I am not a tactician or any sort of game theorist. I’ve read a few popular science books, my first clues about war and conflict came from one of Steven Pinker’s compendiums, and I’m going back some to catch up, I’m reading “The Evolution of War,” by Maurice R. Davie, first published in 1929. In 2018 it looks like a Bible, the font is so small, and it reads like something from another era. It’s a little difficult reading a white man (I’m assuming) writing about the world’s brown people in that time, and he doesn’t at least in the first chapter seem to acknowledge that the social principles he’s describing also apply to white Europeans, but only a little challenging. The WEIRD bias is well known now.
I worry that something else is noticeably absent from the book too, and I worry that it is still absent in today’s discussions, my baby, the antisocialization function.
1929, so nearly a hundred years, and I don’t imagine Davies’ talk of the social
in-group” and “out-groups” was all new at the time, but it stands out in blazing contrast to me now that Davies lays it out as that we provide hostility and war to the out-group while living in peace at home, with our in-group. I know we love our dichotomies, and maybe more so when the book was written, but that is just going too far. War at the border makes peace at home? Peace at home makes for a strong warrior troop? I’m sorry – rubbish. The truth is the function is more like the opposite of that. I know, in the fast-changing world of science nothing is easier than attacking some fellow who probably died before I was born. I’ve learned my way out of that one because we all have, right?
Yes, on one side of our minds we have, and out of one side of our mouths we talk like we know better. That half of ourselves all know abuse and its effects to be the genesis of many of our problems – but the other side of ourselves intuit that without punishment, all is lost. I think it’s fair to introduce that the “peace” Davies is referring to on the inside of these ostensibly bare bones warrior societies is a relative one, to say the least, his definition being you’re not supposed to kill or steal from your own, that these are defined as crimes when perpetrated upon one’s own people. Outside of this book and drawing from The Nurture Assumption, Judith Rich Harris made it fairly clear that “society,” at least in the sense of a socializing force or a learning institution, is the eternal children’s group, the kids socialize and antisocialize one another without a lot of adult input. I wonder if this situation, a species without adult learning – really? Us? – may place us forever in the hands of mother nature, to some degree, where it’s all biological conflict and game theory. Perhaps both more ambitious sorts of violence as well as liberalism are recent advents, and it’s a recent thing that adults are starting to develop their own culture!
I cannot believe the things this train of thought enables me to say, sometimes, and worse, maybe – believing them. Ha.
Actually, that is marinating nicely, I think that may be a pillar for me going forward, I’m going to keep that in mind, that our adult, “rational” efforts at culture may be only a few thousand years old in a few places, and that it’s an eternity of boy culture that we’re swimming against in this effort. Hmmm. Very much feels like a bringing together of ideas and not some logical breaking apart of them, I’m liking this. “Civilization” created adults and childhood somehow, that “time that the privileged had for contemplation and invention” that ramped up development – these people had time and room to mature, freedom from the conformity of the peer group, and this gave rise to all things more than hand to mouth?
(I should remind myself that a few months ago for me, it was all about the Alphas and their lifestyle of violence and dominance that had us at constant war, now it’s the children’s group . . . I need to see how it all works together, I suppose . . . )
OMG, I guess today is a theory day.
So, the point of antisocialization being abuse to toughen, to make and keep us competitive in the game theory world, it seems antithetical to social theory that a parent or an older sibling should be the punisher, the person whose genes’ interest would pose a less credible punitive threat than a stranger (I’ve just realized, this was probably why Trivers didn’t like antisocialization theory, I was all about parents doing it, and that’s new and strange, maybe) – and so we sub-contract that function to the children’s group, where maybe a coalition of second and third cousins would have fewer qualms about “enforcing the norms” – of course I mean about abusing a person to drive them to violence, making him a warrior. And modern white Europeans, along with city dwellers and wealthy people of all sorts, have taken that function – the farming out of our antisocializing abuse – to newer and stranger levels, what with schools, criminal justice systems, and militaries. Getting closer, Bob?
Well, not what I thought I was sitting down to write, but better, I think I learned something. I know it’s not a very pretty package, but it’s food for thought – it’s a full meal, isn’t it? I’m gonna publish, try to quit on a high note.
June 28th., 2018
Continuing . . .
