The Connection

. . . between them and us, between power and the powerless. Between victims and abusers. Between the “problem” and the “solution.”

When we start to talk expansively about people, about the world, about what is wrong with these things, obviously, there are two ways we see things, mostly only one of two ways, or some combination or variant of them. Right and Left, we say, although these words have become pointlessly fuzzy where the sun rises over the Atlantic and sets into the Pacific sea, perhaps we could just pan out a bit and call it us and them. From the Right, the problem is “them,” and “we” are going to control it all to solve problems; from the Left, perhaps the problem is “us,” meaning humanity, and we all need a new system which an already happy rich “they” are resisting?

I’m going to try to say that the trouble isn’t really at either end of the social scale, neither the basic, uneducated human’s “inherent” problems, nor simply the dominance of the one percent, but the vast majority of people within whom both these extremes exist. The connection is power, as Foucault probably said, as Alice Miller surely saw, but I feel when I hear “power” talked about, it sounds . . . like a near miss, like it’s one step removed. It is. The world is wrong, and there is going to be a reason this is the case, whether anyone has found it yet or not, and to talk about the power is to talk about the blow and not the bruise.

Our usual story is the tale of what has been accomplished under strong men, a narrative about institutions we have because some strong person or group of them wanted them and made it happen, it’s the normal story of civilization, and the overarching cause of humanity’s troubles is thought to be that these things are not yet perfect, that we are battling some far worse natural condition and just haven’t won that struggle yet. But soon, of course! It’s framed as a fight like that, us versus nature, us versus ourselves, somehow.

That conflict isn’t a conflict; it’s the connection.

This fight with ourselves explains everything.

We talk about oppression and abuse, about who is doing it to whom, but we don’t get anywhere with it because we don’t know why it happens, we don’t know the logic of it and the function of it. The folks most horrifically engaged it don’t really know why, I mean, sure they will tell you why, but we all know they’re full of shit, they don’t know why and we can’t explain it to them because we don’t know either, any of us good folks who say all that hate and violence is wrong, well, if we’ve decided it’s wrong, then we’re not even looking for reasons why, are we? Reasons for something wrong can’t be right – but reasons why a thing exists must exist. There are good reasons and bad reasons, but beyond all of our verbose idiocy, there is some real reason, some evolved reason. The haters’ answers are wrong of course – but how do we go from ‘the answer is wrong’ to living with no answer at all?

That’s a tilted playing field, wrong answers beat no answer every time.

We’re broken or something. We get a wrong answer, call it wrong – and keep it as the only answer anyway. Brain damaged abuse victims or something, I don’t get it. OK, I do, but I’m still shaking my head. “Get it” all you like, it ain’t right. If we “get it,” then we’re as broken as the world.

There is a reason all this hate and abuse gets selected for, and a reason even the good folks don’t apparently want to know. A person who refuses to analyze something, doesn’t want to know why, that person is part of the problem, clearly invested in the problem. Right? I’ve said that before, in terms of our warrior life, we are all that fellow who can never understand for fear of losing his livelihood.

It may be true for me; I am presently out of work, the kind anyone pays for.

I’ve found the longer view, the better theory, the environment in which things are understandable. In trying to understand my abusive relatives, I have done that and more, and understood not only abusive parenting but the scourges of war and strife. From a perspective above social groups, race or nations, it’s all part of a single function, a fractal shape, recognizable at all scales. Ah, interesting, I guess, that all thought and dialogue ends at the level of our group, our nation, in the interests of group security the very same way it all stops at “bah – human nature.”

Human nature, the thing we keep crashing against, is our groupness, the group conflict, of course. No news there. The news, my news, is that what we call “morality,” what we supposedly do all day to mitigate our nasty group conflict nature, is in fact a cause of it, the lifestyle of endless group conflict is not causeless, not in fact a default condition, or rather, this default condition, the human condition of conflict is created, established, manifested by the uniquely human practice of abusive social “control.” We fight, because we are like this, but we are like this because we fight. Morality, stripped of verbiage and the power to enforce it, is only a fight, after all.

It’s a default behaviour, not a default nature – and there’s either no such thing, or at least it’s a less intractable thing.

