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Harnessing the Human Need For Consistency For Good

To make a really long story really short, people feel an emotional need to be consistent with what they publicly commit to. Especially what they write about.

Do you know about the human need for consistency? I'm not going to explain it in detail here, I'm going to assume you already know the basics. If you don't, you probably should drop whatever you're doing for the next few hours and go read up on some articles about it because it has a massive impact on the entire world.

Here's a very brief overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency_(negotiation)

In negotiation, consistency, or the consistency principle, refers to a negotiator's strong psychological need to be consistent with prior acts and statements.

Wanting Everyone to Win

I just got a good email from a friend about emotions and biochemistry. It got me thinking.

Envy and schadenfreude are common emotions. People like seeing their opponents fail.

Is it possible to get over that? Would it be desirable to get over that?

I think envy and schadenfreude and hatred are usually a detriment to people feeling them. This is obvious enough when you're playing a positive sum game - because Positive Sum Games Don't Require Natural Talent, and have a near infinite opportunity for success. Disciplines like inventing, engineering, finance, entrepreneurship, mathematics, and the natural sciences work hand in hand. Every win by an inventor opens lots of doors for engineering, finance, entrepreneurship, math, and science. And indeed, for other inventors.

A lot of people mistake positive sum games - like the economy at large - for a zero sum game. They think that if you get money, they'll get less money. Of course, it doesn't work like that, as our exponentially growing standard of living shows. Even if someone loses a local conflict (to gain market share in a new technology, for instance) they can still go on to invent and innovate in a new field.

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