This week's book giveaways are in the Jython/Python and Object-Oriented programming forums.
We're giving away four copies each of Machine Learning for Business: Using Amazon SageMaker and Jupyter and Object Design Style Guide and have the authors on-line!
See this thread and this one for details.
Win a copy of Machine Learning for Business: Using Amazon SageMaker and JupyterE this week in the Jython/Python forum
or Object Design Style Guide in the Object-Oriented programming forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Paul Clapham
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Knute Snortum
Sheriffs:
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Tim Cooke
  • Junilu Lacar
Saloon Keepers:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Joe Ess
  • salvin francis
  • fred rosenberger

Towards a better Society

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I lived in Orlando, FL, a few years ago there was a real controversy when a public school considered the idea of having a class that would teach something about the "superiority" of US society. They quickly back pedaled on the idea and I never found out all the details, but it raises some interesting questions. Not long ago, I think Norway was actually voted the best place to live but I didn't catch all the details on that either.
Are some societies superior to others? By what criteria? Why are they superior? If there are some factors that encourage superiority, shouldn't we encourage and do more to promote them in our schools and society? Is this idea really contrary to multi-culturalism?
A possible first step would be to classify various types of societies and then observe migration patterns between them over long periods of time taking into account wars, famines, difficulty of immigration, politically based travel restrictions, etc. Could we say that those types of socities where people want to leave them are inferior, and those that most people want to immigrate to are superior? How would you (or should you) isolate the different effects of culture, geography, history, economics, politics, technology, etc from one another?
To me, it seems as if some societies are superior. There are some societies that are clearly more politically and economically unstable over long periods of time; where life expectancy is lower, living standards are lower, opportunity for progress lower, etc,etc
 
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The problem is defining what makes a society superior. You would have to name each specific aspect of that society and compare aspects. Even then you would never get agreement on what is superior.
Is Monet superior to Rembrandt?? So is French society then superior to Italian based on that? Everyone KNOWS that Paris is the place to be (if you are an artist)
Is Art superior to science?? So do the haunting chants of Africa make them superior to America because we can't get past technology?
The best that you can do is study the best of EACH society and learn from them.
And migration is a silly criteria for deciding superiority. Everyone KNOWS that moths are drawn toward the light which kills them. People are not much better.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 95
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


moths are drawn toward the light which kills them. People are not much better.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Liked this and will remember it for the rest of my life.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
The problem is defining what makes a society superior. You would have to name each specific aspect of that society and compare aspects. Even then you would never get agreement on what is superior.


I think we can get a surprising amount of agreement on this senstive issue by just approaching it from a slightly different angle.
Let's start with "Has any human society ever made any progress?" If we can answer that with a yes, then we can look at what we mean by "progress" and then see what societies have made the most progress.
Let's start with the easy cases :
1. The average life expectancy at one point was about 21. Now it is much longer. I think we all can we agree that is a type of progress. So maybe life expectancy and health care are criteria we could use in judging societies.
2. Slavery in its most overt forms has been outlawed in all nations (although some rather recently). I think we all agree this was a good thing. So maybe freedom can be used as a criteria.
3. Javaranch is really cool and I think most people agree. The internet, the telephone, and other communication devices are great as well. I also like having electric light at night and a refrigerator. Can we all agree that at least a certain level of technology makes a society better?
I think "progress" exists and that certain societies have progressed more than others, hence some are superior to others. Some people maintain the degrees of progress amongst societies is purely random, others that it is related to some degree to the social institutions, culture, and everything else that makes up a society.


Is Monet superior to Rembrandt?? So is French society then superior to Italian based on that? Everyone KNOWS that Paris is the place to be (if you are an artist)



I'd be the last to argue the superiority of the French in anything
But really, are French and Italian societies so completely different in the context of comparing all the societies on Earth, both past and present? Or, do they share more in common by both being technologically advanced, Western industrialized nations with high standards of living? In the context of judging "superiority" or "progress" the differences between France and Italy are trivial.


Is Art superior to science?? So do the haunting chants of Africa make them superior to America because we can't get past technology?


Its not an either/or decision here. More relevant may be which society allows the greatest degree of artistic expression? Or is that just an aspect of freedom also?


The best that you can do is study the best of EACH society and learn from them.


