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:

King of the Forest, Part Two

Continuing . . .

And that is my thesis – that by reaching for strength, by making surviving our group conflict by way of superior violence the goal and reaching only for that, we are forever eating the seed corn, forever eating the first marshmallow. I mean, that was Dr. Strangelove, I think, the entire planet going up in a fight over the first marshmallow, surviving a fight by fighting and winning. We can’t trust each other not to do the stupid thing . . . so we do the stupid thing. What’s a response you can’t explain or control?

Genetics. Specifically, some active gene in the players, specifically, some gene with this version, the fight first version activated – activated by your Momma. By your Dad. Vicariously by all the adults by way of their deflecting children, if not directly by authorized or semi-authorized adults, teachers, preachers, coaches. To say nothing of the professionals, the doctors, the police, the guards.

Your genes, your body knows everyone else is going to take the first marshmallow – the win, and so the fight – when your mom and your dad take the first win – from you. And your genes write the lesson more or less in stone. Isn’t that right? I mean if we as children took the literal marshmallow test and grew out of taking the first one, what have we really learned to trust? Something about that the adults wouldn’t destroy their own test by reneging, perhaps. Something like object permanence, I suppose, in these circumstances, I am probably going to get more marshmallows.

OK, maybe it’s as they say, for individuals, we learn how to wait for the reward.

I think the entire paragraph, both those scenarios happen in a single person, indeed, in all of us. I think the gene gets programmed as a group function, for an aggressive default response (antisocialization), and the individual can learn the exceptions table, for within their group (pro- or simply socialization). Ah, it’s the same as last week’s blog, isn’t it, the child learns a hard binary from the magical, human only social engineering practice of the child abuse we call “discipline.”

It was my hope, my dream, and even my plan to raise my kids without ever doing that, without ever just winning battles with them, and to see them grow up and escape the marshmallow test metaphor, to see them seek something better than the wins and so the fights, but I have no results to report, of course, the world interfered with my test. I wonder if I am making this complaint now, I wonder if there is some germ of truth to my fantasy of my own mother perhaps having some gentleness with me and I can say these things because the activation of my warrior genes failed, somehow?

Highly unlikely. I’m antisocial, sometimes I lose hope and would burn the whole world down and start over. More likely, these days I think my differences with the world are a spectrum matter, some unnamed neuro-divergence on my part, and anyway there was plenty of abuse in my family. But I think it’s a theoretical possibility, again, I had hoped to arrange that for my children for real, and unabused humans, homo sapiens with the warrior genes dormant – I want to see that.

Don’t we all? I mean, wouldn’t we, if . . . ? Don’t we want to want to see that?

I wasn’t thinking about whether they would grow up “strong,” honestly, I was putting all my hopes in the “good” kind of strong, if they had all the love and support and no abuse at home, they’d be resilient, I was more concerned about their mental capacities, I feel we trade truth and so intelligence for activating the strength genes. My idea was to not threaten them and so not perhaps dull their minds with cortisol and fear, I was pretty sure they’d be brilliant. While the experiment was compromised from the start – Mom had unilateral ideas and methods – it looked like that for a while, the kids had terrific grades and such.

But yeah.

We’re stuck here, as long as strength and security are as high a goal as we are allowed to imagine, with the fantastic, unreachable goal of somehow gaining enough strength to be invulnerable to our own species’ strength, we as a group, lack the capacity to wait for the reward of peace – again, it’s almost the first thing we were taught, is not to, and no-one seems to remember there was ever another option, because spanking, because they didn’t wait for us to learn it in peace and save the relationship, they wanted the marshmallow now and didn’t seem to mind making us hate them over it, like it was all part of the plan or something.

Ouch. Damn, sometimes I feeling like Joyce, just rattling off syllables until it hurts.

Jeff

Dec. 20th., 20121

King of the Forest, Part One

The spectacular, miraculous looking ways in which the human being can be evil doesn’t require a mad Creator or a plan no human can grasp, it’s genetics. That’s magic enough.

You reach for “strength” for aeons, you will amaze the other creatures with your strength, the giraffes have been reaching for the top branches for how long, a few million years? And honestly, I don’t think they’ve been quite as obsessive about it as we have about our . . . specialty. I always say “strength” – but today, it seems like “courage” would fit better.

Because I have the Wizard of Oz playing in my head.

How?

Genetics! What makes the aurochs into a cow?

Genetics! What makes the chimpanzee human now?

