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the fall of mankind, the history of lies

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  • Theodore H. Smith
    So... I was thinking... So it s clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
      So... I was thinking...

      So it's clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That
      there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we create.

      So... it's clear that our ancestors, must of, at one time, been more
      in-tune with nature. Because we evolved from animals, and animals are
      more in-tune with nature.

      There must have been some point, that humans decided to do everything
      in reverse.... To lose health for money, instead of spending money on
      health. Or women looking sexy for money, instead of looking sexy
      simply for the sake of it. Or to leading and being popular to dominate
      and oppress, instead of leading to inspire and uplift.

      I think I know when it was. It was when humans became clever enough to
      lie. When humans developed enough intelligence to lie, that was when
      everything became fucked up. If you want a specific date, well I don't
      know... I guess that narrows it down though. All you need to do is
      find out when ancient humans first became smart enough to lie.

      Of course, women lie more than men... so I guess it's fair to say that
      women caused the downfall of humanity, and turned us away from nature.

      There must have been a point, when our ancestors, after learning how
      to talk... learnt how to lie. The lies spread and spread. People
      started refusing to undo their lies. It became easier to kill a liar
      than to make them stop lying. People who didn't lie, became influenced
      by lies, and started lying themselves.

      Because everyone was lying all the time, people started having to
      develop enough intelligence, to survive a society full of lies and
      liars. And develop enough intelligence so that they survive despite
      their own self-destructive behaviour.

      So, because some guy ruined a project (perhaps building a dam to hold
      in water, or something that primitive people might need) with his
      lies... his project is doomed.

      Imagine that there are 10 liars who each ruined their own project.
      But... one liar is clever enough, to find someone else, who is foolish
      enough to swallow some of the lies, but smart enough to know how to
      fix the project. The liar, who is now acting like the leader, takes
      all the credit for fixing the dam. Or perhaps he finds a way to be
      honest about the dam, but instead, lies about something else. So he
      switches his lies, because he is sadistic and doesn't want to stop
      lying entirely.

      Well... now he is more likely to survive than the liars who just
      destroyed their own project. And so... modern society was born. People
      became smarter at lying, and getting away with it, passing on the
      destruction to other people in soceity, and onto nature.

      And of course, people had to develop enough intelligence to survive
      lies, quite often just become better robots, because they still
      believe the lies, they just now have to survive with an added burden,
      meaning they need more intelligence to survive.

      Until we reached this point in time, when there will soon be nothing
      left to destroy. All the lies will end up destroying themselves, the
      liars, the plants, the animals, and everyone else.

      I guess... that history makes no sense, unless you study the history
      of lies. How most people lie, because most people are sadistic. How
      it's not the fault of a few powerful people, it's the fault of most
      people. How it's not self-interest that makes people lie, but SADISM.
      And how sadism is a BAD THING, and there is no excuse for it. Anyone
      who says sadism is OK or says it's a result of evolution, is also just
      a liar.

      Humans are both sadistic and self-interested. It's multi-dimensional.
      Like left and up. Going up doesn't stop you from going left.

      Self-interest is the positive aspect of humans that makes them
      cooperate, invent, share, love, save.

      Sadism is the negative aspect that makes us lie, refuse to hear the
      truth, destroy the environment, torture, steal, murder, fight wars,
      let innocent people die in front of you when you could easily save
      them, support evil leaders, etc.

      Some people don't have sadism, they just have self-interest. Some
      people have self-interest and higher natures too, like true-care, or
      "natural-respect" (the opposite of sadism). Some people have self-
      interest and coldness. Or self-interest, true-care, and sadism (making
      them twisted).

      But most humans are self-interested and sadistic. Even if it's only 1%
      sadism, it's still sadism.

      But that doesn't mean life has to be that way. There must be other
      planets out there, where most people are just purely self-interested.
      And so almost all the negative events on Earth, don't happen there. It
      would seem like paradise, compared to Earth, and that's just people
      who are purely-self-interested.

      There must be other planets out there, where people have self-
      interest, and true-care, and no sadism. That would be a far higher
      existance than even that lovely self-interested world that is already
      better than Earth.

      The way I see it... is "souls" are categorised, and sorted according
      to their nature, and end up on the planet where most people are like
      them. Most of the time, anyhow. So you end up with planets of self-
      interested people, planets of self-interested and sadistic people
      (Earth), planets of people with self-interest and true-care (somekind
      kind of real paradise), etc, etc.

      For what it's worth, most humans aren't that sadistic. Maybe only
      around 1-5% sadism.

      --
      http://elfdata.com/plugin/
      "String processing, done right"
    • xavier moon
      Very good effort. You may find this article Of Psychopaths and Sycophants resonant with much that you ve written;
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
        Very good effort.

        You may find this article Of Psychopaths and Sycophants resonant with much that you've written;

        http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20080503.htm 

        You may also find Jay Hanson's simple little flash video series on this subject interesting and informative;

        http://www.warsocialism.com/

        The business of lying is well addressed by Julian Jaynes in Origins of Consciousness.

        The only factor I think you've left out of the equation is "status seeking" or as Gurdjieff somewhat less famously referred to it, The Peacock/Peahen Spectacle;

        http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/peacockpeahen-spectacle.html

        http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/overcoming-status-drive.html

        Which seems to go to the core of what the ancient Mandeans (root Christians) struggled mightily with.

        Methods for overcoming archaic drives that conduce to irrational cognitive error have been around for a very long time.  Groups of people have succeeded at this task - but as you note - the mass of humanity is afflicted waaaay beyond any possibility of redemptive intervention.  Perhaps when everything is said and done, these cognitive errors comprise our evolutionary great filter.

        --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "Theodore H. Smith" <delete@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > So... I was thinking...
        >
        > So it's clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That
        > there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we create.
      • no1_un0
        This was a rough read, a pain. What do you know about sadism? The text gives a clue. Wiki the topic. It is just pure joy for some people and not much comes to
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
          This was a rough read, a pain. What do you know about sadism? The text
          gives a clue. Wiki the topic. It is just pure joy for some people and
          not much comes to parallel that. What you mean might be better
          described by the word recidivism and abuse. All sadists know what
          abuse is and a real sadist would not ever engage in abuse or be in an
          abusive relationship. The difference between these getting mixed up
          is like the hacker/kracker simulacra.

          LOVE

          anyways...

          --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "Theodore H. Smith" <delete@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > So... I was thinking...
          >
          > So it's clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That
          > there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we create.
          >
          > So... it's clear that our ancestors, must of, at one time, been more
          > in-tune with nature. Because we evolved from animals, and animals are
          > more in-tune with nature.
          >
          > There must have been some point, that humans decided to do everything
          > in reverse.... To lose health for money, instead of spending money on
          > health. Or women looking sexy for money, instead of looking sexy
          > simply for the sake of it. Or to leading and being popular to dominate
          > and oppress, instead of leading to inspire and uplift.
          >
          > I think I know when it was. It was when humans became clever enough to
          > lie. When humans developed enough intelligence to lie, that was when
          > everything became fucked up. If you want a specific date, well I don't
          > know... I guess that narrows it down though. All you need to do is
          > find out when ancient humans first became smart enough to lie.
          >
          > Of course, women lie more than men... so I guess it's fair to say that
          > women caused the downfall of humanity, and turned us away from nature.
          >
          > There must have been a point, when our ancestors, after learning how
          > to talk... learnt how to lie. The lies spread and spread. People
          > started refusing to undo their lies. It became easier to kill a liar
          > than to make them stop lying. People who didn't lie, became influenced
          > by lies, and started lying themselves.
          >
          > Because everyone was lying all the time, people started having to
          > develop enough intelligence, to survive a society full of lies and
          > liars. And develop enough intelligence so that they survive despite
          > their own self-destructive behaviour.
          >
          > So, because some guy ruined a project (perhaps building a dam to hold
          > in water, or something that primitive people might need) with his
          > lies... his project is doomed.
          >
          > Imagine that there are 10 liars who each ruined their own project.
          > But... one liar is clever enough, to find someone else, who is foolish
          > enough to swallow some of the lies, but smart enough to know how to
          > fix the project. The liar, who is now acting like the leader, takes
          > all the credit for fixing the dam. Or perhaps he finds a way to be
          > honest about the dam, but instead, lies about something else. So he
          > switches his lies, because he is sadistic and doesn't want to stop
          > lying entirely.
          >
          > Well... now he is more likely to survive than the liars who just
          > destroyed their own project. And so... modern society was born. People
          > became smarter at lying, and getting away with it, passing on the
          > destruction to other people in soceity, and onto nature.
          >
          > And of course, people had to develop enough intelligence to survive
          > lies, quite often just become better robots, because they still
          > believe the lies, they just now have to survive with an added burden,
          > meaning they need more intelligence to survive.
          >
          > Until we reached this point in time, when there will soon be nothing
          > left to destroy. All the lies will end up destroying themselves, the
          > liars, the plants, the animals, and everyone else.
          >
          > I guess... that history makes no sense, unless you study the history
          > of lies. How most people lie, because most people are sadistic. How
          > it's not the fault of a few powerful people, it's the fault of most
          > people. How it's not self-interest that makes people lie, but SADISM.
          > And how sadism is a BAD THING, and there is no excuse for it. Anyone
          > who says sadism is OK or says it's a result of evolution, is also just
          > a liar.
          >
          > Humans are both sadistic and self-interested. It's multi-dimensional.
          > Like left and up. Going up doesn't stop you from going left.
          >
          > Self-interest is the positive aspect of humans that makes them
          > cooperate, invent, share, love, save.
          >
          > Sadism is the negative aspect that makes us lie, refuse to hear the
          > truth, destroy the environment, torture, steal, murder, fight wars,
          > let innocent people die in front of you when you could easily save
          > them, support evil leaders, etc.
          >
          > Some people don't have sadism, they just have self-interest. Some
          > people have self-interest and higher natures too, like true-care, or
          > "natural-respect" (the opposite of sadism). Some people have self-
          > interest and coldness. Or self-interest, true-care, and sadism (making
          > them twisted).
          >
          > But most humans are self-interested and sadistic. Even if it's only 1%
          > sadism, it's still sadism.
          >
          > But that doesn't mean life has to be that way. There must be other
          > planets out there, where most people are just purely self-interested.
          > And so almost all the negative events on Earth, don't happen there. It
          > would seem like paradise, compared to Earth, and that's just people
          > who are purely-self-interested.
          >
          > There must be other planets out there, where people have self-
          > interest, and true-care, and no sadism. That would be a far higher
          > existance than even that lovely self-interested world that is already
          > better than Earth.
          >
          > The way I see it... is "souls" are categorised, and sorted according
          > to their nature, and end up on the planet where most people are like
          > them. Most of the time, anyhow. So you end up with planets of self-
          > interested people, planets of self-interested and sadistic people
          > (Earth), planets of people with self-interest and true-care (somekind
          > kind of real paradise), etc, etc.
          >
          > For what it's worth, most humans aren't that sadistic. Maybe only
          > around 1-5% sadism.
          >
          > --
          > http://elfdata.com/plugin/
          > "String processing, done right"
          >
        • Steve Dodd
          ... Interesting .. that s just crystallized out some thoughts for me. Part of the problem may actually be to do with neoteny - becoming (or remaining)
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
            --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "Theodore H. Smith" wrote:

            > So... I was thinking...
            >
            > So it's clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That
            > there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we
            > create.
            >
            > So... it's clear that our ancestors, must of, at one time, been more
            > in-tune with nature. Because we evolved from animals, and animals
            > are more in-tune with nature.

            Interesting .. that's just crystallized out some thoughts for me.

            Part of the problem may actually be to do with neoteny - becoming (or
            remaining) childlike. I think on this list we tend to focus on the
            positive aspects of this (playfulness, creativity, etc.), but I think
            there's a downside too.

            There's a book called "The Eternal Child" by Clive Bromhall which
            makes many interesting points about this process in humans, and I seem
            to recall wandering down a path a while back which linked DRD4 to this
            process. My suspicion was that there may be a genetic basis for
            socialization in species, humans in particular, and that the
            underlying basis may be to do with "childishness."

            A guy called Steve Taylor's written an interesting book called "The
            Fall", but which is a pretty scientific description of this history of
            humanity. To sum up, at one point we had it good, then it all went to
            nuts, and we've been taking out our anger and resentment on each other
            ever since. His focus is very much on the fall, but it might actually
            be worth looking at the "eden" bit, as well.

            If we developed our language/abstraction skills during this period,
            then this, coupled with socialization, explains the birth of
            spirituality / religion. We had it good, and so had no reason to
            dislike each other (no competition). We were able to remain in touch
            with emotional memories of very early infanthood (maybe even of being
            in the womb), when everything was provided for us, but we had little
            sense of (our own or others) individuality, and this provided a sense
            of a benevolent, spiritual universe. We were able to talk about this,
            and pass the idea down. Bingo: primitive spirituality.

            (Then the shit hit the fan, we lost the good fuzzy feelings, and only
            had the words - not necessarily even the meanings - of the stories.
            Hence serpents, vengeful gods, eye for an eye, etc., etc.)

