Thought: Does Power Corrupt ? Or does Power Reveal?

Any experience can produce change. Therefore if corruption is “change” then this is a tautology : experiencing power produces changes.

Corruption is not to be taken at a personal level but at an organization level. Corruption is when you don’t do your expected task.
“Power corrupts” because when you are in a charge of delegated power, you can channel a bit of that power for personal use. The expression is itself an oxymoron, because it’s not the power that corrupts but the ability to channel that power that makes people use it : people in charge can abuse their power.

Now about the “reveal” : it’s a nonsense. It’s based on the essentialism fallacy, that believes people have an “intrinsic” nature.
They don’t. Anybody can be bought, it’s only a matter of price - or power.

to read on essentialism : Essentialism: The Logical Fallacy Plaguing Us Since Plato - New Discourses


It is not. It is based on the idea that individuals have individual tendencies and spectrums of reaction, and that opportunity and capability allow an individual to demonstrate where their particular spectrum of reaction lies.

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You are my particular reaction spectrum… you know…

and remember that although my senses are now in a computer simulation, my heart will always be with you…

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That still assumes people have intrinsic nature. Otherwise it does not reveal the individual, but the experience they lived.

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The human mind is an electrochemical reaction cascade of incredible recursion and complexity, but in the end, it is nothing more than an amalgam of nigh-uncountable stimulus-response cascades. The experiences an individual lives, both those they note and those they don’t, are that person. Experiences aren’t just events—being left-handed is an experience. Being the child of a mother who gave you specific genetics is an experience.

Ultimately, change anything… from gestational and developmental factors to what someone had for lunch on your 5th birthday, and you change who that person is1. Not because of some ‘intrinsic nature’, but because every decision is made by biological machinery that relies on patterns and familiarity. Every decision is made on a foundation of previous decisions.

So no, it doesn’t require ‘intrinsic nature’. Revealing the experience they’ve lived is revealing the person, because all a person is is the amalgam of their experiences.

1. Sometimes the effects of these changes might be so small as to be imperceptible—changing one meal in a lifetime, for example, probably won’t change anything anyone will notice.

Sometimes, they’re not. To take that same example… you change what a child has for lunch. Instead of PBJ, they have some pizza. So instead of going to the pantry for peanut butter, a parent goes out to get the two of them a couple of slices of pizza. The pizza place has some problem, and as a result the pizza is crap, and the experience turns the kid off of pizza for life.

Sure, it’s not ‘you are a completely different individual’, but it’s a noticeable change… and it begets other changes. Dates, parties, friendly meetings, etc… don’t take place at pizza joints. So maybe someone ends up in a vehicular accident who wouldn’t have. Maybe someone doesn’t when they would have.


I like your footnote, here, Arrendis, but I kind of think the effects of changing a meal, even without events like bad pizza, might change a lot because of little shifts in timing. Other things, too. It takes longer to eat some things than others, and different foods have different experiential and nutritional qualities, potentially influencing behavior.

Whether you arrive by coincidence at the right time to meet a friend (or something else) passing in a hallway can change things greatly, as can your behavior when you meet. These in turn can alter the friend’s timing and mood. But our lives are built on such a lattice of little interlocking events that it’s hard to see the interdependence of all of it-- hard to imagine how the tiniest changes might ripple, echo, and reverberate through time.

I’ve said before that I’d so love to see an alternate universe where Prophet Gheinok’s next-door neighbor decided to plant, like, onions instead of leeks or something in their garden. What, if anything, would have changed between that world and ours?

Hard-- impossible, probably-- to say, without seeing.

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It does not reveal the experience either.
No more than any other experience would.

You’re saying that power is an experience like another. That’s hollow.

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Yeah, but it started to feel like I was going way too far into the weeds on the butterfly effect.


Of course it does. You just might not have the required perspective to understand what’s being revealed.

Do you think they don’t? Someone chooses their seat at a table. To the right eyes, that tells you something about them: are they sitting with their back to a wall? Keeping the exits in sight? Assuming a pre-determined position? If not, are they gravitating toward the head or the foot of the table?

No, I’m saying that power—the nexus of opportunity and capability—is an experience. Every set of conditions we go through is. That doesn’t mean one experience is like another. Every experience is itself, nothing more.

But they all show how that person behaves in that situation. Power, as the term’s usually applied, shows how that person behaves as the constraints and limitations imposed upon their capability for action by circumstances fall away. Will they always react the same way? You can’t judge based on one moment here or there. You have to look for patterns of behavior over time1.