Genetics! What makes the giraffe as tall as a tree or makes the salmon traverse the whole sea?

Genetics! What makes the bear smell the falling leaf?

Genetics! What makes the tiny coral a reef?

Genetics! What makes your poor belly sore? What puts the “ape” in apex predator? What do I got it, but I want more?

Genetics!

I am sorry, for what it’s worth. Ha.

It can and does look bloody miraculous, have you seen what human dog partnerships can do, the speed of the viper strike, the hi-tech looking visual and colour displays of so many creatures, birds, fish, insects? One wants to declare that anything is possible, anything at all, simply from what we can observe today!

So I’m thinking, considering all this fantastic complexity, why not perhaps something from the dark side, perhaps inabilities that are also nearly magical in their improbability, things we are incapable of that perhaps amaze and surprise us. Honestly, it’s how I feel, combatting the idea of punishment, y’all just haven’t got the software support for “no punishment,” the whole world goes blank, deer in my headlights.

I’m currently reading a scholarly work many steps above my grades and the author seems to be taking on the same thing, breaking down the urge – Achilles’ urge, in the Iliad – to do something when a bad thing has happened. It’s about how grief drives the hero to slaughter, perhaps the Iliad is already an attempt to connect those dots, and this scholar is auditing that effort, but it’s sort of the same as being unable not to punish generally, I think we’re after the same thing, the same glitch in the human code that turns every detected crime into two crimes and turns murder into more murder . . . . and this is my answer.

Genetics! What’s a response you can’t explain or control?

Genetics! When is an individual only playing a role?

Now, I know how we hear this, and no, I’m not telling you this is what you are, because of your programming, because of all that came before, I’m saying this is what you are because this is what you want to be right now, and if you’re having second thoughts, think maybe we ought to be something else, I’m telling you: go for it! All you have to do is want it – well, maybe to want the right things, we need to understand some things too. But don’t follow your heart, not this creature’s heart – that’s what we’re doing now! Don’t practice selection and epigenetic activation for the job you have, practice selection and epigenetic activation for the job you want!

Ha. Fun.

So not a static genetics, not a “you’re born that way,” genetics, and not even a “you still have the chimpanzee in you,” genetics either.

That talk is the very opposite of evolution, it tries to say nothing changes, ever, when of course chimpanzees aren’t and weren’t ever the problem, it’s us, the new guys, and our new genetics that are responsible for the world we have today. Those are evolutionary Satanic Verses, when evolution becomes some evil Nature from the past again, our narcissism gaslighting us about the old world with the new words we taught it. Evolution as “human nature,” that is a reversal, that sort of discourse never learned evolution at all, hasn’t really processed it.

No, the point is, the giraffe has been actively reaching, not remotely simply existing in some sort of conformity with its Nature. The bear’s nose brain has been growing probably since the entire creature was smaller than that part of its brain now. Evolution means time plus desire make magic. We too have been active, have been actively chasing something, wanting something too, something it seems that chimpanzees lacked, and I think popular science is all in agreement, that something was group conflict, or rather, success in/survival from group conflict, and we have chased it perhaps from Lucy the Australopithecus to today’s human being, I wanted to say to the Universal Soldier.

I’m saying the one that wins/survives the group conflict, we want to be that; we are that because that is the goal. I feel that’s what evolution means, that if a thing exists, it’s because someone wanted it, someone chose it from the options available to them. I’m saying when you want to be the warrior, you get the war; and I’m saying, the things we want get us it – again, though, there’s a disconnect, of course, a complication, in that we are not fully conscious of what we want or why we want it.

No, it isn’t new or interesting or helpful to use the new words and talk about inherence or natures or any such old thing, but to say that because it is evolution it is no-one but us, we that are in control of our changes, we that choose from options presented to us when the environment changes. We may have used it badly, that is my thesis, but it is a transformative miracle, evolution, even selection, and it has brought us to this unlikely possible ending and so it can take us elsewhere also, anywhere. Again, it looks like magic, it can take a creature anywhere, given a desire, that is perhaps better to call a direction, and time. I mean, sure, we could take more responsibility, analyse and own our desires better. The giraffes had only that, a direction – up – and they changed radically to get there, several innovations. I don’t think we can say for sure that they didn’t have other options, a change of diet or something and that they didn’t actively also choose reaching higher over other paths. Why assume creatures fight evolution, kicking and screaming into the future? Perhaps the giraffes are as proud and as “I meant to do that” about their stature as we are about our dominance.

