Finished

I’ve worked it all out – so now I can die.

OK, maybe not myself, but I’ve worked the rest out.

I’ve read some folks the wrong way. I’ve thought I was inventing things and made up words for them and used others’ words my own way, with my own meanings and disrespected their meanings . . . I’d apologize, but they don’t know about it, I haven’t hurt them. Maybe I irritated Trivers, to my eternal shame and worry, but probably not about business, theory, probably just from being a crazy ignorant pain in the ass. So, for nothing.

As much as I dislike the concept, I want to wrap myself in some no harm no foul, sort of reasoning, that if my misunderstandings produced fruit, and if they never knew about it, or weren’t impressed when presented with it, then that is life, right, the life of many nobodies and a few of the people we list in our bibliographies – years or decades of embarrassing failure and if we remember them, success in the end? The upshot, the general theory seems complete to me, I don’t see logical obstacles, I don’t see conflicting science.

I’ve been suspicious all along that I am not first but last, the idiot child screaming his discovery of some awful, simple truth that the rest of the village has long since decided there is no upside in talking about. It sometimes can seem to me that every author I have read, every author I have approached knows it all already and has chosen not to talk about it. Paranoia suggests that AST is something the military and leadership already knows and uses and if anyone ever heard me trying to tell the great unwashed about it I would be approached by the men in black and silenced, and that this apparatus has already spoken to all of academia.

Probably nothing so interesting, of course. Just silence, all of language and culture is against me, making it difficult. You don’t expect that screaming child to be right, and what he’s screaming about we already have an answer for, it’s human nature, kid, and it sucks, please shut up.

My message is not the EP message, not the Bible’s message, not the cognitive backdrop of “human nature,” none of that, rather it is this: the evil we call human nature is entirely optional. Not human nature, but the human choice. We’re not sure about free will because we are pretending not to have the choice. Innateness means we have no obligation to change.

I mean of course human nature is optional – otherwise, why are there still chimpanzees? OMG.

I looove doing that!

That is a title and the perfect click-bait Tweet, isn’t it?

Seriously, though, if nothing is optional, wouldn’t they be here with us if all this were on rails? What is evolution if not options, the unfolding of options? I accuse them of determinism. Their theses say no, but their conclusions say yes. Options taken long ago, choices made in the past cannot be undone, enjoy the ride, I hear the ending is going to be spectacular. I’m sorry.

This is true, when discussing vague natures and shadowy options. But what if we thought we knew a specific choice? Are we so sure they’re all gone and never to be offered again? The choice of discipline, of punishment, we make these choices all day . . . oh, Hell, everybody, ONE MORE TIME! For God’s sake . . .

Sorry again.

Where was I? Worked it all out, ignorance and impertinence, no obstacles or conflicts, the military uses my theory all day long . . . I guess that’s as far as I got before my internal autocorrect took over, sorry about that. OK.

Well, that’s a point. When the military uses something, that’s tried and true, they are not a new invention. I used to work telephone systems, office systems, and when I could, I worked 9-1-1 and police, ambulance, because folks who deal in life and death seem able to focus and buy the phone system that works, not deploy things until they work – whereas the world of business is the world of illusion, where often they make more money sabotaging themselves by shorting labour or something and suing you for it. The reality factor, believe it or not, is important to me.

The point is, the military knows what abuse and deprivation do, they charge a soldier’s batteries for his job – inconsideration up to and absolutely including death. While the militaries of the world practice this eternal formula, the public is told some original sin mythology about how they were already bad by their churches and also by biologists or anyone who denies free will. I’ve said it before, I  expect I will again, evolution is the new creation. Creation is what that circuit in your brain is called, it’s what has history and prehistory, what evolved in every culture ever, so if you are a human, evolution becomes nothing but the new way we were “created,” past tense being no accident. Of course, now you no longer carry Adam’s primal sin, but animal violence. Ah.

That was an accusation of a personal failing in the past, one of the sort I opened by apologizing for, now it’s a universal of human evolution! That is quite an upgrade, I guess I haven’t done nothing today after all! If modern science and evolution is trying to occupy the same space religion and creation did, then it is going to have the same shape and it’s going to have to answer the same questions, and if it walks like a duck and all of that, then you must expect people to treat it like a duck, throwing bread and lead at it and such, stuffing it with dried fruit – all the usual stuff, is what I’m saying.

Sorry, human nature, whaddayagonnado, is what I’m saying, either way, that excuse hasn’t moved at all. Where am I at?

Worked it all out, apologies, no obstacles or conflicts, the military uses my theory all day long, creation and original sin are sort of built in, like Kant’s time and space. This is a good tool, thinking about the evolved brain circuit you’re employing, auditing your new thoughts against the existing circuits, to check the newness, and maybe a sanity check is possible too. In that spirit, what is AST, then? First, is it the same old creation/OS pathway or circuit?

I don’t think I see a creation moment, but I’m not blind to some kind of innateness, I mean that’s the magic of genetics, a thing can be alien and not innate, and then add evolution and it can be, so, innateness at our timescale seems to be a thing, but at evolutionary time scale, innateness’ material form, genes, come and go – innate to you, kind of thing. Might not mean innate to the species, it may be a thing that is coming on, or on its way out. So, in the middle of a changing creation, that is not creationism, I don’t think. And original sin, forget it. It’s free will that I would emphasize in these matters, so . . .

So no, I don’t think it’s the same circuit. Is that the problem?

If AST is not the same shape and doesn’t do all the same things, doesn’t answer all the same questions, it’s not an argument? Just a different conversation? Wait, we’ll get back to that – if it’s not that circuit, what circuit is it? That answer might help this one.