            > There must have been some point, that humans decided to do
            > everything in reverse.... To lose health for money, instead of
            > spending money on health. Or women looking sexy for money, instead
            > of looking sexy simply for the sake of it. Or to leading and being
            > popular to dominate and oppress, instead of leading to inspire and
            > uplift.

            It's the downside of that socialization and abstraction, I think. A
            solitary animal deals with shit moment-to-moment, fighting, fleeing,
            looking for food, etc., etc. When things get better again, it's over,
            no problems. When things get crap for humans, however, we retreat, to
            a certain extent, into little abstract fantasies in our heads, about
            God and salvation, about power, about revenge. Some maybe less harmful
            than others: an *intelligent* search for power over the universe gives
            us science and technology, which, while they have their own problems,
            maybe an intentional part of the bigger picture.

            Money is the biggest, most ill-defined fantasy. It's sort of the
            psychological equivalent of the algebraic "x." We don't know what
            we're looking for, it's a generalized fuzzy goodness, and the closest
            we know to that in day-to-day life is money..

            > I think I know when it was. It was when humans became clever enough
            > to lie. When humans developed enough intelligence to lie, that was
            > when everything became fucked up. If you want a specific date, well
            > I don't know... I guess that narrows it down though. All you need to
            > do is find out when ancient humans first became smart enough to lie.

            Incidentally, some animals *almost* lie. In monkey groups, for
            example, some will give alarm calls when there's no threat, and the
            rest of the group quickly learns to ignore them. It doesn't seem
            malicious though - perhaps just a result of excessive anxiety?

            Really malicious lying is presumably about revenge. It only has an
            effect when we're amongst others. Denying reality to ourselves doesn't
            help us in any way, after all.. and even amongst groups, presumably
            only in the (relative) short-term. It's not a sensible long-term strategy.

            > Of course, women lie more than men... so I guess it's fair to say
            > that women caused the downfall of humanity, and turned us away from
            > nature.

            Interesting .. we had a poster on here a while back with a kind of
            similar built-in apparent misogyny. I ridiculed it at the time, and
            have therefore been rather ashamed to discover it in myself over the
            last couple of years. Two questions to ponder:

            1) do you find women lie explicitly, verbally? Or is it more a sense
            of fundamental spiritual disingenuous-ness, of confusing / duplicitous
            emotional signals?

            2) are you sure men lie *less*, or do you just naturally
            (unconsciously) set lower standards for men? I have a feeling I do
            this - I find it easier to recognize and disregard / workaround men
            who are making trouble.

            In an imperfect world, it's unavoidable that the first people to
            betray us as children are almost always women, i.e. our mothers:
            denying us food / comfort, sending us out into unpleasant situations,
            failing to protect us, etc., etc. Obviously this goes for female
            children too, but when they grow up (and potentially have kids
            themselves) they presumably find it easier to put themselves in their
            mother's shoes and understand why it happens. For men it's less easy
            to rationalize away that nagging little kernel of resentment.

            [..]
            > Because everyone was lying all the time, people started having to
            > develop enough intelligence, to survive a society full of lies and
            > liars. And develop enough intelligence so that they survive despite
            > their own self-destructive behaviour.

            Interesting .. a sorting of ratcheting up, an intellectual arms race?
            It certainly makes sense, explaining how we've got so good at
            "critical thinking", pulling everything apart, looking for the catch
            .. and usually failing to put stuff back together again afterwards.

            > Imagine that there are 10 liars who each ruined their own project.
            > But... one liar is clever enough, to find someone else, who is
            > foolish enough to swallow some of the lies, but smart enough to know
            > how to fix the project. The liar, who is now acting like the leader,
            > takes all the credit for fixing the dam. Or perhaps he finds a way
            > to be honest about the dam, but instead, lies about something else.
            > So he switches his lies, because he is sadistic and doesn't want to
            > stop lying entirely.

            There's something distinctly plausible about this little story. And if
            you look closely, of course, it's all about "credit" - what other
            people think, the search for approval (perhaps an unconscious desire
            to return to childhood, and live it over with the mistakes corrected?)

            > Well... now he is more likely to survive than the liars who just
            > destroyed their own project. And so... modern society was born.
            > People became smarter at lying, and getting away with it, passing
            > on the destruction to other people in soceity, and onto nature.

            There's definitely something about this that rings true. The arms race
            of bullshit and critical thinking (to detect the bullshit) sets up a
            kind of dialectic, the dialectic generates knowledge, and slowly fills
            up the map. At the end we end up with a big map, but one founded on
            paranoia and distrust, and a large chunk of residual resentment. We
            have to do the un-"Ghost Not"-ing thing and somehow "turn it
            right-side out."

            This reminds me of a post I never got around to making, based on the
            "emotional components of knowledge" stuff: I contend that all this
            shows us the role of "geekdom" in the modern world. Namely, (1)
            topreserve the knowledge against the rising tide of "Idiocracy"-style
            stupidity, and (2) to swap out the emotional substrate of the
            knowledge, so it becomes something people want to learn rather than
            something they are forced to learn. We might also add: (3) stop doing
            stuff for others that they need to learn to do for themselves -
            *critical* critical thinking needs to go, but we have to keep
            creativity, and contact with genuine needs and desires is usually the
            best driver.

            [..]
            > The way I see it... is "souls" are categorised, and sorted according
            > to their nature, and end up on the planet where most people are like
            > them. Most of the time, anyhow. So you end up with planets of self-
            > interested people, planets of self-interested and sadistic people
            > (Earth), planets of people with self-interest and true-care
            > (somekind kind of real paradise), etc, etc.

            This idea seems to crop up, apparently independently, and a lot of
            recent New Age-y stuff. It's intriguing ..

            S.
          • Theodore H. Smith
            ... I don t see it as New Agey... I hate that term, and honestly most new agey people are totally insane. I see it as logic. It s sort of like how dodgy car
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
              On 16 Oct 2008, at 13:56, Steve Dodd wrote:

              > > The way I see it... is "souls" are categorised, and sorted according
              > > to their nature, and end up on the planet where most people are like
              > > them. Most of the time, anyhow. So you end up with planets of self-
              > > interested people, planets of self-interested and sadistic people
              > > (Earth), planets of people with self-interest and true-care
              > > (somekind kind of real paradise), etc, etc.
              >
              > This idea seems to crop up, apparently independently, and a lot of
              > recent New Age-y stuff. It's intriguing ..


              I don't see it as New Agey... I hate that term, and honestly most "new
              agey" people are totally insane.

              I see it as logic.

              It's sort of like how dodgy car mechanics undermine trust in good car
              mechanics. Imagine if 90% of car mechanics were dodgy rather than just
              30% ;), people would write off the entire industry as untrustworthy.

              Anyhow, my take on "souls", and morality, is this. There are different
              kinds of natures. Some are purely self-interested, others may be
              purely truely-caring, others purely sadistic. And then you have souls
              who are combinations of these 3 basic drives. Like sadism
              +selfinterest, or truecare+sadism, or selfinterest+sadism+truecare
              even... In all, there are 12 combinations.

              Actually, it's like this. Imagine... that someone on Earth, a
              scientist, discovered helium. Now... he knows that most things on
              Earth do not contain helium. It's pretty rare. But... he knows it
              exists, because he HAS IT! In a bottle. He can show helium to people.

              So... let's say he also has a theory, that explains that helium should
              exist in vast quantities in the Universe. Just because very little of
              it exists on Earth, does not mean that very little Helium exists in
              the Universe. His theory suggests that there should be entire planets
              made mostly of helium, or space clouds bigger than a star, or that
              sort of thing.

              It's like that with me and discovering morality. I have found "other
              moralities", non-typical moralities, even "higher moralities" in a few
              humans... and having a theory that predicts their existance, and no
              reason to believe they should be rare... this leads me to believe,
              that they must exist elsewhere, in far greater numbers.

              So even if most humans do have sadism, that doesn't mean there is any
              reason it should be the same way on every other planet. Maybe other
              planets, most beings there don't have sadism.

              Also... people who don't believe in sadism or true-care... who just
              believe everything is self-interest... and that self-interest comes
              from genetics and reproduction, basically that we are machines... they
              STILL get angry about injustices, like theft, or murder, or that sort
              of thing. And expect the court system to do something about it.

              But what good is a court system, if everyone is just a machine? If
              that were true... we'd just need a mechanic to enter our brains and
              fix it.

              Punishment, only makes sense when morality enters the equation. When
              someone has to weigh up the pleasure they get from harming someone
              innocent, against the pain when society punishes them.

              So if he sees, that he shooting the scientist's cat gives him "1 unit
              of sadism reward" to the sadism in his soul... but sees he'll be
              punished by the courts by "10 units of self-interest loss", to the
              self-interest in his soul... he may decide NOT to be sadistic.

              And that is how punishment works to keep order in a society where most
              people have a little bit of sadism. Of course, that kind of punishment
              won't work against someone who has too much sadism in their soul. If
              they are like 50% or more sadistic... it couldn't possibly work.
              Thankfully, most humans are more like only 5% sadistic.

              It's the most instinctive emotional response, probably because it's
              the correct response!! If someone causes harm to someone innocent, you
              get to harm them back. Children do it... the courts do it...

              Yet some "scientists", for all their great wisdom, believe that it's
              wrong, because we are just machines. The same scientists who get angry
              when someone shoots his pet cat. Total contradiction!

              ...

              I wrote this about "love and lighters". "Love and Light", being one of
              the new agers favourite terms: http://freeism.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=236

              --
              http://elfdata.com/plugin/
              "String processing, done right"
            • Steve Dodd
              ... [..] Ooh! It s almost like old times. If I wish really hard, do I get Alan and Martin as well? ;-) ... Interesting.. As a former CIA Director and
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
                --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "xavier moon" wrote:
                >
                > Very good effort.

                [..]

                Ooh! It's almost like old times. If I wish really hard, do I get Alan
                and Martin as well? ;-)

                > You may find this article Of Psychopaths and Sycophants resonant
                > with much that you've written;

                > http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20080503.htm
                > <http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20080503.htm>

                Interesting..

                "As a former CIA Director and long-term black operative, Bush Sr.
                would have access to the many CIA programs developed to breakdown a
                normal human being and install the psychopathic selector switch."

                .. didn't many esoteric traditions also attempt to "breakdown a normal
                human being"?

                I'm convinced the problem with the psychopaths is not that they exist,
                but that they are not psychopathic *enough*. At the ultimate end of
                the spectrum, I think the need for power, wealth, and even survival
                go, along with the social instinct. Zen Master = very calm psychopath
                (except when hitting people with sticks.) The funny (and sometimes not
                so funny) little teenage pseudo-satanists may be right when they talk
                about a "left-hand path."

                > Methods for overcoming archaic drives that conduce to irrational
                > cognitive error have been around for a very long time.

                What's your current take on suffering, as part of this process? Merely
                an unavoidable consequence of making efforts and / or mismatch with
                the embedding society? Or as an actual necessity, a fundamental
                *cause* of personal transformation? I oscillate (with fairly high
                frequency) on this one, but am currently leaning towards "necessity."

                > Groups of people have succeeded at this task - but as you note -
                > the mass of humanity is afflicted waaaay beyond any possibility of
                > redemptive intervention.

                If suffering is the key, there should be some hope for some of them.
                It's never in short supply, and current prospects aren't exactly
                looking favourable. Arithmetically, even if they end up eating each
                other, at least one should survive ;-)

                S., almost-perfected psychopath (yes, I'm still working on the hubris..)
              • xavier moon
                ... The historical record suggests that Aassassins, thugee, inquisitors, ritual child abusers, SS officers, samurai - are part of a broken down pattern. I m
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 16, 2008
                  --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Dodd" <anarchetic@...> wrote:
                  > Interesting..
                  >
                  > "As a former CIA Director and long-term black operative, Bush Sr.
                  > would have access to the many CIA programs developed to breakdown a
                  > normal human being and install the psychopathic selector switch."
                  >
                  > .. didn't many esoteric traditions also attempt to "breakdown a
                  > normal human being"?

                  The historical record suggests that Aassassins, thugee, inquisitors,
                  ritual child abusers, SS officers, samurai - are part of a broken down
                  pattern. I'm not sure what they share in common with folks drawn from
                  intentional esoteric communities, associations and societies.

                  > I'm convinced the problem with the psychopaths is not that they
                  > exist, but that they are not psychopathic *enough*. At the ultimate
                  > end of the spectrum, I think the need for power, wealth, and even
                  > survival go, along with the social instinct.

                  are you perhaps using the terms psychopath and sociopath
                  interchangeably and thus erroneously? Charles Manson and John Wayne
                  Gacy were psychopaths - Bill Clinton is a sociopath.

                  > Zen Master = very calm psychopath
                  > (except when hitting people with sticks.)

                  Something not too many people know about Japan from the Tokugawa
                  shogunate up through the period of the Meiji restoration is that it
                  was a nearly zero population growth (and thus highly sustainable)
                  society. The exceedingly high murder rates ensuing from 3.5 foot long
                  curved razors in the hands of zen-ritualized killers ensured that
                  fact. Jury's still out on whether that archaic mindset is fully
                  psychopathic, though perhaps a lot depends on what you think of Yukio
                  Mishima as a nearly modern representative/exemplar of that archaic
                  mindset.

