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Hahahahahaha!!!

Here is Enrique Nieto, Mexico's president, saying he has the deepest respect for Donald Trump and would work well with him if he gets elected.

And he's saying this right in President Obama's face:

Granted, he framed it as both Trump and Clinton, but he mentioned Trump by name a couple of times without any qualification and in a positive light. The camera only showed Obama briefly, but I imagine his throat was tight throughout this segment of Nieto's speech.

:) 

Michael

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That's what it says at the top of the page.  Your point?  It's not like this thread has devolved into a medley of cat videos.  Yet.  

It is intriguing.  I've been fairly obsessed for about a year with thinking about details.  I find microbiology fascinating. I wouldn't be wise, however, to talk about details.  The schemers are

They see suave, debonair Frisco giving a philosophically deep money speech, or John Galt taking over a radio presentation and addressing the audience in the manner of a professor. If they don't see th

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11 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

badmouthing Trump ("con man", etc., ) who can stop her. Its the absolute worst thing you could do, if you wanted Hillary stopped.

I really, really hope that Hillary doesn't win, and that Trump is what he claims to be.  But there is no way that I can pretend that I think other than I do.  I have no respect for people who pretend a thing is wonderful because they hate it's alternative.  Sometimes the truth is that we are not given a good alternative.

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6 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

I really, really hope that Hillary doesn't win, and that Trump is what he claims to be.  But there is no way that I can pretend that I think other than I do.  I have no respect for people who pretend a thing is wonderful because they hate it's alternative.  Sometimes the truth is that we are not given a good alternative.

I have no respect for that, either. I see a lot of it on the Dem side.

I can assure you it is no description of me and I'm confident not of Michael, either

Sometimes. Not this time.

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5 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Trump: Cruz will still try to endorse but I don't want it

This is the kind of thing that Trump needs to stop.  It makes him look small, thin-skinned, and focused on stabbing someone because they don't love him, and doing so when it doesn't help Trump, when he doesn't need to, and when it doesn't have any effect on where he is going next.  A bigger man would just ignore it.  Or, even better, say something nice about Cruz, which would have softened some of the negative feelings among the Cruz supporters.  He could have said, "Things get said in the heat of the campaign and it can leave bad feelings.  I have great respect for Ted Cruz."   And moved on.

This is narcissism getting in Trump's way.  Three steps forward - then shoot himself in the foot.  And, on Cruz's part, I can see why he wouldn't endorse Trump, but he could have not endorsed him but still made a real convention-rousing speech.  He could have said, "Things get said in the heat of the campaign and it can leave bad feelings.  And two people can find that they have insurmountable difference in political opinions.  But make no mistake.  I'll be campaigning as hard as I ever have in my life to ensure that we never have to endure a Hillary Clinton Presidency."  That would have gotten the job done, and not stepped on his future political ambitions as hard.  At later press conferences, he could have said, "No, I'm still not able to endorse Mr. Trump.  That pledge fell to the wayside when we grew apart as far as we did.  But I'll work hard to elect everyone who is running on those principles I share."

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10 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

This is the kind of thing that Trump needs to stop.  It makes him look small, thin-skinned, and focused on stabbing someone because they don't love him, and doing so when it doesn't help Trump, when he doesn't need to, and when it doesn't have any effect on where he is going next.  A bigger man would just ignore it.  Or, even better, say something nice about Cruz, which would have softened some of the negative feelings among the Cruz supporters.  He could have said, "Things get said in the heat of the campaign and it can leave bad feelings.  I have great respect for Ted Cruz."   And moved on.