Is it the pain/damage/fear circuit? Well, no, it leverages that one, but  pain avoidance as an explanation for the ubiquitous dispensation of pain doesn’t work for me. It’s involved, for sure.

Is it the nurture one? Do we all think we have a circuit for that? What else?

I have argued that this is the nurture that is real, the nurture that works, the nurture that shows up in the lab: abuse. So, yes, I have been thinking that it’s one, I suppose. There is still some good/bad talk we can have around this negative nurturing but applying a stimulus and getting an effect – antisocialization, not “goodness,” but still – that would be the circuit I am trying to interpret, or reinterpret, I think. What else? Nothing coming to mind, I just find myself building some house of cards about how the circuits are interconnected, some imaginary structure like Freud’s, but the questions do sort of answer each other, cancel out, don’t they?

AST doesn’t answer questions creation and OS do, like “How can all this not be our fault,” and “what can I think so that it doesn’t bother me to hurt my kids as a parent, or hurt my little friends, as a member of the children’s gangs?” I’m sure there are good things those ideas do for us too, I guess, but these are the big accusations they are always invoked to answer. Ah, and ha! – aha! – original sin/the beast within, “born bad,” this is an inverter circuit, the one that turns the output of the nurture circuit upside-down.

Ooh! I just peed a little. I’ve been on the lookout for something like that. Thinking a little more on that, whether we’re innately good or bad, whups sorry, that’s the input, isn’t it. But invert the input, you reverse your output, like if you thought it was cold, so you turned up the heat, that’s an inversion or a reversal if it was actually too warm in the first place. The inverter circuit is the one that tells you all that heat you’re experiencing has other sources, that it’s not just you, messing with the thermostat.

And maybe I think this was the new thing 300,000 years ago? An inverter circuit? It feels to me in this moment like the closest thing to explaining the human difference, but I’ll try not type too long about intuitions.

AST does answer some of nurture’s questions, “how can I change my kid,” and even, if you turn it upside-down like I did, by not doing it, “how can I make my kid better?” So that’s the circuit – and I have long since answered the biologists’ motto that there is no such creature. There is simply no such positive creature, the entire function is as real as anything you can stub your toe on if you simply stop prattling on about enhancements and start acknowledging harm and damage.

I mean, it doesn’t matter what you do to your kid, some say, as long as you don’t . . . have rules and consequences and teach them right from wrong, I mean hurt them. As long as no-one does that, you can’t affect them. And we prove that negative all day every day. Whups, autopilot again.

Worked it all out, apologies, no obstacles or conflicts, the military uses my theory all day long, the suggestion that AST is something the powers would like to keep for themselves, that they may not wish to “discover” or teach it, creation and original sin are sort of built in, evolved brain pathways or circuits. AST is my new name for whatever the “nurture” circuit is trying to express – and “born bad” ideologies are the expression of an “inverter circuit,” that makes us think good is bad and vice versa.

Which might explain why we think punitive abuse is “good.” Needs development, this inverter circuit idea.

Update: “Why are there still chimps?” did not bring the clicks I anticipated. Ha.

Hmmm. That might be enough for one blog.

 

Jeff,

Aug. 13th., 2020

 

Update:

OK, so original sin/the beast within, “born bad,” I’ve decided there is a circuit for this, but I expected one. I suppose I should try to make a case. We think it’s a Christian thing, we think Paul or Augustine invented it or something, but it’s not just words, not just a slogan. Try writing a new one, if you think it’s just words, see what kinda traction you get – that’s what I am trying to do. “Traction” sounds like sarcasm.

I’ve been saying it’s “biology,” which, yes it’s something living things do, that’s not very descriptive. A lot of folks like “cultural” – if you mean cultural, as in a step above bodily functions but still biology based, OK, we can talk. If you mean cultural as opposed to biology or nature, then no, not “just” cultural. Like I say, try to make a new one. Fashion doesn’t touch these sorts of things, they never go out of style.

Unfortunately, it’s a protected thing, we only talk about it by its Christian name, I don’t think there is a science term for this assumption of innate evil or violence, is there? We talk about it like it’s only Catholics that try to beat the devil out of their kids, but I think if we look, it will be a human universal. Wait, checking Brown’s list – I don’t think I found punishment on it before, so I’m not hopeful.

Yeah, none of it. But they should be, and if you ever heard of me, they are going to be, they are now, punishment and the assumption of innate evil that drives it, by a better name.

 

Jeff

Same day.

Who You Are, Part #2

Offenders as Victims

Inspired by a

Twitter conversation with

Guy Hamilton-Smith

@G_Padraic

His point:

 

“Writing an article about language and stigma and identity and policy, and it is apparent that we tie people to their worst moments: felons, offenders, thieves, murderers, rapists. We locate their humanity in the worst things they ever did.

 

And we do the same for survivors.

Though, instead of locating their humanity in the worst things that they ever did, we center the worst things that have ever happened to them.

 

And, as someone who occasionally identifies as a survivor myself, I think there can be some kind of power in that.”

 

Me, now: this is the part I managed to address above. Identities are always the point for an overly social animal. Survivor, ex-con, these are identities, they identify you as having had the disease, but also the treatment, like a thief is a thief, but an ex-con is a modified one – AST suggests a broken one.

Back to him:

“But, something’s been occurring to me writing this article. One thing that struck me very early on is that the same shame that I’ve felt as someone who caused harm as an ‘offender’ is the exact same shame I’ve heard when talking to survivors.

I suppose I find myself wondering if it isn’t just the flip side of the very same coin, and the interesting and unexpected ways that plays out in our policy.”

