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Why people believe weird things about money - Comments

rydrum2112's Avatar Comment 1 by rydrum2112

I need to get his new book.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 11:17:00 UTC | #105806

notsobad's Avatar Comment 2 by notsobad

Most people wouldn't take $90-$10 because it's not 'fair', but they would rather earn less than what they could as long as it can be twice as much as others just to show how special and superior they are.
Douche bags ... so nothing new here

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 11:48:00 UTC | #105814

kraut's Avatar Comment 3 by kraut

"Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same."

I guess the attitude is ingrained in a society based on greed and money as status symbol and the sole measure of success.
Rather earn than twice the average than less than halve what the biggest earners make, even if the latter gives you more freedom from monetary concerns.

I had to learn - due to age and health constraints - to live with 30% less then before. The astonishing thing - I go further with my money now, by cutting a lot of unnecessary crap, than before.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 11:58:00 UTC | #105817

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 4 by Richard Morgan

What is amazing and surprising about this article is the way Shermer keeps saying "Amazingly..." and "Surprisingly..."
Like who's amazed and surprised?
Certainly not my mother-in-law.
And have you noticed that whenever an article's title starts with "Why people believe weird things...", the explanation is always an evolutionary one?
My next article will be entitled : "Why people believe weird things about evolution."
Ha!
And, kraut, before you knock the importance of financial social status, read a bit about sexual selection in evolutionary theory. There are some really amazing apparent contradictions. Apparently...

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:02:00 UTC | #105821

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 5 by Diacanu

Hmph, I've yet to be impressed by this Shermer.

Nothing there I haven't come up with in my own journal scribblings.

You can actually cash in on thoughts like that?
Guess I'm not a good little homo economicus.
Never occurred to me.
Doesn't occur to me now that it's occurred to me.
Seems like a swindle somehow.
Not greedy enough I guess.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:05:00 UTC | #105823

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 6 by Richard Morgan

Diacanu : are you my mother-in-law hiding behind this pseudo?

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:07:00 UTC | #105824

ianmkz's Avatar Comment 7 by ianmkz

You can actually cash in on thoughts like that?

If you want to guarantee that your ideas earn you nothing, do nothing with them.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:08:00 UTC | #105825

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 8 by Diacanu

Richard Morgan-

Lol, nope, but she must be a brilliant woman.
:P

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:08:00 UTC | #105826

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 9 by Diacanu

ianmkz-

If you want to guarantee that your ideas earn you nothing, do nothing with them.


Thanks for the tip.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:10:00 UTC | #105828

kraut's Avatar Comment 10 by kraut

"the explanation is always an evolutionary one?"

That is not surprising and amazing when considering the weirdest of all beliefs - that evolution does have absolutely no role in development of either species or behaviours but everything was presented on a platter (even if it is a globe called earth, although the believers in non evolution also defended the platter earth at one time to the detriment of the live of the unbeliever)by a very hypothetical whatever you might call it.

I guess a reflexive response.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:12:00 UTC | #105829

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 11 by phil rimmer

Douche bags


But, by using these two "fuzzy" logic rules, "I want to get more than the other guy" and "I'll scupper his chances if he gets much more than me" the most wonderful paradoxical outcome results.....the continual effort to outdo your neighbour that nevertheless requires his complicity. Result- an insatiable economic motor built substantially on co-operation.

Now whether we want an insatiable economic motor is another matter.

And I agree, its bloody obvious really. Only economists are shocked.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:14:00 UTC | #105831

42nd's Avatar Comment 12 by 42nd

----------------
Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same.

Surprisingly -- stunningly, in fact -- research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have. How irrational is that?
---------------------
I think that Shremer is using word "irrational" a bit too liberally here. This behavior is perfectly rational if person wants prestige i.e. to be better than others, which is very important when it comes to mating, which is pretty much the meaning of life (at least from genetic perspective). So wanting to be better off than others instead of being better off in absolute terms is not irrational in the same way as ,say, believing in ghosts.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:29:00 UTC | #105840

Gustaf Sjoblom's Avatar Comment 13 by Gustaf Sjoblom

This is quite an interesting concept when applied to, for example, international economics. Especially in the political context.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:52:00 UTC | #105846

jshuey's Avatar Comment 14 by jshuey

Two things about Shermer:

1. He writes exactly the way he speaks; (Most of us do) See http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/22, and

2. He writes and speaks with a goal of reaching a general audience. Overall, he does an admirable job of it, IMO.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 13:43:00 UTC | #105852

bucket's Avatar Comment 15 by bucket

If we evolved this way, it must mean it was a necessity of evolution.

If I'm earning $50,000 and everyone else is making $25,000, I have double the spending power to fight or ward off attacks against any potential rivals.

Stunning!

I also have double the spending power to attract mates and push my genes to the next generation!

Irrational!

Shermer, you are an idiot.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 14:34:00 UTC | #105860

ICONIC FREEDOM's Avatar Comment 16 by ICONIC FREEDOM

"reason and rationality are trumped by emotions and feelings."

That statement isn't just about money, it's about everything.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 14:58:00 UTC | #105867

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 17 by Diacanu

Course, the answer to that isn't to swing the pendulum the other way, and be a bloodless Randian greed-bot.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:04:00 UTC | #105868

PJG's Avatar Comment 18 by PJG

There has been plenty of research on "happiness" and "wealth" that has found that all sorts of things are bound up not in absolute wealth (as in what you have) but in relative wealth (what you have in comparison to those around you). I haven't time to look it up now, but I am pretty sure that has been well known for years.

It is hardly irrational, the comparatively wealthy usually get the power and almost always get the girl(s).