And that’s true of the revelations behavior offers up in any experience. The person choosing a seat: are they sitting where they can see the entrances/exits this one time because they’re waiting for someone? Or are they doing it because they’re paranoid about being shot in the back? One instance isn’t enough to know, but keep on watching, and you can draw those conclusions.

1. And that’s not due to an ‘intrinsic nature’, it’s because our brains are the product of a long, long process of selection for better pattern-recognition. We seek patterns in the world around us, even when we’re not consciously doing it. We want, on an unconscious level, to find patterns. It’s what gives rise to both conspiracy theories and the sort of tribalism that your linked grad student blog post is full of.

We want patterns, and that means we want the familiar, because we recognize its pattern immediately. And so we tend to unconsciously demand patterns from those around us. We call it ‘consistency’ and ‘non-contradiction’, but it’s really just ‘make it a pattern I recognize enough to be comfortable moving through’.


Yo Red! You said you left the Hive, but I get the distinct impression that you’re still under Sansha Kukavei’s protection, which is quite intriguing considering you’re also one of the most active Kybernauts.

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Gonna have to back up Arrendis on this one. If any of you have ever occupied a NIS you’ll already know it can be overwhelming and addictive. The gene template your clone is manufactured from makes a difference, but not as much as the overactive adrenal glands designed to burn out your endocrine system after a couple days at most. In an active combat situation the rush makes a line of Crash seem like a can of Quafe.

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No, I wrote “no more”. Not “they don’t”.
My point is that in that regard power is the same as any other experience. So there is no point saying power corrupts or reveal : it’s not something special.

Well yes, like another. So there is no point talking about power. It’s as deep as saying “power exists”.

Experiences have an effect on the person depending on that person’s previous experiences. But applying the same experience twice may have different effect. So it does not reveal anything. Even your patterns are a deepity, because the observation of a pattern depends on the observer. So sometime you can see pattern, and sometimes you won’t. Therefore it’s not the experience that reveals a pattern, but the observer.

To want to look for pattern is simply said to increase your confirmation bias.

So no, power does not reveal anything specifically. You can observe patterns as much as you want to find confirmation of them, with any experience on a subject. The only thing it reveals, is what you want to see. The observer has an impact on the result of the experience - especially when the result is on itself.

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Emphasis mine. You said both halves, don’t go trying to clean up one or the other now.

No, it’s an unconscious behavior that all animal brains do. All of them. Everything is pattern recognition. ‘What route do I take to work?’ - patterns.
‘How do I need to anticipate my prey’s movements when I break cover?’ - patterns.
‘The air is turning drier and the length of day is changing, I should begin my migration to better grasslands’ - patterns.

Of those, maybe 1.5 are a conscious thought, but even as unconscious thought in things like slaver hounds, housecats, and herd animals, they’re the kind of underlying stimulus/response pattern-recognition that forms the single most basic function of the animal brain. ‘Ow! That is hot, I will not touch it again’.

Further, while human beings are prone to confirmation bias, that’s why the scientific method is not ‘attempt to prove hypothesis’, but ‘attempt to disprove’. If you’re conducting proper analysis, you’re not only not drawing conclusions until there’s been considerable peer-review of the data, you’re taking your preliminary inclinations and actively working to show they’re wrong.

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I did not talk about halving.
You did not read what I wrote. I did not say it does not. I say it does not do it more than another, so it does not specifically do it. It’s exactly like another experience, so claiming it does is as useless as saying you breathe air.

No, if you want to then it’s conscious.
Making pattern is unconscious, but wanting to make them is not.

This is why I said it’s to increase your confirmation bias.

Also you are completely off topic, the issue is not the ability to make up pattern but the fact that those pattern only reveal the person who makes them.

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But no two experiences are exactly alike.

No, there are unconscious desires as well as conscious ones. Do you think herd animals migrate because of a conscious desire to reach their seasonal grazing fields, or because of unconscious, instinctive drive to respond to trends in weather and temperature? Does a housecat consciously want to be drawn to sudden sharp movements?

So when I observe a seasonal pattern over the course of 2 planetary orbits, that only reveals something about me? That’s ridiculous. Taken to the logical conclusion, you’re asserting nothing can ever be understood except ourselves, and while as a philosophical tool, cogito, ergo sum is wonderful and useful, as a scientific one, it’s utter bunk that leads us into solipsism.

And sociology is science, not philosophy.

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Basically when you say “power reveals the experience of the person” is a deepity ( Deepity - RationalWiki ) : it’s trivial that an experience of power, as any experience, shows how that person reacted to that experience. But it does not do anything special, so there is no point making such an affirmation to start with, unless you want to affirm something false.

