The World Bank has discovered that people are programmable

Video: The 2015 World Development Report (Mind, Society and Behavior) is out and it turns Economics on it’s head.

The World Bank says:

The underlying assumption for many economic policies is that human behavior arises from “rational “choice, with individuals carefully weighing their choices, considering all readily available information, and making decisions on their own. In recent decades, however, novel policies based on a more accurate understanding of how people actually think and behave have shown great promise in addressing some of the most difficult development challenges, such as increasing productivity, breaking the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next, and acting on climate change.

One paper that is critical of the World Development report says:

The World Bank has discovered that people are programmable, and some (poor people) are moreprogrammable than others.

So the 2015 World Development Report (Mind, Society and Behavior) has ditched the ‘rational actor’ model on which neo-classical economics was built, as an impediment to the purposive transformation of society.

It draws on a wide range of disciplines(behavioural economics, cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience) to ‘improve the design and implementation of development policies that target human choices and action,’ or in other words to turn our own cognitive capacity and sociality against us with the transparent objective of implanting the whole of humanity with the gene of conformity in thought and behaviour to the logic of globally competitive capitalism.


It is concerning that any such agency should be attempting to shape behaviour to reach their target productivity goals. That brainwashing is required to get us there just adds insult to injury.

People are not machines to be programmed and set to serve a rentier class. This whole concept needs to decay on the vine, along with other similar notions of duty and servitude.


Their first philosophical mistake is judging people’s choices as being irrational - for that assumes they know what is rational for others. We individually work pragmatically with the data/information/sources that we individually trust to determine our choices. Given the philosophical problem of induction, there is no way to know anything with any degree of certainty and also no means to know what it is that others have experienced, what they trust nor why … and even if we did know what and why, how can we judge the decision inferior - if it has worked for them in the past, then they are rationally expressing a sound choice to do it again. If they’ve not done it before then they may be exercising a sound choice to try something different. If it didn’t work before and they are trying it again, then they may be working to confirm their observations.

To assume you know better than someone else is perfectly fine if you are only applying that knowledge to your own decision making - but when you coerce others to do what you believe is best, this is religion at best and a cult at worst.

All those people out there doing what seem to be crazy, stupid, impossible things … these are the people who find new ways forward for our species - they go outside of what is known and discover/invent new ways/paths forward for humanity. We owe these people our very existence - for without them, there would be no evolution of thought or behavior. Without them we’d go extinct. And this is what the control-freaks of the world are really working toward, through their manipulation, propaganda, indoctrination, and lies - they are destroying diversity of thought and crippling our species ability to adapt - they are bringing us closer to extinction.


Include Dictators in that list.

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I can’t say it’s working on me. In fact I am observing completely different tendencies on my part.

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Humans ARE biological machines to be programmed, @Traktion .
And anyone thinking he is exempt from those described tactics may well be afflicted.

The only counter is either to not buy anything at all, and bypass consumerism completely, or to actually make only rational consumer decisions. But that is, of course, harder than it sounds. Because even if we do work with limited sets of data, @TylerAbeoJordan, we still tend to make irrational decisions; just as that infographic describes, and I think that is not even a comprehensive list.
When we try to act purely rational, we so often discover that what we did up to now was wrong. And that challenges our pride and often our world view. Not trivial things to overcome, especially if we just wanted to order a damn product and be done in 10 minutes and now we’re having to reevaluate our past choices and…ugh.

If you want to be right, you have to be prepared to be wrong.

Additionaly, I recommend limiting exposure to advertisement. Nobody is completely immune to that stuff, that’s why they spend to much on it.


That is indeed somewhat scary. On a somewhat related note - programming one’s brain, but in a positive way - anyone familiar with ?

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Television would have to be the greatest enabler of mass hypnotism, so we need SAFE to be just as easy to tune into as the terrestrial services.

Mesh enabled TV perhaps :wink:

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It’s fine if you want to admit that you make some irrational decisions - but due to the problem of induction, you can’t know if other people do or not … and you know what they say about assumptions.

Without sounding like a conspiracy theorist or a pessimist > this is old news. None the less, a good find. Governments and corps have known people are programmable for decades, probably longer.

And I also don’t necessarily think it is always a bad thing. Tools can be used for good and bad, the problem is things like secrecy. The rest I suppose comes down to common sense and morals.

You dont consider this as a landmark report… a green light for a full scale behavioral science roll-out.

The World Bank …sounds like an important institution…they were probably just bored when they put this together.

IMO the world bank is a nasty institution. They’ve been involved with indebting third-world nations by working with corporations that sell the leaders of these nations projects that the nation can’t afford and they end up forever paying off the debt.

On a related note…I was invited to screen a AGW film several years ago. I noticed various inaccuracies as well as a lot of emotionally manipulative language in the film, so when I returned home I did some research. I found out it was produced and directed by the son of the president of the world bank. I didn’t get the connection right away, but when the big AGW meeting in Copenhagen was going on, I had the opportunity to look through the treaty (very large) and discovered that the world bank was going to benefit enormously by being the broker for the penalties put on nations for CO2 emissions … they stood (stand?) to make tens if not hundreds of billions in profit.

IMO, these guys are greedy bastards who care nothing for anyone but themselves.

Nope not at all.

I work for a very large organisation.

Reports like this get made all of the time, your just seeing this one. I’ve never given much credit to organisations like this because they don’t deserve it. They really aren’t that smart.

Yep, put them on the blockchain…that’s where un-trustworthy institutions belong

Im not sure I understand?

Put Governments, NGO’s, World Bank, IMF etc on the blockchain so we can see how they operate.

Why? Who cares? What is the point?

Most humans are corrupt and full of shit, we already know that.

Well if you want to move them out of the way for something better, block chain transparency is a start. It can help undermine the authority of the hypocracy.

I agree with what you’re saying here but I would also like to point out that making an emotional or intuitive choice can also be a sound choice. All a rational decision is is a decision based on logic ration that intuition or emotion: that’s all. IQ is not superior to EQ or intuition, it’s just a different way to order your reality. I think we need to get away from this idea that logic is “better” or absolute. Someone who makes a decision intuitively or emotionally is still processing a ton of information and is still making a valid choice. We should not invalidate a decision simply because it isn’t logical.

How do we avoid madness then? Well that’s like saying how do we avoid being stuck in the heart of the Sahara desert with no water. Likewise a psychopath is completely sane but has no emotional capacity, and we want to avoid that just as much as we want to avoid being dropped naked into a blizzard at the north pole. See what I’m saying? Either extreme of IQ or EQ is equally undesirable but neither is better or worse. Therefore to invalidate, or validate, one over the other is unfair.

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Yes. Also rational isn’t necessarily logical. a rational argument can be based on any number of non-contradictory feelings or thoughts. When there is internal contradiction in an individuals view, then we would say they are being irrational. Then there is also the difference between thought/feelings and actions. We may choose to take an irrational thought/feeling and turn it into an action in order to verify the outcome -we are all always experimenting and testing in order to find flaws in our views- hence such an action may not be an irrational choice, we simply cannot know why someone does something as we do not have their experiences or feelings.

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