Hypothesis: Positive Human Feedback

Beyond satisfying our physical needs, we are evolved to desperately desire Positive Human Feedback (#PHF). It’s the baby monkey choosing to cuddle a box wrapped in fur. It drives all our social interactions, at both the level of personal relationships and every creative endeavor. The question becomes what kinds of actions our culture generally teaches us will make us worthy of this #PHF. It ties together our needs for purpose, identity and community. Consumer culture is targeted towards making us think that what we buy will elicit this from others, by making them appreciative of the value we provide for them or that others will think more highly of us for what we do or possess. It’s why people want to be famous, that others will think of them often and like them. You’re thought of as cool if you fit in to some group whose opinions you value. We want love because that person can provide this feeling for us most directly and reliably. We usually do what’s expected of us to earn the general approval of those we interact with most regularly. Weirdos simply prioritize the opinions of some groups of cultural outsiders more than they do the general public. The true artist simply values the opinions of those who understand their perspective over the consumerist perspective above. Religions provide the religious with a community to give them those feelings, and often a sense that their relatives (and God) think well of their devotion.

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