This is narcissism getting in Trump's way.  Three steps forward - then shoot himself in the foot.  And, on Cruz's part, I can see why he wouldn't endorse Trump, but he could have not endorsed him but still made a real convention-rousing speech.  He could have said, "Things get said in the heat of the campaign and it can leave bad feelings.  And two people can find that they have insurmountable difference in political opinions.  But make no mistake.  I'll be campaigning as hard as I ever have in my life to ensure that we never have to endure a Hillary Clinton Presidency."  That would have gotten the job done, and not stepped on his future political ambitions as hard.  At later press conferences, he could have said, "No, I'm still not able to endorse Mr. Trump.  That pledge fell to the wayside when we grew apart as far as we did.  But I'll work hard to elect everyone who is running on those principles I share."

Ecce homo.  Behold the Man!  Warts, Blemishes and All.   You get Trump as he is, not as you would like him to be.

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Cruz is poison. The Republican Party should revoke his membership, not allow him again to run as a Republican. Consequences. He has amply demonstrated that he cannot be trusted. No coming back from it. I'm donating to the person who positions to take him out, I presume in 2018 (?)

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1 hour ago, SteveWolfer said:

This is narcissism getting in Trump's way. 

Steve,

I don't see this as narcissism at all. I see it in more evolutionary biology terms. This, to me, is alpha male competition for the role of leader.

Trump and Cruz were doing OK until Cruz went after Melania with a knife in Utah. Trump came back at him with a cannon. Go after my family, motherfucker, and I'll take yours out and you with them. And maybe even take your friends out, too. (As he bares his chest and howls at the moon. :) )

That alpha stuff simmered and flared up at times for the rest of the election. Especially from Cruz when he lost.

Then, in sore loser mode, Cruz said to GOP people in a Texas breakfast yesterday morning (as it went all over the news) the reason he didn't endorse Trump, but essentially stuck his tongue out at him on Trump's own stage, is because he's more alpha male than Trump is. Mess with my family and I'll fuck you up. And I'm saying this to the world on the day of your acceptance speech. So shove it, Trump. I beat you at your own game.

That's about as clear an alpha male challenge as you can get. So Trump got in front of the press and set the record straight. That's why he told Cruz to stay home in the end. It was an alpha male dismissal of a loser's challenge and of the challenger himself. If I had seen Trump brushing lint off his sleeve at that moment, it would have felt perfect.

I'm putting words to this, so it might sound silly, but this is limbic brain stuff where words don't operate. Emotions do.

The primate in us vibrates, oh how it responds and resonates to this stuff, often in a manner our intellects find uncomfortable. But the resonance is real. Just watch Trump's numbers over time for verification.

I assure you, at the limbic alpha male level, many, many, many people feel like Cruz kept calling Trump out for a fight and they wanted to see the cage match each time. That's why they tuned in. That's why each fight got so much media attention. And that's why Trump's responses feel so very right to them. Trump is their leader, their alpha. Cruz is not. He lost. Go away, loser. 

In fact, if Trump had let this go (to be the "better man," or be "more presidential," or to "stay on message"), that would have been a crack in their respect for him. A small one, but still a crack.

Apropos, I believe Cruz is perfectly aware of all this, even from the beginning. Have you noticed that "cage match" was originally Cruz's phrase?

Cruz fans probably won't agree with my analysis, but I'm also sure they are smarting from the way Trump's rebuke is playing out with the public. They wanted Cruz to beat Trump, not just intellectually and election-wise. They wanted Cruz to dominate Trump as an alpha male. They wanted Cruz to crush Trump and they don't like seeing Cruz vanquished and dismissed.

Michael

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3 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

I can assure you it is no description of me and I'm confident not of Michael, either

Jon,

Did I understand the argument correctly, that Trump admirers are Trump admirers because they are delusional and trying to goose up choosing the lesser of two evils?

:)

Your confidence is totally warranted. That does not describe me. Just look at the size and quality of arguing on this thread. That's a shit-load of work. Not even in my druggie days was I delusional enough to do that.

:) 

Michael

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2 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jon,

Did I understand the argument correctly, that Trump admirers are Trump admirers because they are delusional and trying to goose up choosing the lesser of two evils?

