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12-30-2003, 10:20 AM
I have a recent inkling that I am way too nice to many people. Either they are intimidated by me, and I don't think they are, or I am too nice and outgoing for their arrogance to affect me.

I cant put my finger on it, but I feel that 'treat others how you would like to be treated' is out the window. I feel that if you are going to try to step on me, than I have the right if bad enough to try to step back on you. Right or Wrong?

I don't think that being nice and outgoing is such a bad thing. Others might see it as peeonish, but I don't and Aikido fits me to a t because of that nature.

Anything you want to add about assholes in the world and how to deal when you want to explode.?

Sorry, just venting

Ian Upstone
12-30-2003, 11:06 AM
I think treating others how you'd like to be treated is always the best option. The world would be a far better place for it.

Unless of course, we were all masochists.


12-30-2003, 11:17 AM
A disciple looks for spiritual path a the Monastery of Sceta.

The priest said: “give one coin to everyone who insult or bother you”

For a year he did so, the he went back to learn the next step…

“You go to town to buy some food for me said the priest”.

When the disciple left, the priest dressed himself as a bum and took a shorcut to the gate of town… and he started to insult the guy.

“Good! The disciple comented to the bum, for a year I have to pay a coin to everyone that insulted me, now I can be insulted for free, without expending!

Being heard that the priest changed clothes and said: Right there! You go now for the next step!



12-30-2003, 12:05 PM
The Golden Rule seems to be missing the second half.

At first treat others as you would like to be treated. After that, treat them the same way that they treat you.

It's great to be outgoing and positive when you first meet people. After the initial exchange you need treat them the same way they're treating you. After all, if someone is being nasty then you must assume that individual is treating you the way they'd like to be treated.

12-30-2003, 01:09 PM

There is a saying

"when you make an Assumption, you make an ass of U and Me"

Please do not assume that people who have an 'unpleasant manner" are doing it baceuse they want to be treated "negatively". Many of us have Medical Behavioral Disorders, and many of those of us here on Aikiweb are specifically Trying to Do Something About It.

my dearest friends are the ones who continued to be outgoing & positive toward me, even though i may have been "not so nice" at first impression...Isn't it better to be forgiving and inclusive instead of making a snap judgement?

Thank you

Kyri Honigh
12-30-2003, 01:41 PM
When one shows great self-control and distances himself from the unpleasant person, you can actually only benefit from taking such a position. 1. You show that you are above the level of wanting to exact revenge on the other person. 2. Not being as nasty as the other person, leaves more room open for reconciliation.

Ofcourse one should avoid becoming a punching bag. But it's always better to let people know how you feel in a controlled manner.

12-30-2003, 02:31 PM
With a calm mind it's possible to deflect away, blend with, and/or "lighten" verbal attacks made by other people, without engaging them directly on the level they try to provoke from you.

But ... there are people who are very sneaky and good at dodging issues and trying to manipulate you on a subtle level.

Those may require atemi.

I had a co-worker who kept trying to do things like that when I started working at this company. Subtle ways to make me do more of his tasks, or to make me look stupid in front of boss, etc.

He did it by being "super-relaxed".
He always had this plastic smile on his face.
Blending with his subtle attacks was very difficult, so instead I just started delivering one atemi after another.

I made him look like a fool in front of the boss instead, and I let him know several times in no uncertain terms where he can go shove it.

I calculated my attacks counterattacks carefully and always supported them with logic - enough to expose his scheming-behind-the-back.
Since he specialized in subtle attacks, he kept being completely caught offguard by sudden outbursts of verbal aggression from me.

Now he is a lot more careful about trying his old tricks.

12-30-2003, 03:09 PM

There is a saying

"when you make an Assumption, you make an ass of U and Me"
Yeah, but that's a stupid saying. Using that saying is most often just an aggressive way to get in someone's face, insult them and act like they're the one who is doing something wrong. In addition, that saying is just plain wrong. We make assumptions all the time. Right now, I'm assuming that there isn't someone crouching under my desk waiting to ambush me. I wouldn't feel like an ass at all if my assumption turned out to be wrong. In fact, I'd be pretty darn shocked.

As for applying my statement to people with medical behavioural [sp] disorders...I stand by the statement.

