The Twin Studies Got it So Wrong

Sometimes, when you learn a new thing, a new principle, a new scientific principle, some of your existing “knowledge” needs auditing, updating.

A classic case in point pretty recently, is the Rat Park story, where the classic study showed rats to be subject to addiction and opiates to be addictive to some huge percentage of them – but that on a more recent re-visit to the study, the basic environment was considered, the bare, concrete and steel sterile environment the original test was run in proved to be a large part of the puzzle, that when the rats had the semblance of a better life, the drug’s addictive power was lessened.

I’m a classic crackpot, a one trick pony. I have a single new principle I spend all my time on, Murphy’s Law of Nature – the idea that Nurture is real, it’s just not positive. The idea that abuse is a form of Nurture that has always and forever produced actual results. The idea it audits today is the twin studies, and the apparent victory of Nature over Nurture that they have been touted as.

Spectacular phenotypic results, right?

Separated twins, raised thousands of miles apart having very specific common behaviours, magic! Beware of magical results in science. Multiple Personality Disorder you would only believe if you believed in magic, in the transmigration of souls – what were all the “personalities” supposed to be? What I want to say about the reported results of the twin studies is this: it is absolutely first year biology that phenotype is genes AND environment, simple arithmetic, that the folks writing these studies up swept under the rug – yes, two and two equal four, and here’s your four – but one of the twos was really a one, or a three!

You can tell me the different household was a different environment, but four minus two equals two. You had another two there, your “different environments” weren’t, not in a way that actually affects what you are testing for later, period. Science troll boys – save your breath, I won’t be turned from this. You got it completely backwards, in the most basic sense.

But you have proved something we need to know, exactly that, that human child-rearing is the same, the world over! All the differences we argue about don’t add up to anything! If there’s anything good about it, we all do it – but, Murphy’s Law of Nature, there really isn’t, it’s the bad stuff that matters – and if there’s something bad about it, we all do it. This is what I’m always trying to say.

 

Jeff

Sept. 15th., 2019

Advertisements

Your Outsize Cranium

I believe the usual theory about why humans are so different goes to this outsize brain, isn’t that right? I’m going to talk about that although David Suzuki made a point in the Nature documentary about the latest Tyrannosaurus data that bird brains are very dense with neurons compared to ours and that the amount of real estate your brain occupies may not be as indicative of processing power as we think. He said birds are very smart, and the apparently small-brained dinosaurs, especially predators, were likely also quick on the draw. But we aren’t suggesting we outsmarted birds or lizards, just the other ancient chimps, so the volume of sand your cranium can hold is probably meaningful. I guess.

The theory of that, as I understand it, at least in our current, rather male and war-centric origin story is that the selective pressure for that brain to grow so was nothing other than us, other people, or other groups of people, and our conflicts with one another. A Red Queen’s game to be sure, all of us driving up our hat sizes to stay competitive, just to stay in the race, running in place.

So what comes next is a dualism.

On the one hand, our conflicts are sort of boundless, everything is in play, so to speak, and so these expensive organs have adapted to use everything, meaning, as Steven Pinker points out (within his job description, I think) that we have a sort of any purpose processor, we can plug many sorts of problems into it and work on them – in theory, even if said problems are not specifically evolved for, like all the new things we have brought into the world, for better and worse. It ain’t universal, of course, but somewhere on the path to that. Perhaps all the real estate is for that module, as Pinker put it, but I don’t think he said so specifically, I don’t think we know that. Do we assume it? I guess.

On the other hand, fighting is fighting. On the other hand, if conflict grew this thing, then maybe that’s all the damned thing does. That’s what selected it, that’s what grew it, fine, that’s all in the past, we say, Pinker says, maybe.

But surely that’s not what the bloody thing is for! Is it?

What I’m saying, what I’m always trying to say is, if it is, if that’s what it’s for, then we need to know that and factor that awful setup into our thinking. Conflict isn’t what is going to get us out of the present mess and it’s never going to get us to a better way of life, not the first tiny step towards the utopia if we just keep letting it do what it was made to do, if that’s what it was made to do. Plus –

What if, and this does seem the most likely, what if they’re both true?

What if all that real estate is the free-floating, general purpose processor, and it’s just us choosing to use it for almost nothing but our fights?

Wouldn’t that be a sad state of affairs. Well, wouldn’t that have been a sad state of affairs, I mean. But what if we had the choice?

 

Jeff

Sept. 15th., 2019

 

If that were what it was for, or if we believed that, if that was all we used it for, then I suppose intelligence and fighting skills would all look the same to us, aggression might appear intelligent, duplicity might, treachery might – anything that wins a fight would be “smart.” Of course anything that didn’t would be “stupid.”

I get it. Letting yourself be killed probably counts as stupid.

