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Philip Zimbardo: The Time Paradox

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Commonwealth Club of California

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tom smith Avatar
tom smith
Posted: 12.19.10, 07:30 PM
time - a dimesion at best, an illusion at worst.
4TimesAYear Avatar
Posted: 07.01.10, 02:08 AM
"he could have done some MRI brain scans and try to understand some biological bases for behaviors explored." No, he couldn't - there is no biological basis for these behaviors. Not even "mental illness" can be "diagnosed" - there is no pathological test; it can't be seen on an MRI, CAT Scan, etc.
4TimesAYear Avatar
Posted: 07.01.10, 02:02 AM
The whole theory is flawed, especially in regards to economic status. Addiction is an equal opportunity thing; you have very successful people, whom one would assume would be future oriented, who are addicts. We need to stop trying to fit people into boxes. I do agree with him on one thing: for the most part, it's nurture, not nature.
4TimesAYear Avatar
Posted: 07.01.10, 01:54 AM
I agree with you - it's a very superficial theory - it reminds me of the "diagnoses" they hand out for "mental illness" - subjective, not objective. People are way more complex than this.
4TimesAYear Avatar
Posted: 07.01.10, 01:50 AM
An entertaining talk, but complete fiction when it comes to trying to put poor people into the "present hedonistic" category. This is the problem with trying to put people in boxes - not all poor people are consistently late - many go to great lengths to be punctual - and not all wealthy people are late because they are more respected. Anyone who is consistently late is irresponsible, rich or poor. Too bad we can't speak the truth any more - we must be "understanding" in regards to people living with a certain time perspective....what nonsense.
marcosjuarez Avatar
Posted: 11.17.09, 03:26 PM
I bought the book "The Time Paradox" from Philip Zimbardo". I didn´t like it as it seems a superficial theory with no practical results for the modern man.
nescius Avatar
Posted: 11.07.09, 06:38 PM
why, oh why had you removed that microphone from its holder, the sound is horrible! however, a very interesting .. speech
Ylva H Avatar
Ylva H
Posted: 07.19.09, 09:06 AM
Good point Simon! That leads to the very important detail of a phenomenons context and condition. Zimbardos theory is set in the condition of a materialistic society with a world-view that premiums effeciency, GNP, better life-conditions (materially, helthwise, "freedom") for all (?) und so weiter. It´s supposed to give a clue on how to decrease this societys negative costs of addiction, depression, unemployment (through more well-educated future-oriented people?), fatal accidents, suicide u.s.w. A true scientific approach (at lest in de domains of the Philosophy of Science - maybe we just should call it an "extended approach") to this theory would be to value the pain of waiting for the two marshmallows equal to the benefit of getting them, as you do. At least that´s the truely rational decision of the Present-minded. If we in this way try to rank the three time-patterns equal, we also must take responsibility for the outcomes of the Past- and Present-oriented ones. What settings have they come up from? What sort of society do they suggest? How could one cultivate theese characteristics and in what sort of world would they be beneficial? Is there a possibility to re-schedule the world-order (including its current economic-driven mode) in a way accordring to theese lines, that still bear the marks of consideration to the poor, the underpriviliged, the environment, keeping an eye to the sustainability of the whole? Or is there other goals, values and priorities we should be moving toward? Truely curiouse, not a bit ironic!/Y.
simon c moore Avatar
simon c moore
Posted: 07.14.09, 07:27 AM
A thought on the marshmallow experiment: What about the notion of decreasing marginal benefit (economics) eating two marshmallows is not twice as good as eating one, it is only marginally better. The pain of waiting would probably out weigh the extra enjoyment of the additional marshmallow. Just because society rewards a behavior doesn't mean that it is the most rational.
Kenner Avatar
Posted: 05.16.09, 06:22 AM
Philip Zimbardo, I enjoyed your lecture but I had a question. You have positive and negative flavours of past and present time orientation, yet future orientation is missing a negative flavour. Would someone who is defeatist have a negative future orientation or would they be present fatalist?