Or, more to my sort of point, perhaps they aren’t, perhaps it is a bit of an unconscious goal, perhaps they have an unstated, limitless goal of height that none of them ever feel they live up to, not so much a point of pride as a universally experienced failure – like us and our always reached for and never fully realized “strength.” That’s how a direction feels, a journey with no destination, right?

I sort of think our short term wants destroy our long term wishes, maybe that’s why the manipulative marshmallow test struck such a chord with us, we are stuck there in a much bigger way; it’s not a demonstration of a developmental stage for a child, but a metaphor for the human condition in this sense, that as a group we tend to eat the marshmallow in front of us and do not so much engage in long term trust projects?

More about an arrested stage of societal development than individual development.

I think this next section is a digression, even a derailment of this talk, but somehow unavoidable. Wish me luck, I hope to see you on the other side.

Jeff

Dec. 19th., 2021

First Impressions

You know I’m trying to solve the world’s problems, humanity’s problems, and there’s some guilt I’m not working the food bank, but I have issues, I don’t work well with others, and also the first problem I saw was what I’m always on about, “spanking,” (although anybody would have called what I saw more than that) and I was a kid, I wasn’t going to be working anywhere. The whole thing seemed, I’m sorry, stupid to me, and I have spent my life trying to find smarter thinking, solve it that way.

I must have thought, if I’m five and I can see how dumb these guys are, maybe I can help. Now I’m sixty-one and I think I’ve almost got it, but of course I’m sixty-one and I know no-one wants my answer, maybe any answer.

Too bloody bad, you’re getting it!

Lately, I’ve found a bit of a foil, someone with the skills to argue a large part of my answer, the Human Nature meme, from the dark side so to speak, I mean a bright soul who has seen some things, and there’s an idea I mentioned before but they helped me get another inch along with it.

I’m always on the Human Nature bit, and I’ve suggested before that a baby’s first human is Mom, and her Nature is likely the baby’s first idea of human nature – a schizoid conversation, ‘Natures’ are a Platonic abstraction, not actual things in the real world – but more generically, a baby’s first impression perhaps tells them who people are, who they are . . . OK, ‘first impression’ is a meme of the same age and accuracy as ‘Natures,’ we have had nine months of impressions before the world sees us, I mean ‘early impressions,’ don’t I.

Most of which, hopefully, are prosocializing, loving and nurturing, before what I am suggesting, the trauma of the first slap or something, and it’s also possible a kicking foetus gets a retaliatory blow sometimes, perhaps the first negative impression isn’t after nine whole months either.

But what sort of struck in conversation with my friend, what seemed to bite this time through it, was the idea that the baby’s impression probably really is of something along the lines of a simple binary nature, it’s not a bad working hypothesis for an infant, good/bad, love/hate, life/death, you have to say, the kid seems to have good priorities to form an opinion on the matter. I’ll argue now, after sixty years of life, but with a baby’s data at hand, that is some solid science on their part. Our part, of course.

I would that an education meant correcting the infantile binary ‘natures’ meme.

What hit me so firmly in this conversation was that the baby learns a Nature – from what was, for the mother an entirely contingent act.

It surely happens, that awful episode of M*A*S*H, where we suffocate a baby for silence in the presence of a predator or an enemy – I don’t see how a blow or a denied meal or some such deprivation is ever so necessary. We can say reasoned or compulsive, we can say “it happens,” I don’t think we can ever say it’s not contingent, we can’t ever say it had to be so, when would people die if someone didn’t hit a child. So there is the magic, where the contingent becomes the inherent, caregiver makes a choice, baby learns ‘what a human is.’

I’ve been saying the human nature myth is simply wrong, makes the wrong thing of us, but this made me realize that it’s both, it’s where the lie becomes the truth, where the myth and the truth intersect. The story of baby’s first negative experiences could be read either way, someone “proved” a lie to that baby, and now it thinks the contingent is immutable, or someone showed that baby the truth, I mean it really happened, didn’t it?

Not quite there yet? OK, maybe it’s not ‘the truth’ just because one baby ‘learned’ it, but there is a great assistance from other fallacies, namely consensus. If it really happened to everyone . . . then what? Plato was right, infants are right?

Yes?

Both these truths?

At the same time, as Elvira Kurt’s mother would say?

Jeff

Dec. 6th., 2021

Overview, the AST Insight Map – Part Four, Maturity

This is a blog just to say human social maturity precedes sexual maturity, and we only wish folks like Freud had their finger on it. Honestly, don’t go, ha.

