Tuesday, January 24, 2012
GOOD MORNING, ROMAN EMPIRE!
Dough. Direction. Joy. That's my mantra, the words I try to remember to say to face the day. Dough, preferably in the form of money, but, as chronicled here, I work on other forms. (Cake counts as dough, right?) Direction, because what to do what to do is not clear to me. Joy because dammnit I'd like to be happier.
As I was falling asleep last night, not feeling pepper peppy or optimistic, I wondered who's head hits the pillow and then feels contentment, safety, satiety, accomplishment, even resolve? I had a longer list of words last night, but I didn't want to disturb my relaxation into sleep.
I need to get some work done this morning as there is light and I have many items to photograph for eBay.
A couple of weeks ago, when I quoted John Leonard's remark on embarrassment and moral consciousness, Laurie had a thoughtful response. In the instance that you didn't see her comments, here they are:
I find the out of context use of the quotation hard to react to, except on the gut level i'm not sure it's true. I think that Hegel said that embarrassment is the beginning of moral consciousness, but that there were other stages in the process. Seeing morality as a social or emotional process doesn't entirely work for me, since I have become so introverted that I operate on an internalized "guilt-based" morality. I'm not too affected by shame but I do avoid being judged by others. I think I have been most severely judged negatively for two things: getting old and getting fat. These are an unavoidable and an avoidable "sin" which for me have no moral content. The kind of thing I find appropriate to judge morally is considering what would happen if everyone behaved the same. Killing is wrong in most instances because it would decimate the population, theft would close down commerce, being cruel to others could lead to people being depressed and even suicidal, etc.
Teaching seeks to make students internalize values, knowledge, not seek external validation. Yet so much of it is based on negative reinforcement. I tend to believe the negative can work if it is something the student can control (being late, missing class) but won't work if s/he is stupid or lacking ability. Embarrassing someone comes in the category of negative reinforcement. The master or employer embarrasses the slave or employee as a technique of control. I also read a jewish philosopher who said that embarrassment was the source of religion! but the master, employer or teacher uses negative reinforcement a lot for motives unrelated to morality.