Jorge Contreras

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What is behind competition? Does competition influence the behavior of people in a negative way?

Competition is the corner stone of evolution also competition is the opposite of cooperation, Is competing a egocentric form of expression? We see and hear the lowest examples used by people in order to Win. Inspirational notes and stories fade away when you get a closer look on what is going on, drugs, money, etc.
Only few people can afford to do a calendar of competitions in order to reach international events and so on,
It is clear that Medals do not resemble the truth of real champions what makes people think that only a bunch of people can represent the billions of people worldwide?

  • Feb 22 2014: Desire is behind Competition

    When ruled by Desire, we cannot help but compete on both individual and collective levels.

    Desire, and thus competition, eventually casts light on the limitations and transient nature of those things desired....sometimes slowly and often painfully.

    Competition and Cooperation always exist together like two sides of a coin. They are part of a greater whole.

    If one assumes that Competition is the cornerstone of Evolution, he has blocked himself from becoming aware of other possibilities.

    Perhaps Competition is the cornerstone of UNCONSCIOUS Evolution.

    If so, what then would be the cornerstone of CONSCIOUS Evolution?..........what is this Symptom of a growing Consciousness? That of growing Awareness?
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      Feb 22 2014: Scott,

      I somewhat agree with most the the things you have said; some wise analogy that you got going there.
      However, being a little skeptic by nature, allow me to share a few ideas; competition is what makes the economy, business, marketing, educational system and basically survival of a person extremely critical to one's perspective throughout history and today's world. However, what if we inhabited a world where we do not compete for any of this, but we share everything we have and help others? (a little crazy, wouldn't you think so?)
      However there are parts of the world where different societies and cultures live to inculcate values to bring about this type of world. For instance the Tibetans monks lives in peace. What would be the next evolutionary step in the world? A world of coexistence and equality? Mankind through history have fought for equality among gender, race and cultures. It is not the fault of a child that he is born poor, it is the circumstances, we could change that, if we can bring about a new era in globalization, and many foundations are working towards that goal.
      Let's hope and pray it will not bring about more competition but rather coexistence and love.
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      Feb 23 2014: Hi Scott,
      "Competition and Cooperation always exist together like two sides of a coin. They are part of a greater whole."
      You mean the coin of the greater whole being evolution, to which both competition and co-operation contribute?
      • Feb 23 2014: Yes, as I perceive it. Currently, and for quite some time, it seems Competition has propelled and dominated. Eventually, fragmentation in society will reach a point (and is perhaps already there for a growing number of people) where Cooperative efforts naturally opposed to legislatively and centrally imposed and controlled. We still have a ways to go into fragmented darkness before the pendulum swings. The Renaissance shall be proceeded by a long long dark night and mucho suffering.

        What are your thoughts?
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          Feb 25 2014: Hello Scott,
          My basic take on this subject is that the idea of competition would never have entered the human mind in the first place IF we genuinely saw ourselves as all equal. Any group of people who genuinely see themselves and the group members as "perfect equals" will always be busy finding ways to co-operate, rather than compete. In such a group mind-set, competition is non-logical and non-sensical.
          If the ultimate truth is that all humans ARE equal (which I believe we are - {in what sense is another discussion}) then, as you say, acting otherwise (ie: competitively) will fragment society.
          Some people think that if everyone "finds their truth and does their thing" (one aspect of equality) then society will become chaotic. I disagree. It will become a very different society, and a much more harmonious one. But getting there, from here, will (as you say) involve mucho suffering.
      • Feb 27 2014: Good morning Joshua. I've given what you wrote some time to marinate. The 'risk' of holding equality as the ultimate truth(or belief) is that it may not be the ultimate truth. A belief in Equality implies a belief in Separateness. For two objects to be equal, or unequal, they must exist separately. So, the ultimate truth of equality emerges from a still deeper ultimate truth/belief of Separateness.

        We are not separate. The evidence is overwhelming.
        When seen, Equality becomes irrelevant. There is no struggle for Equality

        Only my 2 cents. Great day!
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          Feb 28 2014: Hi Scott,
          I think we're on the same page.
          For me also, unity is the ultimate truth; it's how things actually are. We are "one" in consciousness.

          Meanwhile on dualistic planet earth we live with the illusion of being separate (because we appear to have 'separate bodies'). So the best we can do in such a world is to approximate (or perhaps attempt to demonstrate) this truth-of-oneness by regarding and treating each other "perfect equals" (ie: sameness rather than difference)
          At least it points towards unity, as opposed to inequality which points in the opposite direction towards difference and separation. I see the concept of equality as therefore kind of useful at this stage in our evolution of consciousness.

          Have a good week-end.
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    Feb 22 2014: Competition is tool controlled by elites to impose scarcity within the lives of the many and abundance in the hands of the few.

    Is capitalism a form of death worship in conformity too the criminally defined hierarchy of division, and is conformity compliance with tyranny in our time?

    We stand universally naturally unified between the significance of the past and the significance of the future as common and unique consciousness in reality there is no competition other than the competition we create, but, is this the intelligent way forward, given there's an abundance of public space in the future all members of a common right have an equal representation off, cooperation would be the intelligent way forward?
    • Feb 22 2014: Well said. It is all about getting the things that are scarce (from the perspective of the economy, as opposed to sports). What if, when you win the money game, you also supply a high abundance of goods to everyone, instead of just you? We could change the game...because it was our own creation.
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        Feb 22 2014: We share a planet, we should share the rewards evenly to attain a common equilibrium of calibration with life as a standard and quality of legal distribution. We should compete to improve the overall quality of life for the next generation in the public jurisdictions of natural association to the democratic rights of freedom.
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        Mar 3 2014: Hey Patrick, I understand what you're trying to say when you mention that the "game" is our own creation, though I would like to interject that the vast majority of people on the planet came into being long after the game had begun, and have very little say or leverage as to the rules. For the most part, it is either take it or leave it.

        If nothing else, there needs to be what I might call "a level playing field" in the sense that everyone has fair access to clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, effective healthcare, a well-rounded education, and a means of communication.
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        Mar 6 2014: Thanks Patrick, I'll check it out :)
    • Mar 4 2014: Charles Hunsinger


      I think it necessary to say that perfection does not exist and it would seem that this is what you are looking for. It is not there. It is also important to say that striving to achieve this admirable objective is a good thing. Do not condemn however, that vehicle which has brought humanity out from under the boot of kingly and dictatorial rule; free enterprise capitalism and something called The Bill of Rights.
      "--attain a common equilibrium of calibration--" I am not quite sure what this means, other than the exercise of multi-syllable words and an excursion into academia.
      You advance a, "level playing field", but what exactly does that mean? Are you saying that people should be rewarded for something that they have no talent to achieve? Perhaps, you are talking about The Bill of Rights, in that you have the freedom to achieve. You speak, as if all people are created equally; this is, as perfection, non-existent. Us human are defined as homo sapien-sapien, not as homo equalus-equalus. We all possess the talent to draw a picture, but not equally well. Would you prohibit those few who are capable of a Mona Lisa or would you ban art so as not to cause others to feel bad. Perhaps, you would reduce such quality standards and expectations, and in that raise those who are only capable of a stick figures up to the level of a Monet and then every one feels good and art is lost.
      You seem to condemn capitalism and individual freedom for a cloned society where achievement is shared and ambition, talent and drive are banned, except, of course that, which is promoted by the State for the good of the collective. Exactly, how does this work and can you show me where it has ever worked without a resulting totalitarian rule. How then has that benefited humanity?
      We are born, live and die on an insignificant speck of rock hurtling through the universe. All things are by our definition
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        Mar 5 2014: Charles, I am not condemning anything, least of all capitalism or free enterprise. All I was merely trying to point out is how can we expect anyone to join (let alone succeed in) the game without a strong foundation. Just as you and I cherish the Bill of Rights, I think there also needs to be a "global Bill of Rights" that guarantees access to the items I mentioned above.

        There are hundreds of millions of people on this planet that *still* live (far) below the poverty line, and will never have the opportunities that you or I have had. Should there not be something more than "trickle down economics" (or intermittent handouts) to help them? Also, would we all not be better off if everyone had a minimum, decent standard of living?

