Introduction, the problems 1
AST, Jeff’s Bag of Premises
addiction, a personal metaphor 2
resilience, a dearth of fear 3
resilience, a lack of understanding 4
old, strength 5
new, everything else 6
It is 2023 by the current measure, since the last great peak we acknowledge, and we’re mostly all plugged in, we know the problems, plague, climate collapse, war, fascism and some mass death wish that comes with it. By and large, we seem helpless; even if we say the climate thing is “unprecedented,” those last few things, we have done these exact things before, and still no-one seems to have any idea why or how to stop them.
The reasons humans do what they do appear to be a mystery to them.
It is clear that the plan is collapse, and to hope to crawl out of the rubble afterwards for another try, “resilience,” don’t you know. Strength and resilience are always and forever the plan for the humans, and this is one of the problems, it’s clear that no-one in power fears the future enough to change it or understands the species they rule over well enough to change anything, for reasons I hope to show. With self knowledge, rather with the lack of it, it’s all one and the same, isn’t it, not knowing yourself and not seeking that knowledge.
If we wanted it, we may have had it long ago, and if we had it, we’d know to want it, but we don’t and we don’t.
This is a problem, we need to learn new desires, which means we somehow have to set our own goals, imagine new desires and then develop the taste for them – it all rings of the psychology of addiction, doesn’t it? This is not a coincidence and we do presently regret our desires, the things we do chase, and we do berate ourselves for it, bemoaning our Natures when we have a moment’s peace to do so. Presently however, it’s illegal to have the desires we need to have, peaceniks are traitors, and we regret any inconvenience, but the awful Nature is the law. This is truly the state of things.
This is a problem today and we need to understand that conflict as a solution was never going to last forever, that the Earth is dying and so are we, if we do not change that law.
That’s my overview, the problems are the huge things we all know about, coupled with some present aversion or inability to rise to them.
And don’t get me wrong, we need to change that. We couldn’t have become this nightmare ape if God hadn’t rather unadvisedly left us to create ourselves, if that weren’t our job and no-one else’s. Imagine you’re alive five or ten million years ago, you’re a wild creature yet to morph into chimpanzees, bonobos, any number of apes living and gone, and our whole group, living and gone – would this sound possible? Of course it wouldn’t, but it clearly was. I guarantee we had different desires then and we changed those, because that’s how evolution works, you are what you want and need to be and it’s never “finished,” while the world is alive and changing. Of course we can change that or we wouldn’t be here.
No creature would.
Or, you know, carry on. Human Nature, whaddayagonnado.
I wish to be remembered for this one if for nothing else, my pinned tweet: If the dinosaurs had made excuses about “Dinosaur Nature,” there would be no birds.
AST, Jeff’s Bag of Premises
addiction, a personal metaphor
An addiction to abuse, that is one way to look at it, I mean, self medicating with the weed all my life, it’s not my favourite choice of metaphor, but there is no denying it has it all, it is clearly one, there is the upside that it makes it possible not to think about the problems, it has the part we are chasing and to the part chasing us, and it’s what I always say, the “strength,” seems worth abusing our babies for, because it has the same “no go,” areas in our thinking, areas that we think are survival. If I’m not high, I’m very depressed and at risk, so it really doesn’t matter what damage weed does to my life, I imagine it would be over without my pain killer.
And if we are not “strong,” some other group of humans will wipe us out and it really doesn’t matter what damage the abuse does to my kids or anyone else if that happens – it’s the same all or nothing sort of thinking, except in my individual case it’s something like delusion and in “society’s” case it’s obviously “reality,” what is wrong with you? Of course in both cases there is an element of choice, and in both cases, we make it real whenever we want. If I ran out of weed and offed myself the next day, it would be both, a choice made real. If we became a more peaceful group of humans and some warlike bunch saw weakness and tried to wipe us out, that would be the same, humans turning that choice into reality.
If I got off the weed and lived, I would be leaving my delusion/bad choice and rejoining society in reality, it would be an addiction success story – and if modern humans encountered a group of humans not engaged in world domination and didn’t wipe them out, we would be leaving our “reality”/bad choice and rejoining the global society of creatures in actual reality.
That would be another addiction success story, if we did that instead of say, mining lithium, or clearing the Amazon for wood pellets.
I’m afraid this description works!
Seems important to note that the “reality,” referenced in this section is only another human group’s addiction to abuse and conflict, that the difference between my delusion and human “reality,” is that “reality” is not mine but some other human’s delusion. Ah, Laing, isn’t it.
If it’s not, it should be.
resilience, a dearth of fear
Counting on your resilience and your strength, this is warrior talk, don’t worry about the pain, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger stuff – a straight up warrior fantasy meme, untrue almost of almost everything that might have killed you, it’s probably only true if you’re like me and think lifting weights might kill you, LOL.