I’m frustrated. I feel I’ve found a solution, but the world has a blind eye, you’ve all decided there is no answer, or it’s the bad guys’ answer. I thought putting this all together was the task and succeeding at it was a miracle. It’s not going well, selling what seems so true and meaningful an explanation, I’m down to that it’s an insight, he who has ears to hear, let him hear, kind of thing.

Winning.

Jeff

Oct. 12th., 2020

A Kind of Sense

Believe it or not, all this madness makes a kind of sense, I’ve sort of worked out what’s going on with people. You know, it was one of those late 70s all-nighters around the kitchen table spent solving the world’s problems, I just never stopped.

I’m afraid I see a continuum, a spectrum with normal regular people in the middle or so and these genocide movements, Nazism at the far end, all finding their place along it as a function of their belief in social control.

I asked, “what is punishment?”

That’s how I got here.

But I see this social cancer as sort of logical, the illogical extreme of things we all do, things we all believe, the social control, law and order, punishing, spanking. I’m sorry, I know you did, you do – it’s not public yet, what I’m saying. It’s not common knowledge, the real reasons why we shouldn’t, so no blame, no accusation. The whole human world is over us, making sure we do it. You are not alone.

But I’m afraid it is what must change, spanking and punishing cause war and genocide.

Violence seems normal to victims of ubiquitous abuse, and they start to talk about how it’s “natural,” and even “right” – enough of a horror that your mother makes these sorts of noises, let alone the national leader. This is all one, all the same conversation. There must be a rule that says we are not allowed to see the connection, but again, abuse tilts our perceptions.

This talk of right and natural is a positive feedback loop, somehow feeds the abuse, perhaps we don’t mind dishing it out on someone who was already wrong, somehow. The connection from ideas of human nature to real life is hard to draw, try as I may, though.

Perhaps the best I can offer is to say that I have reasoned my way to a positive view of human nature, and now that looks like “default” to me, so that I have proved the matter to myself, but caveats again, I may have always just been this way, but I have tried both views on, and attest to the formative power of these ideas . . . even if I am still struggling to prove it.

Cheers.

Jeff

Oct. 2nd., 2020

Progressives, You Want Me

Trust me.

You may not know it, but you want me. You need me. The bad guys have the solid ground and the good folks are slipping about in the mud, unable to make a stand. The whole world of bad guys and their unconscious support groups have the creation myth you were born with, and so they have everything afterwards, all the “science” regarding us and our origins.

It’s not true, none of it! But that’s the solid ground in this fictional world of human beings we live in today. I’m here to tell the good folks it isn’t, that the awful scientific truth about human beings that coincidentally matches the awful religious stance about human beings is an evolved lie, not true, only expedient. An adaptive fiction.

We all think that Maya, the world of illusion, or the patriarchy, or the world order, however you think about it, the status quo, we think that this bunch has science, archaeology, genetics and such on their side and that the people hoping for a better world have naught but “soft” sciences and good wishes. We are wrong about that. The  orientation of the entire structure and all it produces is set by the foundational expedient lie, and I have satisfied myself that the logic of the problem and our solution for it proves the untruth of it, the reversal of truth in our self assessment as regards our concepts of good and bad.

OK.

Here’s the reversal: we are trying to think that violence is bad, we moderns, specifically, I am trying to support that effort, to place all violence on the “bad” side of the ledger, even moral and disciplinary violence. That’s the conflict.

The entire structure and function, the whole human system of good and bad is up and running within established parameters, working well enough that we can’t seem to even slow it down, as long as strength and violence are good things and will continue to solve our eternal problems of each other for us. But the system is humming along, I know that, and this is what the parents I accost about their spankings are defending, a working system. We all, the good folks say “punishment doesn’t work,” but it does work perfectly in this system to produce strong, upright people who will hurt whoever they need to hurt for some greater “good.” It’s not chaos, and it’s not insoluble, if we would try – but I’m having a little trouble convincing folks to try to solve what everyone has internalized as a solution and not a problem in the first place, meaning moral violence, punitive abuse.

If I could make the case that crime and punishment were not opposites, problem and solution, but the very same thing, both solving the same evolved problem and both causing the same problems, would that help? Of course, I think I’ve made the case a thousand times, but it’s never made, is it?