        Besides, the playing field is changing rapidly, and capitalism may not be able to keep up. Take, for example, technological unemployment. As more and more jobs, including service industry positions, are handed over to computers and machines, who will be making the money to drive the economy?

        Our world is changing ever more rapidly, and we must be ready to roll along with those changes.
        • Mar 6 2014: Exactly - when technology takes over jobs. In the registry I mention, an hours worth of your time assisting someone to do something they desire is sufficient to purchase a significant amount of utilities, because of the current level of automation in society.
        • Mar 6 2014: Charles Hunsinger

          Glad to read of your embrace of the Bill of Rights. I too, would like to see people enjoy those things that enable a positive and productive life. Such things must be earned however, and then demanded by the people. This requires a tax base and then a demand by the people for clean water, air and such. Corrupt politicians, in many of these countries, over power the people and the status quo remains. Much money has been poured into these regions over my life time (70 years) and the need remains. The mindset is not there, only the hand to accept charity in many cases. This country was founded on mindset to achieve, this is in essence the Bill of Rights, the right to achieve, independently and individually and in that all benefit.
          You may not be familiar with a Universal Bill of Rights called the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights ( . It was enacted in 1948. If you have not read it, I would be interested in your comments. I will reserve my thought on the document.
          Capitalism works. This is a proven equation. Capitalism however, generates independent thinkers and this is not conducive to a government that demands adherence and compliance. This type of government is called totalitarian. The proven equation there is in the words of Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.”
          Change is good. Change is a growth factor, a process of maturing. When you have a proven good, you do not replace it with a proven bad and call it, “Change you can believe in.”
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        Mar 6 2014: Hi Charles,
        It is recommended that a human drink varying quantities of good water in the duration of a single day to hydrate the quality systems of health innate to the functional requisite of this human organism, the human life form and it’s physical and non-physical attachment to systems:-
        Muscular system
        Skeletal system
        Circulatory system
        Nervous system to name a few:-

        The unity of innate systems transparent to health demand good quality systems to survive, balance and the level playing field I would posit as ‘everyone as enough of what everyone needs to be well’ in terms of our ability as humans to distribute the shared proceeds of wealth to ourselves and each other if we want to regulate the effect of the selfish gene within the uncommon nature of our universal historical condition…is it wise to satisfy the necessary demands of human health in the next century, what is good health within the financial scales of injustice we have no control over in the capitalist cage of oppression and would financial equilibrium embody the significance of social justice in our time?

        “—attain a common equilibrium of calibration—“ or ‘The level playing field’, the common right to a fair and reasonable standard of sustainable living through sustainable distribution.

        The mind is the non-physical distinction of identity beyond the reality of a physical unity with systems of mortality!
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        Mar 6 2014: What type of world should all children witness in the next modern age if our scales of justice were a level playing field and good quality of life meant a good quality of life? Is the common quality of life a natural potential of choice if choice was a transparent picture Of morality in motion as a constant value of international consensus, whose financial liberty and freedom is respected upon the globalized public orb of reason, why should the human be a commodity in the exchange…should all children be taught the art of negotiation to survive globalization in the current modern age?...and if not should they not at least have an educational right to union awareness and membership as an aspect of developmental rights to bill ‘quan’ and mo money future significance from the credibility of work exchanged in their lives?
        What is time if it is not the ancestral footprints of many generation of continuum, composed of subconscious natural traces of what we were and compressed into who we are in the present reality of existential unity in natural order?
        I would posit to define natural order with an analogy of a universal lift ride 7.2 billion sentient beings are sharing in the present reality of their natural state to experience the sentient relationship to time and money in the natural course of exchange; where, the rate at which the species is slowly rising is the rate at which the earth is turning. The natural order is the real authority in hierarchy and if this lift ride is a constant awareness of reality beyond the individual footprint the distribution of quantity of wealth incurs the same democratic legal scrutiny as any other part of a financial system, yet, regulation at the top is above the majorities pay grade to control, hence, conformity to crony rituals of the elected and unelected order is incapable of regulating the corporate and banking global monopolization of the public office to which the Bill of Rights refers.
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        Mar 6 2014: Hence is there a problem with the induction to life as a meaning or is life as a meaning nothing more than the meaning of death as a reflection of what we are capable of.

        Is one size fits all, fair, reasonable and transparent in terms of international financial literacy, fit for the purpose and functional purpose of a human lifespan…is a respect for life a respect for our cosmic lifespan and rights to a more progressive universal future, is the future the final frontier, the concept of a new world everyone as to deal with as our population doubles and trebles in the foreseeable future?

        I think the planet is the primary source of physical wealth we have in our lives and the species is the secondary wealth, moving in tandem within the intertwined space and depth of all life spans, like strands of hair clinging to a single body and thus far (?) an uninterrupted common signature spanning the depths of time. What we understand and observe about our own species gives us the potential and insight into the nature of life as a continuum elsewhere, if elsewhere is a place we should consider as a viable habit for species unknown to our own experience.
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        Mar 6 2014: Competition with what does the art of war teach us to be wary of, with the enemy we think we know or the potential enemy we have never experienced…How do we fight, that which we cannot see, if that we cannot see is a threat to the life and freedom as we know it in the forward chamber of law, morality, justice and the globalized military industrial complex? Is war as a complex focusing the universal minds of mortality in the right direction and do not the behaviors and habit of all other species represent valuable living data to the future of health and war, with potentials beyond that of our current imaginations?

        Universal common rights of natural association to feel secure about the universal common future of growth and development morality, through access and ownership of the moral compass of growth and development justice of all people by all people for all people…what is a universal bill of growth to a bill of rights in the next century, what is the legacy of transparency we ought to leave the next generation as a species in the abyss of a universal environment with so many potentials for life beyond the ground hog day realities of our own self mutilating repetitive war sin-drome syndrome?

        I hate competition, but, perhaps, just perhaps there’s some intrinsic reason exists, why all should have a right to survive the proximity limits significant to the co-ordinates of our own kind upon this insignificant speck of rock hurtling through the universe, are we not all brothers, sisters of a free world and in what way should the workers of the world unite to forge and create a better tomorrow?
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        Mar 6 2014: If perfection does not exist why use the word at all, yet, people do and I would posit that on a micro scale perfection is in the eye of the beholder and as such is tangible to the micro intellect in the existential pattern languages of life. You mention the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Monet, would you dismiss the notion of perfection in their work, or through the eyes of those observing? If you complete a work without human error or imperfection is it not an object of perfection?

        Einstein said “Everyone is a genius, but, if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” Is this not what in effect capitalism does to populations on mass, come climb this social ladder with all the rungs neatly cut out at the bottom, whilst, the owners keep extending the altitude of the ladder at the top?

        Does the worker own the means of production or does the owner own the means of production, given the only division between the worker and the owner is the finances, but, who owns money in a bill of rights, the people or their owners?
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        Mar 7 2014: Charles, capitalism works well under a limited set of ideal circumstances. Indeed, early on, the United States and similar democratic powers were the perfect proving ground for capitalist ideals. However, with the ever increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, larger and larger groups of people simply do not have the means to make something from nothing [PBS Frontline produced a great documentary that followed two American families for about two decades, tracking their efforts to make a better life; please check it out].

        I would find the idea that you have to "earn" access to clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, etc. rather troubling. To this end, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which I had heard of and reviewed briefly, does not seem to have done as much as one might hope it would. The intent of the document and the people behind it are very admirable, and I'm sure that it has helped to some extent, but when there are still so many people that struggle from day today, the outcome is nevertheless disappointing.

        In comparing capitalism with socialism or communism, I believe that many people do not realize that both of the latter still use(d) money and credit in their day-to-day functions. However, they did not - and largely do not - enjoy the benefits that advanced technology has to offer. In other words, with our rapidly evolving technological development, we are more and more able to very efficiently provided people with a much higher standard of living. When this phenomenon is tied into a concept such as technological unemployment, we find ourselves rapidly approaching the point where we must question how we presently do things.

        Either way, this is a very challenging topic, and there are no easy answers. For me, the bottom line is how can we take advantage of our intelligence, our innate compassion, and our ability to develop and use technology to make life on this planet as pleasant as possible for as many people as possible. Thanks!
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    Feb 27 2014: I don't know any big word or theory surrounding Competition, but I do know competition stimulates innovation and growth in any situation (whether it's between businesses or family members). Too much of anything can't be good though.