Problem is, all peace is in that category. Peace is going to require some surgery, we have to separate your libido from your amygdala – and your aggression from your intelligence.

 

Jeff

In the Beginning

A neat little “just so” package that couldn’t possibly be true, except . . .

I think AST may have a suggestion as to how we began, how we got on this path to what we’re calling civilization, between three elements, the organization of group animals into hierarchies with the dominance of the alphas, AST, which describes the technology of abuse (including the technology of punishment and the human “moral” framework), and finally, perhaps a foundational case of Trivers’ evolved self deception.

The primate alpha starts the abuse, to establish his privilege, and his victims, stressed, hurting, or simply hurting socially, turn and take their hurt on someone they can, and so the abuse, like the stuff of plumbing problems, flows downhill in a champagne fountain of cortisol – I believe this is Sapolsky’s description of the average baboon troop, in my own words, of course. I think we see similar stuff in the chimpanzees and I think most folks think that was us at some point – even those who don’t think it’s still us today, that is – so that was the first condition and the first bit of science, biological dominance behaviours and deflection, and the resulting abuse-sharing pyramid scheme.

At some point, the champagne fountain of stress and pain becomes entrenched, and this is where maybe we engage the rationalizations, the self deception – “I meant to do that,” kind of thing. “No, I didn’t beat your ass because I’m a subordinate and the boss beat mine! I did it because I’m the alpha in our relationship and I say it’s good for you.” You know, prepare you for adulthood, when the boss’s kids do this to you – “my” idea, not clearly the boss’ agenda. And then this whole, species-wide crap about how it’s good for you, how you’re “spoiled” without it. So, that was the third condition, us lying to ourselves, and maybe the effect among these causes, to some degree, the baboon volcano of fear and violence that encompasses us all and starts with some alpha swine over-prioritizing himself and ends with us all explaining to our kids, “no, this was my idea, and this is good for you.”

I meant to do that.

Despite the lies we tell regarding why we do what we do and what effects our actions can have, though, there is and clearly has to be an actual reason or several that we do these things, a powerful reason this behaviour took our species over and won’t let go, and I have ranted almost endlessly trying to make the point that we antisocialize ourselves in service of conflict, of crappy old game theory. And I’m agin’ it. Whenever I’m reading some description of nasty old nature, I always think I’m hearing approval, advocacy for violent selection processes – not what I’m trying to do at all, I think I’m describing hidden, secret nasty old nature, not to say roll with it, but to say this is the trap here, the invisible fence, this is what we need to break out of.

Which comes first, the selection for abuse, or the cover story, I can’t tell. One would think they happen together, but perhaps there have been and still are places where no pretense of “good for you” is even made, times and/or places where “good for me” was all you got. So I think, in terms of causality and history, the deceit is the latest element, the modern, perhaps liberal adaptation we apply over our antisocialization – making people “good,” teaching them “right from wrong.” Surely your liberals beat their children to make them non-violent, at least that’s supposed to be the plan. So now they think that what was always a single purpose technology – violence and desensitization in service of the troop’s warrior goals – now they think it’s a magic wand, violence and desensitization in service of whatever we say! Nothing simple and understandable here, cause matched to an effect, no – we apply a single stimulus and get whatever result we wanted, is this a great country or what.

I liked Wrangham’s synopsis of capital punishment as an evolved way to deal with tyrants – we should try it sometime.

I mean it sounds great, but I’m not sure we ever did, not regularly, at least. The alpha sets the tone and it permeates everything in our lives, this human lifestyle is his. There have almost certainly been some shining examples, but the mainstream evolution thread here is the dark side, I think we should admit that before it’s all over, any minute now. Warrior society is where we all have Stockholm Syndrome and appear to love the randomly violent alpha (a predator of sorts) and if a bunch of reasonable men want to kill him, they’re going to have the whole world to go through first.

All I’m saying, and I can’t believe it’s taking me so long, and why it seems so strange from my angle or something, is that the baboon pyramid of abuse is very much still in effect, and it is still the major cause and effect loop in human society. The punishment/morality function we insist upon is a minor thread, as lovely and as fictional as Wrangham’s control of tyrants by majority action. Understandable sort of error, we’re trying to make the best of a bad situation, trying to salvage some good from the trauma. By the by, the only example that comes to mind is Julius Caesar, maybe the French Revolution – how many alphas have been taken down by their lessers in history? That’s the next alpha’s job, isn’t it?

My idea to call AST a condition, the second in our list, goes like this: AST is the practice of physical and social abuse in order to activate physiological and psychological genetic changes towards aggression. This I believe to be a species-wide phenomenon that supports our lifestyle of group conflict, making us all mean enough to defend the homeland and crazy enough to attack the enemy’s homeland. It is therefore, at present, a Red Queen’s race, with every human group basically as tough and murderous as the next, but one for survival, and therefore an important evolved function which manifests as systems of crime and punishment, rules and penalties – naughty steps, timeout rooms, prisons . . . hey.

