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Broken People
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Posted 9/15/14
Everyone loves Phersu... the tv show.
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Posted 9/15/14
Yes, they do exist. Some are broken before they are born while others are shattered throughout their lifespan.
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54 / M / Tacoma, WA. wind...
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Posted 9/15/14
Yup.... My aunt used to call me a dirty little liar when I would tell her the truth about her son. That tends to cause problems.... Growing up in a dysfunctional family can train a person to react/act in less that constructive ways.

Another one of my aunts dumped her husband that was a decent breadwinner and good father all so she could be with a richer guy. She didn't seem to mind that her boyfriend beat her son and raped her daughter or that her brother, my dad, had to rescue her about two or three times a year after her boyfriend beat her up.

Broken people... it has been my experience that there are a lot of them.
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Posted 9/15/14 , edited 9/15/14

Phersu wrote:

Why? See, like this. I don't understand this whole sympathy thing.


Emotions such as sympathy and the social conventions associated therewith have historically provided a benefit against selective pressures the like of which has not historically been enjoyed by more asocial humans. Over time social groups including shows of sympathy in their behavioral repertoire became far more common than those that didn't, probably because they were more cohesive and thus better able to cooperate against threats and/or solve problems. This ultimately culminated in sympathy's near universal presence in humans.

A lack of sympathy doesn't mean one isn't human, merely that one exhibits an uncommon behavioral phenotype.
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14
I wonder about this too. I find that most of the people I meet seem to think very differently than I do and don't notice things that seem obvious to me. Similarly, I have difficulty with things that seem easy for others. Everyone is at least slightly different but are there some people that are "right" and some that are "wrong"? Or maybe that should be, are some humans "people" while others aren't?

People that put themselves at risk by fighting wars or committing crimes don't really make much sense to me. There are far easier ways to live so why take the risk? I guess I understand the idea of having a "cause" or "belief" but I don't understand why people seem to be so inefficient in support of it or why they are so quick to risk their life when it doesn't seem necessary. People harm others for things that they could get more effectively by working together but act as though they didn't feel they had a choice or that they were somehow justified. Even if some people don't particularly value the lives of others, it still seems strange that they're so willing to make themselves a threat to others (and therefore put themselves at risk).

Maybe it's simply that each person, aware that the other has the same capacity to harm them, would rather attack first than take the chance of trusting the other person by trying to work toward mutual benefit. If that's the case though, are these really people or just animals? Even if they're animals, are they still capable of becoming people with the right "education"?

Maybe some people are unaware that there are other ways to do things. If a person can't comprehend the idea of not having to fight for something, are they "broken"?

I don't necessarily exclude myself or others who are more like me. Maybe I'm "broken" and am failing to understand something that would allow me to be a "person". Maybe we are all "people" but can still be so different in certain ways that truly understanding each other is an incredibly difficult task that we might manage to succeed at some day.

Maybe I'm just over-thinking things, I'm told that I do that a lot. Is it possible to over-think things?
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14

Smeelia wrote:

I wonder about this too. I find that most of the people I meet seem to think very differently than I do and don't notice things that seem obvious to me. Similarly, I have difficulty with things that seem easy for others. Everyone is at least slightly different but are there some people that are "right" and some that are "wrong"? Or maybe that should be, are some humans "people" while others aren't?

People that put themselves at risk by fighting wars or committing crimes don't really make much sense to me. There are far easier ways to live so why take the risk? I guess I understand the idea of having a "cause" or "belief" but I don't understand why people seem to be so inefficient in support of it or why they are so quick to risk their life when it doesn't seem necessary. People harm others for things that they could get more effectively by working together but act as though they didn't feel they had a choice or that they were somehow justified. Even if some people don't particularly value the lives of others, it still seems strange that they're so willing to make themselves a threat to others (and therefore put themselves at risk).

Maybe it's simply that each person, aware that the other has the same capacity to harm them, would rather attack first than take the chance of trusting the other person by trying to work toward mutual benefit. If that's the case though, are these really people or just animals? Even if they're animals, are they still capable of becoming people with the right "education"?

Maybe some people are unaware that there are other ways to do things. If a person can't comprehend the idea of not having to fight for something, are they "broken"?

I don't necessarily exclude myself or others who are more like me. Maybe I'm "broken" and am failing to understand something that would allow me to be a "person". Maybe we are all "people" but can still be so different in certain ways that truly understanding each other is an incredibly difficult task that we might manage to succeed at some day.

Maybe I'm just over-thinking things, I'm told that I do that a lot. Is it possible to over-think things?


It is not necessarily guaranteed that peaceful cooperation serves both the collective interests of the community and each individual within the community's interests equally well, and these conflicts can have a nasty habit of spiraling into big messes under the right circumstances.

Let's imagine a pair of individuals, one a wealthy food merchant who has seized a far-reaching monopoly on food production/distribution and the other an impoverished laborer. The food merchant has kept back a store of his products large enough to feed himself, his staff, and the entire area his monopoly covers for a year in preparation for the event that a famine should ever break out, and indeed that very year the fields are bare throughout the land and the laborer becomes desperately hungry.

The merchant, seeing his opportunity to become wealthier than ever before (and having a limited stock besides), demands a high price for access to his food stores. The price he asks is far higher than the laborer could ever hope to pay. This laborer tries to negotiate for a better price, but the merchant knows that he holds all the negotiating power since he's the only party with something the other party actually needs and so will not come down. The laborer offers his skills in trade for food, but the merchant has no need of them and so rejects the offer. The laborer then goes to the community in aggregate and suggests that they all pool their money together to try to cover the cost of food collectively, but they're all equally bad off and the aggregate just isn't enough to buy sufficient food to feed them all for the winter (not even with rationing).

Some people, becoming desperate, decide to try to move to other communities. Most who do this die along the way, while those who do make it to the surrounding communities are horrified to find that they're just as hungry and have nothing to spare even if they managed to pull together enough money to buy the merchant's food and ration it among themselves for the winter. More people die moving from settlement to settlement, finding the same story wherever they go. The few who remain come together, form a pack of bandits, and try to pillage the food stores of the villages they come across.

Those who remained back at the original town, meanwhile, grow hungrier and more desperate by the day. Cart after cart of food wheels out before their very eyes, and they can't even as much as have a bit to give to their screaming infants. They're eventually faced with two options: starve to death, or seize the merchant's food somehow. A hungry child breaks into the merchant's warehouses and steals some food, but is caught by the merchant's guards, prosecuted, and convicted. The child's family is unable to pay the fine, and so the child is sold to pay the debt. Outraged, the community storms the merchant's gates, overwhelms and kills his guards, hangs the merchant, burns down his mansion, and seizes his food stores for themselves.

Meanwhile, the king of the land sees that his country is falling apart as communities either live off of rations, fall into revolt against their local merchants, flee across the borders, or succumb to banditry. But even he is unable to borrow enough from the noblemen of his and other kingdoms to resolve the matter peacefully; the king simply cannot buy as much food as he needs to distribute, and even if he could there just isn't enough food to buy. The king's advisors notice that a neighboring kingdom which has been bitter rivals with his own for generations hasn't suffered a famine at all, and in fact they've had one of their best harvests to date. The king, still unable to afford enough food with the funding he could possibly get and hesitant to put himself in debt to his foes besides, borrows enough from his nobles and kingdoms friendly to his own to feed and train an army. He sends heralds throughout the land to declare his intentions and a promise that the spoils will be shared among everyone who agrees to fight for their seizure. The men of the starving kingdom, desperate for food at any cost and tempted by the prospect of food pouring in from a newly-conquered enemy for their families, raise their swords and storm the border.

Not exactly a story which has never come to pass, eh?
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47 / M / Memphis, TN
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Posted 9/16/14
Yes, people break and are broken, both.
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24 / M / Netherlands
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14
I have seen a lot of ' broken' people covering many of the descriptions in this thread. However, in my line of work I guess that's not so strange. The first few people I met and for myself labelled ' broken' were fine people at heart. They had just lost their connection to the emotional world. Later on I would also define people who (no longer) wanted contact with other people as broken. And after a good 3 years, I stopped defining them at all.

You see, we all have states of minds and we can define those the way we personally chose. But it's all a thing of perception. Perhaps someone like that isn't broken. Perhaps we all are. Perhaps you should not be asking so much questions about the issue, but start looking for a way out. There is no 'straight' answer to these question nor is there a good answer. Because it's all a state of perception and mind.


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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14

BlueOni wrote:


I didn't say that people would get the same benefit by cooperating as they would by competing but that they'd get plenty of benefits with a substantially reduced risk if they cooperated. I don't really understand why people put their own lives and the lives of others at risk for potential "gains" that will be lost when they die anyway. I suppose "understand" may not be the right word, it's just that I don't think the same way and wouldn't risk my life in a way that I see as unnecessary but the people who do take those risks seem to think they are necessary (or at least "acceptable" maybe).

Your story is certainly relevant. The merchant made himself a target by attempting to profit, setting the bar too high based on his greed and failing to anticipate the likely reactions of others. There were other mistakes as well, if laws are supposed to serve the community then the King should probably have been seizing the resources of the excessively wealthy to supplement those who do not have enough to survive. Similarly, banditry against other groups isn't an ideal strategy since it puts your people at risk and makes you a threat to others. Generally speaking, there were a lot of flawed systems at work based on competition rather than cooperation (if they were truly cooperating, the food would be owned by the community and wouldn't be available to the merchant to "profit" from). I suppose you could say there was a lack of "big picture" thinking and also a tendency for people to only really be interested in the survival/success of themselves (and perhaps a select group of others).

If there are two people and you give one the choice of having all of the resources or sharing them equally between the two some people will choose to take all of the resources. There may be different reasons, it could be greed but it could also be a lack of the ability to even realise that they're causing others to suffer.

I suppose my point is, I can't really say who is "right" without falling back on personal beliefs such as the value of life and so on (which makes it subjective and therefore still doesn't give an answer). If there's no objective way to decide what a person should be like, how can we tell if they're "broken"?

Something like that anyway.
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20 / M / Finland
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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14
Only broken people are the ones with real physical damage in their brains.
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 9/17/14
What are the chances OP is making up stories about himself and wishing he was special?
Good, bad, check for spiders?
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Posted 9/17/14
I don't think of people with mental or emotional defects when I think of someone who is broken. I think of someone who's given up on life, and whose spirit has been crushed. Has given up the fight for a better life. Especially, the ones who end up in the gutter, on drugs and/or on alcohol because, to them, it's better than being conscious. That, to me is someone who is broken.

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27 / M / Malaysia
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Posted 9/17/14
the only broken people i see that r broken in my opinion is those crazy ones in the asylum mumbling to themself/screaming for no reason.
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33 / M / Baltimore, MD
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Posted 9/17/14
We're all broken to a certain degree. No human is perfect in this fallen world and we all fall victim to the weaknesses inherently bred within us. We see it all around us with the pervasiveness of porn culture, violence, human trafficking, etc. No one is perfect and, to a certain degree, we are all broken.
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21 / M / Finland
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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14
Well if you can define what is a complete person then you can also define what is a broken person and how they are broken.

Being unique doesn't make you broken.

On the other hand you can say that people with difficult mental illnesses and such can be called "broken" because something is making them unfunctional in a oneway or another. Same with physical deformities that greatly complicate living.
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