Yes, learning what each society does best is good. Also to learn why as well, and why some may doing a whole group of things best as opposed to just a few things.


And migration is a silly criteria for deciding superiority. Everyone KNOWS that moths are drawn toward the light which kills them. People are not much better.


Migration is always a risky, disruptive, and often costly affair. Most people don't undertake it without good reasons.
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
Is Monet superior to Rembrandt?? So is French society then superior to Italian based on that?

Rembrandt was from Holland.
 
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Of course - Silly me :roll: Just substitute in Michaelangelo or whoever. .
And Herb. You leave an vast area to argue, if I had the energy. All of your statements are based on your prior suposition that your way is the better way. What if it is NOT.
What if a shorter lifespan with better inner quality of life is superior to a longer lifespan in a technological whirl?
What if advanced technology is the very thing that is going to prevent societies from coming to learn their true potential spiritually, and is therefore a detriment?
Based on the migration theory, the inner city societies are superior to the rural communities because LOTS of people have migrated there. That MUST mean that gang life is superior to farm life.
I fear that your prejudices are built into your statements that you are sure that we can all agree on.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
Of course - Silly me :roll: Just substitute in Michaelangelo or whoever. .
And Herb. You leave an vast area to argue, if I had the energy. All of your statements are based on your prior suposition that your way is the better way. What if it is NOT.


This is no simple or easy matter but its important enough to try to address in a systematic and logical manner. I tried to leave my personal preferences out of it to some degree by suggesting using a limited and carefully controlled regression analysis of migration patterns taking into account various factors. This has problems of course but that doesn't mean there are no methods that can be used. There are no doubt other methods that will no doubt suggest that most humans have preferences for certain types of societies rather than others.
Cindy, it seems as if you are threatened by this idea? But don't you think most women would not want to live in a Taliban type society? Or given the choice of chosing any type society, would even most men?
Do you not think it is possible people leave one society to join another society they think is superior? Why are immigration patterns so drastically skewed in one direction throughout the world; from third world to first world nations? Don't most people prefer living in our present time period rather than in a society from the past?
Would most humans want to live in a pre-historic society or now? Would most people prefer to live in an era when slavery is accepted or now? Cindy, are you saying that a slave based society is not inferior to a more free society ??? If so, that would seem to show you accept slavery; if not, then maybe freedom is a criteria for judging which societies are better.
I know this violates canons of sociology and PCness, but why can't we admit the obviuous simple truth that, at least sometimes, some societies are clearly more advanced or better than others?



What if a shorter lifespan with better inner quality of life is superior to a longer lifespan in a technological whirl?


I believe some societies allow individuals greater choices in how they want to live their lives in regards to the choices you present above. Those societies I would call superior since more people would be able find the level at which they prefer to balance "whirl" and "inner quality".
But actually your choices present a false dichomety; you can have techno whirl, long life, and good inner quality of life all at the same time. Does using the internet or posting on Javaranch destroy your "inner life"?


What if advanced technology is the very thing that is going to prevent societies from coming to learn their true potential spiritually, and is therefore a detriment?


Again, you set up a popular, though false, dichomety. Technology does not have to hinder spirituality. Who feels spiritually hinderd by the internet? More importantly, who feels more unity and connectedness with more of humanity because of the internet???


Based on the migration theory, the inner city societies are superior to the rural communities because LOTS of people have migrated there. That MUST mean that gang life is superior to farm life.
[QB]


I thought the suburbs had grown at a faster rate than the inner cities becuase of migration???
But in any event people migrate because they think they are leaving an inferior situation to a superior one, correct???
[QB]


I fear that your prejudices are built into your statements that you are sure that we can all agree on.


I'm leaving it open to debate with many open ended questions. No doubt I do have prejudices, like everyone else on Earth, but I am aware of them and willing to listen to sound arguments posted here on javaranch.
In my opinion, the problem is that societies can go decay, go backwards, and regress. Pretending that it can't happen because there is no such thing as regression makes it easier to occur.

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:
......


