Who You Are

I tried this before, sorry for the repetition. I’m deleting the two previous efforts.

Convictions and diagnoses are labels and get used like identities, who you are is defined by your hospital or police record. That bites, but it’s a clue.

They talk about changing “your behaviour,” and “behaviour modification,” but we don’t reward behaviours or punish behaviours, do we, we reward and punish people, so that’s what we change, obviously. Has a bad behaviour, say theft, “changed?” Is theft not theft anymore? We change the people, and the modified people have at least one fewer behaviour, is the theory. It ain’t exactly comprehensive, but it’s the theory. Of course, we are only changed negatively, that’s what science has to say on the matter, whether it tried to say it or not. The rest is folk wisdom, old wives’ tales.

Like Pavlov and Skinner, their work was like pointing out that trees can be used to build things while we drown in the higher level effects of global logging practises, simple, basic, true enough, but willfully ignorant. I have a new catchphrase, a paragraph for every blog for the foreseeable future: “We can increase desired behaviour, we can decrease unwanted behaviour . . . ” the optimism! Yes you can, all you have to do is create systems of aversion and hurt and decide that those are not unwanted behaviours, or not in fact behaviours at all, not subject to scrutiny themselves.

Meaning, we can “improve behaviour” this way only if our own behaviour doesn’t count, meaning in no real world context whatsoever – folk wisdom, as I said. Fantasyland, a highly controlled experimental environment, potayto, potahto.

Convictions and diagnoses become who we are, not because we committed the crime or caught the illness, but because we all know we’ve had the treatment – and we know how human “treatments” work. We all have that much science in us. We might not understand someone’s original malfunction, but we intuitively understand what we did to them to “fix” the problem. I mean, there are new ideas in treatment, and some success – but the human experience forever of “treatment,” of intervention, is what Ms. Rich Harris reported, there aren’t improvements, what is produced is not what you wanted. Our forever experience of intervention is some form of an ass kicking, and of course that’s the priority experience, what sticks.

I don’t think this shady bit of reasoning proves anything, and specifically not this, but I’ll say it anyway, because everything points this way for me: we control behaviour with damage. Every behaviour we kill means a circuit in our brain that we killed and another we reinforced and our cumulative brain damage in the one area and overgrowth in the other is what causes all of our problems.

And you can’t fix that with law and order, law and order is the cause. It is my opinion here at abusewithanexcusedotcom that the abandonment of speech and reason and resorting to rewards and punishments, physical means, takes resources from something like the frontal cortex and regressively redistributes them to the lizard brain.

In terms of identity, one way to know who you are is to make you into a known thing. If you’ve been “raised right,” we maybe think we know who you are, if you’re a veteran, maybe we think we’re nailing you down, and if you are a survivor, if you’ve had the treatment, we have a better idea of who you are, because we think we know what being raised right means (in a very fluid, social way) and we think we know what having been a warrior means and we think we know what any treatment you received did to you. You may have been an unknown before, not so much now, again, because we all have that much science in us, we all know it was not our behaviour or our illness that was modified, but ourselves, our person.

Of course, using this half-logical vector to identify a person to stigmatize the person is gaslighting, the logic says whatever that identity means to us, we forced it on them, it is our shame, not theirs. Folks would have to know this sort of reasoning, though. Again, Antisocialization Theory is mercy, when all else is cruelty, a social environment where cruelty is to be expected. I say the identification of survivors as damaged is a sad truth to be changed, not a thing to be denied and argued, this is society’s crime, let’s not deny that we are victims and let’s not let the systems causing the damage off the hook for it.

This sometimes feels like the end of I Am Legend – let me help you! Admit your victimhood so we can focus on your tormentors, stop acting tough. If you don’t press charges,  no-one is going to stop the bad guys.

Jeff,

Sept. 13th., 2020

Morality Isn’t (improved)

So I heard about this morality business and I thought, “Hey, that sounds good,” see what I did there, and so I looked into it, and . . . oh.

Turns out, morality thinks it’s exempt, doesn’t apply to it, apparently.

Did the lights just get dimmer?

The following italicized 248 words are pathetic, I would delete this blog if there were nothing in it, and if I were the sort trying to pretend I’m something other than the broken fool I really am, I would anyway. Seriously talking about what’s not in the book when I’ve listened to someone else’s synopsis of page one. I’m sorry. I’m going to leave the mess here, see if there’s anything to salvage afterwards, see you on the other side.