Me, then:

my mutation’s take – we’ve been abusing each other so long, all bad feelings must be a punishment, every suffering must be deserved, control is what pain is for, to humans. I’ve got a country music theme on my mind these days where the guy is singing the blues about

all the damage he’s done, like what matters about it is that he feels bad, it hurt HIM – same theory, I guess, if he has a bad feeling must be a punishment . . . ?

. . . right, so that’s the offender feeling punished, shame?

 

G H-S again:

“I think that there’s a distinction between guilt and shame. Guilt, I think, in the context of having wronged another, is good — it means to feel bad about something a person has done.

 

Shame, otoh, I think means to feel badly about who oneself is vs an action”

 

Me, now:  . . . and now I want to try again to develop that second idea – it’s what I was supposed to be working through the first time.

 

It doesn’t need much, I don’t see how I’m going to stretch it out a blog.

 

Offenders as Victims

 

Ah, topical too, that.

Much of the world of illusion public bullshit we hear has some tiny kernel of truth that they are leveraging. I am going to “redefine” guilt and shame here, but I’m not feeling combative today, the existing definitions are not wrong, I just focus on certain connotations, offer a complicating counter stream to the dominant definition – ah, there’s something! The dominant definition belongs to the dominant mode of thought and the dominant culture, doesn’t it? And from a different cultural perspective, down in the trenches in some culture or other, not seeing it all from above, that’s what we – sorry, I – call “wrong.”

So I don’t think I’m sweeping away the normal way of looking at it or destroying the dominant culture. I know that mostly, guilt is self-regulation, a sense that we know we’ve “done wrong,” and I know that shame is, as the person above says, about being regulated by others. A sense that we know we “are wrong.” I know and agree in a normal, social way and even with the rationale. But we all know it’s the dominant culture that is driving the whole world off a cliff, right?

So I offer other definitions. Call it a thought experiment.

OK.

Who needs guilt when there is a human being every six feet willing to beat me back into line? I’ve been suspicious about it my whole life that supposed “guilt” is nothing but learned fear of reprisal. You learned it; it’s “internalized;” it’s “something you’re doing now,” that’s guilt: gaslighting. I’ve been here thinking this for a long time.

Shame is about who you are?

Isn’t the point what that means, that who you are therefore needs abusing? Again, the dominant culture gaslights for dominance: we are going to hurt you because of who you are. “Shame” is you knowing you deserve it. Again, their abuse, your “shame.” It’s part of you. You were wrong to be born a whatever and you’re wrong to feel bad about it, that stereotype, “self-hating” member of the subordinate culture. Shame is bad. If you have that, well, you could be a better person, all we’re saying. Shame drives people towards evil, donchaknow.

Sorry, strike all that verbosity, same tack as before.

Who needs shame in a world of racism and every possible form of hate all around? Not our hate, your “shame.”

Psychology would seem to serve this purpose, gaslighting for the dominant, competitive culture, sorry, G H-S. Everything that happens to us is now a fault in us that needs fixing, a broken part of us. No wonder analysis carries shame and guilt with it, it deals in it, sells it. Whups, getting a little shrill. OK, on with it. In my context , what does offender guilt and shame look like?

Well, guilt is clear, I think, or already offered my correction above.

Offender shame. I thought I saw something, what was it? Oh, right, what pain is for.

We are an overly social species, we seem able to prioritize something about ourselves beyond even survival, to look at the current state of affairs, and we have a way of anthropomorphizing everything, like everything has a goal and a purpose. I mean, even God has goals, evolution is always having to shake off accusations of goals and intentions. It’s how we view things, I suppose it must have been all language was for in the beginning, to share intentions, that book I’ve been ranting about said that, so maybe there is no speech without that framework.

With this in mind, I submit – OK, re-submit, in longer form – that we think pain is for something, intentional, so that pain, any pain at all has this aspect, why was it directed at me? – yes, even internal pressures, like if guilt and shame are what we all think they are, even these. If they hurt, why, what’d I do? I think we experience internal pressures like these exactly the same way we experience the external ones, we feel subject to all of our feelings, feelings are things that happen to us, involuntarily. This, I think, is when an aggressor or an offender feels shame, the suffering side of himself, feeling put upon by his own by his own guilt and/or shame, suffering under it as though we were more than one person – again, internalization is gaslighting, shame is internalization – a learned an expectation of hate, nothing more.

It’s not a created thing, trying to exist, it’s buried and mis-labeled thing, trying not to. If shame is “bad,” it’s because the social hatred that creates it is bad.

Depends on your point of view, right?

When it’s slowly killing you, shame is “bad.” When you’re being a good soldier in order to avoid it, it’s “good.” Depends who you ask. And to solve this longstanding riddle, we have to make up our damned minds, good, when we’re using it, or bad when we’re feeling it? You can’t have it both ways.

I’m in the second camp, obviously. What I see, is if society shames you so bad you break, whether you invited it by committing crimes or not, then psychology will work to convince you that the scab of your shame is of your own creation and another one of your crimes and that you must fix that as well. You must do your work to overcome your learning from your punishments – I mean after you finally learn the initial lessons, of course.

You shall learn these, the hard lessons of the control and your punishments, and then you may go free. If you want to free and happy, however, there is more work to do and you must un-learn it. You’ve done your time, paid your debt, but now, because of who that made you, this ”shame-based” person (Bradshaw’s definition of that was less specific than this blog, I think), you’re still not right and society still doesn’t want you – I think there is shame in this, do it all, it’s never enough. It must be who you are.

