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Author Topic: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea  (Read 58237 times)

solicitor

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #80 on: May 26, 2007, 05:37:43 AM »

As events unfolded, Einstein left Germany for the US in 1933, and Freud left Austria for England in 1938. Einstein found himself drawn into doing what he most dreaded. Fearing that Nazi scientists would develop an atomic bomb, he helped to initiate the Manhattan Project. [...]


Someone please enlighten me as to why this guy was not a creep ..


Well, I've read that the atomic bomb related work that Einstein did was very limited and he completed it in 2 days during December 1941. Vannevar Bush, who was coordinating the scientific work on the h-bomb at that time, asked Einstein's advice on a theoretical problem involved in separating fissionable material by gaseous diffusion. He was never asked to participate.


I do not buy the "very limited H-bomb work-related" thing -- the guy participated in the Manhattan project, after all!

As for the socialist stuff you mention he believed in, well, he may have embraced the socialist ideal after he figured he's be judged as a 'bastard' by the world once the US of A dropped the H-bombs ...

interestoninterest

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Re: Einstein: Socialist of the Century
« Reply #81 on: May 26, 2007, 11:37:23 PM »

As for the socialist stuff you mention he believed in, well, he may have embraced the socialist ideal after he figured he's be judged as a 'bastard' by the world once the US of A dropped the H-bombs ...


Can't you read here?


[...]

In 1934, he perceptively diagnosed the Great Depression as a result of the gap between workers' purchasing power and the productive-technical powers of capital.

[...]

"I regard class distinctions as unjustified, and, in the last resort, based on force," he wrote in 1931.


regulus

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #82 on: May 28, 2007, 04:05:10 AM »
LOL interest! ;)

bigotlaw

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #83 on: May 29, 2007, 02:17:34 AM »

As for the socialist stuff you mention he believed in, well, he may have embraced the socialist ideal after he figured he's be judged as a 'bastard' by the world once the US of A dropped the H-bombs ...


Even if that's the case, what's wrong with that? It is only natural that one's political beliefs are formed with the passing of time, as he has intense life experiences that cannot but shape the way he thinks?

aut Caesar aut nihil

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #84 on: June 07, 2007, 07:29:12 AM »

unfortunately, easier said than done :-[


Exactly! Economic reforms may play a role of importance in attempting to defeat the death instinct on a social level, but no reform can end aggression; only deflate it and allow civilization to continue without the nihilistic ourbursts of war.

For Freud, for instance, individuals are by nature aggressive. His theory of aggression is imbedded in his psychoanalytic theories. The theory of aggression is derived from two themes: the relations between the id, ego, and superego, and the conflict between the life instinct -- Eros -- and the death instinct -- Thanatos. Individuals are born with -- as -- an \'id\', raw desire for satisfaction and pleasure. But not all desires can be satisfied, especially for an infant. And desires must be satisfied by following some process; fulfillment is not automatic. So the id develops, for its satisfaction in light of reality, an \'ego\' -- the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world through the medium of the [perceptual consciousness]... seeking to bring the influence of the external world to bear upon the id and its tendencies, and endeavours to substitute the reality principle for the pleasure principle which reigns unrestrictedly in the id. The ego remains, in a sense, part of the id, but it has concerns other than wish-fulfillment; it seeks to gratify the id in the context of what is possible in reality.

The development of the \'superego\' is more complicated; the superego is generated through the Oedipus complex. At a very early age the little boy develops an object-cathexis for his mother, which originally related to the mother\'s breast... the boy deals with his father by identifying himself with him... until the boy\'s sexual wishes in regard to his mother become more intense and his father is perceived as an obstacle to them... His identification with his father... changes into a wish to get rid of his father in order to take his place with his mother. The child is ambivalent about his father: he wants both to be him, and to kill him. To resolve this crisis, the child uses the strength derived from identification with the father to forbid himself to seek that which is his father\'s domain -- that is, the mother. This self-forbidding creates the superego, which always exists in regard to the ego as a father to a child: dominant and prohibitory. Since the restrictions exercised on the child by the father are almost invariably the moral injunctions of the society, other moral authorities inform the superego in its attempt to police the ego. These become one\'s morals, which are then passed to one\'s children.

But the id, ego, and superego are only the channelers of forces. The forces themselves, the life and death instincts, are the second part of the story: we put forward the death instinct, the task of which is to lead organic life back into the inanimate state; on the other hand, we suppose that [the life instinct], by bringing about a more a more far-reaching combination of the particles into which living substance is dispersed, aims at complicating life and at the same time, of course, of preserving it. The life instincts push the individual toward prior states of living matter; the death instinct pushes an individual toward a state prior to living matter. The life instinct provides the source of an individual\'s libido and drive for happiness, people strive after happiness, they want to become happy and to remain so. But the death instinct counters by providing the source of one\'s aggressive and violent tendencies: a portion of the death instinct is diverted towards the external world and comes to light as an instinct of aggressiveness and destructiveness. But the goal of the death instinct is not the destruction of things external to the organism, but the organism itself. So aggression and destruction are still aberrant.