:)

Your confidence is totally warranted. That does not describe me. Just look at the size and quality of arguing on this thread. That's a shit-load of work. Not even in my druggie days was I delusional enough to do that.

:) 

Michael

It's that stages of grief thing.

We just have to be patient.

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18 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I don't see this as narcissism at all. I see it in more evolutionary biology terms.

If these were "choices" decreed by the limbic center and not accessible or modifiable by the frontal cortex, then you're arguing a kind of determinism.  Narcissism is a defense mode and as such its impulses can always, to some degree, be overridden by conscious awareness and will - which means that a man as accomplished as Trump can be advised, and can learn, and can choose to make better political choices.  For him, it would have been no problem to feed some "alpha male" red meat to the base at the very time that he said nice words about Cruz.  My point was that he chose to go with the narcissistic impulse.

Evolutionary biology, strictly speaking, does not deal with psychology. 

There is evolutionary psychology, but much of it is in a bit of muddle, doesn't work well with any form of volition, isn't clearly defined, and often takes what it sees as a pattern of behavior in front of us and find a way to describe our past in evolutionary terms that would account for that behavior, much of what is put forth as science isn't falsifiable, and yet it is an attempt to stuff psychology into biology and thereby make it more scientific.  

Evolutionary psychology discards ideas like a faculty for reason and adopts the view that we are evolutionarily programmed robots who engage in neurological computations.  It is a form of genetic reductionism and genetic determinism.

A lot of 'alpha male' and 'follower' patterns of behavior can be better understood as normal manipulations that relate to the parent-child authority model which is part of how nearly all of us grew up.  A good therapist can easily detect the mode in which a person is operating and choose to meet that mode in ways that coincide with it, or that encourage a shift in the person during an interaction.  Lots of politicians and lots of CEOs make good use of this psychology whether they have any awareness of it or not.  Note that this way of looking at it, doesn't take away from volition, or deny the capacity to reason.

 

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52 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

If these were "choices" decreed by the limbic center and not accessible or modifiable by the frontal cortex, then you're arguing a kind of determinism

Steve,

That is adding something to what I said. So maybe I wasn't clear.

First, the part about deducing reality from a principle. I don't do it that way. It is no more determinism to say that the limbic system exists and has a specific nature than it is to say that man has two legs. People exist as they exist. Rand called this Law of Identity. We learn it by observation and verify it by testing it under controlled conditions.

The second, of course neoplasticity exists: the brain can modify itself with just thinking. But we are still dealing with a living organism. The frontal cortex can access and override the lower parts of the brain and create new neural pathways (or circuits is a better term). But it cannot delete highly myelinated neural pathways (like a bad habit or riding a bicycle), nor can it delete whole parts of the limbic system. In fact, I doubt the frontal cortex can delete anything in the brain. To get around inconvenient a part of the brain, it can only block awareness of what's there, or create new pathways and trigger those new pathways on demand when the old ones itch to kick in (as the old ones partially atrophy, meaning the myelination starts degrading). I can get you some wonderful literature on this.

Also, resisting the limbic system's natural urges by sheer willpower to train it consumes a huge amount of calories. It is physically hard work. I fully agree that this needs to happen with humans, too, but just like with bedwetting, you can only train it so far (even after total automation kicks in). You learn not to pee in bed and you never think about it anymore, but you never learn not to pee at all.

Part of Trump's appeal is that he is perfectly comfortable in letting the alpha male in his limbic system out for a walk at times. He does not deny it and he does not ride guilt trips for it. He even celebrates it and people love him for it (mirror neurons anyone?).

He does control it, though. Trump has wicked strong discipline and he chooses exactly what he wants to discipline, so his volition is just fine, thank you very much. Notice that Trump is not a violent man. He doesn't slap people or get in fistfights and he isn't big on showing off his gun and weaponry collection. He has channelled that part into things like competitive sports. Or elections...

Reason-wise, he's productive as all hell. But I don't want to get too far off point.

