The Inherent Conundrum of Operant Behavior
Thoughts, wanderings and questions. Often contradictory, but almost always within the shroud of my world.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Conservative: Lack of intelligence? 
I wonder if anyone has graphed the correlation of a government's conservative level to its people's intelligence level.

It just seems like the more a country is conservative, the less that the people are educated. For instance, countries like Denmark, Canada and Sweden have quite a few people that are well educated. And these are rather liberal countries.
On the other hand, very conservative countries like Niger, Yemen, and Haiti have relatively fewer numbers of educated people.

Of course I'm basing this on the assumption that the more 'school' you attend, the more 'educated' you become. The fallacy of that assumption is grounds for a much longer, later entry. So for now, I'll just go with the premise that 'educated' means book smart, not street or farm smart.

The U.S. by international standards is fairly liberal. So it follows naturally that we are some of the most educated. Early in our history, we were smart enough to get rid of the totalitarian government that sent or drove the founders here. Today, we provide that service to less educated countries (like Iraq) that can't seem to do it for themselves.

Closer to home, on an individual level, it seems like the more intelligent a person becomes, the more liberal they get. In fact, the very fundamentals that America was founded upon are quite liberal. Things like people are entitled to their opinion, and can speak their mind whether they are right or wrong, are to this day, down right radical. Oh sure, we all believe in the concept, but in practice, we have a hard time with it.

For instance, it isn't all that unusual for a person to say something, only to be dismissed by someone who is conservative, on the grounds that what was said is simply 'liberal rantings'. Conversely, the person who is more liberal may also believe that it is 'liberal rantings', but that there are underlying truths that should be addressed.

The more liberal a person becomes, the more knowledgeable they become, the more accepting they become, and definitely the more sympathetic they become. The irony is that 'accepting' and 'sympathetic' tend to be viewed by the conservative as traits of the unintelligent.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hurricane Katrina really was disastrous for quite a number of people. The effects are more numerous and wide spread than anyone could have possibly imagined. For instance, I work at a place that is very close to the Astrodome. Among many, many other concerns, parking immediately became an issue. Previously, I never would have thought that a hurricane passing through New Orleans would lead me to having difficulty in parking at work for months.

The aid bandwagon is tremendous. Funds, concerts, and political pleas are now everywhere. The people that have been displaced have been called by many desperate things including evacuees and refugees. It is difficult to miss the daily, constant reminders that these people have 'lost everything'.

Yesterday, I went to the nearest grocery store to the Dome. Residents from 'Reliant City' were everywhere, easily identified by the plastic wrist band that each wore. Snaking all the way out of the store was a line which lead into the store and right to a dispensing machine.

Curious, I looked closer at what all those people were waiting for. In very colorful letters, the machine proudly declared: Lottery tickets.


Friday, September 09, 2005

America Needs to Laugh 
Yup, I've finally identified the trend. The U.S. is too serious.
Really. In the future, this will be known as the 'Age of the Brood'.

When was the last time you had a good hearty laugh? Bet it's been awhile.

As a country, starting with the Twin Towers falling, the country has largely been obsessed with Terrorism, War, Tsunami's, Human suffrage, and the latest has been Hurricane Katrina.

The country has been too sullen, too long. Take a look at the Entertainment Industry. Reality shows are about the hottest commodity out there. Sure, the claim could be made that they showcase the triumph of the human spirit. But really, people tune in each week to see who is able to cajole, convince, sweet-talk, cheat, steal, and lie the best.

How about Movies? There is definitely a shortage of Comedies. Oh sure, there's lots of slap stick, screwball comedies featuring crude "bathroom humor" floating around, but where are the comedies that aren't insulting? I mean, where are the "Ghostbusters"? The "Beverly Hills Cop"? The "Bringing Up Baby"? The "Tremors"?

"Tremors" actually brings up a good point. The comedies have been replaced by Horror movies. Horror movies are everywhere, and it seems like all of the popular actors/actresses are joining in the melee.
Tremors" was one of those transition movies that were not quite "Horror", and not quite "Comedy". Unfortunately, that transition has led to such movies as "Scream".

Even the satires have jumped into the Horror venue. Instead of "Hot Shots", taking its place is "Scary Movie".

Back to T.V., the horror scene is now happy to be in prime time, including weekly episodes. "Kingdom Hospital" is just one example.

On the silver screen, everything has to be darker, more dramatic, more tragic than those before it. I mean really, was there actually a need to produce a Batman that was darker than Tim Burton's?

Here's a couple of careers that really show the pattern:
Tom Hanks: "Bosom Buddies", An awesome show, and Tom Hanks was the Cut up of Cut ups. ; Then on to films like "Bachelor Party", a veritable classic; Followed later by "Big", which inspired many look-a-likes. But later, more recently, he has gotten stoic, tragic. As "Forrest Gump", and more recently in "The Terminal", his characters are largely objects of pity. Especially with Forrest, Tom Hanks has accomplished the art of the "Brood".

Keanu Reeves: "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", another classic, this is one of those typecasting movies that actors hate. He was so good in the role that he will never be able to shed the association. Fast forward to more recent works, The Matrix Trilogy, and Constantine, all of which he is The One. Talk about dark and brooding.

Yup, America is due for a good riotous laughter.

Full belly aching hilarity.


About Operant Behavior

Stimulus Response is really about the environment, and how the environment reacts. This envrionment may be as broad as the universe, or as egocentric as a single individual's brain waves.


Blogs and other links

Rhetoric & Rhythm
Theme and Variations
Beginner's Mind

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