Inobut – the Crackpot’s Dilemma

Believe it or not, I have some crude idea of my chances of being right about antisocialization theory.

Can we just say, “not good,” spare my ego a little?

Cue the waiter sketch from Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” – “That’s why I became a blogger! I know it’s not much of a philosophie, but, well . . . “

I’ll stop there and say instead – but what if? Wait –

In these darkening times, I keep seeing “The Mote in God’s Eye” every time I close my eyes, a science fiction popular novel – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle. There’s a planet, populated by primate-like creatures, from civilized sorts on down, but when our people start doing some archaeology there, what they find is disturbing, it’s just layer upon layer of ruins, stretching back as deep as they can dig, showing a history of civilization and collapse, a simple life cycle, repeating forever – and you know books are really about us.

In real life, we and our planet are in all sorts of trouble, but all signs are we are simply not up to turning ourselves around. More importantly to my mind, the things we do attempt, the only efforts we seem able to make amount to a fight, over what’s left, over how to respond, over who is causing more harm. Capitalism is a fight, money is a fight, everything is a fight. We try to stop the petrostate, they fight back, because fighting is our one size fits all answer for everything. This state of affairs, that the oil CEO sees a fight before him rather than the world dying under him, this bias, this prioritization, this is how you bake a lasagna of dead civilizations for future alien archaeologists’ core samples.

We’re an overly social species. We force the prioritization of human concerns over all else, over reason. In fact, it is my contention that the two are opposites, social and rational. The human difference is this magic trick, that we are able to create irrationality, force one another to do the impossible and unthinkable.

So, that’s what I worry about, that’s what I’m trying to solve.

Taking it head on, if I may mention, macho bloody mountain of intellectual pursuits! Nothing but the very top for me, saving the world. If I may also mention, I’m alone up here, me and some hippie Sherpas; the nabobs of human origins won’t even comment. Like any parent, like anybody really, they are very invested in punishment and do not wish to discuss that punishment is made of abuse.

Back to the point, I know it’s a long shot that I alone have happened upon it, of course it is. I squeaked into Mensa, but I am the lowest of the Mensans, nothing about me suggests I should figure out something the Einstein types, the world’s geniuses haven’t. All I can say is, if I think I’m right about my AST, I can only say it was a confluence of accidents, some rare alignment of the stars; perhaps I have a genetic mutation that makes it possible to worry about it for decades, that may be one of the stars – but what if?

The thing is, having this anomaly, or having been on this train of thought for long enough, I feel I’m at that stage of the investigation, that having eliminated other possibilities, what remains must be the answer, however apparently unlikely.

Are there competitive theories?

What other ideas are on offer to save the world?

Granting for the moment that my diagnosis is right, that it’s the fighting that needs to stop, what other suggestions are being made to address the fighting that have any hope compared to us moving a great deal of the hurt out of the “Pro” column for the very first time?

You know, an early impression in all this for me was that the idea of capital punishment hurt my feelings, my hope for us, to think that the good folks were willing to break the first commandment, and if so, what did we expect of any bad ones?

Religion has hopes for divine intervention, but it seems the fight has infected their efforts in the real world, I think anyone but any particular church’s adherents would say, that on balance, religion serves the fighting, that the basic biology of human group conflict is mostly what is happening there, religion is a group identifier more than a pacifier.

Secular progressivism seems good, but while we learn more and more about how we are destroying things, the powers that be are apparently refusing to learn and carrying on despite public opinion – even apparently hurrying the process, it looks like. Modern progressives have good opinions, good ideas, and they always have had, and here we are, nonetheless. Mostly, it’s another fight to join, just a better one, a more moral one, but another battle, like all things. How do I also complain that we’re not winning, if I’m supposed to not be endorsing the fight?

I don’t think we ever “win” this bigger threat, the end of the environment, by winning any fights. My conclusions, unlikely in the extreme, I know, but what are yours, are that the only way we have a future is we somehow eventually convince ourselves that the fight is the problem. We have to learn to not want to fight. It means we have to start setting things up differently.

It means when the next generation complains about a violent world, you don’t take them to the gym and teach them how to box.

It means when your toddler hits its sibling, you don’t say, “No, child, little people don’t hit each other, big people hit little ones. Like this, see?”

It means lots of things that are unlikely in the extreme! Of course, our interest is that our kids can fight – just not that everyone else’s can, and, relatedness, I know. Of course the world runs how on the powerful like it, not how on peers work things out, so the parental lesson is real world education, right?

But “everyone else” fighting includes some very bad stuff, oil CEOs, soldiers of all sorts, crime. So, what if?

What if there were some way, some highly dubious way that may not be a magic bullet (and rejects bullet metaphors!) to fix everything immediately but would possibly begin to turn things around very soon and show us the way? What if it seemed like the only way?

Wouldn’t you try?

 

 

Jeff

February 2nd., 2020

The Problem of Evolutionary Psychology, Part #2

The basic idea of EP was straightforward enough, that evolution is what has made living things and systems what they are and that psychology is not exempt, that the objects of psychology are evolved things, created by forces associated with evolution, selection, adaptation, etc., I think this is how people think about it, yes? My point, and this is my specialness, be it a disorder or some bit of cleverness, is that that syllogism goes both ways.

That it’s an interaction, that psychology is also causative in this evolution we’re undergoing – and psychology means pain, abuse. I’m saying, if you say we self-domesticate, if you’re saying “civilization,” “law and order,” and/or “parental structure,” then you’re missing it, because those are the things that send us to the therapist, that is not the therapy, not the psychology, that’s the abuse!

We self abuse. We may look domesticated most of the time, but surely you know, domestication isn’t enough. Large, domestic animals are still dangerous – but that is not the point, the point is that this abuse is a part of our evolution, part of who we are, a large part of this who the modern us is, and I don’t see anyone accounting for it. I see it as an unconscious blind spot for everyone, scientists very much included. Again, I see “your mind has evolved, your mind is part of an animal,” and yes, of course.

What I do not see is “your abuse of one another is evolved” because . . . ? Because our abuse of each other doesn’t exist? It’s an accident, or some default that requires no scientific inquiry? Because we do it for “good reasons?”

What I do not see is “your abuse of one another affects you, influences who you are” in evolutionary terms or contexts. We have gotten this far at the level of individual lives, and that is positive, that is proper psychology. But I do not see “your multi-generational (back to at least some period of prehistory) abuse of one another has made your species who they are.”

And that’s what I’m after, that is my contribution.

Again, the existing origin story for our species seems to explain us well enough when things are going well, but it fails to explain when things go sideways while simultaneously refusing to consider thousands of years of abuse, probably hundreds of thousands or more as factors in our evolution. It’s a fair weather explanation and then it either defaults to Christian Original Sin or pretends that somewhere in our animal past we have the sort of madness for huge wars and that it’s “still with us.” This narrative supports moral abuse, and so we are still self-directing our evolution in the wrong direction while we wonder why it isn’t getting better.

We know “nurture” from its negative, we know abuse, and we know nature, so we have a truth table, we think about nature and nurture of a person, we think what are they, and what have they suffered and learned? We think about nature and nurture of a species, we think what are they, and what have they learned? There is a missing element in this table, the most important bit of this picture.

