Redefinitions 6 – AST VS Popular Memes, Empathy

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc. Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

bullying

Redefinitions – 6. Empathy

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “Empathy”

We’ll go with the same format again, the Psychology Tobay definition first: empathy is an emotion we experience when we see suffering; we get it, we know how it feels, we feel it some ourselves. It is love in practice, an empathic person feels your pain, it is one of the positive things in life, and with more of it, the world would be a better place.

LOL.

I mean, I’ve heard the reverse, some famous mouthpiece called a very famous person an “empathic bully,” a few years ago, like he feels you and so he knows exactly how to hurt you and push you. (Ah, one for the list, another entry: “bullying,” adding now.) Mostly, though, empathy is good, we say, most folks don’t want to use it against you.

I’ll start my critique from the same place as last time too, pragmatism: you don’t think the bad guys empathize with each other? You don’t think racism is a bunch of people “getting it,” about each other, “supporting,” other people who share the same feelings? I think the hate groups are empathy gone wild.

AST thinks empathy is the bad thing.

I think it’s the “free with,” version, the automatic version, the “I don’t have to think and it doesn’t really do anything good” version. Empathy is when you share the feeling because you share the life and fully understand the circumstances. Empathy is when you feel bad when something bad you’re familiar with happens to someone like you. I’m sorry, it is.

Sympathy is the one you want.

Look at the big picture. You have empathy now and look at the world. We talk about it like it’s going to save the world, like we just invented it yesterday. The monkey’s empathy isn’t working, Woody!

Sympathy is the active thing. We are not changing the world by only understanding what we understand without even having to try. The application of sympathy indicates a positive motive and effort, of caring first and then seeking to understand, in order to care effectively.

I’m sorry, but empathy is none of that, it’s rather empty in comparison. A shared feeling for a shared circumstance is sort of the opposite of trying to stop whatever is causing the pain. Most folks aren’t going to tear down the shared lifestyle to fix the shared pain – it’s just the infamous thoughts and prayers, much of the time. With sympathy, perhaps the problem isn’t in-group, perhaps the system causing the pain is not your system to protect and you really can work for a real change.

The difference, caring first, sans understanding, this is the difference between sympathy and empathy, and it’s also the very difference between AST and the status quo of our warrior society, which punishes first and understands second, if ever.

Hmmm. Doesn’t feel comprehensive, but that was the idea.

Jeff May 10th., 2022

Update:

Ah.

“AST thinks,” isn’t the point, is it? I’ve left AST out of the logic, this isn’t a proper part of the series, you wouldn’t need AST to put empathy in better perspective is all I’ve shown here!

But this is another AST hack on ourselves, this, this morality we have that ends at the border, this business that we love our own and only make constant war on some Other and this is morality, basically if you love anyone, the few hundred in your village but not the nearly eight billion outside, you have reached the peak of human kindness. It is part of AST that we are embittered, violent and dangerous, but talk about our empathy, part of our antisocialization that we focus on the positive and turn a blind eye to the rest.

Oh. I think I know which one I want to write next.

Jeff May 12th., 2022

Redefinitions 5 – AST VS Popular Memes, Anger

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc. Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

Redefinitions – 5. Anger

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “Anger”

OK, the first several have been long, I fell into trying to do too much at once as always. The idea wasn’t to present several long ideas in lieu of one, it was supposed to be brief, alternate definitions to counter the social narratives around a word or an idea, or to counter the Psycholoby Today sort of psychological or scientific definitions. Some may perhaps be good and proper definitions and I simply wish to add a qualifier.

So, anger is defined many ways, lately as an emotion, and as such involuntary, and a theory has evolved about anger’s usefulness, anger is our unfairness detector, it is an evolved response that gets us out of bad situations with some adrenalin and a suspension of peace and perhaps reason. If they fear our anger, we get respect.

This one would fall under the latter category, I at first thought, I pretty much agreed. Quite logical. So my only critique was – how’s that working out for you?

How is using your good and natural anger improving your life?

My answer is that some good and natural things have been hacked against us (sure, by ourselves) and that anger is one such, and rarely saves anyone under the human system, perhaps “anymore.” Generally speaking, we don’t really get the chance to use it to escape our circumstances. The law and order nuts  will  lock you up if you try, mostly. You will become unemployed, mostly.

Right?

So, I will project what I see to be the rest of the social narrative now: “Anger is a good and evolved emotion for our safety and interests, but we don’t approve anymore, it’s an unfortunate legacy of the past that we are trying to move beyond, blah, blah, blah . . . “

You know what? Species don’t grow out of emotions, so no.