Man, I just couldn’t get anything said a few years ago, I found the one I was looking for, and that was it, but I read it and I got nothing from it, looks like we’re doing it again. Like I was being careful not to offend anyone or something, working hard to not say it – perhaps I have changed.

It starts with a few, I’m going to say facts. Data points.

One, human sexual maturity comes sometime after ten years of age, usually well after, a few years, sometimes seven years after, rarely at nine or younger? Two, after weaning, the children spend their days among children, the older ones raising the younger ones. This seems true to me, I got it from the Nurture Assumption, a tome with a bad point but a lot of information from a lifelong writer of science textbooks and I think her picture of the traditional human situation was pretty normal, she cites well known names, as in part two, among others.

Another name for sexual maturity, is of course, adulthood, and puberty is the end of human socialization, I mean science knows, every year is less important, we are more malleable every year than we will be in the next one. If our teachability is less every year by almost any rate at all, there isn’t much left after an average of twelve or thirteen years. Sure, it can be a lifetime of learning, but you are working and learning some grownup thing, while the kids are still outside teaching each other society.

I think maybe learning doesn’t slow to a trickle after puberty but significantly, perhaps instead teaching ends after puberty, when we age out and leave the children’s group, and then again, when the babies age out of the nest and into the group outside as the cycle rolls on.

To whatever degree any of that is true, human life, human culture is decided and propagated in childhood, and this is important, it seems to me – so it’s pre-pubescent, human society is sexually immature. Freud is wrong that it’s all about sex and whole branches of biology are missing it that it’s all about reproduction, that the violence serves the reproduction of our genes, no, this is not the order of causality, our entire life is written out before sex enters into the conversation. It’s the other thing, like the EP boys say, sort of, except it’s bloody horrible and not at all the way things ought to be – it’s the fighting.

It certainly does seem that evolution finds little use for self-awareness beyond the fight or flight response, beyond knowing when to eat and when to run, I mean maybe not always or even usually, but it is very much my contention that our social evolution involves a lot of unconscious stuff, and I don’t mean drives or animal things, I mean social things, rules and strategies we keep unconscious, weird to say, consciously, on purpose, things that exist at a level between animal imperatives and conscious, directed thought.

Things that perhaps blur the lines between the unconscious and simply lying or playing silly bugger (a Britishism for feigning stupidity and/or ignorance).

Returning to teaching, Sapolsky said on video that he and his peers are a competitive, alpha wannabe bunch and he talked about the stress of it, and if academia is a tournament of the most aggressive and loudest and scariest, then most jobs and professions are. My thesis here is that the strength tournament of boyhood stays in place for life in all matters – not an endorsement. I confess, if I read someone else saying that, I would assume it was indeed written with weird, violent glee and approval. I feel I must always clarify, I’m saying this is what is wrong, this is what is wrong with the “way it is,” this is what I would change, this is an argument to human life, not just an explanation I’m making – and if this is the case in the place where we think the brainiest little dweebs ought to rule, if that is the dynamic in the place we set aside for rational thought and the development of real knowledge, and if we don’t set it aside for that, then we don’t set it aside for nuthin’, and I mean sex and reproduction and all that too, Freud. The selfish gene.

Sorry to say, humans are historically aware enough of the selfish gene to have invented their solution for it, genocide. If Richard is suggesting humans don’t get human groups, then who has been fighting? Why does every ten year-old with a television know the phrase “you and your whole family?” A bit of a pet peeve of mine, this was some sort of revolution, the science that echoes the world we all see every day anyway? Violence wins again, if there was a fix for violence we wouldn’t be ruled by some version of the bloody Sopranos.

If we are more like an extrapolated bonobo, then maybe sex and breeding win, but we seem more like the other team. It remains to be shown that the bonobo love of loving requires a lot of violence to make it possible, which is what using the selfish gene to defend the patriarchy and a world of conflict is saying. You read all the popular science today, there is no way out, of course things are this way because of this and this and this, sorry about that, we had a good run, didn’t we?

Didn’t a few of us, I mean?

I mean, of course we’d rather talk about sex, there is maybe some point in talking about sex. Violence ends all conversations.

