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Walden Two Walden Two by B.F. Skinner
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Walden Two Quotes Showing 31-60 of 39
“We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system, nevertheless feel free. They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That's the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement-- there's no restraint and no revolt. By careful cultural design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behave-- the motives, desires, the wishes.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Nowadays, everybody fancies himself an expert in government and wants to have a say.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The severest trial of oppression is the constant outrage which one suffers at the thought of the oppressor. What Jesus discovered was how to avoid the inner devastations. His technique was to practice the opposite emotion... [a man] may not get his freedom or possessions back, but he's less miserable. It's a difficult lesson.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“Once in a while a new government initiates a program to put power to better use, but its success or failure never really proves anything. In science, experiments are designed, checked, altered, repeated-- but not in politics... We have no real cumulative knowledge. History tells us nothing. That's the tragedy of a political reformer.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The hero is a device which the historian has taken over from the layman. He uses it because he has no scientific vocabulary or technique for dealing with the real facts of history-- the opinions, emotions, attitudes; the wishes, plans, schemes; the habits of men. He can't talk about them so he talks about heroes.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“In a democracy, there is no check against despotism, because the principle of democracy is supposed to be itself a check. But it guarantees only that the majority will not be despotically ruled.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“The final state of affairs may not have been foreseen. Perhaps we are merely reading a plan into the world after the fact.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“In a pre-scientific society the best the common man can do is pin his faith on a leader and give him his support, trusting in his benevolence against the misuse of the delegated power and in his wisdom to govern justly and make war successfully.”
B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
“You must feel a certain lack of excitement in these accouncements. No garish posters, no bright lights, none of the paraphernalia with which the entertainment industry whips up a jaded public. But in a day or so these simple notices will begin to take on all the excitement of the shimmering marquee. When there are no signs ten feet high, five feet will do. When there are none five feet high, one foot serves well enough. It isn't the color or brightness or size of a poster which makes it exciting. It's the experiences which have accompanied similar posters in the past. The excitement is a conditioned reflex. Our bulletin board is our Great White Way, and we're dazzled by it.”
B. F. Skinner, Walden Two

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