Self defense doesn’t require anger. Good fighters know they are more effective cool and thinking straight, don’t they? – I’m sorry, don’t ask me about how to fight, I shouldn’t speak – but is an animal “angry” to fight you for food? This theory, “unfairness detector, for use to get us out of trouble,” I’m sorry, again, reasonable as can be . . . but it’s the opposite of antisocialization theory, which is not suspended just because it’s us feeling the feelings. It can’t be true, I’m sorry.

It’s the exact opposite of the actual, boots on the ground truth.

It has been a very long time indeed since your personal anger solved your life, we have had rulers and bosses for quite a while already. Your personal anger has another use, it isn’t created and tolerated and everywhere because it serves you. It was never meant to be turned on your oppressors, it comes from your oppressors to be used against their enemies. That is AST, as stated at the top of each of these.

And the social narrative about how it’s a “good” emotion, well, yes it is, to our leaders, to the powers that be, to them, your anger is very good indeed, while they remain cool and thinking straight.

Jeff

May 8th., 2022

Redefinitions 4 – AST VS Popular Memes, Abuse

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc. Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

Redefinitions – 4. Abuse

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “Abuse”

Thinking that if you’re new to the series, at least I hope you read the immediately previous one, “punishment,” they’re really one idea. Thank you.

I try to make the point that the two things, “normal” punishment and outright abuse are the same function, that they both use the same currency, and our designations of what is good and what is bad in it don’t mean anything to the basic science, to the currency, which is pain, and our rather annoying but unavoidable way of letting it change us. The “we all agree” victims, they get some clarity that they were changed, but the rest of us, we are the damaged three quarters people, hurting, but still talking about “deterrents.”

Our parents, the teachers, the preacher, everyone would have us think we have been “deterred,” but not altered, and of course this is only supportable if they never had to “prove” the deterrent to us even once, and only believable in a world that has zero interest in three quarters of the downstream consequences and either likes them or cannot see them.

For the record, it’s sort of half and half, we “don’t like” war, but we worship our warlike “strength.” I am trying to break that down for us.

It’s abuse victims that suffered for a lack of “strength,” and likely fixated upon it as  an answer, a solution to their situation at a very young age; it doesn’t seem like something that would look so magical to an older person who already knows about society and police and life and wouldn’t maybe jump to a personal “strength” to solve their real life problems. It’s an abused child’s “go to,” is what it is.

It’s also what Bad Cop Parent already admitted he was doing to us behind the woodshed: here’s your solution kid, personal strength – knowing you will likely grow out of it regarding him, and probably also that he successfully programmed you for life, with a speech that he made that added up to your consent for the whole thing. You sign the form, when you are the parent and start making the same speech.

Call it a spectrum, if you must. A spectrum with the most extreme abuse at one end and nothing but love and food and healthcare at the other and all of life between, but then know that the abuse begins immediately off of the love terminus and increases steadily to the terrible end, where it is all of it and from there the love starts from nothing and increases in the other direction.

But that the power is on the dark side.

That the love on this graphic is a weak thing, the far less powerfully causative thing. I was thinking of the proportions of dark matter, I liked the metaphor and the symmetry, which is what, 85% to 15 % bright matter? – but a trained psychologist told me their rule of thumb, they mentioned an author, I forget, is five to one. Wait, that’s pretty close isn’t it? LOL I was thinking 80/20, I wrote it before I looked at it and saw that is four to one, ha. Hey! Was that Jim Morrison’s Five to One? Probably, huh. Whups. Sorry, back to Bullet, already in progress.

OMG, The old get old and the young get stronger! Stop it!

Where were we. Right.

That it is mostly a graph with one thing on it, abuse, and where there is less of it – this seems to be the secret – even far less, it is nonetheless the causative thing, that the opposing force is . . . nothing. Sort of.

This is why I keep saying “science, damnit!,” because in science, many things exist in a simple gradient, a molecule of abuse won’t make the change, let’s say kill you, but a teaspoon makes you sick and half a litre kills you – hey, this might work.

We talk like Big Tobacco or Big Oil about ourselves, sure it’s toxic at half a litre, but a teaspoon doesn’t hurt! No. We’re sick, and that teaspoonful is the only thing that happened to us. Then we invent creationism, God and Human Nature to explain the effect of the teaspoonful and get rich selling the stuff. We really do, we sound just like that, no wonder the swine get away with it, they’re using our own stupid defense on us. We are Big Abuse, and we are too big to fail.

Proof, you want something new, OK. I tweeted it the other day, but recent and me, still new enough: corrupt, evil, often racist judges rarely face justice, someone said, and I hadn’t gone quite this far before, I mean, I say “spanking is not about teaching, it’s about antisocialization,” a lot, but I guess . . . I guess it means AST calls “justice,” a lie.