Again, it is part of a solution for the immediate necessities of group conflict, this violent morality, where war begins at home, but nothing is simple, solutions also bring new problems, and our problem now is we can’t seem to see anything else, literally the world can burn and the rich just fight anyone who complains, because . . . sorry. Because see “The Fight,” from back in April –

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2020/04/17/the-fight/

My point is, this eternal enough conflict, violent morality versus a desire for a reduction in violence generally, this needs to get off the back burner; again, it’s not chaos and it could be understood and changed. I think I have redefined the problem, it’s not a matter of what tool can be employed to cure the problem of evil other than violence, by simply applying normal scientific principles to it, by saying if this evolved behaviour – punishment, moral violence – maybe “doesn’t work,” then in what way does it work that is not what we thought? Following this line of reasoning can allow us to see the problem of evil as one we feed, if it isn’t one we create completely.

The expedient lie of the benefit and the necessity of human violence can be shown for what it is, and the tables can be turned. Truth, and sometime science works that way, that the wrong answer still proves something, and in this case the emerging (on a scale of centuries) science of psychology and the damages of abuse are starting to show that proof, of how the deterrents are too often simply real life abuse and damage the people subject to them in the same ways as less conditional, less qualified abuse.

If this simple scientific rewrite of how we think about moral abuse were to get “on record,” as it were, if became normal to talk this way in some contexts – counselling, parenting books, evolutionary theory – if this idea were to gain any momentum with the academic world, or simply the voting world, eventually these attitudes should restructure the abusive police systems. BLM wants that. The indigenous folks want that. Anyone suffering under the abuse of toxic “morality” wants that, this is the argument against oppression, regardless of which group is being harmed, this idea busts the myth that hurting anyone helps anything. I am tired of every identity having its own battle to fight; it’s all the same, all identities should be standing together against the moral violence that harms them all.

The idea says that morality drives us to war, and that we could behave better if we had a more realistic and scientific idea about what causes harm and violence, and that no behaviour can cure itself, violence especially so.

This, plus there is a world of straight up immoral violence going on that is allowed to continue because it hides among the supposed “good” kind of violence, moral abuse, and we can’t always tell it apart. The simple truth of the harm of the moral violence clears the area, leaves moral cheaters, like murderous police, nowhere to hide. If they sent the ambulance instead of police and the paramedic murdered the patient, at least that crime would look like a crime. No?

You want this. If the bad folks own what’s right and wrong, you’ll have . . . well, this.

Jeff

Sept. 30th., 2020

Variations on “Proactive Aggression”

More stuff resulting from the EP book, the Goodness Paradox, from June.

Of course you can’t eliminate proactive violence by the application of proactive violence – so there is something else going on. We only say we’re combatting proactive violence and aggression by doing this, but really, doing this, waging this battle, does something else for us instead. Without drawing all the lines and trying to prove the matter, I will simply say that despite these efforts at “morality,” we still seem to organize ourselves on the authoritarian/alpha model and the “crime” and “immorality” we are battling do not seem to be disappearing from the world. Only the reactive stuff did. As I think Wrangham says, capital punishment was our proof against the bullies of the world in the smaller societies, in the past . . . are we not doing that anymore? Is that we call “murder” now, and it’s not for most people to do?

It does seem to be the plot of every movie, the tension between on the ground justice like that and either the modern ideal of the law, or a corrupt law enforcement. We are all wrestling with this problem in some way. His examples of small society executions did sound pretty corrupt. Seems to me that the winners in that scenario are the meanest ones, not the nicest ones. It’s horrible to ponder this stuff as “the roots of morality,” mostly because it means the tree is not what it’s supposed to be either.

OK, so the proactive alphas have beaten and supplanted the reactive alphas.

One – yeah, no kidding;

Two – oh, I forget. Moving on.

OK, I accept the self domestication, and less completely, the necessity of complex language for it – suspicious of the details, but the big picture doesn’t conflict with anything I can think of, anything real, anything I believe that I can think of. I was stupidly ignorant of the depth of language’s existence, most of a million years, I did not know that and I’m fairly surprised, honestly. Not sure what I thought, but now it seems that it must have only been a hundred or two thousand I was guessing. I’ll admit I had drawn a blank on the age of tool use also, which might have given me a clue. I know that is beyond the million year mark.

Waking up another day, and . . . we have a problem, Doctor.

