Friday, October 28, 2005

Emotions and Importance

I realized recently that for most people (everybody?), what triggers their emotions the most is also what must be the most important. They don't differentiate between the two things.
This explains many things, like:
Why the 3,000 dead in 9/11 were far more 'important' than the 5,000 killed every month by mistakes in the health care system.
Why being able to buy good things for your family is far more 'important' than working for a company which is ethical or which treats you with respect. Or starting a career which is what you want.
Why getting junk food that makes you feel good is far more 'important' than being strong and healthy in the future. (Guilty here sometimes.)

I am guessing we all operate that way, and the differences between people are mainly how big a perspective you have on life (how big are the things that affects your emotions), and how accurate your perceptions are.


SleekBlackMercedes said...

You are right on the dot on that. Many decisions are made emotionally and alot of it has nothing to do with facts but personal interests...

Dragonsbane said...

Do you think that "buying good things for your family..." is an emotionaly decision? I think that work and career has large dimensions of societal influence, perceived workload, glamour, and payoff. I agree that the ethics of a company seem to be low on the list. Many of the midlevel people at Enron showed themselves to be without morals or ethics when they turned stealing into a game.

Food is likely to be a combination of instant gratification, emotions, learned behavior, and maybe some genetic imprinting about getting easy calories.

The lack of sufficient young people going into engineering and hard sciences in the US is going to cause a large problem, but the social perception of engineers as Geeks and nerds appears to stop most of them. You could argue that the perception issue is an emotional one.

On the up side, I expect to find work until I drop. (My dad is turning 90 and still works full time as an engineer).

eolake said...

"(My dad is turning 90 and still works full time as an engineer)"

Wow, that is very cool.
I think retirement is waaay overrated. Especially that of healthy, functional people. Not only has it a tendency to lead to depression and reduced health, it will also have a severe impact on the western economy when the baby boomers want to retire at once.