If it weren’t, I think we would all imagine some strict code among judges to police one another or something, but instead they remain and exist as bad judges the court staff all know about until retirement or death, and so to the system, clearly, “justice” isn’t the point, the point is how I and AST see it: abuse and punishment are the same in their true, little considered effects of terrorizing and so “strengthening” the population. The innocent and guilty all antisocialize the same.

They are all going to get angry and strong, the innocent and guilty alike.

To the deeper function, antisocialization, humanity driving itself to more and more aggression, it really doesn’t matter if they’re innocent. Half the laws are made up anyway, right? Bill Murray, Meatballs, say it with me: It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter! I’m sorry, it doesn’t. To suggest it does is to suggest hurting the guilty ones is good for all of us, good for society, and I’m sorry, that particular Elvis has left the building.

That is buying into the excuse, the justification for a world of abuse.

AST says all that is nonsense. Harming the guilty harms us all as much as harming the innocent does, AST finds violence and harm to be bad things, crimes in themselves, unlike regular old bro science, which seems to say, “if they call it a deterrent, it doesn’t count.”

I feel for abuse victims, I’m one, we all are, I just feel for the ones that don’t seem to know they are, and I am trying to solve the problem for the no-one can know how many are to come, born into this system where abuse is normal and legal, and downright bloody mandatory. Don’t read me backwards, I minimize nothing, I am not trying to normalize extreme abuse, I am trying to do the opposite, to re-weird all abuse, spanking and police, because the “normal” bad stuff carries the worst along with it.

To my mind, fighting the worst and ignoring “spanking,” is fighting myself, pulling in both directions, missing the principle. If we accept any abuse, we’ve accepted the false premise and we’re asking for it all, and it’s not really an accident. It’s predictable, with decent science.

Jeff

Cinco de Mayo, 2022

Redefinitions 3 – AST VS Popular Memes, Punishment

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc. Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

Redefinitions – 3. Punishment

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, this word, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “Punishment”

OK, “ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life,” I said, didn’t I. Of course the biggest failures are easy to see, we all agree it’s the case for people whose abuse went beyond all idea of control or teaching. Outright, illicit abuse we all see as abuse, we count the downsides of that, at least within the lives of the people and those around them, and intergenerationally, within families, even in whole communities we can see the effects quite often.

Regularly, an abuser will have called it punishment or some such, but over a certain line, we all know it’s abuse and we know it has downstream consequences that go on and on. People need therapy and such, a lot of extra love to find their way back to life, and still, effects escape into the stream of time and affect the next generation. We know about the bad feelings, the powerlessness, the anger, the ideations, the need to deflect, all bad things, no-one should be left to feel these awful things, feelings are involuntary and it is abuse to create the crime that induces them.

We know this.

However, I noticed and so AST speaks about the missing cause, the missing feelings, the perhaps less intense bad feelings we all get from the abuse that doesn’t cross our “line.” I intuit that this is a quarter at least of all causality in human affairs that is simply missing, but you know what, I’ve never actually tried to draw it, let’s try a truth table of sorts:

Ha – did I say one quarter, not three?

There are two sides to life, too, the personal and the public.

It seems to me that in human life, as I said, personal abuse stories are told, personal causes and effects are hashed out, but social life is rarely invoked as a cause, we do not talk about society causing abuse, it’s all personal. When it comes to abuse, we are on our own, no-one is planning to restructure society for that.

It’s a “personal journey,” donchaknow. How much of psychology.

So we count one of two sets of effects for outright, illegal abuse, the personal one. Public effects of extreme abuse? Is that a thing?

I’ll have you note, we count neither side of the second thing, no personal remedy is coming for your “normal” punishments, and we certainly don’t talk about negative effects on society from law. So there it is: we ignore three quarters of the information and causation for our self-analysis. And so, Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of Man? We don’t! And we clearly don’t want to know.

Three quarters.

No wonder I avoided drawing it out for so long. Ouch.

There is interplay, extreme abuse easily hides among “normal” abuse, as I said, when I was young, a screaming child brought no curious saviours, it was normal to spank and normal to hear a child screaming. We were surely only hearing lessons, not beating or more. But . . . rationally, scientifically. You can’t use a “deterrent” and then declare it harmless! If it’s harmless, prithee, where is the deterrent?

Punishment makes us quite stupid. It’s not harmless, simple. See? Saved you from that very stupid trap right there.