I am worried that we really are conflating reactiveness with alphaism, that alphas may “react” a lot, but it’s not unthinkingly or uncontrollably, it’s just their policy – their winning policy. They say it, write it explicitly, you must react to everything, you cannot allow any insubordination, it’s in the Art of the Deal, guaranteed. Wrangham gives too much credit to this reactiveness. It’s the reason chimpanzees can’t compete with us and organize for a proper temple or a war, of course – but alphas are organization, not reactive chaos. They are a simple, crude organization, to be sure, and yes indeed, the alpha works to destroy more complex forms of organization, so maybe it’s chaos relatively to better organization schemes, but it’s not Jacob’s Ladder, not completely.

I have to check – he may have already said or is going to more clearly, that humans really do not have alphas, genetic alphas? I would still suggest that their system is always accessible and that the modern world is full of alphas by choice, cultural alphas or something. And again, a totalitarian, capital punishment dealing coalition is still rather authoritarian, one could say the alpha functions and rewards are simply being shared some in these egalitarian societies. But the upshot would be that reactive aggression is long gone and now it is simply the way we characterize the aggression of the other, an accusation against those whose proactive aggression we do not like – and pretty much all of the aggression and violence that means anything is of the proactive sort, both the crime we fight, and the aggression and violence of the crime fighting effort. I’m feeling like I often do, like this brilliant person is making a brilliant try, making an elegant case, for someone who isn’t seeing the main thing . . . not fair, and I know he keeps showing me otherwise, maybe . . .

Is reactiveness exactly autonomic mode, the fight or flight response? Again, if so, to test for both responses and call it all aggression seems weird. And are we talking about selection against the animal’s, uh, I want to say “survival instincts,” but it seems archaic, survival systems, its defense systems?

If civilization begins with disabling your defenses, then that makes my whole punishment is mostly just abuse idea a little less outlandish, doesn’t it? And absolutely, of course. Of course our abuser complains about our “reactive aggression,” don’t they? Ha! Suddenly I’m angry, my BFAM is now the enemy! “ . . . thus making cooperation possible,” my ass!

Thus making abuse and slavery possible, you mean. Proactive aggression, remember? Do you really find cooperation easy to come by? Must be nice.

I hope I’m being my usual infantile, think I’m inventing the world self here, I’m really hoping – and hopeful, honestly – that this is Wrangham’s point also. I guess it’s just that a great deal of these books is the author telling you everything that led up to here in this conversation, and I’m reacting to that before I let him tell me his news. So hold on there, Jeff – isn’t this exactly what you were looking for, exactly the science and evidence you’ve been looking for to support your thesis? This is exactly the point in the conversation where AST enters the world and should enter our conversation about it, I think.

. . . but it feels like some structural shift is looming, somehow. He’s talking about selection, call it cooperation, call it slavery, whichever, it was selected for, somehow outcompeted other hominid organizational schemes . . . eesh. You don’t mind saying “cooperation was selected for,” do you? Who wants to say the other thing was?

It has been in other creatures, though, right, sort of, castes of bees and ants – do you suppose the ants abuse the aphids? There’s a matter of freedom, maybe, ha. I’m not confident in that declaration. Things analogous to slavery, perhaps. OK, I’m confident, just not in a documented way. Ha. It’s an abysmal thought, are we, what’d he say, twelve thousand generations down a road of selecting ourselves for slavery?

It brings me back to the only positive I ever find in it all, if we selected this, we are self-created things and so proven capable to create or recreate ourselves and we could always just do it again. Brings me back to authority again, the alpha and the alpha coalitions, they like it this way. As always, the firssst thing we gotta do isss get rid of that bear. He’ssss gummin’ up the whole project! Sorry. And yes, doggone it, he is the project, but he’s problematic, he stands for the fight. If you fight him, his kind is winning. If our counter argument to his proactive aggression is proactive aggression, as Wrangham said, we are still selecting for him. Ah. Brothers again, walking the same mobius strip of hopelessness. Sigh.

Again, he’s said as much, domestication itself implies slavery. One could have pulled the slavery idea from what he said about cooperation, it’s just the other side of a coin.

Peaceful domestication, even slavery, as long as we get a life, get to breed, this I do not think would be enough in itself to set me against the world, all of that . . . without what I see as a lot of unnecessary violence and war. Because of that, I reject the human strategy – well, war and the destruction of the home planet. OK, war, destruction of the home planet and a system of constant, ubiquitous child abuse, except for THOSE THREE THINGS . . .