                  > > Methods for overcoming archaic drives that conduce to irrational
                  > > cognitive error have been around for a very long time.

                  > What's your current take on suffering, as part of this process?
                  > Merely an unavoidable consequence of making efforts and/or mismatch
                  > with the embedding society? Or as an actual necessity, a fundamental
                  > *cause* of personal transformation? I oscillate (with fairly high
                  > frequency) on this one, but am currently leaning towards
                  > "necessity."

                  Only intentional suffering has value. The societal mismatch is grist
                  for the mill, but unalloyed with methods for using the friction which
                  it engenders, it has no value and falls into the category of
                  unintentional suffering, or just plain misery.

                  > > Groups of people have succeeded at this task - but as you note -
                  > > the mass of humanity is afflicted waaaay beyond any possibility of
                  > > redemptive intervention.

                  > If suffering is the key, there should be some hope for some of them.

                  Nah, they're just one big accidentally and unintentionally suffering
                  mass..., not taking any of that valuable incandescent inefficiency and
                  harnessing it toward any consciously desired aim or end.

                  I sometimes suspect that there are things which feed on all that
                  unintentional suffering.

                  > It's never in short supply, and current prospects aren't exactly
                  > looking favourable. Arithmetically, even if they end up eating each
                  > other, at least one should survive ;-)

                  The moon is about due to belly-up to the planet-wide human buffet and
                  gorge itself.
                • Andrew Downing
                  Hey Theodore, others, I ve read your post and associated links. I find that while I don t totally disagree with you, I tend to think that your description is
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                    Hey Theodore, others,

                    I've read your post and associated links.
                    I find that while I don't totally disagree with you, I tend to think
                    that your description is strong on applying labels and relatively light
                    on explanatory value.
                    Declaring people to be liars and sadists then attributing all the worlds
                    problems to that doesn't really get us very far in my opinion.

                    I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says it's
                    a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".
                    This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for the
                    human condition as just categorically disallowed. Just because you say so.
                    Last year, I came across what I thought was a particularly good
                    description of the effect of evolution on our current behavior.
                    I thought I would share it with you all.

                    It's the transcript of a talk given by a chap named Ezra Niesen at
                    Arizona State University.
                    I've copied it all below for your reading convenience though it's quite
                    long.

                    ...AndrewD...


                    Turning The Tide On Religious Fundamentalism
                    By Ezra Niesen

                    The Secular Freethought Society invited me to give this lecture at
                    Arizona State University this fall. The field of evolutionary
                    psychology is gigantic, however, so by the time I covered the field
                    adequately well, my lecture was over 4 hours long. So I recorded that
                    version and posted it here instead, while I figure out how to write a
                    shorter version...


                    1. Introduction

                    I have decided to take over the world as a practical joke.

                    Obviously, in order to build a peaceful, sustainable global civilization
                    we must build one that's fair to everyone. To do that, we must recognize
                    that everyone on Earth has just as much right to be here as everyone
                    else, that everyone has just as much right to their culture and their
                    individuality as everyone else, and that everyone has just as good of
                    reasons for their culture and their individuality as everyone else. That
                    way no one will need to fight off the global civilization, because
                    nobody will be threatened by it in the first place. So I'm taking over
                    the world just to prove that global civilization is possible to build.

                    I'm just one person. I can't really take over the world all by myself.
                    But what I can do is to give everyone in the world everything they need
                    to know to help build that global civilization themselves. And that's so
                    simple I can do it just by writing one book (of which this is the first
                    volume). If a majority of voters around the world agree with what I say
                    and begin demanding it from their government officials, and the only way
                    for politicians to get elected anymore was to do what I say because I
                    put into words what a majority of voters want, that would pretty well
                    make me king of the world, wouldn't it?

                    What would you rather have? A big war? (Oops, too late...)

                    Currently, all of civilization is founded on a faulty premise. In the
                    history of the world, no civilization has ever worked as well as its
                    founders thought it should. The problem can be fixed, but it won't be
                    easy. The longer we ignore the problem, the worse it gets. So there's no
                    time to start like the present, eh?

                    How're y'all doing tonight?

                    I'm Ezra Niesen, I'm the author of this big reference book to the
                    science of life, 42: Evolutionary Science and its uses in Everyday Life,
                    Civil Rights, and World Peace. If you don't know who Douglass Adams is,
                    then I call it 42 because that's what you get when the people of two
                    21st century civilizations stop fighting amongst themselves and start
                    adding their best qualities together for a change.

                    In the debate over evolution versus intelligent design, there is a hell
                    of a lot more at stake than the public is being told. About 20 years
                    ago, scientists began studying human evolution specifically, to try to
                    uncover the origins of human consciousness and human behavior, to try to
                    figure out why they had turned so self destructive. They started this in
                    1987, during the height of the Cold War, to try to figure out what it
                    was about people that made the threat of global nuclear anhillation seem
                    to make so much sense to so many people, and what it would take to make
                    something else make more sense. Now the Cold War is over, but all we've
                    done is to replace the threat of global nuclear anhillation with global
                    warming and the global war of terrorism, and there are still something
                    like 31,000 nuclear weapons in the world, so obviously the problem
                    hasn't been solved.

                    Over the years, more and more scientists have joined the field of human
                    evolution, and have made monumental discoveries into the origins of all
                    kinds of conflicts that face us as a species. Things like the origins of
                    cultures, the course of world civilization, the origins and effects of
                    emotions, interpersonal interactions, gender differences, child
                    development, and even universal constants of religion, because every
                    characteristic of humanity is a product of human evolution in one way or
                    another.

                    The fact that we are all evolutionarily equal members of the same
                    species proves that evolution has affected all of us equally. Under a
                    secular government, that proves that we all have equally valid reasons
                    for being who we are.

                    Here in America all people are created equal. At the time that statement
                    was written, it was a philosophical belief. As it turns out, Thomas
                    Jefferson was absolutely right in saying that all men are created equal,
                    but until recently we didn't have the science to show us in what sense
                    all men are created equal. To this point, that statement has generally
                    been taken to mean that all people are equally entitled to try to act
                    like wealthy White heterosexual Christian men, and obviously a few
                    people got a very good head start at that.

                    Since human evolutionary science studies what everyone in the world has
                    in common and where their differences originated, and does it in a way
                    that's unbiased to any religion or culture, that makes it the ultimate
                    weapon for civil rights activists and international peace activists.

                    If we are ever going to build a peaceful, sustainable global community,
                    we are going to build it what everyone in the community has in common
                    already, and not on the continued misperception that one culture is
                    inherently better than all the others. The one most fundamental thing
                    that everyone on Earth is guaranteed to have in common is human evolution.

                    One of the biggest problems the human evolutionary scientists have
                    always faced is figuring out how to explain their discoveries in terms
                    that non-scientifically minded people can understand. But they are not
                    discovering any characteristics of human behavior that poets and
                    philosophers haven't known about for millennia. Some of the scientists
                    have started teaching their discoveries by relating them to well known
                    artistic and philosophical insights, because after so many thousands of
                    years of trying to fit the pieces of human behavior together,
                    inevitably, some artists and philosophers have found combinations that
                    coincide with the scientists' discoveries.

                    That's where I got involved. I come from a large family of artists and
                    engineers, so even though I don't work as a scientist, how science works
                    and why it's important to take physical reality seriously are not big
                    mysteries in my family. My grandfather was an engineer and my
                    grandmother was an artist, so between them they reinvented the ancient
                    Greek tradition of using all available means to make observations about
                    the world. That means I basically got a three generation head start over
                    all these scientists at relating science to art and philosophy.

                    I work in theatre and also write fiction, which are two of the oldest
                    studies of human behavior in the world. For 2,500 years, actors,
                    directors, and writers have been making their livings by figuring out
                    how to replicate human behavior accurately enough to make it believable
                    to human audiences. They haven't done this intentionally as a scientific
                    process, but they have stumbled upon a process that works
                    scientifically. They've been competing against each other for 25
                    centuries, and whichever artists have found the best ways to replicate
                    human behavior have been the most successful, and the next generation of
                    artists has built upon the most successful artists' techniques. That's
                    just evolution in action.

                    Hollywood is an multi-billion dollar industry because by now theatre
                    artists have figured out how to talk about characteristics of human
                    behavior that most other people are only subconsciously aware of. In the
                    same way that nuclear power plants were made possible by people figuring
                    out how to build an industry around Albert Einstein's Theory of
                    Relativity, Hollywood exists because people have figured out how to
                    build an industry around William Shakespeare's artistic genius. By now,
                    thanks to Hollywood, everyone in the industrialized world is already
                    familiar with a working understanding of human behavior, even though
                    they don't realize it yet.

                    The scientists who are making all these discoveries are basically held
                    hostage by their professional reputations, so they can't do nearly
                    enough to support evolution all on their own. I don't depend on a
                    professional reputation for my livelihood, which means I can say and do
                    things the scientists can't afford to. The evolutionary origins of human
                    behavior is by far the most controversial topic in the history of the
                    world. Using art and philosophy to teach science makes it doubly
                    controversial. So I've basically volunteered for the most controversial
                    job ever in the history of the world. But I grew up listening to the Sex
                    Pistols, I wear steel-toed boots for casual wear, I've helped set up two
                    community theatre groups that put on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and
                    I've performed in it for a number of years, so really, the most
                    controversial job ever was just the coolest fucking career move anyone
                    could ever offer me.

                    Oh, and by the way, I'm not a college professor, my background is in
                    performing arts, so whatever kind of an academic lecture you were
                    expecting tonight, this ain't it.

                    So feel free to laugh at stuff if you want. The world is already full of
                    people who are trying to force everyone else to take their ideologies
                    seriously, and nobody is having much success at it. So obviously, that
                    approach doesn't work.

                    I don't know if what I do could quite be considered stand-up comedy, but
                    I do try to make it entertaining, at least.

                    Before I get started on the scientists' discoveries, I need to make some
                    disclaimers and answer a lot of questions that people always ask.

                    "The Theory of Evolution is just an idea somebody had. It doesn't really
                    prove anything."

                    Bullshit. A lot of scientists have been devoting their lives to the
                    study of evolution for about a hundred and fifty years. By now they have
                    found hundreds of thousands of pieces of observable evidence to support
                    it, and no observable evidence to contradict it. Among scientists, there
                    is no debate whether or not evolution happened. As the saying among
                    Christians goes, "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
                    And that is true, but the presence of evidence definitely isn't evidence
                    of absence.

                    The term "theory" as used among the general public is a synonym for
                    "idea". As used among scientists, it means, "a logical conclusion drawn
                    from observable evidence which can be used to make accurate
                    predictions." That discrepancy in uses of the word has been one of the
                    Christian fundamentalists' biggest assets in undermining public support
                    for evolution. So if you want to say that evolution is "just" a theory,
                    then you also have to say that intelligent design doesn't even qualify
                    as a theory.

                    "Well what caused the Big Bang?"

                    Nobody can answer that, because we haven't found any observable evidence
                    of what existed prior to the birth of the universe. Science is the study
                    of observable evidence, and just because scientists don't have enough
                    observable evidence to answer a particular question doesn't prove that
                    religious answers must be right. Every culture in the world has a
                    creation myth, and no one of them is inherently more valid than any
                    other. The study of evolution does not require anyone to disbelieve in
                    intelligent design, but some versions of intelligent design do require
                    people to disbelieve in evolution. But that's hardly the scientists' fault.

                    "But all reality is subjective. Science can't really prove anything."

                    Once again, bullshit. It is true that everyone's perception of reality
                    is subjective. When it comes to the study of the origins of human
                    behavior, that makes the pursuit of science pretty difficult. However,
                    human evolutionary science is studied in the same way that all science
                    is studied, basically, by lots of scientists compiling their collective
                    perceptions and finding common threads that run through all of them. If
                    all scientists were wealthy White heterosexual Christian men, or all
                    belonged to any other group, then all of their subjective perceptions
                    would be skewed in the same direction. That was a problem for a long
                    time. But now that scientists have recognized that problem, and
                    especially now that science is being studied by people from all over the
                    world who can talk to each other with our global telecommunications
                    network and meet up in international conventions, that problem has been
                    overcome.

                    "But nobody can make huge generalized statements about people."

                    A lot of progressively-minded people get totally grossed out by the idea
                    that scientists could discover so many important things about how other
                    people's minds work. They also get grossed out by anyone who talks about
                    people in broad absolute terms. Ironically, the study of human
                    evolutionary science offers progressively minded people just about
                    everything they'll ever need to succeed at everything they're trying to
                    accomplish, but it revolves around making broad absolute statements
                    about people. Statements such as, "All humans belong to the Homo sapiens
                    species," and, "All humans are the product of human evolution," and,
                    "All humans have instincts for survival and reproduction," and "All
                    humans possess the capacity for human intellect." The entire field of
                    human evolutionary science is founded on those four broad absolute
                    statements, so however much you've been taught to feel that making broad
                    absolute statements about people is wrong, I hope you can see that does
                    actually work, if you can figure out the right statements to make.

