• godozo

    I’m reminded of the “Nice Guys Can’t Date” issue – one I suffered from for many years, until I figured something out:

    If someone’s being nice to begin with, they must HAVE to be nice. Therefore they are weak, and worthy of being pushed out.
    If someone’s NOT being nice to begin with, they are strong. Therefore, when they ARE being nice, it means something.

    Doesn’t mean I’m mean nowadays – I just make sure I have my own space. Actually makes me appreciated when I come around, which takes me out of the “nice zone” in many areas (not just in the dating game, which thankfully I’ve been LONG away from).

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      I have to admit — growing up I was perpetually amazed by how frequently people confused generosity or even worse, mercy, for weakness.

      Easy enough to remedy, but a shame it has to be that way.

      • Calypso_1

        I am often amazed at the frequency by which acts of strength requiring suppression of the ego are taken as cowardly or diminutive.

        Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

  • Reasor

    I typically assume that overly nice people are either con artists, trying to get me to lower my guard; emotional blackmailers looking for something they can hold against me later; or some other category of person with something to hide. I grant that there may be a selective memory issue at work here, but this is human nature as I remember having experienced it over the years. I simply don’t fall for that shit anymore.

    • Mr Willow

      That’s completely understandable in a society that largely gauges success by how well any one person can manipulate the surrounding populace into serving his/her own self-interest.

      • Jin The Ninja

        hey stranger!

        • Mr Willow

          Been a while, I know.

    • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

      Giving too much OF oneself may not be as destructive to society as taking too much FOR oneself. But whenever the balance between giving and taking gets too far out of whack, bad stuff happens.

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    • atlanticus

      I was once naive enough to believe that the majority of people in the world were extraordinarily nice. Then I figured out that I had tits. That was depressing.

  • BuzzCoastin

    what the researchers have failed to consider is
    they are studying the effects of money
    not cooperation or even social norms
    they are studying the effects of money on cooperation & social norms
    societies without money cooperate in a more fluid manner
    which is not studied because there’s no money in no money

  • Ted Heistman

    Modern people are both less generous and less violent than out predecessors. Hunter Gathers share all the meat because otherwise it rots, but then serious conflicts often end in murder, since there are no police.

    Agricultural people, who grow cereals, had to keep food from people, because part of the food was next years seeds, but also grain became a source of wealth and created social stratification and elites. “Lord” goes back to “loaf ward” Meaning the Guy in charge of all the grain that made the bread. The Lords didn’t want a lot of fighting and conflict among the peasants, because that was unproductive, hence laws. The same domestication process that turned wild Aurochs, boars, and red jungle fowl into docile, cows, pigs and chickens, has been at work in humans. I think this process intensified with Industrialization.

    Humans haven’t really gotten any nicer just weaker and more passive. I think in modern life there is more passive aggressive resentment going on than anything else.

    • Lookinfor Buford

      Good post.. I can’t help but think this also ties into the ‘question of psychedelics’ a la Graham Hancock. People naturally become more acquiescent the more civil a society becomes. But also drugs, and some medications yield much higher levels of benevolence. I tend to think the puzzle of why psilocybin use led the Aztecs to super-dark behavior is not the drug itself, but that it’s widespread use caused severe acquiescence in society, allowing murderous, dominant, mega-alpha types to rise easily to power and run the show.

      • Ted Heistman

        That’s in interesting point about a passive majority being controlled a dominant acting psychopathic minority. I think NAZI Germany was a modern case of that type of dynamic.

      • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

        Herd size may be an element. When the social group is small, everybody knows what everybody else is doing and sees the effect that has on their own life. As the herd gets bigger that is less the case… and, the mindless herd-following behavior, which is part of human make-up, becomes more and more powerful.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    This is the only reason scumbags be hatin’ on the Koch brothers.

    All you self-proclaimed anarcho-syndicalists are bitchin’ about people outside the formal power structures being shut out of power, and yet when someone capable of challenging the paradigm actually steps up to the plate and contributes more to society than you could ever imagine, all you do is try to tear them apart.

    Charles and David Koch are heroes of the people, you godd*mned bunch of pigf*ckers!

    • Ted Heistman

      There is something too that. For example, Jack London was a well known Socialist of his day and made money not as a Robber Baron, but as a popular novelist. When he purchased a yacht he was derided as acting like a Capitalist.

    • http://pneumerology.com/ pneumerology

      I must disagree. People hate on the Koch bros ’cause they spelled their name wrong. It should be spelled “Dicks”

  • AManCalledDa-da

    It’s misguided to perform a study, or write an article, that leads people toward NOT being generous in order to better survive. Be yourself and do good things, and let society mold itself around you.

  • tibby trillz