I’ve been frustrated, most of my life, trying to understand why we take children from abusive families and then just adopt them out almost randomly – or worse than randomly: to people who ask for them, people who want somebody else’s kids for some reason. I mean, we all know stories about times when that was anything but the end of some of these people’s abuse. Doing that, failing to vet adoptive or foster parents for abuse has always flown in the face of social relatedness theory, we take kids who are being abused by the people most interested in their survival and farm them out to people with none or nearly none and then what? We hope for the best?
Doesn’t this make a lot more sense, that we would do that if the point of child-rearing were not to prosocialize the child but to antisocialize her? Then, yes, strangers are indeed better suited for that.
I’m going to have to rewrite my entire blog for this, the implications . . . first off, it means the larger the group, the further children can be held away and educated by people with closer to zero family interest, and so maybe the larger the nation, the meaner its citizens, consider the British boarding schools and the famous personal warmth of those empire building . . . people. (My . . . people. I can say that.) I’m going to have to ponder every orphan story, every changeling story again . . .
What to make of the change, during times of wealth and relative liberal comfort, like until just recently, when the adult, public world of public policy was gentler than many parents would have things in their homes? If what I’m saying here ever was a thing – that we ever sent our kids off to unrelated teachers for their violent educations – then maybe I’m getting my first glimpse of why some of our north American “bare bones warrior” minded folks are feeling betrayed by the modern world. It may be more traditional to send your kids off somewhere that they come home grown up and tougher than they left than it is to send them off and have them come home all thoughtful and useless.
Wow . . . too much for one day. It never rains, but it pours, and I’m having some trouble finding enough air in it right now. I keep running away from the computer, nervous, like I’m swimming OK, but I get scared when the water is a mile deep; that’s what I’m feeling, I’m OK unless I get a cramp or something. Break time.
bit of a setback, or a reset. I have to process this for a bit. It’s all been about parental abuse, and I hadn’t quite processed that maybe parental anything hasn’t really been traditional, that that has been the children’s group’s function for the long period of our evolution. So maybe this adult discipline business is sort of new, an attempt to temper kids ourselves, after the kids came indoors, after we all started living behind doors? Might take a while for things to settle again . . . it’s not a threat to AST, not the existential one I fear, but it’s a complication, maybe a maturation . . .
. . . so the first thing bubbled up is that this changes or solves my problem of origins, doesn’t it? Of how this antisocializing behaviour begins. Seems to me anything I might glean about the eternal children’s group and how human behaviour generally developed is probably pretty well sussed out, or in process with good people, although perhaps I need to look at it from the antisocialization perspective. But the other part of the story might be interesting – that while the children’s group is still in place, among perhaps what Davies called “civilized peoples,” the adults have taken a greater hand in the children, and in the antisocializing function . . . my first instinct is that it comes along as an equal and opposite force to any humanization these peoples have achieved, that, as the hunter-gatherer/primitive warrior lifestyles have been marginalized and the boys and men are prevented from the traditional roles of killing one another, we sense a need to compensate, we worry that we’re getting soft and therefore vulnerable.
I’d never thought about that, I sort of orphaned myself and that didn’t go too well for me, state care was pretty bad and I’ll spare you the re-runs thereafter.
The point I’d like to make is that by about 7-8 I was sure I was a person, mature – more mature and decent that my family thereafter and I think that had I been placed with another family I may have not had the life I had but would I have been better off in the long run? Yes and no, mostly there would have been a lot less violence but I don’t think I was a loveable kid. I don’t think I could have loved another set of parents, I was done with that by then.
Boarding school? I’d have loved that I think I would have been utterly overjoyed.
Do we still need to cater to the instincts of the blokes that need to kill something? I personally don’t need to exercise my gathering with the girls thing? Is that what shopping therapy is supposed to deal with?
I was recently reading that the male/female brain turns out to be a myth, which has me questioning a lot things I’ve been told about – well every part of my life.
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ooh, looking forward to those links, thanks. I wanna say, careful, biology and brain science is what turned my brain inside out.
Yeah, you know I reread myself before I got to the comments and I was thinking about you all the way through – I’d have to say, the mean streets serve the function as well or better than anything, probably, if your parents can’t break you, then these parents will, and if they won’t, these criminals will, fucking Jacob’s ladder. (More the movie than the machine.) Good on you and anybody who comes out not stomping around looking for your own victims.
Of course I’m not trying to make the bad guys’ concerns matter, they are, they’re the ones acting it out on us all. I never wanted to be talking about this shit, it’s just I’m following a train of thought and that’s where it’s taken me – I keep trying to get past it, but I’m not there yet.