I want to learn, but I try and I hit a wall immediately, I found a podcast, one of the Open Yale courses, Philosophy and Science of Human Nature and she starts with Plato as the basis of all western thought on the matter and it’s wrong immediately, She has Socrates saying that some things are only valuable instrumentally, meaning for what they bring, not for themselves and then lists a nation’s appearance of strength as one such thing, the deterrent, she said, ” . . . it doesn’t matter that you are dangerous, only that you seem dangerous.”

Of course it’s true that in a conversation about deterrents your actual, real world dangerousness “doesn’t matter,” and of course that is the only place in the universe that such a thing wouldn’t matter.

Of course I’m cherry-picking this, but again, this is episode one, and she said Plato and his Republic are the basis of everything and I don’t imagine this is the last we hear about nations’ actual strength, surely all of western thought isn’t concerned with virtual deterrents rather than actual strong nations?

I don’t usually use such sarcasm, but this is a special case. I’m looking around and if I never get another scrap of data about this, I am going to have to assume this really is the case. Strength is left out of her list of Socrates’ things that have value in themselves, so it only makes the one appearance, as merely virtual.

Yeah, not much. I’ll just try to describe my emotional state when I wrote this childish rant.

I’ve always done this, I must be a born teacher, I am always running some process of elimination game on you all, scanning for what’s not there, listening for what you don’t know, maybe I can help fill you out, and listening to this Yale Open course, it’s directly about human nature, and it’s where I started and I have moved on. I know it’s an exercise in proving a negative, I am mining the culture for my idea, to make sure it’s new, and my usual take – what is missing here? – finds it missing in every sentence! Not just that, but I am introduced to Plato and his thought as foundational, so missing here is terrible, world destroying news. I knew it before, if antisocialization were present in the Greek foundation of all things western, then this knowledge would be all around me already, but I suppose it was a different matter, thinking I was really seeing it, rather, hearing it myself, with my own ears.

It’s bloody torture, I can only take so much, so I break off and write instead, in a terrible regressed emotional state. I hate that I am obligated to read and learn what is wrong, that I have no venue in which to teach what is right, frustrated I couldn’t just go over to Plato’s house and set him straight.

I’ll keep listening, but this is what I saw as the core of the problem from here and now, and here is the core of our thought about it. There aren’t going to be any pleasant surprises, are there.

OK, the second half of the lecture, the fellow with the mirrors bending us towards fairness “when we’re being watched,” I love this stuff, OMG, as though it’s about the eyes and not the social control that comes when we’re observed, again, always the gaslighting, this is “psychology:” there is nothing bad in the world, only in you, you behave differently when you’re being watched, not “if someone sees me they are going to hurt or kill me,” no.

I’m mad at you all.

Psychology is the psychology department of abusing you, nothing else.

Jeff, Sept. 4th., 2020

Once Removed (improved)

The italicized 111 words below are an awful embarrassment, and I’d love to just delete the entire blog and pretend it never happened. I read it all wrong, I thought it was about the real Socrates and not Plato’s fictive one, and so everything I said is moronic and I look like an infantile git. Again, I’d love to pretend that isn’t the case but it’s too late for that.

I’m still confused, surely this argument is about something else than literal eternal souls, but I haven’t found out what that is yet, I’ll have to keep learning.

I read the Death of Socrates. The man made a reasonable etymological argument about eternal souls and declared it to be literally about eternal souls. I heard no irony or self awareness about it. It’s like what I do at my worst. Pathetic.

Is there no-one else?

LOL. Of course there is, but Socrates, hooey! Doesn’t speak well for his student either, does it? Well, the shadows on the cave wall, that’s more like it, I guess.

This is me about everything, it’s all like that, nothing is true unless it’s at least one step removed. It was probably a fine argument about our concept of eternal souls, Socrates’ final denial.

More likely only an example in an argument about arguments or something. I failed at exactly the point here, at looking that one level deeper! That’s funny even if it is me.

The same applies, the extra layer of complexity, hugely, to human nature. There is no one human nature, all agree on that, all serious people seem to agree on that – but there is one fairly universal opinion of human nature, and that is what seems worth discussing to me, so I do, bloody endlessly. It would have been a self-joke, me cussing Soak-rates out, if I had gotten the right Socrates anyway, because I am that guy, a walking talking off-putting question that is really a judgemental lecture. I might have looked a little better, but I’m working on that, and progress is inevitable.

I know, no-one cares, work harder.

Not endlessly enough yet. It’s not that we believe in Christian original sin, not even that we liked Hobbes or think that we’re still half-chimpanzee, in fact it’s not some positively held thought at all. It’s what we don’t seem to think.