You are talking abt society or nation ???
WHat I see a nation can have number of societies. Society is not bound by political boundries.
And whatever you discussed is related to money not to society.
>>But don't you think most women would not want to live in a Taliban type society?
So what you think?? Most women want to marry thrice? (I beg pardon, but this is the picture of west, and I know all are wrong. When you can have picture that in muslim countries woman have no right,which is not true, I would also like to tell world's picture about women in this society)
>>Why are immigration patterns so drastically skewed in one direction throughout the world; from third world to first world nations?
Its about money. What the heck made you think that it has something related to society ??
>>Would most humans want to live in a pre-historic society
Society changes with time based on the advancement made in the world.
>>Would most people prefer to live in an era when slavery is accepted.
Get some people of that TIME, he wil be best person to answer.
>>some societies are clearly more advanced or better than others?
are you confused with nation & society ??
Society-society differs... for some society naked beach is right but for some it could be wrong.
You can not say that this society is wrong because what your society is doing they are not doing.
Finally its YOU. If you think this is good, that is good. If you think thats bad, thats bad.
You cant run from your own shadow.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:

You are talking abt society or nation ???
WHat I see a nation can have number of societies. Society is not bound by political boundries.


The term I've used overwhelmingly here is "society". Its a rather broad term with multiple possible meanings. As I use it, it refers to the whole social organization and all its components including political organization.
So, in this sense , there can be different societies sharing the same culture living side by side, but diferring by economic/political organization and hence be different societies.
As an example take East/West Germany in the 1970's. Same people, radically different societies. Or North/South Korea. Or Taiwain/China. Same people, differeent political/economic structure, different societies, yet with common cultural/ethnic heritage. As you notice in those examples as well, the pattern of attempted migration is skewed in one direction also. Most people do feel
that some societies are superior to others. Why risk your life, as millions have done, to escape from communist countries? Why do people have revolutions, isn't it to change their society and make it better? I thought we would have been able to get past this point of the debate a long time ago....


And whatever you discussed is related to money not to society.


"Society", social Organization, economics/politics, etc, influence the relative poverty/wealth of a nation. Most people generally prefer wealth to poverty all other things being equal. I agree with you : Millions of people immigrate soley for the chance to escape poverty. Obviously this criteria was important enough for them to leave loved ones and a loved country behind and take great risks at a great cost (their lives often). Their society they were leaving had failed to satisfy an important need. A tremendously important need or else they would not have left everything else behind. Is it not simple to see that they "voted with their feet" as to which society is superior for them? My point is that there is a broad agreement in many cases as to how people vote. Most humans do not flee a wealthy, stable, and free society to live in a poor, less free, unstable society. This broad agreement is what determines "superior" in my discussion for now.


>>But don't you think most women would not want to live in a Taliban type society?
So what you think?? Most women want to marry thrice? (I beg pardon, but this is the picture of west, and I know all are wrong. When you can have picture that in muslim countries woman have no right,which is not true, I would also like to tell world's picture about women in this society)


Under the Taliban women had few rights. No education, arranged/forced marriages at 12 years old (and younger), and a million petty and not so petty rules restricting their general freedom and rights in society. Many women risked punishment to attend secret schools and in many other ways indicated they did like repressive Taliban society. The Taliban, an ignorant, repressive, corrupt regime that impoverished its people, is a perfect example of a backward regression of a society. In fact, ignorance was a virtue there and the holy men rulers had pride in having read only one book their entire life.


>>Why are immigration patterns so drastically skewed in one direction throughout the world; from third world to first world nations?
Its about money. What the heck made you think that it has something related to society ??
.


Yeh, some societies are superior at creating wealth, while others condemn their members to crushing, ignoble poverty.


>>Would most humans want to live in a pre-historic society
Society changes with time based on the advancement made in the world.


My point is that societies do advance and progress as well. People prefer to live in advanced (superior) societies. Who wants to abandon the internet, give up their freedom, or live in poverty? Some societies are better than others in nearly all respects. My real point is
not that there is superiority, although this must be made first, but the why.
.


>>Would most people prefer to live in an era when slavery is accepted.
Get some people of that TIME, he wil be best person to answer.
.


All over the world , people of "that time" decided to get rid of slavery since we no longer have it now. So that answers your question. Also, people now have not gone back to using slaves; do you think there is a reason for that?
.


>>some societies are clearly more advanced or better than others?
are you confused with nation & society ??
.


I explained my position clearly.
 
