Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Sociology, discrimination.  ---  .This section is about social discrimination in general.  Topics include: ( ) Causes of.  ( ) Types of.  ( )   ---  1/24/2006

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  (1) Discrimination is rooted in intolerance for anything different or unknown.  (2) Intolerance for anything different is rooted in mistrust, suspicion, fear and paranoia.  Intolerance for the different is similar to the "If it works then stick with it." conservative philosophy.  (3) Intolerance for the different is also similar to the way some people are extremely reluctant to try new foods.  (4) The phenomena of intolerance to different people and intolerance to different foods may both be rooted in fear motivated by self preservation that causes rigidity and dogmatism.  (5) An extreme form of intolerance of the different is the hermit.  ---  5/17/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  (1) Life is pain.  (2) Pain is often expressed as anger or sadness.  (3) Anger is often unfairly misplaced and focused on minorities who often become scapegoats.  (A) People often do not know the extent of their suppressed anger.  It is often more than they recognize.  (B) People often don't know the actual causes of their suppressed anger.  (C) People take out their suppressed anger on those who don't deserve it.  ---  5/8/2002

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  (1) Stereotype: Saying that members of a group are all alike.  (2) Prejudice: Saying you know a person before you meet them.  (3) Bigot: Saying they (out-group) are all inferior and we (in-group) are all superior.  (4) Discrimination: Treating an out-group worse and treating an in-group better.  ---  1/15/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  (See also: the notes on the curious, odd and weird).  Humans perhaps have an evolutionarily hard-wired trait, which causes us to fear mutations, and which causes us to fear everyone who is even slightly different than ourselves.  This is a negative trait.  (2) Remember the "naturalistic fallacy".  Just because humans evolved a certain way does not make that trait ethically good today, or even back then.  ---  12/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  A major cause of discrimination is not just bullying but also the rigid group identification between in-group and out-group.  Discrimination often stems from a group mentality that has the following traits: (1) Feeling you must belong to a group.  (2) Feeling you must belong to only one single group.  (3) Feeling you must not disobey the group.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  A person who realizes that it is possible to support groups that one does not belong to is less likely to become a discriminator.  For example, a man who supports women.  Or a person of one race who supports people of another race.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  A person who understands that they belong to many varied groups is less likely to discriminate, especially when they realize that these groups can have conflicting ideas.  A person who understands that they themselves have many varied sides to their personality is less likely to discriminate, especially if they realize that their multiple sides can have conflicting ideas.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Ageism.  (1) "You're too young to understand.", is a bogus ploy, a power play used by older people on younger people.  (2) "You're too old to understand.", is a bogus ploy, a power play used by younger people on older people.  ---  5/15/2004

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Ageism.  Adults use age as a power play over the "weaker and dumber" young people and old people.  Just like men often use gender as a power play over women.  Another example, older kids using age and size as a power play over "weaker and dumber" younger kids.  The young and old must struggle for their rights.  ---  3/29/2000

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Ageism.  Unethical techniques people use to try to invalidate and dis empower you.  If they do not like what you are saying some people will first claim that you are too young to matter, and then claim that you are too old to matter.  ---  11/18/2005

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Ageism.  Varieties of ageism.  Youngism: The young are good and the old are worthless.  Oldism: The old are good and the young are worthless.  ---  08/17/1997