The harm, the fact of the actual implementation of the supposed “deterrents,” that is half of our possible knowledge regarding ourselves, much of our bad feelings and much of our anger and aggression, this is what AST cannot seem to get through humanity’s thick skull. Calling most of it “legal,” or “normal,” doesn’t stop the cause and effect, you poor, stupid, abused apes!

Meant with love, harsh truth for my fam, I mean unless you happen to be rich. Then adjust the list accordingly.

Calling most of it “legal,” or “normal,” doesn’t stop the cause and effect, Mom! That isn’t better, is it. Harsh truths are harsh, no way around it. Teacher? No, don’t go after Mom, don’t go after teachers . . . cops are an extreme, obvious case. I’m looking for something a little less ham-handed, but really, it’s all of us, in most of our roles, isn’t it. AST tries very hard not to engage in Us and Them stuff. It’s pretty much all of us. The exceptions aren’t affecting the world much, at least not right now.

I’ve talked about this word too long, I have completely forgotten how this conversation is supposed to begin, but punishment is abuse, with a social waiver, “good” abuse, we say, and we only count its downsides in the most extreme failures, while the downsides are, well, I’ll get expansive again. The downsides are we look so bad, anyone would believe some god made us awful on purpose, among other things.

The downsides are pain, propagated endlessly, a huge, repressed and ignored reservoir of anger and pain we all carry that, as I say in the Conflict Theory, drives us forever to hatred and war.

OK. Breaking the “short” rule a little, we’ll stop.

Really, this one and the next one, “abuse,” are one idea, I hope if you don’t read the whole series, at least you don’t read this one without seeing the next one, the other half of this thought. Thanks.

Jeff

May 3rd., 2022

Redefinitions 11 – AST VS Popular Memes, Racism

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

Redefinitions – 11. Racism

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST, “Racism”

Honestly, see the above.

I see Critical Race Theory as a subset of Antisocialization Theory, I see racial violence and inequity as antisocialized people seeking an outlet among an out-group, and although there has been some peace and multiculturalism here and then, it has mostly been a fairly safe bet to take it out on an obvious, visible Other.

Racism is AST, it is earning a load of bad feelings among “our own” people, family, work, social structures and burdens, and designating some visible Other as a legitimate target upon which to unload them. This dynamic is real, rather biological in that it is driven by pain, and it doesn’t matter as much as we hope it does if a somewhat tortured person is educated; they still need an outlet when put under pressure. Why would an education help that?

It’s not education that makes people racist either, people put upon and abused don’t need to be told, they will actively seek a legitimate target. The liberals think the parents teach it, they may, but they don’t have to, all they have to do is abuse, and racism is sort of automatic. Violence becomes automatic, and race signals “other” to an angry mind.

Of course, in the way that CRT is anathema to racists, so too is AST to everyone.

In the good cop/bad cop analogy, the good cop (Mom, to the cis?) spanks the kids to teach you manners and to not break things and such and the bad cop (Dad, to the cis) may admit violence doesn’t teach etiquette but tells you the secret: it makes you strong. I agree: strong enough to start patrolling your borders, looking for trouble. Strong enough to hold a charge. If you’re too “strong,” though, if you can’t hold it in until the next war, there are always wars at home, crimes to do, racism to perpetrate. Many of the strongest spend time in prison.

When you’re just right, the Goldilocks effect, you wait for the war. When you’re just right, perfectly antisocial, your deflective violence happens in broad daylight and your peers love you. You’re a stand up guy, for the criminal gang that is “your people.” You “support the troops.” And the cops. That’s AST.

 If AST is what drives us to war, then CRT is the always war at home. I assume the racists have it harder at home, they can’t hold it in and their war never ends. CRT is mostly that there are ways for racists to deflect on both sides of the law, some go to prison, some run the prisons, overly antisocialized, pushed too far, and melting down in public, to cheers for their antisocial policies. Isn’t he strong.

There’s a war on, don’t you feel.

Jeff

May 1st., 2022

Redefinitions 2 – AST vs Popular Memes, Social Life

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

Redefinitions – 2. Social Life

AST, a definition:

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of Conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” not an accident and not irony, we are always seeing this, to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of Conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first few entries:

AST “Social Life”

On the one hand, I am a contrarian and everything rings wrong to me, and no-one will say the thing I try to debunk, things unsaid are more difficult to disprove. In this light, knowing it’s weak at this stage of our lessons, I say: we think “social,” means the positive thing, perhaps “prosocial.” It’s the generic word, it encompasses all things, prosocial things, antisocial things, and neutral things, I suppose, asocial stuff, but you might not pick that up in casual conversation.

