Curiousity is more fundamental than rivalry.

Bryce Platt boplatt at primenet.com
Sun Apr 16 13:49:51 EST 1995


In article <134311Z16041995 at anon.penet.fi> an175779 at anon.penet.fi (Poor Richard) writes:
>From: an175779 at anon.penet.fi (Poor Richard)
>Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 13:37:09 UTC
>Subject: Curiousity is more fundamental than rivalry.


>Poor Richard has been writing on many of these newsgroups on the subject
>of the lack of ethics in Science.  Poor Richard believes there are no
>ethics in Science.  Poor Richard thinks that Scientists are no better
>than car mechanics in this regard, believing that if a car mechanic
>isn't closely watched, he will chisel you, and that Scientists are no better.

>The question of what to do about all these bad ethics will be taken up later.

>For now, let us examine the fundamental psychological hypothesis that
>CURIOUSITY is more basic than RIVALRY.

>What we call IRRITABILITY in biology, one of the fundamental properties
>of life, ontogenetically preceeds almost every other reflex.  We observe
>IRRITABILITY before almost any other behaviors that characterize living
>organisms.

>In humans, "failure to thrive" is a well known cause of death among newborns.
>Without tactile, visual and auditory stimuli, even with adequate nutritional
>and hygenic needs met, infants do not survive.

"Failure to thrive" has a medically-based,meaning, there is a 
problem with the infant's physiology, not his socialization. I will agree that 
infant socialization (the "tactile, visual and auditory stimuli" you describe 
above) will affect the growth and development of an infant, but "failure to 
thrive" is another condition altogether and it is meaningless to use it in 
this context.
BTW, I've also seen adults who have suffered from "failure to thrive".

>So, this kind of stimulation is an absolute prerequisite for human life.

A rather sweeping statement.

>Poor Richard contends that IRRITABILITY represents a primitive form of
>CURIOUSITY.

I dunno here. The usual definition of irritability ususally means the ability 
to interact with the outside environment. I would rather think that curiosity 
would entail a 'high level of nervouse system'. Amoeba are irritable, but I've 
never heard ANYBODY call an amoeba curious.

>Rivalry, on the other hand, makes its appearance later during ontogenesis,
>at a time when the establishment of the individual personality recognizes
>needs outside of himself/herself, and when there may be a competition
>for scarce resources (such as love, attention, recognition etc.).
>In family psychodynamics, rivalry is usually thought of in terms of
>siblings, but as the good Dr. Freud pointed out, the rivalry between
>a child and one of its parents is normal in the course of human development
>and must be properly resolved in order for normal development to occur.

>Digressions aside, the purpose of this short essay was to demonstrate
>the hierarchical transcendance of curiousity over rivalry and QED,
>Poor Richard believes he has accomplished his goal.

Actually, Poor Richard hasnt D'd ane QEs here (Sorry. He hasn't demonstrated 
anything here.). Poor Richard has (poorly) delineated a philosophy using 
disparate areas of science. If this is leading to a point, I do wish Poor 
Richard would get there.

>The implications os this distinction in a quest to restore ethics to
>Science will be the subject of a later essay.

>----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>To find out more about the anon service, send mail to help at anon.penet.fi.
>If you reply to this message, your message WILL be *automatically* anonymized
>and you are allocated an anon id. Read the help file to prevent this.
>Please report any problems, inappropriate use etc. to admin at anon.penet.fi.

I find it really Really REALLY hard to give any great credance to some dweeb 
who lurks in anonynymity only to jump up and snipe at a group. Kinda shows 
Poor Richard lacks the convictions of his tenets.

Bryce




More information about the Neur-sci mailing list