Negative response conditioning is one valid form of behaviour modification. If you meet someone for the first time, insult them and then they treat you badly...you've gotten your first indication that you've done something wrong. Without this type of social response you'd have no reason to modify your own behaviour.

So as a person with a medical condition, why do you feel that it's important to deal with your problem? Why not just chalk it up to your medical condition and continue to be nasty to people? Because if you don't work on it, you will find it difficult to function in society. Which illustrates my point perfectly.

So what gives me the right to comment on behaviour disorders? Because I spent most of my childhood in therapy learning how to cope in social situations. I am hyperactive and as a child I had problems forming emotional bonds based on some early trauma. Because of this I lacked most social skills. This was apparent to me based on other's reactions to me in social situations and it also made it difficult for me to function in normal life situations.

I guess you made an assumption about me.

12-30-2003, 04:34 PM
Jason i believe you have directly contradicted yourself from one post to the next.

i'm not gonna go into any stories or justifications here, i think actually , ultimately we are in some kind of agreement. I simply objected to how the statment was worded.

Nothing else that my justifying ego is trying to say here really seems necessary.

12-30-2003, 06:39 PM
Wow, this thread is turning out really good! Pretty interesting although the ideas are on the surface pretty straightforward.

As for my opinion.. I think that the answer to the question "don't I have the right to be verbally violent in response to verbal violence" is in a certain way "yes".. just as much as it is also true about physical violence. Of course it is justified, since you are not the aggressor. On the other hand, why are we all studying aikido? I think most of us believe, as far as physical violence is concerned, that violent attacks can be resolved in a way other than destroying the attacker with a simple counter attack. So why isn't it true with verbal violence? I have the same opinion that I have towards physical violence: although I in some sense have a "right" to hit back, I also have the OPPORTUNITY to end it another way. So I will choose to NOT escalate the violence.

I guess it is just a matter of practice--just like Aleksey said, your skill gives you a first option of blending and calming, with the need for atemi being a variable need.

12-30-2003, 07:01 PM
Ooo wait this thread wouldn't be complete without a little inspirational story. My friend goes to some late night diner with some friends one night. They are seated next to some guy who is already there, eating and having some coffee or something. Well, my friend was wearing this new shirt that he got, which was a "nice" shirt, I guess maybe a little flashy or dressy or something (haven't seen it). So this guy who is eating sees the shirt and starts picking on my friend, calling him a fag and insulting his shirt, making all kinds of derogatory comments.. anyway my friend doesn't respond or anything, and his friends are getting nervous and asking him what should we do, etc.. but he says don't worry about it... anyway this mean guy just doesn't stop. But then the waiter comes around with the checks together, and my friend takes both of them, saying this guy's check is on me (it was just some coffee and a little food). The guy instantly changes his demeanor, feels bad, starts apologizing, and all that.. saying how bad he was.. So that was the end of that.


But I guess there is a catch to the story, although it might be considered actually the best part by some: One of the things the guy said when he was apologizing and thanking my friend for the meal was something to the effect of "I'm actually really rich." So actually my friend's act of kindness was also a form of insult, from a macho point of view. Implying the guy needed financial help.. kind of "insulting his manhood" or something I guess..
Take from it what you will..

12-30-2003, 09:21 PM
hi andy, thanks for starting this thread! when I deal with assholes and feel that I am about to explode, well 5 minutes has usually passed and I am already driving them to jail!!! and damn, it feels good somedays. to stop hearing them screaming at me, I just turn up the classical music for a bit and they are usually asleep by the time we get to the intake port.

Colin Moynier
12-30-2003, 09:39 PM
This is a good thread, I also have a little story. One day a few months ago in PE we were playing basketball and I had to guard this one guy who wasnt too good and got ticked off because I was doing a good job, not really fouling him either, so then he gets ticked and starts cussing me out and trying to push me. After a while of being cussed at I finally gave him a little elbow and the teacher told us to knock it off, afterwards told him I didnt mean to disrespect him and he seemed ok afterward. But then again I was basically apologizing for nothing which isn't really aikido.

Rich Stephens
12-30-2003, 11:08 PM
I'm not sure Aikido is intended to teach us to run away from or ignore conflict, be it physical or psychological. I've often heard this said by people, that if possible, running away is the best thing to do, but...is that actually the way of Aikido?

