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pushing buttons

Comments on pushing buttons

libertygrl
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Posted 07/01/10 - 4:32 PM:
Subject: pushing buttons
in the last 6 years that i have worked in a building with elevators, i have ceaselessly been fascinated by the various ways people approach pushing the button to call the elevator.

i would guess-timate that the overwhelming majority of the time, people will push the button to call the elevator when it's already lit. this is also true when they get in the elevator and see that the button for their desired floor is already lit - they will go ahead and push the button anyway (sometimes vigorously and repeatedly, even though pushing it once is enough to light the button).

this to me is a curious phenomenon! why do people do this! have caught myself doing this as well!

one time, a guy walked up to an elevator and the button to call the elevator was not lit. a woman on the opposite side then pushed the button (on her side) to call the elevator, causing the button on *his* side to light up, right in front of him. he stared at the button for a moment. then he pushed it.

any thoughts?
libertygrl
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Posted 07/01/10 - 4:40 PM:

Nihil Loc
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Posted 07/01/10 - 8:45 PM:

I seldom use elevators but I do push cross walk buttons every so often.

I'll repeatedly hit the button for 2-5 seconds because I figure there is a greater chance that the light will be signaled.

shaking head I'm probably responsible for wearing them out.

My explanation is simple: people like to push buttons, especially when these buttons preform a visible function. Doing it (pushing buttons) yourself makes you feel like you've done something (even though that may not be the case).
Zum
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Posted 07/01/10 - 11:14 PM:

I think people do things like that when they are preoccupied, say, preparing the person they have to be when they fully arrive, or when they fully leave. There are paradigms that facilitate what we do; one of them relates to voting. We vote with these presuppositions: nobody is to know how we vote; whether we vote or not will make no difference to the outcome; we must vote. So we go, perhaps, to the polling place with this sense: the act we are to perform is anonymous, redundant, and imperative. This paradigm provides the habitual voter with a voter's reflex: the impress of his or her opinion MUST go into the system.

Preoccupied, arranging our faces to meet the faces upstairs, or those downstairs, we absent-mindedly approach the elevator button and vote.
libertygrl
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Posted 07/02/10 - 12:10 AM:

zum! hooray, it's great to see you. hug

Nihil wrote:
Doing it (pushing buttons) yourself makes you feel like you've done something (even though that may not be the case).

yes, i agree, i think that is tied with zum's explanation for my two most prominent theories, although i have entertained other theories as well in the last few days. actually, my second top theory has mainly to do with doing things absent-mindedly as creatures of habit.
the voting subtext as so eloquently described by zum had not occurred to me. clap
Thinker13
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Posted 07/02/10 - 11:34 AM:

Hi lib. Like Nihilist Locomotive, I rarely use elevators; still, your observation is really a good one. It has been observed by me too.

It is only a simple observation which insinuates towards the unconsciousness galore. What is this unconsciousness?

This is, being automatic in most of the functions, as Zum said, we are preoccupied and not doing just one thing. Those who are familiar with Buddhism and Meditation know well that the purpose of the Meditation and that of the most of Buddha's teachings is to remove unconscious actions. According to them, this unconsciousness is the main cause of suffering(desires).


I am sorry to again have given bent to the discussion towards meditation and enlightenment, but that seems to be the obvious enough explanation. Being immersed in the thoughts which have nothing to do with the task in the hand is the main reason for the sufferings, mistakes and Karma.



Thinker13
Zum
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Posted 07/03/10 - 12:21 PM:

I walk my errands. There are many stoplights where I live. Buttons affixed to mechanisms are attached to poles on the corners: if you want to walk across the street without being killed, you push a button and wait, and wait, and wait... Eventually...well, you get the picture.

One button push activates the system. To make sure we all understand that, the system beeps or burps and the first button push.

Yet even when we observe a person pushing the button, we push it again. I DO IT, TOO.
Zum
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Posted 07/03/10 - 12:21 PM:

Thank you, Lib!!hug
libertygrl
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Posted 07/05/10 - 2:32 PM:

i've heard some other plausible theories, which include impatience, or the desire for social acceptance. i imagine, though, that preoccupation with other things is the most frequent cause, in tandem with the need for control and influence over our lives. or, to put it more succinctly, that the need for control is a primal and subconscious force which is frequently permitted manifestation while one's conscious awareness is preoccupied with other matters.

thinker, you are always welcome to share your views on meditation. even though some of the regulars here might be familiar with your general point of view, the context of each thread is different, and your discussion of it in various areas will provide many lurkers with new opportunities to discover its benefits. smiling face
praxis
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#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/05/10 - 4:32 PM:

I think being distracted or immersed in the thoughts may be a symptom of grasping.
libertygrl
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Posted 07/05/10 - 7:09 PM:

praxis wrote:
I think being distracted or immersed in the thoughts may be a symptom of grasping.

sounds interesting, please elucidate? grasping of, or toward what?
praxis
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Posted 07/06/10 - 9:35 PM:

From what I understand, grasping, in the Buddhist sense, essentially means resisting the inherent unsatisfactoriness of existence (nĂºmero uno Noble Truthio). And distraction or immersion in thought may be an expression of this grasping.

Don't get me wrong though, I agree with Thinker13, as I understand it the practice is to pay attention.
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