To repeat, certainly the new issue of your shame is absolutely about who you are, who you became. The previous section said the other bit, that it always was.

They only have you to work with after all, not “society.” If you can’t stop the cause, treat the symptoms, and fair enough, sort of. In real life, when living rather than thinking, I too settle for the lesser of two evils. I always preferred thinking for that reason! (Writing, I mean writing. I couldn’t think my way through a four-way stop if I couldn’t write it down and look at it first. You should have seen the days spent trying to work out a three-way light switch before I sat down and drew it out! Keeping it positive, I’m gonna say it was “adorable.”)

Yeah, my attitude still bites.

I do think guilt and shame are gaslighting terms, the magic words that transmute our hurt into some problem we have, internally, rather than obvious scars and bruises received from others. But again, I can still speak your language about it too.

If that was it, it’s less than I wanted, but it’s not nothing.

Happy Sunday.

 

 

Jeff,

Aug. 8th., 2020

How to Save the World

AST – I haven’t stolen “Murphy’s Law of Nature,” or “proactive aggression,” or half-stolen “managed aggression” yet, AST is my brand-  is a system whereby we create aggression through social pressure, threat, control, and abuse, and disallow the free “reactive aggression” that used to put a stop to it, thereby storing our aggression for use when the group or the leader determines it should be used. It’s the creation, capture, storage, and management of aggression, proactively. Ideologies that project aggression and violence as natural and innate, like religion and EP, seek to bury this function, to protect it.

The purpose, I am not yet clear about, but the effect seems to be the recurring nightmare of conflict and war.

With this definition, we might make a dent in war, is my idea. I think it’s a thing explains the see-saw of war and détente, war’s apparent inevitability, which is there because we know we’re always busy creating the anger for it.

I don’t know what else I can say. It doesn’t matter what direction you push; pushes all go one direction. Stop pushing.

 

Jeff

Aug. 8th., 2020

Changing Who You Are

Came up in a Twitter conversation the other day, someone was talking about how convictions and diagnoses are labels and get used like identities, that who you are is defined by your hospital or police record.

I’ve been hammering away on the same theme for a long time now and it still often feels like some penny has just dropped. The usual way to talk about punishment is that it’s a tool we use to modify behaviours, to discourage certain behaviours, that it’s about the crime, the act, the behaviour, this is what we are trying to change, and I can talk that way, I understand that but another way to think about it perhaps that it’s supposed to change us, change who we are. How much is it about controlling theft and how much about controlling thieves? No suspense, it’s less of the former and more of the latter than we like to say.

I’ve been through the in-group/out-group aspect of law before, when I’ve been ranting about forgiveness, that we make a law, convict and punish “their” transgressors and forgive “ours,” and that doesn’t need a longer explanation this awful year. Sort of a different thing this time. That it suddenly hit me, yes, you can “change a behaviour,” but you’re not “changing” the one that got you in trouble, that’s in the past, that particular behaviour’s window of change has closed. And the new thing is a different behaviour. So we can say it, language can take you there, but you have to know how to ride it, context and such.

We are changing “your behaviour,” which again, one behind and one ahead, different “behaviours,” I think “your behaviour” means you. The theory is, change you and the new you produces new behaviour. Of course, “changing behaviour” is euphemistic. Here’s where the overture shows up again, a theme throughout the opera – science is being pretty insistent that there are no documented cases of humans changing other humans for the better, and a world of documentation on how we are destroyed.

You can’t turn things to words and then perform logic on your words like arithmetic and expect your sum to match the real world one, because no single word is perfect and many are even poor and in combination, these errors carry us away from reality immediately, on another trajectory. I don’t think this shady bit of reasoning proves anything, and specifically not this, but I’ll say it anyway, because everything points this way for me: we control behaviour with damage. Every behaviour we kill means a circuit in our brain that we killed, and our cumulative brain damage is what causes all of our problems.

And you can’t fix that with law and order, law and order is the cause.

I know, does not compute. That’s why we are where we are. In this case, our attempt to codify behaviour and make projections, the arithmetic, we are always one hundred and eighty degrees different in trajectory, going the wrong direction entirely. We punished too hard, we didn’t punish hard enough- oh well, I guess we tried everything. Who do I gotta hurt to make this problem go away?

Insoluble riddle?

Or brain damaged ape, and they sort of all are?

We look at it when Mom hits us to tell us not to hit and we see it again when we do it the first time or two, but we get over it, somehow. We’re used to it now.

Ha. Starting to read my endings like punch lines.

 

 

Jeff

Aug. 5th., 2020

 

Inspired by a

Twitter conversation with

Guy Hamilton-Smith

@G_Padraic

His point:

 

“Writing an article about language and stigma and identity and policy, and it is apparent that we tie people to their worst moments: felons, offenders, thieves, murderers, rapists. We locate their humanity in the worst things they ever did.

 

And we do the same for survivors.

Though, instead of locating their humanity in the worst things that they ever did, we center the worst things that have ever happened to them.

 

And, as someone who occasionally identifies as a survivor myself, I think there can be some kind of power in that.”

 

Me, now: this is the part I managed to address above. Identities are always the point for an overly social animal. Survivor, ex-con, these are identities, they identify you as having had the disease, but also the treatment, like a thief is a thief, but an ex-con is a modified one – AST suggests a broken one.

Back to him:

“But, something’s been occurring to me writing this article. One thing that struck me very early on is that the same shame that I’ve felt as someone who caused harm as an ‘offender’ is the exact same shame I’ve heard when talking to survivors.

I suppose I find myself wondering if it isn’t just the flip side of the very same coin, and the interesting and unexpected ways that plays out in our policy.”