 

 

Jeff

January 29th., 2020

 

Part #1:

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2020/01/28/the-problem-of-evolutionary-psychology/

The Problem of Evolutionary Psychology

I tried to “do no harm,” tried to live without taking from anyone, without pushing anyone around, without hurting anybody. It hasn’t worked out – well, I mean, I survived pretty well, I’m almost sixty, it is theoretically possible, at least with the running head start of being male and white and let’s say “possessed of a certain low cunning” – it hasn’t worked out that no-one got hurt, or that anyone noticed my attempted passive sainthood. I’ve tried to write the details elsewhere, for today this is the point, not hurting anybody didn’t work out.

Through all my frustration and hurt about it, I have also been wondering why that would be and what I have determined is that you cannot evolve for a negative any more than you can prove one.

I’ve decided that we probably lack the genes to pay attention to things that don’t hurt, that what adaptations is an organism supposed to make to survive a fellow who was never going to hurt you? There may be some attraction there for some sexual selection, and perhaps some adaptation would be necessary for that to be an option – but people, men who offer no harm are not in any large majority, so these sorts of adaptive ideas, these selective forces if they exist, will be weak.

This basic one-sidedness of life, that peace and non-violence do not carry equal power in the world as their opposites, this must audit all of social science, and any social science must concern itself with the more powerful forces, pain, threat, and death, for the simple reason that these things exist, whereas, in scientific terms, as selective forces, or adaptations, or a real measurable thing in almost any way – peace and non-violence do not.

A popular school of thought has it that “nurture,” as a positive thing, a force to improve, or enhance has evaded psychological research for more than a hundred years, and of course this is why, they are trying to prove the negative, looking for an adaptation to a negative (meaning non-existent) stimulus.

Abuse and pain, those are real things, forces with objects and results. Psychology, the real kind, concerns itself with pain and abuse and adaptations to those things. Which brings me to paleopsychology, EP.

You know the old fashioned way of talking about each of our views of life, how we can compare Socrates’ and Kant’s “philosophies?” “ . . . than what is dreamt of in your philosophie,” like that, well, of course psychology is like that too, there is the general term, but we each have one also – and in my EP, all that matters is pain and abuse.

Game theory – this is not psychology – where is the pain? Where is the inner life? When you’re engaging in such basic arithmetic, this is sort of an end run around your inner life, you are doing the very opposite of psychology. Game theory is stripped down conflict, with any psychology carefully pared away.

Civilization, law and order, what we look like when we are “behaving,” this is not psychology – again, where is the inner life, where is pain? I mean, except as theory, threats, deterrents. Most EP sounds like boot camp, interested in everything except the interests of psychology. When that civilized, socially controlled ape they describe is behaving, building institutions, well fed and liberal, sure, the male-centric EP story of the usual sort has an explanation for that, I guess, we avoided the punishment, did the right thing – but in every generation when we succumb to his need for blood and war – you need actual psychology for that.

Because for as much as and as long as we’ve been “civilized,” we’ve been abused and abusing and prone to fits of world destroying rage.

Of course the overall, socially understood version of EP is toxic. That’s sort of a rule: name a thing as its exact opposite, this is how these toxins are made, call a primer on conflict, a version of the Art of War, “psychology.” OK.

I’ve been missing the lede, but the insight here, the part that brought me back to the computer after quite a lull, is that this basic one-sidedness of life, that the power is pretty much all on the dark side, this means that EP is never going to show us the way forward, that the road to peace is simply not in there. A serious look at it will identify the pain, the abuse, and where all that has brought us – a worthy goal, my goal, to be sure – but what it will tell us is what not to do.

And that seems to be the opposite of what the purveyors of EP are saying, isn’t it?

It’s almost like they’re just looking to justify something.

Ending these things always feels like I’m taking some easy way out, somehow, and maybe it’s true. This stuff hurts me, seeing my own nasty conclusions, it’s not so much dropping the mic as just running away from the sound of my own voice – hmmm, same as stuttering.

 

 

Jeff

January 28th., 2020

Part #2:

https://abusewithanexcuse.com/2020/01/29/the-problem-of-evolutionary-psychology-part-2/

The Grand Unifying Theory

I writ this for Twitter, and that’s all I have lately, apologies.

I think the content is still decent, though.

 

  1. Grown-up, nasty talk, TW: Nazism.

Nazism wouldn’t be resilient if they weren’t onto something, if there wasn’t some awful grain of truth for it to exploit. If you know me, you know, that kernel is the fight, our life of group conflict.

/more

  1. It was in that fool’s paper, it’s a staple of theirs, that society is “more efficient” when it’s monoethnic, and that’s my proof. Simply living doesn’t lack efficiency, that’s a term for a task, a goal.

/more

  1. The thing is, humans are at their most efficient when they are on the warpath. I don’t see an endgame, if the rationale is efficiency, it’s the war machine provides this organization and clarity of purpose. NOT an endorsement.

/more

  1. Who are they if they finish the enemy? What’s a Nazi in a monoethnic world? I believe it’s a war ideology, and it doesn’t end, it’s “goals” are not really goals, constant war is the goal.

/more

  1. I do think it’s the clarity, the efficiency, that feels like a purpose to them – to people generally, in a less focussed way. Group conflict is central to human life, it’s supposed to be what that giant cranium is for.

/more

  1. It’s why it’s so easy for us to just hate and blame “the base,” the same way they do us, you’re made for it. It’s so natural, in fact, that it’s probably possible to get us acting like that about an enemy that doesn’t really exist.

/more

  1. It’s also why that seems enough, to hate and blame and just keep up the never-ending fight between us, the libtards and the Right, again, to live in conflict, unfortunately we have evolved for this, it feels normal.

/more

  1. So it’s the fight that is the problem, it’s the fight that never ends, that we never really question. Our answer to the downsides of fighting is, fight harder, don’t lose – the fight is unquestioned. “isms” are rationalizations.

/more

  1. This is why our troubles are so intractable – we haven’t addressed our only real trouble once yet, the fight. We argue about the reasons we fight, every demographic asks, stop fighting with ME, please – but how do we “fight” fighting?

/more

  1. This is what humans all share, our common problem. We don’t even have the language, see what I had to do there? Not having the language probably means we don’t have the software, unfortunately.

/more

  1. So the good folks, the woke, the liberals, the socialist purists, whatever era’s name for it works for you, we . . . fight. That wasn’t really the plan, but we can’t know it, the fighting is what we hope to stop, but . . . what else?

/more

  1. I mean, it’s self defense. You can’t stop fighting or you’ll be wiped out, and we libtards can’t not fight this global fascism, I’m just saying, a fight can never end the fighting, there is no endgame for liberals either.

/more

  1. The only end to the fight is folks just have to stop themselves, like, willingly. I can’t make you stop fighting, that’s fighting. You have to do that, I have to do that, we all must. One idiot wanting to fight ruins everything.

/more

  1. Because now we have to lower ourselves to his idiocy and fight him to stop him. This is not a solution, this is the victory of the problem over the solution, really, over all solutions. Problem? – a person fighting.

/more

  1. Solution – TWO people fighting! Socialized to the level of law and order – ALL people fighting. The problem going viral, taking over the world, this has always been our “solution.” There’s violent folks out there – so fight them.

