Tuesday, May 12, 2015

another bit from Ribbon Farm, on preference falsification equilibrium (i.e. the gap between private belief and public narrative and somebody could say "this was just like Mars Hill", maybe)

12. Anything attacking or threatening a preference falsification equilibrium usually wants to replace it with a different preference falsification equilibrium.
To review, the preference falsification model posits that people have two sets of preferences, one public, and one private. There is a preference falsification equilibrium on the one hand, and an escape from that equilibrium on the other. Perhaps it seems that people’s natural state ought to be one free of such preference-falsification spirals. However, when a preference-falsification equilibrium collapses, it tends to be replaced (and may even be directly displaced) by a new preference-falsification equilibrium. Before the revolution, it is unwise to speak against the King; after the revolution, it is unwise to speak against the revolutionary party. And when the revolutionary party is displaced in turn, it becomes unwise to speak against the counter-revolution. People reel from the shifting social reality, but each time they settle into a new regime, and the next revolution usually comes as a surprise to everyone, even the revolutionaries themselves.
But after a certain point, determined by many factors, the dynamic breaks down. Some yokes are too heavy, especially when they are not adequately rewarded. An entity may hitch humans to heavy, unrewarding yokes and keep them there with a true preference falsification dynamic, and therein lies the danger: the very attributes that allow us to cooperate for our mutual benefit, also allow us to “cooperate” for our mutual emiseration.

That could sum up the Mars Hill courtship fad right there.  Or ... well ... maybe an awful lot of the history of Mars Hill as a public narrative.  It's had to be "all about Jesus" and if you raise questions about whether or not the Jesus promoted within Mars Hill by its leadership is the Jesus you might find in the biblical texts you might have gotten some trouble.

Some yokes got too heavy.  When the perceived positives outweighed the perceived (or actual) negatives, people would stick around.  When a miserable moment arrived and a person discovered the positives were illusory or were brutally outweighed by the negatives, people began to bail. 

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