Mainly, we don’t seem to think that hurting kids matters much as long as they learn the lesson. Some story like original sin may attempt to illustrate or explain this attitude, that the kid was wrong already or something, but it doesn’t matter, the myth came second and the upshot is we don’t seem to worry about it. Many young parents have big hopes of not spanking and otherwise hurting their own kids, they’re young, the memory is still fresh, but nearly all fail, somehow in the press of life the dream loses priority, things must happen, schedules must be met. This priority loss can go pretty far, all the way to where it seems a trivial matter to many folks, we all had it, we all survived it, relax, you’re not alone.

The trivial appearance of spanking is a camouflage, like carrying your expensive camera in a grocery bag so no-one thinks to steal it. The premise here belies the triviality, if it were, you would expect half of these young parents to escape it and for that to also be a trivial matter, of course the first part isn’t the case and the second part wouldn’t be, not in this world we’re in now.

I personally thought I had escaped and I thought it was difficult and I was one in a million, but it turned out it was all delusion and I was none in a million, non-existent, I had been faked out like a rat pressing a lever it learned when the researcher has it turned off. It was so non-trivial to my ex that she did it in secret and convinced the kids to keep the secret too. They were adults when I learned the truth. This blog was supposed to have real life answers for you about it, but the experiment was cynically destroyed like Bill Murray at the beginning of Ghostbusters not caring about the real psychic he’d found, and me and my kids along with it. Anyway. It’s that non-trivial. Non-negotiable with anyone so ridiculous as the father or I assume anybody else.

Just an example. I’m sure you have your own story about how not spanking isn’t as simple as it sounds, don’t you? OK, wait, I know some won’t.

Some folks never doubted, many folks grew up knowing it had to be done, and those folks may imagine that there is a world of folks out there not spanking, and who find it easy not to spank, in fact, it’s probably ascribed to laziness, this theoretical non-spanking crowd’s negligence – well, I’m here to tell them, no, there is no such population, that every human group says this about every other, that we all do it. They say the same about you.

Even the hippies, I think.

So it’s not about human nature, good, bad, or complicated; it’s about a behaviour that betrays some mute core belief about human nature. Again, all agree, your “nature” isn’t even a thing. But your unspoken attitude, your more than words attitude, now that’s a thing.

An addressable, knowable thing. So I expect we’ll keep shrugging and not thinking “human nature,” and never bringing the science to ourselves, as always. This virus knows us better than even COVID does.

Jeff

Sept. 2nd., 2020

But never mind these little ones, go to abusewithanexcuse.com and read About So Don’t Spank and So Don’t Spank, but be warned that one’s awfully long. Worth the walk, though.

Science, Damnit

I keep reading, listening these days, looking back, and everybody has something to say and no-one believes there is anything new and folks keep sending me back to this or that great mind and it’s all great fun but nobody gets it, ideas of human nature come before all of that. All of it. Plato and Moses already had ideas about people, they all did. I mean, I get it, you really can’t proceed without one. I’m not saying don’t have a thought for that, of course I’m just saying don’t have an unexamined thought for it.

You never look at it, you never account for it in your thinking, then you are the slave of this thought, as are we all and victims of it also. You never look at it, you probably think there’s only one possible thing there. This is not consciousness: a human sitting, wondering, what am I? and in denial of the answer it is already operating from. Again, you really can’t move without one, what do you do when you encounter a human in the world? How many do you suppose you would have to meet before you realized you wanted some kind of policy about it?

Of course you have one. Wondering about it is like a child screaming because someone “stole their nose.”

Aggression is the policy. That’s a policy, which of the fight or flight options is automatic, the first response, flight is some creatures’ policy and fighting is others, really large bears and people, mostly. When it’s not the crazy abundance of the salmon run, inasmuch as bears are territorial, they seem to have a negative idea of bear nature and tend not to tolerate bears themselves. Ha – that is why the bear is our brother, the same bad attitude, our brother, like we were all raised by some overarching abusive parent, divided and conquered, territorial and with a low opinion of our own kind.

Derailing my own dialogue with the heartbreaking scene of a mother bear violently one day driving her child away. If we worried about their psychology, I guess we would assume every bear is completely broken and confused for life.

You want to say aggression is not so much a matter of choice, that policy is too soft, a policy would still be a decision and the response often too swift for any such process, I know. I don’t mean then, again, that’s why the policy, so you don’t have to lose milliseconds thinking about it. The decision happens not there in the moment, we decide upon the policy elsewhere, every elsewhere. Everyone signs on to the company policy or they can find another job. It’s a policy in every sense except the absolute unconscious immediacy of its application, I’ll admit, that looks a little magical, but in every sense, including that it is not arrived at through a process of consensus, but that authority sets the policy.