We do talk about sex, of course, bloody endlessly, and there are options, options aplenty – it’s the faux taboo, there is no taboo regarding talking about sex, I mean there are conflicts, we don’t tell everyone what our partners like and such, but even the most conservative societies talk about it enough to have a lot of rules, explicit rules and such. Ha – Dune is back, and honestly, a little bit of Dune stayed with me all these years, specifically, “a feint within a feint,” and maybe a third feint, and this is the context in which talking about sex is a taboo, like what the Hell is telling you you’ll go blind if not talking about sex? Sex is subject to a lot of control and rules, many rightly so, of course, many not, and that requires a lot of talk. Repressing sex is like not thinking of the word banana, you have to keep a filter for the proscribed thing in place twenty-four seven and whether sex is a free thing or not, it is on our minds in one way or another.

You know what we don’t debate all day, what doesn’t have a lot of options?

Fighting. Strength. And of course, the real thing is the thing you can’t even talk about. You hear it everywhere, all day long, I mean far more than you hear exhortations to be heterosexual, or to follow a particular church, or racial prejudices, be strong! Strong for cancer, strong for random massacres, strong to withstand random road crashes that take a whole community’s children.

There are those, many, who see all the strength as patriarchy, strength is the male principle, and sure, there is some of that, but as far as I can tell we are as obsessed with strong women as men, and even strong children, weakness is . . . wow, I’m always hedging, but I think I’m going to say ‘never’ this time, weakness is never encouraged. I mean, they might break you, but we talk about the broken only in terms of strength too. Nobody wants to tell a victim, or hear from one, that they’re weaker now.

Broken and alive we call strong.

They are even talking about the plague that way, ‘survivors’ not sufferers, I mean, ‘they,’ in this case doesn’t necessarily indicate the actual opinions of actual people, but this is all part of it, the propaganda is only a stretch from the dark side of normal, and fascism is only a stretch from the normal primate hierarchy of ‘peacetime.’

Social, all of it, conflict, territory, hierarchy, violence, normally my point is, social and not rational, but today the point is social – not sexual. Again, the Freudian and biology order of operations that puts replication ahead of all as the explanation fails to explain why this could only be the case for a single species among so many – and the standard answer, that we are more complex, social evolution . . . well, everything else is also incredibly complex, isn’t it, like perhaps we didn’t think when we made that argument a hundred years ago.

I suspect the difference with us – and there is one, we have broken the bonds of nature in ways to destroy it all, a thing other creatures have apparently never done, escaped correction and deselection, at least until now – is not based in genes and breeding which is not unique to us, but in the opposite, in the violence, in the advent of our breeding-defeating in-species violence.

But it’s much more fun to talk about sex, or, alternatively, if you can see the violence, to love the horror, like these young monsters of the New Nightmare, and to rave about glory and such garbage. Violent solutions, sure.

But what you are not allowed to do is see it clearly, for what it is.

Jeff

Nov. 30th., 2021

the preceding:

Overview, the AST Insight Map – Part Three, Contracting Out

Here’s me first getting the idea of the human workaround, our system to have more abuse than we might want to give our own children. It starts a bit slow, but since I’m thinking out loud maybe it’s clearer, you can see the steps I often fail to show.

But it’s here below, in short form. Don’t torture yourself.

The germ:

Variations on the theme . . . not mandatory:

This has the idea in it and an example of ‘workarounds for Nature.’ I’m embarrassed, there’s some stupid petulance in here about a great person, and I’m an idiot. It has more of the foolishness than the good stuff, but the good stuff, unfortunately seems important.

The idea is, folks want to be nice to their kids, but our lifestyle seems to require humans that have learned a lot of hard lessons – so we have institutions, professional teachers and childminders to deliver them. Unrelated adults are utilized for this, allowing many parents to live in line with relatedness theory, bringing a prosocial mix to their children and their childrearing, while still insuring that most people are tempered for the rough purposes of the group. I mean, it’s what the children’s group does too, and it too is many times larger today in many places than in the deep past and full of entirely unrelated kids.

You know, that needs a name.

I have already coined the antisocialization theory of war, this isn’t quite on the same order, let’s see, it’s a workaround to defeat a natural, evolved trait, specifically social theory, so it’s an ‘anti’ again, like antigravity, antidepressants, and surely not antisocial, so it’s anti-relatedness? The antisocialization theory of surrogacy?

Maybe, I don’t hate it immediately. OMG, why do I love these moments, this is my problem, that I love to say the opposite of what everyone wants to hear –

It takes a village – to brutalize a child, when social theory says the parents alone might not have the stomach for it.