Me, then:

my mutation’s take – we’ve been abusing each other so long, all bad feelings must be a punishment, every suffering must be deserved, control is what pain is for, to humans. I’ve got a country music theme on my mind these days where the guy is singing the blues about

all the damage he’s done, like what matters about it is that he feels bad, it hurt HIM – same theory, I guess, if he has a bad feeling must be a punishment . . . ?

. . . right, so that’s the offender feeling punished, shame?

 

G H-S again:

“I think that there’s a distinction between guilt and shame. Guilt, I think, in the context of having wronged another, is good — it means to feel bad about something a person has done.

 

Shame, otoh, I think means to feel badly about who oneself is vs an action”

 

Me, now:  . . . and now I want to try again to develop that second idea – it’s what I was supposed to be working through the first time.

 

It doesn’t need much, I don’t see how I’m going to stretch it out a blog.

 

Jeff

Aug. 5th., 2020

updated Aug. 8th., 2020

Bad is the New Good

It’s killing me, listening to you talk. I don’t see duality, I see duplicity.

Folks are either straight up screaming for blood or they’re moping about affecting melancholia about how it’s so sad that we have to do that all the time but whaddayagonnado? Ever notice how in every story, fictional or otherwise, life and “fate” and “history,” the inexorable forces tossing our characters or people about are all just people being assholes and trying to hurt or kill each other?

Of course you have. The authors, the researchers, they come so close to it when they say that most violence is moral violence, this is true – but it’s only half a thought. This equation, violence is moral, is more instructive the other way about, but the point is in arithmetic and logic, it’s all one, only expressed differently – but that matters. Let’s turn it over, see if it’s a boy or a girl, see what changes.

Morality is mostly violence.

What do we do when we see something “bad?”

This is the central confusion for me my entire life, I don’t know about you, a million rules and not hurting folks isn’t one of them, I mean if I break one of the million rules, then there is no rule against hurting me. I see a hole in this policy. If you were trying to stop folks from hurting each other, making a rule for them to be obliged to hurt each other is . . . backwards. It is nearly impossible for me to type that, to insult you all, to suggest you can’t see something so obvious, but  – gestures grandly, showing you the world. If you understand that much, them pardon me, WTF is this?

No way out, I know.

I have beaten my arguments about human origins and evolutionary psychology as it stands into the ground and I see it, it’s not working, it’s powerless. Yesterday’s effort was the fizzle-out of that effort, I need a new angle. I’m going to try to go straight to it, good and bad.

They do not, repeat not, create each other.

Yes, they define each other, the portion of one defines the portion of the other – but they are logical opposites, one annihilates the other, so I repeat, they do not create one another, good does not produce bad, when good intentions go bad, when “all that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing,” it’s still not the good part that is causative. If I led the Nazis to Anne Frank’s attic while bringing them food, I may have caused something awful, but to name my mistake as “the cause” ignores more direct and powerful “causes.”

More to my point, bad cannot create good either, and so punishment cannot be what it purports to be, some magic whereby we create good people with violence. For evidence, we see the violence – we do not see the saints, the better people. What we see is the creature that seems to always need the beatings and somehow never changes even so.

That’s because the change happened before, at the very start, you’ve already been changed. The change was here before you were.

Uh oh, new thought, probably doesn’t belong here, that Rousseau was only wrong in his real world application, in naively thinking the “savages” of his time weren’t also fully developed warrior societies also antisocializing themselves – perhaps it was more of a children’s group situation like Mead described among the Yanomami that those early Europeans saw, that it wasn’t the adults doing the antisocializing like it is in Europe, so they missed it.

Some caveats – that made total sense to me, antisocialization is real to me, it has explained too much, given me a way into the world, a grid by which I am able to connect things and so not live quite as fractured and confused as before. If it’s a blank spot, some bit of magic I’m pulling out of a dark place and doesn’t help you, please, ask me, talk to me. I am trying to anticipate the objections, but this has been my mode of thought for years now, I don’t think I remember how you all think about it.

Sorry. Moving on.

“Human nature” isn’t a debate, it’s a before and after situation. You were born good, and by the time you had any power in the world you were bad – they’re both right, sort of. Sure, humans are greedy, selfish violent creatures – now. Humanity was born good, I cannot seem to find my way all the way to discredit the urge towards morality, but by the time we had power over the world we were bad, same, same, fractal sort of model. Ah – I think this may be new.

I’m saying antisocialization – meaning just what it sounds like, the process of making you antisocial – is what we get from our efforts at alchemy, of trying to turn bad to good by abusing people to improve their behaviour – again, both in our lives, starting early and in the life of our species. In the here and now, we solve the problem, the disconnect of the supposed magic, the dissonance, by simply deciding antisocial is good and necessary. And necessary, we can talk about that – well, I can.

If you think it’s necessary, then it’s not up for discussion, is it? And if it’s not up for discussion, not slated for review, if it’s not going anywhere, then I guess it had better be good, otherwise life might suck. But it’s not good. Also, you know you can’t win the necessary debate, that’s why it’s “good.” Nobody’s going to argue with “good,” are they?

Hi, I’m Jeff, pleased to meet you.

God sent me to argue with “good.”

Some things exist because they are necessary, and other things are necessary because they exist – they will tell you this regarding our weaponry, well after the fact of our desire for it, that once one culture acquires a weapon, they all must, or be selected out. Once guns exist for you, they are necessary for me – this is the same with our antisocialization, which adds up to our desire and proficiency with weapons, to a large extent. Guns are “necessary,” well, at least until I get my rechargeable phaser, they are. They weren’t, until they existed, but now they are, before and after.