As to evolutionary psychology (mentioned elsewhere in your post), you are right. I used the wrong term, evolutionary biology, albeit, psychology is biological. I would hate to see what happens to the bank account of a therapist for rocks or water or wind. :) 

I agree that evolutionary psychology is still in its infancy and there are some weird things out there, but I do not agree that this means we have to dismiss the entire field. There's a lot of good stuff, too.

For instance, let me mention just one book: the discussions of cognitive biases and rules of thumb in Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow (which he called heuristics) could be seen as a discussion of evolutionary psychology. I actually read that thing. All of it. Even that boring ass prospect theory economic stuff when he got into it and wouldn't shut up about it. :) 

Michael

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2 hours ago, wolfdevoon said:

I like Trump the way he is, feel nothing but contempt for Holier Than Thou Ted. No wonder everyone hates Cruz.

Wolf,

But... but... but...

Hillary Clinton thinks Ted Cruz is right. She said she never thought she would say this, but she agrees with him. Cruz has given her a speech-ending talking point (see here).

Way to go, Ted.

At least you know where you can get a job later...

:evil: 

Michael

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6 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

letting the alpha male in his limbic system out for a walk

Michael, that statement is colorful as a description, and maybe it's metaphorical, but it says nothing about volitional behavior.  If we try to take it literally we can't find 'alpha male' or volition in neurophysiology and we can't look at alternatives in political tactics.

The concept of 'alpha male' is interesting in that it points us to what appear to be differences between males and encourages us to look and see what is behind this difference (assuming we can first identify the differences in a more objective fashion).  But to just talk about 'alpha males' as if we already understood the neurophysiology/psychology is to pretend that this category has lots more meaning than 'Capricorns.'  

15 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

psychology is biological. I would hate to see what happens to the bank account of a therapist for rocks or water or wind.

Rock therapists would go hungry, as would any therapist who tried to work with flesh and blood or neural pathways as opposed to moods, emotions, thoughts and volitional behaviors.

18 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I do not agree that this means we have to dismiss the entire field.

I don't know who you are disagreeing with.  I didn't call for dismissing the entire field.  But I pointed out some major flaws.

I've said before, with a great many of the over 400 theoretical orientations there are kernels of truth - some discovery or technique that is valuable, but which often was not properly situated over a sound philosophy of psychology, and which was not essential enough to human nature as to warrant an entire theoretical orientation.  Evolutionary psychology is like that.  It starts with the exciting ideas of Darwin's Natural Selection - which has animated, and remade biology in general.  But it goes off track and gets fragmented and it is deterministic because it doesn't accept volition.  And it appears to have accepted the bias of behaviorists, who very much needed a new home, because at least some of them want to treat "reason" as an icky concept.

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I just saw, for the first time, the full post-convention remarks that Trump made about Cruz.  I couldn't believe it.  He starts by calling Cruz a liar, and he says that Cruz deviated from the speech he submitted which is a way of lying - but people with copies of the speech released before hand, show that he never deviated at all.  Why does Trump making himself into a liar when there is absolutely no need to?  Really stupid. 

When he really needs women to vote for him, he renews his attack on Heidi Cruz.

When he needs people to think that he is NOT a loose cannon and wing-nut, he renews his claim that Cruz's father was associated with the Kennedy assassination.

When he wants more GOP unity, but he reopens wounds of the former Cruz supporters.

 

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47 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

It starts with the exciting ideas of Darwin's Natural Selection - which has animated, and remade biology in general.  But it goes off track and gets fragmented and it is deterministic because it doesn't accept volition. 

Steve,

I don't know who you have been reading, but I only read the literature for the popular market. I already mentioned Kahneman (I doubt he would call himself an evolutionary psychologist, but I don't doubt he would agree that it plays a big part in his work). He doesn't deny volition.

I've read Geoffrey Miller (The Mating Mind, and Spent). His thing is reproduction more than survival and I don't recall him mentioning determinism or that free will doesn't exist.