                    "All this evolution nonsense is just a ruse to advance the liberal agenda."

                    Traditionally, science has been considered politically neutral. Human
                    evolutionary science can't be considered politically neutral for a
                    couple of reasons.

                    First, if a political system is opposed to science, the advance of
                    science can't help but be politically opposed to that system.

                    Second, some political systems apply scientific principles to society
                    better than others do. For one example, monarchy existed for thousands
                    of years, but for the past two centuries democracy has been replacing
                    monarchy all over the world. Evolutionary science seems to favor
                    democracy because you can use evolutionary science to study people, and
                    to see what it was about people that made monarchy work, and to see what
                    it is about people that makes democracy work a lot better. And by "work
                    a lot better", I mean, "people are willing to cooperate with it instead
                    of rise up and overthrow it," because a political system that ceases to
                    exist no longer works, by definition.

                    There are some other examples of political ideologies that apply
                    principles of human behavior to society more effectively than others,
                    which will become evident over the course of this lecture... or comedy
                    routine... or whatever the fuck you want to call it. For now, suffice it
                    to say that in a world full of nuclear weapons and people who hate
                    Americans, there are some political ideologies that lend themselves
                    better than others to the continued survival of our DNA.

                    And finally, "Well you obviously haven't accepted the love of your
                    savior Jesus Christ into your heart, so obviously you can't possibly
                    know anything important about life at all."

                    If you're a Christian fundamentalist, you're going to get offended by
                    what I have to say here tonight. You're probably going to feel insulted.
                    And I don't care.

                    Religious fundamentalism is a disease. It is a mental illness. If I was
                    to lock my daughter in her upstairs bedroom for the rest of her life and
                    never let her cut her hair, because I thought that would make a handsome
                    prince come marry her, just because people have been telling the story
                    of Rapunzel for centuries, I would be labeled mentally ill and locked
                    up. I would be basing my perception of the world on an ancient myth,
                    with no observable evidence to support my beliefs, and I would be acting
                    upon my beliefs in a way that harmed other people.

                    The only difference between Charles Manson and George W. Bush is that
                    Charles Manson's followers never constituted a voting majority of
                    Americans. Or even anything close, for that matter...

                    Oh, well, one other difference springs to mind: Charles Manson's
                    followers only killed seven people.

                    There are a lot of bleeding heart liberals in America who say things
                    like, "Oh, well, you have to respect people's First Amendmant rights to
                    believe that our secular government should be operated in a manner
                    that's completely inconsistent with scientific reality," and, "Oh, well,
                    you have to respect people's First Ammendmant rights to believe that
                    everyone deserves to die in a global apocalypse."

                    I am not one of those bleeding heart liberals. Somebody has to make a
                    stand against you people, and I'm making it. There is not one single
                    thing about humanity that Christianity or any other religion claims to
                    be able to explain that evolutionary scientists can't explain based on
                    observable evidence in terms that are universal to the Homo sapiens species.

                    So if there's any Christian fundamentalists in the audience tonight,
                    I'll make you a deal: You stop depending on me and billions of other
                    people dying in a huge apocalyptic war just so you can feel like you've
                    accomplished something in life, and I'll start respecting your freedom
                    of religion just as much as everyone else's.

                    Oh, wait, I thought of one more: "Dude, but what if, like, a total
                    global collapse of civilization is just, like, part of the natural cycle
                    of the world, man?"

                    I think I can speak for everyone who's serving in the military and
                    emergency services right now when I say, "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!" We are all
                    so dependant on oil, electricity, and all the other infrastructures that
                    make the modern world what it is, that the total global collapse of
                    civilization would still result in lots of famine and plague and
                    violence and murder and rioting and war, and billions of people would
                    still get killed, even if it was a touchy-feely sensitive New-Age global
                    apocalypse. I find it's really easy for people to have this kind of a
                    political outlook on the world when they aren't among the first who
                    would be killed by it.

                    So if "yeah, total global apocalypse, man," is your big plan for our
                    political future, don't be surprised if your immediate future consists
                    of a whole lot of your saying, "Oh boo-hoo-hoo, we're turning into a
                    Fascistic police state, and a whole bunch of people with guns want to
                    throw me in jail just because they don't approve of the way I choose to
                    live my life. Boo-hoo-hoo!"

                    Everyone in the world wants to preserve the survival of their DNA as
                    effectively as possible. If your political plans revolve around anything
                    other than that, then whoever is getting left out of your plans is going
                    to fight back against you any way they can.

                    So like I said, even though science is politically neutral, applying
                    human evolutionary science to our living situation has some obvious
                    political ramifications.

                    Okay, that's it for my Surgeon General's Warnings. So with all that out
                    of the way, fasten your seatbelts, because here we go...

                    2. The Web of Human Behavior

                    I call this the web of human behavior. As far as I know, I'm the first
                    person ever to have written it down this way, but maybe someone else has
                    thought of it before now, I don't know.

                    Humans evolved as one species because the same set of biological laws
                    affected all of our ancestors equally for all of our evolution. If our
                    ancestors had been affected by different sets of biological laws, we
                    would've evolved as multiple species. By now, that set of biological
                    laws is written into our DNA, because everyone who didn't feel like
                    following them died out. All human behavior now revolves around
                    following that set of laws, because those are the laws people feel like
                    they should follow.

                    All animal behavior, and consequently all human behavior, revolves
                    around one thing: The attempt by the individual to preserve the survival
                    of his or her DNA by the most effective means perceivable to him or her.

                    That's true for all behavior, no matter how mundane it seems, for the
                    simple reason that after so many millions of years of competing against
                    each other for evolutionary survival, all the animals and people who
                    didn't devote all of their activity to the preservation of their DNA
                    died out and got replaced by the ones who did.

                    People engage in all kinds of activity that doesn't seem to have
                    anything to do with preserving the survival of their DNA. I never said
                    that all human behavior has anything to do with actually preserving the
                    survival of the individual's DNA. I said that all human behavior
                    revolves around the individual's perception of offering him the most
                    effective means of preserving his DNA.

                    Emotions are more powerful motivators of human behavior by far than
                    intellect. All human emotions serve very specific functions in the
                    original conditions of our evolution. Emotions cause psychological
                    effects in people that give people their perceptions that certain
                    courses of action offer the most effective means to preserve the
                    survival of their DNA. Emotions also cause physiological effects in
                    people that prepare them physically for that course of action.

                    Emotions evolved in the original conditions of our evolution, and we
                    don't live in the original conditions of our evolution. That's why
                    people's perceptions of the most effective means of preserving the
                    survivial of their DNA are so often misled.

                    Human emotion is basically a giant puzzle. Now that the puzzle is
                    completed, it's simple to understand. It has seemed unsolvable for all
                    of recorded history because a few critical pieces have only been
                    discovered within the past few years. However, people have been trying
                    to solve the puzzle for all of recorded history, and now that these
                    critical pieces have been discovered, all the pieces suddenly fall into
                    place.

                    For example, when people are faced with some overwhelming threat to
                    their safety, they feel afraid. That fear causes them to want to run
                    away, which is usually the best way to survive an overwhelming threat.
                    It also makes them feel cold because it diverts a lot of blood to their
                    legs to help them run.

                    For another example, things that make people feel disgusted cause them
                    to gag, lose their appetite, and to flare their nostrils, because for
                    most of human evolution that was the best way people had to keep from
                    eating rotten food. We all do it now because everyone who didn't do it
                    died from food poisoning. Even if you flare your nostrils, gag, and lose
                    your appetite whenever you think about your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend,
                    you feel disgusted and you react the same way because on some level, the
                    thing that your brain is best equipped to compare that person to is
                    rotten food, and that reaction works well enough that natural selection
                    hasn't adapted a more specialized reaction.

                    And so on...

                    As chaos theorists have discovered in recent years, very often seemingly
                    chaotic systems are caused by the interaction of numerous simple
                    systems. For instance, all weather is caused by the sun heating the
                    Earth, the rotation of the Earth, the geography of the Earth, and water
                    in the atmosphere changing its states among solid, liquid, and gas.

                    Likewise, all human emotion is caused by an interaction of five
                    evolutionary traits of humanity.

                    First are the two evolutionary instincts shared by all animal species:
                    survival and reproduction. In effect, those are just two different
                    versions of the same instinct: The instinct to preserve the survival of
                    one's DNA by the most effective means perceivable.

                    The other three are the three basic mental abilities that combine to
                    form human intellect, which enable us to perceive things that other
                    animals can't. People have the ability to imagine abstract ideas, to
                    perceive the passage of time, and to communicate abstract ideas among
                    members of the species. Other animals have these abilities to some
                    degree, but humans have a clear advantage in all of them over all other
                    species.

                    As Dr. Andrew Newberg and Dr. Eugene D'Aquill explain in their book Why
                    God Won't Go Away, animals' instincts can only be triggered by direct
                    stimulation of their senses?the sight of a predator or a potential mate,
                    for example. Humans' instincts can be triggered by direct stimulation,
                    but also by things they can imagine, things they can remember, or things
                    they've heard about from other humans. (Technically these things also
                    apply to other animals to a lesser degree, but again humans have a clear
                    advantage over all other animals here.)

                    The fact that all humans possess human intellect leads to the rather
                    obvious conclusion that for a long time humans have depended on their
                    human intellect to survive and reproduce. We are all alive today because
                    one way or another, for the entire course of our evolution, all of our
                    ancestors competed successfully for survival and reproduction against
                    every other organism in the entire world. People did that by using
                    whatever abilities they had to preserve the survival of their DNA by the
                    most effective means perceivable. That means that whoever possessed more
                    intelligence had an advantage over whoever didn't possess as much
                    intelligence. By now we all use those three intellectual abilities all
                    the time in everything we do, whether consciously or only subconsciously.

                    Any time you, or anyone else, feels any emotion, you are reacting to
                    something that involves either your survival or reproduction (or both).
                    You are reacting that way because of direct stimulation to your senses
                    or because you imagine something, you can remember something, or because
                    you've learned about something from someone else. Of course you can be
                    doing any number of those things and any combination of those things all
                    at the same time, and some of them could be conscious while others are
                    only subconscious. The possible outcomes are virtually infinite, but all
                    of those infinite possible outcomes originate from those five mental
                    characteristics.

                    For instance, if you were walking through a forest and you knew grizzly
                    bears lived there, you would feel afraid. You would be alert for grizzly
                    bears and for signs of grizzly bears. You would be ready to run away if
                    you saw a grizzly bear or any indications of a grizzly bear.

                    You would feel afraid because you had seen what grizzly bears did to
                    someone else, or because you'd heard what grizzly bears did to someone
                    else, and you could imagine what a grizzly bear would do to you.

                    If you saw something moving in the bushes, you could imagine it was a
                    grizzly bear and react as if it was a grizzly bear, by dumping lots of
                    adrenaline into your blood and running away. That would give you a big
                    head start over someone else who waited to see the actual grizzly bear
                    before running away. It wouldn't matter if it was only a chipmunk in the
                    bushes, because by imagining it was a grizzly bear and running away, you
                    preserved the survival of your DNA just the same. As the saying goes,
                    better safe than sorry.

                    A deer walking through the same forest would only have his "natural fear
                    of everything" to protect him. If he saw something moving in the bushes,
                    he would only perceive it as "something moving in the bushes", he
                    wouldn't imagine it was a grizzly bear. He would stop whatever he was
                    doing, look over, wait to see if anything happened, and if nothing
                    happened, he would go back to whatever he was doing. The only way he
                    could learn to be more afraid of grizzly bears than he was already would
                    be by surviving an attack by one.

                    Deer and grizzly bears are able to compete against each other as species
                    because deer can run about as fast as grizzly bears. Sometimes the deer
                    wins, and sometimes the bears win. Humans can't run as fast as grizzly
                    bears, so we depend on other abilities to make up the difference. By
                    imagining that something moving in the bushes could mean a grizzly bear
                    was coming, instead of running faster, we run sooner.

                    To see the basic ways emotions can affect people, we can look at the
                    Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs, which is used in education. We can also
                    look at the Five Human Motivators, which is a list used in marketing. By
                    combining the two lists we get one list of seven items, to which I add
                    an eighth. All human interests fall into these eight categories. My
                    proof of this is that I live in America in 2006, and if there was
                    anything else that people felt was important in life besides these eight
                    things, you can be sure that advertisers would've found it by now!

                    In descending order of general importance they are: Survival, safety,
                    reproduction, social, self gratification, self actualization, self
                    fulfillment, and fulfillment of self fulfillment.

                    Survival refers to anything involving immediate physiological
                    necessities: food, water, oxygen, body temperature, and rest.

                    Safety refers to anything involving physical safety and avoiding risks
                    to physical safety. This is a direct product of the survival instinct.

                    Reproduction refers to anything involving literal reproduction, romantic
                    relationships, raising children, or recreational sex.

                    Social refers to membership in groups and interpersonal relations of all
                    kinds. All species of primates are social animals for the same reasons
                    people are: because they can survive best by cooperating in groups.