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy, it seems as if you are threatened by this idea?


I have not said a word about my personal opinions yet. All that I have said is that you have not yet set a basis for discussion that I would agree with. If you start out on such shakey premises the conclusions are going to be all skewed.
I personally am not particualary "zen" in my approach to life, but I can see that there are MANY folks who are, and who would radically disagree with most of your statements that you say we can all agree on.
 
R K Singh
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I explained my position clearly......


>>people of "that time" decided to get rid of slavery since we no longer have it now
So you want to say that whatever happend is because of society will. Then you are wrong.
I wont take India-Pak example, but you can take east/west German. Now they are united but before that can you say that it was the will of society?
Take the latest example, Hongkong does not want to go with China but it has to.
My point is that *sometimes* society *has to* adopt changes.
And how much is my knowledge abt US history, till govt did not make rule/law, slavary was there. So it was *imposed*, not adopted by society. For which you can feel proud. and I am 100% sure that if u get a man from that age who had servants, he would not like your idea. For him that society was best. Nothing wrong, he had money and he was buying people. A man can kill a man but cant buy and make him live.
>> there can be different societies sharing the same culture living side by side, but diferring by economic/political organization and hence be different societies.
Here I am done.
And what I have found from your talks, you want to migrate for much more money. Nothing wrong in it.
But my problem is that I cant mix society and political boundries. You can. Our definitions are differnet.
I wish you all the best for search of best society.
I wish you get better society than yours.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:

>>people of "that time" decided to get rid of slavery since we no longer have it now
So you want to say that whatever happend is because of society will.


The only point I was aiming at is amazingly simple, but let me try again : There are some things that most humans can agree make a society better. As an example I said most people agree that slavery is not a good thing. Every nation has now outlawed it. Other things also most people agree on is that living a disease ridden life in poverty doing nothing but back breaking manual labor without electricity or any hope of a better future is not the preffered way to live. Some societies offer more choices and better choices for how each person can live their life.
Why do some societies offer better choices and more choices to their members? Why are some societies more advanced than others? Why are some societies wealthier than others?
Some people say the answers to those questions are merely due to historical or geographic accident. Because of the examples of various nations given earlier I think it is clear that the political/economic and/or other factors of social organization play an important role.
Now, from what I know of the social sciences, most have the credo that all societies are equal.
Yet, if this is so, why are immigration patterns skewed in one direction; from 3rd world to the more developed countries? It would seem most people don't really believe this creed. So why not study the best ways to organize society using a few simple standards?



Then you are wrong.
I wont take India-Pak example, but you can take east/west German. Now they are united but before that can you say that it was the will of society?
Take the latest example, Hongkong does not want to go with China but it has to.
My point is that *sometimes* society *has to* adopt changes.


No sane person disputes your inane point that societies sometimes have change due to external factors. My simple point is that sometimes most people can agree that some changes are good and that they don't want to go back to a prior way of organizing a society. See the slavery example.


And how much is my knowledge abt US history, till govt did not make rule/law, slavary was there. So it was *imposed*, not adopted by society.
For which you can feel proud. and I am 100% sure that if u get a man from that age who had servants, he would not like your idea. For him that society was best.


But my point is that MOST people can agree on at least a few things on what makes a society better. Very, very few people ever owned slaves at any time in US histoy.



Nothing wrong, he had money and he was buying people. A man can kill a man but cant buy and make him live.
>> there can be different societies sharing the same culture living side by side, but diferring by economic/political organization and hence be different societies.
Here I am done.
And what I have found from your talks, you want to migrate for much more money. Nothing wrong in it.
But my problem is that I cant mix society and political boundries. You can. Our definitions are differnet.


Again, my point is my personal preferences, but that MOST people have certain preferences for a better society. Few people believe a society would be better if its members are ignorant, poor, diesaes ridden, die young, and have few choices in life. Some socities are better than others in this regard. MOST people will agree those socities are better.


I wish you all the best for search of best society.
I wish you get better society than yours.


The question is what factors make a society better. Why not use our minds to find this answer rather than deny that some socities are not better than others??
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
Everyone KNOWS that moths are drawn toward the light which kills them. People are not much better.