Antisocial is a problem, prosocial is rarely spoken, we use “social,” for that, social, in it’s street level, social sort of use and meaning, means positive interaction, our social world is our community, friends and family, like that. Being social is interchangeable with being sociable, generally. Again, it is always my sense, my interpretation of a social meme that I am forever trying to critique, and I lose everyone right there, I think, no-one will take the responsibility for a conflation like this, not enough to defend it, and certainly no-one can promise to change such a vague thing.

Will you allow it, may I continue, making my case against “we think “social” is all good?”

LOL – it’s the court of the internet, silence indicates assent and I’m not listening, Princess Bride meme.

But there’s the dark side to being social, we are prosocial to our friends and antisocial to enemies and probably strangers. To “be social” is to draw the line and arrange people on one side of it or the other. It is to choose, to . . . loaded word, discriminate, meant literally and technically, generically, not the specific meaning today in our current conversations about racism and hate. The sorting function. I mean, it’s the thing, the same thing, the very thing, and if we could stop it all, we’d stop that too.

There is another conflation, a smaller one I need to mention, about the term, “social creature,” and variants. I think when we talk about the wildebeest or a herd animal, it means the positive thing, “social creature” for herds seems to mean they all get along, except you know, for the rut and whatnot. For us, it’s all of it, we are more properly a “group social” creature, perhaps, get along with some, in conflict with others. For the group social animal, “social,” means all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Cool?

We are having trouble separating things, our social life is structured with the group problems, structured around the situation, the conflict, and our lifestyle now requires the out-group, the enemy, and our best prosocial morality is predicated on an evil, antisocial Other. The movie trope is true: lacking a real enemy, like after Cyrus’ foes were all assimilated, not sure he did this, but we do – we create them, out of thin air. Every moral lesson needs a bad guy.

In this sense, it is AST’s position that our rough controls, the rules (threats) and punishments make us more antisocial, better adapted for a life of conflict. AST is ironic, or rather life without it is, in that the deterrents we apply to make us “good,” are weak, virtual things, while the threat and abuse of actual punishments make us “bad,” all day long, antisocial. I think the social consensus no-one has to defend is that yes, this is what we do, to be strong, to defend from other nations, yes, this means life and that is our foundation for our morality.

I get it.

But they tell the same story. Yours is a one-group morality and has zero control on war. Causes them all, in point of fact. Look how in its extreme versions, it shows up as a death cult instead.

There’s a genetic component, environmental control of genes that help in the event of an abusive environment, so called fighting genes or something similar. AST’s position is that we have hacked these genes, providing the environment to control the genetic choice – through discipline, through the ritualized abuse we call spanking.

This looks like a positive feedback loop to me, select a gene, activate it, select it again . . . which I worry is also the AST Theory of Conflict, that this feedback loop goes to thermal runaway in the world every ninety years or so. Ouch. Sorry.

Jeff

April 29th., 2022

Redefinitions 1 – AST vs Popular Memes, Human Nature

Still having problems finding a way into AST for folks, this will be attempt number I don’t know any more, another series, I suppose. The plan is to keep them short and manageable, hope to make the point with a barrage from many angles. I’ll start with the definition for AST – here’s the first, it means Antisocialization Theory – and then how it alters the narrative of a number of topics.

AST redefines everything, but we’ll try to show how, specifically, for this list of ideas:

human nature

social life

punishment

abuse

anger

empathy

relatedness theory

evolution

strength

resilience

etc.

Oh, forgot some (and this will be a feature):

racism

trauma and healing, psychology

attention

culture, tradition

control

Redefinitions – 1. Human Nature

AST, a Definition

AST is the theory of our hurt, the human science of not deterrent and socialization, but of abuse, punitive and otherwise, and our antisocialization, which long word means exactly what it sounds like it means: to have been made antisocial. It is about the dark side of our social control, the stuff we supposedly don’t want to happen, beyond that the person maybe did what they were bloody well told.

The AST Theory of Conflict states that the failures and ostensibly unintended consequences of our rough control are deeply and vastly consequential in human life, and its author can get very expansive, imagining it to be the post powerful and destructive force driving us.

The central idea is that structures and ways of being within the human social group – laws and punishments, ordeals, etc., –  add up to pain and trauma for the individual, while laws prohibit simple reactive violence and simple revenge, and so the individual is “charged” with bad feelings, antisocialized and looking for a fight they are allowed to have. The group’s leadership – administrators of the law – can then exploit this reservoir of anger, point it at someone and allow the citizens the “freedom,” – not an accident and not irony, this word choice, we are always seeing this – to deflect and unload their frustrations.

