Discussion Board

Topic: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 07/04/2007

I'm not asking a personal question. I mean this from a philosophical stand-point: are social pleasantries a necessary item, or just a conditional one relative to the psychological security of humans? Granted, some may think it's a 'finery' of human behavior they enjoy indulging in...but, couldn't an acute appreciation for the functioning of a system negate this? For example, say you have two beings who are highly concerned with the quality of how things operate. One may assist in something particular to what the other is involved in, and which the fomer may not be, directly. And suppose there is a confidence in the inclusion of what the latter is doing relative to the fundamental principles upon which they, together, think promotes (what I will call psycho-spiritual) development. Then, that the former assisted the latter, and that the latter recognised the 'value' in being aided, there is already a 'recognition' of all things (people, resources, events, etc) involved. It's in-built into the system. (Actually, this process could possibly be invoked within the mainstream paradigm(s).) Where then would pleasantries be necessary?

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/05/2007

Total communication and reciprocation would probably eliminate the need for mere pleasantries--and for social grooming, as well! But a little mystery, a little unexpected interaction, spiced by a little frustration and disappointment--isn't that the sauce of social life?

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 07/05/2007

Well, I think humans are capable of quite wildly different mentalities while simultaneously maintaining a cosmic homeostatis. If they wish it. (A brief aside: I think the 'if we were all the same' deal is a popcul myth people invoke when propositioned with the idea of easy intimacy.) There's plenty of mystery in that to tide us, I think, let alone if it were an 'art of existence' thing. (That last isn't new, of course, but within it, the standard conception seems to be to take one's characteristics as they are, rather than direct them toward - or within - a cosmic principle.)

The sauce is then a matter of whether we wish it to be gourmet, store-bought, or some mixture, etc. I'm for gourmet, cos even if you've gotten one thing to the best it's going to be, then it means you have room for other things to be so, too.* Know what I mean?

*there is a balance between quality and satisfaction.

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

From: Arvind Mishra
Location: Varanasi
Date: 07/10/2007

Social pleasantries what I understand are of adaptive value to human survival/existence.They are products or even by- products of a long neuro-behavioral process man has gone through his evolutionary history.
They are going to be us for a long time as natural evolution is a very slow process and if they loose relevance or context in ages to come nature may allow man to get rid off from such behavioral repertoire.
Am I out of context Greg?

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/12/2007

Not at all. Natural evolution may not be all that slow--and social evolution ties right in to natural evolution, in the sense that we seem to adjust our genetic expression to the situations in which we find ourselves. How often we pass those adjustments on to our offspring is a very interesting question--and one that's increasingly being asked now. (It's not strictly speaking Lamarckian inheritance--probably more epigenetic, the adjustment of which gene complexes are switched on or off--but some of the literature uses that term.)

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