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Arguments often used to discriminate: "We are just trying to defend ourselves.  They are the ones who are attacking us.  Its a state of war.  Anything goes.  There are no rules".  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Arguments they use to discriminate: "They will take our jobs.  They will take our women".  Counter-arguments: (1) There is no "they" and there is no "us".  You have more in common with many of "them" than you do with many who you think are one of "us".  (2) There is no woman nor job out there with your name on her.  There is no woman nor job which you are somehow entitled to have without merit.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Causes of discrimination.  (1) Discrimination caused by fear, suspicion and mistrust of the different and unknown.  (2) Discrimination caused by a false sense of superiority.  (3) Discrimination caused by competitive pressure for jobs, money, power and women.  ---  5/17/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Discrimination has its basis in tribalism, which has its basis in kinship, which has its basis in the preservation and promulgation of genes.  (2) Discrimination has its basis in rigidity, monomania, and intolerance for diversity.  It is found in those who practice authoritarianism, fundamentalism.  It is also found in those who fear other people physically different from themselves.  It is also found in those who fear cultures that are different from their own.  (3) Types of discrimination, when discrimination is defined as promulgating genes.  Nationalism is a form of discrimination.  Nepotism is a form of discrimination.  ---  12/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Diversity is the bane of the simple-minded.  (1) Without diversity things would be very boring. (2)  Diversity results in complexity. (3) Among the first people to object to an increase in diversity are the simple-minded (Simple-minded used in a negative sense, see below).  Why?  Because diversity is too complicated for the simple-minded.  The simple-minded understand their simple world and sometimes they even enjoy their simple world.  The simple-minded feel threatened by both change and diversity (i.e., complexity).  (4) The mental state of feeling threatened by diversity because of the resulting increase in complexity is more often a matter of attitude than a matter of intelligence.  No one, not even the smartest of us, knows all of what is going on.  And even unintelligent people with the right attitude can handle complexity.  Being comfortable with uncertainty and partial knowledge is a healthy attitude that promotes tolerance for diversity.  (5) So simple mindedness is often a matter of attitude than ability.  PART TWO.  There are many types of simple mindedness.  (1) One type is the close mindedness discussed above, which is bad.  (2) Another type of simple-mindedness is the good type that approaches things with a "beginner's mind" as is discussed in healthy strains of Zen.  Look at things fresh.  Drop preconceptions. (3) A third type of simple mindedness is the healthy set of attitudes that results in an ecologically sustainable life style, which avoids unnecessary clutter and unneeded material possessions.  As exemplified by the "Simplicity" movement.  (4) The negative unhealthy simple-mindedness mentioned in part one is often based on a grab for power and control.  The need to be an absolute ruler of even a small fiefdom.  The "big fish in a small pond" mentality.  And the bully mentality.  (5) Healthy simple-mindedness means being comfortable with the realization that you don't have total knowledge or total power.  Absolute knowledge and absolute power are not always possible to achieve, nor are they worthy goals in every situation.  PART THREE.  Simple mindedness defined as revelry in ignorance is an unhealthy attitude.  Anti-intellectualism is bad.  (2)  Simple mindedness defined as low IQ people claiming their value and worth as humans is healthy and good.  The discrimination against the low IQ is bad.  Empowerment of those marginalized because of low IQ is good.  ---  2/20/2002

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Emotional and rational appeal techniques often used to teach prejudice and discrimination.     PART ONE.  Emotional appeal techniques often used to teach prejudice and discrimination.  (1) Elicit every negative emotion toward enemy:  Fear them.  Be jealous of them.  Be angry at them.  Be sad at your condition relative to them.  (2) Elicit every positive emotion toward your own group:  Happy to be together.  We feel strong and confident together.  We feel brave and fearless together.     PART TWO.  Rational appeal techniques often used to teach prejudice and discrimination.  (1) Appeals to logic: faulty arguments and inferences.  (2) Appeal to observation of so called "facts".  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  In humans there is an unjust unconscious analogical thought process that works like this:  The majority says "We are many, and thus we are big and strong.  The minority are few, and thus they are small and weak"  The majority treats the minority the way the runt of the litter gets treated.  At an unconscious level in the human mind the concepts of "many, big and strong" run together, and the concepts of "few, small and weak" run together.  This helps explain why people have an unjust predilection for trampling minorities rights.  ---  10/8/2000

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Isms (racism, sexism, ageism).  When you act for someone because they are in your group (whether white, black, or your relatives), you are acting against every other group, and that is actually as bad as discrimination against any single group.  Therefore, hiring someone because you like their race is as bad as than not hiring someone because you dislike their race.  ---  11/28/1993

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  It is impossible to not notice differences.  Discrimination based on physical appearance is wrong, but it is very prevalent.  It occurs in many societies, in many situations.  People have a natural tendency to generalize or stereotype ("one x did it, so all x do it").  The person who does this must figure out that it is irrational to stereotype people.  People have a tendency to group things and make inferential laws about things.  (2) Legalized systematic discrimination is worse.  Examples: slavery; women cannot vote; homosexuality is outlawed.  (3) People are discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, clothes, activities, beliefs, and even hair color.  (4) Reverse discrimination.  Hatred oppressed have for oppressors.  Two types.  (A) Based on mistreatment, personally to themselves, or historically to ancestors.  (B) Based on pure prejudice, much like oppressors have for oppressed.  ---  8/27/1998