                    Self gratification refers to anything that makes a person feel good.
                    Technically, this isn't an instinct, it is the superficial result of the
                    satisfaction of an instinct. Good feelings are the physiological reward
                    for satisfying instincts. Since people have found so many ways to
                    trigger superficial results of the satisfaction of instincts that have
                    nothing to do with the actual satisfaction of their instincts, self
                    gratification is worth listing separately as a motivator. One good
                    example is fruit-flavored candy: Candy tastes good because it tastes
                    like ripe fruit that will keep you alive, even though eating candy won't
                    keep you alive.

                    Self actualization refers to the use of abilities. As I use the term
                    here, an ability is any personal capacity a person can use to advance
                    his interests in some way or another. Some direct examples are the
                    abilities to hunt, to cook, and to work to earn a paycheck. Less direct
                    examples of abilities include the ability to express oneself through
                    dance, the ability to find (superficial) reproductive satisfaction with
                    a member of the same gender, and the ability to search for better
                    situations in which to use one's abilities. Self actualization applies
                    differently to everyone, but applies in some way to everyone. For all of
                    human evolution, people have depended on using whatever abilities
                    they've had to preserve the survival of their DNA. If people are
                    prevented from using their abilities to preserve the survival of their
                    DNA by the most efficient means perceivable, they will feel unsatisfied
                    with their lives. Examples of this include people who find themselves
                    stuck working at jobs where they aren't able to put their best work
                    skills to use, dancers who aren't allowed to dance, and homosexuals who
                    are prevented from pursuing homosexual relationships. This is also the
                    main reason that democracy has proven more popular than monarchy,
                    because democracy allows people to put their abilities to much greater
                    use in making lives for themselves. You probably came to listen to me
                    talk tonight for the self actualization value of learning something new
                    that you can put to use in your life somehow.

                    Self fulfillment is the fullest use of an ability. Throughout human
                    evolution, using abilities to their fullest potential enabled people to
                    advance their evolutionary survival better than not using abilities to
                    their fullest potential. Otherwise, self fulfillment is an extension of
                    self actualization.

                    Fulfillment of self fulfillment is the use of all of one's abilities to
                    their fullest extents?or at least, their fullest extents possible, given
                    the situation. For all of human evolution, the single best way for an
                    individual to preserve the survial of his DNA was to use all of one's
                    abilities to their fullest potentials. Fulfillment of self fulfillment
                    gives you the sense that your life is complete. I had to add this one to
                    the list myself because fulfillment of self fulfillment is useless in
                    marketing, because you can't sell stuff to people who already feel like
                    their lives are complete. You don't see it in education either because
                    people who feel like their lives are complete generally don't bother
                    going to school.

                    Here's one example of how an emotional situation can involve multiple
                    interactions of these thirteen items: If a man succeeds in establishing
                    a romantic relationship with a desirable woman, he satisfies his
                    reproductive instinct by acquiring an attractive mate. This applies in
                    the short term to his desire to establish such a relationship in the
                    first place, and it can apply in the longer term if he intends to engage
                    in literal reproduction with the woman. If the woman had resources that
                    the man needed to satisfy his survival and/or safety motivations, the
                    relationship could serve those purposes also. Creating an important
                    relationship with another person serves a social function. A romantic
                    relationship with a desirable woman can also act as a status symbol
                    among his friends, which is another social function. The relationship
                    can yield self actualization, self fulfillment, or fulfillment of self
                    fulfillment depending on the degree to which he was satisfied with his
                    ability to seek and find a mate. The relationship can also satisfy those
                    motivations if it offers him further opportunities to use his abilities.

                    The relationship can yield self-gratification by making the man feel
                    good as a result of satisfying any of those motivations. Or the man
                    could be preoccupied with triggering some or all of those superficial
                    feelings without satisfying the related motivations. The relationship
                    could be purely superficial, because the man didn't actually give a fuck
                    about satisfying any of his motivations, just with feeling like he was
                    satisfying them. So he better not be surprised if the woman eventually
                    kicks him out of her bed because she realizes that as far as he's
                    concerned, she's just woman-candy, because any other woman could serve
                    in her place equally well.

                    The love emotion the man feels for the woman is the self gratification
                    resulting from the direct stimulation to his senses that the
                    relationship is helping him survive and reproduce, combined with his
                    abilities to remember that he had the same feeling about it in the past,
                    to imagine that he will continue to have the feeling in the future, to
                    hear about the concept of love from other people, to remember the
                    feeling of love from a previous relationship, to remember having
                    witnessed the effects of love on other people, and so on.

                    As anticlimactic as I know it sounds for me to break love down into a
                    mathematical equation, when Juliet stood on her balcony and said, "Oh,
                    Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, oh Romeo?" that's what she was
                    feeling. She remembered Romeo made her feel good in the past, and she
                    imagined he would make her feel good again in the future, so she
                    perceived his presence to offer her the most efficient means to preserve
                    the survival of her DNA. As it turns out, she was wrong, because by the
                    end of the play they were both dead, but at the time, that's what she
                    perceived.

                    I count five factors outside a person's basic genetic makeup as a member
                    of the Homo sapiens species that affects his decision making process.
                    These factors could be divided up differently, but I find that dividing
                    them this way makes them the easiest to explain. They are, in no
                    particular order: abilities, skills, available resources, personal
                    history, and cultural background.

                    I count everything that makes an individual unique for reasons beyond
                    his own control as an ability. This includes all genetic traits, all
                    physical abilities regardless of their source, and anything else that
                    doesn't fit into any of the other categories for any reason. Sight, for
                    instance, is the ability to see. Intelligence is the ability to think.
                    Poor health is an inability to endure harsh environments. An assertive
                    personality gives a person a great ability to assert himself. For a
                    specific example of a way that abilities influence a person's decisions,
                    to a person who is in good physical health, a tall mountain might look
                    like something he could climb, while to a person in poor physical health
                    the mountain would look like something he couldn't climb. For another
                    example, I'm 6'3", which makes the top of my refrigerator look like a
                    convenient place to put things.

                    Individual skills are any skills that a person has learned. The better
                    he is at the skill, the more he will be able to use it to preserve the
                    survival of his DNA. For example, to a person who can read English
                    fluently, who can read French with some difficulty, and who can't read
                    Japanese at all, English writing will look easy to read, French writing
                    will look difficult to read, and Japanese writing will look impossible
                    to read. To a person who could read Japanese fluently, Japanese writing
                    would look as easy to read as English writing would look to the other
                    person.

                    Available resources consist of anything the person has, or doesn't have,
                    to draw upon beyond his physical self to achieve his objective. If the
                    person has resources and can use them, they will affect his decision
                    making. If the person doesn't have them and needs them, they will affect
                    his decision making differently. If the person has them but can't use
                    them in a situation, they won't affect his decision making. This
                    includes physical resources, but also more abstract things, such as
                    time, another person's personality, the laws of physics, and artificial
                    laws. For instance, a person who has 25 minutes to drive to work will
                    make different decisions based on that time resource depending on
                    whether he needs 20 minutes to drive to work, 25 minutes, or 30 minutes.
                    Likewise, the existence or non-existance of environmental laws affect
                    people's decisions in how to dispose of toxic waste, as will the
                    consequences or absence of consequences for breaking those laws.

                    Personal history overlaps somewhat with skills, because it includes
                    everything the person has ever learned. Unlike skills, it includes
                    everything the person has learned that doesn't directly relate to the
                    situation. That can include things that relate to the situation
                    indirectly, such as abilities or skills for enduring (or not enduring)
                    any situation, and things that the person thinks relate to the situation
                    but don't actually. For instance, if a woman has been physically abused,
                    a person who raises his voice at her probably will be perceived as a
                    threat, which will lead the woman to making decisions to escape abuse,
                    even if she doesn't have specific skills to use in escaping abuse, and
                    even if she was no danger of being abused in this case. If the person
                    who raised his voice didn't intend to abuse the woman, then the woman's
                    reactions won't make sense to him.

                    A person's cultural background will teach him values of objectives and
                    approaches, that is, objectives he should or shouldn't work toward, and
                    ways he should or shouldn't work toward them. This overlaps with
                    personal history, but it is a specific source of abstract influences on
                    the person's decision-making. It is the most pervasive and least
                    tangible form of learning from life experiences, because the person
                    doesn't necessarily learn from specific events or even realize he is
                    learning from them. Instead, cultural values are learned gradually over
                    time by association. Usually the person takes them for granted as the
                    way the world is supposed to be, without realizing it's only the way the
                    world is supposed to be according to his own culture. I'm sure a lot of
                    you have run into this at some point.

                    That's it. All human behavior revolves around these 18 points. Any time
                    you feel an emotion, you are being affected by some combination of
                    these. Any time someone else feels an emotion, they are being affected
                    by some combination of these. Any time you have a diagreement with
                    someone else, the two of you are being affected differently by these 18
                    things. Usually the best way to resolve your disagreement, or at least
                    to begin to understand it, is to identify where it originates.
                    Basically, every main character in Shakespeare's plays has figured this
                    out the hard way. Shakespeare was able to write plays about this
                    happening to people because he figured it all out ahead of time.

                    Because all life depends on energy, all life revolves around the
                    efficient expenditure of personal energy. No one ever undertakes any
                    course of action that they perceive at the time to be a waste of
                    personal energy, because to waste energy would contradict the survival
                    instinct. (However, a person could waste energy intentionally for the
                    self actualization value of proving that he was capable of wasting
                    energy, in which case he would be expending his energy as efficiently as
                    possible to achieve his goal. When I say that theatrical directors have
                    turned understanding human behavior into a fine art, I'm not joking!)
                    Ultimately, people always expend their energy in whatever way they
                    perceive to best preserve the survival of their DNA. A lot of times
                    people's perceptions are misguided, but people always act upon that
                    perception.

                    Take a suicide bomber for example. A suicide bomber blows himself up
                    because he perceives that to offer him the most efficient means of
                    preserving the survival of his DNA. If he had children and blew himself
                    up in order to kill some people who were threatening his children, he
                    would be helping to preserve the survival of his DNA. If he didn't have
                    children but did have nieces or nephews, he would still be helping to
                    preserve the survival of his DNA, because his nieces and nephews carry
                    some of the DNA he inherited from his parents, even though it's not as
                    much as his own children would carry. But what if he doesn't have any
                    children, nieces, or nephews?

                    If you can convince someone that acting in a certain way will result in
                    his living forever in eternal paradise, literally you have taught the
                    person to perceive that pursuing that course of action will preserve the
                    survival of his DNA in the most effective way imaginable. If he also
                    gets to spend the rest of eternity with his family or gets 72 virgins
                    out of the deal, so much the better! There is no scientific evidence to
                    suggest these perceptions have anything to do with the actual
                    preservation of people's DNA, but people's instincts don't make them
                    aware of the existence of their DNA. People's instincts make them feel
                    like surviving and reproducing, and if you can offer them the most
                    perfect forms of survival and reproduction they can imagine, that can go
                    a long way toward convincing them to do anything.

                    Any time you communicate with anyone, you are attempting to evoke a
                    favorable response from the person. You want the person to react in a
                    certain way, so you are communicating to try to get them to feel like
                    reacting in the way you want. Of course, if the other person is
                    communicating with you too, it means they want something out of the
                    deal, and they're trying to make you feel like giving it to them. In
                    general, the best way to make the situation turn out favorably for
                    yourself is to find a way to make it turn out favorably for the other
                    person too. If it turns out favorably for you but unfavorably for the
                    other person, you might win in the short run, but you can expect the
                    other person to remember it and to start using his imagination to plot
                    his revenge!

                    Any time you're communicating with anyone and their communication seems
                    unclear, watch how the person is expending their energy, through their
                    body language, their tone of voice, their facial expressions, and the
                    words they're using. The person is trying to do one of two things:
                    survive or reproduce (or both). They are using three mental abilities to
                    help them do that, there are eight basic ways they can pursue their
                    goals, and there are five additional factors that can affect them. They
                    are communicating with you to try to get you to react in a way that will
                    prove favorable to their goals. They are expending their energy in what
                    they perceive to be the most efficient means to achieve their goals. So:
                    How are they expending their energy to try to evoke a reaction from you
                    that they perceive to benefit their survival and reproduction as
                    efficiently as possible? If you can answer that question, you can
                    understand what the person is doing. Even if you can't answer that
                    question, by trying to answer it, at least you can move yourself closer
                    to understanding what they're doing.

                    I call this the Web of Human Behavior because by establishing 18 points
                    of reference you can deconstruct any emotional situation from romantic
                    relationships to terrorist attacks. By doing so, you can identify what
                    you are trying to do and what the other person is trying to do.
                    Depending on the situation, you can then take an active approach to
                    achieving your goals, to maintaining your emotional well being, and (if
                    possible) to resolving conflicts in ways you and the other person will
                    find mutually beneficial.

                    Now let's look at how this web of human behavior has brought us to some
                    important landmarks in human evolution...

                    3. Violence and Aggression

                    First of all, violence and aggression. One very efficient way to
                    preserve the survival of your DNA is to eliminate your competition.

                    Dr. Steven Pinker devotes a chapter of his book The Blank Slate to the
                    evolutionary origins of violence and aggression. Thomas Hobbes
                    identified three causes of aggression in his book Leviathan, back in the
                    17th century, which hit th evolutionary nail on the head. They are:
                    Profit, safety, and reputation.