Who said the opposite ? One more deepity. They can have exactly the same result, typically none.
Though the two experiences are in themselves different, they can have the same effect.

Here you switch the goal post. I said “want” and you translates that in “desire”. That’s not the same.
What’s more, desire does not apply to patterns without a conscious thought.

Also you are off-topic. What I wrote is :

No, that’s true.
First your question is nonsense, good luck comparing the orbit of earth and moon to find seasonnal patterns. So if you do that it obviously talks about your choices.
Then we are talking about behavioral patterns, not celestial patterns. You are again switch the goalpost.

Except we are not talking about things. We are talking about people. So of course if you switch the goal post then a = b and nothing has any meaning, because by the principle of explosion from false you can deduce anything.
It does not talk about reality.
It only talks about you.

They all are.
You have philosophy of sciences. Which is a meta science.
That requires a lot of philosophy. And is actually required to make actual science. Because science without conscience is only ruin of your soul : if you don’t know the limits of your knowledge, you can’t use it.

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okay it’s been three posts that you keep trolling with your nonsense, plain off topic pretense that actually serve no purpose but to show off your lack of logic.

No point in replying, I’ve fed the troll enough.

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Unless you’re answering the question ‘does power corrupt, or reveal?’

Power holds no special corruptive element. It only reveals, just like everything else. How have you missed, over the entire thread, that the thing you’re decrying isn’t an ‘affirmation’, it’s a response?

You did.

I’m not moving the goalposts. The issue of ‘want’ was originally raised… by me. Thus, with these examples, I am simply further clarifying what was meant by ‘want’. I could have used ‘an urge to’ had I felt like it.

Considering the topic is a binary question regarding whether power corrupts or reveals, I’m not the one off-topic here.

Clearly, ‘2 planetary orbits’ means 2 complete orbits of a single planet, such as Pator IV, ie: a long enough period of observation to start showing repeating patterns of seasonal variance.

People. Are. Things.

There is no real difference between you or I and any other chemically-active lump of carbon compounds. The only difference is the one we ascribe to being ‘alive’ (despite ‘life’ having no real scientific definition, only a broad category of conditions that apply to it) and ‘human’, whatever that means in the 234th century of the Amarr calendar. Given Drifters, Trigs, and Sansha, I’m not really sure it has special significance at all.

A) Prove the existence of a soul before making claims about what can ruin it.
B) Science is a methodology. Nothing more. You don’t ‘make actual science’, you perform it.
C) You can’t know the limits of your knowledge, because you’ll always be surprised by things you didn’t realize you didn’t know.

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We all behave in degree of negative behavior. The power neither corrupts nor reveal it, it only amplifies what you do.

Though that gallente have this idea of “revealing” shows their sneaky dishonorable attitude of the nature of democratic regimes.

They waste time specifically to make impression of a good leader to be elected by people who choose them, with the sole goal of ruling them, of elevating their power. And eventually when they are elected, it can be “revealed” what they actually wanted. Which in case of gallentean culture typically comes down to exuberant displays of utter egoism and hedonism.

We in the State have a culture of meritocracy to prevent that. People are struggling to climb not just “to rule others”, but to be “better than others”. It’s a self-perfection. And you’re elevated based on your achievements rather than on the impression you create and ideals you’re speaking about. It is already showing how you use your power, how can you command small squads, battallions before you’re given armies.

But so far I was addressing gallentean concept of “Reveal”.

Now I would like to address the concent of “Corruption”.

The best counter-exampe of the concept that power does corrupt are the events that happened in the State over a decade ago. Tibus Heth has rosen to power rather unexpected, without giving him time to acclimatize, making him probably the most powerful man of the whole cluster from just a single worker, putting him in lead of the wholse State.

And yet, he totally refused life of luxury. He was the man who was actually removing Cronyism and Nepotism from the State, enforcing and reinforcing the Meritocratic ideals. There were no signs of any sort of Oppression - again, he was fighting against the Oppressors himself. And so far the only embezzlement he was blamed for - is embezzlement of corporate funds for interests of the whole State, for funding the War against the ancient enemy.

The example of Tibus Heth shows us that even a meteoric rise to practically unlimited power does not corrupt merited people with strong character.

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The math is quite simple. Tyranny is too expensive unless the people buy into it. In that respect your culture is not so different than mine.

People take power when a group is convinced to surrender their individual might. What they do with that power is the topic of discussion.

Short circuiting that process with technology such as sub-cranial micro-controllers or invasive nano-tech is an attempt to lessen that expense. Yet death by other means is just as costly in the end.

Perhaps you should look closer to home

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