Freakonomics Incentives, MLK, Cow Farts and the Devil's Question.

Freakonomics is a book.

John P. Murphy.

I read it a long time ago. But never forgot the part about incentives.

Why does a person do a thing? And more importantly: How do we get a person to do a thing?

Because an infinite number of incentives exist for an infinite number of personality traits, the art of predicting and controlling human behavior isn't a perfect science To be a great thinker you first have to be a great generalizer. Freakonomics says all incentives  are positive reinforcement (the carrot) or negative reinforcement (the stick).

1.  Money Incentive: More money ideally creates more interest in your job. And Fines are supposed to make me not pee in public  and to make me put-on my seat belt. 2.  Social Incentive:  What will my neighbors think?.

Duke. Landscaping Days.

Historically (before social media)

The social circle was relatively small: family, friends, neighbors, work, church. Social incentive helped keep the grass cut and pushed recycling along. I want people to like me.   I want people to approve of me. and I don't want them to not like me. 3.  Moral Incentive. I gotta do this because it feels right  and aligns with my conscience or religion. People who don't steal

even if no one is looking. Help an orphan or an old person. 

Be nice once in a while to someone who surely

deserves an ass whooping. Morally I want to align with people  who see the world  as I see the world. And we make it better together.


That said, ideally I work at a job  that pays me a bunch of money At a company that is socially in good standing and that aligns with what I want for the world. Marketing Director at Campbell's Soup? Love it. Marketing folk attempt to attach  and combine those three incentives. And when the mix is right. It could change the world, Sell a bunch of shit or affect the world climate (if that's what you wanna believe).


Before you marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He was clear with everyone: You may be beaten, you will absolutely be verbally abused, And the point, the whole point... is that you passively resist. If you can't take a baton on the head and not fight back... If you don't have the will power  to do nothing

when you hear the word "Nigger" shouted in your face by an angry white face. Then my brother, this march is not for you. (It was a part of his Purification Workshops before marches and protests.)


She's a little girl with special needs. On a spectrum where honesty and will power combine without a trace of empathy. And her demeanor varies between dead calm or utter tumults of emotions. The tumults result from feeling Injustice that she's cognitively unable to comprehend. She's a little girl with special needs. She truly hit upon a universal want when she decided to take Fridays off  (as a protest). Fridays Off... even the sound releases little happy hormones in my brain. Friday's Off. The girl also hit upon a Social Incentive. We can take Fridays off and people will applaud us And people will think we're great. All around the world. Because we are Saving the Planet (the greatest Moral Incentive of them all: Salvation of Life and in this case BIG Life... the whole planet). Save the Planet? And Friday's off? I'm in. I'd venture if that little girl held her protests on Saturday mornings We'd get a truer number of the people that share  Greta Thurnberg's purely Moral Incentive.


Cow Farts and Jet Fuel. She doesn't take planes And she don't eat meat. And if everyone who went on those marches with Greta did like Greta

on just those two issues (on a personal basis). Environmental problems would cure themselves. Because one little girl made the decision. And all the people who marched with her followed her lead. And stopped eating meat and stopped taking airplanes. Just do that. Just like Greta. Piecemeal protesters?


The Growth of the Social Incentive In the past 20 years the Social Circle has grown to include the entire world (that has access to internet anyways). In any one sub-group, no matter how esoteric, there are still a few hundred thousand folk who desire whichever aberrant opinion  or gusto that one may hold. Check out: for the skinny end of the bell curve  and exactly how many folk do the strangest things. Just about any social behavior has access to an instant Social Incentive. And not only in the porn industry. Now I can "Like" something  and associate myself with someone famous. And hope of hopes they may comment on something I said. Oh my, Joyce Carol Oates liked my comment. I am redeemed. I knew it. The Social Incentive is heady stuff in a large circle of mostly unknowns. How the social incentive affects the media and the politicians and the rules they make  is cause for concern.


What would an angel say? That's what the devil wants to know. Although economies are shrinking and crumbling and the landscape is still unclear... somebody is making money. Lots of people are losing money but you can bet yer ass some folk are swimming in it. The Devil and the Moral Incentive...  How do we get people to do  that which they would  normally not cotton?

How do we get everyone to give up their freedom? Imprison themselves in their house? What could an angel say... to make you do that? "Stay at home to save the world. You're saving the world." There's a hearty dose of Moral Incentive.


For more on Freakonomics

Visit The King Center

For the Glossary of Non Violence.

Asberger's Syndrome

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