I keep thinking back to the explanation of "the ethics of defense in combat" in Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (Westbrook and Ratti). If you're unfamiliar with it, they describe four situations ranging from least to most ethical: Least being attacking someone for no reason and doing them harm, second being taunting someone into attacking you so that you may then destroy them in response, third being being attacked by someone but destroying them in the process of defending yourself. The final level, the most ethical described, is one in which one is attacked without provocation but yet simply disarms the attacker without harming them. This last is Aikido, no?

Or do you all feel that Aikido contains a further ethical level, in which the one attacked should run away from the challenge? I don't believe so. I somehow feel it is simply dishonorable to all parties involved to not rise to the challenge that the other party is asking for. I suspect that ignoring the attack is of a lower ethical level than responding to it in a way that ends the attack without harming the attacker. Perhaps this teaches a lesson and benefits the attacker in a way that simply ignoring or evading the attack can not.

I'm not of course saying that I myself wouldn't run away in certain circumstances, but that my goal in studying Aikido is to get to a level where I no longer have to do that. This applies to both physical attackers and the kind of psychological attackers being spoken of above by other posters, of course.


Colin Moynier
12-30-2003, 11:20 PM
Nice post Rich, in my situation I thought he was going to attack me and I wasnt very confident in my technique, but I learned a lesson.

12-30-2003, 11:50 PM
Jason i believe you have directly contradicted yourself from one post to the next.
I may very well have contradicted myself.

The fact is that we're probably in more agreement than you think since I don't really believe in my own statement.

I threw it out there because it's been bouncing around my head for a while. In fact, the philosophy is based on a computer programming competition a few years back that dealt with the issue of conflict and moral choices. Without going into detail, the best performing program made the righteous moral decision in the first attempt and after that it emulated the decision of the other program it was paired up with in the following tests. It's kind of mathematical proof that society functions better when the golden rule has that second part.

The truth, though, is that we're not computer programs. There is the hope that if we always make the best moral decision that everyone else will do the same. So I ask your forgiveness for presenting a view point that is not my own. At the same time, I will insist that it is a perfectly valid view point and your attack was unwarranted.

12-31-2003, 10:22 AM
But the computer is missing the physio-chemical responses of emotional response. I am right now enjoying(yes!) the sheer physical response i get in reading something that affects me on the ego/emotional level.

It all comes down to perception- i don't believe either of us intended to be "attacking" the other but it appears we both have felt threatened by the others' statements.This is my personal perception of the situation, after trying to get under the purely subjective emotional response.

And this is, in effect, why i train in aikido- in hope that i can learn to step away from the emotional/ ego-preserving reaction, to slow down my subjective timing so that i may respond in a saner, safer manner, for both, or all parties concerned.

Thank you for training with me.

01-03-2004, 06:14 PM
Keep your thoughts coming, I have new posers in my head all the time about the ethics of treatment of others in relation to stimulus.

But I am in Personal Training and Customer Service and man, we always deal with asses like described above on a daily basis.

Chris Birke
01-04-2004, 02:12 AM
Reciprocity (and game theory) is effective only when the agents have a future of interactions with each other.

There is the story of truce developing between the soldiers of trench warfar during world war one. Troops knew that charging across the no mans land would result in casaulties and a counter attack. Troops would fight twice as hard in defense to discourage the enemy from attacking. Eventually they realised that to attack the enemy was to attack oneself. They had a truce. They pretended to fight by shooting into the air, they had warning signals to the enemy for when arty would be called in.

The generals, of course, could not stand for this sort of peacemongering on the front line they intended to push... so they simply began shifting the troops. Once troops on the front line had no idea whether the enemy today was the same one they tried to make peace with yesterday, they were forced to fight.

By taking away the future of interactions, trust became too dangerous.

In this way, superpopulation has begun to destroy the golden rule. We no longer live in small towns, for the most part. We deal with many strangers on a daily basis who we will never see again. Even if they live in the same city, with such massive cities, it's impossible not to have strangers.

Thus, the only incentive not to betray a stranger is that someone you trust might see you and become suspicious. However, if you can get away with it, what is to stop you? In the old days, the golden rule held fast: what goes around comes around. Not so much anymore with people flying from NY to LA in a day. Only a moral basis that throws back to days of smaller communities keeps people in check sometimes.