With a spanking. Straight through to the old bits, the fast bits of the brain.

Everyone has problems, right? I mean, right around the kitchen table, correct in our personal lives. Well, do you believe it or don’t you? You believe it enough, right? Who doesn’t believe it? So it’s science, a job for science. Otherwise, what? Sure, it’s everybody, but never mind everybody, let’s talk about you? Everyone has problems, but how about me and my problems talk to you and your problems, in private? That should fix it, huh. Who needs science?

Failing anything else, I’m all for therapy, or talking as one might call it. I’m just saying science doesn’t have to fail at it, that there’s some rule says it must and that rule has got to go.

No-one liked their spankings, right?

That’s science, damnit. I assume if the everywhere presence of spanking doesn’t seem to call for science to you, then I imagine you also do not worry about the traumatized and suddenly abandoned young bears, that you simply label them as aggressive and carry on, with some vague but extremely useful idea about awful bear nature and not worry about why it would be that way, I mean who really cares about the absent gentle bear society, who cares how they treat each other? How they treat us is the somewhat more salient thing. Evil bear nature, bear original sin, whatever, as long as you remember the gist, LOL, us, but apparently also smaller bears. (Perhaps bears are on my mind, I was traumatized recently by a video on Twitter where a person harassed a bear and their phone recorded the bear eating them. The bear’s num-num-num noises were of course horrifying.)

Is this a model, doesn’t matter what made the bear antisocial, doesn’t matter what made Dad antisocial? The bear doesn’t say that, but Dad kinda does, doesn’t he? It’s true enough, again, in the moment, the bear or Dad’s back story isn’t the main thing.

I mean, unless you’re a creature that prides itself on being able to ponder the past and peek into the future. Unless maybe this incident wasn’t the first one or wasn’t ever going to be the last one. I swear, the damned bears would get this. As bad as their world losing moment must be, at least it’s over, bears haven’t got an entire pyramid of bears over them constantly threatening their every selfish move. I bet they know they’re hard to get along with and maybe they’re even allowed to know why, unlike some species I know.

Don’t we all agree, again, personally, that we are hardened, made aggressive, I mean don’t you blame someone for your own frustrations, maybe your own anger? Or is it bears that give you grief, is my one reader an Alaskan hermit, someone who escaped human society and then somehow forgot why? Every one of us, either pissed or something beyond it, depressed personally, to me this ought to be science. It seems clear that even if I solve my own problems, that doesn’t solve everyone else’s, clearly, even if I can feel better, fixing me is just putting out one fire and someone is setting us all alight. Putting out fires is not science, science learns where fire comes from, I mean usually. I should point out that in this case science hardly even wants credit for the firefighting, it holds psychology at a distance of plausible deniability, so that apparently if you even think of looking into the matter of who is starting the fires, biology wants anything to do with you only in the most restricted of circumstances.

It’s been too long since I’ve said it maybe: my gonzo science says that idea we have about punishments and deterrents is wrong, that it is exactly these efforts that cause human problems, that these efforts were evolved to increase our aggression and success in conflict and that this strategy has worked too well, look, everywhere, someone winning some conflict that probably never should have come up, that our strategy is conflict first because of our systems of moral abuse, not in spite of them.

It may be science that we have such systems, but these systems are not science, and mainstream science endorses them, unconscious of it all, falling back on bad old human nature in more scientific terms, aggression. I just heard the Pavlov stuff again in this torturous podcast, the exultation, “We can increase desired behaviour, we can decrease unwanted behaviour . . . ” the optimism! Yes you can, all you have to do is create systems of aversion and hurt and decide that those are not unwanted behaviours, or not in fact behaviours at all, not subject to scrutiny themselves.

Nowhere in the history of western thought is there a hint that punishment is a behaviour in itself, it always presents as a natural law. I’m all the way back to Plato’s Socrates, I suppose Plato missed it and that was that, for all the world will tell me, I was the first person to have this thought, and that is not possible, ridiculous, except show me someone. Maybe they never wrote it down. I’ve seen elsewhere that Plato was rather obtuse and authoritarian, I already knew I wasn’t going to find it there, I didn’t know that all anyone had to do to ignore it forever afterwards was follow tradition that leads back to him, I thought it was philosophy, I wasn’t thinking about it as law.