However, in this way the instinct itself could be pressed into the service of Eros, in that the organism was destroying some other thing... rather than destroying its own self. Aggression is the death instinct controlled by Eros. While the death instinct seeks the destruction of the organism, the ego can redirect its force at an external object. But the force is not lessened thereby. It is but moved -- conversely, any restriction of this aggressiveness directed outwards would be bound to increase the self-destruction, which is in any case proceeding. The death instinct will destroy; the only question is what. Eros can direct it outwards for self-preservation.

But this is the problem. Eros also seeks to bring communities together; to increase the scale of cooperation -- civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Eros, then, drives toward happiness and a larger scale of cooperation, while the death instinct drives toward an individual\'s dissolution into inorganic matter. To maintain its happiness, the organism forces the destructive force outward, away from itself. But this violates the greater social order which Eros establishes. So the death instinct is forced back inwards as guilt -- the superego torments the sinful ego with the same feeling of anxiety and is on the watch for opportunities of getting it punished by the external world. But this will not do, for the ego wishes to satisfy the desires of the id, and so it redirects the aggression outward. If it fails to force the aggression outward, it bottles it up and may become neurotic, depressed, suicidal. It if fails to hold the aggression in, it will again be punished by the superego for having violated social norms, but here the superego has less force to project inwards. Because of this, one\'s neighbour is for one not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts one to satisfy one\'s aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.... This is the factor which disturbs our relations with our neighbour and which forces civilization into such a high expenditure of energy.
This is, for Freud, the explanation of war: a massive outpouring of the death instinct in organized group violence.

(n)either (n)or

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #85 on: June 09, 2007, 04:37:59 AM »

unfortunately, easier said than done :-[


Exactly! Economic reforms may play a role of importance in attempting to defeat the death instinct on a social level, but no reform can end aggression; only deflate it and allow civilization to continue without the nihilistic ourbursts of war.

For Freud, for instance, individuals are by nature aggressive. His theory of aggression is imbedded in his psychoanalytic theories. The theory of aggression is derived from two themes: the relations between the id, ego, and superego, and the conflict between the life instinct -- Eros -- and the death instinct -- Thanatos. Individuals are born with -- as -- an \'id\', raw desire for satisfaction and pleasure. But not all desires can be satisfied, especially for an infant. And desires must be satisfied by following some process; fulfillment is not automatic. So the id develops, for its satisfaction in light of reality, an \'ego\' -- the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world through the medium of the [perceptual consciousness]... seeking to bring the influence of the external world to bear upon the id and its tendencies, and endeavours to substitute the reality principle for the pleasure principle which reigns unrestrictedly in the id. The ego remains, in a sense, part of the id, but it has concerns other than wish-fulfillment; it seeks to gratify the id in the context of what is possible in reality.

The development of the \'superego\' is more complicated; the superego is generated through the Oedipus complex. At a very early age the little boy develops an object-cathexis for his mother, which originally related to the mother\'s breast... the boy deals with his father by identifying himself with him... until the boy\'s sexual wishes in regard to his mother become more intense and his father is perceived as an obstacle to them... His identification with his father... changes into a wish to get rid of his father in order to take his place with his mother. The child is ambivalent about his father: he wants both to be him, and to kill him. To resolve this crisis, the child uses the strength derived from identification with the father to forbid himself to seek that which is his father\'s domain -- that is, the mother. This self-forbidding creates the superego, which always exists in regard to the ego as a father to a child: dominant and prohibitory. Since the restrictions exercised on the child by the father are almost invariably the moral injunctions of the society, other moral authorities inform the superego in its attempt to police the ego. These become one\'s morals, which are then passed to one\'s children.

But the id, ego, and superego are only the channelers of forces. The forces themselves, the life and death instincts, are the second part of the story: we put forward the death instinct, the task of which is to lead organic life back into the inanimate state; on the other hand, we suppose that [the life instinct], by bringing about a more a more far-reaching combination of the particles into which living substance is dispersed, aims at complicating life and at the same time, of course, of preserving it. The life instincts push the individual toward prior states of living matter; the death instinct pushes an individual toward a state prior to living matter. The life instinct provides the source of an individual\'s libido and drive for happiness, people strive after happiness, they want to become happy and to remain so. But the death instinct counters by providing the source of one\'s aggressive and violent tendencies: a portion of the death instinct is diverted towards the external world and comes to light as an instinct of aggressiveness and destructiveness. But the goal of the death instinct is not the destruction of things external to the organism, but the organism itself. So aggression and destruction are still aberrant.

