Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Better in theory

Ruminating on last Thursday's post, I realized it might be worth expanding on my theories about why some people are more driven than others. Then the question became whether the topic of my theories is worth expanding upon. The answer to such queries is, alas, pretty much always no. So the follow-up question becomes whether I have sufficient inspiration to overcome the better judgment that would dictate we drop this before it starts.

Probably not. Could I make a convincing case to prove that those who seem the most driven are more than likely fueled by some inner demons they are trying to placate, that their motivation stems more from an unresolved psychological situation than from a magical font of inspiration? Could the implication of such an assertion—that those who aren’t as driven are ultimately more psychologically sound—not just as easily be dismissed as seeming euphemistic for justifying laziness? Of course. That, however, would not make the original assertion inaccurate; it’s a theory attempting to explain why some people are more inclined to undertake activities that aren’t absolutely necessary (those that don’t strictly fulfill the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) than others.

To the extent doing so would seem critical of those who are thusly driven, that would stem from a (perhaps unsupportable) perception that those who are thusly driven seem critical of those who aren’t thusly driven; it would be reactionary, in defense of a side I suppose, reflecting on how I tend to be motivated, would be the one with which I would identify if pressed to be choose.

It would be entirely self-serving, but I would argue that any theory that is not self-serving is inherently a worthless theory.

Further, there'd be no point in arguing that the whole point of having theories in the first place is to offer explanations for why things are the way they are that serve to make one feel better about why things are the way they are; to serve to resolve psychological situations.

I suspect such a theory, were it offered, would be dismissed by a great many people, which could very well be interpreted as supporting the theory. Those who are thusly driven—those with unresolved psychological situations—would reject such an explanation because it isn’t one that makes them feel better about why they do what they do (presumably they would prefer the magical font of inspiration, or something altruistic—and they can have those; for example, all societies throughout human history have developed some theory about how the universe came into being, and because no one was actually around to see that happen, they can all be as correct as one chooses to believe them to be). Because many would dismiss the theory would not refute its thesis; it would support the inherent assumption behind the theory: most people have at least some unresolved psychological situations. Therefore, most people would be disinclined to agree. The theory behind the self-serving nature of theories would explain that.

Clearly I would draw more enjoyment from concocting these theories than attempting to convince anyone else to believe them; that would involve elaborating on them, offering what I have used as examples supporting them. I am not inspired to do that, and the theory would suggest that I lack sufficient unresolved psychological situations to motivate me to seek that sort of general acceptance. Frankly, the more it might prove to be adopted by others would likely make it less self-serving to me, thus becoming even less motivating for me to move toward “achieving” that.

Why would I want to make a convincing argument about these theories? What would there be in doing so for me? The more this is dismissed by others, the more I will like it.

As the point of all this is to be self-serving to me, about keeping me amused, the only logical course of action for us is for me to keep quiet and for you to come up with your own theories to serve you. As it should be.

So, no, I guess not only can’t I make a convincing argument, I don’t want to.

However, do please note how considerate of your time I was, so to speak; rather than blather on for paragraph after paragraph with futile attempts at persuasion, I realized the futility of bothering before getting into detail about that.

Why bother ruminating and having these theories? Well, as I just did not offer such a theory, there's no proof that I have ruminated on such a theory. However, in theory, in a scenario where I have such a theory, I suppose I would need to find some way to fill all that time I’m not pursuing activities like those with more pressing unresolved psychological situations. Or perhaps more likely, that’s what the demons of my situation would inspire me to do. In theory.

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So, what do you think?