    Human beings tend to be competitive. So do businesses as at the end of the day, businesses are still operated by people. But there are policies or regulations that set the boundaries as to what extent you can go to compete with others. In terms of price, there's a limit that you can't go under just to compete with others on price. Also, there are regulations as to which companies you can acquire if you're a large corporation and which you cannot. In that case, competition is meant for protecting consumers.
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    Feb 26 2014: Competition, winners and losers, is fine n the arena and the marketplace, but it does not belong in community or family when common interest, shared purpose and unity are essential to the health and the well being of both family and community.

    Lots of people have painful memories of siblings that always had to win at everything or parents who were so busy "being competitive" at the jobs or with each other or even their kids to spend any quality time or even interest in their children.

    A team outside the arena is just as likely to be a gang and there are lots of communities being devastated by their local gangs of toughs, hooligans and outright criminals competing with each other. As we have seen there are lots of those types in the arena too. However, in the arena they have to obey rules and are in the public spotlight and sanctions are far too common. It is similar in the marketplace although the spotlight and sanctions are not nearly so certain there.

    But in the community and the family too often arrogance, pettiness, mean-spiritedness, a need to "get even" and even the threat of violence comes out of a winners and losers scenario and competition there can even be toxic. .
  • Mar 3 2014: Hi Dear Jorge,I think it isn't competition's problem but how we our heart to understand of competition the meaning.To some extent,if we can take competition as real motivation to encourage us to improve,that's good.But humanbeing is still very mysterious to discover,Lots of nasty things happened because of rotten competition.
  • Feb 27 2014: Charles Hunsinger

    I would start by agreeing that evolutionary competition brought us to this point and that it continues. Unlike other animals, even our close cousins the apes, we, with our intellect, are altering that natural course of events. We have injected human invention, both good and bad, into the mix. One might say that we are leaving that, which is the unobstructed natural order.
    I digress; to the examination of the value of a competitive spirit or nature within the being Homo sapien-sapien. It would seem that, judging by the question, the intent is to justify the elimination of the competitive nature of our species. If this were to be accomplished; question--what of human is left? Certainly individual drive and ambition would be left at the curb. That desire to do better, to expand on what is, to improve that last improvement to better the human lot would not be there. The effect of this would be manifest in the dumbing down of society, an abandonment of our intellect and too, our physical abilities.. Humor would come to a screeching halt and we would hear the same jokes over and over again because the desire to tell funnier ones would not exist.
    Perfection in the universe, as too, equality does not exist. It is not the natural order and to attempt to eliminate the individual competitive spirit would be akin to licensing Dr. Frankenstein for brain surgery.
    After reading the question my mind conjured up pictures of drones; worse was the envisioned depictions in Orwell's "1984" , 2+2=5, a rat hungrily admiring my eyes, "Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” these are the things that have no competitive drive, nor longing or ability to excel.
    It is not a competitive drive that corrupts it is greed. Greed exists because there are those who cannot achieve, but desire to.
    With some thought I would argue that the freedom to achieve is embodied within The Bill of Rights.
    • Mar 6 2014: I doubt that anyone here intends to "justify the elimination of the competitive nature of our species." Who doesn't like a good game? But I disagree with your assertion that without competitiveness creativity would stop. Do you really think that all art or learning is an attempt to become better than the next guy?
      • Mar 7 2014: Yes. That said, there will be those who do simply for the sake of doing. Even that person will gauge what he has done with the work of others or against his own accomplishments. There is simply no point, no sense of accomplishment if we are not happy with it and once done repeating that same work without improvement, even by our own individual standards, leaves little or no sense of accomplishment.
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    Feb 27 2014: Being Competitive is an enduring personality characteristic. Its a trait. One can tend to be competitive in a very non-competitive environment as well. On the contrary, another person may not feel competitive in any environment. My take is that the development of this trait in an individual has a lot to draw from the way the childhood and early formative years have shaped.

    Come to think of it - why do deprived refugee children growing up in an atmosphere of 'struggle to exist' often grow up to live a life on the other side of society. Or whichever side but show high competitiveness ! Have we noticed that a few goons, pick-pockets, etc are born out of a particular type of upbringing. Not that is an absolute attribution but trends do speak volumes to correlate.

    Similarly, there are also stories of street children of torn civil societies reaching up to higher echelons of society.

    Thus, though there can be no absolute attribution, its best to say that Competition is a Trait and Traits do constitute a large part of our Behavior.
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      Feb 27 2014: " Being Competitive is an enduring personality characteristic. Its a trait. One can tend to be competitive in a very non-competitive environment as well. On the contrary, another person may not feel competitive in any environment. My take is that the development of this trait in an individual has a lot to draw from the way the childhood and early formative years have shaped."

      I believe you to be correct in this assessment. Nature and nurture both come into play.
  • Feb 22 2014: Ever see The Pirates of Silicon Valley? There's an example from Apple how competition within a company went awry. Competition has it's place but what about it's not the end all be all, what about cooperation, open source, working towards a common goal, standing on the shoulders of giants, Ted Talks?
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    Mar 7 2014: I kind of want to join this debate. But I don't know where to start. I guess put simply for me, competition is just a word. It's a word that has so many different meanings to so many people. You know I think I could get out my dictionary and use almost every word in there to describe what it means. It's like all things to me - best in moderation - taken too far it becomes destructive, not enough of it leads to wilting on the vine. I'd love to see us all competing in what I describe as the dream of life - where we compete together to see just how far we can reach. I don't mind competing with each other too - when it's like it was when I was a kid. Back when we'd play a game and if it got too one sided, we'd swap sides around, back when the game didn't stop - we hated the end because that was when was our mum's called us home for bed, but we'd know the game would go on again tomorrow -back then it always did. I also don't mind competing in search of technical excellence. But what makes me sad is when there are winners and losers - the judging. In my dream we all win - it's not like there wasn't a score in my games of old it's just that we all knew that wasn't the important bit - it was how we all played, the fun we had, what we learned, how we were getting better - back then we talked about how great the game was - not the score.
    • Mar 7 2014: Matthew

      Some how the game changed from FAIR play to SCORE A SORE.
      In other words the bullies got hold of the playing field and pushed, shoved instigated fights without being appropriately contained. Time to put the rowdy gene back into the bottle, more appropriately time to show the gene the better ways to behave. In a way the competition right now involves a win-lose contest where the losers refuser to recognize they lost the contest for only a win-win-win outcome wins the contest. Curiously the losers refuse to recognize the winners because they are losers! Kind of humorous : they want to win and refuse to become winners; thus they continue to want to win rather than just recognize the winners and do what winners do.
  • Mar 6 2014: To me, the use competition as the sole method of motivating young people is not right. Youth should not be measured by or compared to others. Each young person should be taught to measure their own progress based on the goals that they have set for themselves. It is very easy to fall into the trap of using competition to motivate.
  • Mar 3 2014: IS IT actually true that 'Competition is the corner stone of evolution'?

    Seems to me that the corer stone of evolution involves three aspects : a- opportunistic predators (the hunters) b- provisional cultivators (the gardeners) c- facilitators (the traders). Stated in a different form : 1- The individual 2- The clan 3- the relationship between these. Please note that I am considering these three concepts in a rather broad way. For example predatory practices can even include 'vegetarian' ruminants who hunt their food, Ants that cultivate the mushrooms they eat and bees that serve as couriers that transport pollen from flower to flower and get payed in sweets.

    In spanish 'competition' is 'competencia', which curiously enough has two different meanings, one that has to do with win-lose contests and the other that has to do with acquiring a competence.

    In response to the question of this post: Yes competitions do influence the behavior of people in a negative way.

