Ya know

Healthy Red / Orange Competitiveness

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What is the difference between Red's emphasis on domination / submission and the competitive nature of stage orange? And is the desire to be the best contingent on integration of aggression to achieve?

 

More respect / regard for rules and structure? When I think of Michael Jordan he seems more Red than Orange. Will to win at any cost.

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Posted (edited)

@Ya know I don't take spiral dynamics for granted. Seeing your question has clicked an insight for me. So I want you to entertain that Spiral Dynamics is false, or that it contains some lies.* 

Now with that openness in mind, consider what was emperically looked at, what was conceptually looked at, to formulate those different stages. Consider each stage. 

 

This next point is also very important. I'll be stating the obvious, in case it isn't obvious to someone. 

Consider the myriad of associations, images and memes you associate to each colour. If we take as our starting point that no single model/representation contains the truth, what we can do is consider the myriad of associations and other images/ideas that we are reminded of.

We consider the associations because we understand that singular models as, at best, being like a 2D Snapshot of a 3D object. 

In summary, by not assuming the model is true, you start to see what they're trying to talk about better. [Insert further faggy ramblings about shadows and plato caves] 

--

So the forces of "purple" and "red". What was studied to form those memes? What's that associated with? Primal shit, biological human nature.

Anyone who's ever done any shadow work, delved into their psyche, knows that man is inherently instinctual and primal. 

 

*The lie then comes in treating different stages as qualititivaly equal in essence. They are not equal at all, and I laugh if you think they are. 

The higher up you go the spiral, the more abstracted it is. The higher up you go, you end up talking more about particular ideologies, learned conceptual systems of behaviour, as opposed to the ultimate/general realities about the fundamental principles behind human behaviour and the psyche. 

The higher stages are more phantom-like in substance, simply because they are more abstracted. 

Edited by lmfao

Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough

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Competition always means the same thing - a zero-sum game where the goal is to take something away from someone else. Competition is what you do when you don't know how to create value. It's a remnant of the animal kingdom. Apes didn't know how to be creative so they had to compete for what nature created for them. Among people competition is an indication of lack of self-actualization and a sleeping creative mind. You are either using your own mind to define what the prize is or you are competing for obvious prizes created by other people. It's like asking 'what would a healthy war look like?'. In a self-actualized world competition will be relegated back to its rightful place in the Paleontology museums.

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@tatsumaru The latin origin for competition is to conspire together. Maybe these negative connotations we ascribe today deviate from it's initial intention - to push ourselves and others beyond our self imposed limits.

I see that in my sport. Practice doesn't have to be zero sum. It can be a mutual beneficence if one party enters with an attitude of love without reducing competency. 

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1 hour ago, Ya know said:

@tatsumaru The latin origin for competition is to conspire together. Maybe these negative connotations we ascribe today deviate from it's initial intention - to push ourselves and others beyond our self imposed limits.

I see that in my sport. Practice doesn't have to be zero sum. It can be a mutual beneficence if one party enters with an attitude of love without reducing competency. 

competition (n.)

c. 1600, "action of seeking or endeavoring to gain what another is endeavoring to gain at the same time," from Late Latin competitionem (nominative competitio) "rivalry," in classical Latin "agreement," noun of action from past participle stem of competere (see compete).

Meaning "a contest for something, a trial of skill as a test of superiority or fitness" is from 1610s. Sense of "rivalry in the marketplace" attested from 1793; that of "entity or entities with which one competes" is from 1961, especially in business.

Competition is competition. In every professional sport there's a winner and a loser. The very reason professional athletes are practicing is so that they can win over the other team and take the prize. If you are an amateur throwing hoops in your backyard and there's no prize then there's no competition, you are just playing for fun. But that's not a sport either. Take away the prize and see how many people will be left to practice.

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Stage Orange: “Let’s have a fair competition. May the best man win!” 
 

