While the geneticists are telling us the old Nature/Nurture debate has been made obsolete or been solved, depending who you talk to, I just went ahead and solved it. Part #4

Now that’s a long title, but it’s a great Tweet, isn’t it?

This is convergence, this little essay, for me this is where all the major threads in my mind come together: the ancient classic dialogue, human behaviour, child discipline, and yes – even trolling.

OK, that wasn’t bad, but this is just the bullet point brainstorming stage right now.

  1. A note about “things”
  2. A note about the “Nature” thing
  3. Trolling and narrowing the argument
  4. The “Nurture” thing, the Abusive Ape Theory
  5. Warrior society’s fears, head on, a lethal mutation (too late, we already have several)
  6. Liberals’ fear of science, dark hints
  7. The “Deep Roots of War” thing
  8. Self-actualization

Whups, turned into a Table of Contents. Maybe that’ll work.

 

4. The “Nurture” thing, the Abusive Ape Theory

 

I asked my self this question, “what is punishment,” or more accurately perhaps, “what is up with this punishment business?” (Side note: I want to say, ‘punishment bullshit,’ because that’s how I talk and how I write, but I didn’t ask myself this aloud. Turns out, my inside thinking voice prefers English. I’m surprised too.) This maybe twenty-five years ago, maybe a few more. For the first two decades or more I was convinced that punishment/discipline/consequences were identical to their illicit cousin, abuse, and that they therefore most likely were responsible for the same sorts of effects – which, yes, I’m still there – but during that period I thought it was some sort of accident, or I blamed cultural things, Leviticus and whatnot, for bringing about this state of affairs.

And I argued with people, in real life while we raised our kids, and for a few years online, while producing the early years of this blog and other blogs where the site has since passed on. The persistence of the normal attitudes around it were frustrating, and that people didn’t seem to have a clear definition of “punishment” at all was also irritating, like the language didn’t exist in which to have the conversation. All this against my background of popular psychology type thinking and very little real education . . . I don’t think I was aware yet that I was stonewalled, that further learning wasn’t forthcoming along this train of thought when some online argument challenged me to read Judith Rich Harris and Steven Pinker.

After a very traumatic reorganization of pretty much everything in my brain rolled out, I was able to bring a little more science to the problem, and by keeping basically the goals of social science in mind and not much else from it, and trying to see both sides of that disciplinary aisle, I have this, the Abusive Ape Theory (not married to the name, but I like the homage to the Aquatic Ape Theory), Antisocialization Theory, and the Consequences Mimic Meme – and I’m delusional, capitalizing my own stuff. But who else is gonna do it?

Really, it’s all there, it’s all out there, there is likely some hundredth monkey thing going on, everyone can know this, today, and I expect many do. All the pieces are out in public view.

The Abusive Ape Theory is the idea that we are an ape that abuses its children, leveraging epigenetic effects to said abuse and so we have created ourselves in the Deep Roots of War image, an ape that systematically desensitizes and traumatizes itself for a group-supporting effect of increased aggression and violence, one that supports our intergroup conflict. Dad says he was toughening us up, Twitler says we will be strong, all of this is the abuse that we feel during the genes’ epigenetically active years, and we adjust our internal configurations accordingly, to be less contented, rougher, and perhaps, as the psychologists say, to continue the pattern.

Antisocialization Theory is simply the apparently dark side of socialization theory, the latter being the idea of us all adapting to our given circumstances and society, learning the rules, customs, taboos, values, etc., of the humans and environment we live in and among. In one sense, it simply refers to the nasty stuff we learn, who to hate, how to fight, but in the more important sense, our antisocialization is the one that matters, because it’s the one with measurable, documented effects. It was Rich Harris who exhaustively laid out the socialization researchers’ hundred year long attempt to prove that parents create traits that they consider desirable in their children, and the near utter failure of it. This, while the mountain of evidence for the less “desirable” traits produced from abuse threatens to block out the sun. Abuse is our lever, the one that does something.

What it does is stress us out, make us angrier and more violent, and the only way to release stress is to spread it around. When a person is so stressed and damaged from too much or too chaotic abuse that they cannot function well in the private sector, the military is waiting for them, and that is as near the aboriginal function of antisocialization as you can get. I think also, though, modern armies don’t need every able bodied (and disabled-minded) male, a smallish percentage is enough – but we are all engaging in the function, and I haven’t repeated this for a year maybe – most of our pre-configured ready-made soldiers are just out there walking our streets, not some enemy’s, getting themselves and all of us into trouble. Yes, we’ve been socialized, both prosocialized and antisocialized, but just like in the movie series, it’s the dark side that has the power. It’s something like irony, to be sure, but if the definition of “nurture” in the context of ‘as opposed to “nature”’ is something the parents do to induce a trait in a child, then it’s a misnomer, because the traits we are able to actually effect are not the traits one induces with any “positive” “nurturing.”

