19 November 2012

Random Thoughts


Jan Grape
by Jan Grape

Seems like I've used the "Random Thoughts" as my article title before, but not sure and even if I have it's here again. Mainly, because I had a rather good idea earlier this week on what I was going to write and silly me didn't write it down or make notes and I've forgotten what it was. So all day today, I'm been searching my brain to remember and since I didn't remember you're stuck with my random notes.

I was watching Sixty Minutes a little earlier this evening and one segment was on thorough research being done with babies to see if they are able to show that their little brains are not exactly a blob or sponge. That they actually can think. The researchers had babies three and six months old watch little puppet shows with a Teddy bear in blue shirt and another bear in a yellow shirt. The bear in the blue shirt does a good action and the bear in the yellow shirt does a bad action. The researcher then would let the baby choose which bear they want. Over 84% of the babies chose the bear in the blue shirt. who had done the good deed. Strangely enough the three-month-old baby would look at the bear who did the bad thing for only about five seconds while the baby would look at the bear who did the good thing for 33 seconds. This showed that even the babies who couldn't reach for the bears, in fact, made a choice. In the test with the six-month-old babies, the baby would reach for the bear in the blue shirt...the one who had done the good thing in over 87% of the time.

More of the tests consisted of the babies choosing a bear who liked a certain food offered as the baby was offered. The baby would choose the bear who chose the same as he or she did. This test indicated the baby had some bias by wanting the same thing. Because it wanted the food object that the bear seemed to choose. These researchers in the Baby Lab have published their results so they may be examined and duplicated by other researchers.

I have no idea how this plays out in the future but the researchers did go on to say that babies do go on to learn likes and dislikes from parents, teachers, and religions, all the things making up their environments. I guess it is true that evil and hate can be taught but we are actually born with some prejudices and biases inside us from the beginning. We just learn right from wrong and suppress those wrong things if we become a "good person" and never do suppress them if we're a "bad person."

It was quite interesting and I may not have gotten all of the information exactly right but I imagine you can go to Sixty Minutes online for details. It does, however, seem to be something we might consider when writing our good guy and our bad guy characters. The old good verses evil and nature verses nurture comes into play. Someone being born bad to the bone. And where does empathy come in? Is that something we're born with or without? I also remember reading a while back about names defining a personality. I guess if you name your child Adolph Hitler or Judas or Jezebell you can expect him or her to grow up to be bad. But if you choose a name like Matthew, Mark, Mary or Esther you child will be good.

Yet here's another random thought about babies having some ability to think even when only three months or six months old. Is it possible that the baby is a old soul? A person who lived before? That reincarnation is real? Perhaps in the previous life they were "bad" and have to come back to earth, live again and try to learn to be "good." That you have to keep coming back until you learn the lessons of being "good" until you finally get it right and can evolve or go to heaven?

Like I said, random thoughts. And one final one...and it's a good thing I watched Sixty Minutes tonight so I'd have something to write about. (All because the Dallas Cowboys played an early game...which they won in overtime by the way.) Another segment on the TV show tonight was about ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents) taking down a strong, powerful, rich drug cartel which operated in South America. The leaders made billions of U.S. dollars and yet lived almost like someone without much of anything. That was one reason it was hard for the agents to identify them. Living it up with millions is somewhat of a give-away to agents. When the mastermind was captured, one of the agents asked him why he lived so frugally when he had all these millions of dollars?  His answer..."Power." Remember that in your next story. Money, power and greed. To some people, POWER is what matters most.

I personally have much to be thankful for and I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

5 comments:

Jan Grape said...

Uh-oh, it's not Goof vs Evil, it's good vs evil. Thought I had checked all spelling but missed this over in labels.

Eve Fisher said...

I think one of the best examples of power being the only needed reward is Agatha Christie's "Appointment With Death" - a malevolent old hag ruling her family with an iron fist because absolute power is its own reward.

I think it is possible for some people to be "born bad" - as Steinbeck put it in "East of Eden", just as some people are born with physical handicaps, some are born with mental/moral handicaps. They really don't understand what the rest of us are talking about with regard to morality - we call them sociopaths and wonder how to fix them. Sometimes there is no fix...

Fran Rizer said...

Jan, your column and Eve's comment brought thoughts of "The Bad Seed."

David Dean said...

Jan, most of my thoughts are random.

I think Eve is right...however, it follows then that most people are born good (or at least lean that way). It doesn't mean we stick to that, of course. There's so much temptation along the way, and if we don't receive reinforcement training from our parents, church, school, friends, etc...we often falter and fall. Most feel guilt about it...the others, well, those are the ones Eve was writing about.

Leigh Lundin said...

Randomly intriguing. I do enjoy 60 Minutes.