– this view of life – mine, not Darwin’s, though his includes mine if anyone knew it – this view of life turns everything upside-down. But put those two things together, this is what you get, all the common wisdom that is supposed to keep us peaceful is all in place, and we are not peaceful, it’s all like this, and means the opposite of what we think it does. Was ‘it takes a village’ supposed to mean it takes that many to control a child? That many to teach empathy? I’m afraid the sad, dark outlook of AST is what explains it, it takes those more unrelated people to abuse, to grow a useful, ‘mature’ human – oops, that’s leaking into part four, that ‘maturity’ for us is a matter of our antisocialization and not really a breeding thing at all.

I say it often, I need to, it’s not happy – but at least things make some sense from here.

I think maybe we’ll go with that accidental segue, the links are long, this was intended as a cliff notes version.

Jeff

Dec. 1st., 2021

the preceding:

the next:

Overview, the AST Insight Map – Introduction

I

The Myth of the Regrettable Hero

This is a change, this blog is previously published, under the second title, perhaps in the middle of part two, I’ve just been confused about where it belongs. I announce in what is now the second one, part one, that I am beginning, well, this must come first, first as the mission statement, but also that the content simply precedes, there is some past event before we meet our fist modern baby.

The mission? To debunk the Human Nature myth and write a new beginning, a new origin story, where we are innocent and do not deserve the nightmare we have created for ourselves and everything else.

OK.

It comes up regularly, a few times a year I try to imagine how all this human nonsense began, how we chimps learned to spank and war. I was on about it again in the very latest blog, part two of the current series, trying to convince myself that the details of the First Spanking, the beginning of our human invention, self-antisocialization, don’t matter, declaring that it happened, accept it, move on – ha. There’s always some point where every crackpot fails, isn’t there.

Actually, it matters greatly in one sense, not in particulars, but in the sense that it was an accident, this might be the entire point of my whole deal, the kernel of innocence I require to write my new origin story. Something like this, an “innocent,” or accidental First Spanking, First Abuse story, and our difference, our uniqueness, our Fallen State, if you will, is only a response, our response to abuse that, hey, perhaps as today in a sense, abuse no-one really meant to do? That response being scar tissue, desensitization, perhaps the repetition of repression as per Alice Miller and such.

I mean, not that infanticide is innocent (one of my guesses, and continuing from the latest blog), I only mean accidental in that the effect, that rather than being dinner, some kid grew up to be a tough one – but any other situation where some little proto-human got a hard time from their parents will do, perhaps mental illness was involved, of course I don’t know . . . but the point is, some accidental First Abuse story – myth – might make us innocent, might make all the trouble a regrettable reaction we’re allowed to talk about and work through, instead of our own, baked in original pro-active badness for which we say nothing can be done.

I need a myth of perhaps demonic/divine/trickster possession, where a parent is unaware of or unable to stop some abuse and watches with tears and regret and confusion as the child grows up as a warrior, perhaps plunging their peaceful life into war. Ah, mixing my mythologies, but perhaps then some story of seven generations of sacrifice and piety restores this family and this countryside to peace.

Dreamer.

Oh, wait. Ooh. What if it was like my story, one parent terrorizes the kid in secret? I mean, elements of both, madness, or duplicitous marriage? A Medea tale!

I really want to contract that out, I am no classicist, plus, it sounds painful.

So, the point I would correct is that all is pro-active, that it begins with an act of evil (why reading the book of knowledge is an act of evil in one such story is a question for another blog) out of no-where, out of Adam’s choice – hey, did the authors have some similar goal, in making it Eve’s idea, trying to make Adam innocent? Seems an odd back eddy of intent, when the point seems to be Original Sin, none are innocent. Hmmm. Whups, another time, again – some First Ancestor’s act of will, pulled from their backside, meaning, no explanation necessary, beyond his own qualities, inherent evil and whatnot.

It’s a defiance story for the believers; for me the point is, it’s one Authority, or this guy just decides to be his own authority, God’s will, Man’s will, all will, will, will. No damage, no reaction, no life history, no context, no psychological compulsions anyone earned in life, just the Nature you were born with (which, of course is classical Platonic nonsense, Natures aren’t a real thing). We are presented with Man, having no explanation for himself and thinking and acting like he’s a god, like he needs none. Like so many say nowadays – a man wrote that crap, and a comfortable one, the boss.

Who didn’t write it – a child, a wife, a slave, someone who knows that will for them is meaningless, that their own will is almost no force in their lives at all – the vast majority of humans. I mean, ‘children,’ that’s more than a majority, no matter the adjective, that is all of us. We were there at the beginning too, we children.