LOL. OK, I hear you, executions promote morality, sure. All I’m saying, all I think I might have to add to the conversation is, part of the selection problem, is the downsides of the moral murder, we aren’t selecting it out, and we have all agreed we will not have thieves in our midst, but murderers are not a problem. When we opt not to select it out, we go blind to its downsides, three of which I have already suggested. We look after those three, maybe we want to keep the slavery. I do love those pyramids!

Speaking of the pyramids, those were genius, weren’t they? You know why they’re still here? They’re giant piles of rocks. What are you going to do to “tear them down,” move the pile? That is an awful lot of work for reactors and disorganizers. Genius. Those folks knew something about human nature!

Pastoralists do not abuse their flocks. We could abuse our domesticated selves less, I mean if we really are, if we’re not afraid that we’ll all just up and flee our jobs if we stop cracking the whip on ourselves. Ah! There’s something new maybe! Try this:

Reactive aggression is on the downswing, almost finished it with us, and for a long time that has meant less aggression, less violence generally, sure . . . but has the other sort been on the rise? History has been a long process of adding laws, adding restrictions to behaviour, has it not? Prehistory for humans was a long reduction in senseless proximity fighting, surely, in some way, proactive aggression, beyond predation and feeding, was new at some point and has been growing since something like an inception, in longish terms?

Do we expect some counter-force, some reason it hasn’t simply been growing more and more prevalent, and wouldn’t anything just keep growing? I submit to you, that in one way or another, we are utterly obsessed with it, that this moral murder scenario has indeed grown and swallowed all of our lives. Unfortunately, with so many of us about, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t “working,” that whatever we are selecting ourselves for is enabling our outcompeting every other animal on Earth.

So the argument is that we do something that doesn’t “work” as well, on purpose.

Which, environmentalist hat on now, is exactly it, we are too good at this, too good for our own good, we have found a way to kill anything and everything and even dear old Mother earth. We need to be worse, less successful, weaker. We are much too strong; “strength” is social-ese for science-ese’s “proactive aggression,” I think.

Bringing it a little ways back towards earth, I’ll come back to his conundrum, we can’t select ourselves out, we can’t unselect for unselectors, but we try, don’t we? It’s an obsession, as I say, we are forever making plans to bring some kind of pressure to stop some form of violence, and our plans all seem to depend on some sort of proactive violence. It is in fact, my contention that if it ever worked, if we managed to put a halt to all crime and misbehaviour for a time, that subsequent generations would remain vulnerable and subject to it, because socially approved, civilizing proactive aggression would be the lifeboat for all bad things, and even if all unauthorized violence ended, it would still be inherited, mother to child, elders to youngers, as always, in the authorized version.

This is where I might interject my AST and say something about constantly losing this attempt must be working out for us, somehow, all things either having been selected for or coming along as part of a package with something else that was, there must be some net perceived upside for it. I can’t imagine that human proactive violence is a side effect of domestication syndrome, it doesn’t seem to be for all the other animal cases. It’s just supposed to have been a catalyst for ours, right?

In fact, other than as our trigger, I kind of think it’s a different conversation. What I meant when I started with “try this” – so the scourge of reactive violence is way down, and I questioned whether the frequency or effect of the proactive violence was rising still, and this would be my idea for why –

Jeff

June, 2020

Psycho-logical

“Human nature,” well, “nature,” – these are creation concepts, the “question of a thing’s nature” only has meaning in a created, unchanging world, like if we ever knew its nature, then we have the knowledge we need, forever or something.

If there is an analogous question in an evolving world of creatures, it must be the “question of what a thing is becoming,” something like what adaptations is it making right now? Likely the goals of these adaptations appear as aspirations to the creature concerned, one might think, ideals, goals, and such. I suppose it is less so in better times, it seems it has gotten more so these days, but still always for at least modern people, the most common ideals are strength, power, and control and I’ve said before, these are the normal, expected dreams of the victims of abuse, of people who have experienced a painful lack of control over their own persons.

This is where what is most understandably expressed as the patriarchy fails in its attempts at the human sciences, one cannot miss it reading either history or philosophy, most nakedly in evolution’s dark side’s movements like evolutionary psychology – the desire for power and control is offered as a hard reality of the world, and not a contingent reality for victims of abuse of only one species of animals ever discovered.

