Action vs. Reaction

I have given much thought to the idea of the rational actor. While an action stands on its own as a whole, complete and deliberate set of motions, a reaction stems directly from circumstances created outside of your control. This is where it intersects with manipulation. It would be fair to say that one who does not react makes himself less of a target for manipulation. Strings pull puppets.

A recent conversation with a friend gave rise to this question: when is one behaving rationally, and when is one being manipulated to react ‘rationally’ – in such a way so as to elicit the exact behavior desired by those who seek your manipulation? (more…)