/more

  1. A few miscreants want to use violence to push people around, take an unequal share – so we all learn to fight, learn to deal out the deterrents. Self-domestication hasn’t succeeded completely on us as its objects

/more

  1. – but it has made us all whip-crackers, it’s succeeded in making all of us try to domesticate one another, it’s made horse-breakers of us all. We may or may not be domesticated, but we are all domesticators.

/more

  1. The group control, the application of rules and punishments, it “works,” to manage unwanted behaviour to some degree – “some degree” means sometimes, and sometimes means intermittently.

/more

  1. I’ve said before, but I’m nobody: rules and punishments (and rewards) bring intermittent rewards – sometimes it “works,” so we do it all the time. In the experiments with rats etc., these result from false, imposed causality.

/more

  1. The rat learns that a lever gives a treat, or stops a shock, and when the lever works intermittently (when we interfere), the poor creature seems unable to shed its belief in the lever, in the causality it learned.

/more

  1. This is parenting, at the personal level, human society at the higher one – breaks my heart, not going to lie. I think I’ve had a peek outside the cage and seen that prick in the lab coat screwing with our lever. Of course, he is us.

/more

  1. Intermittent rewards are what we get for our systems of morality and punishment, this intermittent civilization, interspersed with war, part-time benefits – but Murphy’s Law seems to apply to everything, like Ockham’s razor,

/more

  1. and while the rewards of our methods are intermittent, the downsides perhaps are not, benefits come and benefits go, but costs accumulate, to paraphrase and adapt that Irish saint for biology.

/more

  1. If we were the rat, perhaps it would mean the lever also powered something for us, charged a battery, and that part we like, we don’t stop that. We the rat, may or may not get our grape, but we the scientist, get our battery charged.

/more

  1. Again, this is self-domestication – but we do not have batteries. It charges our aggression, is the thing. Pretty reliably. And in a pretty well documented fashion if you simply look at it this way, the correct way.

/more

  1. If we see cause and effect, free of overriding taboos about what those may be, then aggression is an effect, and abuse is a cause – in other contexts, we all know this. It isn’t salient, we think, because we don’t mean to abuse.

/more

  1. Abuse, we say, is accidental, and so rare. Abuse we say, is wrong, and so rare – all false. Abuse is the force we wield with our slightly more developed concept of “punishment,” of “morality.” Abuse is the main ingredient.

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  1. We mean to, AND there are plenty of accidents AND there are plenty of times when it’s wrong, is the truth. Part of the lie and the myth is that barring accidents and crime, people are basically unabused – the baseline.

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  1. In the old twin study parenting views, this group may be the children of the “authoritative,” middle way parents, certainly that was determined to be the baseline – and no consideration of accidents or wrongful abuse either

/more

  1. except the qualifying rules. So it’s a baseline – and there is a certain amount, a certain level of punishing abuse which I say has a correlate in a certain level of aggression in the population. Baselines are not zeroes.

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  1. The twin study conclusions seemed to see zeroes. These amounts, these levels, are by no means uniform across society. Generalizations can be made, and indeed it is the business of science to do so,

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  1. and it seems clear that one side of the political spectrum is harder on its children and its subjects than the other, one side more strict on law and order, that in fact, this is the major criteria that divides politics and life.

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  1. Again, this indicates, that in other contexts, we are all aware of this power in our lives. Again, for clarity: these differing levels of belief in punishing means different levels of faith in a system of dependable abuse

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  1. and the intermittent reward of improved behaviour. Of course, it’s very important that everyone behave better intermittently, which, welcome to human society. This is the magic of my Antisocialization theory:

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  1. we are punished, beaten perhaps, by our people, maybe our parents, maybe the neighborhood boys and so our battery is charged and we are ready to fight someone else. This is the dark trick of society.

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  1. full circle perhaps, this is the Nazi: beaten, batteries charged by his Christian parents and/or peers, ready to discharge on someone his society tells him to. And you heard me right: because of our “moral system” of abuse.

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  1. Because we believe in spanking and such. Not kidding. What other creature does, and what other creature has got itself into such straits?

/more

  1. OK, here it is, my summation, >40 Tweets:

Jeff’s Unifying Theory of Human Conflict

 

Jeff

Jan. 23rd., 2020

A Theory of Conspiracies (again)

The gears of justice move slowly and the gears of Jeff’s mind even more so.

Worse still, I said that yesterday when I wrote this, and it hadn’t quite sunk in yet then either! New lede – “conspiracy theory” means hate speech.

In what had been a separate and minor line of thinking for me, I have been saying that conspiracy theories are replacement problems, that they are preferable to the majority view because they redefine the problem as much smaller, you know, it’s not that we’re alone in an unimaginably vast universe of space, rock, and fire – it’s that a few thousand atheists just want you to think that and so they faked the moon trip. It’s not that humans have a billion fires burning constantly warming the planet – it’s (again) a few thousand people selling some lie for . . . why, again? For their academic salaries, right, I forgot. I mean, I forgot for a reason, salaries are not corruption, or bribery! When we’re talking about the Petro-economy, academic salaries are not where the money driving things is!

Smaller problems, fixable problems, a few hundred, a few thousand conspirators instead of the whole human race and their systems.

Well, my majority line of thought finally heard this one and stepped in, of course the replacement problem is smaller, but that’s not the point. The point is the replacement problem has a name and an address. The point is the replacement problem is a relatively small group of humans and it maybe doesn’t need to be said and that’s why no-one says it, but we have always had the answer for that particular problem, smaller groups of humans.

You see, the problem with the climate scientists, in this “theory” is that they are drawing a salary, buying food and shelter with it, and so staying alive. I was wrong, it’s not too stupid too address – rather, it’s too horrible to contemplate. (This, unfortunately, is probably true of a lot of the Right’s “empty” talking points.) So, conspiracy theories are violent, fascist, of course they are. That’s why they proliferate so easily, we have a lot of hard and software for that sort of problem.

Conspiracy theories are when you replace a problem with a kill list, a bunch of “them” to “do something” about. Hate speech, definitively.

The American First Amendment protects Americans’ right to say what they like, but I understand there’s a clause for hate speech, that once the violence is “immanent,” speech encouraging it is supposed to be restricted, and Rachel’s abortion special last evening really made the point that no one is prosecuting that law, because abortion doctors have been murdered and politicians still use blood libel rhetoric and get elected rather than go to jail with gag orders. So, frankly, I’m probably late worrying about the climate scientists, they’re probably being killed too, is that right?

After all, we’ve already gotten used to the idea that some of the population thinks they don’t deserve to eat, by listening to the propaganda that has always been against the law and fills the news cycles.

Being topical and political and somewhat current, some mention of the most common use of the euphemism these days is called for, they’re saying it a lot, and today, “conspiracy theory” seems to be code for being on the Russian side of the war in Ukraine, and the Ukraine is an official ally and Russia an official adversary, so this “whacko conspiracy theory” is about killing American allies. But if you own the media, then they don’t say “traitors,” they just portray you as confused and demented and “believing in conspiracy theories.”

As though we aren’t talking about the people in the theories, the ones who were there, who are there. They’re so old and funny they believe “conspiracy theories” about themselves, we are to . . . “understand,” I guess is the word that’s supposed to go at the end of a sentence like that, in a normal world.