That I’ve said a million times, though and I’m having a secondary thought about it at long last, OK, again at long last, that this meme is the paradigm of punishment at play, not of trauma. It is exactly and maybe only punishment that does that, doesn’t kill you and makes you stronger, isn’t it? Ha – think a thought for thirty years, sometimes it sprouts a second one.
One of my more recurring soundbites: in the Punishment Cult, the path to Good is through the Bad and only through pain is there learning.
The cursed idea of the deterrent is that you make bad things to force people to choose good things, and so every horrible thing you do becomes good, a “deterrent.” It turns good and bad upside down. So it’s not that we’re insufficiently afraid of the disaster, it’s that we only imagine some good from it, ultimately. Bad is good, in the punishment cult, and surely the end of the world will finally teach us a lesson. We’ll figure out a better way after that. Ah, yes, punishment is the war to end all wars myth too, if we cause enough pain, if we finally reach some mad limit, then we’ll learn.
No. Not an endorsement.
We are not in the Solutions section just yet.
resilience, a lack of understanding
In the Punishment Cult, pain “doesn’t hurt,” and it “makes people choose good,” so there is no sense to be made of anything.
We see ideas and thinkers come and go, different political and economic “systems,” and none of them think punishment or oppression or abuse “hurts,” and they all force their “radical new system,” the same way, with soldiers and abuse and indoctrination and none of that “hurts,” so none of them know why nothing ever works out. The police force capitalism, the poor aren’t happy, the police force communism, the proles aren’t happy, they’ve tried everything, and they’re all out of ideas.
One father beats his child Christian, one beats his communist, and no-one notices all are abused, broken, and not in love with “the system,” whichever one it was.
It seems our alien overlords, the modern Illuminati, the G20, whoever has any power to direct society also do not understand that it doesn’t matter in what direction we are pushed, that we are harmed by the pushing whatever the direction, that it is the pushing that forms our unwanted desires. So they keep pushing, talking about their system and their laws and they push until our simple response to abuse finally rears its ugly head in a non-ignorable way, hopefully a revolution, usually a war or an internal one, a pogrom and/or an apartheid, or some combination of them all.
But nobody knows why because our simple response to abuse doesn’t exist, remember, the punishing push doesn’t hurt you. Not in the Cult. This is sort of full circle for me, that was the parenting thought that I first rejected, what the Hell do you mean, “it doesn’t hurt us?” It seems our leaders really believe it, though, and so they are probably as mystified as Dad about it, as I say, they keep pushing, so to repeat, they are not afraid enough of the future – but they also can’t change its direction because they are blind to the obvious driving force behind this repetitive disaster, the social push, the ubiquitous control and abuse of authority in all its forms that we bring to bear upon everyone, starting when they were just little children.
“I push them Left, I push them Right, nothing works.”
Whatever is a Master of the Universe, an Illuminate to do?
Desires, old, strength
Every step along the way, like when we left the trees for the savannah, this involved learning to want to be out there, when previously that had been someplace we didn’t want to be. There was something out there we had learned to want, we didn’t, then we did. We don’t remember what it was exactly, good folks working through all that now, reverse engineering our journey, I saw a new one very recently that brought that example to mind – but we read it like some automatic process of science, like it happened without our knowledge or participation. Of course we adapt because we want to, we want to continue despite losing the old resource or method.
Most people with cars got off their horses and bought a car because they wanted it, not because anyone forced them, generally long before horses got outlawed on city streets or anything. The giraffe wasn’t forced to grow that neck forever, they wanted the high leaves. Sure, some of both, a spectrum. You can be forced to eat gruel despite that you wanted to eat, there is room for manipulation in it. But I live among humans and I know what they want, I know the overarching ubiquitous goal of strength, we are a primate who exists in a state of group conflict and our desires are crude and obvious: all goes for the war effort, all else is a liability.
You want to be “stronger,” and that goal was achieved, a long time ago.
You are strong enough, please stop. It’s an arms race, a Red Queen’s race, an open ended escalation that has run its course and it is time to learn to want something else. Every human group is forever getting stronger and we readily admit any advantages are always temporary leaps in tech, soon available for all and the escalation continues. It may as well have never begun for all it changes regarding our relative positions, but we have all become monsters together chasing it, the monster under our bed is literally Dad, downstairs, drunk and raging out and we know not to let him hear our feet touch the floor.
Of course the public response is the exact opposite of that, fascism is something like conscious evolution, where they identify our species’ major malfunction and then run with it, play to your strengths, kind of thing. We have literal They Live messaging, “Be Strong,” everywhere you bloody look. The hashtags, I’ve said before. What used to be a bit of a rite of passage and a grownup secret, the shameful strength, is now hawked on every street corner, on billboards.