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I only have a passing interest in Psychology, Biology I love though and its a shame I don’t have more lives or I would have studdied that too eventually. I just got back from holidays visiting my friend K who is doing her masters on an island in the Great Barrier Reef, how’s that for awesome.
The thing about me though, is hopefully I’m not the norm, I do have anger issues though, even now if someone manages to trip off that – run. I may be small but I explode. Having said that, over the last four or five years I’ve done a lot less of it. The cure is peculiar to the weiordo and I’ve tried to write it down but no one seems to understand. I sometimes think you have to fool/beat your mind into beleiving you are ok. Maybe that’s the time healing all wounds thing.
This blog then, if as you say you’re following a train – it’s like Physics you have to look in unusual places for the anwers, sometimes the very things that work are counterintuative and seemingly opposites of where you want to go.
I look at most people now and wonder why they are so fucked up for not having been through a lot at all – compartively, but everything is relativity right? 😀
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yes, biology is everything, it’s an audit on psychology, and philosophy too. If it doesn’t include evolution or survival, it’s crap. So much psych sounds like crap now.
Hey, I re-read myself with you in mind before I answered, and yes, all our lives make the case. So you can get mean, and if circumstances required and rewarded it, that would be a good thing. Me too, I imagine – I love the line in Les Miserables when he says Marius, these dreamer types, can fight when they have to, and he makes my case with that too. Hey, I’m into some crew on Twitter that’s scaring me, apparently the white house leakers, and they offered this video, a life that makes the case in large, bold font and all caps. Trigger warnings, he tells of his own abuse and of a scary geopolitical world. Here’s the link and my Twitter rant around it. It seems kind of a tight little package to me –
Replying to @AnUnlikelyAlly @PunishmentHurts @theGCouncil
Here’s a video of an ex-banker / criminal talking about his journey to redemption. Also a victim in childhood.
Replying to @quantazelle @AnUnlikelyAlly @theGCouncil
something particularly amazing in this for me, L. I’m halfway through, and what this fellow is describing, I have all the theory for, the science for. His is a personal story, but it’s the sort of life that proves my thinking. I’ll have more.
2. OK, yeah. I know you all are busy, will it bother you if I go on a rant here, share a bunch? I have a blog dedicated to this idea, but it’s long and scattered, it’s me figuring stuff out in real time. Nobody wants that. Twitter is the place for this talk.
3. First, I’m pretty much sold, the dude seems genuine, I sense no manufactured thought, and again, his story is the archetype for my Antisocialization Theory. He may jar on a lot of folks, but he makes perfect sense to me.
4. Antisocialization Theory – AST for short? – is the idea that a great deal of our socialization generally is antisocial, like dark matter proportions, 90% of our learning and socialization is violent, about hate and security, or maybe better to say with 90% of the power.
5. I came to this from a question, “what is punishment?” and the conclusion I’ve come to is punishment and abuse have their own consequences and lessons beyond, or rather more fundamental than whatever the intended “lessons” are, and they’re the same, more
6. . . . they’re the same, punishment and abuse, in that function. The function is, they change people, they “toughen” people, and if that sounds “good” to you, you need to accept that it doesn’t make you Captain America, strong and true, it makes you some version of this guy.
7. Dark matter proportions: every organization this fellow encountered antisocialized him: family, church, school, business, nations. Sure there was probably some “well intended punishment” in there somewhere – but don’t tell us what was intended, tell us what occurred.
8. The final sell for me was that his parents weren’t occultist Nazis, just regular, damaged folks, that makes it a part of my truth unless I learn otherwise. The antisocialization has a purpose, a biological function – and that’s his “dark force.”
9. It’s security stuff, game theory crap – but it’s not what some “they” want us to think of as innate “aggression.” Aggression isn’t a gene or a trait, it’s a strategy, that’s all. Unfortunately, a self-propagating one, but still. The point of AST is, it’s NOT “human nature.”
10. the point of AST is we antisocialize ourselves as a response, an argument, and a correction for the more normal, less expansive natures of the other large primates. Discipline is a magic trick by which we do what he said. freeze our consciences.
12. I don’t seem to speak the same language as anyone on this, not trying to say I do, I think I’m a pioneer here, and he and I are telling the same story from very different places – but I recognize it
for that last bit . . . yeah, that’s odd, but we all get the message, right? Especially if you’re stupidity deficient. I didn’t whoop my kids, but I sent ’em to public school and all that.
Hope all is well, mid-winter, huh?
