Some notes about various topics. ||| Gegenwärtig - vorübergehend -
wohl eher eine Gedankensammlung als ein Naturwissenschaftsblog. Das Konzept eines "Naturwissenschaftsblogs" wird erst im kommenden Jahr (2018/2019) Umsetzung finden.
Eine der wichtigsten Fähigkeiten, die ein Mensch entwickeln sollte, ist letztlich die Begabung, sich mit eigenem Gedächtnisinhalt zu unterhalten. (Phantasien, Vorhaben und Luftschlösser lassen sich in gewisser Hinsicht auch als Gedächtnisinhalt verstehen.)
"In approaching the aetiology and clinical consequences of manic-depression, etho-psychiatrists have focused on the fulfilment and frustration of two basic archetypal needs: (1) the need for affectional bonds, and (2) the need for social rank or status. The adaptive function of elevated or depressed mood is to enable an individual to adjust to his circumstances when he is convinced that either one or both of these needs has been decisively fulfilled or irrevocably frustrated."
"Beck (1983) distinguished between deprivation depression (caused by the loss of affiliative opportunities) and defeat depression (caused by failure to achieve desired goals). In Beck’s view, ‘sociotropic’ people, to whom affiliative needs are of particular importance, are more prone to develop ‘deprivation depression’ when their affiliative needs are frustrated, while ‘autonomous’ people, who are more self-reliant, are more prone to ‘defeat depression’, when their competitive needs are frustrated. A parallel distinction was made by Blatt (1974) between anaclitic depression (Greek, ana = upon; klino = lean), caused by failure to form lasting attachment bonds, and introjective depression, occurring in people with a strict, critical superego, who fail to live up to the high standards they demand of themselves. In addition, Birtchnell (1993) has distinguished between horizontal depressions, which result from dissatisfactions in interactions involving ‘closeness’ and ‘separateness’, and vertical depressions, which result from dissatisfactions in ‘upper-to-lower’ (rank) interactions."
"Whereas attachment theory proposes that depression is an adaptive response to losing an attachment figure and conceiving of oneself as unlovable, rank theory proposes that depression is an adaptive response to losing rank and conceiving of oneself as a loser. The adaptive function of the depression, according to rank theory, is to facilitate losing and to promote accommodation to the fact that one has lost. In other words, the depressive state evolved to promote the acceptance of the subordinate role and the loss of resources which can only be secured by holding higher rank in the dominance hierarchy. The function of this depressive adaptation is to prevent the loser in a status conflict from suffering further injury and to preserve the stability and competitive efficiency of the group by maintaining social homeostasis.
In circumstances of defeat and enforced subordination, an internal inhibitory process comes into operation which causes the individual to cease competing and reduce his level of aspiration (Gilbert, 1992). This inhibitory process is involuntary and results in the loss of energy, depressed mood, sleep disturbance, poor appetite, retarded movements, and loss of confidence which are the typical characteristics of depression.
The selective advantage of an evolved capacity for the recognition and acceptance of rank difference in social groups is that it reduces aggressiveness and establishes precedence in granting rights of access to indispensable resources such as territory, food, and potential mates. It follows that gaining rank is associated with elevated mood and losing rank with depressed mood."
"To be popular and hold rank within a group are immensely desirable accomplishments; to perceive oneself as unpopular and without rank are causes of misery and unhappiness; while to be rejected from the group altogether is one of life’s greatest disasters. It is in terms of these factors that joy and sorrow, mania and depression, contentment and anxiety can be most readily understood.
One important contribution of rank theory is that it has proposed a hypothesis of how depression actually evolved: it emerged as the yielding component of ritual agonistic conflict. This has been called the yielding subroutine (Price and Sloman, 1987). The adaptive function of the yielding subroutine is twofold: first, it ensures that the yielder truly yields and does not attempt to make a comeback, and, second, the yielder reassures the winner that yielding has truly taken place, so that the conflict ends, with no further damage to the yielder. Relative social harmony is then restored.
Similarly, we may offer the hypothesis that mania evolved as the winning component of ritual agonistic behaviour: the winning subroutine. Here again, the adaptive function is twofold: first, it ensures that the winner truly wins and makes clear that any attempt at a comeback by the yielder will be successfully resisted, and, second, it ensures that should the yielder attempt to reopen the conflict, the winner will have such resources of confidence, determination, strength, and energy that he will force the yielder to yield for good and all.
Both yielding and winning subroutines thus ensure that social change is accomplished relatively quickly without too much disruption of group activities and that once it has occurred it will prove lasting. The object of the losing strategy is damage limitation, that of the winning strategy is status preservation. Inevitably, such subroutines carry greater significance among group-living species than among those living a solitary existence."
"That the incidence of depression is higher and its course longer than hypomania suggests that natural selection has favoured the prolonged yielding subroutine over its winning equivalent. This could reflect the evident fact that in any asymmetrical society there are potentially more losers than winners. It also reflects the fact that few people are ever known to present themselves at psychiatric clinics complaining of ‘suffering’ from hypomania. Inevitably, the medical services are concerned with losers rather than winners, and whereas the loser in a physical encounter is more likely than the winner to end up in Casualty, so the loser in a ritual encounter is more likely than the winner to end up in the Psychiatric Out-Patients Department."
Evolutionary Psychiatry, Anthony Stevens & John Price
“For countless generations men have shaped women, women have shaped men, and here we are – the product of this amazing, complicated history. If we understand this, our judgment becomes broader and less superficial, whether we like the way we are or would like to change it.”
"The role of schizotypy in human mating has been further explored by Shaner et al. (2004, 2008a), whose evolutionary model treats psychotic-spectrum disorders (and more specifically schizophrenia) as the dysfunctional extreme of one or more sexually selected fitness indicators. Fitness indicators are traits with no immediate survival value, evolved through sexual selection to function as courtship ornaments due to their ability to reveal their bearer's genetic quality (lack of mutation load) and general conditions (Miller, 2000a,b). “Fit” individuals are able to display the attractive form of the trait, while individuals of low genetic quality and/or in poor conditions end up displaying its unattractive variant. In the model proposed by Shaner et al. (2004, 2008a), schizophrenia (whose typical symptoms are delusions, disorganized speech, reduced emotional expressiveness, poor sense of humor and impaired perspective taking) represents an aberrant form of human verbal courtship behavior, or, as the authors put it, a “catastrophic failure of mating intelligence.” Highly successful forms of verbal courtship require the opposite features: humor, skilled mind-reading, verbal creativity and emotional attunement, and so on. Several strands of evidence appear to support the hypothesis by Shaner and colleagues: for example, the typical age of onset of psychotic symptoms (adolescence and early adulthood) coincides with the peak of mating effort, and there are sex differences in age of onset that may reflect the different timing of maximal sexual competition in males and females. Moreover, dopamine agonists – known to stimulate courtship behavior in many species – also worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia, while dopamine antagonists have the opposite effect (see Kahn and Davis, 1995; Shaner et al., 2008a).