Stage Red: “No mercy! Attack his weaknesses! Do whatever it takes to come out on top” 

So Stage Orange likes to win under optimal conditions (while the opponent is at their best). Stage Red just likes to win [period] 

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In addition to my above comment, note that Orange competitiveness is healthy in sports. Red competitiveness is healthy in a life-and-death situation where your well-being or that of others is threatened. 
 

After all, it’s not healthy to be with your family, facing a criminal in a dark alley and have an Orange attitude of “may the best win.” No, just take the guy down and save your family at all costs. 

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59 minutes ago, Synchronicity said:

In addition to my above comment, note that Orange competitiveness is healthy in sports. Red competitiveness is healthy in a life-and-death situation where your well-being or that of others is threatened. 
 

After all, it’s not healthy to be with your family, facing a criminal in a dark alley and have an Orange attitude of “may the best win.” No, just take the guy down and save your family at all costs. 

The idea that there's a best man is rooted in the ignorant belief that people are qualitatively the same and therefore they need to create quantitative differences in order to take resources from one another. Whether you steal them by force or create environments whether everyone is seeking the same prize is of little significance, both are zero-sum games and as such are incompatible with health or harmony. Competition demands that one needs to suffer in order for another to win. It's simply ignorance regardless of your SD stage.
As for your example with the criminal in a dark alley, that is not competition for you are not seeking the same prize, that is simply defending yourself against a desperate or insane person. Competition would be to try and see which insane person is going to steal more wallets or rape more women or something like this.

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16 minutes ago, tatsumaru said:

The idea that there's a best man is rooted in the ignorant belief that people are qualitatively the same and therefore they need to create quantitative differences in order to take resources from one another. Whether you steal them by force or create environments whether everyone is seeking the same prize is of little significance, both are zero-sum games and as such are incompatible with health or harmony. Competition demands that one needs to suffer in order for another to win. It's simply ignorance regardless of your SD stage.
As for your example with the criminal in a dark alley, that is not competition for you are not seeking the same prize, that is simply defending yourself against a desperate or insane person. Competition would be to try and see which insane person is going to steal more wallets or rape more women or something like this.

I see what you’re saying. But that’s not quite nuanced enough for my liking. The dark alley situation can be considered a form of competition. It’s competition for survival. If you win, you and your family survive. If the criminal wins, you don’t.
 

Also, competition isn’t inherently bad or based on ignorance. There are situations where it’s healthy. See my angle? 

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32 minutes ago, Synchronicity said:

I see what you’re saying. But that’s not quite nuanced enough for my liking. The dark alley situation can be considered a form of competition. It’s competition for survival. If you win, you and your family survive. If the criminal wins, you don’t.

You seem to be using the word 'compete' as to mean any form of confrontation regardless of context or goal. That is not the case. Competition refers to a situation when multiple participants are striving for the same prize. In the case of the criminal and the family both participants have a different context and a different goal. Based on the information you have provided it is unclear what the criminal wants and certainly you and your family aren't playing his game at all. In this case you are simply defending yourself. To compete with the criminal would imply that if you win you will get some prize that both of you want and both of you didn't have prior to the encounter. Keeping your life or your money isn't a prize because you already had both before the beginning of the game.

41 minutes ago, Synchronicity said:

Also, competition isn’t inherently bad or based on ignorance. There are situations where it’s healthy. See my angle? 

The only thing I see is an empty statement without any examples or arguments to back it up. Competition is probably the best choice for animals and very primitive humans since they are incapable of creating value. However, relative to what a person's true potential is, competition is never optimal and therefore I can't judge it as healthy behavior. That would be like saying that raping can be sometimes healthy because it could result in procreation.

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2 minutes ago, tatsumaru said:

Keeping your life or your money isn't a prize because you already had both before the beginning of the game.

 

Yes true. However, the rest of their life isn’t something they had before the competition. So you could say you’re competing for that extra life which, by your definition, would make it a prize precisely because that’s not something they already had. And that’s working within your narrow definition of what a prize is which is already unnecessarily narrow. 
 