But they’re bad, guns are bad – they would be if I had one and you didn’t, right? One gun is bad? I guess that’s a way to look at it, the first one was bad? Once everybody has one, it’s all good? When is that scheduled to come about, would be my question, what exists that everybody gets one, of course it’s a trick question, folks are dying for not getting water. Guns are bad.

I said it already, the point is, some things are only necessary because they’re already here, I said guns and our self-antisocialization – the latter manifests as “strength,” our pain, our damage, our being antisocial and needing some enemy to work off of, I mean, it’s “strength” when it’s working for us. If you got it, I need it – but it’s bad, you having it is bad, and my whole life is the argument that if it’s bad for you then damnit it’s bad for me too, it isn’t magically transformed to “good,” because I got it too, I am not special, I am not magic. Good is good and bad is bad.

Tell me we do not differ on these points, please.

With that little bit of game theory, I guess the entire time spent worrying about origins was a waste, we’d just do it all again today, our origins never leave us. I suppose that’s a before and after also, good used to be good, bad used to be bad. Violence, aggression, all were bad at that point in the past when we were small and vulnerable ( must have been a verb, like edible, huh? PaTING! Ow! Ya vulnered me!). Love, tenderness, mercy – these were good when we were helpless, these things met approval all around. Power turns all good things to bad. The strength that replaces them is bad and bad is not “the new good,” although slang that plays on that is always there, bad, nasty, filthy, all these things get twisted to mean good, ostensibly ironically.

Of course, when you have some weapon that’s bad for me and if I get one that’s bad for you and what is bad for you is good for me, I have heard it before, I’m not arguing with some meme I’ve never heard. That logic, bad for you is good for me, really only works if your mind cannot see over the fence of your self, if you really can’t take one more step to realize that you are his problem, that your good is bad for literally everyone else, that it never made the magical transformation and protest all you like, you’ve been outvoted by literally everyone else.

You’re bad. And no-one needs your bad self to be stronger, you’re causing enough damage. Just stop. Face your pain, acknowledge it and accept that bad things have happened to you, don’t let the ones who hurt you win, don’t become your tormentor, don’t decide it’s good when you do it, because then it was “good” when it happened to you too, you’re signing off on all of it, that bad is good, which is what is just underneath loving Big Brother, logically speaking.

Seems a good a place as any to drop the mic and run.

 

 

 

Jeff

Aug. 4th., 2020

All Life

I think I made a case elsewhere, that if there is a market for testosterone, that if men generally support a market that says we are not manly enough and more manliness would be better, that this is a proof that we can think we are not naturally tough enough for this world and walk about in search of technological ways to enhance our “strength,” so I feel there can’t be much serious argument about the motivations for our social abuse; “strength” goes a long, long, way too long a way with us.

So where are we, we think we aren’t tough enough, we will acknowledge things we do to adjust our toughness upwardly, when any bad thing happens, if no other upside is to be found, there is always that adversity makes us stronger, and whatever does that has an upside, tougher is always apparently an upside. This applies to our controlling abuse as well, if you learned nothing from your spankings or your prison sentence, at least you are probably stronger, which again, how can stronger be a bad thing?

(Right? How can stronger criminals be a bad thing?)

So what I’m left with, the part that I haven’t gotten on record yet . . . is intent?

All this is true, but I sure didn’t have this plan, abuse for toughness and take it to my own kid, at least not on purpose! Somewhere between intent and context, maybe . . . but we don’t really credit any function that doesn’t have a goal. I worry that as long as we “didn’t mean to anything,” then it didn’t happen or something, I mean that’s the whole punishment to teach civilization argument already there, complete with the advantage of intent – not only did I not do it for that reason, but I have another reason, a good reason! I have a tough row to hoe, selling this. Semi-conscious beliefs are near impossible targets, how does that go? You can’t reason someone out of a belief they never reasoned themselves into?

Ha – you know you learned this one with a spanking, before you could read. Wait – what is EP’s “reason?”

Power, advantage, maximizing your resources . . . sinners, all of ‘em, except not, right? Ah! If it’s Rousseau, if we’re born good, then EP’s “reason” is simply wrong, and if the Rousseauvian side has a better answer for why the bad things happen, for the Hobbesian principle, then that’s a win, two to one. I mean, historically, we have a tie, right, Rousseau explains the good, we’re born that way and calls the bad “cultural,” –

– wait, I don’t know this for sure – he didn’t spell it out did he, didn’t say exactly how culture turns us to evil, did he? And if, so, he wasn’t right or anything, was he? I’m just saying, if he didn’t break it down like I think I have, then “culture” for me, is too big a word, so big as to be almost meaningless. If AST falls under it, I’ll take that back, but if it has to mean not biology I don’t see how it does –

– But born good “explains” the good, it’s in our genes, the kindness, the sharing, we’re a prosocial animal and leaves evil requiring an explanation, while on the other side, the Hobbesians posit greed and violence as the natural thing and suggest that goodness needs an explanation. Sounds like a tie, right?

LOL. Except. Except where does the invented thing, the not born that way thing come from then? We lay that out and things get clearer.

On the one hand, taking Rousseau into the present, psychology, both organized and naïve, what everyone knows pain feels like and does to people, this is at least my humanist explanation for evil – hurt, sort of an explanation and a definition all in one. On the other hand we got really moral because the boss is a cabal of murderous psychopaths and they ordered us to on threat of death, this, at least by this book, is evolutionary psychology’s explanation for morality. On the one hand, humanism and psychology, on the other hand, authoritarianism, fascism is morality.