I don’t know how true the chain is there, “western thought” reads like a progress story, one building on the next, but if it’s all flawed then the narrative is lost, isn’t it? They weren’t building on one another, they were refuting one another, starting again every century, but we apparently don’t think punishment is a behaviour that warrants an explanation today, same as then. That bit survived all revisions, didn’t it? Until now, I fantasize, until now, when I earn my place atop all those flawed western thinkers, the one-eyed idiot savant king of the blind, with my only thought!

I understand there are mechanisms in place, something keeps this from our sight, and I find that suggestive that it is a behaviour we think we need and depend on, a thing we hold dear, so dear that we ourselves are not allowed to know about it so we can’t accidentally stop it, like breathing and digestion, they are safe from our thoughts, or the lack of our thoughts. Survival-level dear to us, but look, it’s not working, our aggression has gone from saving us from the neighbors or getting us their stuff to the world is burning, there is no place to run, and we and the neighbors are all going to suffer and die together in a broken world.

It’s time, now or never, face it already.

Jeff

Sept. 12th., 2020

In Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

You might not think so, Mr. Rogers didn’t talk like me, and he was coming from a different place maybe, but he and I both had the same insight, basically that stuff matters, specifically that what you do and say to children bloody matters. He was in the world, doing things, so he probably didn’t globalize everything like I do, but he clearly got that we are self-created things, that people are what people make them.

He clearly didn’t think we were born bad and needed to be beaten into line, did he, he spoke to millions of unknown kids, telling them all they were good and he knew it to be true, he wasn’t lying. He was right here with me, at good human nature, the core of matters, the centre of the human universe. He liked us as were are.

It’s pretty telling what a core matter Fred was that he gave Hannity a seizure, fascism felt the threat from good human nature and responded with hate, as it does. America is very invested in crap human nature. Of course, they gaslight and bust our chops with everything they say, they argued he told us all we were “special,” which is easily arguable, but he said we were good, that was the point, and that you don’t have to be special to be good. I guess we weren’t finished yet, if Hannity couldn’t just complain that Rogers told us we were good at that point.

They got Fred speaking my language more once. He said he saw TV for the first time and saw people throwing pies in people’s faces and thought, “What a wonderful tool – why do they use it for that?” and that’s pretty much what I’m always answering too, why do we apparently think there can’t be enough meanness in the world? Oh – there’s a bit about people not seeing his depth, the depth of supporting children because it was a kids’ show and I’m thinking if he had that problem then I might as well remain a crazy idiot on Twitter, what’s the difference, the world is not going to hear good human nature if I behave better, is it?

“I think that those who would try to make you feel less than who you are, I think that’s the greatest evil.” Said Fred. He didn’t say this, but he was about the only one in our lives not doing that and he knew it, he saw the need and tried to fill it, he did more to fill it than anyone.

All my theory blogs are turning personal these days, I don’t know which blog to post them in anymore. I’m feeling it all the time these days, this ball-busting effort, people trying to make me fell less than I am.

“Let’s take the gauntlet and make goodness attractive in this so called next millennium. That’s the real, that’s the real job that we have. I’m not talking about Pollyannyish kind of stuff, I’m talkin’ about down to Earth actual goodness. People caring for each other, in a myriad of ways, rather than people knockin’ each other off all the time. I mean, I don’t find that funny at all.”

OK, first, I didn’t protect myself as well as Fred did, I find some of it funny.

Second, you know me, he’s all about bringing the love, I’m all about just stop bringing the hate, I think love is what it could be but I think we’re in hate’s causal loop, we can’t just add love and leave the hate as is. It’s got a life of its own, it’s self perpetuating. Some love just makes life more tolerable, it doesn’t stop the causation, the cycle of abuse. People “knockin’ each other off all the time,” that’s not just TV, that’s human social control, isn’t it?

But yes, Fred, that’s the job, get people wanting good things, when we want them, we’ll get them, but we find ourselves wanting bad things to happen instead, spankings, incarcerations, a fearful population that only behaves for fear of reprisal. I hate to say it, here comes the one-upmanship, I wonder if Rogers thought the good things were soft, not science. If he underestimated the physical power of his enemy, that he gave what was needed, but that the kids probably got their asses kicked before they could understand his mere words. That his was always an uphill battle, of course he knew it, what am I saying? OK, nothing about him, but just me saying again that a neutral or blank human nature doesn’t stop the abuse either. Fred was Alice Miller’s one enlightened adult for millions of kids, he surely saved countless children from despair, but it was an uphill battle because our parents got to us first.

