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Thread: The Definition of Power

  1. #31
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    The first power of education that any third world country needs is figuring out how to deal with their feces. The smell tells you this. Powerful is the word. The next is birth control. If they can figure these out, their chances with further education are considered better. I hope your business is to sell them septic tanks or birth control tablets. So far, none of their chances with education look great. I am rooting for any third world country to deal successfully with their feces so I can help found a university there. Then we can get to work on the multiplication table. Once they know long division we will hand out the bachelor of science degrees.

    * * * * *

    Did Archimedes deal powerfully with his feces, or did he merely bury it down at the beach?

    Filthiness is one of the earliest problems that has to be solved. Until then, hope one of them does not drop something in front of you he has to bend over and retrieve. And of course they will never go wrong having fewer children.

  2. #32
    I would actually prefer to chat about the concept of power as I defined it in OP, not take part in racist degradation of other ethnic groups.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  3. #33
    I've been having conversation about the same topic on another forum. I'll post some of the things we've covered there. Maybe these ideas will spark a new conversation here as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    I wouldn't want to make this a discusson of free will, but controlling your inner reality does not seem realistic. A person cannot control the thoughts they have.
    By taking control of your inner reality I mean merely the act of becoming aware of your thoughts and desires. You can certainly inspect your thoughts in a critical fashion, correct? It's not difficult to take a critical look at what's going on inside your own mind. Of course we cannot know everything, but we know enough to know what our major strengths and weaknesses are. We might lack persistence or self-discipline that would allow us to achieve our full potential. So we need to build more persistence and self-discipline by exercising self-denial and learning to postpone gratification, among other similar exercises. Also, I believe one can control one's thoughts by choosing an environment that enforces desired thinking habits. For instance, if you go to study in a university, your way of thinking will be different compared to if you merely work at a grocery store and spent your evenings watching TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Also, why do you say your thoughts are not who you really are? They seem to be exactly who you are.
    I borrow this idea from Echart Tolle's book The Power of Now. It's central thesis is that our consciousness does not have anything to do with our thoughts. In other words,You are not your mind. Our minds are merely something created by our egos - the artificial character we create to ourselves in our ignorance. Ego is like a disease - it tries to take over our existence by taking over our existence by filling our heads with thoughts about work, school, relationships, injustices we have encountered and so on. However, according to Tolle, these thoughts are not who you really are.

    Instead, you are the silent watcher who perceives your thoughts.

    To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    It would also not be wise to tell people to control their desires. Our bodies do not work that way.
    I don't refer only to sexual desires here. I refer to all desires - gluttony, hatred, impulses to hurt or gamble, impulses to humiliate or degrade, impulse to betray your spouse with a younger woman etc. We all have countless desires that we suppress all the time. Our society demands us to suppress countless impulses - we cannot cut lines, walk naked on the street, randomly kill people we don't like etc. Controlling our impulses is not only something we do every day, but it's also extremely healthy and good for our well-being. Of course it shouldn't be taken too far. Occasionally we need sexual relief, for instance. However, if you don't control your sexual impulse at all, you will either watch porn all day long or end up in prison for sexually assaulting someone on the street. To me it's self-explanatory that sexual and other desires need to be controlled.

    The point that I was trying to make was that if we desire power above everything else (as we should), we have to gain control of our desires. Otherwise they will control us. A drug addict is someone who cannot control his/her desires. Do you consider a drug addict to be someone who is in charge - who is powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Also, why does your theory of power not have the limits of power? Meaning there is a heirarchy, certain people can only be so powerful. Your theory assumes equal potential, why is this, when there is clearly not equal potential?
    I don't recall stating that my concept of power assumes equal potential for power. On the contrary, power is very unevenly available to people.

    In my view power is of course limited, but at the same time it's almost infinite. Would you say that the universe has limits? It certainly does, but we will never be able to comprehend those limits. It's the same way with power. There are always new ways of either increasing or decreasing one's power. You might say an inconsidered word to someone and make him like you less as a result - a decrease of power. You might forget to close lights in your toilet before you go to bed, wasting precious electricity - a decrease of power. Etc etc. Everything we do every moment of our lives is connected to our use of power. I write to you to convey my thoughts using an artificial system of symbols that I have used years to learn, which suggests that I'm using massive amount of power from different sources to make these changes happen in my external reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    And when you say forget everything that separates you from another person, you contradict yourself. Why does power matter, if there are no differences between people? Differences should be at the forefront of the mind of the most powerful. They must always recognize the strengths and weaknesses of others, to assess their own power.
    This is merely a strategy to becoming more powerful socially. Our social relationships are among our greatest sources of power, since we alone have very limited resources, but together we can accomplish much greater things. Our ability to convince others to cooperate with us is crucial for our survival and our ability to thrive and become more powerful.

    By focusing on the things that we have in common with people instead of focusing on the things that separate us from them is the foundation of making friends. If you can find even one thing that you and your bitter enemy have in common, you might be able to use that one thing to make peace with him instead of waging a wasteful war.

    Of course there will always be differences between people. Power is not equal and has no conscience. It's a force of nature, much like gravity. Your job is not to get crushed by it, but to use it to your advantage.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  4. #34
    I'm really amazed that this kind of concept of power is not talked about anywhere. I think this stuff should be taught in schools. Every child should write a personal power acquisition plan as a part of their yearly school orientation.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  5. #35
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    I suspect this approach to power would be agreed to by Erving Goffman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman

    "To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant."

  6. #36
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    I agree with your idea that power is dynamic. This means either you take action or are acted upon by others.

    I've formed the idea from experience that being powerful means being able to disregard at at least some rules
    with no worries for consequences.

    Do you think it's true?

    In what ways do you think the powerful can be challenged?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    I suspect this approach to power would be agreed to by Erving Goffman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman

    "To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant."
    I will have to study his approach, I'm not currently familiar with his theories. What does he call this concept? Power or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaky View Post
    I agree with your idea that power is dynamic. This means either you take action or are acted upon by others.

    I've formed the idea from experience that being powerful means being able to disregard at at least some rules
    with no worries for consequences.

    Do you think it's true?

    In what ways do you think the powerful can be challenged?
    Power can be challenged in a multitude of ways, although they all are also manifestations of power. There is no such thing as "the powerless bringing down the powerful". It just doesn't happen. To be powerless is to be sick, blind, def, crippled or dead. Life itself is power. So in short, you need to be powerful to bring down the powerful. Often it's the combined effort of a large crowd of less powerful people that can bring down one immensely powerful individual.

    It's certainly true that the powerful can disregard laws and other rules of societies, to a certain extent at least. However we have to take into consideration that all nations have different internal power structures. Western nations have a relatively broad division of power, which is one of the core requirements of democracy. Third world countries have very crude power structures where power is mainly concentrated in military and usually one oligarchic group of powerful people who basically control the whole nation. In third world countries, the powerful have basically no limits and they don't need to abide to any laws. In Western nations even the powerful have to step carefully so as to not cause a scandal that could harm their financial or other interests.

    I notice that I ventured from individual forms of power to collective forms of power. But I honestly don't see any dramatic difference between the two. Even if power is communal, it still functions within the same framework. Communities can strife to make changes in their internal or external realities - depending on their power, and possible opposing powers, they can either succeed or fail. There's really nothing else to it, as far as I'm concerned.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

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