It’s good for you – I mean if being tough is good for you, if life is a fight and only the tough survive, then some abuse is good for you, some practice at least, some practical knowledge, knowing how to fight – but it’s not all good, is it? I wouldn’t object to simply knowing how to fight, being able, I sort of hoped my kids would take an interest for their self-defence but they had zero interest, maybe because I tried not to abuse them or even punish them. I think though, antisocialization is an emotional process, a “strong” fellow who can fight and defend is generally one who started by wanting to hurt people, a trait perhaps present in us all by default, but certainly mostly enhanced by pain and abuse. My point here though, is this is what “good” means in contexts of child-rearing or adult attempts at behaviour modification, in conversations about law and order, crime and punishment –  antisocial, wanting to, able to fight. It’s what “spoiled” means – an early childhood free of abuse means that kid will never be the willing, driven, snarling soldier he might have been. Some things you just can’t teach.

This is what it means in reality, I mean, whether we know it or not. We punish someone – apply some legal and scientifically defined abuse as a deterrent – and they get “better.” They don’t always get better in a good way, don’t always stop breaking rules and such – but they get better the other way, desensitized, tough.

OK, I’ve lost track, giving my usual definitions, where were we?

It starts with random violence, maybe random alpha violence, then to deflection, and then to the straight up leveraging of abuse to produce aggressive soldiers, and finally to some upside down situation where we’re still employing that technology, still leveraging abuse to toughen our kids and criminals – but all this pre-existing structure is at odds with our modern, so far only ostensible desire for peace on Earth – so we just say “makes you good” – a word with no content whatsoever, a simple value judgement with no references to the how or why of the situation. Don’t worry, it’ll be “good.” You’re going to “love” this.

Again, it’s all good as long as we need these tough little psychopaths to protect us from all those tough little psychopaths, I guess. We have been stuck in this game forever, and despite that humankind is starting to have higher goals, this layer of self deception, this widespread conflation of what “good” we achieve with our morality of pain and coercion keeps us at the warrior society stage forever.

 

 

Jeff

Aug. 31st., 2019

Your Biological Goals

Some thing I keep losing, the thought I never get around to somehow, is this, for the warriors, for the Nazis: what I’m saying, AST, the conflicts, the wars – these are the goals, the goals of your biology, they are not a means to any end, the journey is the destination, the middle of the war is the victory this function seeks. The goal isn’t racial purity – who needs a Nazi soldier in a pure world? Then who would you kill?

The goal is the fight, eternally.

Many of us already grasp that one of Nature’s goals is not ours: maximizing your breeding. Many humans find their lives improved by getting free of that primate drive to whatever degree they can, I certainly have, and getting free of that will take some reason to exist away from the warriors of the world – but why can’t we see that’s the attitude to take with our natural urge to conflict as well? I mean, we think we do, and we do have some little success at it from time to time – but this is where I come in, where Antisocialization Theory comes in, what do we try to stop the fighting, punishments and abuse? And when that’s not working, then what, more of it?

I am objecting to this idea of morality as I acknowledge it: this is the stupid, violent behaviour we have that we have been calling morality forever. It doesn’t stop the fighting; it is the fighting.

Racial purity is the most impossible, most evolutionary uninformed concept ever voiced, the opposite of evolution, which is variation – so it’s an adaptive fiction, just keeps us in the fight. The purple ones hate the orange ones and the orange ones persecute the green ones  – the point isn’t which colour is better, even for the racists. The point of the ideology is life is a fight, we need to be fighting and killing somebody, and skin colour is such obvious and easy criteria, like God gave us team uniforms.

They want to choose their victims by race, we say “racist.”

They want to persecute LGBTQ folks, “homophobic.” (I have issues with aggression labelled as fear, seems the homophobes chose their label themselves, but it makes the list with its Newspeak name.)

I swear to God, maybe y’all don’t see it – but you are arguing about who we should persecute and kill all day long and the selection process is not the point, the point is by doing so you’re still allowing that we must kill somebody, like the haters are allowed to hate, they’re allowed to go on their rabble-rousing missions until we all decide, wait, no – save those folks. We like them.

You wanna be a wild, snarling animal like you portray your targets, fine, but don’t pretend there’s any end to justify the means – the means are the end, warrior life is a warrior’s goal. You blaming some “them” for the wars as you sneak off to your secret Nazi terrorist training camp? Biology fools us all.

You hear it all day long from the bad guys, we “don’t like,” “the bible says don’t” – and apparently for them, the rest doesn’t need to be said. Of course if you “don’t like” someone you have to kill them! This is what a core belief is, the one everyone has so you can never even know it’s there. We just argue about who gets the treatment, and honestly most of it is “my group shouldn’t get the treatment.”