I’m sorry to say, but the proof of the Nurture Assumption’s true underpinnings is that we can indeed modify a child’s development – just not in a “positive” way, and not in positive language. These days, it seems the biologists want to tell us all that there is no “nurture,” that it’s all “nature” – and for some reason, the profundity of real and documented negative effects is another conversation or something, parents can’t “affect” their kids. Abuse is somebody else’s job. The upshot, maybe I’ve never actually said it before, or for a long time –

We can’t teach a child mathematics by beating him and then teach him history the same way. You teach math by teaching math, you teach history by teaching history, and you teach beatings by teaching beatings. You cannot beat a child while expounding about history and pretend he won’t learn the beating – this stuff, this is maybe the worst of the blank slate magical sort of thinking there ever was, the idea that we can. Tell you something else too, Dr. Pinker – it predates Rousseau and all this blank slate atheism, this ‘beatings to produce nearly every imaginable and so often even mutually exclusive effects’ idea. This magic, one size fits all tool idea about abuse, this exists in inverse proportion to your dad’s idea behind the shed, though.

On the other side of our split personalities, we know what we’re doing, Dad knows he’s toughening us up. Certainly, the abuse of boot camp shows that the army knows that the purpose of abuse and discomfort isn’t to make us more peaceful. This brings us to the Mimic Meme.

Mom seems to think that when she whoops you, you’re supposed to get more peaceful, doesn’t she?

LOL.

So, antisocialization, that is beating a child to grow him up as a soldier, while let’s call it the “consequences” idea – that’s beating a child to turn him into . . . whatever Mom wants, is that right? Obedient soldier, for starters, I guess, and then obedient everything else after that? Obedient concert pianist, obedient foot masseur? Of course, it’s “good” child, “good” grandchild, student, soldier.

Both these memes, both these functions are out there, we beat ourselves violent and perhaps don’t know it, and we fail to beat ourselves into excellence and maybe don’t see that either . . . point is, we mean two completely different things by that one word, “good.” In half of life it means good about everything, good piano playing, good food, etc., but in the other context “good” means violence.

A mimic meme – a term I’m surely stealing and perverting – I will define by example. It’s when we tell a child, “Don’t make faces or one day, your face will freeze in that position.” We don’t believe the explanation, but if the child does, he stops making faces at the family at the next table, no bench-clearing family fights ensue at Applebee’s, peace is maintained – a real life benefit from a false meme, the idea that sometimes, peoples’ faces just freeze in mid expression, permanently. This is what the “consequences” idea is, one of these useful lies.

We tell a kid not to touch the lamp, he touches the lamp, we whoop his ass, maybe he never breaks the lamp, maybe he does, but he’s learned his beating, and we didn’t “abuse him to make a soldier of him,” we only taught him not to touch the lamp. That’s the consequences mimic meme, we can beat a kid for years, kids all live under this threat, so they are absolutely intractably antisocialized by it – but we have done nothing to propagate violence or war, we are simply teaching them how to live indoors and not break our stuff, right? And a house full of unbroken stuff sure looks like peace and civilization, so who’s to argue? Your face didn’t freeze like that did it?

It’s a good thing you listened to me then.

. . . (surprisingly) to be continued.

(I thought I’d lost the will for a bit there.)

 

Jeff

Jan. 5th., 2018

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14 thoughts on “While the geneticists are telling us the old Nature/Nurture debate has been made obsolete or been solved, depending who you talk to, I just went ahead and solved it. Part #4

  1. Mammonelle January 6, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    Oi! So how are you doing? This is Miranda/Scarlett by the way I deleted my old WP and this is my new one, I think it looks better on me, yanno – black is the new red? I also deleted my twitter account because it basically just made me shitty at the world I’m much happier now being the only person I know with no social media. Hope you’re well and you had a decent new year. 2017 was a horrible year so I’m going to make this one better! Mx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 8:19 am

      here’s a weird idea, ’cause I’m craaaazy now – do you think I should sell this prose of mine as poetry? I mean, it’s all metaphor, really, language is all metaphor. I’d hate to try to put my shit up against real science, or real philosophy or any of the disciplines, but I was just re-reading this, editing after the fact, like I do, found myself liking it, but maybe the sort of pleasure I’m getting from it is the sort you get from poetry. I mean, I’m wasted 24/7, I spend all day grumbling about my feelings . . . maybe I’m a poet.

