More about Circuitry

I’ve said that when we discuss human origins, that it’s the evolved “creation myth” circuit we employ, and so we wind up in the same conversations, using the new idea in the same old way. I’ve also tried to describe a circuit, a neural highway for the Nurture Assumption, by any number of names, the reason, whatever it is, that we employ our social control, that we either are rough on our own children or that we allow the older children unfettered access to be.

Maybe this is another one, or some aspect of the same ones here:

Our nightmares are some totalitarian slave system but our dreams are a good job and to contribute to society and that sounds like two ways to talk about the same circuit too, betrayed by a similarity of format, same as the innate/adaptive argument I’m making. This sounds like philosophical tool, an audit for “new” ideas – is the format the same, does it sound like the same factory may be making the “new” product? Ha! Same supply chains? Same market? Wait, yes! Can it be/is it being sold to the same market, the same pool of the same brains with the same circuits? Ha again – if they don’t have trouble adapting to it, maybe there is no adaptation required, and if it doesn’t offend and terrify us, it’s probably nothing new.

Of course, dual memes like that, different sounding takes on the same general, possibly preconfigured memes, this is always the opportunity for groupness and group conflict, , you know, we believe in evolution and adaptation, while they believe some rubbish about innate “natures.” Again, probably the same circuit in both of our brains . . . it’s almost interesting, same hardware, same firmware, maybe all the way out to software, and still we find a way to make a division out of it – in the virtual reality world of our beliefs! Which, sadly, is enough, any excuse for our reason to be, the group and its conflicts.

Jeff

June 25th., 2020 mostly. Intro

Sept. 19th., 2020

Deterrents

deterrents hurt. Deterrents are threats, and frighten us, engage the defense systems, deterrents are antisocializing all on their own, let alone when they fail and the threat becomes an horrific reality. An environment of deterrents is a dangerous, stressful, abusive environment. I guarantee we have environmentally controlled alleles for that, or rather, we have the capability, it’s in our gene suite, and I guarantee we set our lives up to activate them. For years I’ve been arguing that if it were only deterrents, if they worked, that would be fine, but of course that’s stupid, half-measures. Remembering Sapolsky, it is exactly threat and not violence that lasts too long and wears us out from the stress. Laws and deterrents are relentless.

Jeff

June 25th., 2020

Foucault Anthropology

Late night thought: we did not eliminate the alpha, we socialized his power, all the men have it, that’s what Wrangham describes, that’s the patriarchy – but that’s Foucault isn’t it, distributed power, socialized alpha power, I’m saying, but the thing is, I think for evidence that the alpha is not gone, rather everywhere instead, is that the world has been destroyed at the hands of the tyranny of cousins, that in fact what they’ve wrought is the same destruction the alpha does. “Foucault anthropology” again: whatever relief and freedom chimps ever get from their alpha, for whatever reason, he’s occupied abusing someone else, humans do not, the socialized, everywhere alpha has time for all of us, all the time. The technological gains, the knowledge, the culture, the civilization, it all seems to be better and different, not alpha destructiveness, it was a lot of literal construction . . . but if it all ends soon, if the air gives out or something, in hindsight, we will have to say it all served nothing but somebody’s destructiveness. Won’t we?

That either he’s not gone, he’s everywhere, throwing his violent tantrums, or that he did in fact provide some check, some form of organization that at least left us selectable by the rest of the biosphere . . . weird, this may be worth pursuing. On the one hand, it does seem an alpha function to hold us back from progress, to protect his position that way, and it seems incredibly clear today in America where the oppressed citizens are asking for better treatment from the authorities and it is the police and the authorities that are rioting, having a proper alpha tantrum, and lagging behind the public’s anti-violence morality. On the other hand, if he had held us back a lot more, we would still be relatively harmless apes? I’m not getting to it, but there’s something in there. D’ya think?

Jeff

June 2020

Who You Are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff,

Sept. 13th., 2020