No-one needs the treatment. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a coalition of everyone not white and male among the resistance, among the complainers of the world, but as usual, AST brings answers where other theories obfuscate: we all think someone needs to be killed, so no-one is arguing against that, as such. No argument against war and genocide on principle, just who shall it be next? For instance, a lot of decent folks think that’s the solution for Nazis, I mean you can’t talk to the bastards – yes, I’m trying anyway. But seriously, even the nicest of us must hold this belief, because I don’t ever see anyone saying don’t ever kill anyone, ever, for nuthin’.

The real war is the struggle between the war and peace crowds and as long as we’re at war, the soldiers are winning against their own peaceful people. Admit it. If you’ve ever thought that far ahead, you know your war isn’t ever supposed to end. A nation built on war doesn’t retire and live in peace.

 

Jeff

Aug. 29th., 2019

“Social” is BAD/Lady Leaders – a stream of consciousness double feature

“Social” is BAD

 

“He’s very social.”

We say it like it’s a good thing. There’s a biology specific definition that is generic, where “social” is the totality of the concept and it is made up of things that can be any or all three of prosocial, antisocial, and asocial – well, that’s the rational definition. That social is “good” – that’s the social definition. There is a little more to this dynamic than  “lay” and “learned,” and although the Venn diagrams would line up that way, the political disaster of social media demands that we start to think in terms of social vs rational if we want to understand what’s going on. Social memes can be ubiquitous, reaching way up into the learned crowd, even to the very top.

Maybe not the anti-Christ but close enough guy is very social. We debate his intellect, his madness, but that’s not where his power is. He’s very social. We all knew it, tacitly, intuitively: his victory was the victory of social bullshit and the defeat of rationality.

It isn’t “National Socialism,” it’s nationally “being social,” which is not socialism, at all, it’s the opposite. Socialism is about the people, all the people. “Being social” is about discrimination, who to be prosocial with, who to be antisocial with. Socialism is a political attempt to expand our prosocial network to all, to rise above endless social conflict. Of course, co-opting the term to mean the opposite is what the discriminators do – when you have been defined as fit for discrimination, you don’t deserve the truth about anything either.

Of course their own “nation’s” citizens don’t deserve the truth either. That is Antisocialization Theory. The business end of nationalism requires an abused, desensitized and violent citizenry, so when mass murder is your plan for some other, then mass beatings are what you have for your own.

This is the reality of the situation, antisocial without, antisocial within.

The evolutionary psychology explanation of morality, antisocial for the enemy and prosocial for the tribe – same as lay vs learned, above. The truth is antisocial for the tribe and family, and so very antisocial for the enemy, that’s a true psychological as well as evolved function. The idea that simply not killing your own falls on the prosocial side of the social sphere, that not murdering your cousins brings what actual, active love and nurturing brings, that punishments and discipline are supposed to have the positive effects of love because you’re alive aren’t you – this is a pathetic read of the data, or rather it’s a veiled threat in lieu of any read of the data.

This is the same sort of science gives a baby monkey a wire cage for a mother and to make it a prosocial experience they wrap the cage in a towel. It’s alive, isn’t it?

 

Lady Leaders

 

I’ve been silent about something, holding back, I didn’t want to express this thought, it’s a misogynist one, I’m not proud of it and it’s an enemy maker in context, let alone what it could mean out of context. I’ve been on about that human society is warrior society, that so much of what we do “for morality and civilization” is what hurts people and makes us all generally more violent and aggressive, and I’m mostly talking about abuse, including the use of abuse in legitimate punishments and discipline practices. That implicitly includes motherhood as a major vector for this function, gives the ladies a share of responsibility for the world as it is today, the hand that rocks the cradle at least also rules the world in this way. Of course that’s not the new evil thought.

The evil thought starts with the feminist trope that if women ruled the world, there would be less war and conflict, and yes, I’ve got an argument. Put your evil-repellent glasses on.

I must ask – is that because they live as second class citizens, because they’ve been put upon and abused?

Are we so sure that having been abused is what makes you smart and peaceful? Ever heard of this new thing they have in California – psychology, I think they’re calling it?

That is the response I always thought I would have to that idea of lady leaders, that’s the thing I haven’t said out loud, and that’s years of my internal snide showing, but . . . first, that nasty meme is composed of truths, isn’t it?

Second, this train of thought, Antisocialization Theory, like it does with many unsolved puzzles, suggests a real answer to this sarcastic question. Well, AST and Trivers’ evolved self-deception do, together.

Yes, leaders are indeed leaders because they have been abused, to some degree. Not every man wants to try to wipe some huge portion of the Old World off the map either. If we made a law, only women can be elected, we would straightaway elect the meanest, most warlike women on Earth, just like we do with the boys. The ones who want the job the most, trying the hardest and doing whatever is necessary to get it – exactly the wrong ones, as usual.

