Primal Dream


I just cherry-picked another conclusion from Sapolsky’s work.

The Keekorok troop, the one who lost it’s male leaders and lost the alpha structure and became more prosocial – and importantly, converted incoming single males to this affiliative mode – I was going with the first impression, that it’s possible, but there’s more.

It shows how it’s accomplished – accidental Russian or French Revolution for these baboons, the alpha and wannabe alphas were all killed, leaving a group of more affiliative folks in charge, and the group did not fall to a single incomer with dreams of leadership, group versus individual, group wins, just like we like to say. That was off the cuff though, the thing that got me typing was that it sort of proves how rarely we have managed that trick.

Where can a human male go, be welcomed and talked out of his violent, competitive dreams? Where on Earth is there not some evil ladder for him to climb? The aforementioned revolutions installed new hierarchies, but hierarchies nonetheless, leaders, citizens and intermediaries. Of course, the human home is also that model.



Feb. 23rd., 2020

Primal Scream

I know it’s infantile. This is not me, blindly immature, refusing to accept the fact of the world, it’s me, cognizantly immature . . . and refusing to accept the fact of the world.

I know it’s genderless (which, being fair, comes free with infantile) when I’m singing “I Feel the Earth Move.” That is not me, blindly in the closet, “accidentally” liking a female song, complete with the at the time most common euphemism for the female orgasm for a title and a chorus. That is me, acknowledging both women as well as my own feminine side – I know, I don’t look it while in my Dockers and band T-shirt, partially bearded. Having already lived a fairly full cis life and been driven mad with boredom by it, I’ve decided I belong with the freaks – no slight intended – but I’m sort of undemonstrative. The man costume doesn’t give exactly the right impression, but I’m trying not to be too hung up on costume and impressions. I always do something, weird haircut, some bright jacket no-one would touch, to give the clue.

These days, I’ve quit cutting my hair, I’m retired/unemployed, may as well let my freak flag fly, and it’s sort of genderless, long hair. I’m straight, I’m just not militant about it, genderless needs space.

I look pretty straight, if not at all tough. You’d think I have negative opinions about non-straight or non-white people, but I don’t, I so don’t. I’ve been bullied and terrorized by straight white males too, in my life that’s where all the trouble comes from too.

I expect I look more like a grownup than I feel also – but again, not blindly. Infantile is a conscious choice – I mean as well as a psychological disorder, it’s my disorder of choice, because “mature” means hard, mature means antisocial, mature means killed feelings and going about the business of killing things. You being mature means you do not care when I cry, or worse, you prefer that. You and me, Ma, still in that standoff, no I won’t fucking “self-soothe,” that is your job.

The crying will continue until treatment improves.

I know it’s still that baby cry I’m making every time I dissent, every time I fight something in life that most folks don’t object to – I know it internally, I mean every time I cry out, part of it is that I am still waiting for an answer to the first scream, that I look at it like if I never stop crying and if someone comes to see what’s wrong, ever, then I was heard eventually and not permanently ignored. I haven’t lost hope, you see, you all still have a chance to make this right! I mean, Mom’s gone, but you still can! Maybe you see this and think I don’t, but I see it:

I think growing up means giving up, of course I do.

Perhaps when I was young I had less of an idea of giving up on what exactly, but I think that what I’ve been  looking at, putting off, is giving up on is you, people. I suppose that was always it, but I’m here working through this because something has finally budged, something in this is moving for me a little and it’s not that I’m giving up now and the struggle is over, at least it doesn’t feel like that bad ending I’ve been fearing. Maybe I can give up without it being the end of the world, is what it’s whispering to me today.

Maybe writing y’all off isn’t the end. I’m still here, after all.

It’s a moral capitulation for me. I’m infantile, I know it, but I’m not a child. When I decide at nearly sixty that the rest of you are swine and not worth talking to until you prove otherwise, that is not going to pass as infantile, preverbal rage, is it? (Do you see it? I’d better cop first – I think that’s a lot of peoples’ true excuse for the same decision, that they made at the more appropriate time, like early childhood.) It was never my way to disregard someone, never the plan. I lived, heart on my sleeve, trying hard not to be defensively protecting myself from the people in my life, immediately either bringing them into my moral circle and trying to understand them or simply running away from them, not having them in my life. I don’t want to fight.