Don’t get me wrong, my rap adds up to the same equation, except in reverse, “morality is fascism.” I don’t think they are saying they approve – although we do need to learn to rise above some limitation of language that always makes it sound like they do – they’re just saying that’s the way it is, cold science, except again, so cold that the well known effects of threat and abuse are ignored, they are only factored in as deterrents, their reality completely unaccounted for, again, I hit him but it didn’t hurt him, this lie at every level of human life. Is it really so unthinkable that we’re all hurting one another? Like, “net” hurting one another, that there is no alchemical reversal where hurt becomes growth? Isn’t it common knowledge that we’re all hurt?

Have you never heard of the blues?

“All life is sorrowful,” – does that not ring a bell?

“All are sinners?” “Life is pain, life is struggle . . . ” No?

All these well accepted truths exist for no reason and our science has no plans to test them and is in fact going the other direction apparently asking why are we so good instead? Why?

The idea that we are nurturing a gene suite for this lifestyle, abuse and war, suggests an interaction, genes and creating an environment to activate certain of them, an interaction and an adaptation that I think would be not unlike our selfish genes, safe from extinction (and God forbid, from evolution?), that any eugenic attempt to select this adaptation away fails as a part of the same conundrum Wrangham gives, that we can’t deselect the de-selectors, and so this adaptation is maybe impervious to genetic variation? . . . where I mean to go with this is perhaps his premise isn’t unassailable either, is it possible this adaptation wasn’t a matter of selecting anyone out at all? I mean, no-one thinks the bonobos went about executing their chimpanzees, do they? Are they short a gene from the chimps?

I don’t think he said anything about a genetic change to define us at his date, 300,000 years back, it was all skeletons and self-domestication! No gene change has to mean no selection, but no evidence doesn’t mean no change, ancient DNA isn’t common. I will pursue this, all may depend on it. First, I will search the book again.

I just cannot make these leaps, we got rid of the brutes, so that’s why we killed everything on the planet, again, WTF . . . I was so excited, now I’m basically calling it all rubbish, I should stop writing until a better mood takes me.

OK, no, not happening; I don’t think my mood about this is going to change, it hasn’t changed regarding the same meme in parenting which I’ve been battling for almost thirty years now, but I guess I’ll make a slight shift, stop saying EP is wrong, I think I see the powerlessness of that now, that it’s “right” if you come at it from authority’s side, that still today this is the dark side of psychology, that it’s not generally some helper trying it on you for your own benefit, but your boss, for his. In an upside down to me world, this is pretty much legitimate applied psychology, to analyze how rats and people move about under certain restrictions. Male and cold as it is, if you call this psychology, you can get it past most of these hominids, at least the males.

I would like to switch tactics and simply say, I have something to add.

I would say that along with forcing cost/benefit analyses, the threat and control of the leaders has other effects, negative feelings, that are the legitimate concern of psychology and have real effects in the world, and also even heritable genetic effects that make the patient’s psychology a moving target through time, and this is the magic of DNA is it not, that the same restrictions and stimuli placed on a different animal can produce different effects. One would think that adaptations are not stable, that as the animal makes it, the situation is altered.

Psychology is a human endeavor. It’s one thing when the presence of a bear forces a cost benefit decision from us, it’s another thing when a human being, that we can theoretically understand, does it. It gets psychological, complex. The power of the cousins both the cousins and EP would have you take as a condition of life, as immutable as needing air, as a stimulus and a condition for life, and frankly they don’t like you questioning them. Psychology starts just below them, they are not subject to police or psychologists.

And they sure don’t factor easing your pain into their plans.

All of them, every person I have read regarding human origins and human futures simply narrates. They’ve looked, they see what’s going on, look deeper, and come back saying, sorry, there’s nothing for it – but do buy my book with all the detail about how there’s nothing for it! I love some of these folks, but you are scientists, not news anchors, you’re supposed to be coming up with something to change the story, not just narrating the end for us, for God’s sake.

You know who doesn’t seem to want change, who doesn’t seem to be feeling the end of the world just yet – is the power, of course. The science, the gormless narration, it’s all paid by the power, no wonder they find no hope, no-one is paying them to find hope – and no surprise their psychology is top-down, business psychology, how to move these rats. So I would add the other half, the other side of psychology, victim psychology, the psychology of abuse and pain, and apply it to all concerned – the cousins, they too live under one another’s power and threat, they too are hurt – psychology 101, happy healthy people don’t need to dominate all they see. The pain of the elders is a huge factor in human affairs – and EP makes it sound like they’re all in paradise already, reaping all the benefits and paying no costs – it’s the American Dream, no need to analyze them.

You might think I’m off in space, but this is the very heart of matters, of all matters. It is true at the individual level, when I am trying to sort out the puzzle of the human being, that all the info I can find has this slant, authority over psychology, and to understand it I pretty much had to write my own book, but it’s true at the level of the tree of human knowledge also, that the branch of EP is a failed graft, an artificial branch with only the boss’ preferred knowledge flowing in and out of it and its foliage is all tainted and unhealthy.

Ha – sorry, Richard, not so much two kinds of aggression as two kinds of psychology, is what I’m seeing. And I’m taking your catchphrase, “proactive aggression,” you were wasting it on gang rule. Proactive aggression should mean “aggression that is managed, meaning created, collected, stored and dispensed proactively.” The good people of the world need this concept and gang rule doesn’t need a better sounding name.

 

Jeff

Aug. 1st., 2020

The Arc of the Universe/Capital Punishment

We are phasing out capital punishment.