And yes, the “conscious evolution,” trend. We are not in this place because we are in denial of some “true,” evolution, we are here because of what we pursue, not because of what we choose not to. From what I understand the expression references a business ideology, teaches pack hunting or something, for competition. I’m just going to put this out there, unfiltered gonzo take –
nothing evolved “for competition,” what possible evolutionary advantage does a species gain competing with itself? What is an ecological niche but an area where there is less competition for a resource, and do all creatures not gravitate towards one? Territoriality, too, evolved so that most creatures don’t have to, didn’t it? Is there “competition for territory,” or is territory freedom from competition? The conflict and competition of primate life has never been the good part, and I’m here to say, chase something else, competition is one of the bad desires, if it had an upside, it’s run its course and more. We could apply some wildlife management and zoo wisdom and arrange to live without it if we wanted. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Which brings us to –
Desires, new, everything else
Ah, time to dream.
Why not start with the lie? Why don’t we, just for a first test shot, aim at the world we say we have, the one that used to be on television, the one we teach our children about in school?
We know the good things, education, democracy – group rule, that means, consensus rule – health – peace. All these sorts of good things taken together, this is the dream, isn’t it? All those things that get tossed for the war effort. I will say, the dream is a deliberate, conscious world, I mean, we already like those things, we already approve, we even make a great show of creating and maintaining those things as much as possible already.
The dream is just that any of it actually worked, right?
Dreams are the desires we wish we had, right, while we struggle in the chains of the desires we act upon, the ones we were born into. This is conservative “realism,” the desires we are given, while desires of our own are only fantasy – again, human “reality,” consists of other humans’ desires. The point is all these kinds of motivations exist already and things are nonetheless less than optimal, and having the good dream isn’t changing things like we hoped. It has always been the point of AST that adding good isn’t good enough, we need to stop adding bad too.
It hurts us, Dad, and Teacher and Officer, and Plato and Moses, the abuse you say “doesn’t hurt us,” you’re full of it, it does and you need to stop, my goodness, does no grownup ever say that out loud? It creates the bad desires – like magic, out of nothing at all. We decide to add pain consciously and voluntarily, bring pain that didn’t exist previously into the closed system of the world. It is a bad desire and it makes for bad desires and it leaves our hopes and dreams on the back burner forever.
We are shooting our dreams in the foot forever being “strong,” and “competitive.”
You know about the domestication business, right, the fox farm?
Too quickly, there was an experiment with fur foxes where they selected for an even, more manageable temperament (they would reach into a fox’s cage wearing a stout leather glove and the foxes who attacked or cowered were left out of the breeding group, while the calm foxes would be included) and in no time, a few generations, the selected for foxes developed domestic traits, doglike things, spots, floppy ears, barking, affection. I believe they fund the ongoing research by selling foxes as pets that really are pretty well suited as pets. It spawned a whole thing about domestication, and self domestication, and made the point that genes and traits are connected to other traits and genes in many ways. There is talk of human self domestication, and a good case, but today I’m going the other direction.
We select humans on the exact opposite criteria as the fox farm did, I think, if they bite, they’re great soldiers, and if they cower, they make a terrific workforce. Dad wants a fighter, Mom would like a passive one, perhaps.
The calm ones, meh, keep at ‘em, most will bite eventually – Chagnon again, sorry.
The point of invoking the fox farm was that we select for the flight or flight response for ourselves, but also it was that if you select a trait, sometimes you get a whole suite of traits, you shake up the whole spiky ball of traits, and I guarantee that strength, warrior mode, is an entire different ball of traits than the creature who would live our better dreams. I’m saying, the “strong” human doesn’t really correspond with the calm fox, not usually, I think a strong person is more like the biter, and the quietly strong person who doesn’t start any fights is an ideal, the model, more a part of the dream than the current set of actual, functioning, rough desires.
I think, like the foxes, if we stopped selecting the fighters and the flyers, as they did with the foxes, we might see a miraculous transformation, stuff we never dreamed. The fox farm grabs our imaginations for exactly that reason, right?
Though I am failing forever to express it, just hearing of the foxes made my vision seem possible, and I intuited something like, “You can’t think that from here,” meaning you can from just over there somewhere, change yourself and your new brain can have new thoughts – even if you only change one thing, sometimes. Plus again, the speed of the results in the foxes, only a few generations! One is tempted to have hope or something.
And so I advocate for what I do, against the abuse of childhood and against the Red Queen’s Race of conflict, and I wonder, dream really, of what great thoughts a less abused generation might be able to access that we cannot.
I mean, I say, “stop spanking,” but it means so much more. You can’t “stop spanking,” without first completely revolutionizing pretty much everything else about human life. If you’re not going to spank, your kid is not going to do that thing you like, not automatically. You’re going to have to convince them – and that requires some revolution, because that requires living a defensible life, it would require you making that thing you like something worth having in the first place. But I mean, if that happened it would only take one generation.
Do what you can, as much as you can. You are one of the unknown number of generations it would take, it seems obvious we are not a controlled experiment and it would take us longer than it took the foxes, so more than a few. Perhaps we can hope in terms of the Turtle Island meme, seven generations, and new thoughts, better desires awakened in each of them, spurring us on, making it easier with time.
It’s me plan.
June 8th., 2023