 

Jeff

November 30th., 2019

What it Means

It means that the harder we try, the worse it gets. That’s what bad information can do. It means that there is no hope. It means that the planet will continue to warm and all the bad things we do when resources get scarce are all that is left for us.

It means all of that.

That’s what it means when you motivate your child with a pat on the butt.

What do you expect? Violence breeds violence and causes brain damage. If you don’t know the difference between giving food and shelter and trying to hurt someone, what do you expect? I know the rationale, believe me, every human knows the rationale – it’s not rational, it flies in the face of actual knowledge.

That’s called the fallacy of consensus, when everybody is wrong. In this, all are science deniers.

A pat on the butt is violence. This is a literal truth that is somehow . . . toothless. A law without an officer. Nobody cares.

Pats on the butt are good for you, teach you right from wrong, help you become a happy, healthy, productive member of society. These are lies that are invincible, impervious to scientific debunking. A social “truth.” Everybody cares very much. My argument is not complicated, but it’s invisible and the language it requires has not yet been invented, which is all one with the problem. I keep trying, but I’m not having much luck.

There is a downside to a pat on the butt.

I know, most of us can get that far, just not so far that this toothless literal fact matters. If we are forced to account for it, it becomes part of a bigger equation, a cost/benefit analysis and now the social truth has a caveat, a pat on the butt is “net” good for you, “net” teaches you right from wrong, “net” helps you become a happy, healthy, productive member of society. First – do you hear yourself?

It’s “good” for you, as long as you add in a lot of other stuff that really is good for you?

You know you can say that about anything that doesn’t kill you instantly, right?

It’s bad for you, shut up, you know it’s bad for you, because that’s the whole theory, punishments are deterrents because we all know pain is indicative of damage and so we instinctively avoid it, that’s not just science, like Skinner, it’s your science, you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t think there was some real life mechanism by which it “worked.” Skinner was an asshole, by the way, but I digress.

I can’t force you to be here for this conversation, I can’t force you place your chips on your science bingo cards or tell us all when your card is full, I know you’re free to not listen, but I can’t respond to this game of bait and switch either, you defending the use of the leveraging of negative stimulus by turning around and denying that your stimulus is actually negative! and so I say again, if you don’t know the difference between giving food and shelter and trying to hurt someone, what do you expect? Between literal, actual nurturing and some “no, really, this stuff you instinctively know is bad for you is actually good for you” nurturing, well . . . well that’s the education I am trying to give, isn’t it?

Yes, it is.

There is a downside to a pat on the butt and it matters. My entire blog is an attempt to prove it matters – and I don’t mean personally, or emotionally , or psychologically, or in any way you may define as “mere” humanism or “soft” science – those things are already all lined up in support for the idea that abuse is bad that the downside of a pat on the butt matters. I’m talking about evolution and genetics and anyway when I’m finished social science and the humanities will have a solid footing and all such divisions can begin to heal over. My blog says in the most rambling and disjointed way that the downside is where the causality is, where the science is.

Let me say that again: the downside is where the causality is, where the science is.

Meaning, Skinner was interesting and important, but he’s taken us all down a side-road, talking about the intermittent rewards system of punishments for his and our conscious goals and completely discounting the more direct and dependable results of punishment – what we call “the down-side,” meaning the pain and the damage, and what I call the antisocialization of people.

Meaning, law and order and the usual “civilization” narrative is not where the science is, meaning those stories are all a part of the lie, the social truth instead, meaning we are pushing ahead with our fictional origin narrative on a species level as well as on national levels.

Meaning there is no easier and more evil job than “law and order politician or vendor” because the cure you’re selling is causing the problem they’re buying it to fix!

Meaning, in reality, the world makes some sense, things are not impossibly complex, just upside-down. Spankings/prison makes you worse? Yes, science. Police families have extra domestic abuse? Yes, science. Everyone is raised with spankings, etc., so every serial killer was abused? Yes, science. Simple, when we get out from under the social lie and see the literal truth. “Do something” means “kill people” to an abused population?

Yes, science!

Meaning, back to the top, the harder we try, the worse we get, with this punishment idea, because science, bad things are bad, who knew. Not us poor abused, brain damaged idiots, apparently, but they are. I do that little exercise all the time, do you? What would I think if I weren’t so screwed up? What might an actual happy, healthy person think about it? You should.

Give a kid a beating, he learns more slowly.

Teach the kids to give beatings, we all learn more slowly.

It’s so weird, I really thought I had it this time. The whole world is upside-down, I really thought I was making the point with power this time.

But it’s impossible, isn’t it?

It just disappears, somehow.

One more try.

We’re wrong whenever we think “hurting that person will fix it,” and it was hurting you that gave you the thought. The hurt function is fully up and running, we’ve all been through it, and still here we are. You’re not going to change anyone in the other direction by simply putting them through it some more, are you?

And that’s all you got.

Except for that consensus. No argument, just the whole world on your side.

 

 

Jeff

November 27th., 2019

In the Beginning, Part 2 – Alphas are Offensive

This is a major rewrite of a recent blog, really both parts. I’ll probably delete the first one. A neat little “just so” package that couldn’t possibly be true, except it is.

I think AST may have a suggestion as to how we began, how we got on this path to what we’re calling civilization, between a few elements, mostly the organization of group animals into hierarchies with the dominance of the alphas, and my AST, which describes the technology of abuse, including the technology of punishment and the human moral framework.

Once upon a time, the primate alpha starts the abuse, often randomly, to establish his privilege, and his victims, stressed, hurting, or simply hurting socially, turn and take their hurt out on someone they safely can, and so the abuse flows downhill in a champagne fountain of cortisol from alpha to beta and on down, as well as from alphas and betas on down to all below in no particular chain of command – I believe this is Sapolsky’s description of the baboon troop, in my own words, of course. I think we see similar stuff in the chimpanzees and I think most folks think that was us at some point – even those who don’t think it’s still us today, that is.

So that was the first condition and the first bit of science, biological dominance behaviours and deflection, and the resulting abuse-sharing pyramid scheme.

In the human troop I would add, and each to their children, although that’s the second bit.

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

I meant to do that.

OK, spoiler alert, I am going to get well past this portion of just-so fiction before we’re done here, I think. That’s more like a picture of the result than any part of the cause.

Despite the lies we tell regarding why we do what we do and what effects our actions can have, though, there is and clearly has to be an actual reason or several that we do these things, punish and abuse, a powerful reason this behaviour took our species over and won’t let go, and I have ranted almost endlessly trying to make the point that we antisocialize ourselves in service of conflict, of crappy old game theory. I don’t mean in defense, and I’m against it, I know that game theory is no game and we need to stop playing it. Whenever I’m reading some description of nasty old nature myself, I always think I’m hearing approval, advocacy for violent selection processes – that’s not only me, right? Much of that stuff is toxic, isn’t it? It’s not what I’m trying to do at all, I think I’m describing hidden, secret nasty old nature, not to say “roll with it” like it seems so many are saying, but to say this is the trap here, the invisible fence, this is what we need to break out of.