The city where I was born is composed of about 1/2 foreign born immigrants attracted by the Light of which you speak. Most are from South America and the Carribean, with small but increasing numbers from Nigeria and Asia. There are even a few elderly ones with tatoos from their time spent in Nazi death camps. Many left behind family, loved ones, and everything they have ever known. This Light causes many to risk their lives and not a week goes by without the Coast Guard intercepting dangerously overloaded boats on the verge of capsizing from Haiti, Cuba, and other nations. Some from Cuba actually drift with the ocean current on car tire tubes. Dehydration, drownings, exposure, and sharks claim their toll. Occasionally, dead bodies wash up on shore as evidence of what is happening almost every night. Truly the Light is deadly, and the people know that, yet they still come, night after night. Although it is cute to call other people stupid and sneer at them as you have by comparing them to moths, I choose to remember the ones who have died as human beings seeking a better life.

At least in the region where I live there is a funny thing about the deadly Light. Those who arrive seem to be strengthened by it over time, rather than killed. Stranger yet, they bring over their families left behind in their native lands, so that they too can be bathed in the strange light. Worse yet, the Light has an addictive quality, few ever return to their native lands to live again after having been hooked on the Light.
But after a number of generations it seems as if the effects of the Light are reduced in some descendents. They begin to claim the Light is not so good after all. To them, Light and Darkness become equal and they teach their children in schools to have a balanced viewpoint towards Light and Dark. Some of them become elected and even propose that the Light needs to be dimmed for it is too bright. And in the end, the Light does indeed become dimmer.
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:

I personally am not particualary "zen" in my approach to life, but I can see that there are MANY folks who are, and who would radically disagree with most of your statements that you say we can all agree on.


I never suggested agreement by all, only by most. And when I say "most" I only mean most of the rational people. Zen is not known for its rationality, but on the contrary is famous for its irrational koans and for making the mind blank. Koans and blank minds will never help us organize society, but are instead a pefect recipe for chaos, anarchy, and social regression.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by herb slocomb:

I never suggested agreement by all, only by most. And when I say "most" I only mean most of the rational people. Zen is not known for its rationality, but on the contrary is famous for its irrational koans and for making the mind blank. Koans and blank minds will never help us organize society, but are instead a pefect recipe for chaos, anarchy, and social regression.



I think we can agree on one thing: a decent education will help people organize society.
The true backbone of US is the harding working people. They get their food honestly, make profit for the company, pay tax to the government, which makes United States a great country. The hard-working people are humble, but they won respect.
One thing I would suggest to anyone who was not satisfied with their situation is: calm down, never waste time, better yourself, get a better education for your kids. Of course, there ia always other ways...
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <Michigan Alumini>:

I think we can agree on one thing: a decent education will help people organize society.


I agree, and in order for the education to be "decent" I think some of the questions raised here in this post should have been considered. Otherwise how would anyone know anything about how a society should be organized?
Unfortunately, these topics do cause some controversy as I pointed out in my original post, so most educational institutions avoid these questions to avoid controversy.
 
R K Singh
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:
......my point is that MOST people..........


I dont believe in number game.
There are 100 things I can give you example which are doen by thinking of MOST people and all are blunder
So you think that there is a society which says dont go for medical, dont get education ... and whatever your points are of better society.
For US, some days back someone condemning job scenario of US that if you know some bigshot in company then only you can get job in US.
I have never been in US, would love to be there, just to see the people there. Because for me everywhere people are same. And how much I have could make out of Hollywood (Yes, I know 90% is false but still litrature is mirror of society) nothing is diffrent from here.
I just watch foreign films to know their culture. Yes I watch movies even without english subtitles.
AW I again wish you all the best for your search of better society.
When you get it please do tell me what you get there.
AW I make my own society.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:

I dont believe in number game.
There are 100 things I can give you example which are doen by thinking of MOST people and all are blunder


How many rational people would claim that no society on earth has ever progressed or become better over any period of time? Or that it is impossible for any society to improve ever? If that were the case, then no society would even bothering establishing a government or other social structures. If we can accept as a fact that societies can progress, then we can isolate those factors that distinguish a backward society from a more advanced one. As a starting point we would not need complete acceptance on every single factor, we could start on those that all agree on. I believe rational people can come to agreement on some fundamental, basic factors.


So you think that there is a society which says dont go for medical, dont get education ... and whatever your points are of better society.


