To give an example, look at how control over the masses has changed over millenia, it used to be much more overt, but "they" have learned well, and now achieve much better results with much less effort.
Yes. I’ve read that STS is lazy, but maybe that is not as true as they just got smarter because they needed their livestock to provide food in multidimensional ways.
Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.
And it would be much harder to promote the illusion if the methods were more overt or crude, unless of course the illusion that is promoted is that the population that you wish to use more overt or crude methods with are a threat to the original illusion.
How can you exclude the emotional component of conditioned learning?
Because as far as I can tell I see no diference between TMI and Contiguity, other than scale. Both are learned responses to avoid distress, or to seek pleasure.
I believe that there is always an emotional component to learning. Some behavioural science of the past sought to separate emotional states from outward actions and behaviours and this is apparent in the work of Skinner. The critics of Skinner whose work was with operant/instrumental conditioning, of whom Noam Chomsky was one, claimed that Skinner believed that memory, past experience, emotion etc had no effect on learning or behaviour. I believe it does, but I also find that it is sometimes useful to separate the two in order to get a clearer understanding about what is happening.
An example of where it is helpful to separate emotion and behaviour is in the case of a dog- aggressive dog in a club atmosphere. This type of dog if it is not overtly aggressing, might be at least giving another dog a hard stare, his body might be very tight and rigid. A trainer could still ask this dog to sit (operant/instrumental) and the dog might comply while still in that tense emotional state (classical/pavlovian) . If the trainer rewards that dog for the sit at that time, not only is he/she reinforcing the sit, but he/she is also reinforcing the emotional state of the dog. That which is reinforced tends to increase in intensity or regularity. So it could be expected that this dogs aggression would increase. So, dividing what you see into emotional states and actions/behaviours can give a clearer picture about what is actually happening and how to proceed.
I guess that is why I see differences between TMI and Contiguity, to my current understanding TMI is more reliant on Classical/Pavlovian conditioning and Contiguity is more reliant on Operant/Instrumental conditioning.
Even if we could match our behaviours with the consequences they attract, what good would this deliver? I'm failing to see where your line of thinking is leading.
If we can match our behaviours with the consequences they attract then we can change our behaviours and we can do that efficiently. But if we can’t make that match then we may not change our behaviours at least for a much longer time, as both individuals and as groups. The longer the time lapse between an action and a consequence, the less likely that efficient learning will take place and if learning does take place, it will need many more repetitions for the pattern to be understood.
If you touch something hot and you feel the pain of the burn immediately, then you can associate the pain with the fact that you touched the hot thing. There is much more efficient learning and adaption – if you don’t like the pain you will avoid touching hot things.
But if you touched something hot, and the pain doesn’t appear until a month later, you are much less likely to make the association – you might keep touching hot things and getting burnt.
This is more of a group learning example than an individual one, but think of thalidomide and the effect it had on individuals and families.
If the consequences of taking thalidomide, the effect it had on babies that were developing in womb, had been immediately apparent – if the affected baby had been born within 10 seconds of the mother taking the drug, then perhaps thalidomide would have been identified as the cause of that babies physical deformities much sooner.
As it stood, thalidomide as I understand was taken somewhere in the first three months of pregnancy, and it was another six months at least before it was known that there was a problem with the baby. When the very first pregnant mothers started taking thalidomide during the next six months how many other mothers actually took thalidomide, before those first mothers actually had their babies. The time distance between the action of taking thalidomide and the consequences of taking thalidomide was too great for the effects to be learned and behaviours changed accordingly in a more immediate fashion.
What choice, if there were "artificial" punishers and rewards in place? I can only see a illusion of choice, where the PTB would change punishers and rewards in real time as much as was needed for you to have a illusion of "choice" in this context.
I think there is still choice – but it is dependent on knowledge and awareness. I believe that in manipulating contiguity the PTB seek to prevent knowledge and awareness where that would negatively impact their goals.
Being aware of a consequence doesn’t necessarily mean that you will choose to either avoid or accept it.
In the above example of the thalidomide, had mothers been aware of the later effects of the drug, most would have chosen endure the physical discomfort morning sickness in order to prevent harm to their babies.
In the instance of getting burnt, even if you understand that touching something hot causes pain, there may be times when you would choose to accept that pain. There are countless examples of people rushing into burning buildings to save another.