Value stratification

This is Glenn’s idea, I’m just explaining it.

Value stratification is related to time preference in economics, R/k selection in evopsych, and conscientiousness in psychology, but it’s not precisely the same as any of these things. I’ll explain it, then tie it back into these other things to clarify the similarities and differences.

Value stratification is a personality trait where a person takes immediate pleasure in activities that defer gratification. The ur-example is healthy eating, where a person with high value stratification focuses on how eating their salad makes them a healthy person, and this supplies them with some dopamine in the present moment. The same person will have difficulty relaxing and enjoying unhealthy food for the same reason- the personality trait causes them to feel anxiety about the immediate gratification. Germany is the country that best exemplifies this trait.

There are many more abstract things—other than obvious things like healthy eating or exercise or hard work—that a person of this sort may prefer to the point of economic irrationality:

1. Choosing to spend time organizing one’s workspace for greater efficiency rather than spending that time on production (because organization is relaxing or energizes the person).
2. Choosing capital rather than a sum of cash equal to what the capital will produce over time.
3. Choosing to pursue virtue rather than the material rewards that such virtue will produce over time (Aristotle’s definition).
4. Choosing to work hard and pursue greater career success on evenings and weekends rather than recreation and relaxation.
5. Choosing idealistic pro-social altruism over self-defense, procreation and the survival of one’s race (*cough*).

If it is expressed in pathological excess, this trait becomes obsessive-compulsive disorder and manifests as an anxiety-downregulating addiction which disorders the person’s life, causing greater anxiety and therefore a downward spiral.

In contrast, a person with low value stratification may also have low time preference, and defer gratification for that reason (as typically seen in Scandinavia). But they might also have high time preference, in which case they will default to immediate gratification (Africa). A person with high time preference can’t also have high value stratification because it requires some ability to imagine the future. It’s kinda like how you need some intelligence to have low time preference.

Having both low time preference and high value stratification produces the highest level of delayed gratification in a population. Often this is good, but sometimes it is very bad.

I speculate that this is related to Glenn’s other observation about two sorts of societies: those where people tend to make war amongst themselves (their close genetic kin), and those who tend to make war against other nations. The first sort tends to be isolated from other nations by natural barriers, so they’re often found on islands (thus they have to make war more often with themselves). The second sort tends to be landlocked and therefore surrounded by other nations with whom they tend to make war.

When the first sort of society is relatively at peace, they produce literature. They are more individualistic and care less about designing abstract systems for getting along, preferring to rely on individual character and spontaneous judgment. This produces cultures that prefer sensibility to rationality, induction over deduction, and broad-but-shallow holistic reasoning over narrow-but-deep explicit reasoning. When the second sort of culture is relatively at peace, they produce philosophy. They are more collectivistic and prefer to design and adhere to abstract systems of civic and social morality in order to get along. This produces cultures with opposite preferences to the ones above: rationality > sensibility, deduction > induction, narrow + deep > broad + shallow, explicit > holistic.

Obviously there’s going to be some overlap.

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5 Responses to Value stratification

  1. Aeoli Pera says:

    I’ve started watching it too. First two episodes were good.

    >Its been awhile since you have done an anime post. They are enjoyable.

    I don’t have anything else to say about anime at the moment. I’ve got an idea about Fullmetal Alchemist on the vine, but it’s not ripe yet.

  2. Pingback: First attempt to describe Koanic’s Mohawk theory | Aeoli Pera

  3. Robotnick says:

    Quite interesting. Perhaps this could somewhat explain the Stereotype of xNTP British Scientists, Philosophers, and intellectuals as opposed to the stereotypical German xNTJ type thinkers.
    Kant would be an Exception though (he is considered INTP)

    Myers Briggs might be a little too arbitrary here, as Ne/Ti seems to follow the Broad/shallow approach to reasoning. But tends to be more deductive than inductive

    Ni/Te on the other hand pierces Narrow and deep. The process is more explicit, but the end/overall vision can often be quite holistic.

    Ne/Ti = Holistic process to abstract ends?
    Ni/Te = Abstract process to Holistic ends?

    Maybe once Thaldom is established, INTJs and “Visions” for society will become obsolete and Thals will be able to continue being their spontaneous and Joyful selves.

    I think the more original TTs (Celts, Mongols) were ISFP cultures.

    This is coming out of my ass. Were you able to follow my line of thinking at all?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I grokked all of the pieces easily, but if there was a line I didn’t follow it.

      >Perhaps this could somewhat explain the Stereotype of xNTP British Scientists, Philosophers, and intellectuals as opposed to the stereotypical German xNTJ type thinkers.

      I like this generalization.

      >Myers Briggs might be a little too arbitrary here, as Ne/Ti seems to follow the Broad/shallow approach to reasoning.

      I think it matters which is in the pole position. INTPs (iT primary, eN secondary) reason deeply, although they’re often incapable of explaining properly.

      >The process is more explicit, but the end/overall vision can often be quite holistic.

      This is because iN, eT begins with the end already in mind.

      >Maybe once Thaldom is established, INTJs and “Visions” for society will become obsolete and Thals will be able to continue being their spontaneous and Joyful selves.

      I think this sort of culture is a consequence of hard times (group selection) followed by good times (resource abundance). It can’t last forever, but the harder and longer the times were beforehand the longer it sticks.

      >I think the more original TTs (Celts, Mongols) were ISFP cultures.

      I pegged arch thals as averaging ISTP, which means an ISTP culture (probably). Maybe someday we’ll know, things are still moving relatively fast in this area of thought.

      • Robotnick says:

        I think a lot of pre-civilized peoples. (Whether Thals or other types) were largely S types. This doesn’t mean they were necessarily dumber.

        Irish Culture, for example, strikes me and many others as ISFP. with Fi being the primary function. Fi for deep tribal bonds, Secondary Se for appreciation of and reverence towards nature, Tertiary Ni to understand the cycle of things, subtle symbols, etc.. and inferior Te because rigorous abstract thinking/strategizing wouldn’t be as necessary in such a context.
        I’d imagine the ancient Celts had largely a similar culture.
        Amud orbital occurs rather frequently in Irish people (though cromaggy traits are quite common as well)
        I’ve also noticed that my kind of Forehead slope is not uncommon in Ireland. Michael Collins looks like an example.

        From the little I’ve read about Mongol culture, they seem to have a ton of emphasis on tribal loyalty, though perhaps with Genghis Khan they enabled their abstract universalist faculties to allow for the tribes to unite and a larger nation to form. The principle of rigorous loyalty still stood though.
        Mongol culture places great influence on smells. The scent of someone was considered to part of their soul. Perhaps an Se (or Si) thing.

        More civilized societies would put more demands on abstract thinking, and thus more emphasis on N types.

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