Are you trying to agree with me that there are some factors we can use to judge whether some societies are better than others? Excellent!!!
Obviously some societies are much more advanced in the educational opportunities they offer their members. For example the Taliban denied half of its population any education. Also in Afghan society now women in remote villages dying at an astonishing rate while giving birth. Furthermore, their men disapprove of their women being treated by other men who are strangers.


For US, some days back someone condemning job scenario of US that if you know some bigshot in company then only you can get job in US.


It helps to know bigshots in any society, but I have never known one yet I still work and change jobs. In any event I am not talking about US society exclusively.


AW I make my own society.


How do you organize your society?
 
R K Singh
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5390
1
Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:

How do you organize your society?


Live for yourself and worry only about yourself .....
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In a nutshell, here's what I'm driving at:
1. Societies can advance over time.
2. Societies advance at different rates.
3. The economc, political, cultural, and other social institutions of a society can influence its rate of progress.
4. We can identify some of those political , cultural, economic, and other social factors that influence progress.
5. We should promote those basic factors that contribute to progress in our schools to avoid an electorate that is easily demogoged and that could led to policies being adopted that retard progress or lead to its regression.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Live for yourself and worry only about yourself .....


Compare and contrast: South Korea and North Korea were both devastated by a war fought in their countries for 4 years. In 1955, the infrastructure of both countries were non-existent. Forty years later, South Korea was a world manufacturing leader with very little poverty. North Korea was a poor, poverty stricken nation. What lessons can be learned from the events on the Korean peninsula? Compare the growth of South Korea, a land with few natural resources, to the growth of countries in the Arab world, rich in natural resources. Question: Does obsession with conquest destroy a country's ability to grow? North Korea has been obsessed with re-conquering South Korea while South Korea has shown no interest in taking over North Korea. What does this teach us? Does this have implications for other parts of the world? Question: Do leaders use territorial claims to stir up their population in order to hide their own incompetence?
 
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My main problem with "progress" is it isn't linear. Look at Russia. Communists got a country where most of population was illiterate, health care - ha... As the output there was fast developing country with free education (including college education) and free medical assistance. Too bad it quickly progressed to nowhere. From what I read, open market is expected to correlate positively with all goods under the Sun, but then, there is Latin America... I am ready to agree with ME cynical "be in right place at right time" explanation applied to countries.
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
My main problem with "progress" is it isn't linear.


My point exactly. We need to identify the factors that influence progress or else we risk adopting policies that casuse society to stagnate or regress.


Look at Russia. Communists got a country where most of population was illiterate, health care - ha... As the output there was fast developing country with free education (including college education) and free medical assistance. Too bad it quickly progressed to nowhere.


There are different ways to make progress and some are better than others. Take into account the millions who were murdered by Soviet leaders or died in the Gulags. Communism has always had an exceptionally bloody history wherever it has been instituted. And for all the blood that was shed overall living standards were nearly always lower than those of developed free market socities.


From what I read, open market is expected to correlate positively with all goods under the Sun, but then, there is Latin America...


A free market is only one factor of a society. There must also be other social, cultural, and
political insitutions to support the free market.
Again, this is why all factors must be identified that contribute to progress. In Russia after the Soviets, there were not social factors to support the emergence of the free market and it was a failure.


I am ready to agree with ME cynical "be in right place at right time" explanation applied to countries.


But we have so many examples of countries were this is not true as I gave earlier.
 
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:
In a nutshell, here's what I'm driving at:
1. Societies can advance over time.
2. Societies advance at different rates.
3. The economc, political, cultural, and other social institutions of a society can influence its rate of progress.
4. We can identify some of those political , cultural, economic, and other social factors that influence progress.
5. We should promote those basic factors that contribute to progress in our schools to avoid an electorate that is easily demogoged and that could led to policies being adopted that retard progress or lead to its regression.


Isn't that what politics is all about?
Promoting those things that you feel will improve the society that you live in?

So I figure that you are going to get about as much agreement as your normal run of the mill conversation on politics. :roll:
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2823
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No politics is about winning and keeping power.
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:

Isn't that what politics is all about?
Promoting those things that you feel will improve the society that you live in?

