Tag Archives: social rules

Why the 99 Percent Need The 1 Percent

Why the 99 percent need the 1 percent
Why the 99 percent need the 1 percent

Or more precisely 5 percent. As I understand it 5 percent of a population will tend to be leaders. I think this is stable over several species including humans.

When working with police dogs I noticed an unusual kind of dog. what at the time I called super alphas. These dogs were few and far between. Fearless dog kings are quite an interesting deviation from your run of the mill alpha dog. What is interesting is that this type of personality can be found in people too.

A lot of how people develop their leadership personality is from the social rules they are guided by. But we can’t forget there are also biological functions at play. Physiology may be unique to individuals, such as super leaders.

We all respond to our physiological makeup as well as to the social environment we’re exposed to. Often we are so close to ourselves it’s difficult if not impossible to know why we do things or even if we are normal. I have not immersed myself into the writings of Einstein, but I have read several quotes where he professes being normal. An interesting fact is that Einstein’s brain was not average (normal). I am not talking about some abstract average I am talking about physical differences that can be seen and measured. But Einstein was normal to Einstein.

Our own behavior is often too difficult to observe simply because to us it is so normal. If we can’t observe our own behavior how can we know about our human nature?

One way is to use something that we are a bit detached from as a guide or model. We can ask does anything like this occur in that other one? The other could be a cultural or language group or it could be an entirely different species. Need I mention dogs have social structures surprisingly similar to humans.

What should we base our policies and rules on?

Once we understand that many traits are beyond the control of an individual we can try not to be too judgmental about people.

Our “by god” I’m right and your wrong judgment is easily seen in politics. Since we recently finished the presidential elections in the United States I have had a good chance to observe this behavior in all its intensity.

If we are ever to change these emotions we first need to acknowledge and accept that they are part of being human. It’s important that we also realize there are a lot of people who are highly incentivize to encourage hate and divisiveness. While it is good for making money and gaining power it is bad for humanity. It will take a very long time before being good will ever be as popular as being wealthy or exerting aversive control.

Now considering our frailty as humans it’s also important that we do not demonize those who are driven by power and wealth. As a class or type, they are going to be critical for humanity to advance. What we need to do is acknowledge these people as leaders and work at changing the system. Even when the system changes they will still have the opportunity to be wealthy and powerful. But it will be used for the good of humanity.

I know many very wealthy people and they are not bad people. Contrary to what the occupy movement believe, even people who are extremely competitive and wealthy are usually good people, just like the rest of us. I have talked to a few people at local Occupy groups and I can say they are no more enlightened than the rest of society. In fact I was rather disappointed with the personal goals and motivations of many of the occupy people. I always naively believe that a higher cause will have the majority of participants cultivating a higher nature. Cultivating a higher nature was not the case of Gandhi’s India and will probably not be the case for most noble endeavors.

One of my hopes when positive reinforcement dog training first began to get popular was that it would encourage the cultivation of humanity’s higher nature and thus a more just society. It has ended up as yet another reason to talk badly about other people and sow the seeds of hate.

A lot of people the Occupy Wall Streeters condemn are in reality our heroes. They are often the Winston Churchills and Theodore Roosevelts of our time. What made Churchill a hero instead of a villain are the social rules he followed.

Everyone in business knows how important systems are to success. When a system is out of statistical control it is unstable. I believe most people would describe this by saying it’s broken. If the unstable business is too variable in its output (the output/product doesn’t work) and there is any competition, the business is headed toward big trouble. How well is our system working?

We can’t simply blame another person or political party. We need to take responsibility for what we have control of. Every person, every decision, can make a difference. We need to make decisions that are good for ourselves and for the system to which we belong. We also have a responsibility to ensure that the system we belong to is not broken. If enough people make good decisions we’ll move in the right direction. Each of us has a responsibility to improve the operation of our economy, our country, and our world.

The occupy movement is part of America’s system for fixing itself before it’s completely broken. The occupy movement acts as a catalyst for making the system stable. There are other quality controls in place as well. What we can’t forget is who are the customers? Who does the system serve?

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
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