I know, not entirely fair, the hypothetical could be stated as “if we were the sort of folks who elected women,” but sorry, stupid, evil brain says again, there are a few good men we could vote for too, if we were the sort to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love lady leaders, relative to male ones, Hillary vs anti-Christ or close enough guy was the widest gap between good and evil respectively ever voted for anywhere and no question more women leaders would look like Obama as opposed to this monster than men, all civilization long – but Obama didn’t and probably couldn’t stop the wars either, all I’m saying. And electing that guy was apparently so difficult on us, look at what we elected for a rest.

I’m in a bad mood.

I’m sorry. Plus I know he wasn’t elected either, by anybody. Somehow, the comment stands, sort of like somehow, the election did.

Crap.

 

 

Jeff

Aug. 17th., 2019

Psych 101 Or Beyond Evolution VS Creation, Continued, Continued

 

. . . here’s the first one

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/05/26/beyond-evolution-vs-creation/

. . . here’s the previous one

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/08/03/beyond-evolution-vs-creation-continued/

 

Carrying on and onwards some more, when I say, “teach the human tendency to group conflict,” what I mean to say is – not that way! Teach about it, I mean, not how to do it for God’s sake! Group conflict is “Psych 101,” as we say right? Except literally, it is – first year college, or university – meaning one, it costs money, and two, we finally get to hear about it at the exact age when so many have joined the fight, some fight or other, instead.

It’s a secret for the rich, those who can afford to go to school and can afford to send others into their fights, our tendency towards group conflict.

If the good folks are in on it, if the nice Lefties and hippies and your mom seem to be withholding the dark truth about this tendency, well, I can’t defend them. In my premise, warrior society assimilates all and no-one isn’t somehow contributing whether they know it or like it or not. I have been writing for several years now about how dear old Ma and Pa are contributing with both their well intentioned “structure” and their outright abuse and I’ve mentioned how much abuse is contracted out to unrelated people away from home at school, both in the conformist children’s group and with the genetically disinterested adults in charge, and of course, it’s Ma and Pa signing these contracts. Most of them haven’t been to college, many will live their lives on the other side of this line, knowing about the conflicts, or simply fighting in them. But I must lay this also upon the “good” folks.

You’re either a flat-out warrior who tells your kids, “life is struggle, make no mistake,” and prepares him for battle – or you’re one of the “good” ones who teaches your children age-appropriate stuff and tries not to traumatize them with war stories. I was closer to being one of the latter, obviously – but the warriors of the world have a plan for us nice folks. They know we have been lying to our kids, hiding the dark, nasty world of conflict from them (I know, I was trying to make a better world, I wanted my kids to be able to visualize and so create a better world, I know, we’re trying to be good) – and just on the edge of adulthood, just at the height of a human male’s potential for negative energy and actions, they give him the “secret” everyone else has been hiding. And guess what?

Knowledge is power. You think you’ve spent eighteen years insulating against such a thing, building something different, but . . . biology says no, to borrow from Little Britain, warrior lifestyle wins again. We’ve compromised them from Day One, insuring they lack information that large, armed and dangerous groups of men have and use against everyone. We see the parents of the white warrior shooter kids on the TV, confused and in denial . . . some probably really are confused. After all, everything they did, they did to make the kids “good.”

This is why free education is so important, and why where fascism reigns overtly or covertly, Psych 101 is not offered in grade school, again, not until after so many have passed their best learning years and been recruited to some battle.

OK, that’s what I was getting at, and frankly, writing that was a punch in the gut. Sorry if reading it’s the same. Done for now.

 

Jeff

Aug. 6th., 2019

Beyond Evolution VS Creation, Continued

. . . here’s the previous one

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/05/26/beyond-evolution-vs-creation/

 

Carrying on, I don’t have the full vision and I’m sure I never will, twisted, limited, antisocialized little beast that I am, but what it seems to start with is simply that we teach the tendency to warrior society from Day One, that everyone hears about it in broad daylight, not in the mean streets or in secret society meetings – or in silence in our timeout chairs.

The only reason violent political “rhetoric” activates “unconscious violence” is because we’ve all agreed to be unconscious about it as a matter of social policy.

Violent groups, nationalist causes talk about their “race” or their “religion,” and the good folks argue about these premises, but the truth is they are just that, premises, and they serve perfectly to support human warrior lifestyle, even, or especially if they are false or socially constructed. Unfortunately, the socially evolved warrior society pre-dates all of that and includes us all, so these various flavours of it, the extremist groups are not censured for their warrior goals as such, violent rhetoric is legal and moral, depending on its targets. So it’s never “should we kill people or allow people to die?” it’s always should this group of people be targeted or be protected? In warrior society no-one questions that we should kill or allow to be killed somebody. Society began as warrior society probably, and we don’t seem able to imagine one that isn’t; the end of war sounds like suicide, the end of everything.