In this framework, schizotypy can be seen as a sensitivity-enhancing trait, so that high levels of schizotypal traits increase the correlation between genetic/environmental quality and mating displays. In other words, schizotypy would act as an “amplifier” of individual fitness as reflected in fitness-indicator traits, increasing both the risk of developing psychosis (when genetic quality is low and/or development is hampered by poor environmental conditions) and the likelihood of outstanding mating success (when genetic quality and environmental conditions are good)."
In the SSM, schizotypy enhances the sensitivity of a fitness indicator, by affecting brain processes so as to increase verbal/artistic creativity and other mating-related traits. As a result, schizotypal individuals enjoy higher mating and reproductive success when their genetic fitness is high, but suffer a higher risk of schizophrenia and reduced reproductive success when their genetic fitness is low. The figure shows two classes of genetic factors contributing to increased risk of schizophrenia: (a) fitness-reducing mutations and (b) schizotypy-increasing alleles
Can depression, anxiety and somatization be understood as
John S. Price, Russell Gardner Jr., Mark Erickson (2004)
we view escalation and de-escalation as alternative agonistic strategies that result in normal communicative behavioral states but at times manifest as mania and depression, respectively (Gardner, 1982, 1988). We suggest that the three levels of the triune forebrain (MacLean, 1990) each independently choose between escalation (fight) and de-escalation (flight or submission).
Our theory holds that patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and co-morbid conditions such as fatigue states and somatization disorders communicate to fellow human beings non-combatant status for whatever form of social competition the society uses. When such communication occurs in nonhuman animals, the label of ‘‘appeasement (or submissive) display’’ indicates it functions to switch off the aggression of the rival. It says, ‘‘I am no threat to you, I will not retaliate.’’
Cannon (1929) first pointed out that organisms do not run at full steam all the time, but that great reserves of energy can be called on when a situation demands.
Escalation refers to a switch to a more expensive form of competition; when an individual escalates, the chances of winning increase but the potential costs of losing also increase. In de-escalation, the individual gives up any chance of winning, but reduces the costs of losing. De-escalation may take the form of departure, but in group-living animals submission with appeasement display represents the more common form of de-escalation.
In line with the complexity of social competition, escalation and de-escalation became more complex over the course of evolution. For instance, these behaviors may have become more prolonged: instead of a rapid choice between fight and flight, an interpersonal struggle for dominance may last several months, even in chimpanzees (deWaal, 1989). And in humans, for whom competition for prestige has largely replaced agonistic competition (Gilbert, 1992; Stevens and Price, 2000, pp. 51 – 52, 159 – 160), escalation may take the form of the vigorous pursuit of goals, whereas de-escalation may take the form of giving up goals.
At the instinctive level, we hypothesize that escalation in the reptilian brain takes the form of elevated mood, giving the individual a prolonged increase in energy, optimism, self-confidence and heightened sociability all of which function to recruit allies. Conversely, de-escalation at the instinctive level takes the form of depressed mood and may include unfocused anxiety, fatigue and a sense of physical disability. The appeasement display at this level communicates this impairment and disability to any rival or to society as a whole. Parenthetically, when directed at friends and allies, the appeasement display takes the form of a distress signal, sending the message, ‘‘I am sick, care for me, and do not send me into the arena to fight on your behalf’’ (Price and Gardner, 1995).
Normally, a person directs submission to one or more individuals, for example, to a leader, a parent, or God. This applies to the appeasement display of the rational neocortical level. But the depressed patient, communicating at the reptilian level, makes a non-directed, general communication of submissive incapacity.
Whereas a depressed manager appears to ‘‘go quiet’’ to his superiors, for example, his underlings may find him irritable or downright aggressive.
Indeed, part of the effectiveness of the depressive reaction as a form of submission stems from the conviction that things will not get better or even that they should not get better. The lack of hope of, or desire for, recovery, exhibits ‘‘design’’ features. It communicates no preparation whatsoever for a ‘‘come-back.’’ Depressed patients therefore display high motivation to refuse treatment.
Depressed emotion contrasts with depressed mood (Davidson and Ekman, 1994) in that it has an object, i.e., one is depressed about something, and if the situation changes for the better, one cheers up; also, depressed emotion feels less pervasive than depressed mood does. Champion and Power (1995) suggest that depressed emotion functions to help one to abandon unrealistic goals, and Watson and Andrews (in press) argue that it fosters change from a depressing niche to a more satisfactory one.
[It's of importance to distinguish] between depressed emotion and depressed mood. Although subjectively and even objectively similar, the two levels of de-escalation have different aims; depressed emotion functions to regulate the individual’s goal choice and niche selection; depressed mood on the other hand functions to transfer goal pursuit from the depressed individual to a rival; both depressed emotion and depressed mood facilitate de-escalation at the rational level, and if this occurs, conflict resolution likely results.
depressed mood commonly produces depressive thinking such as pessimism, low self-esteem, a reduced sense of entitlement, and the feeling that things are not worth fighting for;
The zoologist who first described social hierarchy (Schjelderup-Ebbe, 1935) noted two distinct types of depression in the domestic hen, a severe depression in a deposed alpha bird, and a chronic sense of ‘‘hopelessness’’ in the low ranking bird.
For both change and homeostatic depression appeasement functions similarly; therefore, manifest impairment of function, and the expression of pessimistic ideas about the self, the world and the future, represent expressions appropriate for both. On the other hand, the theory predicts different ideas about the past. The ‘‘change’’ depressive formerly possessed higher rank and he might aspire to regain it; but if delusional distortion of the past holds center stage, the patient may deny ever having had higher rank, honours or wealth; the person subjectively feels nothing exists to regain. This means a lessened likelihood of attempted comeback; the appeasement function of depression would therefore have worked more effectively. The homeostatic depressive, on the other hand, never had higher rank, and so depressive delusions about the past would have no function.
Another difference between the two types of depression shows up in the accounts of relatives and friends. Relatives of the ‘‘change’’ depressive tend to notice a change of personality and make comments such as, ‘‘He just isn’t the man I married’’, whereas the relatives of the ‘‘homeostatic’’ depressive notice little change, making comments such as, ‘‘He’s much the same as always, only more so.’’
"Some of the most efficient workers I know are of the ultra-scatter-brained type. One friend, who does a prodigious
quantity of work, has in fact confessed to me that,
if he wants to get ideas on any subject, he sits
down to work at something else, his best results
coming through his mind-wanderings. This is
perhaps an epigrammatic exaggeration on his part; but I seriously think that no one of us need be too much distressed at his own shortcomings in this
"Whoever treats of interest inevitably treats of attention, for to say that an object is interesting is only another way of saying that it excites attention. But in addition to the attention which any object already interesting or just becoming interesting claims — passive attention or spontaneous attention, we may call it — there is a more deliberate attention, — voluntary attention or attention with effort, as it is called, — which we can give to objects less interesting or uninteresting in themselves. The distinction between active and passive attention is made in all books on psychology, and connects itself with the deeper aspects of the topic. From our present purely practical point of view, however, it is not necessary to be intricate; and passive attention to natively interesting material requires no further elucidation on this occasion. All that we need explicitly to note is that, the more the passive attention is relied on, by keeping the material interesting; and the less the kind of attention requiring effort is appealed to; the more smoothly and pleasantly the classroom
work goes on. I must say a few more words,
however, about this latter process of voluntary
and deliberate attention.
One often hears it said that genius is nothing but a power of sustained attention, and the popular impression probably prevails that men of genius are remarkable for their voluntary powers in this direction. But a little introspective observation will show any one that voluntary attention cannot be continuously sustained, — that it comes in beats. When we are studying an uninteresting subject, if our mind tends to wander, we have to bring back our attention every now and then by using distinct pulses of effort, which revivify the topic for a moment, the mind then running on for a certain number of seconds or minutes with spontaneous interest, until again some intercurrent idea captures it and takes it off. Then the processes of volitional recall must be repeated once more. Voluntary attention, in short, is only a momentary affair. The process, whatever it is, exhausts itself in the single act; and, unless the matter is then taken in hand by some trace of interest inherent in the subject, the mind fails to follow it at all. The sustained attention of the genius, sticking to his subject for hours together,
is for the most part of the passive sort. The
minds of geniuses are full of copious and original
associations. The subject of thought, once started,
develops all sorts of fascinating consequences. The
attention is led along one of these to another in
the most interesting manner, and the attention
never once tends to stray away.
In a commonplace mind, on the other hand, a subject develops much less numerous associates: it dies out then quickly; and, if the man is to keep up thinking of it at all, he must bring his attention back to it by a violent wrench. In him, therefore, the faculty of voluntary attention receives abundant opportunity for cultivation in daily life. It is your despised business man, your common man of affairs, (so looked down on by the literary awarders of fame) whose virtue in this regard is likely to be most developed;for he has to listen to the concerns of so many uninteresting people, and to transact so much drudging detail, that the faculty in question is always kept in training. A genius, on the contrary, is the man in whom you are least likely to find the power of attending to anything insipid or distasteful in itself. He breaks his engagements, leaves his letters unanswered, neglects his family duties incorrigibly, because he is powerless to turn his attention down and back from those more interesting trains of imagery with which his genius constantly occupies his mind.
Voluntary attention is thus an essentially instantaneous affair. You can claim it, for your purposes in the schoolroom, by commanding it in loud, imperious tones; and you can easily get it in this way. But, unless the subject to which you thus recall their attention has inherent power to interest the pupils, you will have got it for only a brief moment; and their minds will soon be wandering again. To keep them where you have called them, you must make the subject too interesting for them to wander again. And for that there is one prescription; but the prescription, like all our prescriptions, is abstract, and, to get practical results from it, you must couple it with mother-wit.
The prescription is that the subject must be made to show new aspects of itself; to prompt new questions; in a word, to change. From an unchanging subject the attention inevitably wanders away. You can test this by the simplest possible case of sensorial attention. Try to attend steadfastly to a dot on the paper or on the wall. You presently find that one or the other of two things has
happened: either your field of vision has become
blurred, so that you now see nothing distinct at
all, or else you have involuntarily ceased to look
at the dot in question, and are looking at something else. But, if you ask yourself successive questions about the dot, — how big it is, how far,
of what shape, what shade of color, etc.; in other
words, if you turn it over, if you think of it in
various ways, and along with various kinds of associates, — you can keep your mind on it for a comparatively long time. This is what the genius
does, in whose hands a given topic coruscates and
grows. And this is what the teacher must do for
every topic if he wishes to avoid too frequent appeals to voluntary attention of the coerced sort.
In all respects, reliance upon such attention as
this is a wasteful method, bringing bad temper
and nervous wear and tear as well as imperfect
results. The teacher who can get along by keeping spontaneous interest excited must be regarded
as the teacher with the greatest skill.
There is, however, in all schoolroom work a large mass of material that must be dull and unexciting, and to which it is impossible in any continuous way to contribute an interest associatively
derived. There are, therefore, certain external
methods, which every teacher knows, of voluntarily arousing the attention from time to time
and keeping it upon the subject. Mr. Fitch has
a lecture on the art of securing attention, and he
briefly passes these methods in review; the posture must be changed; places can be changed.
Questions, after being answered singly, may occasionally be answered in concert. Elliptical questions may be asked, the pupil supplying the missing word. The teacher must pounce upon the
most listless child and wake him up. The habit
of prompt and ready response must be kept up.
Recapitulations, illustrations, examples, novelty of
order, and ruptures of routine, — all these are
means for keeping the attention alive and contributing a little interest to a dull subject. Above
all, the teacher must himself be alive and ready,
and must use the contagion of his own example.
But, when all is said and done, the fact remains that some teachers have a naturally inspiring presence, and can make their exercises interesting, while others simply cannot. And psychology and general pedagogy here confess their failure, and hand things over to the deeper springs of human personality to conduct the task."
"Part of the art of choosing difficulties is to select those that are indeed just manageable. If the difficulties chosen are too easy, life is boring; if they are too hard, life is defeating. The trick is to choose trouble for oneself in the direction of what one would like to become at a level of difficulty close to the edge of one’s competence."
"The reason why cramming is such a bad mode of study is now made clear. I mean by cramming that way of preparing for examinations by committing 'points' to memory during a few hours or days of intense application immediately preceding the final ordeal, little or no work having been performed during the previous course of the term. Things learned thus in a few hours, on one occasion, for one purpose, cannot possibly have formed many associations with other things in the mind. Their brain-processes are led into by few paths, and are relatively little liable to be awakened again. Speedy oblivion is the almost inevitable fate of all that is committed to memory in this simple way. Whereas, on the contrary, the same materials taken in gradually, day after day, recurring in different contexts, considered in various relations, associated with other external incidents, and repeatedly reflected on, grow into such a system, form such connections with the rest of the mind's fabric, lie open to so many paths of approach, that they remain permanent possessions. This is the intellectual reason why habits of continuous application should be enforced in educational establishments. Of course there is no moral turpitude in cramming. If it led to the desired end of secure learning it would be infinitely the best method of study. But it does not; and students themselves should understand the reason why."
"Entscheidungen [bzw. Urteile], die wir zu treffen haben, sind mit einem Ausmaß an Ungewissheit belastet, dessen Äquivalent die Größe der Information ist, die für eine sichere Entscheidung [bzw. für ein sicheres Urteil] erforderlich wäre. Meldungen, das sind Wahrnehmungen, persönliche Erfahrungen und Mitteilungen, enthalten Information insofern, als sie uns das Fällen von Entscheidungen [bzw. von Urteilen] erleichtern."
Die Idee der Kontemplation besteht darin, dass das aufmerksame Betrachten eines Gegenstands gegebenenfalls in das Erleben der Schönheit bzw. der "Essenz" eines Gegenstand übergeht. Die aufmerksame Betrachtung ist somit eine Art Brücke zur Kontemplation.
Das aufmerksame Betrachten eines Bildes, Sehen geht gegebenenfalls in ein Schauen über, und führt so zur inneren Anteilnahme an dem Erleben, das ein Künstler hatte, als er das Bild schuf. (Die Essenz bzw. der Inhalt des Bildes wird durch Betrachtung entschlüsselt.)
(I) anschauliche Vergegenwärtigung bzw. anschauliche Vorwegnahme der Zukunft
(II) abstrakt-sprachliche Vergegenwärtigung bzw. abstrakt-sprachliche Vorwegnahme der Zukunft
Siehe auch: Mental Space Travel, Mental Time Travel (+) Wir können uns Gegenstände vergegenwärtigen, die sich nicht in unserer Nähe befinden. (++) Wir können uns Gegenstände vergegenwärtigen, die nicht, nicht mehr, oder noch nicht existieren.
"When two minds of a high order, interested in kindred subjects, come together, their
conversation is chiefly remarkable for the summariness of its allusions and the rapidity of its
transitions. Before one of them is half through a sentence the other knows his meaning and
replies. Such genial play with such massive materials, such an easy hashing of light over far
perspectives, such careless indifference to the dust and apparatus that ordinarily surround the
subject and seem to pertain to its essence, make these conversations seem true feasts forgoes to a
listener who is educated enough to follow them at all. His mental lungs breathe more deeply, in
an atmosphere more broad and vast than is their wont. On the other hand, the excessive
explicitness and short-windedness of an ordinary man are as wonderful as they are tedious to the
man of genius. But we need not go as far as the ways of genius. Ordinary social intercourse will
do. There the charm of conversation is in direct proportion to the possibility of abridgment and
elision, and in inverse ratio to the need of explicit statement. With old friends a word stands for a whole story or set of opinions. With new-comers everything must be gone over in detail. Some
persons have a real mania for completeness, they must express every step. They are the most
intolerable of companions, and although their mental energy may in its way be great, they always
strike us as weak and second-rate. In short, the essence of plebeianism, that which separates
vulgarity from aristocracy, is perhaps less a defect than an excess, the constant need to
animadvert upon matters which for the aristocratic temperament do not exist. To ignore, to
disdain to consider, to overlook, are the essence of the ‘gentleman.' Often most provokingly so;
for the things ignored may be of the deepest moral consequence. But in the very midst of our
indignation with the gentleman, we have a consciousness that his preposterous inertia and negativeness in the actual emergency is, somehow or other, allied with his general
superiority to ourselves. It is not only that the gentleman ignores considerations relative to
conduct, sordid suspicions, fears, calculations, etc., which the vulgarian is fated to entertain; it is
that he is silent where the vulgarian talks ; that he gives nothing but results where the vulgarian is
profuse of reasons; that he does not explain or apologize; that he uses one sentence instead of
twenty; and that, in a word, there is an amount of interstitial thinking, so to call it, which it is
quite impossible to get him to perform, but which is nearly all that the vulgarian mind performs
at all. All this suppression of the secondary leaves the field clear , -- for higher heights, should
they choose to come. But even if they never came, what thoughts there were would still manifest
the aristocratic type and wear the well-bred form. So great is our sense of harmony and ease in
passing from the company of a philistine to that of an aristocratic temperament, that we are
almost tempted to deem the falsest views and tastes as held by a man of the world, truer than the
truest as held by a common person. In the latter the best ideas are choked, obstructed, and
contaminated by the redundancy of their paltry associates. The negative conditions, at least, of an
atmosphere and a free outlook are present in the former. I may appear to have strayed from
psychological analysis into aesthetic criticism. But the principle of selection is so important that
no illustrations seem redundant which may help to show how great is its scope. The upshot of
what I say simply is that selection implies rejection as well as choice; and that the function of
ignoring, of inattention, is as vital a factor in mental progress as the function of attention itself."
"Hardly any one of us can make new heads easily when fresh experiences come. Most of
us grow more and more enslaved to the stock conceptions with which we have once become
familiar, and less and less capable of assimilating impressions in any but the old ways. Oldfogyism,
in short, is the inevitable terminus to which life sweeps us on. Objects which violate
our established habits of 'apperception' are simply not taken account of at all; or, if on some
occasion we are forced by dint of argument to admit their existence, twenty-four hours later the
admission is as if it were not, and every trace of the unassimilable truth has vanished from our
thought. Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way."
"Geniuses are commonly believed to
excel other men in their power of sustained attention. In most of them, it is to be feared, the
so-called 'power' is of the passive sort. Their ideas coruscate, every subject branches infinitely
before their fertile minds, and so for hours they may be rapt. But it is their genius making them
attentive, not their attention making geniuses of them. And, when we come down to the root of
the matter, we see that they differ from ordinary men less in the character of their attention than
in the nature of the objects upon which it is successively bestowed."
"men tend to disengage when negatively aroused
whereas women prefer to engage with others and talk about
their distress more directly, a pattern thought to reflect women’s
stronger desire for affiliation when experiencing negative affect
or stress (Taylor et al., 2000). Moreover, research suggests that
women may need to feel that their partners remain close and
attentive to them even when they are feeling angry or upset
(Eldridge & Christensen, 2002)."
contrast, may not be as threatened by their partners’ negative
emotions. Women who more accurately read their partners’ negative
emotions were the most satisfied in their relationships. It
could be that for women, perceiving their male partners as having
negative emotions reflects some degree of the male’s investment
and emotional engagement in the relationship, even during times
of conflict. The withdrawal behavior in relationships that is more
typically observed in male partners has been shown to negatively
impact the female partners, who are looking for more engagement
and emotion expression (Eldridge & Christensen, 2002; Gottman,
1994; Johnson & Denton, 2002)."
"It has long been speculated that women tend to be demanders in relationships,
while men tend to withdraw. Authors often cite the work of Terman,
Buttenweiser, Ferguson, Johnson, and Wilson (1938) as the earliest study
to demonstrate this empirically. These researchers found that distressed
wives complained of their husbands’ withdrawal, while distressed
husbands complained of their wives’ nagging, criticism, and emotionality. A number of studies have supported this gender difference,
finding that women were more emotionally expressive and conflict-engaging
while men were more conflict-avoiding (Kelley, Conningham,
Grisham, Lefebvre, Sink, & Yablon, 1978; Komarovsky, 1962; 1976;
Rubin 1976; 1983; Rugel, 1997). ..."
[Es ließe sich auch etwa so formulieren: Frauen begrüßen es im Falle einer Konfliktsituation gegebenenfalls, ihren Mann in einer nicht rein stoischen Geistesverfassung zu sehen.]
A fundamental tenet of inheritance in sexually reproducing organisms such as humans and laboratory mice is that gametes combine randomly at fertilization, thereby ensuring a balanced and statistically predictable representation of inherited variants in each generation. This principle is encapsulated in Mendel’s First Law. But exceptions are known. With transmission ratio distortion, particular alleles are preferentially transmitted to offspring. Preferential transmission usually occurs in one sex but not both, and is not known to require interactions between gametes at fertilization. A reanalysis of our published work in mice and of data in other published reports revealed instances where any of 12 mutant genes biases fertilization, with either too many or too few heterozygotes and homozygotes, depending on the mutant gene and on dietary conditions. Although such deviations are usually attributed to embryonic lethality of the underrepresented genotypes, the evidence is more consistent with genetically-determined preferences for specific combinations of egg and sperm at fertilization that result in genotype bias without embryo loss. This unexpected discovery of genetically-biased fertilization could yield insights about the molecular and cellular interactions between sperm and egg at fertilization, with implications for our understanding of inheritance, reproduction, population genetics, and medical genetics.
Für den, der keine Ziele verfolgt, ist es letztlich gleichgültig, welchen Weg er bei einer Weggabelung einschlägt:
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to go to," said the Cat.
"I don't care much -" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Die Kunst der Lebensgestaltung scheint in dem Gebrauch der Fähigkeit zu bestehen, die Stunde, den Tag, das Monat, das Jahr, das Leben, vom Ende her zu denken.
"Argyle and Dean (1965) found that in a given situation people seek a certain degree of proximity, lean forward or back to attain it, and feel uncomfortable if they cannot. We proposed that this is the result of a balancing of forces of approach and withdraw: people are attracted to others (as the result of past rewards) and also repelled (as the result of past punishment)."
"If one person likes another, the approach forces will be stronger and the avoidance forces weaker, resulting in greater proximity."
"People stand closer to others whom they like. This has been found consistently using a variety of methods."
"Willis (1966) found that subjects stood at different distances in real-life settings, in order of closeness as follows:
Individuals sit and stand closer to each other if they are of similar rather than different status, age (Lott and Summer 1967), or if they are similar in other ways, such as race."
"Orientation is also affected by liking: people generally sit side by side with close friends, while with those they do not like they choose a directly facing position. The main exception to this is that people like to face eating friends (Cook 1970)."
"Argyle and Dean (1965) ... found that people seek a certain degree of proximity, lean forward or back to attain it, and feel uncomfortable if they cannot.
It follows from the model that if a person comes too close this will arouse stronger avoidance forces than approach, so that the other will both be disturbed and back away. Particular discomfort is produced if the other is too close, and for people who like one another a different kind of discomfort is produced by being too far apart. In either case attempts are made to restore equilibrium. This can be done by changes in spatial position, for example by moving further away, leaning backwards, or adopting a less direct orientation (Patterson 1973)."
"Eine andere Symmetrie ist vonnöten, um Sokrates, eine wieder andere um Platon zu fesseln, eine andere in bezug auf die Menge, eine wieder andere in bezug auf die wenigen. Die einen lieben die Männer, die anderen eine Frau, die einen eine Jungfrau, die anderen eine Hure."
"A person’s eye movements and eye fixations correlate
strongly with a person’s interest in, and attention to,
things in their surroundings. People tend to look
at what attracts them, especially at what they find
curious, novel, or unanticipated."
"True, one can be attending to something, yet not looking
directly at it; and one can look at something
yet not be attending to it. Mainly, however, when we
are in fact paying attention to things in our visual surround,
the eye’s point-of-regard is a very good index of
the distribution of that attention."
"Where our eyes look, at whom and for how long, is important for human sociality. Much knowledge has been accumulated on eye behaviour, mainly attention or 'gaze direction'. Eye contact can cut or caress – a dagger in dominance contests and a feather in social grooming."
"We also don't know to what degree women test men sheerly through provocation. It's a lot. Because if you want to test someone, you don't have a little conversation with them. You poke the hell out of them. ...'I ... go after you and see where your weak spots are.' ..."