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  One unsound argument used by those who discriminate is "Let's kill off the x group because they are dumber (or weaker, or more sickly, etc.) than we are".  They usually resort to this argument only after they have tried to kill off all the smart (healthy, strong) members of x group.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  PART ONE.  When we talk about discrimination against adults by adults we don't often use the child-centered concepts of "bullying" and "picking on" (perhaps because we feel belittled to do so) yet perhaps we should because in many cases the discriminator is acting like a child.     PART TWO.  The phenomenon of being "picked on" can be extremely destructive to a person's psychological state.  It can drive people crazy.  It can drive people to suicide.  It can drive people to drink or drugs.  The phenomena of being bullied is one that we often consider to be confined to the school yard, yet adults engage in bullying as much as children.  That is to say, adults often behave like children.     PART THREE.  What are the traits of the bully?  (1) Raise their own self-esteem by putting down other people.  (2) Try to have a sense of superiority over anyone at any cost.  Achieve dominance.  (3) Attempt to maintain political power or maintain a majority.  (4) Maintain economic power.  Work to get into the "old boys network" and then work to keep everyone else out.  (5) Vengeance.  Vendetta.  The feuding mentality comes with the clan mentality (ex. Hatfields and McCoys).  They are told, or decide for themselves, the situation is that someone or some group offended or hurt them or their group and thus it is their duty to "get them back".     PART FOUR.  (1) Who gets picked on in today's society?  Often it is minorities.  Also the poor, the stupid, the ugly, the aged, the young, the fat, the thin, glasses, acne, etc.  (2) What are the forms of being picked on?  Being mocked.  Being jeered.  Slurs and curses.  Physical abuse.  Psychological torment.  (3) What is the process of being picked on?  (A) Label someone.  (B) Say that person is different or "other".  Say they are "not one of us".  (C) Stigmatize them.  Ostracize them.  (D) Say they are not as good as us.     PART FIVE.  Types of "picking on".  (1) Anyone can be picked on for any physical attribute.  Ex. fat, short, bald.  (2) Anyone can be picked on for any ideological belief.  (3) Anyone can be picked on for any culture, lifestyle or behavior.     PART SIX.  Types of abuse.  The abuse can be systemic or isolated; overt or covert; physical or psychological.  Some argue that systemic abuse is worse than isolated abuse.  Some argue that overt abuse is worse than covert abuse.  Some argue that physical abuse is worse than psychological abuse.  Yet it is all bad to the person being abused.     PART SEVEN.  Tactics of oppression and injustice.  (1) Examples of political oppression.  Deny the vote.  Deny them political office and power.  (2) Examples of economic oppression.  Deny them jobs.  (3) Examples of social oppression.  Exclusion from clubs.  Unfriendliness. Deny them common respect and decency.  Deny them quality education.     PART EIGHT.  What is most important is the history.  If we take a static snapshot of the current situation things may not look so bad.  But to really see what is going on one must understand how a history of injustice can undermine a person's self-esteem, economic chances, and political power.  A static photo does not tell you about a person.  A static snapshot does not tell you about a culture.  ---  1/1/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Prejudice and bigotry.  Definitions, types, causes, mechanism, cures.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Racial discrimination exists.  Racial discrimination is wrong.  The United States has a history of racial discrimination, oppression an exploitation.  ---  5/10/2005

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Reasons people feel superior to others depends on what they value: genetics, race, physical appearance, mental ability, they work harder, religion, feel more ethical, sex, age, combos of above.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Snobs.  (1) Reading snobs think they are better than you because they read while you watch television or surf the Internet.  (2) Travel snobs think they are better than you because they have traveled more.  (3) Language snobs think they are better than you because they speak more languages than you.  (4) College snobs think they are better than you because they went to a better college than you. (5) Money snobs think they are better than you because they are richer than you.  (6) Art snobs think they are better than you because they go to more gallery openings than you.  (7) Intelligence snobs think they are better than you because they have a higher IQ.  (8) Beauty snobs think they are better than you because they are prettier.  (9) Tech snobs think they are better than you because they have more gadgets.  ---  6/8/2002

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  The Darwinian drive to survive and reproduce, to protect one's genes, yields the phenomena of kinship, which yields tribalism, which yields prejudice, which is a wariness and animosity towards those not your kin or in your tribe, even if its just an ideological tribe.  ---  11/20/2001

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  There is a model of a specific type of socio-pathology that we call "the master-slave relationship".  It is a power relationship.  It is a political relationship.  Real life examples include:  Landlord and tenant.  Boss and subordinate worker.  Imperialist colonialist and native indigenous peoples.  Parent and child.  Teacher and student.  Dictator and masses.  Upper rank officer and lower rank enlisted man.  Banker and lender.  And they all often use the "Its for your own good" excuse.  ---  3/29/2000

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Three definitions.  (1) Discrimination: To treat unequally.  (2) Prejudice: To stereotype.  (3) Bigotry: To think oneself superior.  ---  1/1/2000

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  Tolerance for different.  How, how much, and why you think you are better and someone else is worse.  ---  12/30/1992

Sociology, discrimination.  ---  We fear the different because we do not understand the different.  Ignorance is not bliss.  Ignorance is fear, suspicion, mistrust and paranoia, which turn into anger and hatred.  ---  6/8/2001

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.