Mixed feelings writing this, happy to have gotten here ever, I suppose, sad it took me this long to clarify this point. Ha! This point –

We haven’t Fallen. We were pushed. Meaning, like in Good Will Hunting, it’s not your fault. Abuse is self propagating, and classic chicken and egg – both exist now, it’s quite academic. You are not the born bad creature hurting people, you are the poor, innocent kid getting hurt, why not? – the egg, I suppose if that was supposed to be a metaphor.

Why not? Well, origin stories have purposes, which is my whole point, and us all being told we’re the Man makes certain things happen, enables certain things, makes other things less likely, right? I’m afraid my likely divergent mind has determined that no less is required, and without refocusing our view of the beginning, without noticing that we are that hurting child, nothing gets better, and contrary to popular belief, it really, really needs to.

You are the victim here, and you don’t need to defend and deny and bluster and sputter, none of it. It wasn’t your grown up original sin that created us, it was your pain as an innocent victim that did that. Why not?  It’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault. And that matters.

Ha. Don’t do this to me, Man!

But it’s not! Let it go.

Jeff

Nov. 25th., 2021

Updated and re-titled,

Dec. 1st., 2021

The next:

Overview, the AST Insight Map – Part Two, Childhood

So, the control begins early, and it’s a slippery slope from bite the teat, lose the teat to bite the teat, take a nip or a slap, and by toddlerhood the parents have slid down it, and “spanking” is for two year-olds, because they aren’t talking and reasoning yet but they are starting to get loud and also to get up and run.

This is where I have more questions than answers, I’m afraid. I try to imagine this age and how we deal with the kids in early stages of human prehistory, and I don’t have much luck, there are many blind alleys provided by my own random logos: first, I thought we would get strict around the fire, but of course long before that we and our babies lived high in the trees, with danger always even closer. The still wild primates, they hang onto the kids until the kids are old enough to understand, is that right?

Then I think, maybe things changed when we built the fence, the village wall? Maybe the kids could roam a little before they understood anything and not get predated for it? Then Mom’s hands start doing other things and the time formerly spent carrying them about until they understood language and dangers got reallocated and a “more efficient” sort of control crept into our lives? Ha – I never hate these just so stories when I first jot them down, this one seems reasonable at the moment – but it doesn’t matter, just so stories don’t matter however reasonable they seem.

I want to quit trying to draw this picture. Frankly, these stories hurt more than they help, these are myths, aren’t they, and if we say they happened in our deep past – the Before Time, same thing – then they gain the respectability of tradition and necessity. I am not looking for a “reason” we beat our children, not a reason that the world can just decide is a good reason, or a good enough one.

Somewhere along the line, we started this behaviour. My attempts to uncover the evolutionary accident that made it a selected for behaviour jumps past an answer to get to a question – we need to think of it as a selected for behaviour, rather than a logical and inevitable one, that’s not the same thing. I often try to make the point that how is a thing inevitable for only one of a million species? But I end up seeing the sense the other way about, from why would it be selected for, why would the effects of child abuse be selected for, and when the effects of horrific, illicit abuse are considered, then the effects are clearly what a moralist might call “bad” effects, anger, frustration, madness, aggression, poor cognition.

So the question is now, why that would be selected for, and I’m afraid there is some crossover with the EP boys and their game theory, but that would be selected for the same reason those twelve angry, mad, aggressive lads in the Dirty Dozen were – the fight, war, conflict.

Again, a reason perhaps – not a good reason. I don’t push my just so stories, or I try not to, but I do imagine that the two behaviours are one and that spanking coincides with more organized group conflict than the chimpanzees engage in, that the two phenomena arose together. The accident has to have been that someone discovered the magic, that a tough life at home makes for a tough adult on a raid, somehow, somewhere, somewhen. After that I fear it’s just drift, the sort of behaviour that takes over the species.

But there are more meaningful questions than what exactly brought about the First Spanking (another just so I have tried is that it was simply failed infanticide, why not, but again, doesn’t matter), like what does “modern” Indigenous or aboriginal child rearing look like?

In the purely WEIRD books I have cracked, I see Chagnon’s portrayal of Yanomami childhood, a warrior society in childhood, and I know and don’t disagree with the criticisms of the tone of it all, the apparent bias. I don’t take that as what “traditional childhood” is or was, or not necessarily, and I think if children live that way, the adults are guilty of not fixing this situation.

