Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mazlow's heirarchy of needs and the coming shitstorm

Mazlow's heirarchy is what Douglas Adams simplified into the states of Survival, Enquiry and sophistication. - How can I eat? Why do I eat? Where should we have lunch?

It's a triangle, that is divided into layers. At the base are the essentials without which we'd quickly die. Air, Water, Food, Shelter, etc. At the top is the freedom to become, whatever that may be.

The base is the most important bit. None of the layers above have any value if you have no air to breathe or water to drink.

So, you have no food, and no means of getting any. Game over.

You have food, but you're sat in the middle of a minefield and the food is thrown to you from outside, by fickle and sadistic providers. You can eke out a precarious existance for a while, but your long term chances look pretty slim, and your quality of life is, bluntly, shite.

You have food. You're in the minefield, but the people throwing it in love and honour you. You're still up the creek, but isn't this a little bit better?

You're in the minefield because although you'd rather not be there, it's your job to be there. It's a job that holds prestige in your society. That's why the people are throwing food to you. They think you're the dogs bollocks. You're still in the minefield, but you have a full belly, and you feel pretty damn good about yourself.,

You defuse some of the mines, and leave the minefield and get to somewhere with infinite food and zero mines. Hoorah!!!

In the last few hundred years, we've grown and grown and grown and grown and grown. I could go on. For an increasing number of people, if not an increasing proportion of people, their physiological needs have been met. In spades. Ditto our material comforts. Where do widescreen tellies and the ability to talk instantly to someone 10 miles away fit in to this? To put it another way, can people who only just have enough to make it out of the bottom two tiers find love, esteem and self actualisation. To me it's pretty obvious that they can. I think it's true also that safety is not essential. It's a sliding scale. The safer you are the more likely you are to survive, but as long as you're alive, you too can find love happiness and some sort of inner peace or whatever.

When I first thought about it, I reckoned that as we hit the buffers, things would go from the top down. I now think it's exactly the opposite. It's the bread and butter stuff we need to be concerned about. If we have that, the rest will surely follow.

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Pete said...

I am not sure readers will see your point in that post.

You have collated a number of points and opinions and failed to lay them out in a logical narrative.

Some of your points need supporting reasons. There are tangents which start and end abruptly. I can even see contradicting statements.

I am familiar with Mazlow's hierarchy of needs but could you clarify what it is you are trying to say.

You see this is precisely why you need a labrador. These sorts of things wouldn't happen if you did.

Paul said...

Blame alcohol, and a lack of intellectual rigour.

Pete said...

Well, which was it? Did the former lead directly to the latter on this occasion? If you follow my advice and get a labrador, don't be getting it drunk.

Jim Bliss said...

Mazlow's hierarchy of needs is an interesting thought-experiment (and it can be a useful one). But there's no evidence for its objective reality (in terms of human psychology). It feels right and seems to make sense; but like most rigid hierarchies it probably obscures a hell of a lot of complexity and blurred boundaries.

The writer William Gibson touches on very similar concept when he talks about a "pyramid" of layers of technology supporting one another. The first three minutes of this interview...