A lot of folks didn’t think so, because I like to talk and debate and philosophize and psychologize, but that is central to my dilemma here, I was treating them all as peers and equals and worth talking to and giving my honest thoughts and feelings . . . I think this is “regard,” me caring what you think, wanting to know what it is and sharing any information I think I have that I think you may not. I give any little wisdom I have away for free and if anyone would listen I would hold nothing back, talk myself straight out of a job, empty myself completely.

I wasn’t able to lie, protect myself that way, I was bad at keeping secrets, because I keep almost none of my own, I am always offering my privacy and my foibles in trade, hoping for some honesty and intimacy in return, TMI is my middle name. This I see as my function in the world, lead by example, be vulnerable, be embarrassed, don’t fear judgement and don’t judge, share the knowledge.

I lack boundaries.

But I find myself trying to remember if my honesty and humility ever did bring any reciprocation, and I can’t think of a single instance. I may have gotten a reputation for being “nice,” which in the words of Lone Watie, Chief Dan George’s character in the Outlaw Josey Wales, “I think it means we’re easy to sneak up on.” Beware of people who compliment you for simple honesty and then complain that you talk too much. Also old men who want to teach you the thing they could never learn!

That’s called “mansplaining,” a sub-category of the Dunning Kruger effect.

Sorry about that. Come back and read that to me tomorrow and every day for the rest of my life, would you mind?

Anyway, enough about my sainthood and how I can’t ever learn to hate, the point is, I think I may have found a way after all, I think I may finally see a crack in it, I think I may be able to separate things ever so slightly, have a boundary without having to start a war. I mean, not for what I would call a good reason, I just think I’ve finally been hurt enough to get it. This infantile, naive fearlessness crap will get you killed.



Feb. 22nd., 2020

Bubble Wrap

Not sure where to put this, it’s a random thought I want to not forget – bird brains are denser with neurons than ours, of course, mass and weight matter for birds – so perhaps much of the mass and weight of the prodigious human organ isn’t doing cognition or other brain things, if some very clever birds can live without it?

Perhaps it’s a lot of swelling from the beatings and punch-ups, or a lot of padding evolved to lessen brain injury during those events?

Pending annoying and elusive things like evidence, I think it fits AST and maybe the larger narrative too!  The plasticity phenomenon – brain maps exist, but portions can be reallocated, functions can be relearned when the mapped area is damaged – does suggest other sorts of redundancy in the brain, other sorts of injury mitigation strategies, not saying I’m the one to ask, but I’ve heard of the circle of Willis, a blood vessel that seems to have that plan. They say human craniums are getting thinner, though, which I assume is involved, but I don’t assume how – there are head-bashing birds, after all. I need to check out woodpeckers and such. Something to keep an ear on for me.

Oh, Hell, theories! This was supposed to be a sideline, not a full-time distraction. Oh well, here goes: cranial size being limited by mom’s pelvis size, perhaps the growth of the brain took the inner thickness from the skull, what it could, from where it could, without growing the outer dimensions beyond that limit? Perhaps brain mass, either for cognition or for cushioning, was more important than helmet thickness – hmm, especially considering we developed technology to smash skulls somewhere along the way? I suppose skull thickness got outstripped, less useful against stone weapons (like stones) than smarts or padding? (Or both, of course?)

I need to learn the timeline – has it simply been a steady thinning over a few million years, or did it thicken first and thin out later? I don’t know, but I just read something that sold me that we haven’t been boxing the entire few million years, perhaps boxing is no use unless your opponent has a thin skull or something, but I also got an idea that abuse doesn’t form or malform your bones so much as your brain. Of course the science is bone-centric, that’s what we have.

Sort of my whole thing.

I’ve happened here upon an insight I know I’ve heard of other folks having – lighter bones, thinner skulls, the idea that these indicate a less violent life, the position of the self-domestication idea . . . not necessarily the case is it, by the argument I made, weapons technology could explain that with no break in the action. Thickness of your bones helps you survive a punch up with your mates, maybe hunting injuries, it doesn’t change the spear’s ability to violate your softer parts?

A long process of lightening may not indicate less violence, only a more technical violence? Just a thought, needs to be slept on. Again though, bones.

I think I have a brain puzzle that needs attention in the ramble above.