    Using a bit of a broader consideration, Yes 'comeptencias' do influence the behavior of people . Depending on which meaning one chooses to use and the way one focuses it, this notion can influence the behavior of people in all sort of ways. It is clear that the stories we choose can impact what individual choose to do. Sometimes the race is about participating in it.
    • Mar 3 2014: Competition clearly just has a negative connotation to it. Your child doesn't make the baseball team his freshman year of high school? Or any sports team? "whoops" sorry.
      Coming from an inspired college student, I find this way more philosophical and psychological throughout the Mind/Body. Humans, although they may not know it take things into the context of their senses making them their own worst enemy. Kantian Ethics, Manuel Kant and his duties provided morality which includes, virtues of intrinsic/instrumental goods, values, and inspired by Aristotle and Mill, making them the big 3. Evolutionary terms also develops a negative connotation without some sort neutral mind-set. While sitting in on my Philosophy Lecture, Dr. Mark Alfano is describing Metaethics on Moral Realism, Absolutism, and Cultural Relativism, and Subjective Relativism considering desires of norms. This taxonomy can be described in any connotation. Q at Issue: After 8 weeks of ethics, which of these positions do you find most attractive? Absolutism, unconstrained cultural relativism, need and capability constrained cultural relativism, unconstrained subjectivism, need and capability constrained subjectivism, error theory, and sentimentalism/ expressivism• The moral nihilist (error theorist) endorses three central claims: 1) There are no moral features in this world. 2) Nor moral judgments are true. 3) Our sincere moral judgments try, and always fail, to describe the moral features of things. 4) There is no moral knowledge.Our sincere moral judgements are not attempts to describe the moral features of things but serve to vent our emotions, command others to act in certain ways, or reveal plans of action.
      • Mar 3 2014: Kayla,

        IS IT actually true that competition clearly just has just one connotation to it?

        There be moral knowledge and moral judgements... at this time I feel, consider choose to pass on getting into a argumentative debate. If you want us to dialogue to share understandings great, if you want me to prove to you the veracity of them claims I made well, I will pass...
        • Mar 3 2014: Our sincere moral judgements are not attempts to describe the moral features of things but serve to vent our emotions, command others to act in certain ways, or reveal plans of action. Expressives are used to describe simple behavior. Torture is immoral. Example: Sco Ducks, but talk-down the people of Eugene. aka, this debate could be considered a competition, therefore, we are debating.
      • Mar 3 2014: This talk could be considered a dance... therefore we be dancing... according to some we may be doing some other stuff ... so what be considered... and what happens sort of produce what results... IS IT actually true that Our sincere moral judgements are not attempts to describe the moral features of things? What did you mean by "alk-down the people of Eugene"?
        • Mar 3 2014: The University of Oregon is known for it's outstanding Athletics like Football at Autzen Stadium. Olympic Time Trials are done in Track Town USA for this reason. The University of Oregon is located in Eugene, OR.
    • Mar 4 2014: Okay
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      Mar 4 2014: Esteban in the Galapago islands (ECU) you can see several examples of competence a few species have evolved in order to survive, it is clear this sort of competition is instintive and dictated by the natural resources on each microclima in every island. Now if We turn our eyes on what is happening with sports Well is a big lie.
      Marketing create idols for brands to profit on fans, Videogames are missleading . And even worse world champions arise by only competing between few respresentative nations.
      • Mar 4 2014: Jorge,

        In the world we can see examples of all sort of abilities and strategies employed to survive... the range goes from parasitic opportunistic exploitation to synergistic codependency ... yea in some cases it is clear that competition is instinctive and dictated by the natural resources on each microclima in every island... just as in some cases it is clear that collaboration yields much better results ...

        In the matrix movies saga there is an interesting codependency between man and machine playing out... at one point the notion that each uses the other to survive and maintains them operational in order to provide themselves substance. The machines enslave the humans to harvest energy while the humans enslave the machines to harvest air... Curious how corn has been modified by humans and now depends on humans to grow... there are other organisms that have developed symbiotic relationships... in fact probiotics or microbes used for healthy reasons...

        I ask again IS IT actually true that 'Competition is the corner stone of evolution'?

        Seems to me that some evolution has resulted from niche players who move into certain domains... Of course the point could be made of them being driven there by competitive forces.

        What is happening with many sports is an entertainment business ... made to look like something else...
  • Mar 3 2014: What is behind competition?
    The drive behind competition is the need to demonstrate quality. It is easy to see how this can get out of hand when you begin to make associations based on this quality. The strength of competition is that it reveals a things worth in a given situation. Its weakness is that humans make 'logical' associations based on any number of any kind of assumptions on that object's value in other situations. Indeed, to equate quality and value is the begining of yet another problem.
    No matter how you think our race, our species started we could not have survived our infancy going it alone. We are collaberative. That we need to have this conversation illustrates this fact. Science has since embraced the simple truth that enlightened self interest is altruism.

    Does competition influence the behavior of people in a negative way?
    Competition by itself is nothing but a tool for Critical Thinking. What keeps bringing us to the brink of extinction is the misunderstanding of what competion shows us. We suddenly think we must make it our species savior or devil or draw conclusions from one competition and attempt to apply it to all facets of something or everything else.
    How simple life is when you let a thing simply be what it is and not an emblem.
  • Mar 3 2014: Competition is not a democratic value. Not in a win/lose sense. When independence was declared by the British colonies in America, equality under the law was also declared as a self evident truth. I consider it more as a statement of rebellion, optimistic intent or faith. At any rate, I believe the implications of that statement require that citizens choose to regard one another as having equal value. Without that choice, personal freedom and free enterprise are corrupted by fear, greed, etc.
    In a "pure" democracy each member is given one vote. That is a statement of equality of power.
    Competition and power struggles no longer have to escalate into violence and war. But such a large democracy had to adapt to an efficient method of cooperation that could be run without everyone forever talking. So while cooperation and agreement became the ideal of the constitution a democratic republic was established and we vote for the ones who are to run the country. We immediately began to struggle and fight over the votes. I call it a fight because cooperation does not deal in propaganda and out right lies. Fighting is expensive, whether it is with words or with violence it destroys relationships and property.

    Democracy is a statement about relationships. It defines a relationship between citizens and between the rulers and the ruled. It is not one of competition, but one of cooperation and respect. Our democracy will become much more efficient when we celebrate the common man equally with the winners of competition.

    It is in our nature to seek challenge, competence, adventure, and gain. Win/lose competition can be a means to those ends when the ethics and the equality of relationships are more important than the results of the competition. But when the results of the competition are greater than the relationship and the ethics, then competition in politics or business can become the beginning of violence and war.
  • Mar 3 2014: I was showing my granddaughter how to play 2 square. I started by showing her how to pass the ball back and forth, not explaining about it being a game. I was merely showing her how we could play together and how it was done. After a few minutes she asked me if we were against each other. It rather shocked me. How could she possibly think that her grandfather was against her?

    I began to realize that in all sports competition is based on and supported by cooperation. It only works because everyone agrees on a time and place to compete, on the rules, etc. I can "compete" joyfully with her because she knows that I love her, that this is just a game. Our future, our relationship, will not change by who wins or looses.

    When other issues, such as the glory/shame become more important than our relationship, things begin to escalate to whatever limits we are willing to take them. The strength, or health of our relationship needs to be stronger than other issues that may come up, otherwise, either the relationship or the game will fall apart as things escalate.

    While animals also play and eat together, they too may stop competing when it gets to be dangerous to their relationship or physical safety. In a relatively free society and market, conflict arises because of limits in resources, both social and natural. Human conflict does not require competition, as it is defined in sports where there is a winner and a loser. There are many ways to resolve conflict beyond the idea of I win, you loose mentality. Most of us live in relationships where even at the cost of serious sacrifice we maintain our relational ties and our moral values even past our survival instincts. But when a meaningful relationship, or moral values or rational thinking are not there, then conflict can escalate into war without rules or restraint.

    Now on to competition and democracy..... I'm out of space. I'll start a new comment for that.
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    Mar 1 2014: Government is supposed to be about protecting and serving the needs and interests of its citizens. I would therefore suggest the best example of where competition does not belong in the community or family environment is to be found in the competitive nature of the two dominate political teams/parties in the U.S..

    Considers the combative stalemating squabbles that go on between the Democrats and Republicans and how that has played through out through the decades and most recently as governmental shutdowns, families of veterans depending upon food stamps, a crumbling infrastructure and a kleptocracy of exploitive self-interest robbing the nation blind.

    This is not governance. This is all about competition and winners and losers. This is 2 bullies and the hooligans that stalk them demanding "their way" and too bad about the fans (party members) and the taxpayers who are paying for all the wasted time and opportunities.