AST asks you to note, that our own people frustrate us, and exploit our frustrations at will in this system, using us to abuse some Other, some human group in a war or a pogrom, or an apartheid. That is what I call the AST theory of Conflict, weaponized by our own, to be discharged in some group conflict.

Hmm. Not sure if that will be the one I use every time, but I like it for our first entry:

AST and “Human Nature”

First – fooled ya, there’s no such thing, AST doesn’t have that. AST needs a reason that humans do bad things, while “human nature” would seem to state that no matter what horrors we perpetrate, no explanation is required: of course genocides. Whaddayamean, “why?” “Human Nature!”

“Natures,” – “essences,” aren’t a thing, not a meaningful actual thing. It’s a made up premise from thousands of years ago. I mean, sure it’s the foundation of all human society and law, but that doesn’t make it true, that’s just the twin fallacies of consensus and tradition. I have a speech about language and neural pathways, that your neural pathways don’t change every time you learn a new word, that mostly new words only re-label old paths – and “genetically determined” or “genetic legacy,” is the new label for “human nature,” which perhaps is a new label for Original Sin.

This function makes it hard to change. We know about things that grow and change, so we surely have a circuit to understand evolution, but I guess it’s not yet the superhighway the “human nature” one is? It’s hard to change, our thoughts want to use the main road or something.

“Genetic legacy,” is antithetical to evolution, it’s used where “human nature” would be used, when it’s time to say “that’s just the way it is,” – when evolution is supposed to mean nothing “is” the way it is for long, everything is becoming something and stopping being something else, ‘natures,’ and ‘determinations,’ are exactly not the point. An evolving creature doesn’t make excuses about what it “is,” it actively adapts, it reaches for the next thing to be. That’s what happens when a real creature adapts to actual reality.

It’s not so clear that’s us, I admit. But the false binary, formerly “human nature,” vs the blank slate is now presented as “genetics” vs the blank slate, and they have their proof, it’s not a blank slate, I get it, there are specific genetics in place – my answer is, yes, not blank, yes, an operating system – still not a “nature,” still not a static thing, still not an excuse! And there is environmental control of genetic options! Even if the genesuite was static (it’s not), are every one of its options “just the way it is?”

The language is not bad, but the thought isn’t up to it.

AST doesn’t need to bust the “natures” myth, Darwin did that, or he tried, we’re still trying. Like I say, change is hard. The problem is, it’s never busted, no-one loses it, “human nature” is our last idea, still there, underneath all of our education, the last stop as our minds trail off, faced with evil we cannot otherwise explain, “bah, human nature.” AST doesn’t stop at rhetorical roadblocks, AST has a rule, no “human nature.” You must explain the behaviour, with science, here on earth, no matter that it’s evil, of course, especially because it’s evil.

AST hates to make threats, but “human nature” seems to keep producing global violent meltdowns and insists there’s nothing for it, don’t even try. That myth is just going to let us kill everything, ourselves not least. You need AST. OK, that’s not enough to get anything, but that, I’m afraid that really is “just the way it is,” LOL.

More to come.

Jeff

April 28th., 2022

No Spanked Atheists

I wrote this on Twitter, didn’t think I was “writing,” or something, but it’s as least as good as most of the entries here. It’s the same, but there’s a little something new, I think.

Another Human Nature Thread:

An evil (avaricious, violent) Human Nature – is the fascist position on the question of Human Nature, or the question of ‘why are we humans this way.’ I mean, it’s everyone’s, but it’s theirs too. If you believe in it, you are on the same side of the question as they are, you are fascism ready in that sense, you – we, it’s almost ubiquitous – have the first prerequisite, the foundation.

It is religion. “Natures” are not a thing. It is the ubiquitous human religion, the foundation  of all things uniquely human, this . . . faith. “Human Nature,” it is our moral judgment of ourselves that enables all the evil we do to one another.

The Human Nature Question has faded – but not because Natures aren’t real. They’re still not, but it’s because we have our answer, the whole human world is on one side of a debate. What is on the other side?

The Tabula Rasa? All the causality, all the science is now in support of the only model anyone has. Evolution is just “how we got this Nature.”

No science, no institution seeks a reason why we should be this way, they have one already, Human Nature – why poke and prod?

I have read many,  many books, trying in vain to prove the negative, trying to find the author that doesn’t in the end, give it up to Human Nature. Brilliant people who “tried,” but never could go back to that first error and correct it, is all I’m finding. Maybe Trivers doesn’t say it. Bob seems comfortable in an unmoored conversation, I think he’s careful not to require it, but I’m not sure he’s fully replaced it. Maybe. I’m not smart enough to be ahead of him, obviously. Mad hubris to make it a question.

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, the full denial of Natures, in colour and Dolby, you know, fleshed out, what it means. It’s what Pinker maybe said he was after in the Blank Slate, but if he succeeded about the brain, he never approached the larger question. It was clear in the only mention of child-rearing that he was minimizing the power of it, made some analogy about dropping your phone, sometimes it breaks, sometimes it doesn’t.

As with specific religions, the question is this rule – an evil Human Nature – or real world causation? We are all living in the world of the rule now, can you see it, try it on? I know it seems like an obvious truth, people are awful, they certainly can be, but it is all empirical, it has to be, because we know platonic Natures aren’t a real thing. Truth, as Tim Rice said speaking as Pontius Pilate (I’m obsessing over JC Superstar at the moment), may simply be unchanging law, artificial, human made law. We have “eternal questions” because the gaslighted always do and always will, when we cannot apply reason and causality to our problems.

Let’s call this the end of the good part, the shareable part.

Of course, it’s hard not to believe it, hard not to accept the dogma of it, hard not to agree about an evil Human Nature when you are a spanked baby, when the source of life and love starts attacking you long before you can defend yourself. I think this experience provides the bias for believing it, and then we all share and amplify it all our lives, prove it to one another all day long. The lessons ring true, because the infantile experience is preverbal, buried, but sits waiting, a truth that has “always been there.”

Over and ouch. Can I get an Amen?

A couple of notes, because I like this rant enough to repeat it. One, I meant it in the most obvious, surface, unsophisticated and literal way, but “seems comfortable in an unmoored conversation” would be a lovely, Mark Twain polite way to call someone crazy, wouldn’t it? Not what I was doing, though. I’ll say, it’s an aspiration that someone might ever say it about me.

And that was new for me, the base religion idea. I want to get expansive – this is a way that “atheism is a religion too,” if it accepts the nasty Human Nature as a matter of no dispute, this is a way that there really aren’t many atheists, especially in foxholes, where the evidence overwhelmingly supports such an assessment. I mean, I suppose that to be an atheist or a materialist in this sense, a non-believer in our abuse deserving Natures, perhaps means even more than matters of immaterial beings, I mean of course it does.

Hmmm . . . good morning.

That was new too, about the Human Nature Question. You know they SAY the question dried up in their hands and blew away, disappeared into a million smaller questions, more meaningful and concrete questions – this is basically saying that the Nature is in the details, the Nature – the impossible, not a real deal thing – is behind many, many questions, and as I say, when they too run out of facts, nearly all of them pull Human Nature out in the end. Eternal recurrence, like Moe throwing Barney out of the bar, they turn around and there it is behind them. And the judgment remains, it’s no longer Selfish Man, but it’s the Gene now, and surprise – still selfish.

Who predicted the Generous Gene? Who would believe it? Our belief in our undeserving Natures is behind the science that identifies genes. The Question has not changed or morphed – we just stopped asking it, because when only one answer is permitted the question soon disappears. Maybe people used to know it was religion, but now it’s bloody science too?

Ha! Back up a few, this is the way in which science is merely another church again, if it proceeds from the fictional side of the Human Nature Question.

AST is the next “correct” theory because it makes sense of the previously mysterious and of conflicts in common wisdom. I’m an atheist, I am supposed to say it is NOT just another religion or a church, I know the public discourse – but AST is such a better theory, such a better context, that it explains it all, both sides of a popular debate that is deadlocked by myth.

A better theory.

Jeff,

Feb. 8th., 2022

Perceptions

There are two ways people view the world, the troubles of the world, one is something like software, culture, education and the other denies all of that, culture and education, the first I would call secular and perhaps liberal, perhaps progressive and the other I would call religious, despite that perhaps few really believe the whole religion, but these are the folks who think people cannot and do not change. I’m not saying these are two well defined camps, most folks probably believe something between, some combination of the two, education helps, but basically there’s not much for “human nature.”

Surely I’m not the only one sees the trap of it?

As always, if there be readers, please, if you know of someone who has already invented this wheel, please, tell me.

I think we are caught between these two paradigms, frozen into powerlessness.

As always, something is missing, the third leg of the table is not described. Education helps, but not apparently enough, or we can’t pre-educate them to want it, we can’t force it on anyone, and to what degree we believe the second thing, a flawed or evil human nature, it means we know the first thing cannot work. We do it anyway, it seems like the only thing, seems to work a little, we are playing the long game, but again:

If we know the other thing, then we know that isn’t it – these principles are opposing, and cancel each other out, but we haven’t identified the third possibility, that there is another explanation, the larger context in which the apparent conflict changes.