                    First, you can use aggression to get something out of the deal, whether
                    it's material resources, emotional satisfaction, oil, or whatever else.

                    Second, you can use aggression for self defense.

                    So far, this all very straightforward. You can see the first two parts
                    of aggression everywhere you look in the animal kingdom.

                    Aggression for reputation is a product of intellect. Many animals have
                    enough intellect to use this one too, but of course, humans use it a lot
                    more. That turns aggression into a real mess for humans, because it
                    leads to what's known as the Hobbesian cycle of aggression.

                    One way to threaten people is to inflict so much violence on someone
                    that no one else will dare to oppose you. That could save you the
                    trouble of having to use violence for profit on a number of people
                    individually, because when they find out what you did to the first
                    person, they're going to remember it, they're going to imagine it
                    happening to them, and they're going to tell other people about it.

                    Likewise, one way to keep yourself safe is to inflict so much violence
                    on someone that no one will dare to attack you. That would save you the
                    trouble of having to use aggression for safety on a number of people
                    individually. Once again, people are going to remember it happening to
                    someone else, imagine it happening to them, and tell other people about it.

                    Here's the problem: Everyone else is capable of doing all those things
                    also. Building up your reputation depends on your defeating someone
                    else. That means that the only way you can build up your reputation is
                    by harming someone else'sm reputation. Then, the only way for the other
                    person to reclaim his reputation is by challenging you to a rematch. And
                    then it turns into a cycle of aggression.

                    I think the Hobbesian cycle of aggression is pretty easy to recognize
                    among street gangs in America.

                    Of course, European nobility also dueled each other with swords and
                    pistols for centuries in the exact same way.

                    Think a little harder about people who try to make everyone else not
                    dare to threaten them, and you'll notice the Islamic terrorists and the
                    U.S. War on Terror. A lot of Muslims are trying to make everyone live in
                    fear of them, and a lot of Americans are trying to make everyone live in
                    fear of us. What else do you call it?

                    When the Soviets placed nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1963, they
                    threatened the United States. After that, the two sides spent a lot
                    nerve wracking days trying to threaten each other into backing down, but
                    people on both sides realized that if they backed down they would be
                    admitting defeat. President Kennedy and President Kruschev both realized
                    they were caught in a Hobbesian cycle of aggression, and both of them
                    knew they had to find a way out, because if they started a nuclear war,
                    neither side would win. However, even though everyone in America and the
                    Soviet Union had already seen what atom bombs did to Hiroshima and
                    Nagasaki, both presidents faced a lot of opposition from their advisors
                    and their citizens, who kept insisting that declaring an all-out nuclear
                    war was preferable to backing down from an enemy.

                    That illustrates just how deeply ingrained of an instinct aggression for
                    reputation is. It also illustrates how much more powerful of motivators
                    emotional instincts are over intellect. When people all over the world
                    can see what atom bombs did to cities but lots of people still feel that
                    getting into an atomic war is a preferable course of action to backing
                    away from a challenge, it's a serious problem. As I said, our emotions
                    evolved to make whatever courses of action lent themselves best to the
                    preservation of our DNA feel like the right course of action. But our
                    emotions evolved back when people were fighting wars with clubs. So this
                    is a good example of how people acting on what they feel to be the best
                    course of action, can be disastrous in the modern world.

                    This is also a good example of just how deep some social problems can
                    be, and how ignoring them or accusing people of just being too dumb to
                    solve them won't make them go away. For a few weeks in 1963, people all
                    over America and the Soviet Union were ready to whip out their nukes and
                    throw down because someone was threatening their reputation. So if a
                    bunch of poor inner city kids are still doing the same thing today with
                    whimpy little pistols and submachineguns, anybody who's alive because
                    President Kennedy and President Kruschev ignored all their advisors and
                    citizens and backed away from a threat while they still had the chance,
                    is really in no position to point their fingers and call these kids a
                    bunch of savages. We are not inherently better people than them, we've
                    just learned an important lesson that they haven't yet.

                    ...But of course, now the United States is caught up in a War on Terror
                    that that people are predicting will go on forever, because nobody knows
                    how to win it. Well if Americans and Arabs are still trying to keep
                    themselves safe from each other in the same way the Cripps and the
                    Bloods try to keep themselves safe from each other, is it any wonder? So
                    maybe we didn't learn anything from the Cuban Missile Crisis after all.

                    So I guess this would be a good time to move on to morality...

                    4. Morality

                    A lot of Christian fundamentalists like to try to prove that evolution
                    can't account for every characteristic of humanity by asking, "But where
                    do morals come from?" Well, since this is my lecture... or comedy
                    routine... or whatever the fuck you want to call it... I'll tell you.

                    Dr. Pinker has another chapter in The Blank Slate on the evolution of
                    morality. It's pretty simple.

                    People inherited their social instincts from their primate ancestors.
                    Every group of primates works together toward their common interests,
                    but they still compete against each other for their individual
                    interests. So even though the group members work together to keep
                    themselves safe from competitors, there is still competition within the
                    group.

                    As I said, all life depends on energy, which means it depends on the
                    efficient use of energy. People have figured out that everything else
                    being equal, a group of people who cooperate better will have a greater
                    net energy output than will a group of people who don't cooperate as
                    well. If those two groups compete against each other, then whichever
                    group's members work together better will win.

                    Every group of people in the world has discovered that they can get
                    their people to cooperate better by teaching them to feel that acting in
                    ways that advance the interests of the group is better than acting in
                    ways that advance the interests of the individual at the expense of the
                    group. Basically, every group of people in the world has discovered that
                    they can artificially boost people's social instincts.

                    People teach their group members that acting in ways that support the
                    interests of the group is good and right, and that acting in ways that
                    harm the interests of the group is bad and wrong. People teach their
                    group members to attach positive emotions to the idea of acting in ways
                    that benefit the group and to attach negative emotions to the idea of
                    acting in ways that harm the group.

                    Take adultery, for instance. If members of your group run around having
                    extramarital affairs with each other, it will destabilize your group,
                    because it will create conflict within your group when men start
                    fighting other men, women start plotting against other women, and
                    spouses start fighting with each other. All the energy your group
                    members are devoting to fighting each other is energy they could be
                    spending on competing for survival against another group.

                    Why do soldiers throw themselves down on hand grenades and sacrifice
                    their lives to protect their comrades? There are a number of different
                    reasons they could do it that don't have anything to do with artificial
                    morals. If they do it because they feel it's the moral thing to do, they
                    do it because they've been taught to attach positive emotions to the
                    idea of protecting their group, and they've learned it so well that at
                    least at that moment in time their social instinct exeeds their survival
                    instinct. That is, they've been taught to percieve that protecting the
                    survival of the group best benefits the survival of their DNA. That
                    could be true, if sacrificing his life to keep ten other soldiers alive
                    helped with the war and keep his children safe. On the other hand, it
                    might not be true, as in the case of the suicide bomber who didn't have
                    any children. But either way, the soldier has been taught to feel that
                    it's true.

                    Have you ever noticed that when two groups of people get in an argument
                    about morals, they always accuse the other side of being immoral?
                    Everyone always feels that their own side in the argument is moral.
                    That's because different groups of people who have lived in different
                    conditions at different times have figured out different sets of morals
                    for people to live by in order to make the group function.

                    Since each group of people is taught to attach positive emotions to
                    certain courses of action and negative emotions to other courses of
                    action, if people in one group act on what they have been taught to feel
                    is right, but people from the second group have been taught to feel that
                    course of action is wrong, then the people in the second group will
                    perceive what the first people are doing to be immoral, even though the
                    people in the first group are acting in whatever way they've been taught
                    best benefits the survival of their own group.

                    Another type of moral dillema is one in which when people's living
                    conditions change, and the people have to start doing something to make
                    their group function that previously would've harmed their group. That
                    means that first they were taught to attach negative emotions to a
                    certain course of action, but now they have to do that thing in order to
                    protect the interests of the group.

                    Take soldiers fighting a war, for example. People have been killing each
                    other for all of human evolution. To make civilizations function, people
                    have learned to teach the members of their groups to feel that killing
                    each other is wrong. But then if they join the military and get shipped
                    off to fight a war, suddenly killing people becomes right, because
                    that's what they have to do to protect the survival of their military
                    unit. A lot of soldiers have serious problems with that.

                    Or take abortion, for another example. If parents treat their own
                    children's lives as though they're disposable, how is that supposed to
                    contribute to a stable society? Especially when other people see
                    Americans coming into their countries and telling them what to do? If
                    Americans treat their own children's lives as though they're disposable,
                    why should it come as such a surprise that foreigners don't trust
                    Americans and perceive that the most efficient way to preserve the
                    survival of their DNA is to try to fight the Americans off while they
                    still have the chance?

                    On the other hand, we're in a population explosion right now. People
                    require resources to live, and people getting resources has an impact on
                    the environment. If you saw the movie An Inconvenient Truth, you saw how
                    the population of the Earth is going to break 9 billion people around
                    the year 2050, and at about that same time the polar ice caps are going
                    to completely melt in the summer. (And I already learned both of those
                    things elsewhere before I saw the movie.) That is a potential disaster
                    beyond reckoning, because people who live in costal areas are going to
                    be displaced, people who live near mountains and depend on the water
                    runoff from mountain glaciers are going to be displaced, and there's no
                    telling how the changing weather patterns are going affect farmlands,
                    because if all the rain stops falling in places it used to fall and
                    starts falling in places it didn't used to fall, that means all the rain
                    could start falling in places that doesn't have good soil for planting
                    crops in. So abortion is one way to help fight overpopulation. If we
                    keep saving lives one individual at a time, we could kill ourselves as a
                    species.

                    On top of that, consider this: A rapist is a man who forces a woman to
                    reproduce against her will. (A lot of people believe that rape is purely
                    an act of violence and has nothing to do with sex, but that's total
                    bullshit, and I'll tell you why when I get to gender differences.) A man
                    who forces a woman to reproduce against her will forces her to reproduce
                    in a way that she doesn't perceive best preserves the survival of her
                    DNA. If the government forces a woman to reproduce against her will, it
                    forces her to reproduce in a way that she doesn't perceive best
                    preserves the survival of her DNA. So for all intents and purposes, a
                    woman who is prevented from getting an abortion is getting raped by the
                    government. And that definitely doesn't contribute to a stable society.

                    The concept of morality exists in every single culture on Earth, with no
                    exceptions. When a characteristic of humanity exists in every culture in
                    the world with no exceptions, that makes it a direct product of human
                    evolution, because in every place on Earth where human DNA exists, these
                    things also exist.

                    That's how morals work in secular terms that are universal to the human
                    race. For most people in the world, the easiest way to teach morals
                    turned out to be by attaching them to religions...

                    5. Religion

                    Religion and spirituality is another universal constant of humanity,
                    because even though some individual people don't practice religion or
                    spirituality, in every part of the world there are people who do.

                    Every religion in the world is exactly the same as every other religion
                    in the world. Every religion in the world was created to serve the needs
                    of Homo sapiens who are evolutionarily equal and have asked the same
                    questions about life. Every group of people in the world found answers
                    to those questions that satisfied them, by extrapolating upon what they
                    did understand about the world to try to explain the things they didn't
                    understand.

                    If people fighting made a lot of noise, and a thunderstorm made a lot of
                    noise, then as far as people of 40,000 years ago could tell, that
                    probably meant there were a couple of people having a really huge fight
                    up in the sky. The first person to have had that idea might not have
                    completely believed it, but it was the best explantion he could think
                    of. Then he told it to someone else, like maybe his kids, or the younger
                    people of his tribe who looked up to him. Those people thought it made
                    sense, and it was told to them by someone they looked up to, so they
                    assumed it must be right.

                    Every religion in the world offers its followers the same basic things,
                    which include: An explanation for what makes the universe work, some way
                    for people to escape their physical mortality, ways for people to build
                    healthy families and strong communities, and ways for people to make
                    themselves feel satisfied with their lives. Any differences between
                    religions are based on things other than observable evidence, which
                    means any argument over whose religion is better than whose is
                    impossible to win, because everything about the two religions that has
                    observable evidence to support it is identical, and everything that's
                    different doesn't have any observable evidence to support it.

                    In effect, in the same way that different sects of Christianity are just
                    different versions of the same basic religion, every religion in the
                    world is just a different sect of one universal religion of humanity.

                    Some religions are practiced in ways that are emotionally or physically
                    harmful to people, and some people even equate global mass suicide with
                    eternal salvation, but the religions are not responsible for that,
                    people are responsible for that.

                    Dr. Andrew Newberg and Dr. Eugene D'Aquill went so far as to hook some
                    neural imaging equipment up to people from different religions to
                    monitor their brainwave patterns while they were at rest and while they
                    were engaged in religious activities. To cut a long story short, the
                    people all showed the exact same brain activity while they were engaged
                    in their religious activities.