EP is not psychological, game theory is not psychological, these things are only psycho-logical ™, only logical to the psychopathic parts of humanity. I’m saying it a lot these days, anything calling itself psychology owes it to the world to analyze these evil urges, not protect them as some default, again, some static “nature.” Psychology is the children’s endless “why?” game, but this stuff is where the answer turns to “because I said so,” or “that’s just the way it is,” “human nature,” which doesn’t exist, the created world where a thing’s “nature” exists doesn’t exist – so it is protecting exactly nothing. Nothing real, I mean.

“Why,” judging from our collective personality, from our dreams and from what our dreams appear to be, based upon our actions, is abuse, this exploration, and my thinking generally, my theory, AST predicts that if we look, we will find abuse there, causing this need.

Jeff

Sept. 26th.,  2020

Never Forget?

I try to make the case that war and conflict are less natural and inevitable than they appear, and I’ll try again here, but this one seems like one I’m likely to lose.

The idea of never forgetting what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, it sounds like a no brainer, but has it backfired, turned into sales for Hitler’s book instead of Frankl’s? Memory is one of those things, it’s not safe from our utilitarian and wishful editing, but more to today’s point, it’s very dependent on initial conditions.

I recently noticed that when my TV wants to talk to me about Hitler, that it shows me Hitler’s own films of his popularity, his lies, his propaganda. That’s the film we have, but so don’t show it then! Is that what we’re not supposed to forget? Because if that’s what you show, that’s what there is to remember and this is the memory we are having to live with today. But this too is not today’s point.

The point today is that our own requirements, our own warrior society logos works against teaching it right and so remembering it right. I grew up in front of a television in the 1960s and I grew up understanding that a Nazi was a German soldier, or more generally anyone with a German accent – my culture’s recent enemy, the salient thing on TV was which country was the enemy, honestly, we knew about the holocaust, but we didn’t seem to talk about their whole ideology. Germans bad, was the point, and none of the conversations really went after their hate, because I see now, the point was stoking my hate, it wasn’t anti-hate, my TV, just anti-German.

I bet half of today’s American Nazis are the grandchildren of men whose hate had been focussed on the Germans, and hate is hate, it’s transferable.

I say we try forgetting next time, if we get a next time.

Jeff

Sept. 24th., 2020

The Next Step

Is socialism, otherwise known as politics, the science of people getting along.

For human beings, competition is supposed to be sport, not real life. “Conservatism” means conserving brutal competition, there have been conservatives complaining for three hundred thousand years that we never should have left the jungle, that what was wrong with being a chimpanzee?

Left means politics, group rule, the future, and science.

The Right means none of it.

I know, the Right claims “morality.”

Morality, sorry to tell you, is nothing but a violent response to unwanted behaviour. Morality is violence. Take away the violence from morality, what have you got? Probably just running, right, fight or flight? So morality is aggression, aggressive violence, an aggressive, violent response to unwanted behaviour – and as others have said, in other contexts, that can’t fix itself, can it?

But all you abuse victims believe it can, don’t you? What do you do when you see someone who is in your power doing something wrong? As far as we can go is that it “doesn’t work,” right? It’s “morality,” how can it be wrong?

In this sense, today, there is no Left, not yet. Who doesn’t believe in morality? There is only Right and Righter. Of course, vote less Right, but don’t they all run on morality, morality and “strength?”

When politics was devised to assist the weak, the young, the sick, and the old? Strength also is not politics, again, politics is the science of getting along. Strength and morality, these are the science of war, of warrior society. I have named this branch of science antisocialization theory, because that is what is accomplished in the real world by aggressive, violent morality.

It is a fault of mine that I see no small solutions, that it all looks rather futile to me from here, where most of our efforts to effect improvements only involve more of the moral violence; I haven’t been much help feeding the poor, doing what I can, not as much as I should. On the other hand, I maybe just don’t see mirages and there aren’t small solutions. Do you really think we have all the basics right and all this 1984 style psychopathy is some matter of some small tweaking? Something basic is upside-down and this morality thing is it.