    Leave competition in arenas and marketplaces that are big enough to contain the egos involved and where winners and losers can still exit the playing fields and return to more civilized and mature surroundings when needed.
    • Mar 2 2014: The one problem that I find with competition is that the second place holder gets nothing - although he or even first 50,000 in 1 billion may be more or less same quality (consider all Olympic entrants!). If INTEL survived, so should many other companies be able to survive - one man show to mid-size. But in capitalism, one sees that the cash flow becomes prime and only the bigger, survives although the quality may be same across many. The difference between USA like Capitalist countries and others (like India where i am right now) is in US Quality is necessary thing to be part of this 'many' group and the 'cash flow' provides the 'sufficient' aspect of mathematical reality of necessary and sufficient conditions. (India has family owned business culture)

      I would also like to point you to another aspect that of 'reservation system' the governments follow. Idealistically this is a very good concept considering a flat world. In India it is misused as freebees and same family reaps benefits generations over (the ill famous 'Khobragade's example in US if you have read inpapers!) I have seen Sprint telecom in US giving encouragements to graduate black americans which was used by them in a very nice manner.
  • Feb 28 2014: This is very person-dependent. While competition can get the best out of some people, it makes others fall into negative emotions like anxiety and fear leading to failure.
  • Feb 27 2014: Boredom is behind competition. It is boring at the top of the food chain.
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      Feb 28 2014: Boredom is nothing more than a lack of imagination as is often found in consumer cultures that have become dependent upon external stimulus to entertain and to "interest" themselves. Often simply because they have become unable or simply unwilling to use their own initiative to engage their minds and bodies.

      In fact, many cannot simply sit and be still and quiet for more than few seconds without some external stimulus to engage them as we see in homes where the tv or/and radio/stereo is always on as "background" sound. . .
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    Feb 26 2014: If you get to the top there is nowhere left to go but down. Better would be no tops or bottoms just participants. Just to do better as long you can is all that maters.
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    Feb 25 2014: Competition is a necessity of life. The problem is winning is more important then the act of competing. Its like going on a hike and trying to be first to get to the end and whatever is seen or experienced within the hike has less value than it should.
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      Feb 26 2014: Absolutely Raymond, it seems a very idealistic idea to think of the people reaching to the top had help and assist others on the way to the top.
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    Feb 24 2014: The best achievements in my life were posible for me only when I absolutely isolated my work from any competition (but not from information and knowledge, nature) I have had to do this in order to find my own unique way to reach the goal. Usually a very unusual goal.

    Our human Competitions control us by artificial rules, narrow our moves, actions and mentality.

    In nature, Competitions Blind the Furious Competitors and they lose awareness of what is happening around them..

    Even when we try to comprehend the meaning of evolution we see that fights and competitions are not as crucially great as we might believe, and are not always leading to sound development of some species over others.

    But the one who finds new ways out of danger or poverty of vital sources, peacefully "wins" over others, whether just for one's own sake -- or for the sake of others as well, leading others to a "better place".
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    Feb 24 2014: I think the drive behind competition is the want to do well and separate yourself from others. We all want to succeed, but our measures of success vary. I think competition allows some people a clear goal. Win or lose. Work hard and you can 'win', work not so hard and you can 'lose'. Our definitions of winning and losing vary as well. But to sum up, what is "behind" competition is the want to do well and be acknowledged for your efforts.

    I think competition is fine, but sometimes is taken too far for some people. You should not want to 'win' to such an extent that your actions do more harm than good.

    In regards to the Olympics, I personally think (and have expressed in a blog post) they should be watched not as people competing for different countries, but people competing for the love of the game.
  • Feb 23 2014: Yes, in perhaps my opinion only. :-). We see, in the world today, many positives and negatives that have emerged from a climate in which Competition, and this division, has played the dominant role over Cooperation. Eventually, societal fragmentation increases to such a degree that the only way out of the mess will be a slow swing back to Cooperation. Of course, large numbers will insist upon maintaining Competition as the dominant model......thus, there will be mucho a greater severity than now exists. I believe people are hoping for a renaissance of some sort but I believe we've a good way to go into darkness before anything like that happens. Though the smallest spark can ignite a large fire. And there is plenty of kindling.

    Cooperation cannot be centrally governed. It must be governed by the Players that are Cooperating. This requires a broader awareness. We are not there...yet.

    What are your thoughts?
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    W. Ying

    • +1
    Feb 23 2014: .
    It does if in the conditions out of the valid range of our instincts.
    • Feb 23 2014: W;

      Very smart and to the point observation.
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        Feb 28 2014: .
        It is merely one of the well-proven conmon senses.
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    Feb 23 2014: Let's not forget that teams also compete! So collaboration by itself isn't the opposite of competition.
  • Feb 22 2014: I would put competition into 'buckets', and I've come up with only these essential themes: there is competition rooted in the effort to sustain life; and competition to participate in a shared recreational interest. Both are essentially healthy, but of course, just because a motivation is healthy, doesn't mean that the means to achieve these ends are healthy, ethical, or 'positive'. To answer the question, I don't think it is the competition itself that 'influences' people, it is the environmental, value(s) related, and effective (most efficient) means of accomplishing the end goal that influence behaviors.
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      Feb 23 2014: what needs to be change or reset? the younger generations are getting the wrong message by the giants of marketing in sports.
      In general marketing has create these " Idols" Witch what they resemble are far from human, they are featured on video games, magazines. etc. They do influence behaviors.
      • Feb 23 2014: I don't think it's the marketing that's the issue. You have to admit, they do a good job at creating these idols, some of which are motivating and entertaining. The issue is in education. We're taught to memorize and become complacent workers in our education system, and our children are ignored by parents who are too busy to raise us with the proper attention (because we all have to work too much to meet out basic needs). If we educate our children how to judge and think for themselves more than just memorization, that would probably be a good implementation of a reset. Then, perhaps those idols which are toxic won't be as popular as they are today because their audience is better educated.
        • Feb 23 2014: You get a bigbig "FOREAL". I think what should be hammered in schools from the gate till life's end is critical thinking, critical thinking, critical thinking, CRITICAL THINKING!omg...u are so correct.Let's also not take away from the feats executed by these athletes,cause that's what advertisers capture,package and sell......physical feats.
      • Feb 23 2014: You say "far from human" but look how much humans differ from one another with similarities included.
  • Feb 22 2014: I think the optimal performance in any system is a balance between collaboration and competition. There's a time and place for each. Competition fosters independence of doing the same 'thing', and is used in a low or unknown trust environment - each of which may do it better than the other. Without it, you have a monopoly (or oligopolies) getting to choose their own "performance" or, in the sense of the economy, "output". Like Steven Panther said: How competition went awry - because in that case, collaboration would have been better. Competition is good when you want to keep everything equal and in check, collaboration is to do better when the team that you have for the common goal.
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      Feb 22 2014: I like teams. Team members collaborate with one another, and yet they also compete as a team against other teams. That seems to be the most productive way to do things.

      But then again, Adolph Hitler had his own team (of Nazi thugs). And, as we all know, they did no good for anyone at all! In fact, they cause the rest of the world a great deal of difficulty and consternation.

      Teamwork is good. But getting purposes and goals right has to come first. Your goals must be beneficial and altruistic for everyone. Teamwork really can build a better world for all of us. On the other hand, teamwork for evil purposes can destroy us all.
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    Feb 22 2014: Weather competitions are positive or negative depends on the persons competing. If you are too focused on winning, it becomes negative to me - simply because you then forget what's important: Love.

    But I know that competition also can help you regain your inner strength, even though I've never experienced it myself...
    • Feb 23 2014: Actually, the only person or thing u r truly competing against is yourself/ personal best finding the magical moment when u are totally uninhibited and if it happens to be something physical or musical your mind and any thoughts are totally out of the equation...
    • Feb 23 2014: Nature of life in the Universe has its creative and destructive sides. One is not there without the other.

      Idea could be altruistic. Actions has real and unequal consequences in interpretations.
  • Feb 22 2014: It's when big dollars are involved in the competition that brings about corrosive behaviour...
    • Feb 22 2014: Because the money game is broken.
      • Feb 23 2014: MOre like the money games"fixed"...
        • Feb 23 2014: Yes. The money game provides incentive only for the individual, and not for society as a whole - it's still all about getting rich, but the means about getting there can be detrimental to society - because the rules we've come up with (the monetary system) allows for it. It doesn't need to be this way - the monetary system is our own creation.