The internet is even worse, because we have no one watching our actions (at least for the most part we perceive no one to be). What flame I post here under a fake name and information will never come to haunt me. The golden rule entirely broken down. I can treat others awfully and suffer no immidiate consequence. (Consequently, others feel the same, and many forums degenerate into flaming stupid.)

There is a serious flaw, however, in applying game theory to daily interactions, in that the level of complexity in the system is so massivly different that it's hardly safe to say game theory is a rule to live by (and the same for my counterclaim). Social things are much more complex than game theory. (Damned interesting, though.)

Lyle Bogin
01-04-2004, 12:38 PM
Sometimes I appreciate the fact that the agression of strangers towards me is a manifestation of their own suffering. And sometimes they're just assholes.

01-04-2004, 07:32 PM
Great Point Lyle

01-04-2004, 07:34 PM
My one question is this:At what point should we go against the Aikido principle of calmness and become aggressive and 'assholes' ourselves?

Lyle Bogin
01-06-2004, 11:53 AM
Well, I just keep living and training and hope that when I have to make decisions like that I don't do anything too stupid.

01-06-2004, 09:20 PM
My grandfather told me something a long time ago when I was a teenager that I'm just now starting to figure out. He said: "Don't be nice, be courteous". I think there is a difference between the two. When we are confronted with someone who is condescending, aggressive, impolite or mean, we must show them respect nonetheless. We should still hold out our hand for help, even if they refuse it. As O-sensei said, Aikido is the budo of love.

But sometimes love is tough. Aikido does not mean non-confrontational...it means confrontational in a manner which reveals an imbalance and tries to re-establish harmony between everyone. If someone is mean and rude, don't back down and kowtow. Instead, simply walk up to him and confront him with a smile. There's an old saying about approaching a stranger...if he walks towards you, walk towards him, if he walks away from you, also walk away. In other words, you must be a mirror to everyone else. Except instead of mirroring their anger, egocentricity or illwill, show them peace, selflessness, and goodwill.

It's not easy....I easily get road rage when a reckless driver does something stupid and potentially risks lives on the road. The trick is in the difference between feeling anger, and being angry. If you feel anger, then you let it pass, but being angry is to be controlled by your anger. It is the same with fear I think. When one confronts an enemy who is bent on doing you harm, it is natural to feel fear. Not fear of death or harm necessarily though. Confucious said, "Cowardice is knowing what is right...and not doing it". That I believe is the root of all fear, to not do what is expected of us, whether from our own standards, society's or the eyes of O-kami (God). And I think getting rid of our sense of self is in some ways our greatest fear and obstacle. If we can empathize with all, and realize there is no seperation, it is scary to our sense of self. It just seems obvious to us to avenge injustices (or rudeness) done to us.

Ian Upstone
01-07-2004, 04:27 AM
My one question is this:At what point should we go against the Aikido principle of calmness and become aggressive and 'assholes' ourselves?
Never - if you can help it. I'd suggest being as polite and courteous as you can in any situation. As Sean said, there is a difference between feeling the anger and actually being angry.

If you saw two people talking, one getting angry, raising their voice and stamping around like a child, the other talking without backing down but still politely, you'd come to a quick conclusion about the people involved.

Not only is it (verbal aikido?) a good test of will power, it may make them realise, and then hopefully alter, the way they are behaving. It's difficult to argue with someone that is trying see your point of view.

01-07-2004, 11:18 AM
Reciprocity (and game theory) is effective only when the agents have a future of interactions with each other...In this way, superpopulation has begun to destroy the golden rule. We no longer live in small towns, for the most part. We deal with many strangers on a daily basis who we will never see again. Even if they live in the same city, with such massive cities, it's impossible not to have strangers...
Neat observation Chris, but I believe that the Golden Rule was created for exactly this situation.

The belief that one can get away with bad behavior due to anonymity is a morally immature one. It is true that individually within a large population, a person can display negative behavior toward strangers, repeatedly, without repercussion that is a direct result of their actions. However, most people have the moral maturity to understand that we are each individually responsible for the quality of the lives that surround us in a functioning society. It is mutually beneficial for each of us to act in a responsible way when interacting with strangers.