I am convinced that were the mechanism of antisocialization more visible, if we stopped discounting it, we could see the falsity of the second thing. As long as this isn’t allowed to be visible, as long as our never ending punishments and threats are exempt from the causation of reality, we shall be trapped in this endless bait and switch: education, yeah, doesn’t work, human nature.

It is a terrible thing to see, once you see the game, you can’t believe in the long game of progress anymore. The long term application of a small pressure, in the absence of no opposing force – no reason for the evil human nature, no causation resulting from our rough social control – that’s a plan, albeit a slow one, but once you see the opposing force, once you realize our long term tiny progress of education is up against threats and violence that begin in infancy, well, then we can see an imbalance in psychological, emotional and social power.

I’ll take your tiny hope – but I offer a bigger one, a real one: stop the violence, stop the social control, stop the spanking. If your kid won’t go down the coal mine without a beating, here’s a new idea: he doesn’t go down the coal mine. Spoil your magic trick, did I? I’m not saying the world wouldn’t change radically. Isn’t that the idea? Eventually somebody will figure out a way to do what we use the coal for without beating anyone – if we stop just settling for that, if we stop pretending the beating isn’t hurting anything. I know.

We think some beatings are OK, makes you strong, that way our team wins the rugby and our country wins the war, and I’m telling you, the thing that makes you win the war makes you fight the war, makes you need the war. The way we think it ends, a “war to end wars, a battle to end battles” – don’t you think it’s time we tried something else? That hasn’t worked out in a few thousand years, maybe ten. Again, the thing that makes you win the war makes you fight the war, makes you need the war – this is quickly obvious when punitive abuse has causality, when human nature requires an explanation.

Jeff

Jan. 11th., 2022

The Abused Ape Theory – Mission Statement/Premises

That’s a change. When I started, I toyed with the other version as my title, my catchphrase, before I settled on Antisocialization Theory, ‘the Abusive Ape Theory,’ like that, like the Aquatic Ape Theory, with the connotations of that theory’s history – and it turns out that it’s the whole point that that isn’t it, that the entire order of operations, the natural order of causality is that the abused ape child precedes its abusive caregivers. At least that’s the change I’m going to make, a rule for AST (antisocialization theory in short) that says the child’s experience precedes and breaking it will mean we have left the bounds of AST.

I plan to proceed as though there were an open marketplace where ideas compete for proximity to reality and therefore usefulness, and try a setup where it doesn’t begin with an adult Adam and Eve, or with the Elders, or with the  old man God who we acknowledge as a ritualized symbolic actual old man, the meta-alpha, where it doesn’t begin with full grown humans created or released from some mythical bondage, like the Raven story from around here – unless that place of bondage is childhood, then that metaphor might fit. Origin stories that begin with adults, that’s been tried, AST wants to try the other side of that choice, make sure we haven’t missed something.

It’s a chicken and egg story – the chicken and egg story, the reason we love that story – and the chicken came first. Until that chick was hatched, it was a proto-chicken egg, perhaps an odd looking one, but until the chicken inside came out and started acting strange, there were no chickens. When we arrived in the world, our progenitors, our caregivers were already here and every child’s story begins with that – but our story does not begin with all the characters’ back stories. Our story begins, when we, the child, begin to sense things, less literally, when we open our eyes and start reading it.

Antisocialization Theory intends to take this view, that life’s causality begins when our experience begins, with the experience of receiving abuse, prior to perhaps all understanding of anything, after all, slaps and deterrents exist specifically because the little ones ‘lack language and reason,’ these tools are directed at the lizard brain, directed at parts that predate all of human experience, so that is the start. In terms of uniquely human origins, again, AST starts with uniquely human experiences, meaning not feeding, or predation, or reproduction, things many creatures share, but rather social control, punitive abuse.

I’m not sure how I would respond to an objection that finds ‘human nature’ precedent to the lizard brain, to pain receptors, these things, while classifiable as ‘nature,’ absolutely predate humans. I understand that from a social point of view, on the social measure, our parents’ ideas or something come first, as though they didn’t have parents and as though we can’t simply carry that on back to the beginning . . . which, again, AST posits, insists: the chicken exists first.

In a human life, the child exists first.

Perhaps, all the origin stories themselves are infantile, baby stories of the adults we first saw, upon finding ourselves in this life. Perhaps in this corner of mythology, we never grow up and take the other view, never look with adult eyes instead at our infant selves for origins. If we were looking from our grownup selves, I imagine that is where we would start.

Jeff

Dec. 25th., 2021

Goes to this one next, logically: