Re: The Poor Masses

Anders Sandberg (
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 17:22:53 +0200 (MET DST)

On Fri, 27 Sep 1996, Suresh Naidu wrote:

> Okay I don`t really see this. Are you referring to the welfare state? If
> so, I disagree vehemently. Very few people are "loafers". There are some,
> but most people I know on welfare are doing everything in their power to get
> out. Those few that do leech off the system shouldn`t be the reason for
> letting those that need it starve.

I have found one psychological concept very helpful here: learned
helplessness. If you try something repeatedly, but don't succeed
(especially if you have never experienced success in the first place), you
"learn" that you will never succeed, and don't even try anymore. This is
IMHO a major problem facing us transhumanists in all areas - too many
people are feeling helpless to do anything.

Learned helplessness is also the reason I do not fully believe that a
free market will solve all problems - too many people are passive and
will not act, even when it is clearly in their best interest (of course,
a wellfare state can be said to promote this, but the problem remains
even without them).

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y