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I can see how he is the way he is, kind of, but it’s way beyond anything I can relate to, and tbh I can’t say that I completely beleive him. The satanic bit, the anti-vax bit, it seems to me that he is in some way writing a forgive me because…
He also talks about ‘developing himself in a criminal way’ in a simplistic manner, as if it was the only option available to him. He’s an extream I think, and I can’t really relate to him, I more want to put him down than to pity him in any way.
Also this pity me I was abused thing, yes and no, I just don’t follow it as a reasonable path. He brags about his life while he appologises for it. Abuse is a complex thing, so are people, and the effects are different.
I actually find him glib in many ways. His whole I found god thing is actually kind of revolting, he couldn’t find any humanity in himself then suddenly god? Bullshit, it’s a nice dues ex machina pardon the pun. I was horrified people clapped the guy at the end.
I was a monster, a good one and I revelled in it then suddenly god fixed me. Really?
I also don’t really beleive that most of our socialisation is damaging or bad, I appreciate the science metaphore of dark matter but if life is 90% horrible you’re doing something wrong. Being in an abusive place and then self abusing becuase you find that normal isn’t normal. Violence and repression are everywhere but not that pervasive.
I wasn’t hit as a kid by my natural dad or my mum, and I did find private school bitchy but they didn’t damage me at all that came from mum’s second husband and the fall out from that. I made bad decisions, I was trapped for a long time but it wasn’t corporations, satan, big pharma, I don’t even blame men as a group, people can be cunts when money, drugs and lust is involved. It isn’t a consiracy that’s written in back rooms by masons, Trump and Satan it’s people letting things happen when they could do otherwise and the rest of us letting them do so without defending the weak and ourselves. Sure he dosen’t accuse his parents of being the cause but they where, sure they had reasons – but does that excuse them or justify his actions? Nope.
My 20c though, I’m not well read or schooled in the area. I have to say though, I am good at reading people and he’s not sorry.
missed some emphasis there, that last bit was supposed to be a shout – “but I recognize it” is the point, right, Even fairy tale cruelty like Cinderella or modern nightmares like this guy’s life – we recognize it, we can recognize the elements . . . do you have this need like I do, to attempt to synthesize everything? I’m taking like a stance, that there is one world, and all explanations are to be found in it – I mean, reincarnation for instance, if it were real, would require a scientific explanation, a way for me to include it in this single world, single worldview I’m trying to build or protect, you know? I don’t like thinking of too many different things or worlds going on, it all has to jive with everything else, or I know it’s not right.
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It is possible that all the explanations are there, or here, as a physicist I bloody hope so but I realise my goals are a lot further away than yours, or the answers to them. I don’t at all disagree with you in this here, but I think humans have a need for homogeny where the universe is made of ‘kinda’ and ‘sorta’, the formulae to which are bastard complex and horrifically difficult to even understand let alone believe after we’ve been raised on – “Jesus – just Jesus -ok?’
The law is like that, social services, justice – et al and the reasons on the surface are that it’s easier to deal with blanket approaches than individualistic ones. As a species we don’t deal well with diversity or tailoring. As a culture even less. For example I and every woman I know has been straightening our hair and growing it as long as possible even though some have really lovely curls because – because is the answer – because that’s what every image out there of hot tells you to do. The rest you face mecca (the hair salon) and pretend it doesn’t hurt having your head burned by those straightening irons.
Our culture, our laws our religions even our default reflex is to ‘paint it white’ that’s what all the interiors on realestate(dot)com do.
Soz about the typos above, I was on the couch and typing on my ipad, it’s spell check and my glasses are somewhere else.
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I don’t know why I sent you that shit. I hope you don’t look at it. I’m sorry.
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Ooops citation – sorta – https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28582-scans-prove-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-male-or-female-brain/
Actual – http://www.pnas.org/content/112/50/15468
OK, so this will be a blog, or a direction for my blog into the future, but I’m not ready with that yet, just some more stuff starting to come up and I want to write it down in case I forget.
So the next question is the children’s group itself. When did that begin? I have to do a little research, it seems clear with their caste systems, that there wouldn’t probably be such a group in baboon society, but I’m really not clear about the chimpanzees and the gorillas. Infants stay with Mom, and I think they can have bachelor male coalitions around maturity . . . are the boys all a group between, in childhood? Wait,
Is it a “children’s group,” or just a boys’ group?
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I can’t really speak for boys at school, but in a girls school it’s like the jungle, there are alphas, there are drones, people that shine, people that regress. Actaully it’s like that everywhere, the street, prision – relationships 😀
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