I really needed to hear that first quote, for personal reasons. That’s what it’s all about for me personally now, is why did I marry for life someone who needed me to be less than what I was, why could I imagine nothing better?

It’s the greatest evil, I guess it’s everywhere.

Jeff

Sept. 10th., 2020

AST and Addiction

How long have I managed to keep this at bay, how long have I been avoiding this completely obvious thing?

I use caffeine, I drink tea with milk and honey all day long, and I’m a pothead, also obviously, all day long – so I’m a quiet, peaceful addict, Mother’s Little Helper sort of thing, not hurting anybody, or anybody but me. Let’s start from there, from the addict’s reason to be. I think life is too sad generally, and my life specifically, that to face it with a sober mind seems overly painful and through the progress of addiction, seems increasingly so and sobriety has become sort of unthinkable.

Why it’s tolerable high, I don’t know, I have ideas, of course, but I don’t trust my addict thoughts all that much more than you do, I think maybe it’s a degree of separation, if I’m high, maybe I’m wrong, maybe things aren’t so bad, I always have that option, that buffer, the suspension of disbelief. Whereas I worry that if I am rational and sober and see my life and life and it’s the same that I’ll have to accept all the bad stuff . . . and I think I’m especially sensitive or something, I don’t think I can deal with all that and carry on, and it’s partly that I don’t want to, I do not want to be the sort of strong person who gets over stuff and gets on with their life. On the one hand, it’s moralistic because things matter and everything isn’t just some obstacle to be gotten over, while on the other, I have never felt there was a reason to live, I don’t understand what propels people forward and the reason we all find, our progeny, was not real for more reasons than addiction and was taken away from me, and even retroactively taken away.

Meaning, I thought I had a reason to live, for a decade or two. Even my selfish genes can’t succeed at making me want to live, even that animal default is not apparently for me. I don’t think it was always the case, but it is for me now, that it doesn’t seem a choice between addiction and life, it seems a choice between addiction and death instead, and if I can stay high and alive it seems like a positive choice, while I and my children still live, perhaps there is hope, as people say.

Yes, my addiction was an issue. The ex was a sober type, you know, like a lot of narcissistic psychopaths. Like, I said. Nobody thinks she’s the brilliant sort that has those sorts of problems. Enough said, too much.

But, having confessed all this, this issue is the same as abuse, I am not the only sad person, I am not the only addict, same as you were not the only spanked child, these are not only personal problems, science owes us that it look at things so common as having common, more than personal causes. That theme is getting its own blog very soon.

I feel if I could be sober and not be afraid of any cliffs because I am seriously afraid I’ll jump – I’m avoiding the ferry, not visiting the mainland, ferries are cliffs – I fear that I would be out of options and have to accept my antisocialization at last, that I have protected my childhood self and wonder, sensitivity and caring for nearly sixty years, but that to rise above this, I must find a way to hate the woman I married, write her off and to forget about my children . . . this was not supposed to be the goal, I was conceived in the first month of the sixties and born in the first year, we are supposed to grow in love and understanding, that’s what I want to do, I do not want myself to be “what’s important right now,” and to get used to this hurt. The self-righteousness says if anything is supposed to hurt, isn’t this it?

I don’t believe in the bad human nature, so nothing is inevitable and so nothing is to be accepted and gotten over, it’s all something to be fixed, or to simply be borne until the truth outs itself and everyone catches up. But I can’t, I need help or something.

OK, maybe I found some progressivism in it, that maybe I’m not the only one whose addiction is a sort of a rope-a-dope with antisocialization, maybe a lot of addiction is indicative of people who don’t want to toughen up, people who would rather not fight. Of course, consuming pain killers is desensitization, it is antisocialization, maybe we’re only talking about different flavours of it. Hey – do I perhaps think of it as a way to desensitize that isn’t permanent?

Another chance to opt out of something, I can chemically desensitize, get through this present pain – and then if things improve, I can sober up and face a real life with a more tolerable level of pain in it?

I think that’s always the theory, and then, as they say, we get caught and can’t escape – but like all things with Antisocialization Theory, the world tells you it’s an error, and a personal one on your part when AST says that in fact it’s a perfectly normal and reasonable response to an overly stressful situation. We “get caught and can’t escape,” because the conditions never improve, do they? Not the general, underlying ones. I will sober up when things get better, which, apparently not anytime soon, huh. This is how AST shines, it is the other side of a lot of stories that didn’t have an other side other than what is wrong with you. It says, “escape” to where?