          Check my link here and you'll see why I think this way if you're interested:

    • Feb 27 2014: Nathan:

      But that is the part of equation. Can anyone create a system that does not have undesirable element to it? In our enlightened history we have tried many system. None is shining star with only all goodness.
  • Feb 22 2014: Competition is definitely a good thing.any negativity brought about is a reflection of that person's lack of sportsmanship,a stepping stone they must learn to deal with and cross.In that light all completion is good. Just learn from the bad...
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      Feb 22 2014: What person are you talking about?
      Because if a child isn't good at sports and is being teased with that, I don't think you just have to that kid to learn from it. Or is it just me?

      If the persons you talk about is the ones that makes competing negative (forexample the ones teasing), I think you might be right :)
      • Feb 22 2014: Now u gotta be specific,cause if he being teased with an adult or more present then that's the failure of the elders to check the kids teasing.other than than there not much else you can do besides just teaching your kids on the right way to be.u can't always be there to protect ur kid, that's where they must learn to deal with these sort of jackholes, pardon my language, we tend to find through out all stages of life...
    • Feb 22 2014: Sportsmanship is social... communist
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        Feb 23 2014: do you see communist being positive or negative?
        • Mar 3 2014: Competition clearly just has a negative connotation to it. Your child doesn't make the baseball team his freshman year of high school? Or any sports team? "whoops" sorry.
          Coming from an inspired college student, I find this way more philosophical and psychological throughout the Mind/Body. Humans, although they may not know it take things into the context of their senses making them their own worst enemy. Kantian Ethics, Manuel Kant and his duties provided morality which includes, virtues of intrinsic/instrumental goods, values, and inspired by Aristotle and Mill, making them the big 3. Evolutionary terms also develops a negative connotation without some sort neutral mind-set.
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    Mar 8 2014: Competition is a necessary evil.
  • Mar 8 2014: well i agree to competition being the cornerstone of evolution though it must have its limits..but the truth is, this must also apply to co-operation, team work, equality and all as much as people trying to picture themselves equal..the truth is the inverse...we are all unique in a sense....and in any field our abilities are not the same...with competition in the right sense....more can be done as those with better abilities generate better results while individuals with less abilities strive to equal the better ones(a win win!)...but since we are unique in our abilities...thats when cooperation comes cover for the weakness of each other so that the department or institution or whatever unit, may be more effective in its output
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    Mar 6 2014: Holla Jorge,

    Thank you for posing this question. As someone who has deeply investigated this phenomenon, this is what I have to say, and people will interpret it as they may:

    - Competition arises due to a process of comparison between self-concepts, inwardly and outwardly. "I" as a concept, compare with what I view as "you" also as a concept, and in that comparison, most likely will result in two types of reactions.

    The first reaction is that I am worse off, because you have more, you are more intelligent, your girlfriend is better looking, "yours is bigger than mine syndrome". This results in JEALOUSY and ENVY, deadly sins that produce GREED..
    The next reaction is I am better than you, "mine is bigger than yours" and this results in ARROGANCE, PRIDE and VANITY.

    We live our lives trapped between these two modes of living, JEALOUSY and ARROGANCE because there are always people better off than us as well as people worse off than us. And competition is "keeping up with the Jones's" meaning trying to be better off than anyone else, and belonging to the ARROGANT class, where pleasure and delight is the order of the day.
    We try and avoid the JEALOUS class because theirs is the pain and suffering, living in ENVY, and suffering.

    The question is: can I stop defining myself in terms of concepts, and stop thus acquiring a self-image? Can I then stop comparing my self-concept with others?

    You see, for self-concept to exist, one needs to compare one' concept of self with other's concept of self, else we do not have a self concept. But concepts being concepts, why do we care to have one, and compare it with someone else's? This is vanity and pride at work.

    Living conceptually is neurotic living, always feeling trapped, lacking, or being arrogant, searching for power and money, etc.

    Concepts are not real, so why do we take them for real?
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      Mar 7 2014: Johnny I read it carefully every word and you have done a fantastic explanation. Thank you for taking your time to make this conversation something we can all reflect in our lives. An perhaps think a little less about competition without a valuable meaning.
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        Mar 7 2014: Thank you for your kind feedback, my friend, may you live in peace and harmony with yourself and the world.
    • Mar 7 2014: Hey Johnny Atman

      what I choose to say… and share… involves a concept that is a bit distinctively 'different' … in that the comparisons result in a singular story-line that includes the dualities you put forth within a rather petty possibility when considered next to 'other' possibilities some of which ought to be realized as realities.

      There are additional types of reactions to the comparison between self-concepts. Some do live entrapped between the two modes of living you described; still there are those who live free of those two modes immersed in a sublime delight, serenity and purposefulness that transcend the keeping up with the jones's ...

      To answer your question : NO, you can't do that, you can't stop defining self in terms of concepts, all one can do involves opting how to do it. the question isn't to be or not to be, the question is how to be… Its ok to compare my self-concept with others self-concepts … especially when done appropriately… BTW for self-concept to exists, a self needs to conform a self concept. Some choose to use others's self-concepts instead of conforming one all their own. Concepts being concepts, can exists as concepts and are distinctly different from concepts individuals choose to hold and care about… Why do some choose to compare and contrast their concepts with someone else's? well as you sort of pointed out some do this as a vanity and prideful act… while some do it for other reasons… my whole point here centers on the fundamental notion that there are additional types of reactions one can consider… personally I prefer one of them additional types of reactions...

      Hope you will interpret this as I meant it… of course you are free to choose some alternative… just be aware that if you choose a different alternative you will be embracing what you chose to create rather than what I meant to share…
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        Mar 7 2014: Hi Esteban

        Those enlightened are the exception to my answer, me perdonas
        • Mar 7 2014: Johnny,

          Based on what you just said, your previous post and applying a bit of revisionism :
          - Competition arises due to a process of unenlightened comparison between self-concepts…

          Now that to me sounds much more adequate :-) and in line … thanks for the clarification… I learned something new today thanks to you… what is there to forgive?
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        Mar 7 2014: Nada, armano, nada
  • Mar 6 2014: • 2 hours ago: Charles Hunsinger


    Einstein was a genius. You do not seem to be and it is doubtful that I am. Einstein was in one of his altruistic moments. Does the word condescending mean anything? And no, this is not what capitalism does. This is what socialism does.

    You cover a great many points, some that I would like to respond to, but without some definition that would simply be an exercise in futility. Ranting is the best argument against reason.
    I am a capitalist. I believe in the Bill of Rights, The Constitution of the United States. In that, all are equal under the law, I believe in the freedom to achieve. I believe that when one achieves others benefit. A good example of that would be Henry Ford, so if you drive a car thank Karl Benz and that you can afford one thank Henry, use electricity thank Ben,Edison. and Tesla. The list is a long one.
    It would seem that you endear asocialis, communist or Marxist mindset, if this is true please state your position and we can go from there or you can continue with the futility alone. You might also point to any great achievements attained with that thinking.
  • Mar 6 2014: LOVE
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    Mar 4 2014: I have read this somewhere and found very true - "If you are the best one in the room, you are in the wrong room".
    • Mar 4 2014: That depends on what one is doing in the room!