Wow, you are really some sick swine if that’s what you think! Kidding, I know – laying down your shield is what sounds like suicide – never mind we usually pick up and put down the shield and the sword together – that old truth does not put the lie to mine. This must be one of Aristotle’s logical fallacies, that when there is a reason provided to explain an accusation, that is proof of the charge, not an alibi! If you always have a reason to be warlike, then you are one warlike dude, which, in a way, is all I’m saying. If it adds up to that, to “peace is death,” though, well, Mr. Spock and I call bullshit; this “reality” ain’t logical.

Repeat, more clearly: organizing ourselves for a war is legal and moral, it’s always going on – it’s what human society is. We argue about the other guys’ premises, but we somehow do not argue about the arrangement that has us settling for group conflict as an unavoidable and unstoppable way of life. Leave the Jews alone, say the Good Guys, back off the Blacks, we say – but isn’t it about time someone got tough with the Chinese? Try to write a speech that doesn’t include being tough on somebody: we don’t even have the language for it. This is our world, our life – we need to allow ourselves to know it, at the very least. Badly. The arc of the human universe bends towards group conflict and we need our people to hear about it from us, as the problem – not when a fellow is eighteen and being recruited into the army or the street skinheads where it’s some big secret they’re sharing with him and the answer to the world’s problems instead of the eternal senseless scourge anyone who’s been involved in it knows it to be.

It’s a tendency, as I tried to say softly above, trying to sneak it by you.

A tendency that affects more areas of life than just voting. Humanity and the Earth have not come to these dire straits because of something some minority “other” is doing sometimes – that’s exactly the problem right there, the fact that we always think some version of that. We don’t seem to have the language to articulate that it is common or ubiquitous things that need to change, that our trusted consensus is killing us, but that’s what is happening. We cannot grasp that it is we and our friends who are the problem. I mean,  in theory, but . . . no, really? Aren’t they what we’re hoping to protect?

We quite explicitly will not grasp that it is our parents, our caregivers who are the problem, that they tried hard to make us “good” and it succeeded, but that “good” means good for warrior society, good for a society organized around othering and war. We need to have a conversation out loud and in daylight, about what “good” all of our well-intentioned caregivers are actually doing, because if we are all as good as we self report, then I guess we don’t have any of these world destroying problems, right? I mean we need to break it down, what do we mean by “good,” and what does it look like in reality? It doesn’t look good, is what I’m saying. It looks like what you’d expect, considering what we do to make it “good,” though.

You know what we do to make people “good,” don’t you?

You know there are two schools of thought about this, just like climate science, and they are the same two schools, right, science on one side and religion and fascist anti-intellectualism on the other? You know science says the deterrents and punishments don’t make you good and the more of it you get the worse you are, right? All of humanity are operating on the level of climate science denial about social forces like abuse – along with the majority of the scientists. OK, sometimes I say “science says” when it’s only my science, as far as I can see, a large part of the problem being our scientists are drawn from the same pool as the rest of us. We need to bring this into consciousness, we are being such violent morons about this! Of course we are all convinced of it physically, usually before we learn the damned language our parents speak, it is unconscious because it is repressed. Now, I know, I am using the language of psychology here, but I will say, they are all drawn from the same tainted labour pool also, and their function is assimilated by our warrior way of life and is not likely to put an end to it either. I am trying to find the language required to help us speak about this, and all languages are sourced from others – psychology has some great ideas. It wouldn’t be any use to society – to the warrior society – if it didn’t.

It may seem a bit of a fine point, that it seems the concept behind Christian Original Sin would be helpful, the warning that we are evil when left to our own devices and that we need Jesus, God, something to ameliorate that, and if all were as we like to say, we could say that articulating it was a good, moral attempt to help people – again, a warning – if it were true that would almost certainly be the case anyway. But it weren’t true, if it were, God forbid, a lie, or an adaptive fiction, to put it in biology terms? If it happened to be that humankind was not in fact born this way, that prehistory and history showed that we have become this way over time, if it happened to be that most people were not born this way but become this way with education and experience in the human world? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll repeat the warning. I have children. Be careful out there, kids, there is plenty of evil shit going on.

I’m just saying, it’s not that God made us all evil by default, and babies are probably as innocent as they look – it’s us doing that. Right here, right now, maybe not quite as bad as yesterday, but still bad enough. We all try to make our kids and our criminals “good,” that isn’t just you and your genius circle of friends, every human society tries to do that and declares its success, and they all have masses of armed soldiers to prove it. Their idea of “good?” That’s your idea too. This is not a local problem, here or there; this is the human false origin narrative and it is ending badly, everywhere at once.