Acting in a morally responsible manner towards others fosters an environment where we all have the best possible chance for success. Increasing the opportunity for success of the strangers around you, in turn, increases our own chances for success. A morally responsible society creates the correct conditions for the law of "increasing returns".

So how do you initiate others in society to understand these ideas? How do you teach children the basic rules that will allow us all to benefit from society? With the Ten Commandments, the Code of Hamurabi, the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and the Golden Rule.

Applying "game theory" works within the conditions that there is anonymity and also that the outcome of the interaction is not going to be applied, repeatedly, within the context of a larger society.

As you said,
There is a serious flaw,in applying game theory to daily interactions, [due to]the level of complexity in the system...Social things are much more complex than game theory.

Chris Birke
01-07-2004, 06:05 PM
Game theory take place only when actions are repeated en masse within a non anonymous society. I think it may be required that everyone have a better understanding of game theory such that it may be discussed.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/research/Evolving.pdf - Axelrod, author of The Evolution Of Cooperation

Without that, though, I can reply that the origional revelation of game theory (prisoners delimma) is that things such as Hamurabi's code and the 10 commandments are not required, they are emergent. In a closed society everyone (selfish thoughtless bastards included) will spontaneously be cooperative, because it creates the best returns. If you are not cooperative, you are punished by the tit for tat rule. If you are cooperative, you are rewarded by the tit for tat rule. That the morality of society is an emergent (and not pre planned) property is a key of extrapolating game theory to society.

I was pointing out that game theory then goes on to predict that when certain conditions are not met, this morality will cease to be created.

You say that in the long run it is more valuable not to betray, and while I agree to every extend that holds true within a small and closed society, I believe it is up for debate with regard to larger systems. The bible was not written with the internet in mind. Society has changed so much since withe the exponential growth in population and technology that these "laws" must be re-evaluated to see if they are not in fact simply trends. I would suspect morality to only be partially understood at this point in time.

That said, I will again disclaim that game theory is not "the only answer" and one needn't post reminding me of this fact. However, I do believe if it is to be discussed, it need be embraced and understood fully first.

01-07-2004, 10:34 PM
That is the most eloquent series of personal put downs that I have ever been subjected to. Very well spoken. In reviewing my own comments, I don't know where I was going when I claimed that game theory does not function in an iterative fashion. I should probably stop trying to write about these things during quick breaks at work.

I assure you that I am familiar with game theory. I will also say that the paper referenced discusses game theory in the limited context of the non-anonymous society that you are describing. Game theory in all its application is in no way limited to this environment.

I prefer to think of game theory in terms of discreet decision-making units that are influenced by other discreet decision making units in addition to outside stimulus. Game theory itself puts no restrictions on the environment or the number or the nature of the other decision-making units. I think that it's possible that when the number of other discreet units becomes large enough their responses can, to some degree, be evaluated "en masse" in which case they become more like environmental variables. Of course, I arrived at that based on my own understanding of game theory rather than reading it in a paper so perhaps this small idea has no merit.

So, if game theory in the iterative sense relies on an evolutionary method, doesn’t this evolutionary process require a vehicle for transferring learned strategies from one generation to another? In this case, examples like the Golden Rule are not emergent but are a necessary element of the biological, evolutionary application of game theory.

It has been a long time since I have studied these ideas in an academic environment so a lot of the polish has been lost from my arguments. On the other hand, life has taught me a few things that give me a broader understanding than I had when I first read papers. Here's one; as human populations grow they do not remain in giant faceless mega-groups. Human populations tend to humanize themselves by dividing into smaller groups within the larger population. These smaller groups can also be classified as discreet decision-making units for the purpose of study through game theory. Wheels inside of wheels.

In the end, we're just hoping for that Nash Equilibrium. (Except that, being fascinated by complexity theory, I dislike equilibriums.) However, in the final analysis I am guilty of gross error in my statements from the beginning. I never guessed that my thoughts would be review by someone as knowledgeable as yourself. I now bow out and concede that you have the superior understanding of this topic.

Chris Birke
01-08-2004, 12:03 AM
Hehe, sorry. I'm afraid I got defensive when you used my first name. I hope it doesn't ruin an interesting discussion, and I will work on being more polite!

You're absolutely right about game theory not being limited. I wasn't being clear and said game theory where I should have said Prisoners Delimma game theory.