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:17:00 UTC | #105869

Corylus's Avatar Comment 19 by Corylus

jshuey

He writes exactly the way he speaks; (Most of us do)
Arrh crap. That explains why no one listens to a sodding word I say ;-)

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:27:00 UTC | #105870

DasSquid's Avatar Comment 20 by DasSquid

I enjoy not being a fool, though sometimes it is indeed a fine edge.

In the above hypothetical situation, I'd certainly choose the $100k job and earn less than others than the 50k job and earn more than others, to ME it makes absolute sense.

Though I must say that in this view on life I am absolutely not normal, I'm not the kind who wants to get married, or have 2.3 kids a dog and a mortgage... no sorry, I'm not wanting to be another faceless 'cog' in the economic 'machine' ...

Hah, now I just sound like a crackpot.

People who think that they need to earn more money than others for something like sexual attraction are attracting the wrong kind of women. I'm (relatively) poor, a tubby man, but I've personality and am a fun person, so I don't NEED money to attract members of the opposite sex, and the ones that I DO attract tend to be fabulous individuals because I'm not attractive leeches, I'm attractive PEOPLE... Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves, people who believe they need things, money/cars/blah to attract members of the opposite sex.

Hah! A Pox on them! and I believe that the kind of women that are attracted to nothing but money ARE a pox, so it's fitting really.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:30:00 UTC | #105871

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 21 by Richard Morgan

scootemyc :

That statement isn't just about money, it's about everything.

There's nothing more to add to that.
But people will.
That's what people do.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:34:00 UTC | #105872

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 22 by Diacanu

DasSquid-

Preach it, brother!

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:53:00 UTC | #105875

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 23 by Richard Morgan

DasSquid :

Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves, people who believe they need things, money/cars/blah to attract members of the opposite sex.


Hear, hear! Well said, that man!!
(We poor, ugly sods need to stick together, huh?)



PS Does that mean that life is easier for those who want to attract "members" of the same sex?
Do you have to be a member?
Where do you apply?
Are there conditions for joining?
Does anyone ever get thrown out for not attending the AGM?

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:54:00 UTC | #105876

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 24 by phil rimmer


"reason and rationality are trumped by emotions and feelings."


There's nothing more to add to that.
But people will.
That's what people do.


So let me not disappoint.

But knowing how we are "wired" gives us more choices. We've overcome some of our wiring before now, albeit in patchy ways.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 15:55:00 UTC | #105877

Goldy's Avatar Comment 25 by Goldy

Living in NZ and working in academia, I get paid pretty much the lowest of the low for using my brain. That's why I'm here, online, chatting :-)
Getting more money would be relatively easy for me - I'd have to move to Australia (which was on the cards, but my wife didn't think I'd send my CV out so we're buying a new house...hmmm, and I'm poor?) and work in industry - probably sell my sould to a pharma company.
Would I be happier? You betcha! Do I care if I earn less but earn more than my peers? No - that's my situation now. I want to earn loads. Money can't buy happiness but have you seen how many brands of sadness there are out there? Hell, some of them look almost like ecstatic joy in the right light... :-)
DasSquid - I'm with you too!

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:00:00 UTC | #105878

DasSquid's Avatar Comment 26 by DasSquid

PS Does that mean that life is easier for those who want to attract "members" of the same sex?
Do you have to be a member?
Where do you apply?
Are there conditions for joining?
Does anyone ever get thrown out for not attending the AGM?


To be honest, I think yes indeed it is easier for homosexuals to attract each other (obviously once they've identified each other) but this is merely a thought, I have no experience so I'mma stay out of that. To be a member all you need is a personality and a wish to enjoy life!

And you don't get thrown out for missing the meetings, you just miss out on enjoying yourself!

I just had a first date last night with a particularly fantastic lass, and so I'm REAL high right now, better than any drug. But I'm earning a pittance in comparison to the people who attract women with money, and I'm so far from being an 'alpha male' in that instead of having a 6 pack I've a keg ;) It's all about the brains and personality baby!

I also tend to preach against plastic surgery and everything like that as well (except in the cases of accidents and cancer etc.) I sincerely would LOVE to be able to officially speak on these subjects, but how would one start? It's particularly rampant in Korea (which is where my... 'near wife' is from). Plastic surgery is unbelievable common there as to be what you get your child for their 16th birthday or some such, I'd LOVE to go over there and talk about how they should love themselves for what they are etc.

Saying all this about 'screw' money and all that... and I'm posting from work... *sigh*

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:03:00 UTC | #105879

Barbara's Avatar Comment 27 by Barbara

I, too, chose the $100,000 job. Anyone who would choose the $50,000 job would strike me as 1) not terribly bright and 2) someone who wants to have a feeling of superiority over someone else.

Another thing that bothers me (especially because my husband does this) is how people spend their money on things they don't really need, and probably wouldn't have given a thought to but for the fact that the price was marked down. It would be less expensive to pass it up.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:06:00 UTC | #105880

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 28 by phil rimmer

This is all a mystery to me. I don't want to earn loadsamoney. I don't really care that others earn more than me. But I do want an interesting life. There has to be a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I need life and work to be INTERESTING.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:13:00 UTC | #105881

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 29 by Diacanu

Barbara-

I, too, chose the $100,000 job. Anyone who would choose the $50,000 job would strike me as 1) not terribly bright and 2) someone who wants to have a feeling of superiority over someone else.


Absent any other considerations, I might agree.

But, what are the jobs?

I'd take a $50,000 cubicle job over $100,000 to eat turds for a fetish porn movie.

Do I feel superior to the turd munchers?
You're damned right.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:14:00 UTC | #105882

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 30 by Diacanu

phil rimmer-

Damn, I thought I was the only one.

Been feeling like a Martian amongst these money chasers.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 16:15:00 UTC | #105884