Protect the Herd

I just reread chapters 1-5 of Nudge.  It took me several hours to read it because I would stop and think for a while about each concept during and after reading it.  In fact I actually read it multiple times over because my thoughts about the concepts would take me away from actually reading the words on the pages and I would have to go back and reread the sentences before my mind started to wander.  It is so interesting and valuable to understand social psychology pertaining to instincts, motivations and triggers of individuals as well as herds.  It even seems to help me better understand myself.  I tend to think of myself as a bit of a maverick that does not follow the herd without questioning direction or purpose, however I am aware that when I am not paying attention, lack the energy to resist, or just plain don’t realize it, I too move with the herd.  Ideally I want to stay just outside the herd so that I can have a clear view of the surroundings and state of the herd. (I would like to envision myself as a sheep dog vs. a sheep, or at least a barking sheep) I care about the herd and I want what is best for the herd, for both selfless and selfish reasons.  I feel that my own happiness is reliant on the overall happiness of the herd. I actually reread Nudge, and finished the Carbon Efficient City with a specific problem in mind.

I, or more likely someone even smarter and more motivated than me, could come up with a beautiful series of plans and systems to improve the life quality and sustainability of the herd, but I have not figure out how to defend against those who definitely do not want what is best for the herd.  Unfortunately there are and always have been, throughout history, individuals who without guilt want to destroy beautiful plans and see sustainability as problems for other generations. Or worst of all they find and operate leverage points solely for their own personal gain or desire.

I know that it is a never-ending struggle to defend and continue to pursue the betterment of society, however over the last year I have been having to deal with someone who I believe to be a “High Functioning Sociopath”. This is my first encounter with someone of this nature and caliber. It bothers me to think of how many others are out there.  It seems that HFS’s are drawn to leverage points and are very capable of getting to them, maybe even more capable in fact.  Stepping over and on people is one way to get where you are going.


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