I could go on to a whole series of writers, (and don't get me started about practical applications in marketing and persuasion) but I find a discussion of "yes it is" "no it isn't" "yes it is" "no it isn't" boring after the first few posts.

You claim that evolutionary psychology denies free will. The things I have read claim that free will sits on top of mental processes that evolved to help man survive and reproduce. And they generally (albeit not always) reference lower life forms, especially other mammals and primates. I have yet to see an either-or formulation like the determinists do where they end up thinking their very selves out of existence. :) I'm not saying there is nothing out there like that, but I am saying I haven't read anything like that yet. So let's just agree to disagree on this point.

58 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

Michael, that statement is colorful as a description, and maybe it's metaphorical, but it says nothing about volitional behavior.

Are you kidding me?

When you get angry and walk away to calm down, that's about as volitional a behavior as I can think of. When a man realizes he can let his inner beast out a bit within confines, that is totally volitional. His lower mind is saying one thing and his volition is saying another. He decides.

I claim a man who knows his emotions and lets them release for a time in healthy ways is entirely volitional. He chooses the start and end times and the parameters of how far he can go. Trump does this all the time, just like he is doing with Ted Cruz. And, believe me, he uses a great deal of volitional strategy in this kind of stuff. You will not see him doing this with a bus driver who bad-mouths him.

To me, it's one of the tragedies of Objectivism that Rand glorified repressing "the swamp of the mind" (to use a phrase she said to NB) as much as she did. Even that bonehead Perigo talks about the anal retentiveness of Objectivists in general. That comes from denying this underbelly part of the mind and being afraid of it.

Believe me, an alpha male run amok in a narcissist does not have the capacity to build a magnificent skyscraper, much less a series of them. You need brains and volition--and the humility to correctly identify and obey reality--for that.

You also need brains and volition--and the humility to correctly identify and obey reality--to win an election against such great odds as Trump has faced so far. 

Those who think his winning is a fluke are those who will never achieve anything of that nature, even on a modest scale. 

Michael

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2 minutes ago, SteveWolfer said:

When he really needs women to vote for him, he renews his attack on Heidi Cruz.

When he needs people to think that he is NOT a loose cannon and wing-nut, he renews his claim that Cruz's father was associated with the Kennedy assassination.

When he wants more GOP unity, but he reopens wounds of the former Cruz supporters.

Steve,

Ha!

And watch his numbers go up. And as they do, stare in awe.

:) 

As the great lady said: "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

:)

Michael

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My favorite part is my perfect 100% confidence that if Trump were the one being a little bitch to our nominee, Cruz, then we'd be hearing about how that really says something about the bullet we dodged. But Cruz is being the little bitch and we're hearing how much courage it took for him to go on stage this week and hold to important principles of blah, blah, blah.

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

 This, to me, is alpha male competition for the role of leader.

Your insight is brilliant, Michael. I hadn't even considered it in those terms until I read what you wrote. The 282 pages of this thread that he spawned are a testament to a most rare and unusual American called Donald Trump.

I heard someone refer to him as an odd mixture... "blue collar billionaire"... and man, is that a fitting title. :)

 

Greg

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1 hour ago, SteveWolfer said:

I just saw, for the first time, the full post-convention remarks that Trump made about Cruz.  I couldn't believe it...

Trump wanted to dominate the news cycle today. Like Errol Flynn said, "I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right."

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5 minutes ago, wolfdevoon said:

Trump wanted to dominate the news cycle today.

Of course he wanted to dominate the news cycle.  He always does.  But I don't think that had anything to do with his attack on Cruz.  Lots of ways he could have dominated the news cycle that would have helped him.  You only go after Errol Flynn style coverage when you can't get positive coverage, or at the least coverage that attacks your opponents.  Trump is sadly mistaken to hold Cruz in mind as still being an opponent.  To even mention Cruz at this point elevates him as if Cruz still had any power.

I don't think he can help himself.

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