So I figure that you are going to get about as much agreement as your normal run of the mill conversation on politics. :roll:



Paul Stevens has a point. Many politicians and special interest groups are not interested in the truth on these matters, they are interested in short term gain for themselves. They manage to demogogue the electorate , hence the importance of public education on the basic issues that effect the betterment of society. I think its possible to reach some consensus on the betterment of society and objectively study cause and effect relationships between societal organizations and how societies progress. I could be wrong , but sociologists probably could have some input on this although it seems to me most them want to remain objective and hence refuse to say one society is better than another. Thus they are almost useless.
 
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In order to attempt to define one society as superior to another, wouldn't we first have to agree on what the goals of societies in general are, and then think about how those goals are best reached?
For example, if one purpose of society is to protect its members, then the society which is best able to provide this protection is superior in this aspect. Now of course we know that societies serve many purposes, of which protection is only one. Education, health, welfare, productivity, quality of life, opportunity, birth rate, freedom, and a myriad of other factors also must be accounted for. So then I guess the ideal society would be that which achieves some desirable balance between all these factors (maximizing protection would likely minimize freedom for example).
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2545
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:

Isn't that what politics is all about?
Promoting those things that you feel will improve the society that you live in?


Well, office politics sometimes did improve the survivability in a company.
But I think smart managers should not allow that; smart employees are reluctant to do that; only stupid employees have to do that, they have no other ways to make a living
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
In order to attempt to define one society as superior to another, wouldn't we first have to agree on what the goals of societies in general are, and then think about how those goals are best reached?
For example, if one purpose of society is to protect its members, then the society which is best able to provide this protection is superior in this aspect. Now of course we know that societies serve many purposes, of which protection is only one. Education, health, welfare, productivity, quality of life, opportunity, birth rate, freedom, and a myriad of other factors also must be accounted for. So then I guess the ideal society would be that which achieves some desirable balance between all these factors (maximizing protection would likely minimize freedom for example).


The difficulty, and this is what the other posters on this thread were getting at, is that there may be no ideal society because of normal individual variations and preferences. I'm not 100% certain on that point. My simpler point was that there was some mix of basic factors, such as some of the ones you mentioned above, that everyone can agree have at least some importance. Furthermore, some societies, admittedly the extreme cases, do everything better based on those basic factors than others. Now at this stage I don't think we've gone quite so far as establishing goals of society since we haven't specified an ideal mix; although it is very similar.
Now at first glance it seems that not much can be gained from studying the extreme cases, and not setting goals, especially when most of us here do not live in the extreme worst socities. But I think that establishing the foundation that some societies are better than others opens doors of perception that have been closed shut by the PC police. Culture does matter and have an impact on whether we live in a better or worse society. I'm not for censorship, but the mass media can have an impact on society. The impact can be pernicious on our quality of life and I would rather that people be aware of it.
Apathy is the worst thing. People believing that
it makes no difference what happens to the politics, economics, laws, culture, or other social institutions in our society. The belief that every society is equal to every other society contributes to that apathy in a way.
If I had to postulate an ideal society it would based on liberty. People would be free to contribute to their mutual protection , education, etc, as they saw fit and as they recognized to be in their own best mutual interestes.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read something close to your idea in an interview with Francis Fukuyama for "World Link", Jan-Feb. 1996, but it was a translation1, and I couldn't find English version on the Internet. But this text is close enough: Social Capital and Civil Society.
-------------------
1) I found it in "Library of Russian Patriots" (not quite correct translation, but close) in the section "Enemies".
 
frank davis
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1479
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I read something close to your idea in an interview with Francis Fukuyama for "World Link", Jan-Feb. 1996, but it was a translation1, and I couldn't find English version on the Internet. But this text is close enough: Social Capital and Civil Society.
-------------------
1) I found it in "Library of Russian Patriots" (not quite correct translation, but close) in the section "Enemies".



Excellent link to a consise but good overview on a social factor called "social capital" (which relates to trust between people). Is this one factor (of several) why capitalism "failed" in Russia? Did communism also destroy "social capital" ?
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The article claims exactly this, and I must admit this idea has significant explanatory power. Not sure this is the main factor, but it can explain a lot.
 
I once met a man from Nantucket. He had a tiny ad
Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
https://products.aspose.com/total/java
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!