Here?

2020, as we say on Twitter? Of course, addiction was the escape. When it’s better on the outside than it is in the prison of addiction, I’ll be happy to come out, re-join society, absolutely, and I expect a lot of folks will. That’s just science and evolution, that animals will gravitate towards the less threatening environment, we don’t go in search of other landscapes when our needs are met where we are. Othering of addicts is very anti-evolution, very naïve about biology. You clean sober folks wanna fix the environment up – start meeting people’s needs, or do you just wanna keep trying to sell us complainers and conscientious objectors the permanent impairment instead?

Rhetorical. I know.

Cheers. Here’s lookin’ up your old address.

Jeff

Sept. 8th., 2020

The Odds

When I was young, I wondered if there was anything for it, if things could turn out alright for people and for the world. It seemed a coin toss, lacking any real information regarding the matter; in youth it was a fifty-fifty propositions, even money. Looking into some things as I grew and aged, our ideas about human origins, about psychology, about evolution and biology, I saw my expectations managed downwards from that even money scenario pretty steadily towards a zero.

On my way to zero, I had an idea. I pursued it in various forms and increasing depth, and now I have something I think I can believe about what the trouble is and what the solution would be, and I must say, there is a sense of achievement – but someone else’s zero is happier than one’s own one in a million. A guess of “no chance” is still a guess, and as such is still a coin toss, somehow, enough for denial if you need it to be.

A large fortress of thought built to withstand all arguments that says realistically practically no chance, now why the Hell did I build that again? Will it hold a rope and something short of two hundred pounds? Truth at all costs, I said.

Consequences, schmonsequences, I said!

The first four focus groups just laughed and the fifth one I barely escaped with my life, ending the testing program, you’re just going to have to take my word for it. It’s possible to turn this thing around, but I have been unable to convince anyone about it, so the odds at present are none in what, three hundred followers? If I get one, we’ll have a “one in” number in a very shady study indeed.

The jury is still out regarding the value of truth, philosophy finds it unattainable and biology in particular seems to discount it to nothing, that the only truth is what keeps you alive and any truth not in our interest, we allow ourselves to ignore. I do not understand this, I thought math and physics proved the matter, that the universe makes some kind of sense beyond the human being. Someone like to spell that one out for stupid little me, how the biology department doesn’t know we went to the moon?

So, that was my experience, is there a chance started at fifty-fifty and moved down towards nothing, but I think I saw something and it stopped at one in a million – that is a negative experience, at first glance, certainly one in a million is a great downgrade from even money – but it stopped. I stopped it before zero.

This is a great example of life history and experience being the opposite of reality when a person starts with a bad idea – and fifty-fifty was a bad idea – ninety-nine versus a hundred, that’s not a big difference, a perfect, literal single percentage point, but the difference between one and zero is everything, a perfect infinite percent.

If a reader is perhaps young, perhaps simply not cynical, perhaps not a professional in one of the human nature related fields, maybe they’re still at the even money assessment, and if I offer a one in a million explanation, it must surely feel like a dark lecture, probably feels like Hitler screaming at you or something – that’s how I hear the zero chance voice of EP, honestly. But if a reader is a pro, if you, dear reader have had your expectations reduced to zero somehow, I hope I offer you everything.

And you’re also probably an educator or something and in some position where that matters even more than it does for most of us.

Jeff

Sept. 7th., 2020

Arf ‘n Arf

Guys, you’re not getting it.

This “it’s complicated” version of human nature, this “capacities for evil and for good” business isn’t helping anything. People can still do evil and say “Meh, human nature,” as they always have, you have changed nothing, proved nothing for all your research, the Bible had that much.

I don’t understand the point of this status quo chatter. If you went on a treasure hunt and didn’t find the treasure, why are we buying your book about it? What other rags to rags stories about wasted lives finding nothing litter the bookstore shelves?

Like all abuse, it serves another function, there is no information in “it is what it is and it could be anything,” nothing to learn in this lesson. All there is in that is pain, sadness, and . . . antisocialization. First it tells you we don’t know what you are, but “good” is definitely not it, and then it says if you do evil, we’ll understand. Worse than useless, all this neutered verbiage.

Good people telling this story, from the likes of Sapolsky on down, good people who want good things for people – good people failing at finding the good human nature, as they no doubt knew they would, as I also assumed I would, because we all know about all the previous folks who tried and failed also, and also because we all have the evolved bias to think bad things about ourselves, because that enables us to do bad things to one another.