      Like

      • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 1:50 pm

        I thought I was mental for years, people expected me to be so to some extent I let that shape me. if it’s relative for you to work out you’re not then it takes roughly 10-12 years to come to that realisation, that’s also dependant on how much time it’ll take you to work out that sorrow floats as well – which from what I’ve seen can be twice that.
        People are still trying to tell me what’s wrong with me but committing myself did actually work – I had to see for myself what real crazy looked like, after that I worked my way back to – whatever I am now.
        Trying to fix things I couldn’t was symptomatic of avoiding fixing me – anyway – that’s me or was – if it helps? Everyone has a different st of problems – but sometimes discussing them gives helpful insights right?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 2:08 pm

          yes, talk is important, words are really mostly all I ever cared about. Meh, I’m always of two minds, either I’m a sad, deeply screwed up individual with even less of a chance t feel right than most – or I’m the only smart person, the only honest person and the rest of you can all go pound sand, LOL.

          I hear you, about avoiding, honestly, I can’t see that that’s what my blog is, more like I look and look and try to find something else, try to access some repressed part of myself, attempt to get to some personal place, and I just can’t get there. This sterile-sounding shit I do is just what I’m left with. I don’t think it’s everything (OK, anymore, I don’t) but it’s still kinda all I got. I mean I can’t seem to get there about my past, childhood. I am brewing some writing about my personal present situation, maybe I put that in writing, I’ll see something.

          Like

          • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 2:14 pm

            Things are still to fresh, give it time, and until you do feel like you can change don’t. People who use the word people often say things that apply to thee heard as if there is only the group – Mr/Ms average are a construct so don’t feel bad about not being them, I did for ages. If I had the know how to heal or even pretend to convincingly enough I’d start a cult 🙂

            Do what you will – until you feel better. You’re a smart man.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 8:20 am

      Oh Jesus, there you are. I had an email for you in my old house, in my old computer but it’s gone and your participation in my life has been entirely, uh, voluntary. Good to hear from you – things are crap still. I’ve fired my last toxic friend two months ago and lost a really good one two weeks ago. I’m playing around on dating sites but I know I’m just in TV sitcom grief denial, it’s just my gonads trying to keep me alive. I expect I’ll thank them someday.

      Like

  2. Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 8:02 am

    Oh Jesus, there you are. I had an email for you in my old house, in my old computer but it’s gone and your participation in my life has been entirely, uh, voluntary. Good to hear from you – things are crap still. I’ve fired my last toxic friend two months ago and lost a really good one two weeks ago. I’m playing around on dating sites but I know I’m just in TV sitcom grief denial, it’s just my gonads trying to keep me alive. I expect I’ll thank them someday.

    Like

    • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 1:57 pm

      Good to hear, just keep doing that and you’ll make it.

      Crap – as far as I can tell is the natural state of nature – possibly of the cosmos, it’s only us few that realise it, thee rest are hypnotised by talking pumpkins that pronounce huge ‘uge and do believe that size is everything. And I know these things because I’m officially a scientist – just not practising.

      Funny parallel thing I recently found a dude with potential, and he’s been in hot pursuit, which is nice, though I found dating sites a complete waste of time, parties where I knew no one turn out to b the most fruitful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 2:16 pm

        yeah, the dating sites are socmed sites, the most popular is the best. I’ll just put my honest, freak shingle out and be pleasantly shocked if anyone calls.

        You think Twitler is speeding up entropy?

        Like

        • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 2:25 pm

          It’s always best to be picky with who you nest with, but maybe the male experience with them is different, as with all things in life I recommend lying, dressing well and patience.

          He’s more a sign of the apocalypse that it, it being a fiction to cover up the murder of the environment by greed. You look at Regan, daddy Bush, Stupid Bush and – Twitler isn’t it obvious the rich have put morons in power to make things seem like an accident? Ok Daddy Bush was sentient but thee rest – utter sub-3-figure IQ puppets.

          It’s over for the USA, they’ve introduced rule by stupid – time to prepare for our Chinese overlords to take over, I’ll see it but hopefully won’t suffer too much – I’m glad I can grin and say I told you so.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 3:09 pm

              Haha made you smile, now hold that for – um a long time *wink*

              Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff/neighsayer January 7, 2018 / 2:28 pm

        yes, yes, I know I am no cookie cutter person, this is where this rebuild is taking me, I am planning on turning my back on the normals, quit trying to convert them and quit trying to mimic them. I am a straight old white dude – I mean I reserve the right to suck a dick some day if I so choose, but I absolutely got heterosexual tendencies, biologically defined – but that’s where my identification ends, and I’m pretty sure my truth is gonna require wedging the differences apart, not the other way about. Sorry – aboot. I may only have 15 years if I live to die of old age, judging by both parents and one set of grandparents, and I think I have a point to make about human public life, that what is private needs to be public, and I may put my private health and life where my public mouth is about it, I mean fighting the silence. Silence may be promoted by the power, but it’s enforced by your family, and that’s a problem, not a solution.

        Like

        • Mammonelle January 7, 2018 / 3:13 pm

          I didn’t think you where a cookie, but good for you, it’s a confusing time to be alive, everyone is great at telling you what you are, and no wonder most of us can’t tell any more.

          Liked by 1 person

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