However, in this way the instinct itself could be pressed into the service of Eros, in that the organism was destroying some other thing... rather than destroying its own self. Aggression is the death instinct controlled by Eros. While the death instinct seeks the destruction of the organism, the ego can redirect its force at an external object. But the force is not lessened thereby. It is but moved -- conversely, any restriction of this aggressiveness directed outwards would be bound to increase the self-destruction, which is in any case proceeding. The death instinct will destroy; the only question is what. Eros can direct it outwards for self-preservation.

But this is the problem. Eros also seeks to bring communities together; to increase the scale of cooperation -- civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Eros, then, drives toward happiness and a larger scale of cooperation, while the death instinct drives toward an individual\'s dissolution into inorganic matter. To maintain its happiness, the organism forces the destructive force outward, away from itself. But this violates the greater social order which Eros establishes. So the death instinct is forced back inwards as guilt -- the superego torments the sinful ego with the same feeling of anxiety and is on the watch for opportunities of getting it punished by the external world. But this will not do, for the ego wishes to satisfy the desires of the id, and so it redirects the aggression outward. If it fails to force the aggression outward, it bottles it up and may become neurotic, depressed, suicidal. It if fails to hold the aggression in, it will again be punished by the superego for having violated social norms, but here the superego has less force to project inwards. Because of this, one\'s neighbour is for one not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts one to satisfy one\'s aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.... This is the factor which disturbs our relations with our neighbour and which forces civilization into such a high expenditure of energy.
This is, for Freud, the explanation of war: a massive outpouring of the death instinct in organized group violence.


Looks like someone can't make up his mind .. bad ass, good ass, bad ass, good ass... ;)


'He loves me, he loves me not...'

m o t h e r b o a r d

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"Daisy Girl"
« Reply #86 on: June 16, 2007, 07:08:30 PM »

Looks like someone can't make up his mind .. bad ass, good ass, bad ass, good ass... ;)


'He loves me, he loves me not...'



This is a cheap characterization of the "dilemma" -- in the style of the "Daisy Girl," Lyndon Johnson's nuclear-fear campaign ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63h_v6uf0Ao

piece of america

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2007, 12:51:34 AM »
Exactly Johnson\'s ad tries to create a false dilemma, I guess that\'s why the ad was featured only once.

something hot

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #88 on: June 26, 2007, 05:34:29 PM »

[...] Freud then went on to outline for Einstein his theory of Eros, the life instinct that "seeks to preserve and unite" and of Thanatos, the death instinct. For Freud, aggression was the manifestation of Thanatos and thus an essential element of human nature. For that reason, he characterized Russian communism as "an illusion trying to make human aggression disappear."

[...]


May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?

RFC1323

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Re: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
« Reply #89 on: June 26, 2007, 05:56:56 PM »

[...] It is easy to isolate the cause of the problem as being people's greed for money and power. But beyond that, it is the very basic condition of the human being -- namely, the powerlessness in front of nature, the fear of death -- that makes humans wage war against one another. We do not want to acknowledge or recognize the fact the inevitable fact of life, death; instead, we try to find some sort of "meaning" in things, which pursuit only augments and intensifies our suffering and alienation from ourselves and Mother Nature.

If people would think it through, they should live in harmony and peace precisely because they will die some day. In reality, however, the "solution" we have found to the problem is creating illusions to reassure ourselves of our "immortality." The illusion of power, of the power of money, the illusion of the enemy, the battle, the victory. The illusion of the state, the nation, the group. And when we wage war and our enemy dies, we feel powerful, we transcend death (for a moment) because the enemy died in our place. However illusions are just that -- illusions. Soon we wake up and figure that no matter how sizeable our bank accounts, and despite our fervent patriotism or ideals-chasing, we remain those who have long been. Human beings.

[...] Self-realization that life is a game that one can not but win; that everyone gets to make of one's life whatever one can, want, or will. As people we fashion answers to those difficult "why"s, with each and every one of us being individuals living not only in a physical world, but also in a world of dramas and illusions we create. The issue is whether we will understand the latter and set a self-chosen course, or will submitt to them fatalistically, accepting whatever they bring for us.

[...]



something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressivity" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it? ;)




[...] Freud then went on to outline for Einstein his theory of Eros, the life instinct that "seeks to preserve and unite" and of Thanatos, the death instinct. For Freud, aggression was the manifestation of Thanatos and thus an essential element of human nature. For that reason, he characterized Russian communism as "an illusion trying to make human aggression disappear."

[...]


May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?