The path is a narrow one for me, we all have this other story already provided to explain all of this already and there isn’t much of a check for when we drift back into it. Of course theorists depend on logic and while I have a liberal agenda, my mission here is not self promotion and if what I think is reason cannot support my agenda, my mission will have failed. True science that does not refute humanism is what I’m after and there is plenty of socially constructed science for it already. I posit a single world, so this situation where “hard” sciences have one conversation while the social sciences and humanism are having another is simply intolerable. The humanity is missing from biology, or psychology is wandering off with no checks or both, and I can’t have it. There is some error where it all starts that has divided the two and the need for a new origin story is indicated.

I’m very close to it. My internal projections are that it is indeed in here somewhere. I haven’t lost hope that it’s all coming in this one yet!

If I fail, I hope I will simply drop the hard science, re-join the social scientists and stick with humanism. But if I succeed, social science will have its hard foundation and humanism can stop being unscientific. Worth a try, wot?

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

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

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

The existence of the alpha is antithetical to the existence of these reasonable senates of men anyways – pick a world, will you? I don’t mean to be so pointedly political, but turn on your television, you’ll see it’s true. The alpha’s raison d’etre is to make sure these coalitions never develop or at least never achieve primacy and if he wasn’t winning, he wouldn’t be there. I think this is where I get to the point of this re-write, an accidental epiphany resulting from that idea – this is not a defensive organizational structure!

The alpha doesn’t give a damn about your security. Our paramilitary primate social structure isn’t defensive, it’s offensive, because the boss’ random violence does not bias a society towards stability and prosociality, but to aggression and war and hierarchical pyramids are not agreed upon but forced.

I’ve seen alphas that do apparently defensive things, monkeys, turkeys, all sorts of creatures whose leaders use their capabilities to make sure the whole troop gets across the road safely, like that (well, maybe also making sure we are all going to the beach right now, his force on the drivers also directed at his stragglers), and if human alphas do things like that, that’s great, but other than all that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play, sort of thing. I think folks who have gotten too close to gorillas have experienced the good, selling side of their alpha acting defensively for the troop and certainly we see the boss lion doing that, but that’s not all our alphas do, and maybe it’s not the most important thing either.

Ours provide a violent selective pressure at home, analogous to the predator’s role in the field, except that the predator’s presence keeps you home by the fire and the alpha’s presence makes home less safe and moves you outside, into conflict and trouble, they’re opposing forces that way. The neighbors’ threats lose their relative power when there’s a threat at home also, so in this way, the existence of privileged, aggressive, abusive individuals biases the human troop to aggression.

It struck me that limiting the adult males is a poor defensive strategy, and so if there is a military advantage to the alpha’s tournament, it must lie in offence. Maybe turkeys and horses and such don’t have other troops of turkeys and horses to defend against, just predators and cars, maybe one strong male is enough if wars are not among your problems, as per the defensive alphas mentioned above. Of course sometimes the boss is a coalition, lion triplets etc., also, driving off other sets of male siblings. If they were more dangerously organized in their warfare, perhaps they would want to keep more lions home. A digression, though, we and the chimpanzees don’t do that, there’s always more than one or a few of us to worry about.

Primate troops are larger than lion ones, less purely predatory, they have some group competition to deal with and they do not banish most of the males. I think the existing story has the competition within the hierarchy, the desire to be at the top making all the males strong which aids in defence, but that alpha is still there and their strength is a conflict for him, so I’m suspicious.

It’s still not in his interest to have really strong competition about, and he’s still pretty much keeping his own bloodline, not sharing his tournament winning genes, or so I have read – but with luck that was right-wing poor science, the idea that there are alpha family genes? It’s not very humanist, rather royalist instead! I don’t really think so, though, alphaism sure looks hereditary. Now, I must acknowledge, the troop still exists, so something about it is working, something about it aids in defence – and that I used to say in every blog for years. That every coach will tell you, every general: the best defence is a good offence.

Still, the hierarchy is an offensive strategy.

I mean, our national and every other level of society’s narratives all say “defense,” when of course it’s really all one thing, every fight means both – but it bothered me the moment I opened my eyes to see people handing out beatings and talking about “right” and “good” and “defense.” And now I think, having had a look at the alpha and how he operates, I feel I can make the case that it’s not an even match, two equal sides of a coin, that indeed the first cause is aggression and not defense – I’ve been fighting that, I wanted to say we do it all from fear, defensively, but if that were the case we wouldn’t be so used to watching the boss kill off his own generals. I haven’t lost the moral argument, though! It still all stems from abuse at home.

Of course bombers and missiles make the case too, we can call it all defense, but it’s aggressive first, aggression generally is a deterrent, so the case can be made, aggression is defense – but defense is defense even more, can you say “duh” in a supposed science blog? The best defense is a good offense but a good offense is an even better offense than it is a defense nonetheless! Clear? Clear maybe after our leaders get us into a missile or a bombing war where we lose so many people at home despite spending so much on “defense?” When you’re packed off to Iraq to “defend” America and they remembered your rifle but seem to not have brought your body armour? Offense is offense first.

Anyway, defense requires little explanation, we don’t need to make defense complicated. But offense is a choice and requires a rationalization, I think, and I think abuse at home is what biases us towards it. Alpha abuse looks to me right now like the beginning of it, but it seems that the function, abuse for aggression, is happening everywhere, at nearly every level of society. We are all aware of the extreme, illegal sort and its often terrible outcomes, but the normal acceptable stuff is the same function, producing a normal, acceptable level of aggression in the population that we attempt to control or direct with laws – and abuse for infractions and there’s a hole in the bucket, Dear ‘Lizah.

At the most basic level, words are not things, meaning in that sense, words are the very opposite of things, and so it is quite impossible that their function is not at least partially to be found in this . . . reversal. Meaning – if we chose “defense” as a way to talk about our aggressive wars, we chose that word exactly because it’s the wrong one, the untrue one – aggression is not up for debate so much. You can leave things as they are by not talking, and if you are applying labels, we have to consider that at least some of the time you are engaging in misdirection, because the truth was already right there before you opened your mouth.

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

My idea to call Antisocialization Theory a condition, the other side of the story, goes like this: AST is the practice of physical and social abuse in order to activate physiological and psychological and genetic changes towards aggression. This I believe to be a species-wide phenomenon that supports our lifestyle of group conflict, making us all mean enough and crazy enough to attack the enemy’s homeland. The alpha’s function seems to be to abuse who he wishes, driving everyone somewhat mad, and providing a sufficient threat from behind to keep us moving forwards, towards the battle. The alpha’s contribution, the rock to the enemy’s hard place.

Offence and defense are one, but they are, they more and more are, for we who were once one with the ancient chimpanzees, because alphas are offensive. The structures that produce them or that they create, are aggressive.

We are not going to solve for war by analyzing our defensiveness, by interpreting our development as motivated by defense and never questioning our aggression, simply acknowledging it as a regrettable fact. Our troubles are exactly as intractable as our aggression is unquestionable. The toxic misogyny online is supported by some stopped too soon science that calls aggression innate, treats it as a noun or one of Plato’s stupid essences, rather than a psychological thing and a choice, a strategy.

And those evil, EP trolls have cut off the inquiry!