"If achievement depends on other normally distributed factors in addition to ability,
such as motivation, interest, energy, and persistence, and if all these factors act multiplicatively,
then theoretically we should expect achievement to show a positively skewed
distribution. ... Theoretically a multiplicative effect of ability and motivation (or other traits involved in
achievement) makes sense. Imagine the limiting case of zero ability; then regardless of the
amount of motivation, achievement would equal zero. Also, with zero motivation, regardless
of the amount of ability, achievement would equal zero. Great achievers in any field
are always high in a number of relevant traits, the multiplicative interaction of which places their accomplishments far beyond those of the average person—much farther than
their standing on any single trait or a mere additive combination of several traits. A
superior talent alone does not produce the achievements of a Michelangelo, a Beethoven,
or an Einstein. The same can be said of Olympics-level athletic performance, which
depends on years of concentrated effort and training as well as certain inborn physical
advantages. Thus it is probably more correct to say that a person’s achievements are a
product, rather than a summation, of his or her abilities, disposition, and training."
"The sine qua non of truly exceptional achievement, or greatness, in any field
is an extraordinary level of ambition and zeal in one's endeavors. It is the
opposite of a lackadaisical attitude toward one's work. Zeal is probably what
makes possible the enormous amount of diligent practice in one's pursuit without
which a world-class level of performance is simply not possible. The extraordinary
level of virtuoso skill seen in great musicians, Olympic athletes,
world-class mathematicians, chess champions, and top-level surgeons, for example, owes at least as much to their many years of disciplined study and
practice as to their inborn talent. Their talent, in fact, might actually consist in
large part of their unusual drive and capacity for assiduous persistence in developing
their specialized skills over many years. Ten years seems to be
about the minimum amount of 'practice time' needed for attaining a high level
of expertise in one's vocation, even for famous geniuses. Ambition seems to consist of a high level of goal-directed drive, persisting
in the face of difficulties and obstacles. It is possessed to an extraordinary degree
by the world's greatest achievers. The personal sources of the immense ambition
that overrides all obstacles are scarcely understood and, as yet, have not been
very much studied by psychologists. Dean Simonton, the leading contemporary
researcher on the origins of high-level achievement, has remarked that the source
of the exceptional level of drive and ambition evinced by the most illustrious
achievers in history is still one of the great mysteries of psychology. Psychologists
often speak of 'achievement motivation', but this simply names the
phenomenon without explaining it. The topic is crying out for scientific research."
"Briefly, the investment theory is
that gf is a generalized inherent capacity to perceive relations, based on
total volume of effective cortical cells. In the course of school and life
experience this potential enables the individual to perceive and commit
to memory all sorts of relations he perceives in the real world. One can
think of gf as describing the power of a process and gc as being the
product resulting from gf and experience."
"Now, let us think of the new mammalian brain as having evolved as a sort of portable computer, an information-processor capable of doing simulations with great speed and clarity. It is 'programmed' to calculate the path of least pain and greatest pleasure. But, as we have seen, the resulting calculations at times fail to enhance inclusive fitness. At such times, selection will favor the 'overriding' of the new mammalian brain. ... We experience these overrides, subjectively, as emotions. This does not mean that this is all there is to the emotions or that they serve no other functions, of course, but they do seem to be associated with what is tempting to think of as limbic-system overrides of the neocortex, of the old mammalian brain overriding the new."
"The sanguine and healthy-minded live habitually on the sunny side of their misery-line, the depressed and melancholy live beyond it, in darkness and apprehension. There are men who seem to have started in life with a bottle or two of champagne inscribed to their credit; whilst others seem to have been born close to the pain-threshold, which the slightest irritants fatally send them over."
"When it comes to bonding our relationships through the endorphin mechanism, we do have a bit of a problem. We live in super-large social groups where not everyone is as familiar with each other as they are in small monkey and ape groups. At one level, our solution to this problem has been to invent conversation. But conversation on its own is very dull stuff and hardly the basis for an intimate relationship. What we seem to have done is to use laughter to bridge the gap, because laughter turns out to be a very good releaser of endorphins. Laughter seems to produce a more generalised effect that applies rather more equally to everyone who happens to be in the conversation at the time, whereas physical contact is very much a one-on-one thing. Laughter allows us to trigger an endorphin effect in a less risky way."
"If you memorize a thousand jokes, that doesn't make you a person with a sense of humor. Sense of humor is more subtle. A good sense of humor is about timing, the ability to say the funny thing at the right time and to the right people."
"Several theorists have suggested that a relationship is born at the exact moment when one
person first becomes aware of another person (e.g., Levinger & Snoek, 1972). However, ..., a true relationship requires mutual influence; thus, it is probably more accurate
to locate a relationship’s beginning in the moment in which two people first become
consciously aware of each other. Because the human brain has limited conscious/attentional
capacities, we cannot possibly be fully aware of all of the information our senses take in, and all
the people we come in contact with, at any given moment (see Nørretranders, 1998). Consequently,
some people are more likely than others to capture our attention."
"Personal social networks in humans appear to consist of a series of sub-groupings arranged in a hierarchically inclusive sequence (Kahn and Antonucci 1980, Hill and Dunbar 2003, Zhou et al. 2005, Roberts 2010, Sutcliffe et al. 2012). An individual can be envisaged as sitting in the centre of a series of concentric circles of acquaintanceship, which increase in size with a scaling ratio of ~3 (Hill and Dunbar 2003, Zhou et al. 2005) and differ in relationship quality. These have been labelled the support clique (of ~5 members), sympathy group (~15), affinity group (~50) and active network (~150) (Sutcliffe et al. 2012)."
"the support clique of approximately ﬁve individuals, ... can be deﬁned as all those individuals from whom one would seek advice, support, or help in times of severe emotional or ﬁnancial distress (Dunbar and Spoors 1995). Many different measures have been used to determine the number of individuals in a typical support clique. One of the standard questions, used in the US General Social Survey in 1985 and 2001, is ‘looking back over the last 6 months—who are the people with whom you have discussed matters important to you?’(Marin 2004, Marsden 1987, McPherson et al. 2006, Ruan 1998, Straits 2000). This produces a mean size of support clique of between 2.1 (McPherson et al. 2006, but see Fischer 2009) and 5.6 (Marin 2004). However, limiting the time frame to the last six months may exclude people who are important to the respondent, but whom they have not contacted recently, and asking the same question without this time limit produces a value of 6.9 (Bernard et al. 1990)."