      I used to believe that if one was in the wrong room it was evidence that one made a mistake, until I realize one could had made the right choice, and be in the wrong room to do something right. The same was true of beings in the right room, one could be there for all kinds or reasons. Some can come and go from room to room as they please; while some are sort of stuck into a particular room until they do their duty. It's better to just better the place one be in.
  • Mar 4 2014: Competition in business (because let's face it, none of you are real sports fans and many of you were probably bullied by jocks in highschool and have longheld antagonistic predispositions of physical methods of wooing the person one catches an eye for) comes from when A-types get frustrated with the product of another company and decide they could make something better or fix and build upon some functions in the product. Companies (CEO and board) don't want competition and be forced to bring down their prices because after all we're trying to make as much money as we can as fast as we can so we can get all the materialistic girls that we never could before, however i have to acknowledge the difference in software and tangible products because a software developer benefits and teaches themself by developing on their own without seeking to sell the software. We just do it to see if we can, really, and it's so much easier to write code that you may edit and tend to whenever you wish than having to carry around sheet metal and boxes of nuts and bolts to work on your Iron Man suit. There's also the team vs team competitive spirit that drives innovation and there's really nothing more fundamental than having the desire to beat the other team like in a game, and beating "them" is just finishing first, racking up more points given by the judges or the scorekeeper and just toiling away without any other thought until you either hear the other team yell and cheer or your own team yell and cheer. Like a soldier who goes back to the frontlines will tell you, "it's about the guy next to you, the guy to your left and to your right, and nothing else."
  • Mar 4 2014: maybe that works!
  • Mar 4 2014: oh no! Would you like to join my "TOP SECRET TED GROUP" on Facebook? I'll send you a friend request? Or you may send me one!
  • Mar 4 2014:
    View this paper in response to this debate please. Let me know what YOU think of it.
  • Mar 4 2014: I agree, but how do we get there? what you describe is a resource based economy, and is the next step (when supply is so high that cost doesn't matter and we can stop using the registry for our needs). But how do we get there? You can't just flip a switch and just start doing it until you have a high abundance society. Jacques Fresco and the people at the venus project talk about how it could be like once we're there but not how to get there. This is what I cam up with and decribe how we just start doing it, one registry at a time. What do you think? Possible? Will you play the social networking game when im done to help me get the data I need to validate it?
    • Mar 4 2014: Well we are on aren't we?
  • Mar 3 2014: Competition is what happens when there is a perception of insufficiency. Some organism is going to try and get those resources perceived as "necessary" in order to survive. Some other organism is going to try for that same "chunk" of resources or even just a piece of that chunk. This is competition, nothing else.

    Reality is irrelevant, only perception matters.
    • Mar 3 2014: yah and ignorance is bliss!
    • Mar 3 2014: exactly dude
      • Mar 3 2014: Of course, that doesn't adequately explain public school athletic competition. After all, if the Rockport-Fulton Pirates beat the Gregory-Portland Wildcats, the winning team doesn't get to pillage the losing team's bus and carry off their cheerleaders as concubines.
  • Mar 3 2014: Competition clearly just has a negative connotation to it. Your child doesn't make the baseball team his freshman year of high school? Or any sports team? "whoops" sorry.
    Coming from an inspired college student, I find this way more philosophical and psychological throughout the Mind/Body. Humans, although they may not know it take things into the context of their senses making them their own worst enemy. Kantian Ethics, Manuel Kant and his duties provided morality which includes, virtues of intrinsic/instrumental goods, values, and inspired by Aristotle and Mill, making them the big 3. Evolutionary terms also develops a negative connotation without some sort neutral mind-set. While sitting in on my Philosophy Lecture, Dr. Mark Alfano is describing Metaethics on Moral Realism, Absolutism, and Cultural Relativism, and Subjective Relativism considering desires of norms. This taxonomy can be described in any connotation. Q at Issue: After 8 weeks of ethics, which of these positions do you find most attractive? Absolutism, unconstrained cultural relativism, need and capability constrained cultural relativism, unconstrained subjectivism, need and capability constrained subjectivism, error theory, and sentimentalism/ expressivism• The moral nihilist (error theorist) endorses three central claims: 1) There are no moral features in this world. 2) Nor moral judgments are true. 3) Our sincere moral judgments try, and always fail, to describe the moral features of things. 4) There is no moral knowledge.Our sincere moral judgements are not attempts to describe the moral features of things but serve to vent our emotions, command others to act in certain ways, or reveal plans of action. Expressives are used to describe simple behavior. Torture is immoral. Example: Sco Ducks, but talk-down the people of Eugene.
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    Mar 2 2014: Competition is an the energy boost. Where we decide to channel that energy is up to us.
    I can do better but someone will do better than me, so we are never alone , we need each other to complete the experience.
    I personally don't fancy competition, tests or assessments. They just grab the tiniest part of our abilitis in a set time. so are we timimg time or our ability?
  • Mar 2 2014: Well... to many a real life questions there is no plain Yes or No, True or False answers. I usually try to understand such questions with the approach - 'which layer and situations the statement holds or is useful or applicable'. In this case, for scientific discoveries, art creations - the answer is no. But every year you want to select some due to limitations on facilities, positions open etc (may it be grad school or open positions in company) then one has to use some thumb rule - so this is fine. At the end of it, any of the failure (and i know this is a wrong word here, may be un-selection) should not demoralize the basic confidence in human.
  • Mar 1 2014: I think competition is needed. Just check the technological advancement it has given us, sighting Apple, Microsoft and co as example. If competition makes anyone act negatively then the blame is on the person and his/her personality. Any determined person will flourish under competition.
  • Feb 27 2014: Yes, Its an Egocentric form of expression.

    This topic will be discussed even after 100 years , then after 200 years , then after 1000 years , then after 2000 years .. but competition will not go away.

    We all will do pious and ideals talks , and then again revert back to what we were doing , ie competition.

    It is said that the dogs tail was inserted inside the pipe for 10 years to straighten it , but after 10 years when the tail was brought out from the pipe it was still bent.
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    Feb 26 2014: This work might interest you:

    Joshua Greene finds that our immediate reactions toward our tribes, or the groups with whom we feel most connected, is actually altruistic and cooperative rather than competitive- that is, our *immediate* reaction before we even begin to process rationally. He does not find, as many people assume, that evolutionary biology means we are naturally each one for himself.

    I think you might be interested in the link.
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      Feb 26 2014: Thanks Fritzie, very interesting.
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        Feb 27 2014: I am glad. I know some people don't like hearing scholars talk about stuff, but I have always found it useful.
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    Feb 25 2014: In bussines or Sports we see a huge lack of consciousness, leadership is represented with no moral values.
  • Feb 25 2014: i think too often people forget that the goal is to strive to be better, and instead just focus on trying to win.

    i think it's important to note though that even if you can't afford to get to the olympics, just trying will raise your skill and ability, something that wouldn't happen without that inspiration.
  • Feb 25 2014: Competition comes from people or group of people having the same goal/goals. It can be very helpful, especially if it is friendly competition. If it is not friendly, it can be destructive.
  • Feb 24 2014: Competition is stress and some stress is good and beneficial in all organisms.
  • Feb 24 2014: I see the language of civilization being wrecked ala Orwell's 1984; "communism" is a grunt, an ejaculation, a term of abuse, a shibboleth, like "democracy" was for us 200-300 years ago, rather than a political concept. Communism is societies first nature and breaks through "elite" suppression every few decades for at leas 1000 years but we can look back to at least The Athenian Constitution for the same basic issues. Marx is something else, several other things...
    Capitalism>competition>aggression>empire>oligarchic-monoploy etc
    Of course each in it's proper sphere may modulate into vast horrors...bureaucracy needs to be tamed everywhere, far more fruitful to focus on that.
    Detente/convergence is the best soln I can see: new and small businesses encouraged by min reg/taxes, big/static companies regulated and taxed... esp if they are raiding pension funds, not investing excess profits etc . Things which could be worked out, engineered.
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    Feb 24 2014: If there is no competition, how can you tell that a certain activity or product is done in the right way? If im doing something that no one else besides me in the world is doing, I can easily claim that im doing it in the only right and best way. I could be right, however there is a big chance that someone else might do it way better than me.

    Competition is comparison, and comparison to others makes you feel cheerful or down, depending on the result, If I feel cheerful, I will surely work to keep my feeling and position, thus evolve and gain expertise, However, if im down, this will create ambition or frustration, either way, one will work in the hope of becoming the best or reach high positions, thus evolve and gain expertise.
    Same result, same behavior of looking forward, competition have surely a positive effect on us, by refusing a monotonous life, and letting place to discovery, learning from mistakes and evolution, and this is the essence of life.
    • Feb 25 2014: I definitely hear you...competition is natural...that's what Darwin had the insight to see..people all too often put humanity above the rest of nature when in actuality we are born from's in the genes folks...we can't help it...
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    Feb 24 2014: I guess it could influence someone to cheat. But competition is good for it makes people strive to win.
    thereby benefiting the contestant in many ways.
  • Feb 24 2014: You can also find examples of cooperation throughout nature and surely it has played its part in the process of evolution. From cooperation in family groups, to mutualism, and the symbiotic relationships with bacteria that are necessary for our survival. People use the narrow estimation of nature being brutal and merciless to justify (to themselves as often as to others) the decisions they make and actions they take.
  • Feb 24 2014: As far as social politics and governing bodies there is no fail safe system cause it's never been about the system but the creatures that created it.yup can say till your blue in the body how one system is better than another because blah blah blah..all that's gonna happen is the hackers see gonna figure out how to hack the system and slowly but surely change the direction it once had.people gotta change..
  • Feb 24 2014: There can definitely be cooperative competition or competitive cooperation....
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    Feb 23 2014: Within the arena and the marketplace competition is a valid and even can be deemed an important expression of service, pride and accomplishment, both of the individual and of a team or business.