That’s why I’m here. No respectable scientist is going there anymore! The alpha’s trolls are even more offensive, ha. The theory, I guess is that these trolls are so protective, that questioning their/our aggression is met with such fierce resistance that it would appear to be a survival issue, the emotion betrays a life or death sort of core belief about it – which, while that makes sense, our conflict strategy is an aggressive one, so it’s critical because that’s the game – still, this “solution” of blocking our own understanding of it is no solution at all. I think I’ve said before, it’s the best solution the in-group can find, but all humans are in one of these groups, they are all using this solution and still, we are all at risk!

I think we are on the brink of some future where our survival requires something other than fighting one another, so we need to think above group level, at multigroup level now, in order to not kill ourselves and everything else, sort of on purpose.

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

And if you get it, if you see things this way, and you see a world of people whose best guess, whose only answer is strength and toughness and fighting the good fight and striving for that and you know this is never, ever, in another million more years going to work and all our worst guesses about the future have no option to come about because no matter what we want we only know one way to get anything and that’s fight and compete and struggle and we have pretty much beaten this world to death already.

 

 

Jeff

Nov. 24th., 2019

Human Autobiographies

Psychology should concern itself with pain. Wasn’t that the original idea, a specialty within medicine, an attempt to lessen pain and help people?

I ask, in all seriousness: this toxic Evolutionary Psychology I’m hearing about – is there any mention of suffering in it? I’m guessing not, that’s probably what’s so poisonous about it. But let’s back that up one step. This Evolution idea – same question: do pain or suffering have an appearance, a role?

I won’t make you wait. I can never write a novel or a textbook, I can’t keep a secret long enough to build tension or fill a book – in reality, pain and suffering are part of our evolving past and present, absolutely. It seems to be absent, however, I mean except as a spectre, a bogeyman, in the form of deterrents, from the usual tale of our group existence. Pain and suffering are the price for civilization, and civilization is life and security. That’s the role, yes, bogeyman, scare ourselves straight, I know how it works, I had parents, a children’s group, bosses, I know about deterrents. So that’s the role assigned to pain and abuse in our current understanding.

Like it doesn’t ever actually happen. Like whether it actually happens or not wouldn’t matter, the deterrent is the function.

That’s how evolution, and everything else in life works, right, nothing has to happen, it’s not things that happen that matter, only things that might happen, only threats of things happening that matter?

But this is our origin story, our social organization, and majority control of misbehavers, the employment of rules, laws and deterrents has had an effect on us – civilization – the idea of abuse and punishments has brought us all this way, but the reality of the abuse has had no measurable effect. We are different enough from everything else that walks the Earth for half of us to wonder if Earth is really where we’re from – from the threat, from the fear of abuse, but the reality of the abuse with such aversive power, the actuality of the abuse that has the whole species changing their behaviour to avoid it is apparently powerless.

If you get it, if you agree, say nothing!

I knew it.

The difference of treatment we enjoy within our groups as opposed to when we’re caught alone outside of them – this I see as a chicken or egg question or rather whether a zebra is a black horse with white stripes or the reverse, except that it matters.

The way I see it stated is usually some version of “prosocial at home, antisocial without,” and while it does describe the disparity we see and we would expect to see at the in-group boundary line, it seems to lack causality. I find there is plenty of stuff going on in the in-group that being “prosocial” does not explain.

OK, in brutal terms: if I would murder an out-group person for eyeing my wife, and only beat an in-group member unconscious for the same slight, then this framework has the beating as a prosocial, in-group behaviour, like I brought the fellow life. Now, if while I had him out and could indeed have dispatched him at little extra cost and didn’t, perhaps yes, he lives because of my prosocial choice about him – that doesn’t make this a story about friends giving life to one another.

It’s still a violent episode, with violent motivations, and ongoing effects of possibly adjusted hierarchies, possible physical injuries, possible further revenge scenarios – the lifegiving part of this story is not what drives the plot, is the point, in that I’m afraid I agree with the toxic evo-boys. To be fair, we’re talking about a story about toxic boys fighting over their women like they are property in this example, so it’s not prosocial things driving this story.

Not even in the long term, genetic terms!

In this story, I would execute a neighbor tribe’s possible rapist, but stay it for my in-group possible rapist, and breeding rapists is probably not easily explained as “prosocial” either, in the long run, is it? What more aggressive thing could a species do?

They say white folks see a white zebra with black stripes and black people the reverse (or the other way? I forget and it doesn’t matter), and if seeing the in-group as prosocial and suffering as accidental is like seeing a white horse with black accents, then I think this horse is black. Pain and suffering are the engine of the human in-group.

It’s our dark side, to be sure, unconscious. That doesn’t mean it’s the “small” half. With the preceding in mind, consider a high level result of this sort of error in our understanding: our wars are getting bigger and longer. We are far more violent and destructive than the chimpanzees, as well as presumably, than the creatures we and the chimpanzees descended from – so we are evolving in that direction, towards bigger, longer wars.

The normal conversation, repeated endlessly, because as you know, the obvious truth needs to be repeated endlessly, each of us to one another’s choirs, is that we are subject to these “outbursts” of violence because we still have the ancient chimpanzee within us and to that I snort and scoff and fart in your general direction!

So then, we were like this five million years ago? One long, never-ending chain of world wars going back to the ancient Congo, where, somehow the modern chimpanzees have today managed to keep it down to a dull roar? Even if our story were true, it’s clearly the chimpanzees who have slowed the fighting in it, it’s their success story, not ours. If it were true.

Where is the Evolution in this story?

We’ve changed, we’ve evolved, replaced some of the old, wild genes with newer, softer ones, but every now and then, all that evolution just resets to a fictional period five million years ago when apparently every ape used to have huge wars all the time? WTF?

We’ve changed, we are changing, and our wars are getting worse and there is evolution and genetics and for God’s sake, put it together, will you? We are selecting ourselves for this. What else? I mean what else, with Evolution?

Microphone drop, that sounds like an ending, except one, it’s not Sunday yet, and two, there’s something looming, some existential threat to my whole thing that I am going to have to at least have one look at before I decide to either take it on or just give up and run. Wrangham hinted at it in interviews, I expect he laid it out in his latest with a lot of support: capital punishment of tyrannical alphas, that makes sense, that sounds like civilization to me too. But any lesser punishment, by my own reckoning, while deterrents exist and a more prosocial cost benefit analysis may result, other things happen, the more basic, low level things happen. The subject has bad feelings, perhaps unfairness and anger, perhaps sadness, and more basic, pain has its own immediate negativity and those feelings are responses to that more elemental feeling.

This is exploratory, I have no idea how I’m going to get through this, but this image keeps coming up, that we are trying to extract the good side of life from the whole savage garden experience, like taking the metal from the ore, breaking down complex things to take only the best bits and that is never alchemical magic but only an industrializable chemical reaction with a very real and unmagical accumulation of by-product that goes along with it.

I worry that in order to improve ourselves, that we have split instead, polarized, and while there is a better looking version of ourselves to talk about, there is also our Mr. Hyde, and maybe he’s in the basement and suffering, but he doesn’t seem to be safely chained up. This conversation goes to our supposed self-domestication, and it seems obvious to me that we cannot be the tame horse unless we are also the cruel master that breaks him.

