Postmodern Permissive Liberty
One thing I’ve learned about human psychology is a process whose terminology ChatGPT is not familiar with. For the moment let’s call it, the Double Calgon Effect. People my age remember a tv commercial in which a woman who has a stressful day comes home to take a long overdue bath.
Imagine if she popped a couple pills and took a line of coke too. That’s what I’m alluding to. Still, it needn’t be so extreme. You might walk around the block and believe you have worked off enough calories to deserve ice cream. Whether or not you know you haven’t burned off one spoonful of ice cream, much less a bowl, the human tendency is to overcompensate for a sense of accomplishment. I don’t have a categorical list of psychological terms, but we understand what I’m talking about, neh?
Another interesting psychological phenomenon which captured the attention of the first object oriented programmers was our understanding of contingent decision-making. They recognized that there are ways to classify human thinking like ‘going to the store’ that could be abstracted. If I tell you to go to the store you could take a bus, a bike, a skateboard, a car or you could walk. Your method of transportation could apply to this class of actions. If your car broke, you can always walk. But at the level of ‘going to the store’, the larger program doesn’t need to know what method you actually use. This abstraction is useful to computer science - so languages were designed that allowed for such abstractions.
So let’s bring these two concepts to life for today’s Stoic observation. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody rich and comfortable. Imagine that you’re already in the bubble bath because you have people to handle your whining kids, filthy dog, freeway traffic and since you’re the boss, Calgon doesn’t have much heavy lifting. Or on the other hand, your boss might be the IRS which is slowly chipping into your capital gains with their abusive taxation. So you might feel you really deserve that line of coke.
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