“It’s complicated” is no different, brings the same results, and why not, it includes bad old human nature, confirms it and only hopes to add a little something good. That’s not good enough. The only thing that will be good enough is some consciousness of the matter of what ideas about human nature do. If you think “it’s complicated” is qualitatively different from “it’s bad,” you must not be thinking about what such ideas bring to the world, and that’s what they are for, to bring their problem and our solution for them into the world. Therefore, to bring good things into the world, we must concoct a good human nature to believe in.

And surprise, that is an easy matter! Turns out it was convincing a creature that it’s bad that’s the trick, the impossible trick evolution has managed with us, talking us out of simple self-preference which is part of most creature’s survival instinct/bias. In fact, I have already concocted it for you. Here it is: we are good, because we break ourselves to make ourselves bad and we wouldn’t have to do that if we already were.

You have an attitude or a bias.

I have logic.

Jeff

Sept. 6th., 2020

About So Don’t Spank

This is pinned to the top of the blog, the newest ones start just after this short one. Cheers.

The entire thing is an argument for reality, for the world of struggling people and the world of everything else over the world of words, the world of false stories and amoral commands. It starts with “the Word,” as an example of myth and a metaphor for our mad tendency to prefer what we say a thing is over what it is.

Thrown in is some gonzo evolutionary biology and a complaint that evolutionary psychology follows older modes of thought and fails to bring psychology to the supply side of things, fails to analyse the alpha or the elders, fails to question their desire for power and control. OK, not quite that clearly, but it does! LOL

I spend a lot of time trying to explain where we might have gotten a positive nurture, or a positive punishment idea, just to show it can’t be done because the proof was in fact negative . . . that in fact the social control of punishing wrongdoers is negative. The mimic meme tries to explain how we abuse ourselves bad while thinking we’re deterring ourselves good, and how the badness must have been a selectable thing in the past. Again none of it this clearly, but more thoroughly.

I want to shorten that part, tear it out and do it again – but I know I’ll just type it all back in from memory. Maybe some day. But bear with me, I think the cheese is there, if you make it through, brave reader.

Antisocialization theory is a definitions chapter, trying to explain how the negative nurturing and the abuse of punishing operates and how it is a strategy we have to be bad and bring pain, not “our natures,” and so that all the bad things we write off to our evil natures are in fact a choice we make, and as such, within our control.

The AST Theory of War says we create repress and store bad feelings as a group selected function, to enhance our own aggression for the group conflict life we lead, that any roughness about our lives charges our frustration etc. for war and that it is a small matter to exploit this reservoir of anger, and this is what the spankings are selected for. There is some more gonzo science, a bit of genetics.

The first two thirds makes the case that we are not born evil, that in fact we hold a worse moral position, that we are actively choosing the evil, for conflict, say for defense if you like, but the ending says that proves that our choices are real and matter, that this state of affairs was not inevitable and we can make other choices – and they will matter too.

Basically, I’m saying anyone who says we are on rails and “human nature,” sorry, we can’t turn around, is stuck in the old creation story, has missed the whole point of evolution which is adapting to problems and changing. If they say, sorry, it’s war and capitalism because you’re still a chimpanzee, they have missed evolution altogether, haven’t they?

This work says that we can and need to evolve. It says that is not vague and out in space, it says not spanking and cutting back on our social control would be that evolution, exactly that evolution that what we have now is because we’ve been dishing out abusive punishments already for a long time – not because God thought you should be born evil.

And certainly not because of your “genetic heritage” as a chimpanzee. I checked into it. They are not doing this shit, world wars and destroying the Earth, it’s us.

Jeff

Aug. 29th., 2020

Here’s the long – 29,000 words, 55 pages – version:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/17953841/posts/2881721280

My Latest

That blog up there now, I must tell you about it.

First, I’m sorry, I’ve kept writing, I published way too soon, if you saw it before sometime yesterday, it was awful. I have big plans to leave it alone now, after Friday evening here in Tijuana time, Aug. 28th., 2020. I’m happy with it, like sort of satisfied, I think maybe I finally got the whole idea out. I’m feeling different than usual after finishing something, I’ve sort of stopped the always writing in my mind thing, it’s gone a bit quiet. For once.

Second, it’s terribly long, this is not a blog but a tiny, rather dense little book, I’m at almost 29,000 words, 55 pages of it, a two hour read, I think.

Does anyone want a chapter release, one or two every Sunday for a while instead?

Anyway, I’m done messing with it, unless I get crazy and take it down and try to sell it instead. Cheers, all.

 

Jeff

Aug. 28th.,  2020