I worry that by trying to make a conscious change, we have created a monster and if the whole idea of punishing is the problem, that my idea is only another form of it, and doomed before it can ever begin, like if the problem is what we’re trying to do and not just how we try to do it. I worry about stuff no-one else knows is going on.

To be continued, that theme.

There is a lot of complicated thought to take us from Wrangham’s capital punishment to non-lethal punishment, to us being generally a lot less violent than the apes (by murders per population measures. I don’t argue that; I argue that huge wars also exist, that in times and places, our murderousness outstrips peak chimpanzee murderousness by orders of magnitude) but it’s all quite unnecessary. All that is really required is to turn the causality upside down and ask, either like I did, “what is punishment?,” or like this: how have we evolved to have world wars? If the question is “why is our murder rate better than the chimpanzees over the long term?,” then sure, maybe some answer that starts with in-group love.

But if the question is “How was World War II possible?,” then telling me “because we’ve found a way to make ourselves more prosocial” isn’t going to cut it, and again, in your general direction, Sir. For that answer, you have to say, this is an ability we are growing, a genetic effect we are selecting for. And again, all that is required is a different view, like I don’t know what you’d call it, what discipline concerns itself with people who are damaged by abuse, but some of these Evolutionary Biological Theorists sure could use a little of it! Some field of study that tries to help people by making things they’re unconscious of conscious, to give them choices where they didn’t think they had them . . . something like that would be great for this.

I don’t want to get grandiose on you, but I know two sciences that could change the world if they would see that they belong together. I know, the pond’s been poisoned, but abuse is in our DNA and in our evolution which is the hard science that should be the foundation for the social sciences, instead of, what was it again?

Nothing?

Or the story debunked above?

Call me.

 

 

Jeff

November 2nd., 2019

Mirror Anal Glands

The title is so satisfying for my misanthropy, I hardly need to write the blog! Take that. Ha.

I understand “mirror neurons” have gone by the wayside, is that right?

I don’t remember the details, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case, maybe there are some, but the idea that they are a big thing in our world has been relegated to something like New Age or psychology (sorry), I think. The immediate allure of it was a phenomenon in itself, though, wasn’t it?

I think it seemed to answer some real question we all have, it seemed so understandable and to explain so much – like how emotions seemed to pass across the internet without any apparent biological connection, like pheromones, or actual threats and/or relationships . . . so, I got to thinking, same old neurons, but mirror pheromones? A scenario where we are reading or guessing someone’s emotions and so we produce those chemicals, or we name the distant other’s emotions, based on our own pheromonal response to it?

If I feel attacked, does my brain send attacker smells into the air so that even if I am unconscious, my organism senses trouble and initiates autonomic responses? Or do I have my response to the content of my senses OR my conscious, language centre, the fear, and then smell that and decide I am being attacked? I don’t suppose I’m even asking the right questions, but certainly a person sitting alone on social media having a bunch of feelings smells like they are having a bunch of feelings and if the only pheromones flying are ours, surely we wind up having emotional reactions to our own emotional reactions.

Obviously, while it may be important to smell a devious enemy’s aggression directly when they’re close, it seems most likely that we are usually reacting to our own emotional secretions, again, in order to have a system that operates on its own, regardless of where our consciousness is directed or misdirected. A bear’s breath should wake you up, but perhaps it is your sleeping body’s awareness that initiates the autonomic response, part of which is your own fear smell. It sounds like every emotion is a sort of runaway scenario, you feel it so you smell it so you feel it so you smell it . . .

Surely someone has done a lot of work around this stuff, testing smell-inhibited people and whatnot. I keep jumping ahead to some surely dumb idea about how peace talks need to happen with everybody’s noses turned off, somehow, teleconferences aren’t enough separation when we create all the problematic threat odours ourselves wherever we sit, unfortunate pun not intended but welcome. I suppose conference room chairs are some attempt to mitigate pheromone propagation, like a dog covering its glands by keeping its tail between its legs, chairs generally, sitting generally. (Of course “man-spreading” is an aggressive attempt to defeat this peacemaking technology.)

I make no effort to hide that I’m alone and I use the blog and social media along with TV to fake my organism out that I have people in my life, there are voices, and I get into conversations with authors on Twitter that they are not aware of or privy to, these authors are my fake friends, and this blog results from one such interaction. Over the last few days, I wrote a blog where I misread something, put way too much on one of these authors when most of what I was reacting to was from everywhere else in life except from them. You know, doing that ol’ hurt the ones you love, bite the hand that feeds thing. So I had a misunderstanding, a fight, an apology and an attempt at reconciliation – a social life!

And I could have read their book right in the first place, or I could have got it wrong a hundred different ways, and then I would have had a different emotional experience, from the very same book, the very same ideas, coming from an author who was feeling the same way the only time they strung together those same words. So how much of anyone’s social life is all between mostly us and our own stink glands?

Again, no-one but me in any of that drama, but I was feeling it, I am going with that, I had a social problem, I tried to solve it – just like a real boy. I felt like it, and I guarantee I smelt like it, I mean I hope so, it’s a biological solution required, not just the words around it.

 

Jeff

October 30th., 2019

Beyond Feminism

A land beyond feminism, somewhere over the rainbow, that’s where you’ll find me . . .

Kidding, of course.

I got into this in a recent one, the March of Science, I believe, about our human “meritocracies,” yes, sarcasm quotation marks. I am trying to make the point that despite human specialization and the existence of probably thousands of different human skills, there is mostly only one measure for competence in anything, and it is best summed up in the word “toughness.” Normal quotation marks.

I have made allusions at least, to the effect that this measure of violence, aggression and battle-competence colours many areas, and that it is basically another version of what feminists call the patriarchy. Not risking ant sort of quotation marks!

If we can break this down, just what is the patriarchy doing – violence, intimidation, mostly – well, rapists auto-selecting themselves for propagation also – then we have something we can work with, behaviours, education, laws, strategies. If we decide that’s just how men are – and basically allow us to let ourselves off the hook for it – then we are getting nowhere. Of course, nothing is “just how it is.”

I’m sorry.

I understand that every man you ever met was indeed like this. I understand that the only safe stance to have is that we are all like this and not be caught out alone. Of course I would never advise some stupid “trust us” line. We have to change. But that does mean people talking as though that were actually a thing, though, change. To say, “men gotta change” to fix things, and then turn around and say “but they can’t” is some awful bait and switch game that . . . well, how’s it working out so far? We’re not really telling the rapists no-one expects them to change, I hope? That doesn’t sound like the best idea, does it?

I mean if telling and expecting mean anything. That would be some form of nurture, I guess. If it does, then yes, this should be part of our nurturing, that rape has to be actually, functionally illegal!

Now, sex shouldn’t be illegal. Clearly, it’s the force, the intimidation, the stuff we cannot bring ourselves to outlaw about ourselves, gentlemen. That has to be wrong, actually wrong. Like, not, “OK, wrong, but we are your protectors, so you want this,” no, wrong, because this is what we need protection from! It is not better for your female friends, for your wife, mother, daughters, all of them, that a protector, “one of us” raped them and not some “other,” which is all this arrangement ensures, nothing but selecting our own criminals over criminals that belong to some “them.”