The intelligence of some smallish creatures and the flight-ready configuration of some very good bird brains (and a suggestion that those sorts of brains served dinosaurs for millions as many years as we can claim), contrasted with the relative bulk and weight of our own. It’s not subtle – the math doesn’t work, we are not that much smarter, we are on the same scale for intelligence, while the mass and volume is an order of magnitude different.

It’s not even linear, comparing the size of your brain with your dog’s, compared to the intelligence gap, or with a rat’s. I’m guessing this apparent disparity is a known question with a name, like Pascal’s Wager or some such, that we’re twice as clever, but with a brain ten times the size.

In the plasticity book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge’s work,  he makes the case that we do not need all of that mass to function, he cites a normal functioning hydroencephalytic with water where ninety percent of that mass is supposed to be! Volume is not smarts, not in any simple, must be sort of a way.

So I’m back to most of it being bubble wrap.

That’s my rap all day long.




February 15th., 2020

LOL – it’s better than my previous theory, believe me


This is Your Life Or The Problem of Consciousness

It’s nothing less than a revolution that’s required, of course.

I’ve worked it out, and things are not really so different from what the scientists are telling you, that’s pretty much the situation, we’re made to fight one another and the only answer is not to lose, except for one large, fundamental difference: it’s bloody optional. The way we talk about game theory or conflict theory, you’d think it was this way for everything that lives, necessarily this way. It’s not.

Actually more importantly, whether it is or not, it simply can’t be – and can’t be, can’t be anymore, what’s the difference? If we want any sort of a life we have to make it not. It’s unsustainable, look out your window, if you have one.

Evolution says we’re never finished being made for anything anyway, we’re always still in the process of being made, so nobody gets to say “this is just how I am,” the real question is how you are trying to be. Well OK, bears, beetles and such do, but nobody who talks to me gets to say that! If you are some unconscious, instinctive animal, you don’t get to use that as a defense, if you can’t be responsible for yourself, you don’t get to make a defense, you don’t get to speak. Even, especially, your hired spokespeople don’t get to speak, I don’t care if they do wear glasses and a lab coat! If that’s the description of us, the verdict, an aggressive primate with an intractable penchant for group conflict, I’ll be jiggered if I’m taking it from you. You ‘I’m aggressive, deal with it’ types always have some nefarious agenda, in my experience! If you are coming to me, mouth flapping and canines bared, you need to be conscious and self-aware, not making some excuse about how your behaviour is hard tied to your existence with no wiggle room.

Why would I converse with that creature? What’s the point? It’s clearly going to do whatever it’s going to do, no matter what I say – even no matter what it says. We already have its terms. It’s going to do what it has to do, and it just told us it has to fight.

But, wiggle room – that’s consciousness, isn’t it? I thought we liked that!

I have always been more than a little suspicious of the way we talk about consciousness, and the way we slander the creatures we say don’t have it. I am sure, yes, from nothing but my own esteem of my own experience and general knowledge, that the “awareness of our own death” trope is rubbish and that all creatures have it. Predator or prey, it’s your business all day long, isn’t it? One step further I will say that awareness of your own death is perhaps only the very first baby-step of consciousness.

One great leap further, perhaps a very important one, would be to have some awareness of what is going on while we yet live, I mean to ask, yes, death is the end of life – but does consciousness apply to our life? Are we aware of what we do with our life, what we spend it at? We are “the conscious animal” because we’ve figured out the time limit we’re under, but it would be a better definition if we actually had consciousness regarding our lifestyle – if most of us didn’t live according to forces beyond our own understanding or control, is what I’m trying to say. That’s sort of the definition of unconscious.

If you’re conscious, then tell me – what is the stated goal of your life? What’s the plan? Survive? Breed? Fight for the right to do so, if necessary? I suppose “digest” is also one your clever, conscious plans!

Feeling especially mean today. To be fair, I have concrete, conscious plans to digest today as well. But you know what I mean, tell ourselves we’re conscious all we like, we are achieving a destruction of our environment no-one wants to take credit for having done consciously, right? All our hopes and dreams, most of the good stuff dies with us, but much of the waste and damage accumulates. I have a rather grim view of us, but even I do not think this was planned. Not consciously planned.

How many of us can or do declare (I do declayuh!) at the end of our lives looking back, that we were conscious, how many get to say, “I meant to do that?” I personally have lived half a life of utterly blind self-deception since the first time I said that! There was something I was meaning to do, I swear, while I thought I alone was living intentionally at all, but that’s not what happened, so that’s not what it was. Forces beyond my understanding and control, I assume.