    But within a family or a community it is neither functional nor healthy. Family and community are about common interests such as survival and often share similar values and principles and are more inclined towards compromise.. Competition is about winners and losers and only brings hard feelings and conflict to families and communities.

    So keep the competitions in the arena and the marketplace and out of the social fabric.
    • Feb 23 2014: So your saying school or neighborly competition is bad? Not being able to deal with loss is bad, especially when the only thing riding on it is pride or bragging rights or both.
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        Feb 24 2014: What I said was what I typed, not what you interpreted. Competition belongs in the marketplace and the arena, not the family or the community where common interests are more important and competition is the antithesis of compromise. .
        • Feb 24 2014: So in a social setting an example of competition being bad would be_________.
        • Feb 25 2014: Im really trying to understand what you mean because it's a very general statement you examples?
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        Feb 26 2014: Sorry to be so late responding. Power was out for 2 days.

        However, I never used the term "bad". If you look at my initial post I simply point out that competition within the family or the community is neither functional or healthy and then I give an explanation of why.

        In fact, the term :bad" can be just as problematic as competition in a community setting since the word in an of itself is divisive, pitting "good" against "bad" whether it be ideas, things or people.

        Competition in the marketplace and the arena is a very good thing. A place to vent that very human energy. Nor is competition "bad" outside those venues. It just is not healthy or functional in an environment - namely families and communities - where we have to find common ground, not winners and losers.
        • Feb 28 2014: I guess that is where I would disagree,"competition is about winners and losers and only brings hard feelings and conflict to families and communities".Thats where I totally disagree, and thats why I also asked for an example,a very specific one if possible.
  • Feb 23 2014: Is not it close to Chinese system?

    The moved 600 millions from poverty to middle class by using smart people and making some of the even Billionaire. They also prefer in Government people coming from working background where they have gone up from real work, then managing factories or large enterprises so they are familiar with average workers in work situation.

    The minimal work doe not work. Contrary to Brave New world, human mind likes to be occupied and when it is not it creates trouble or lapses in depression. I keep track of near by Senior retirement home fore rich people. The spend lot of money for 7/24 care. What is the most need they feel besides physical is killing loneliness and occupying mind. When able the like shopping,lectures, movies, socializing etc.

    I am skeptical about technologically advance society will be so caring and for universal goodness. Thousands of years of religious teaching did not lead to just society. I have to accept form you that life's craving for better life and innovation is not universal among all living things. The monkey things that leads to neutering of lesser free loader for better future offspring is great and I can accept. And I can also accept the old and poor will be clutter and problem to take care seeking extra ordinary services at great cost {not in abundance from your concept of abundance) need to go early. They are equal to neutered. Then neutered number can be sustained bases of resources they will use and its abundance. Rest has to be liquidate one way or other.

    You are on good track. You need to figure out all the combinations of events and situation that wiil rise and solutions in your world.

    Nice taking to you
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    Feb 23 2014: Olá Jorge,
    What is behind competition? Probably a sense of lack (rather than a sense of abundance). This is a state of mind, and not how much money one has/not.
    Does competition influence the behavior of people in a negative way? I think there is plenty of evidence to answer: yes it does.
    I would say both competition and co-operation find their rightful place (ie: don't become distorted) when humans act from a strong place of self-acceptance.
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      Feb 25 2014: Joshua thanks for taking time to share your opinion.
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    Feb 23 2014: .
    It does if it is out of the valid range of instincts.
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      Feb 23 2014: W.Ying whats your definition of a champion?
  • Feb 23 2014: Evolutionary rule is competition and change. Currently China has created a reasonably viable balance. (now I am open to attack] The goal of freedom, growth and economic equality is non starter.

    Advanced technology and productivity has created problem that seems to have no solution. Add to that freedom. and equality. Then there is human propensity for endless communication that is accelerating in volume and speed more that human capacity to rationally process. Smart people are needed to manage this but we cannot have too many. There are lesser people with less of intelligence or motivation or skill or ability and then there are increasing older people. I doubt even God if he existed can manage equality in this.

    Future is lesser people, lower longevity. The means severe birth control, reduction in end of life services and encouraging death chambers for good of society. If person is a liability cannot support them if they are manageable numbers, But at certain ratio or productive/non productive system become unstable. Good intentions do not lead to solutions. You cannot take care of 100 crippled 100 year old if you need 300 people to take care of their living. Arithmetic is not there.

    Those who cannot compete, adjust and manage may have to go as it happens in almost all living life form. If we inject value that are not natural then we will be flooded with incapable people and destroy whole structure.

    I hate my suggestion. I hope well meaning people here have a better solution that does not depend like mine on natural human, animal instinct and mind. I cannot buy corn beef sandwiches if I have only tenth the money in my pocket. I know that from once being homeless in my youth.
    • Feb 23 2014: You asked for a better solution - you may like the solution I've offered that I'm trying to find out if it will work or not. It utilizes human nature (competition being one of them) to bring society towards high abundance of quality goods for everyone, without destroying the planet, while keeping the gains that you get from capitalism and an implementation of a direct democracy.
      • Feb 23 2014: Patrick"

        I read what you say. But is not it the original idea of communism. Authoritarianism for equality. Hitlers Germany did it. People were happy except those who were not wanted by Government and people.

        But ultimately strong and smart monkey is a leader who on one in the tribe can defeat.He wants all the females. How do you suppress this. At worst it is evolutionary and natural to life.

        If there are too many rules in a proposed solution, ultimately those who can understand and are powerful wins. In a Obama care with its complexity, individual will have no voice. He cannot understand 2000. He do not have resources to go to court.He loses.

        However if you can sell it and works, it will be nice. But those two are big obstacle. Even my proposal will not get enough support. Of course but killing is easier than convincing.

        Thank you for response
        • Feb 23 2014: Thanks for reading :)
          It is absolutely NOT the same as communism. Communism removes capitalism, and dictates what people get, evenly, according to some higher power (government). This does not. Being on top in this economy means you can get those things that are scarce (by scarce I mean those things which are not yet in abundance, or are scarce because of the physical amount of human effort it takes to build - think owning your own plane vs using a plane ticket, owning your own boat, etc), just like in our capitalist economy. But because the things that are the basic necessities of life (food, water, shelter, entertainment) that everyone wants will be really cheap to purchase (because those ambitious at the top worked towards building society this way), everyone can have their basic needs met by working very little (helping the odd person here and there and registering it, part time work, etc). Those who are ambitious and greedy can still be at the top, and those who are at the bottom have their basic needs met. The battling of the monkeys increases the strength of the species (the strongest male survives and his offspring are more likely to be stronger as well). Similarly, the competition of our species (those who are trying to produce quality goods for more people in less time) are going to get paid the most which provides incentive for complete automation. And at that point, when abundance is high - then society will start realizing that putting a number towards it (money), is rather pointless because everything that matters is of high abundance. You won't want a plane, because there's mass transit everywhere that's faster. The best food that exists will be around for everyone.
          Complicated? It's not that hard from the users perspective. Complain when you don't have something, publish what you sell/offer, state what you got was good or bad, and if you're engaged in changing society, check the registry for projects you can contribute your excess time money towards.
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    Feb 23 2014: Glory is. It does, sure. :)
  • Feb 22 2014: Next to competition is aggression
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    Feb 22 2014: Caballero., Hombre que se porta con nobleza y generosidad. Lastimosamente se ve muy poco esta cualidad y calidad humana en los picaderos y en las competiciones equestres.