With regard to the solution being evolutionary, I think the purpose of the discussion in that article was to point out that the tit for tat solution is very close to what "evolves" when genitic algorthms are used. It's implying that tit for tat is rougly the solution of social evolution, not that social evolution itself is predicated on tit for tat (if that makes any sense...). Does that mean the tit for tat (and the golden rule) are an unwritten part of social rule evolution (did the chicken come before the egg?), I don't know. But I think it must be just as valid to say that it is.

Last question, (and I guess the crux of my prior post), granted that these smaller groups exist - are they isolated enough in their interactions with eachother to maintain the conditions for the tit for tat rule to maintain equilibrium. Or, is society now at the point with information technology and travel that the number of strangers has ruined the playing field?

I will be quick to point out, that if the latter is the case, the golden rule needen't be abandoned as a basis (or even as an emergent property), it just must come from somewhere other than a simplistic Prisoners Delimma analysis of the situation.

To extrapolate, I would suspect that each individual is part of many games, some in which he has total agency, some in which he is only a statistical bias. For example, perhaps prisoners delimma games are taking place between cultures, between sub cultures, between in groups and out groups.

They are remembered through laws, through tradition, and through the collective memories of individuals.

If that is the case (and I think obiviously it is) than the moral manifestation of the simplistic tit for tat rule would have much further reaching implications. Thus, the golden rule cannot easily be brushed away.

I hope to some extent this is along the lines of what you were thinking? Please clarify.

Whatcha think of the discussion?

Ian Upstone
01-08-2004, 03:36 AM
Being my own simplistic prisoner, I extrapolate a lack of comprehension.

01-08-2004, 08:21 AM
There is no aikido principle of 'calmness' and aikido is not about deferring to others. Most of these posts seem to take a very dichotomous view of relationships with 'good' and 'bad' people and behaviours. If you understand your own nature you can respond appropriately at the time; no-one else has the ability to judge what that will be.

Don't try and classify your lives into behavioural patterns, it's like trying to learn set techniques. The whole thing about blending really is to do what is appropriate at the time. Life can't be broken down into simple scenarios - change and adaptation is essential to correct response.


01-08-2004, 08:24 AM
P.S. game theory is all very well for animals, but we are in the lucky position of realising that we will (all) die and therefore nothing matters ultimately. Thus we don't have to think in terms of gain and loss (except from a narrow psycholigcal viewpoint),


01-08-2004, 09:41 AM
So, Mr. Dodkins, you're saying that life is basically a zero-sum game played against ourselves?

I see through your argument though. While on the surface you seem to be validating the application of game theory to social interaction, in fact, you are making a clever argument for the Theory of Moves.

Although comparison of the two theories is common, I don't think that it's adequate to supplant one with the other in this case. Game theory focuses on decisions where the desired result is pre-determined while the theory of moves allows us to manipulate and determine the results of each iterative step as a means of influencing the decisions of the other units. By making “end result” a moving target in an open ended iterative process, the theory of moves makes a much better tool for evaluating decisions in real world situations but it becomes needlessly complex when taking into account larger populations in determining patterns in behavior. Unfortunately for your argument, I believe that pattern analysis of large population interaction is more useful for extrapolating individual common elements of the decision making process when the ultimate goal is the optimal result for both parties. One of these common reoccurring elements being, arguably, the Golden Rule.

You may, however, be suggesting that we have veered off onto a tangent and that the original question is better served by analysis using the ToM. Point well taken.

Mr. Birke, I would love to clarify my point but I will need a moment since Mr. Dodkin's argument has sent my mind spinning off the road. (Seriously, Mr. Dodkins, your point is well received.)

01-08-2004, 11:35 AM
In relation to the evolutionary process of identifying solutions to social interaction:

One thing that we should have learned about applying the evolutionary process is that it is an efficient means of arriving at fundamental solutions. As an example, it would be fair to say that if we encountered alien life in an environment similar to our own, there will be a high probability of encountering alien life that walks on two legs. Why? Because bi-pedal locomotion is a fundamental solution to the goal of movement within our environment.

So what “evolves” when genetic algorithms are applied to social models are the most basic, fundamental relationships of interaction. These concepts of “tit for tat” and the inevitable inverse rule, “due unto others”, form the natural building blocks of complex behavior. When these simple rules combine with other simple rules what “emerges” as observable behavior is anything but simple.

