own self.

As for the data that 'experts' breathlessly proclaim has proved that spanking is not a good idea, seems to me that analytically speaking (too much rote?) they are missing key points. Children who misbehave, are more likely to be spanked and also more likely to misbehave as adults regardless of whether or not they were spanked as children. Hence naturally, persons inclined to misbehavior, end up being spanked more; this produces the illusion that spanking does not reduce but rather increases misbehavior. Furthermore the types of adult 'misbehavior' recorded by the researchers is not comprehensive, but rather mainly focused on blatantly criminal acts.

The researchers attempt to base their conclusions on generalizations regarding the spanked and the unspanked, whereas the wise approach would be to look at roughly speaking three groups: the unspanked, those who are incompetently spanked (spanked for the wrong reason, spanking accompanied by hysterical angry shouting, spanking is out of proportion to the offense, etc.), & thirdly those who are competently spanked.

Observing the astonishing reports regarding current events in the nation and the world these days, I find it to be conceivable that there are cliques of persons who deliberately promote the demise of spanking, even though they know that spanking increases adult misconduct, because the cliques have decided that adult misconduct serves their interests and purposes. It's not hard to believe that such cliques would encourage misinterpretation of data, as a way of discouraging spanking, even though they know that people would be better behaved if they were spanked.

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