You know I’m trying to solve the world’s problems, humanity’s problems, and there’s some guilt I’m not working the food bank, but I have issues, I don’t work well with others, and also the first problem I saw was what I’m always on about, “spanking,” (although anybody would have called what I saw more than that) and I was a kid, I wasn’t going to be working anywhere. The whole thing seemed, I’m sorry, stupid to me, and I have spent my life trying to find smarter thinking, solve it that way.
I must have thought, if I’m five and I can see how dumb these guys are, maybe I can help. Now I’m sixty-one and I think I’ve almost got it, but of course I’m sixty-one and I know no-one wants my answer, maybe any answer.
Too bloody bad, you’re getting it!
Lately, I’ve found a bit of a foil, someone with the skills to argue a large part of my answer, the Human Nature meme, from the dark side so to speak, I mean a bright soul who has seen some things, and there’s an idea I mentioned before but they helped me get another inch along with it.
I’m always on the Human Nature bit, and I’ve suggested before that a baby’s first human is Mom, and her Nature is likely the baby’s first idea of human nature – a schizoid conversation, ‘Natures’ are a Platonic abstraction, not actual things in the real world – but more generically, a baby’s first impression perhaps tells them who people are, who they are . . . OK, ‘first impression’ is a meme of the same age and accuracy as ‘Natures,’ we have had nine months of impressions before the world sees us, I mean ‘early impressions,’ don’t I.
Most of which, hopefully, are prosocializing, loving and nurturing, before what I am suggesting, the trauma of the first slap or something, and it’s also possible a kicking foetus gets a retaliatory blow sometimes, perhaps the first negative impression isn’t after nine whole months either.
But what sort of struck in conversation with my friend, what seemed to bite this time through it, was the idea that the baby’s impression probably really is of something along the lines of a simple binary nature, it’s not a bad working hypothesis for an infant, good/bad, love/hate, life/death, you have to say, the kid seems to have good priorities to form an opinion on the matter. I’ll argue now, after sixty years of life, but with a baby’s data at hand, that is some solid science on their part. Our part, of course.
I would that an education meant correcting the infantile binary ‘natures’ meme.
What hit me so firmly in this conversation was that the baby learns a Nature – from what was, for the mother an entirely contingent act.
It surely happens, that awful episode of M*A*S*H, where we suffocate a baby for silence in the presence of a predator or an enemy – I don’t see how a blow or a denied meal or some such deprivation is ever so necessary. We can say reasoned or compulsive, we can say “it happens,” I don’t think we can ever say it’s not contingent, we can’t ever say it had to be so, when would people die if someone didn’t hit a child. So there is the magic, where the contingent becomes the inherent, caregiver makes a choice, baby learns ‘what a human is.’
I’ve been saying the human nature myth is simply wrong, makes the wrong thing of us, but this made me realize that it’s both, it’s where the lie becomes the truth, where the myth and the truth intersect. The story of baby’s first negative experiences could be read either way, someone “proved” a lie to that baby, and now it thinks the contingent is immutable, or someone showed that baby the truth, I mean it really happened, didn’t it?
Not quite there yet? OK, maybe it’s not ‘the truth’ just because one baby ‘learned’ it, but there is a great assistance from other fallacies, namely consensus. If it really happened to everyone . . . then what? Plato was right, infants are right?
Both these truths?
At the same time, as Elvira Kurt’s mother would say?
Dec. 6th., 2021