Once basic “rules” are recognized as having a high probability of resulting in consistent desirable outcomes, these rules can be isolated and disseminated as being desirable. The Golden Rule is not meant to form the basis of your life philosophy, rather, it is identified as a natural rule of interaction that can be internalized and combined with other concepts so that it can be one element of the behavior that we display towards others. The Golden Rule is repeatedly reinforced in an attempt to give it a heavier weighting than other less desirable concepts. Laws, traditions and collective memories are the means of doing this.

As for the changing nature of society due to travel and the growing population; I do not believe that the growth of communication and the internet is resulting in greater isolation. I believe that what happens is that an individual’s social group now has the opportunity to grow without respect to distance and culture. As this happens, individuals are less restricted in the variation and number of social groups that to which they may claim membership. Individuals now increasingly engage in complex social interaction with others that they will never physically meet, however, this does not equate to anonymity. The truly anonymous interactions occur when individuals travel through environments where they have not formed any social bonds. Such as, if I walked down a sidewalk in New York City. The important consideration is that the amount of time that I spend in these environments does not significantly increase as the population increases. It might be fair to say that ancient Incas, traveling through their city to the local temple, found themselves in a similar social environment to the one I find myself in as I walk down the streets of New York. What is significant is the fact that the recent changes in communication and technology may actually serve to decrease the amount of time that I spend in these environments.

As humans, we have extended our social exposure from clans to villages to cities and then continents but never at any step did we change the “types” of interactions to which we are exposed. As technology expands the reach of communication, it is ironic to think that we may be returning to the villages, though the individuals within those villages may be separated by vast distances.

Did I go off on a tanget? The point is that we apply our “game theory” in discreet social interactions, so the breadth and type of our social interactions is not a factor.

01-09-2004, 02:45 AM
Hi Jason - I presume you are an ecologist! Not sure if many other readers will follow this thread, or whether we are deviating. I didn't mean to invalidate the use of game theory. However no doubt you will understand yourself several key points about an individuals response to their environment:

i. evolution has no 'aim' (i.e. it is not progressive) it is just adaptation to a continually changing environment (see The Red Queen, Matt Ridley)

ii. individuals are not perfectly adapted to their environment. The fact that we exist is only due to the fact that our biological parents were reproductively succesful - it does not mean we will be.

I think Richard Dawkins has done evolution a great disservice by discussing evolution in terms of 'success' without correct context. It is equivalent to saying oxygen is 'succesful' when you burn carbon because it binds to the carbon atoms. For evolution to occur there must be reproductive selection, therefore those who do not reproduce are just as valuable in evolution as those who do. (vis. yin/yang aspect) Thus fulfilling our own nature is more important than this narrow concept of 'success'. (though obviously our own nature may include a strong desire to be 'succesful')

Hope this provides a more scientific clarification of my point.

P.S. not sure what the theory of moves is, so I'm not qualified to comment.

01-09-2004, 11:34 AM
I have a recent inkling that I am way too nice to many people. Either they are intimidated by me, and I don't think they are, or I am too nice and outgoing for their arrogance to affect me.

I cant put my finger on it, but I feel that 'treat others how you would like to be treated' is out the window. I feel that if you are going to try to step on me, than I have the right if bad enough to try to step back on you. Right or Wrong?

I don't think that being nice and outgoing is such a bad thing. Others might see it as peeonish, but I don't and Aikido fits me to a t because of that nature.

Anything you want to add about assholes in the world and how to deal when you want to explode.?

Sorry, just venting
I hope that I have not been disrespectful to Andy's original question.

It seems that it is common to wonder how Aikido philosophy fits into normal social interaction outside of direct physical conflict. I think that it's interesting that general questions about attitude and action in social situations have been addressed in a scientific manner. This scientific exploration is based on young theories that are still developing.

It's refreshing to think in terms of quantifiable "action / reaction" rather than shrouding the question in more mystical and subjective terms. It is also rare to come across an individual like Mr. Birke online, who will allow me the latitude to talk like a geek and still feel like I'm being understood, if not agreed with.