                    The chain of logic they draw for the evolution of religion goes like
                    this: The evolution of human intellect made humans the dominant species
                    of the world, because it gave humans an advantage in hunting that no
                    animal species was equipped to defend itself against. Humans could
                    remember seeing animals in a certain place at a certain time of the
                    year, they could imagine seeing them there again at the same time next
                    year, and they could make plans among themselves to cooperate in hunting
                    the animals.

                    Well those same abilities that made humans the dominant species of the
                    world also made them the only species cabable of perceiving their own
                    mortality at all times. The abilities to imagine, remember, and
                    communicate also gave them the abilities to remember people dying, to
                    hear about people dying, and to imagine themselves dying. That posed a
                    permanent and inescapable threat to people's survival. That forced them,
                    essentially, to write an escape clause to life, to give them a way to
                    survive their mortality. Religion was an evolutionary inevitability,
                    because without it, our entire species would've become extinct due to
                    mass clinical depression.

                    Those other three universal constants of religion followed close behind
                    the first. Human intellect gave people the ability to wonder how the
                    universe worked and how to make themselves happy, so every group of
                    people figured out ways to answer those questions based on the
                    information they had to work with at the time. While they were telling
                    stories to answer all of those questions, it was easy to add in morality
                    by telling stories about what would happen if people acted in ways that
                    harmed the interests of the group.

                    Every philosophical ideology that serves in the place of religion also
                    offers its followers these four universal constants. Take Atheism, for
                    example.

                    What makes the universe <br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                  • xavier moon
                    ... Somewhat interesting.., any chance of posting a link next time? Along similar lines I came across a nice crunchy (though harshly disparaging) explanation
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                      --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Downing <dandrewp@...> wrote:
                      > Hey Theodore, others,

                      > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations
                      > for the human condition as just categorically disallowed. Just
                      > because you say so.

                      > Last year, I came across what I thought was a particularly good
                      > description of the effect of evolution on our current behavior.
                      > I thought I would share it with you all.

                      Somewhat interesting.., any chance of posting a link next time?

                      Along similar lines I came across a nice crunchy (though harshly
                      disparaging) explanation of the survival advantages conferred by
                      americhristian fundaligionism.

                      http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html

                      I've put this in the context of how this collective modus operandi
                      (and one might argue neurotype) is opportunistically manipulated. Both
                      of these more up-to-date descriptions (and in one case evidentiary
                      experiment) were clearly presaged by Julian Jaynes who described all
                      of these atavistic tendencies in remarkable detail nearly 40 years ago.
                    • Theodore H. Smith
                      ... Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don t got time for this. -- http://elfdata.com/plugin/ String processing, done right
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                        On 17 Oct 2008, at 15:49, Andrew Downing wrote:

                        > I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says
                        > it's
                        > a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".

                        > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for
                        > the
                        > human condition as just categorically disallowed


                        Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don't got time for this.

                        --
                        http://elfdata.com/plugin/
                        "String processing, done right"
                      • Andrew Downing
                        Nice attitude Theodore. ...AndrewD...
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                          Nice attitude Theodore.

                          ...AndrewD...

                          Theodore H. Smith wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > On 17 Oct 2008, at 15:49, Andrew Downing wrote:
                          >
                          > > I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says
                          > > it's
                          > > a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".
                          >
                          > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for
                          > > the
                          > > human condition as just categorically disallowed
                          >
                          > Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don't got time for this.
                          >
                          > --
                          > http://elfdata.com/plugin/ <http://elfdata.com/plugin/>
                          > "String processing, done right"
                          >
                          >
                        • Andrew Downing
                          I generally always prefer to send links, but in this case, the web site that originally hosted this went off-line some time ago. I recovered the text from
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                            I generally always prefer to send links, but in this case, the web site
                            that originally hosted this went off-line some time ago.
                            I recovered the text from Google's archive of the original site just
                            because I liked what it had to say, but the site never returned.
                            I've also never seen any subsequent sign of Ezra Neisen online.

                            I did like your link.
                            "The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" is
                            an oldie and a goodie.
                            I tend to think the driving forces behind the continuing persistent
                            survival of religious organizations despite their many obviously silly
                            assertions, is that they are nevertheless sound memetic structures. The
                            organizations foster the creation of social currency amongst their
                            members and simple dumb rules for coexistence that anybody can
                            understand, thereby creating safe environments for the raising of
                            children and subsequent furthering of the same organization into the future.
                            I see this as an example of how evolutionary processes promote what
                            survives rather than what makes any more intellectually correct kind of
                            sense.
                            This is why I said I didn't totally disagree with Theodore.
                            Logic does not always win in a world formed by evolutionary processes.

                            ...AndrewD...




                            xavier moon wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com <mailto:progstone%40yahoogroups.com>,
                            > Andrew Downing <dandrewp@...> wrote:
                            > > Hey Theodore, others,
                            >
                            > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations
                            > > for the human condition as just categorically disallowed. Just
                            > > because you say so.
                            >
                            > > Last year, I came across what I thought was a particularly good
                            > > description of the effect of evolution on our current behavior.
                            > > I thought I would share it with you all.
                            >
                            > Somewhat interesting.., any chance of posting a link next time?
                            >
                            > Along similar lines I came across a nice crunchy (though harshly
                            > disparaging) explanation of the survival advantages conferred by
                            > americhristian fundaligionism.
                            >
                            > http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html
                            > <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html>
                            >
                            > I've put this in the context of how this collective modus operandi
                            > (and one might argue neurotype) is opportunistically manipulated. Both
                            > of these more up-to-date descriptions (and in one case evidentiary
                            > experiment) were clearly presaged by Julian Jaynes who described all
                            > of these atavistic tendencies in remarkable detail nearly 40 years ago.
                            >
                            >
                          • Z Moser
                            I am assuming this is sarcasm. If it is and you mean Poor Attitude Theodore, then this was my initial reaction as well. Being that you were the originator of
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                              I am assuming this is sarcasm. If it is and you mean "Poor Attitude Theodore," then this was my initial reaction as well. Being that you were the originator of the post I think both you had more pressure to reply, and probably more likely to take it personally.

                              After my initial reaction I thought; time wasting is subjective and dependent on goals and free time. So while it may be a waste of time for Theodore because it does not fit into his goal schema (or he isn't aware of how it does), for you, or others it may be important and not a waste of time at all. Or it may be a waste of time and you may have time to waste. Is efficiency a universal value in all situations?

                              ***

                              In any case (and unrelated to the above) the text you posted seem interesting to me. It caught my attention with "I want to take over the world as a practical joke." When I have some free time I am going to try to remember to read it.

                              thanks,
                              zaq


                              > To: progstone@yahoogroups.com
                              > From: dandrewp@...
                              > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 10:00:14 +1100
                              > Subject: Re: [progstone] the fall of mankind, the history of lies
                              >
                              > Nice attitude Theodore.
                              >
                              > ...AndrewD...
                              >
                              > Theodore H. Smith wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > On 17 Oct 2008, at 15:49, Andrew Downing wrote:
                              > >
                              > > > I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says
                              > > > it's
                              > > > a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".
                              > >
                              > > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for
                              > > > the
                              > > > human condition as just categorically disallowed
                              > >
                              > > Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don't got time for this.
                              > >
                              > > --
                              > > http://elfdata.com/plugin/ <http://elfdata.com/plugin/>
                              > > "String processing, done right"
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              > <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progstone/
                              >
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                            • Z Moser
                              Logic in what context and applied to what? I think evolutionary processes have a logic and that logic wins out in them. zaq ...
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 17, 2008
                                Logic in what context and applied to what? I think evolutionary processes have a logic and that logic wins out in them.

                                zaq


                                > To: progstone@yahoogroups.com
                                > From: dandrewp@...
                                > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 10:26:16 +1100
                                > Subject: Re: [progstone] Explanatory Approach (was Re: the fall of mankind, the history of lies)
                                >
                                > I generally always prefer to send links, but in this case, the web site
                                > that originally hosted this went off-line some time ago.
                                > I recovered the text from Google's archive of the original site just
                                > because I liked what it had to say, but the site never returned.
                                > I've also never seen any subsequent sign of Ezra Neisen online.
                                >
                                > I did like your link.
                                > "The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" is
                                > an oldie and a goodie.
                                > I tend to think the driving forces behind the continuing persistent
                                > survival of religious organizations despite their many obviously silly
                                > assertions, is that they are nevertheless sound memetic structures. The
                                > organizations foster the creation of social currency amongst their
                                > members and simple dumb rules for coexistence that anybody can
                                > understand, thereby creating safe environments for the raising of
                                > children and subsequent furthering of the same organization into the future.
                                > I see this as an example of how evolutionary processes promote what
                                > survives rather than what makes any more intellectually correct kind of
                                > sense.
                                > This is why I said I didn't totally disagree with Theodore.
                                > Logic does not always win in a world formed by evolutionary processes.
                                >
                                > ...AndrewD...
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > xavier moon wrote:
                                > >
                                > > --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com <mailto:progstone%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                > > Andrew Downing <dandrewp@...> wrote:
                                > > > Hey Theodore, others,
                                > >
                                > > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations
                                > > > for the human condition as just categorically disallowed. Just
                                > > > because you say so.
                                > >
                                > > > Last year, I came across what I thought was a particularly good
                                > > > description of the effect of evolution on our current behavior.
                                > > > I thought I would share it with you all.
                                > >
                                > > Somewhat interesting.., any chance of posting a link next time?
                                > >
                                > > Along similar lines I came across a nice crunchy (though harshly
                                > > disparaging) explanation of the survival advantages conferred by
                                > > americhristian fundaligionism.
                                > >
                                > > http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html
                                > > <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html>
                                > >
                                > > I've put this in the context of how this collective modus operandi
                                > > (and one might argue neurotype) is opportunistically manipulated. Both
                                > > of these more up-to-date descriptions (and in one case evidentiary
                                > > experiment) were clearly presaged by Julian Jaynes who described all
                                > > of these atavistic tendencies in remarkable detail nearly 40 years ago.
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                > <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progstone/
                                >
                                > <*> Your email settings:
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                              • Andrew Downing
                                Hey Zaq, Long time no talk. Nice to hear from you again. I could have expressed my statement about evolution and logic more clearly. Evolution certainly does
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                  Hey Zaq,

                                  Long time no talk.
                                  Nice to hear from you again.

                                  I could have expressed my statement about evolution and logic more clearly.
                                  Evolution certainly does have its own peculiar logic.
                                  The peculiarity of it being that it solves problems within a strictly
                                  survive and reproduce context.
                                  The side effects of this being that it can carry forward all manner of
                                  seemingly irrational detritus so long as those things do not reduce its
                                  survival and reproduction potential.

                                  The blog link at
                                  http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html
                                  <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html>
                                  provided by Xavier Moon was a commentary on another blog at
                                  http://rifters.com/real/2008/10/understanding-sarah-palin-or-god-is-in.html
                                  on one of my favorite blog sites called "No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking
                                  Icons (Reloaded).". In that particular blog entry, he explores the
                                  rational for the survival of seemingly irrational beliefs in an
                                  evolutionary context.
                                  He starts out on a bit of a rant then really pulls it all together.

                                  ...AndrewD...




                                  Z Moser wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Logic in what context and applied to what? I think evolutionary
                                  > processes have a logic and that logic wins out in them.
                                  >
                                  > zaq
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  > > To: progstone@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > From: dandrewp@...
                                  > > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 10:26:16 +1100
                                  > > Subject: Re: [progstone] Explanatory Approach (was Re: the fall of
                                  > mankind, the history of lies)
                                  > >
                                  > > I generally always prefer to send links, but in this case, the web site
                                  > > that originally hosted this went off-line some time ago.
                                  > > I recovered the text from Google's archive of the original site just
                                  > > because I liked what it had to say, but the site never returned.
                                  > > I've also never seen any subsequent sign of Ezra Neisen online.
                                  > >
                                  > > I did like your link.
                                  > > "The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral
                                  > Mind" is
                                  > > an oldie and a goodie.
                                  > > I tend to think the driving forces behind the continuing persistent
                                  > > survival of religious organizations despite their many obviously silly
                                  > > assertions, is that they are nevertheless sound memetic structures. The
                                  > > organizations foster the creation of social currency amongst their
                                  > > members and simple dumb rules for coexistence that anybody can
                                  > > understand, thereby creating safe environments for the raising of
                                  > > children and subsequent furthering of the same organization into the
                                  > future.
                                  > > I see this as an example of how evolutionary processes promote what
                                  > > survives rather than what makes any more intellectually correct kind of
                                  > > sense.
                                  > > This is why I said I didn't totally disagree with Theodore.
                                  > > Logic does not always win in a world formed by evolutionary processes.
                                  > >
                                  > > ...AndrewD...
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > xavier moon wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com
                                  > <mailto:progstone%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                  > > > Andrew Downing <dandrewp@...> wrote:
                                  > > > > Hey Theodore, others,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations
                                  > > > > for the human condition as just categorically disallowed. Just
                                  > > > > because you say so.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > Last year, I came across what I thought was a particularly good
                                  > > > > description of the effect of evolution on our current behavior.
                                  > > > > I thought I would share it with you all.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Somewhat interesting.., any chance of posting a link next time?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Along similar lines I came across a nice crunchy (though harshly
                                  > > > disparaging) explanation of the survival advantages conferred by
                                  > > > americhristian fundaligionism.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html
                                  > > >
                                  > <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/10/evolutionary-roots-of-base.html>
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I've put this in the context of how this collective modus operandi
                                  > > > (and one might argue neurotype) is opportunistically manipulated. Both
                                  > > > of these more up-to-date descriptions (and in one case evidentiary
                                  > > > experiment) were clearly presaged by Julian Jaynes who described all
                                  > > > of these atavistic tendencies in remarkable detail nearly 40 years
                                  > ago.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > ------------------------------------
                                  > >
                                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  > When your life is on the go—take your life with you. Try Windows
                                  > Mobile® today <http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/115298558/direct/01/>
                                  >
                                • Andrew Downing
                                  Hey Zaq, Yes - that was indeed sarcasm. Petty of me really. There s more history to this between Theodore and me than is shown here. Theodore has a
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                    Hey Zaq,

                                    Yes - that was indeed sarcasm. Petty of me really.
                                    There's more history to this between Theodore and me than is shown here.
                                    Theodore has a story/theory about people in which we are all sadists and liars (his words) and he seems intent on producing a system of pure logic that will "think like an angel" (http://www.elfdata.com/angelcog/), therefore leading us all to salvation.
                                    From my perspective, I see so many fundamental problems with this outlook and his solution from both a theoretical and practical standpoint that it leaves me feeling like screaming whenever I think about it too closely.
                                    That could certainly be attributed as being my problem.
                                    It's a bit like: http://xkcd.com/386/

                                    ...AndrewD...