Failing that so far, or in our attempts to understand, we have zeroed in on what takes so much of our time and energy, the conflicts. It’s what grew this large brain, we say, and in this evolution-as-explanation paradigm, that is us, it’s what your meat-bag was made for. That’s what your massive brain is for, fighting these clever aggressive humans – never mind you put it that way, the logic sounds a little circular? Yes, not so much circular logic as a biological feedback being described, I know. So, the good minded folks think about restraint and containment, what with all that grey matter being bent on a fight. We are trying to escape that brutal past. Right?

I mean, except for most of what we do. If control was not also a fight, perhaps.

I mean, except for soldiers. Or street soldiers and other criminals. Or criminal justice. Or anyone in politics or competitive sports. Even competitive figure skating, you ask some people! Those folks need to use that evolution, don’t they? In fact, we all do, because those folks are everywhere. There is no life for a rabbit among the foxes. This is your life. Stay strong or it will be either a bad one, a short one, or both.

Again, I am not happy to be described that way by some violent creature who can fight well enough to kill whole planets but can’t think his way out of a simple damned if you do, damned if you don’t bind like this. If it’s not smart enough to see the trap, then it’s not smart enough to be giving lectures.

I am certainly not happy to be given my marching papers by this ape who introduces himself this way, as possessed of a debatable portion of free will in matters of violence. This is the guy telling us who we are. Really?

“This is your life.”

The Hell you say, Sir.

It’s a nasty little irony that one thing we may count as a sure sign of consciousness is lying. Not sure, I mean, I know what they mean, but people lie to accomplish some less than conscious goals also, so lying while unconscious is hardly rare. In fact, it’s not impossible to argue that inasmuch as deceit has a purpose, then unconsciousness also has a purpose. No point in a lie if everyone’s walking about fully conscious of everything, who are you fooling? It takes two for a deceit to function, one to tell the lie and one to not know it.

I write every week about the lie, about just what it is we do that feeds this evil wolf within us despite our denials, but not so much today. Today, I want to start something. I’ve told you that I find this view of us offensive and unproductive – did I? I meant to. I mean unproductive of peace and progress, of course. My entire thesis is that it’s productive of just the situation it declares to pre-exist – but today I want to ask you.

Are you happy with this state of affairs? With this description of yourself and with the life before you in this view? This is what you were made for, here’s your rifle, good luck out there? Moreover – do you feel conscious about it? Like you had some choice in the matter? Or does it maybe feel like if there is a greater share of consciousness out there somewhere, that the powers are keeping it to themselves? Or perhaps that there just isn’t, and they’re keeping only that data point, that atom of awareness to themselves, for what advantage that may give?

Mic drop, end of blog, pithy and bitter, as usual.

Or . . .

. . . or we could choose not to simply declare ourselves conscious in this unconscious state and make the effort. I don’t expect everyone to suddenly agree with me and change their minds, but I’m asking for our scientists to revolt, to distress their parents and their churches and their donors and bosses, by not rubber stamping the status quo as the way it is and the only way it can be, to rebel by not projecting our guessed at past onto the future, but to find the next move, the way forward and to life, to a future.

You’re the brain with the pocket protector, you’re supposed to find the solutions, not tell us there are none. Figure stuff out, don’t be happy to merely describe the end of the world, like the media does, don’t just narrate and watch!

Simply describing yourself as aggressive and saying, “watch out for me,” is a very low level of consciousness indeed, hardly worthy of science. And did no-one ever tell you that you’re not supposed to tell a kid he is bad, only that he’s doing bad things, and why? That’s what I’m talking about here, you are telling more than kids exactly that. Of course, that’s what the Koch Foundation is paying for.

Chin up! Be brave – and follow me. I’m a philosopher by nature, I can figure this stuff out in English, in words, but this needs scientists, proof and publishing, chemistry and math, all of that – let’s get something started. Or, you know. Planet of the Apes.





February 14th., 2020

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?




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.




January 29th., 2020


Part #1:

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.




January 28th., 2020

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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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?


  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.


  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?


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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,


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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,


  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.


  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


  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:


  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.


  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.


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


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

Jeff’s Unifying Theory of Human Conflict



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.



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.




November 27th., 2019