I have enjoyed the oportunity to offer some ideas. It has not been my intention to seem arrogant or cryptic. I often hesitate before hitting that "submit" button. It is difficult to describe these ideas in a passive voice and I know that the impression that I am making is, often, not a positive one. I just wanted to say that I appreciate

the opportunity to present my thoughts and I hope that I have not offended anyone.

01-09-2004, 11:47 PM
I just wanted to say that I appreciate the opportunity to present my thoughts and I hope that I have not offended anyone.
I wasn't offended. I also couldn't figure out what the hell you were talking about most of the time :confused::D


01-13-2004, 03:36 AM
Thanks for all the great replies.

Still one question that plagues me, do we as beginners, in attempting to understand the aikido way (peace and problem solving without conflict), lack critical thinking, because we are somehow 'afraid' of causing conflict between another?

01-13-2004, 04:41 AM
peace and problem solving without conflict

Andy, this is where I have a difference of opinion with both you and many others on this site. For me, aikido is resolving issues without escalating the level of conflict, not avoiding it to my own detriment. If conflict is part of the scenario, I don't fan the flames, but I don't avoid it or passively accept it. Also, compromise is not accepting the other's opinion and the route to compromise is often through conflict.

Yes, you can diffuse verbal aggression by refusing to acknowledge it's presence, but verbal equivalents of many aikido priciples are available and should be used (a verbal atemi is surely a valid response?)

Reuben Lee
01-13-2004, 06:44 AM
Well, 'keeping the peace with baddies' is a high call. I agree that it's the attitude we should have.

But Andy, can I read your question as 'how am I going to find the strength to do it' ?

Reuben Lee
01-13-2004, 06:51 AM
Andy, this is where I have a difference of opinion with both you and many others on this site. For me, aikido is resolving issues without escalating the level of conflict, not avoiding it to my own detriment. If conflict is part of the scenario, I don't fan the flames, but I don't avoid it or passively accept it. Also, compromise is not accepting the other's opinion and the route to compromise is often through conflict.

Yes, you can diffuse verbal aggression by refusing to acknowledge it's presence, but verbal equivalents of many aikido priciples are available and should be used (a verbal atemi is surely a valid response?)\

I have to go with this. Aikido does teach you how to defend yourself without agression, does it not ?

01-13-2004, 07:01 AM
examples of verbal atemi:

1. STOP!

2. HALT!



5. Here's 5$, go buy something pretty...

6. I've got a gun pointed at you from inside my pocket!

7. have we met before? I think I recognizes you from somewhere. Did you enroll in any anger-management class lately? because you really seem familiar....

are these correct? I imagine some of them will ignite the agressor instead.:)

Agression takes time to build up, using verbal atemi to cause mind 'kuzushi' is quite possible. Can bluffs and lies be used as verbal atemi? Is it ok?

I think meeting agression head on is necessary and sometimes unavoidable. The purpose of aikido as we know it however, is to bring a non-harmful end to a conflict.

Before we reached a level where we are comfortable with and can do so with ease, we can only try to attempt such an outcome.

Until then, I'll use my technical vocabulary to end conflicts.

01-13-2004, 07:12 AM
verbal atemi examples on traffic stops 1. mornin maam/sir (dont say good morning, it will illicit a response such as "its not such a good morning now that you've stopped me!"

01-13-2004, 07:20 AM
Until then, I'll use my technical vocabulary to end conflicts

Aha, the famous "bore them into submission" technique :D (can I have no. 5 please)

01-13-2004, 07:20 AM
2. I am officer (your name) from(your dept) this identifies you and who you represent to the violator. 3. the reason that i stopped you today is....,this gives the violator no wiggle room, it pulls out the carpet from under them because they have now been fully advised of why they were stopped(I did observe you run the light at 8th and jones drive..ex.) 4.is there any lawful justification for why you did this sir/maam? now they will tell you their excuses,lies,emergencies etc,etc. but at least you are asking and now can hear their reasons prior to making a decision to search,seize,cite, arrest warn etc,etc.. 5. after above decision is reached the driver is advised, "drive safely sir/maam" , never "have a good day"-especially after a ticket is issued-this is merely fuel for the fire. in closing these steps if used correctly with a respectful tone can and have saved my life on several occasions. later.

01-13-2004, 09:27 AM
Aikido begins and ends with humbleness and courtesy. This does however not mean you should take shit.