Unfortunately, because we are such dangerous crazy bastards whose answer to everything is abuse and violence, we cannot seem to concern ourselves with any other threat than social ones, human ones, and if Mom wants her SUV, then rising oceans it shall be, because who’s gonna fight with Mom?

Great. Finish it with an anti-Mom joke, that should fill the ol’ collection plate! Oh well, done for now. Of course we’re not taking Dad on either, if we’re still scared of Mom.

 

Jeff

Aug. 3rd., 2019

Here’s the next one

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/08/06/psych-101-or-beyond-evolution-vs-creation-continued-continued/

 

The Leaning of Mife

OK, you get it. I figure my preferred title’s been taken, no doubt by some delusional, grandiose fool. Meanings of life are like, well, everyone’s got one. I’m not mad at them! Compassion is what’s required for those poor idiots. If we can find a way to feel like we have the answer, well that might be sort of irresistible, we don’t always deny Grandpa his take over Thanksgiving dinner, so no blame. Who among us who have suffered with doubt would deny one of us crackpots the temporary sense that it’s possible to know what’s going on? Even most atheists don’t try to take that from the religious followers, most of the time. Of course, folks don’t mind taking it when they’re trying to replace yours with theirs, but I digress.

The meaning of life is, you don’t ask what the meaning of joy is.

You don’t ask “Why are we here?” when you’re in a good place, that is the meaning of life.

You ask, “Why are we here?” when you’re far from home, in prison, in a lethal desert, on a sinking ship, at a Phil Collins concert – you get it. All life is sorrowful – but this is not an empirical truth in my philosophy, but a human truth, a human created situation. We make damned sure life is sorrowful, on purpose, if not completely consciously – that is the meaning of human life. Forced migrations, prisons, doomed ocean crossings, these things are not always Mother Nature. It’s human beings that make Phil Collins concerts happen.

You know I think I have the answer, that everything we say we do to make us “good” is what makes us tough and unreasonable, that the “punishments” that “deter” and “teach us right from wrong” are functionally actually abuse that make us mean and crazy and teach us to abuse in turn, just the sort of folks that when you live with them you start to wonder, why am I here?

I know, you were probably looking for some noun, progress, salvation – even procreation. But you can’t get there from here.

From here, the meaning of life is, how about we try to stop spending all day every day making our children and everyone else miserable so that they keep asking that sad question forever?

 

 

Jeff

July 14th., 2019

Why Biology Blows Minds

I learned some biology, read a few biology books after I turned fifty, and promptly suffered a medication-assisted mental breakdown that jettisoned me out of my life. A famous leading biologist suffered such crises while learning biology and while developing some huge theories (meant in the grander sense, not of guesses). Two fellows, that is hardly a trend, but this is only my knowledge, and honestly, I haven’t checked for a larger trend. Even if it’s only the two of us, it’s worth a look, considering one of them is me.

This was three years ago for me now, and of course learning the truth about the biological world probably wasn’t the problem, the problem must be the setup of an early life without biological knowledge. Learning something that you never knew before, that you knew nothing about before, that’s one thing, but if you learn something and it breaks you, then you were thinking something blatantly wrong about it and you didn’t probably even know you were thinking it.

That sentence could be a synopsis of The Blank Slate, and perhaps that’s part of it, it did help me see that I had some version of the ghost in the machine going on, that I thought of “the mind” as something ethereal, but really, these discrete, blatant conversations about invisible things or not, these we litigate out loud, we’re not shaken by questions of materialism anymore. I’m not, I don’t think. It’s got to be something less conscious than that, less debatable than that to break people.

So, you all know how this goes, now I have to finagle it so that it’s seeing, or nearly seeing my antisocialization thing that does it to us, I mean probably. I’ve come to expect it, it’s gotten to where I expect that every honest exploration is going to take me there – but I must say, it’s not obvious to me at the moment, not like the rest of these angles I’ve thought I had it rather easy with. That answer is what came along with the crisis I had, but I don’t think it caused it – although I should stop just before that and recuse myself. That was a trauma. If anyone is in a position not to properly analyze it, I suppose everybody else knows that would be me. There was a ramping up of trouble though, with this insight at the peak, not at the start . . . still.

Of course, the other fellow didn’t have my insight at all, few have, he had his own, many of them, and many proven and accepted and now a big part of the world of real knowledge. Wait – was the first one relatedness theory? Because that might read as a rather cold, brutal refutation of the loving world someone may have been selling us, that love and family really is a function of our microscopic parts and described with some arithmetic. That might hurt a sensitive person, it’s the same sort of emotional kick in the gonads as my idea, maybe. Ouch.