 

5 minutes ago, tatsumaru said:

The only thing I see is an empty statement without any examples or arguments to back it up. Competition is probably the best choice for animals and very primitive humans since they are incapable of creating value. However, relative to what a person's true potential is, competition is never optimal and therefore I can't judge it as healthy behavior. That would be like saying that raping can be sometimes healthy because it could result in procreation.

The OP already provided you some examples of healthy competition where the participants push each other and create value in each other rather than pulling a zero-sum. But you denied that any form of competition is capable of this because it’s something you have to directly experience yourself to understand. I’ll give you a couple examples anyhow...

I’ve had multiple friends go through a type of “biggest loser” competition where they pushed either to see who could best improve their health and well-being. When each of them saw how much the other was improving, it increased their excitement and effort to improve their own health even more

I’ve also helped kids out at summer camps and - on your valuable note of creativity - you’d be surprised how much healthy competition can increase creativity. The kids had a ton of fun creating the most helpful boat to get everyone across a river to an island to feed the wildlife there. The biggest sturdiest boat that could get the most resources across won. Each person wanted to create the most resourceful means of transportation. This pushed everyone to outdo each other which came up with a better boat as the result then if they had just built their own without any effort. 
 

So there are examples where competition increases effort, excitement, well-being, creativity and even unity. The kids worked together more in unison to provide their best work. This is a feeling you have to directly experience to fully understand.
 

Also, the idea that “all competition is bad and non-competition is good” sounds too black-and-white and too dualistic. Life is a Nondualistic spectrum of unified grey. So I’d invite you to expand your horizons. Otherwise, this discussion isn’t going to be valuable to either party. 

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Posted (edited)

53 minutes ago, Synchronicity said:

Yes true. However, the rest of their life isn’t something they had before the competition. So you could say you’re competing for that extra life which, by your definition, would make it a prize precisely because that’s not something they already had. And that’s working within your narrow definition of what a prize is which is already unnecessarily narrow.

That is a logical fallacy. If the criminal wins he won't add the remainder of the family's lives towards his life therefore it cannot be said that there exists a competition for the remainder of the family's lives. For competition to exist the context of all participants needs to be aligned. Otherwise it's simply an interaction.

53 minutes ago, Synchronicity said:

The OP already provided you some examples of healthy competition where the participants push each other and create value in each other rather than pulling a zero-sum. But you denied that any form of competition is capable of this because it’s something you have to directly experience yourself to understand. I’ll give you a couple examples anyhow...

I’ve had multiple friends go through a type of “biggest loser” competition where they pushed either to see who could best improve their health and well-being. When each of them saw how much the other was improving, it increased their excitement and effort to improve their own health even more

I’ve also helped kids out at summer camps and - on your valuable note of creativity - you’d be surprised how much healthy competition can increase creativity. The kids had a ton of fun creating the most helpful boat to get everyone across a river to an island to feed the wildlife there. The biggest sturdiest boat that could get the most resources across won. Each person wanted to create the most resourceful means of transportation. This pushed everyone to outdo each other which came up with a better boat as the result then if they had just built their own without any effort. 
 

So there are examples where competition increases effort, excitement, well-being, creativity and even unity. The kids worked together more in unison to provide their best work. This is a feeling you have to directly experience to fully understand.
 

Also, the idea that “all competition is bad and non-competition is good” sounds too black-and-white and too dualistic. Life is a Nondualistic spectrum of unified grey. So I’d invite you to expand your horizons. Otherwise, this discussion isn’t going to be valuable to either party. 

Needing competition to improve your health suggests some sort of mental health issue in my opinion i.e. you have no intrinsic motivation to be healthy and require an extrinsic one. Once the external stimulus is gone so is the motivation for remaining healthy and one returns to their old lifestyle. It is well known that Biggest Loser participants almost always gain all of their weight back at some point after the show is over. I will admit that this one is a trickier one to disentangle because in the short-term it creates a simulacrum of value which can obscure the underlying problem. This is similar to thinking that anti-depressants are curative because they mask the problem.