Not “human nature,” but humanity’s entirely artificial response to something in human nature. Unless you’re among the worst of them yourself, you know, the sorts that talk the loudest about right and wrong and morality are the scariest ones of them all. That is not a “perversion.” That’s what morality is. Again, you know more is worse, right? So that’s the next step, realizing that morality is wrong and that we can do better. It starts at the very beginning, when we are first born into this world, and no-one hurts us “for good.” I’m serious.

The next step in evolution, the only move to get us through this selection event of what is likely the end of the world, is this: don’t spank.

Jeff

Sept. 21st., 2020

More about Circuitry

I’ve said that when we discuss human origins, that it’s the evolved “creation myth” circuit we employ, and so we wind up in the same conversations, using the new idea in the same old way. I’ve also tried to describe a circuit, a neural highway for the Nurture Assumption, by any number of names, the reason, whatever it is, that we employ our social control, that we either are rough on our own children or that we allow the older children unfettered access to be.

Maybe this is another one, or some aspect of the same ones here:

Our nightmares are some totalitarian slave system but our dreams are a good job and to contribute to society and that sounds like two ways to talk about the same circuit too, betrayed by a similarity of format, same as the innate/adaptive argument I’m making. This sounds like philosophical tool, an audit for “new” ideas – is the format the same, does it sound like the same factory may be making the “new” product? Ha! Same supply chains? Same market? Wait, yes! Can it be/is it being sold to the same market, the same pool of the same brains with the same circuits? Ha again – if they don’t have trouble adapting to it, maybe there is no adaptation required, and if it doesn’t offend and terrify us, it’s probably nothing new.

Of course, dual memes like that, different sounding takes on the same general, possibly preconfigured memes, this is always the opportunity for groupness and group conflict, , you know, we believe in evolution and adaptation, while they believe some rubbish about innate “natures.” Again, probably the same circuit in both of our brains . . . it’s almost interesting, same hardware, same firmware, maybe all the way out to software, and still we find a way to make a division out of it – in the virtual reality world of our beliefs! Which, sadly, is enough, any excuse for our reason to be, the group and its conflicts.

Jeff

June 25th., 2020 mostly. Intro

Sept. 19th., 2020

Deterrents

deterrents hurt. Deterrents are threats, and frighten us, engage the defense systems, deterrents are antisocializing all on their own, let alone when they fail and the threat becomes an horrific reality. An environment of deterrents is a dangerous, stressful, abusive environment. I guarantee we have environmentally controlled alleles for that, or rather, we have the capability, it’s in our gene suite, and I guarantee we set our lives up to activate them. For years I’ve been arguing that if it were only deterrents, if they worked, that would be fine, but of course that’s stupid, half-measures. Remembering Sapolsky, it is exactly threat and not violence that lasts too long and wears us out from the stress. Laws and deterrents are relentless.

Jeff

June 25th., 2020

Foucault Anthropology

Late night thought: we did not eliminate the alpha, we socialized his power, all the men have it, that’s what Wrangham describes, that’s the patriarchy – but that’s Foucault isn’t it, distributed power, socialized alpha power, I’m saying, but the thing is, I think for evidence that the alpha is not gone, rather everywhere instead, is that the world has been destroyed at the hands of the tyranny of cousins, that in fact what they’ve wrought is the same destruction the alpha does. “Foucault anthropology” again: whatever relief and freedom chimps ever get from their alpha, for whatever reason, he’s occupied abusing someone else, humans do not, the socialized, everywhere alpha has time for all of us, all the time. The technological gains, the knowledge, the culture, the civilization, it all seems to be better and different, not alpha destructiveness, it was a lot of literal construction . . . but if it all ends soon, if the air gives out or something, in hindsight, we will have to say it all served nothing but somebody’s destructiveness. Won’t we?

That either he’s not gone, he’s everywhere, throwing his violent tantrums, or that he did in fact provide some check, some form of organization that at least left us selectable by the rest of the biosphere . . . weird, this may be worth pursuing. On the one hand, it does seem an alpha function to hold us back from progress, to protect his position that way, and it seems incredibly clear today in America where the oppressed citizens are asking for better treatment from the authorities and it is the police and the authorities that are rioting, having a proper alpha tantrum, and lagging behind the public’s anti-violence morality. On the other hand, if he had held us back a lot more, we would still be relatively harmless apes? I’m not getting to it, but there’s something in there. D’ya think?

Jeff

June 2020