Maybe, though. It was a little that way when I went to school too. So maybe all his awful portrayals are real but limiting them to brown people in the forest was the lie. I must admit, from what I see of humanity today, it seems likely to be the dominant thing today in the world that kids are tempered into adults by either peer violence or adult violence. But today seems like everything has gone terribly wrong.

Could it really have been this way for a million years or whatever?

It sounds nightmarish, dystopian forever.

A huge dream of mine, of this project’s is to discover the childrearing that was perhaps hinted at in the Chalice and the Blade, the childrearing before the age of wars, to discover a version of human childrearing that does not send them straight to war and conflict.

I saw Tweets from somewhere in Africa recently that called the system of child abuse a colonial thing, suggesting things were different there and that perhaps they know how. I imagine the Indigenous all over feel that way, and it’s true to a huge degree – but to what degree, and what is the other model, if there is one – I’ve asked before, if any reader has an idea, please, tell me.

Chagnon’s – Meade’s? – story would seem to serve a purpose like the Clovis People rules about human habitation in the Americas – to lie and say there was nothing good we replaced with our awful systems, the cursed terra nullius. So I’m still looking. It’s possible that Chagnon has thrown out the baby of Indigenous childrearing wisdom with the bathwater of his colonial bullshit and documenting warrior behaviour is what you are going to document when you invade to do it. They may not have been living that way until the threat of us came along, we document their natural immune response to our invasion and call them savages for defending themselves.

Ah, I learn as I talk, sorry.

So I would like to think there is another way, but OTOH I think we activate warrior genes with this behaviour and we wouldn’t have just gotten those yesterday or anything. – So again, his racist mistake perhaps wasn’t in describing this lifestyle – it was the boys growing up fighting and any boy who wouldn’t fight would be goaded until he did or died – or even ascribing it to unindustrialized, brown people, but in not including us all, if he suggested our boys don’t do that and we are not a warrior society also.

But I would like to learn that I am being the same negative cynical bastard he maybe was and both things are true, it’s everywhere, but it’s only everywhere because war makes it that way, that child abuse exists as much as a response to a state of war as a prerequisite for it that we always carry with us. Again, suggested already, they go together, hand in hand, child abuse and conflict, as of course do chickens and their eggs, neither is really “first.” It seems the nature of evolution that as an environmental hazard’s likelihood increases, a creature has a mechanism to activate its genetic options to evade it – it’s just really sad that we are caught up making genetic adjustments for a growing hazard – war – which, also us.

Maybe that’s a chapter.

Jeff Nov. 19th., 2021

the preceding:

the next:

Overview, the AST Insight Map – Part One, the Miracle of Birth

It’s the Meaning of Life, isn’t it, Monty Python?

I’ve been following this train of thought for a long time now, and frankly, I never could follow yours, or the usual thoughts about these things I think about, I mean. While I struggle publicly to make the point, while I complain that I am forever failing at it, honestly in the privacy of my own thoughts, I think I have a system, I think I have the key and it all falls into place – or it would if I could find the language, or would in a world that would allow things to fall into place.

This sense of totality, it is surely false, I mean everyone else’s is. It occurs to me that if I think I have closed any circles, then I need to draw that. I suppose it’s going to be a series.

I’ll try chronologically first, with the newborn?

The baby arrives and if it is human, it is subjected to forms of control, bite the teat, lose the teat, sort of thing, if the parents have these ideas of control and deterrents, and if they do, there are punishments and deprivations for the child to match every bit of its growth, every increase in its powers to affect. As the child emerges from primordial preverbal life into speech and culture, it meets a powerful, all judging, all punishing god that controls its parents, and all this is familiar, and was always there for the powerless human child, it has no reason to doubt it and all the usual reasons not to question the all powerful beings telling them about it.

This is Christianity, probably all the bible religions, and I suppose probably all of them, and any effect we ascribe in human life and history to the churches is all downstream of human infanthood, which comes first chronologically and logically and no-one would follow and fund these institutions if everything important about human life wasn’t part of the same sad function. And if a child were raised this way, with the control from the beginning and no such punitive god was offered, they would be likely to feel the same way, and perhaps replace the all powerful god who set it all in motion with “society,” or perhaps just the dominant social groups. You see?

Both groups, the science Democrats and the religious Republicans, victims, coerced into a way of life by some large insensate entity, that what or whoever that is, sure isn’t their own parents!

Huh, that might have been sort of new, which suggests I drop it and run before I go back to repeating myself. Cheers.

Jeff

Nov. 7th., 2021

The introduction:

the next: