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Definitive dictionary of power

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Since mom, as I have come to believe, was kind of manipulative, combative, very controling, not to good at reading or discovering my emotions and troubles, and put me in some hard situations as a young boy, I would said yes, she contributed to me becoming a little more tactical in my dealings with people and situations!

The Ben Franklin effect is a proposed psychological phenomenon: a person who has already performed a favor for another is more likely to do another favor for the other than if they had received a favor from that person.

An explanation for this is cognitive dissonance.

People reason that they help others because they like them, even if they do not, because their minds struggle to maintain logical consistency between their actions and perceptions. (this also sounds like a case of backward rationalization)

As a trick, if you dislike someone and want to change that, start making favors to that person and acting like you would if you care about that person well being, sounds crazy, but in my experience it works.

  • Anecdote from Benjamin Franklin himself: "Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death."

I would put it under the category of investment, as you are making the other person invest time and effort (it does not have to be anything big) in making you a favor, for many people the knowledge that the one making the favor may end liking more the one receiving it, is kind of counter intuitive.

As a derivative: dont be so sure that because you are making a lot of favors to a person he/she would end liking you, with some very shitty people they may even end wanting to destroy you so they dont have to live with the feeling/burden of owning you anything (like, hells be dammend, gratitud), granted: blessed be the lord we have good reasons to believe most people is not like that.

We see the invesment principle with our parents, sometimes it is not that they have done so much for us because they love us, it may well be the other way around: they love us so much because of how much they have invested, done or sacrifice for us! (or both thing may be reinforcing each other, "co-causality", since almost the beggining in a virtuous cycle)

There are dark applications of this principle we may need to be aware of to avoid investment imbalances in toxic/exploitative relations.

(loyalty test as described in the dictionary may be closely related to this concepts mentioned here)

  • similar: "“The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it - what it costs us.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Quote from John Freeman

Great message, John!

I absolutely love the idea of a pictorial tree of meaning, with interrelated concepts clustered close to each other.

I think it's definitely worth it to invest some time to come up with something graphical/pictorial.
Once enough definitions will be in place, then I will make this a new project.

If you guys got any idea, or stumble any good graphic representation that could fit this goal, let me know.

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to remember to add to the dictionary:

prideful value-taker, coined by Lucio.

my understanding: someone who is proud, boast and wants to be complimented for his ability exploiting people and playing unnecessary zero sum games (win-lose)

Alternative: proud value-vampire (proud vv), prideful parasite.

Quote from Stef on August 21, 2020, 1:12 am

The Ben Franklin effect is a proposed psychological phenomenon: a person who has already performed a favor for another is more likely to do another favor for the other than if they had received a favor from that person.


Added, and great analysis, too.

Added a link on this old topic too, on Ben Franklin effect VS reciprocation.

I agree on giving with an eye open, it's one of the tenets of this website, too: give, but be a smart giver. Some people don't deserve your giving, and some others will take, take, and take. Yet some others, like you say, will seek to get rid of you when you've already given everything.

Oh, and by the way, I'm realizing that if we put a credit on each single definition, it will become a big space filler.
So I'll make a note at the end of the page with the credits.

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I found this 2 in wikipedia, abuse by proxy is pretty self-explanatory.

Flying monkeys[1] is a term used in popular psychology, mainly in the context of narcissistic abuse,[2] to describe people who act on behalf of a narcissist towards a third party, usually for an abusive purpose (e.g. a smear campaign).[3][4] The phrase has also been used to refer to people who act on behalf of a psychopath, for a similar purpose.[5][6] The term is not formally used in medical practice or teaching.

Abuse by proxy (or proxy abuse) is a closely related or synonymous concept.[3][7] The term is from the winged monkeys used by the Wicked Witch of the West in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and the subsequent films based on it) to carry out evil deeds on her behalf.[6][8]

Added the "proxy abuser" under "abuse".

Changing "social scalper" to "social credit manipulator"

Guys, I'm thinking to change the name of "social scalping", such as seeking to inflate one's own contribution and social credit, to "social credit manipulator".

It feels to me that it just better reflects the game that is being played.



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I think with social credit scalper we get the better of the two worlds: almost self explanatory + potent visual imagery!

Let me elaborate: social scalper is an apt methapor (a person so greedy for social credit it is taking bits and chunks of skin from your head, the head and heigh being a good symbol for status: it is pretty cool and intuitive as a gorish allegory, gore make it more cool and memorable by the way.)

As a minor caveat: it is esoteric, someone have to explain you the meaning the first time for you to get it.

Social credit manipulator sound to me like a more broad category (there may be some weird cases in which it is a tactical advantage to reduce you social credit instead of increasing it, affect other people levels of credit, or it may convey a more nuanced approach to the matter: not so greedy and in your face as the "scalper"?, scalper by default seems to convey a lack of subtlety, granted that some people become "artist" on the deed and have a great technique).

social credit manipulator sounds as a technical name for a broader category, what do you think guys?


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I agree that "social credit manipulator" sounds a little general.  When I think of "scalping", I think of someone who buys tickets to resell them at a higher price, which makes sense since the person doing it is expecting a larger favour in doing you a small favour. 

For example: Your airbnb host subtly tells you about all the effort cleaning the place for you when it is actually pretty standard (therefore not a favour). Because it's pretty standard, you don't think it deserves any response but you feel socially obligated to say "thank you for doing this for me" (which is giving your host a favour). In other words, your host wants something for nothing (expecting a large favour than what was given).

I think that we could maybe call it "social credit scalping" since any time a person is using this, they will always expect a larger favour.

You could say as a counter example: "what about cases where a really rich man buys a girl a car in order to have sex with her? He's doing a larger favour (buying the car) for a much smaller favour (sex)". I'd say the majority would probably agree with you, but if the girl doesn't want the car and doesn't want to have sex with the man, then to her, the sex is the larger favour of the two.

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if you find it annoying enough you could answer: "it is great to know that you fulfilled your (standard) responsibility"

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