"Other methods of eliciting the support clique have used questions relating to whom the respondent would turn to in the event of a major personal problem (Nettle 2007, Stiller and Dunbar 2007), whom they have relied on for advice and/or help at the personal level (Dunbar and Spoors 1995), whom the respondent feels ‘especially close to’(Fischer 1982) or to whom the respondent is ‘socially close’(Wellman et al. 1988) or feels so close to that it would be hard to imagine life without them (Lang 2000, van Sonderen et al. 1990) or whose ‘opinions of your personal life area you would consider important’(Johnson and Milardo 1984). All these different deﬁnitions produce a mean network size of between 4.7 and 7.4, indicating that they are eliciting the same, inner layer of the social network. This support clique usually consists of immediate kin (parents, siblings, adult children), one or two very close, long-term friends and, if the respondent is in a relationship, a partner (Dunbar and Spoors 1995, Kahn and Antonucci 1980, Wellman and Guilia 1999, Wellman and Wortley 1990)."
"The next layer out is the sympathy group. Typically, this layer of relationships has been elicited by asking, following Buys and Larson (1979), ‘whose death tomorrow would you be upset by?’"
"During ... repeated interactions in the early stages of friendship, more intimate information is gradually exchanged. This exchange of intimate information can be seen as a sign of trust in the relationship partner—this information could potentially be damaging or embarrassing if it was widely disseminated, so by telling the friend the information you are trusting them not to pass it on. This process is especially pronounced in female–female friendships, whereas male–male friendships tend to be based more around shared physical activities (Benenson and Christakos 2003, Dindia and Allen 1992, Reis et al. 1985)."
"At the sympathy group level, maintaining these close, emotionally intense relationships is cognitively extremely demanding. Each relationship is unique, in the sense that ‘the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with none other’(Ainsworth 1989: 711). It takes a long history of interaction in a variety of contexts, as well as emotional commitment, to build up and maintain these relationships—very close relationships have higher frequencies of both face-to-face and telephone contact than less close (but still important) relationships (Mok et al. 2007, Roberts and Dunbar 2011a)."
"there is growing evidence that the size of support and sympathy groups correlates with individual differences in social cognitive competences."
The general factor of personality and job performance: Revisiting previous meta-analyses; Dirk H. M. Pelt, Dimitri van der Linden, Curtis S. Dunkel, Marise Ph. Born; 2017
The relationship between the General Factor of Personality (GFP) and several work-related outcomes such as job performance and organizational citizenship behavior was examined using meta-analytic data. Confirmatory factor analyses showed sizeable relationships between the GFP and various performance indicators ( r = .34), larger than for any of the Big Five dimensions. Controlling for social desirability did not change the relationship between the GFP and job performance. Moreover, regression analyses showed that the GFP accounted for a larger part of the explained variance in the outcome measures than the unique variances of the Big Five. The results add to the evidence for the GFP as a social effectiveness factor and highlight the validity of the GFP in organizational contexts.
The North of England in recent years has been poorer, less healthy, less educated and
slower growing than the South. Using two sources - surnames that had a different regional
distribution in England in the 1840s, and a detailed genealogy of 119,000 people in England
giving birth and death locations - we show that the decline of the North is mainly explained
by selective outmigration of the educated and talented. Surnames associated with the north
in 1840, for example, show no disadvantage relative to those associated with the south in
terms of educational attainment, occupation, and political power in 2017 in England as a
whole. Similarly, in the individual genealogies migrants from the north were more educated,
wealthier, and have higher occupational status than the resident southern population, even
back in 1800. But stayers in the north were less educated, poorer, and with lower occupational
status. This implies that policies designed to aid the population in the north in the form
of regional investments, or encouragement of migration south, are likely to be ineffective in
boosting outcomes for the remaining northern population.
Lust-Unlust geben uns ein Feedback bezüglich unseres Verhaltens. Es ist ein Schlüsselmerkmal des Menschen, dass er dieses Feedback in gewissem Ausmaß ignorieren kann und also in der Lage ist, anders zu handeln, als es das Feedback vorsieht:
"Consciousness, foresight, self-awareness, conscience, and related aspects of the human psyche have evolved as a set of >overrides< of more widespread (and not necessarily solely human), generalized indicators of immediate costs and benefits. The most prominent and perhaps most general of such indicators of immediate costs and benefits are pain and pleasure. ..."
>We all make mistakes in life, and Alexander Pope’s “To err is human” is a familiar refrain. There is good reason, however, for supposing that the probabilities of making a mistake in any given situation, independent of experience, vary from individual to individual according to IQ or score on any good test of g, the general intelligence factor. This would help explain why “some people make more errors than other people” ... . Full recognition of this probability differential is blunted by the fact that, although life in some ways resembles a test of general intelligence, life departs in many ways from the formal requirements of a well-designed psychometric instrument. Combined with age differences in experience (which can easily be mistaken for differences in intelligence) and with age differences in cumulative lifetime risk (which can let the histories of younger and hence less exposed persons seem more error free than those of older, more exposed ones of equal intelligence), such departures from psychometric rigor obscure the role of g but do not negate it. ...<
"Although 'mistake' has a loose meaning in common language, it has come to have a rather precise technical meaning among those who study error, due the way it has been used in the work of Reason (1990) and Norman (1988), who distinguish between 'slips' and 'mistakes'. Mistakes are planning failures: errors of judgment, inference or the like, when actions go as planned-but the plan is bad. ...
A 'slip' is defined as an action not in accord with the actor's intention, the result of a good plan but a poor execution."
"One of the things that is so unhealthy and untherapeutic about most modern psychotherapies is they are so past-oriented. So resentment oriented. ... Whereas you can only live in the future. And it's all well and good to understand your past, you have to do that, but to dwell upon it, once you understand it sufficiently, is terribly unhealthy. ..."
1. Confusion. When we are drifting, we lose perspective. Without a clear destination in view, the challenges on the journey seem pointless. There’s no larger story to provide meaning to life’s smaller dramas. When this happens, we get disoriented. Like a hiker without a compass or GPS, we walk in circles, lost in a forest of unrelated events and activities. ...
2. Expense. Drifting through life can also be enormously expensive, both in terms of money and—more importantly—time. Too often we zigzag our way through life, uncertain of the destination and eating up valuable and finite resources. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop and get your bearings. While doing so may seem to delay the journey, ultimately it is faster and cheaper in terms of getting where you really want to go.