Dr. Pinker and the entire world of humankind will tell you that’s a good sign. Guess what I’m gonna do?

In this old favourite of mine –

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2017/02/23/ast-and-child-sexual-abuse/

I try to make the case that if we have reduced child sexual abuse, that we didn’t really do that for what we would think of as moral or humanitarian reasons, not really, that in fact we traded in any possibility of the bonobo lifestyle in favour of that fabled Platonic essence, “aggression.”

Well, today is the going to be the same sort of ultra-depressing thing, same awful format. I am sorry. Would you really leave me alone with all these awful thoughts? Both of you? Ha.

The Goodness Paradox, chapter eight, Capital Punishment. It begins with an 1820 execution for property damage and notes that in most of the world you don’t die for that anymore, not legally, and the sentence that tweaked me was four pages in, after the tide turned on it, after a treatise, “On Crimes and Punishment, Cesare Beccaria, “Prisons then increasingly took over the responsibility for social control.”

Since then, we don’t select criminals out – we abuse them.

As I said, Dr. Pinker and the entire world is trying to sell this to one another as more moral, more humanist, a step along that arc to somewhere – abusing people. I heard the doctor is a doctor of some sort of psychology! In fact it was him got the Nurture Assumption published and promoted it and its central idea, that nurture is a myth and science doesn’t credit it, so he tacitly leaves the field to me to say abuse is not a myth and so this is his explanation why things are “getting better” – abuse. Control, I expect he’d rather say.

The point is, we say “social control” as if the opposite were the truth, as if we had any power to control anything in any direction other than to make it worse. “Social control” can only mean worse, by the doctor’s own cherished science. Sorry, I’m quoting one author and trashing another – honestly, I haven’t yet determined to be angry at Wrangham, it’s the longhair I’m after, the better natures guy – and EP generally, of course, which yes, means Wrangham too. I have plans to try to rehabilitate that one, though, he shows potential. Ha.

We are a warlike branch of primates that is learning not to execute its most warlike individuals, and not only that but to abuse them for years or decades before setting them free again – it is possible to see this and talk about it as though we were not minutes from solving it all. It is possible and entirely reasonable to see this as not at all the path to the utopia. All you have to do is stop expecting good things from abuse. You psychos. Sorry, outside voice?

So yes, we don’t sex our kids, we beat them, or turf them outside among the children’s gangs. Yes, we don’t execute our thieves, we confine and abuse them, damaging them further. Our entire species entire plan to solve crime is exactly every villain’s back story, but things are getting “better.” I understand he can make a case, he has numbers – does he have a reason? If he doesn’t have a better one than control, I can take no hope from him, I’m afraid. And I know, the scourge I blame we do not keep statistics for. Yet.

I know, it looks like a continuum, from verbal reproaches through spankings all the way to capital punishment and so if we stop going all the way to the end it’s an improvement, I heard that – but the whole spectrum does not move uniformly. Fewer executions does not mean fewer spankings or fewer reasons for reproaches. Fewer executions has not moved all of humanity towards gentleness, we keep applying the abuse to more and more, the fewer instances of imprisonment and such we may have expected if the entire board were moving have not materialized. If we really thought it was a continuum, then we would follow reducing executions with reducing incarcerations also, and then spankings. We reduced capital punishment, but I don’t think punishment generally is going away. I don’t imagine the numbers of people living in prisons is falling like the number of violent deaths is, is it, doctor?

OK, we’re stopping executions, that’s good. I’m just asking why, was it humanist all around, or, dark side, were we missing a chance to abuse them, and losing self-motivated soldiers, is that maybe why we did that instead.

We’ve just got it all backwards is all. We try harder than the chimpanzees do to be good, but our efforts cause world wars. If we hated bad behaviour a little less, we’d be a little less hateful, I think. You don’t take morality lessons from killers, I understand it, that the symbolism of capital punishment isn’t endearing – but no-one really takes morality lessons about stealing food from a guy who runs a prison either, that guy has clearly got it all ass backwards too, doesn’t he?

I have a dream that some day you’ll say yes.

 

Jeff

Aug. 1st., 2020

Update, Aug. 11th., 2020:

I want to get this idea down, that perhaps I can sort of define Pinker’s function, if he didn’t, and fit it all into Wrangham’s timeline. Starting 300,000 years ago, we see the effects of self domestication and perhaps the rise of powerful coalitions and Wrangham has suggested that selecting the most “reactive” individuals out was integral to the change, so we could see that as us practicing self-selection, and this was the beginning of morality and law.

If we view the recent phase of our improvement, the last several hundred years, it is possible to see capital punishment going out of favour in lieu of abuse and confinement, desegregation, and if the end of capital punishment is predestined, then this would mark the end of our selective efforts and our full time commitment to antisocialization instead. I wonder what metric might show us this, what change took place in war at the same time Pinker says we got nicer in a leap, renaissance, was it?

There were already world conquests and Empires for thousands of years, so it wasn’t a matter of the scale of war – must have been the frequency, then? Perhaps the gun’s changes, combatants no longer really had to face each other so close, but what does that mean, surely not more bloodshed than always. Going to say frequency, pending further learning.

Of course this is the time of the rise of the modern nation state, isn’t it? Well, of course, he’s talking about law and order, so why don’t I? But still, again, more input to the antisocialization process, more control should mean some change at the output . . . wait for it . . . ah. With the modern nation state, the war never ends, there is always trouble at the border. Plus frequency, I mean that is frequency, but plus all the regular outbursts of war are also not suspended. When the war never really ends, the people must be strong always, so more laws, more dragoons, more reasons to charge the people’s batteries.

 

Jeff