super_lucky wrote:@finley: You know both Taiwan and the Philippines as well as I do. I'm not going to argue the value of life on either side. Sometimes I totally agree with your evaluation. Other times, I think, "Well, no..." But my hope always comes from within the family, particularly how certain members care for my son. What struck me in terms of your description of Taiwan as capable of introspection and self-correction, it sounds vaguely similar to an examination process. Generally speaking, as we know, they are fond of tests. I don't really see that as a social construct; in fact, it's almost anti-social. The main difference between here and there, IMHO - the H standing for "humble" - is religion. If any sort of Judeo-Christian godmongering had ever hit critical mass in Taiwan, this place would be un-fucking-bearable. My whole mindset and something I think about in airports: At least in Taiwan, I know that most people are not going to have some kind of scam up their sleeve. In PH, I can safely assume that everybody is going to try and jack me for something - it's just inherently Pinoy.
At the risk of going a bit OT - and bear in mind that (a) I live in a part of the country that even Pinoys think is badly f'ed up and (b) I spent three years sleeping through psychology lectures and like to catch up on what I missed:
What struck me in terms of your description of Taiwan as capable of introspection and self-correction, it sounds vaguely similar to an examination process. Generally speaking, as we know, they are fond of tests. I don't really see that as a social construct; in fact, it's almost anti-social.
Not exactly. Introspection is the healthy reaction to shame. We all know Taiwanese people react badly to public
shame, but private or self-generated shame produces the expected reaction: holding themselves up to certain standards and modifying their behavior. Consider Taiwan's bureaucracy, which looked pretty much like the Philippines in 1960 and has evolved into something world-class. Pressure from the top was obviously a factor, but this would not have worked if Taiwanese people didn't have that internal shame mechanism driving them to do better. Something similar happened in industry. And, in general, the process is ongoing. I'm papering over the cracks here - plenty of people sit in their blue cubicles playing with facebook or bullying their co-workers - but they're at the same modest background level of dysfunction you see in most offices.
In the Philippines, there are no standards held up as something to strive for. What happens today is by definition The Best of All Possible Worlds, because Filipinos built it. No improvement is possible or desirable. Therefore when people are shamed (or even feel atavistic twinges of self-generated shame), their natural reaction is: "But I did nothing wrong. There was no other course of action other than the one I took". The feeling is made to go away in the only way possible: by lashing out at the person responsible.
I would also say a good fraction of Filipinos (by no means a majority, but certainly way too many) have a serious personality disorder, somewhere on the BPD/NPD/psychopathy spectrum. The notable characteristics (in this context) are a complete lack of fear of consequences, including fear of bodily harm or death; inability to view others as living beings with thoughts and feelings; limited range of affect (emotions); emotional lability; black-and-white thinking; excessively positive assessment of personal abilities and importance. The relentless scamming in inevitable.
Filipinos basically rub along just fine as long as their preprogrammed decision processes are not challenged, and as long as you don't present as a 'target'. And of course people look after their family members. When that instinct goes away the human race will disappear in two generations.
Don't misunderstand me here. I'm not saying Taiwan has got everything nailed. I'm pointing out the difference between a society that believes there is always room for improvement - however flawed today's assessment of "improved" might be - and one which doesn't even consider the possibility. Taiwan has changed out of all recognition since I got here, and that includes the treatment of animals and nature in general. An incident like the one posted would have passed without remark 15 years ago. Today, it's a big issue. The Philippines, meanwhile, hasn't changed in the slightest.
Totally agree with the religion thing though. If the Philippines weren't a fiefdom of the Vatican State it would probably look a lot different.
But you can't make people care about shit without drawing blood from somewhere. It's gotta hit 'em. Otherwise, we're all just spinnin' our wheels over here.
This question preoccupies my thoughts quite a lot as I watch Average Pinoy Next Door get up in the morning, carefully aim his rusty shotgun at his foot, and start blasting away until it's time to hit up the sari-sari store for Tanduay on credit. How do you make
people care about stuff - like mistreatment of animals or the environment - that quite clearly impacts their own lives? I reckon it is possible. It has been done, many times, in human history. I'm damned if I can figure out the common thread.