Created Friday, September 9th, 2022 at 4:38 pm Las Vegas time
Author: Mattanaw, Christopher Matthew Cavanaugh
Former Chief Architect, Adobe Systems
Current President/Advisor, Social Architects and Economists International.
This work has been developed from the early 2000s with the goal of creating a collection, later well organized, of human shortcomings which create fixed limits for our species, and also those that imply training needs for overcoming errors. It also provides areas in which humans could self improve via biological engineering, or various ways of being combined with technology.
Within the field of philosophy logic and logical fallacies and various errors were taught so as to avoid errors in argumentation, so that we are better able at arriving at truths from basic facts we think are reliable. This goes much further to includes all human shortcomings, or those that are worth recalling, referencing, classifying, or further studying, including biological and psychological limitations. In my training in Psychology I became aware additionally of cognitive limitations, illusions of perception, and various constraints of the brain and nervous system, and learning. Various biological limitations around our being bodily animals with definite boundaries and ranges of abilities implies incapacities, which obviously exist in other animals, but might exist if we were something different than we are. I go further to include various types of limitations which might be thought more abstract or mathematical, or related to physics. I think many more limitations can be added in addition to those I’ve thought of or have collected, but what I offer here is uniquely comprehensive and honest concerning our limitations.
By emphasizing human shortcomings here I don’t want to take out of view, or remove from the total system on moral guidance, strengths and advantages, that are scoped within our limits. This section is not intended to not be positively constructing a truthful and accurate understanding of humans and ourselves, despite being primarily interested in limitations and capacities. It is very important to know what we are not able to do, and where we introduce errors, to know how to correct those errors, work within our limitations, and use or strengths and good qualities for what they can do for us, and not pretend they can do more.
I have found in my observations and thoughts about people and their religions and somewhat primitive attempts at morality (all attempts have been primitive attempts), that they are really expect too much concerning what is achievable with the resources they have as people, and their existing cultures. Some think they can take naturalistic actions that they do not even know are naturalistic, and have supernatural results. This is the among the worst of the errors, not realizing human shortcomings like those here. Others simply miss psychology, with the result that principles are created and practiced without any satisfying result; oftentimes, the result simply cannot extend from the morals created. Illogic also results in an inability to know certain sentences are false, and being false, cannot be good for guiding behavior. This is also a very unfortunate mistake. Consider how often a faux-moral dictate or maxim, that really has a source in a short quote starts with “Always” or “Never”, and does not include any psychological knowledge about cyclical behavior, or data about how often anyone has observed any such formulation. These shortcomings combine creating issues that are more complex and harder for most regular people to see, with errors too numerous to point them all out.
This work on human shortcomings falls into the preparatory materials in this work of mine, but could also appear in the section that might be called “Theoretical” or “General” because it is widely applicable, and not merely preparatory. But I add it here as preparatory material, because I cannot be understood at all unless my own background on thinking about errors and logic, and psychology, and good thinking is not appreciated before moving on to other material. Logic is a basic course in philosophy because much that comes later uses it actively; in this way, Philosophy is like science, and science teaches proper methodology before sharing works that make use of those methods. This work also includes scientific limitations even though I have not noted that above, so this comment is directly relevant. Likewise early mathematics comes before later mathematics. Similarly, and probably more fundamentally, this work is intended to prepare with similar basics for thinking through the material that actively makes use of and depends on such thoughts.
At this moment, as I write this, I feel mildly saddened that I could not share this work with others earlier. Over the years I have not been well understood, because material such as this figured into so much of my thinking, going into my communication, with the effect that my offerings to others were either 1) underestimated in terms of the degree of thinking and preparation and therefore the quality, and 2) inability to interpret or comprehend, because the thinker would have used other mental resources instead to interpret. When communicating with others, I like to rely on paraphrasing, and reiteration of the statements of others, to confirm for them, that I have understood, or to give them rare opportunity to correct me, for failing to understand. I’ve noticed others do not do the same, and when they do try, they usually do not understand or understand only partly. Otherwise I don’t know, and it appears their memories later indicate they have not understood, because they are unable to develop off the same conversations which have already happened, yet admittedly, rely on the same earlier thinking, which implies that all future conversation would be ineffective until preparations have been provided.
This work should provide readers an extremely good idea about what high quality philosophical thinking and high quality science demands, and I think the reader will be better equipped for naturally thinking critically about various topics covered later, but in general all through life as well. If one studies logic, one gets something valuable, but more narrow than what is shared here. However, acquiring good logical thinking allows one to really understand most that one does better than one did before, if one takes it seriously enough to train it into most thought.
Created Saturday, September 10th, 2022 at 1:57 pm Las Vegas time
The last writing on human shortcomings were from well over a decade ago. Here I continue that writing with a list of human shortcomings, more recently noticed or of recent interest. Earlier categories of human shortcomings and some various specific shortcomings were listed and written in longhand. These will be scanned an included here also, in the near future.
In this sitting I have written a list of various shortcomings related to togetherness, or social-group situations in which people are seated together, standing together, or variously spatially commingled. This can be during parties, gatherings, social meetings, work meetings, larger gatherings, sporting events, religious events, school lectures, entertainment events, and many others in which people arrange to be together, or find themselves together. There are many errors concerning what people believe such events achieve, what they commit people to in terms of moral obligations, what they imply as far as communication, and so on.
Here is a list of shortcomings, errors, or mistakes, related to this spatial standing or sitting near each other, and what false inferences relate:
[More to be added soon]
I am a semi-retired social architect and consultant, with professional/academic experience in the fields of computer science, psychology, philosophy, and more recently, economics.
Articles on this site are eclectic, and draw from content prepared between 1980 and 2022. Topics include ethics, art, fitness, finances, health, psychology, and vegetarianism. The common theme connecting all articles is moral philosophy, even if that is not immediately apparent. Any of my articles that touch on "the good and virtuous life" will be published here. These articles interrelate with my upcoming theory of ethics, two decades in preparation.
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