That sounds extreme in my dysphemistic way of talking but make no mistake: a common solution for in-group rape has always been marriage. The ladies hate it and rightly so, but apparently the people in charge think this is a preferable situation over women choosing their own lovers and so having the possibility of them choosing an other. In some places, the ladies who cannot tolerate this solution are killed – apparently the folks’ in charge’s less preferred “solution.”

Crimes are activities, not people. You have to agree, that if you use force, if you rape someone, that you should face the law. Do you?

Is whether or not you actually agree a matter of your father’s rapist or not genes?

Nature VS nurture again, really?

No, that wasn’t the point, right! Today’s topic is the ‘toughness is the only meritocracy’ meme. The patriarchy.

It’s exactly what the MRAs and the macho IDW types and the sexist children like Shapiro are stating is foundational, right? It’s also the unapologetic central meme of fascism, if you can, that is permission, might is right, and obviously, when you think that as a society, that’s what you get. But it’s exactly what I’m arguing about, it’s exactly what isn’t really true, at least not until some hammerhead points his gun at you and you must agree, yes, this mindless bullshit is true, not mentioning any names.

I understand we’ve had to abandon attempts at psychologizing our past selves because exactly these fools have commandeered the idea and turned into nothing but a simple machine game theory with no psychology provided or required, that we’ve had to cut off that arm of science to save the rest of the body. I finally get that, I am sorry if I sounded like I was on the wrong side of things. Honestly “evolutionary biological theory” is better anyway. I think somebody ran with calling it evolutionary “psychology” at the start with a view to removing it from science curricula and discrediting it and therefore science (I know, not intuitive, don’t believe me, but simply harping on the term “theory of evolution” has legs, so), generally, leveraging the division between “soft” and “hard” sciences, bring the biologists on board, but really as part of the general anti-intellectual, anti-science stuff. Then when these penis-centric idiots ran with it, everyone else let go and distanced themselves – with me last and lost, as usual.

Like I say, “evolutionary biological theory,” sounds better anyway, even if it does sort of imply the smaller version of “theory,” because in name or not, there is going to be a certain amount of psychology involved. We are trying to understand our clearly psychological selves.

Not a tangent. What I’m getting to is, it’s not foundational, toughness being all that matters and crime be damned, it’s a real part of the psychology, sure – but absolutely not foundational. It is a policy decision adopted to deal with foundational concerns, predation, group conflict, death, and this is exactly what policy is: a decision made earlier regarding foreseeable problems including basic ones, by the boss, maybe that’s you, maybe not – and a policy is not an environmental condition, not “foundational,” at least not to the boss. His option, your “foundation.” If you’re the boss, same – your option, that maybe you call your “foundation.” Policy, the prior decision, now the default stance, all meanings retained – a stance we took, a position we chose.

Choice. Now THAT sounds like psychology, doesn’t it?

This argument almost holds up for lions and tigers and bears, I mean couldn’t we just breed and run like everything else? But no, we wanted to settle down and hold our ground, surely there was a choice somewhere along that journey? But clearly when the threat is us that is our “foundation,” sorry, no choice? I am your threat, we have no choice? We’re back to nature and toxic game theory? No. That was a choice, right there, “I am your threat.” No, you could just run, like everything else. Usually I say “aggression” is a choice, a policy decision; same conversation – aggression is the name for a policy of fight over flight, so “having aggression” means you chose to have it.

This is the difference between natural disasters and human-made disasters: individually, we are as powerless against one as the other. But collectively, we cause one and not the other (OK, at least there are natural disasters we don’t cause, if not all of them).

Honestly, what good are nouns, attributes, “properties,” in Platonic terms?

Hey, there’s this problem I have, we can’t stop the violence. You want to figure that out for us?

Sure – ah, OK, here it is. See, what you got there is “aggression.”

Problem solved! I learned a new noun. Sorry – what was the problem again? Right, violence. And why? Right, aggression. OK, cool, here’s your money, thanks!

Say it again, add a word, can’t stop the male violence – see, what you got there is men.

Terrific, thanks again. The usual price? Automatic deposits alright?

You want to solve something, you look for thoughts, actions, something happening – a chance to possibly intervene. You want to protect something, it’s a noun: sorry, it exists. End of story. It’s another brick in the wall – “Men are aggressive, so you can’t have no rape! How can you have no rape if men are aggressive?”

Like I suggested earlier though, the hammerhead with the gun whose guiding light is violence, he creates this reality. If he and enough of his developmentally arrested friends decide that nothing else but toughness matters, then that signifies the peak of that civilization because almost every other skill humans have will have to be suppressed for the constant antisocialization required for the constant state of war that results. It’s a self-fulfilling policy that way – it’s true when they prove its true.

All I’m saying is, if we didn’t prove it, it wouldn’t be.

That’s our clue that we’re in social science territory, psychology territory, “truths” that must be proven constantly, minute by minute, these are only social truths, and that line is ruling all of our lives, always certainly, but today more clearly than ever, the rational versus the social. Perhaps all of our meritocracies are real, but only rational, and as such, taken with a large grain of salt, while the social meritocracies are few, but far more serious. I mean, sure ladies are clever enough to build you an atomic bomb – but are they crazy enough to deploy it? Or do the fairer sex simply lack the social skills for war?

If only male lions were aggressive, we would still find out how fast we can run every time we saw a cub or a lioness, because they all live together in social groups and the presence of cubs and lionesses means lions also and they would still be a species to avoid generally. Aggressive males means an aggressive species. I believe I’ve seen lionesses rejecting an incoming would-be alpha, I think if there are enough ladies in the pride, they get to select their males – and as things stand, the males are big, nasty bastards. That’s an aggressive species and if the ladies never let a claw out themselves, it would still be an aggressive species – which is maybe how this narrative about us is supposed to go, right? Aggression is the province of men, a property of maleness, not of humanness?

I suppose it would be completely true if all men are rapists, if a substantial portion of people are the children of rape, and so it is true to a degree, because there absolutely are rapists and their children. That’s a problem – I just worry it’s not the only problem, I worry, that not unlike the lions, when our ladies get a chance to practice some sexual selection, we still end up with big, nasty bastards (or little ones that make up for their size with extra nastiness). You don’t think? OK, here it is, at last.

The ’not all men’ urge was very strong with me, I got in trouble a few times on Twitter, trying to defend myself, trying to fight what I felt was the determinism in memes that say it is indeed all men, all men are rapists, all men supposedly agree with this latest disgusting ramping up of misogyny that came online along with Russia, and I lost, and I gave it up, telling myself it truly doesn’t matter if a few men abstain, does it, if they don’t or can’t stop it? But maybe I have a legitimate critique, the above thing:

When the problem is a noun, there is no solution, and no-one expects one, right?

If it’s “men,” all men, then what are we to do, eliminate them? So a feminism that actually believes in a solution, in  the possibility of change might not want to go with that, but the smart folks know that, it’s the other side of that coin that is pertinent today: evil trolls absolutely want that. Misogynist men absolutely want the problem to be a noun, even if that noun is them, because men are never going to implement a solution for that.

So stick to the script, behaviours, laws – rational things – and reject arguments about whole groups of people like “all men,” (and of course reject slander of more oppressed groups also) which is social and so serves the bad guys, who fear truth and rationality above all else.

 

 

 

 

Jeff

Oct. 27th., 2019