As for the summer camp stuff I will say this - It is obvious that competing with someone else will make you better at what you are currently doing, however this often comes at the tragic price of ignoring your signature strengths and unique aspirations in order to excel at the sameness game. When a bunch of companies decide to compete for selling aspirin eventually aspirin will become cheaper and easier to produce, however both society and companies would have benefited significantly more if instead of competing in the aspirin game some of those companies went on their own path and developed drugs for diseases that didn't exist before. Do you prefer to have $0.50 aspirin and only aspirin or do you prefer to have $10 aspirin and cures for various cancers and autoimmune and genetic disorders?

So when assessing the value of competition you need to take into account not only what was created as a result of it, but also what wasn't created. If you could choose between creating something 'okay' and something 'great' and you chose the 'okay' thing you will be actually at a loss. In economics this is called opportunity cost.

Personally I have nothing against embracing competition if someone would provide convincing arguments in favor of it, however I haven't seen any of those yet. As far as I can see it's simply legacy code left over from our ape ancestors. Fun fact - one of the meanings of the word ape also means 'to copy' / 'to imitate'.

Edited by tatsumaru

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, tatsumaru said:

That is a logical fallacy. If the criminal wins he won't add the remainder of their lives towards his life therefore it cannot be said that there exists a competition for the remainder of the family's lives. For competition to exist the context of all participants needs to be aligned. Otherwise it's simply an interaction.

They’re each competing for the remainder of their own lives. That’s their common prize.
You’re being overly-literal about what constitutes a common prize. I don’t have to literally syphon off your life like a vampire to win more life. Just surviving the encounter wins me the prize of more life because my life continues. 
 

 

23 minutes ago, tatsumaru said:

Needing competition to improve your health suggests some sort of depression in my opinion i.e. you have no intrinsic motivation to be healthy and require an extrinsic one. Once the external stimulus is gone so is the motivation for remaining healthy and one returns to their old lifestyle. It is well known that Biggest Loser participants almost always gain all of their weight back at some point after the show is over. I will admit that this one is a trickier one to disentangle because in the short-term it creates a simulacrum of value which can obscure the underlying problem.

As for the summer camp stuff I will say this - It is obvious that competing with someone else will make you better at what you are currently doing, however this often comes at the tragic price of ignoring your signature strengths and unique aspirations in order to excel at the sameness game. When a bunch of companies decide to compete for selling aspirin eventually aspirin will become cheaper and easier to produce, however both society and companies would have benefited significantly more if instead of competing in the aspirin game some of those companies went on their own path and developed drugs for diseases that didn't exist before. Do you prefer to have $0.50 aspirin and only aspirin or do you prefer to have $10 aspirin and cures for various cancers and autoimmune and genetic disorders?

So when assessing the value of competition you need to take into account not only what was created as a result of it, but also what wasn't created. If you could choose between creating something 'okay' and something 'great' and you chose the 'okay' thing you will be actually at a loss. In economics this is called opportunity cost.

Yes, I can agree with this point. I would say this is a good synthesis of our discussion. I can see the value of your point about focusing on innovative areas where no competition is present and not letting competition be a distraction to that innovation. 
 

I guess then that the remaining question is, do we throw away competition entirely so that we don’t get in the way of innovation or does humanity still need some competition in order for certain areas to thrive? I would say a balance is probably best but you may have a different solution. We’d just have to find which is ultimately healthier. 
 

Mods, hopefully this discussion of healthy competitiveness hasn’t thrown off the thread’s topic too much. I think it still applies 

Edited by Synchronicity

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Orange more brainy, less veiny.


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Beige, Red, Orange, Yellow, Coral, etc. are all focused on the self.  The only difference is the level of awareness.

Self-centredness at a lower level means having the same goals, but with more fear/need/desperation.

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