                                    Z Moser wrote:

                                    I am assuming this is sarcasm. If it is and you mean "Poor Attitude Theodore," then this was my initial reaction as well. Being that you were the originator of the post I think both you had more pressure to reply, and probably more likely to take it personally.

                                    After my initial reaction I thought; time wasting is subjective and dependent on goals and free time. So while it may be a waste of time for Theodore because it does not fit into his goal schema (or he isn't aware of how it does), for you, or others it may be important and not a waste of time at all. Or it may be a waste of time and you may have time to waste. Is efficiency a universal value in all situations?

                                    ***

                                    In any case (and unrelated to the above) the text you posted seem interesting to me. It caught my attention with "I want to take over the world as a practical joke." When I have some free time I am going to try to remember to read it.

                                    thanks,
                                    zaq

                                    > To: progstone@yahoogrou ps.com
                                    > From: dandrewp@bigpond. net.au
                                    > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 10:00:14 +1100
                                    > Subject: Re: [progstone] the fall of mankind, the history of lies
                                    >
                                    > Nice attitude Theodore.
                                    >
                                    > ...AndrewD.. .
                                    >
                                    > Theodore H. Smith wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > On 17 Oct 2008, at 15:49, Andrew Downing wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > > I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says
                                    > > > it's
                                    > > > a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".
                                    > >
                                    > > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for
                                    > > > the
                                    > > > human condition as just categorically disallowed
                                    > >
                                    > > Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don't got time for this.
                                    > >
                                    > > --
                                    > > http://elfdata. com/plugin/ <http://elfdata. com/plugin/>
                                    > > "String processing, done right"
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    > <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                    > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/progstone/
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                                  • boytheouk
                                    ... schema OK, your first sentance contradicts the second. If it s a waste of time for someone, then it is not poor attitude for him to say it is a waste of
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                      > "Poor Attitude Theodore," then this was my initial reaction as well.

                                      > So while it may be a waste of time for Theodore because it does not fit into his goal
                                      schema

                                      OK, your first sentance contradicts the second. If it's a waste of time for someone, then it is
                                      not "poor attitude" for him to say it is a waste of time.

                                      All I see... is personal attacks to an abstract theory of mine.

                                      Now... I could respond to your personal attacks with more personal attacks.

                                      You would then jump on that, as proof that I only have personal attacks, and then ignore the
                                      solid theory I started off the thread with. And pretend I never said any theory. And any
                                      newcomers to the argument, would just see us trading personal attacks, they wouldn't see
                                      the theory i started the thread off.

                                      So you would have successfully made me look like the bad guy, by dragging me down to
                                      your level. Even though you would know I was just defending my solid theory, not everyone
                                      else would see that.

                                      I'm just explaining the dynamics of the situation. It's a kind of unstated game. Playing to
                                      undeclared rules that you know and hope I don't. Trying to make me play into your terms of
                                      fooling the crowd.

                                      I know that you aren't the only one who does this. Most people instinctively try to fool the
                                      crowd using this tactic.
                                    • Steve Dodd
                                      ... [Ted s ideas] ... How /does/ that feel, *exactly*? There is a definite sort of cringe/anger feeling that we get when somebody s (apparently) being too
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                        --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Downing wrote:

                                        [Ted's ideas]
                                        > From my perspective, I see so many fundamental problems with this
                                        > outlook and his solution from both a theoretical and practical
                                        > standpoint that it leaves me feeling like screaming whenever I think
                                        > about it too closely.

                                        How /does/ that feel, *exactly*?

                                        There is a definite sort of cringe/anger feeling that we get when
                                        somebody's (apparently) being too naïve, innocent, sweet, idealistic,
                                        or whatever. Pinning oneself down and digging into it can yield some
                                        quite surprising results.

                                        S.
                                      • Z Moser
                                        I think historical perspectives are interesting. On one had they allow me to know a subject deeply. On the other hand, especially in conflict, the energy I
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                          I think historical perspectives are interesting. On one had they allow me to know a subject deeply. On the other hand, especially in conflict, the energy I have invested into my point of view can stifle my ability to look "outside of the box."

                                          My understanding of what you said below is you and Theodore have a long-standing symbolic conflict. The question I would ask coming into this from a "fresh" perspective is: are either one of you continuing to gain from the interactions? And if there is a goal or agenda being sought could the energy spent in continuing the interaction be spent elsewhere in a way that would further the goal better? Lastly is their a worldview that could accommodate or integrate both perspectives?

                                          ***

                                          Yes. Nice talking to you again. I'm around. I don't have a lot of spare time for online interactions anymore. My online information transfer tends to be more in the form of throughput (distributing good ideas rather than developing my own).

                                          zaq


                                          To: progstone@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: dandrewp@...
                                          Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 20:16:25 +1100
                                          Subject: Re: [progstone] the fall of mankind, the history of lies

                                          Hey Zaq,

                                          Yes - that was indeed sarcasm. Petty of me really.
                                          There's more history to this between Theodore and me than is shown here.
                                          Theodore has a story/theory about people in which we are all sadists and liars (his words) and he seems intent on producing a system of pure logic that will "think like an angel" (http://www.elfdata.com/angelcog/), therefore leading us all to salvation.
                                          From my perspective, I see so many fundamental problems with this outlook and his solution from both a theoretical and practical standpoint that it leaves me feeling like screaming whenever I think about it too closely.
                                          That could certainly be attributed as being my problem.
                                          It's a bit like: http://xkcd.com/386/

                                          ...AndrewD...




                                          Z Moser wrote:
                                          I am assuming this is sarcasm. If it is and you mean "Poor Attitude Theodore," then this was my initial reaction as well. Being that you were the originator of the post I think both you had more pressure to reply, and probably more likely to take it personally.

                                          After my initial reaction I thought; time wasting is subjective and dependent on goals and free time. So while it may be a waste of time for Theodore because it does not fit into his goal schema (or he isn't aware of how it does), for you, or others it may be important and not a waste of time at all. Or it may be a waste of time and you may have time to waste. Is efficiency a universal value in all situations?

                                          ***

                                          In any case (and unrelated to the above) the text you posted seem interesting to me. It caught my attention with "I want to take over the world as a practical joke." When I have some free time I am going to try to remember to read it.

                                          thanks,
                                          zaq


                                          > To: progstone@yahoogrou ps.com
                                          > From: dandrewp@bigpond. net.au
                                          > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 10:00:14 +1100
                                          > Subject: Re: [progstone] the fall of mankind, the history of lies
                                          >
                                          > Nice attitude Theodore.
                                          >
                                          > ...AndrewD.. .
                                          >
                                          > Theodore H. Smith wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > On 17 Oct 2008, at 15:49, Andrew Downing wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > > I particularly note your line "Anyone who says sadism is OK or says
                                          > > > it's
                                          > > > a result of evolution, is also just a liar.".
                                          > >
                                          > > > This seems to be an attempt to declare evolutionary explanations for
                                          > > > the
                                          > > > human condition as just categorically disallowed
                                          > >
                                          > > Oh boy. More time wasting. Sorry I don't got time for this.
                                          > >
                                          > > --
                                          > > http://elfdata. com/plugin/ <http://elfdata. com/plugin/>
                                          > > "String processing, done right"
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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                                        • Z Moser
                                          I was stating my initial reaction. Then I went back and changed my mind after thinking about it. When the two sentences are pulled out of context of the rest
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Oct 18, 2008
                                            I was stating my initial reaction. Then I went back and changed my mind after thinking about it. When the two sentences are pulled out of context of the rest of the post I can see how they would seem contradictory.

                                            I understand how this may have been confusing. If you go back and read the original post it may clear up.

                                            Also reading over your post I think you are being defensive and making many assumptions about my positions, motivations, and attitudes towards you. This leads me to think you may think you are speaking to "AndrewD" which from my understanding you have long-standing conflict with. This is not AndrewD. This is Zaq. I wrote the post you are responding to. Nice to meet you.

                                            zaq


                                            > To: progstone@yahoogroups.com
                                            > From: delete@...
                                            > Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 12:08:02 +0000
                                            > Subject: [progstone] Re: the fall of mankind, the history of lies
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > > "Poor Attitude Theodore," then this was my initial reaction as well.
                                            >
                                            > > So while it may be a waste of time for Theodore because it does not fit into his goal
                                            > schema
                                            >
                                            > OK, your first sentance contradicts the second. If it's a waste of time for someone, then it is
                                            > not "poor attitude" for him to say it is a waste of time.
                                            >
                                            > All I see... is personal attacks to an abstract theory of mine.
                                            >
                                            > Now... I could respond to your personal attacks with more personal attacks.
                                            >
                                            > You would then jump on that, as proof that I only have personal attacks, and then ignore the
                                            > solid theory I started off the thread with. And pretend I never said any theory. And any
                                            > newcomers to the argument, would just see us trading personal attacks, they wouldn't see
                                            > the theory i started the thread off.
                                            >
                                            > So you would have successfully made me look like the bad guy, by dragging me down to
                                            > your level. Even though you would know I was just defending my solid theory, not everyone
                                            > else would see that.
                                            >
                                            > I'm just explaining the dynamics of the situation. It's a kind of unstated game. Playing to
                                            > undeclared rules that you know and hope I don't. Trying to make me play into your terms of
                                            > fooling the crowd.
                                            >
                                            > I know that you aren't the only one who does this. Most people instinctively try to fool the
                                            > crowd using this tactic.
                                            >
                                            >
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                                          • no1_un0
                                            when one looks at sins (causes of death from misexistential ethics if you like atheism instead) greed seems the cause of most (more food, status, money, etc
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
                                              when one looks at sins (causes of death from misexistential ethics if
                                              you like atheism instead) greed seems the cause of most
                                              (more food, status, money, etc than others)
                                              whereas christians stated it to be pride (status seeking)

                                              --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "xavier moon" <maestro@...> wrote:
                                              >


                                              > Very good effort.
                                              >
                                              > You may find this article Of Psychopaths and Sycophants resonant with
                                              > much that you've written;
                                              >
                                              > http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20080503.htm
                                              > <http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20080503.htm>
                                              >
                                              > You may also find Jay Hanson's simple little flash video series on this
                                              > subject interesting and informative;
                                              >
                                              > http://www.warsocialism.com/ <http://www.warsocialism.com/>
                                              >
                                              > The business of lying is well addressed by Julian Jaynes in Origins of
                                              > Consciousness.
                                              >
                                              > The only factor I think you've left out of the equation is "status
                                              > seeking" or as Gurdjieff somewhat less famously referred to it, The
                                              > Peacock/Peahen Spectacle;
                                              >
                                              > http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/peacockpeahen-spectacle.html
                                              > <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/peacockpeahen-spectacle.html>
                                              >
                                              > http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/overcoming-status-drive.html
                                              > <http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/06/overcoming-status-drive.html>
                                              >
                                              > Which seems to go to the core of what the ancient Mandeans (root
                                              > Christians) struggled mightily with.
                                              >
                                              > Methods for overcoming archaic drives that conduce to irrational
                                              > cognitive error have been around for a very long time. Groups of people
                                              > have succeeded at this task - but as you note - the mass of humanity is
                                              > afflicted waaaay beyond any possibility of redemptive intervention.
                                              > Perhaps when everything is said and done, these cognitive errors
                                              > comprise our evolutionary great filter.
                                              >
                                              > --- In progstone@yahoogroups.com, "Theodore H. Smith" <delete@>
                                              > wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > So... I was thinking...
                                              > >
                                              > > So it's clear that there is something very wrong with humanity. That
                                              > > there is something very wrong with this world, that as humans we
                                              > create.
                                              >
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