I think this one stops here for awhile, I think long and slow, and this is sort of news for me at the moment, that it’s not only me and my idea that . . . offend, when we learn deeper truths about the world. Big words exist for this, deconstructionism, decolonizing your mind, but that’s not how I talk, not how I need things spelled out for me. I’m rather taken with the other fellow’s language, deception, self-deception, and maybe it’s not even the clash of the lie with the new truth that hurts so much as all that, but rather that we fight these battles alone and the prize for victory is also solitude.

Wow, that got awkward quickly.

 

Jeff

June 2nd., 2019

Beyond Evolution VS Creation

New idea (sort of), that what Darwin, what evolutionists are up against is not some offense that we are “just animals,” but rather what I’m up against, the mimic meme, the great social myth that humans are different because we’re nicer, that our special development isn’t just a special version of mean.

This is our species’ false origin story now, maybe always, that we rose above the animals through “cooperation,” or “altruism,” and in that sense a “morality handed down by a god or a godly messenger” would fill the same purpose in one of those forms, in any given sentence in one of those arguments -the myth that we dominate this world because we are better and not because we are worse. I think the offense evolutionists face has the same flavour as the offense voiced in opposition to permissiveness, to leniency and the advance of liberalism generally, and that’s the larger context for it, not so much whether humans are partly divine, or whether there is a god or not – but whether our lifestyle, the social order, supported by these rationalizations is right or wrong. I don’t mean capitalism, or the patriarchy, for me, all these serve the human warrior society; capitalism means money may abuse, patriarchy means men may abuse. I mean the abuse itself, not who or what is allowed to do it, but that someone always is. That little factoid gets flipped upside-down in this false backstory of ours, that is what’s supposed to make us better.

(New readers may have some confusion. For me “abuse” includes all abuse, socially sanctioned punishments included, because punishment is a technology that includes the application of abuse. Punishment, in our world, is supposed to make us “better,” while abuse, punishment’s major component, has been shown quite robustly to make us “worse,” at least in the eyes of the law, educators, medicine, etc.)

Perhaps something here explains that while evolution generally had popularity, even its adherents had resistance to Lamarck, to the idea that we create ourselves, and that that resistance is still alive and fighting, apparently. If it’s the great machine, OK, we say, fine, evolution, and we are still created beings, formed by forces larger than ourselves and beyond our control. We are still not self-aware or self-responsible in this state, and there is still the room for and a need for God, despite the apparent conflict. Indeed, this would seem to be the creature we see in the news and any dreams we may have of great human destinies do tend to fade with experience and age. We can be managed in certain ways, but humanity cannot apparently be reasoned with.

That’s the mimic meme too, not just some parent, beating their child to “make them good,” but the larger, social idea that it has worked, and that we are good, again, that we have won the tournament against the rest of the world and bent it to our stupid, stupid will – because we are “good,” altruistic, cooperative, empathetic . . . a lovely list of words, to be sure. Evolution is acceptable if we are horrible but powerless in the process, and evolution may be acceptable if we have had a hand in it, but if that’s going to be the story, we had better look “good” in that story, or first, who wants to hear it, and second and more importantly, what good does saying it do? We’re not supposed to tell a child they’re bad, only that their action was bad, because we don’t want them to take it to heart, so how do you tell apes that their bad actions have the unfortunate effect of making them bad? Talking about abuse still, always.

I tell myself I don’t write for children. I know I’m looking for dangerous places to be – honestly it’s all just talk now, I’ve already ruined my real life by taking this issue on with my child-rearing – looking for dangerous things to think about. I hope I’m not making anyone crazy with this, but I’m operating at a very young age in my cynicism; I’m still clinging to the idea of truth above all. If I didn’t have that delusion to chase, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have anything at all.

I think I understand about crackpots now, about people that get obsessed over a viewpoint. For me, this is the heart of the matter, of all matters, and so any talk at the higher levels in these matters, cultural, political, religion vs atheism, all seem secondary, but I’m sure a lot of people have their own idea of where the heart of the matter is. I’m willing to allow that matters have more than one heart, an unknown number, no doubt, but honestly, this is the one I’ve found, and frankly, whether it’s big enough to explain all that I think it does, I can’t have the certainty I’d like about that – but it’s big enough to keep me busy for awhile yet, I think. Honestly, I am staring into the abyss, I’m not trying to share that part, but you probably see. I need something that I can fool myself is important, to keep me busy, you know what they say about idle hands.

At least until I get some sense somebody else has gotten the idea, that I’ve been able to breathe life into this meme, and see it thriving and reproducing out there in nature.

 

 

Jeff

May 25th., 2019

 

Here’s a Part #2

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/08/03/beyond-evolution-vs-creation-continued/

Here’s Part #3

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2019/08/06/psych-101-or-beyond-evolution-vs-creation-continued-continued/