Saturday, September 19, 2015

Competition versus Enlightened Self-Interest

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. "How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked. "Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn." He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves. So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn. Author Unknown ____________________________________ This one from David Hume, Scottish Philosopher: “Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. 'Tis profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains upon your account; and should I labour with you upon my own account, in expectation of a return, I know I should be disappointed, and that I should in vain depend upon your gratitude. Here then I leave you to labour alone; You treat me in the same manner. The seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security.”

Tribal Poems

The preacher man says it's the end of time And the Mississippi River she's a goin' dry The interest is up and the Stock Markets down And you only get mugged if you go down town I live back in the woods, you see A woman and the kids, and the dogs, and me I got a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4-wheel drive And a country boy can survive Country folks can survive I can plow a field all day long I can catch catfish from dusk 'til dawn We make our own whiskey and our own smoke, too Ain't too many things these ole boys can't do We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine And a country boy can survive Country folks can survive Because you can't starve us out And you can't make us run 'Cause one-of-'em old boys raised on shotgun And we say grace and we say Ma'am And if you ain't into that we don't give a damn We came from the West Virginia coal mines And the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies And we can skin a buck; we can run a troutline And a country boy can survive Country folks can survive I had a good friend in New York City He never called me by my name, just hillbilly My grandpa taught me how to live off the land And his taught him to be a businessman He used to send me pictures of the Broadway nights And I'd send him some homemade wine But he was killed by a man with a switchblade knife For 43 dollars my friend lost his life I'd love to spit some beech nut in that dude's eyes And shoot him with my old 45 'Cause a country boy can survive Country folks can survive 'Cause you can't starve us out and you can't make us run 'Cause one-of-'em old boys raised on shotgun And we say grace and we say Ma'am And if you ain't into that we don't give a damn We're from North California and south Alabama And little towns all around this land And we can skin a buck; we can run a trotline And a country boy can survive Country folks can survive - Hank Williams Jr.

People say I'm no-good, And crazy as a loon. I get stoned in the morning, I get drunk in the afternoon. Kinda like my old blue tick hound, I like to lay around in the shade, An', I ain't got no money, But I damn sure got it made. 'Cos I ain't askin' nobody for nothin', If I can't get it on my own. If you don't like the way I'm livin', You just leave this long-haired country boy alone. Preacher man talkin' on the TV, He's a-puttin' down the rock 'n' roll. He wants me to send a donation,'Cos he's worried about my soul. He said: "Jesus walked on the water,"And I know that is true, But sometimes I think that preacher man, Would like to do a little walkin', too. But I ain't askin' nobody for nothin', If I can't get it on my own. You don't like the way I'm livin', You just leave this long-haired country boy alone. A poor girl wants to marry, And a rich girl wants to flirt. A rich man goes to college,And a poor man goes to work. A drunkard wants another drink of wine,And a politician wants a vote. I don't want much of nothin' at all,But I will take another toke. 'Cos I ain't askin' nobody for nothin',If I can't get it on my own. If you don't like the way I'm livin', You just leave this long-haired country boy alone.
Charlie Daniels
We are a tribal people... Here are some of the songs of my tribe... the socialization, the world in which I grew up...I do wonder how much still sticks, even when we learn/grow/adjust.  Goffman talked about 'the presentation of self in everyday life'.  Becker suggested the 'essence of normality is the refusal of reality'.  I do wonder which parts of the socialization are absorbed by the 'monkey brain' by the fight/flight, fuck, eat, sleep parts of our brain... and we then assume it's 'natural' when it's just the tribe influencing that which has few options.