Competition LO17255

Lee Bloomquist (LBLOOMQUIST/0005099717@MCIMAIL.COM)
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 16:26:20 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO17183 --

Thoughts expressed in this thread have caused me to wonder--

Descartes said "I think, therefore I am". Was the dual statement to
this very famous statement an alternative which he discounted-- "I
feel, therefore I am"? (Not having read him, I really don't know.)

If so, was his a case of thinking that wins a competition over

There is a story from the book "Emotional Intelligence" about a
person who, from an operation for a brain tumor, had the
connections to his amygdalae severed (the source of feelings of
certain types). According to the story, none of his abilities to
think were damaged, but his thinking became disconnected from the
type of feelings that are associated to the amygdalae. He could
still reason, for example, mathematically, but he lost his ability
to decide (say) whether or not to schedule a meeting. As a result,
he lost his ability to perform his job, and he had to quit work.

Nonetheless, it does seem to me almost rhetorical to ask "How much
of competition between groups in the workplace is over thoughts
that will carry the day, and how much is over feelings?" Most
competition in the workplace does seem to be over thoughts that
will carry the day.

On the other hand, I don't think that all of these thoughts are
clearly rational, or, for example, derived from clean axioms. Most
do seem to involve feelings of one type or another...and competition
between groups and individuals.

My original question was meant to be about this subject-- the
feelings that exist in any group which competes with any other
group in an organization. (Does anyone know of a working system of
competition in an organization where the feelings involved are
those which don't involve "happiness" over the misfortune of
others, and so on?)

To agree with one comment in this thread, it probably Is a good
idea to say something like "People SHOULD just compete with their
own past, and expected future, performance, rather than with each

But I know for a fact that I am not perfect. So wouldn't the
situation with people like me get down to something like the
following? (a description that was once conveyed to me by a friend,
which to me, seems to be about "entropy")...

Given a container of clean water, you can introduce even a single
drop of dirty water and the whole container will, in a matter of
time, become dirty. But into a container of dirty water you can't
introduce a drop of clean water and expect the whole container to
become clean.

("Bacterial entropy")

I'm certainly imperfect, and it is too much to expect that I will
always act as I "should." And I think the same holds for everybody
else. Each one of us, I think, does have the potential to be the
"dirty" drop of water which introduces competition and feelings of
an undesired type-- no matter how much we individually try, and how
close to the ideal we get.

So I guess what I'm asking about is a system of competition in
organizations which serves as a kind of "safety valve" for this
probably inevitable occurrence.

Granted that we "should" always act ideally...

Does anyone know of a system of competition in organizations which
gives us a safety net when we don't?

Very best regards-- and thanks for all your previous replies!

Lee Bloomquist


Lee Bloomquist <LBLOOMQUIST/0005099717@MCIMAIL.COM>

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