3. Lost opportunity. Unless we have a destination in mind, it’s tough to separate the opportunities from the distractions. Will this situation move me closer to my goal or further away? we ask. Without a plan, we have no way of knowing. There’s no real sense of urgency, no reason to seize the opportunity, and no sense that we might lose it if we don’t. Then it’s easy to procrastinate. And most opportunities have expiration dates. If missed, they are often lost forever.
4. Pain. While some pain in life is unavoidable, we bring much of it on ourselves. Too often this is simply because we failed to plan. For example,
Without a plan for our health, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, we can end up sick, without energy, stuck in the doldrums ...
Without a plan for our career, we can end up unfulfilled, stalled, or unemployed ...
Without a plan for our parenting, we can end up with estranged relationships, damaged kids, and real regrets.
5. Regrets. Perhaps the saddest consequence of all is getting to the end of life with deep regrets.
"our intuitions about rationality are too often informed by exploitation rather than exploration. When we talk about decision making, we usually focus on the immediate payoff of a single decision - and if you treat every decision as if it were your last, then indeed only exploitation makes sense. But over a lifetime, you're going to make a lot of decisions. And it's actually rational to emphasize exploration - the new rather than the best, the exciting rather than the safe, the random rather than the considered - for many of those choices, particular earlier in life."
"Play has features that make it suitable for finding the best way forward in a world of conflicting demands. In acquiring cognitive skills, individuals are in danger of finding suboptimal solutions to the many problems that confront them. In deliberately moving away from what might look like the metaphorical final resting point, each individual may end up somewhere better. Play may therefore fulfill a probing role that enables the individual to escape from false endpoints, or local optima (Bateson, 2011). An analogy is a mountain surrounded by lesser peaks. A climber might get to the top of a lesser peak only to discover that they must descend again before scaling a higher one. When stuck on a metaphorical lower peak, it can be beneficial to have active mechanisms for getting off it and onto a higher one. In practice this means that play is an evolved mechanism for uncovering possibilities that are better than those obtained without playing."
"There is a great deal of evidence that the road to mastery of any subject is guided by play. Learning a subject by rote can take one only so far. To become a master, the pupil has to go beyond what is known, has to learn what has not been shown by others in the field. Those who study the history of the arts and sciences have many examples of discoveries that came about not through the progression of a planned series of experiments (or at least not a series of experiments that went as planned)."
"Nettle (2001) argued that positive schizotypy confers a direct reproductive advantage, especially at moderate levels and when the individual does not develop severe mental disorders. Even in individuals who eventually develop a damaging clinical condition, the benefits accrued before the onset of the condition may sometimes make up for the fitness costs caused by pathology. The reproductive benefits of positive schizotypy would stem from its association with creativity, which enhances attractiveness and contributes to successful courtship. In accord with this hypothesis, Nettle and Clegg (2006) found a significant relationship between self-reported positive schizotypy and mating success (i.e., number of sexual partners). In contrast, negative schizotypy appeared to decrease one's mating potential. The relationship between positive schizotypy and mating success was mediated by the intensity of creative activity. Nettle (2006) showed that poets and visual artists score as high as schizophrenic patients in positive-schizotypal traits, but lower than controls in negative schizotypy; furthermore, Haselton and Miller (2006) found that women tend to prefer highly creative men as short-term mates in the fertile phase of their cycle ..."
Sexual selection for autistic-like traits
"high-autistic-like traits are likely to lead to diminished motivation and opportunity for short-term mating relationships with multiple partners. The smaller social networks of individuals with autistic-like personalities, together with their low extraversion and openness to experience (Austin, 2005; Wakabayashi et al., 2006), predict reduced interest in novelty (including sexual novelty) and fewer opportunities to interact with potential mates. Indeed, low extraversion and openness have been found to correlate with fewer sexual partners (Nettle, 2005; Miller and Tal, 2007). Individuals high in autistic-like traits also lack the verbal/artistic creativity that seems to partly mediate the effects of positive schizotypy on mating success, although they may be quite creative in the technical and/or scientific sense. In human societies, men with autistic-like personalities can gain status not by direct social manipulation but rather by attaining “cultural success,” that is, by developing and mastering culturally valued technical or cognitive skills (see Baron-Cohen, 2003; Spikins, 2009)."
"Much is made of the fact that human beings are the only creatures to know that they must die, but they're also the only ones to know that they must find something engaging to focus on in order to pass the time ..."
"The ethical idea of fairness, with all its many virtues, has sometimes been corrupted into a set of attendant vices. One such vice has been so widely perceived in New Zealand that it has its own name in common speech. New Zealanders call it "the Tall Poppy Syndrome." It might be defined as envy or resentment of a person who is conspicuously successful, exceptionally gifted, or unusually creative.
More than that, it sometimes became a more general attitude of outright hostility to any sort of excellence, distinction, or high achievement - especially achievement that requires mental effort, sustained industry, or applied intelligence. All this is linked to a mistaken idea of fairness as a broad and even-handed distribution of mediocrity. The possession of extraordinary gifts is perceived as unfair by others who lack them. Those who not only possess them but insist on exercising them have sometimes been punished for it.
New Zealand lexicographers believe that tall poppy is an Australian expression, which appears in the Australian National Dictionary with examples as early as 1902. It is also widely used in New Zealand, where it has given rise to a proper noun, an adjective, and even a verb. Successful people are called "poppies", and when abused for their success they are said to be "poppied" by envious others. In 1991, a Wellington newspaper reported that successful businessmen "are being 'tall-poppied' by other New Zealanders."
We were told by many people in New Zealand that the Tall Poppy Syndrome is not as strong as it used to be, and that it never applied to all sorts for achievement. One New Zealander observes that "there is no such thing as a tall poppy playing rugby." Nearly all New Zealanders take pride in the Music of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and in the mountaineering of Sir Edmund Hillary, who where rarely tall-poppied.
But other bright and creative New Zealanders have been treated with cruelty by compatriots who appear to feel that there is something fundamentally unfair about better brains or creative gifts, and still more so about the determination to use them. This attitude is linked to a bizarre and destructive corruption of fairness, in which talented young people are perceived as tall poppies and are severly persecuted. Perhaps to most deleterious work of the Tall Poppy Syndrome is done in school yards and classrooms among the young. In any society, nothing is more destructive than the persecution of children because they exercise gifts that others lack. It discourages not only excellence itself but the striving for excellence. Taken to an extreme, the great good that is fairness can become an evil, and even a sin - one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which is the sin of envy."