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Why Social Programs Our Are Future

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posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 10:03 PM
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Think about how you are and ask yourself, how am I like this? Why do I think what I think, and why do I believe what I believe. If you asked these questions sincerely and dared to probe your own history, you will have discovered that everything you are has been built in the process of relationship. The Affective Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp sees the human brain - and thus the human mind - as having three "levels"; the core area is the core part of our brain; this is the hypothalamus, the periaquaductal grey, and the nucleus acumbens; these parts of the brain generate the neurotransmitters associated with emotional arousal: serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, etc. The second level is a social part of the brain; the thalamus and insula would be considered this. In Panksepps theory, human cognition is evolutionarily "built" upon a preexisting mammalian neurobiology, a concept he terms "the archeology of mind" in that human and animals are on a continuum, an evolutionary continuum, with reptiles at the bottom - performing "reptilian" functions like basic homeostasis, breathing, heart rate, temperature control, etc; mammals (or paleomammals) in the middle - performing mammalian functions like socializing with other members (something reptiles dont really do), and humans at the top, with our fantastically large forebrains, called the "neocortex" by the great neuroscientist Paul McClain.

Human beings have within us these 3 anatomical areas within our brains, which correspond to 3 types of cognitive functioning; basic anatomical and conservative support (the brainstem); the architecture for socializing (the diencephelon, thalamus) and a represenational awareness (the frontal lobes).

To translate this into cognitive language, this is the 'capacity to feel', the capacity to relate and connect with other selves; and the capacity to internally represent, or 'reflect' what is felt within or perceived without; that is, to think, in language.

The Evolution of the Self

When we think about our political system its damn-near hackneyed to point out that political science isn't scientific. Nothing from the social sciences, developmental psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, relational psychoanalysis, dynamic systems theory, makes its way into their thinking: particularly with conservative thinkers, its seems fantasy and business interests dominante their epistemological universe. Even though the scientific method yields true understanding, and thus provides us with the cognitive perspective needed to remedy a certain problem, conservative and free-market analysts don't seem to care very much. It's a disturbing disjunction that must change - and needs to change, given how badly free-market and "its all about liberty" thinking has destroyed our common environment: we face an impending climate disaster, droughts, stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, if we do not fix this.

Conservative politics take basic "facts" as "immutable"; these facts are about human nature, human moral weakness; the need for discipline; the need to reward effort and punish laziness. Lost in all this thinking is how things become that way; lost are the facts of developmental psychology, attachment theory, etc; Even for those of them who denounce such theories, surely it counts for something that the vast majority of scientists working in these fields subscribe to these views; and why is that? Are the detractors conflicted by a countervailing view? Interest? A preexisting metaphysics? Probably.

To return to the topic of this section, the self, just like the body, is determined by its environment. Take the frog. If you removed the cornea of a frog and flipped it over, you would be amazed to see that the frogs whole world also flips; there is nothing in the brain of a frog that is "interpreting" its environment: the eye is fitted to the environment, as evolved over countless eons, so that when you flip the cornea over, the frogs tongue goes to the opposite side of where the fly is. The body, mind, and environment in this sense are organically "one". The mind gets it perceptions from a body that has evolved in a particular environment: so too the human self.

How? First, and this is really obvious if you pay attention, what we "think" - our higher level, cognitive capacities, the 3rd tier in the above epistemological diagram, needs to "make sense" of what is felt, in the body, both at the basic physical brain stem level, as well as at the more social mid-brain level. These "affects" disturb our self aware consciousness; and the only way to "control' these affects, to keep them from disturbing the stability - and feasability - of an organisms survival, is to "think": which for humans, simultaneously means to "posit". To posit something as existing - God, or whatever metaphysics we subscribe to - keeps the horrible and demonic affects away.

No affect is more determinative to the formation of self structure than shame. Shame exists everywhere in our early life experiences, and although some very naive and poorly informed people actually use it to train their children in their view of the world, its actually horrible to do so. Shame becomes a bulwark in the mind: it holds off "this cognition" so that the self can maintain continuity - can make sense and FEEL GOOD - so long as it doesn't feel this horribly dysregulating emotion.

All consciousness is dissociative, which is to say, we can only think of one thing of a time. When we focus - as happens naturally and unconsciously all the time - we simultaneously "dissociate" something else from our awareness. Its in this way that our early life experiences shape how we think and feel about our selves; those things which we felt that became disconfirmed by an"other" - a main attachment figure or a peer - become pushed into what relational psychoanlysts call a "not-me" state; human representational cognition relies on these object relations to organize its perceptions of the world. "Not-me" are those experiences which make us feel bad; and since we are a species that "knows that it knows", when we feel ourselves in a certain way that feels very bad, it is the 'whole' of the perception, the idea of ourselves, that is unconsciously dissociated.

This essentially is how a certain culture is formed; how someone could believe that "whites are superior" or 'christianity is true". Everything outside that perception is in the category of "not-me"; thus, not thinkable, and not meaningful.

But, and this is the linchpin of my thread: we've been operating in this way only because we've been ignorant of how it is we organize our perceptions.

Imagine a world in which children are raised early on to take the facts of its inner mental experience into consideration. Introspection has never been treated as very important, which is rather asinine, since it's our minds which control our bodies; and so much of how we our - damn near all of it, in fact - is unconscious to ourselves. Our perceptions are constantly being framed by past experiences; by sense perceptions (such as colors, sounds, touch, etc) and yet we go forth as if this information weren't valid; like wacky cowboys waving their guns senselessly about, an "unawakened" mind, a mind ignorant of its own mind, is tragically dangerous.

Can we ever hope for a political system in which scientific findings influence government policy? Where what has been learned about how minds think, how we learn, h




posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 10:08 PM
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...brains evolve over a life-span, actually inform how we educate our youth?

Mindfulness in schools is something i'm personally part of, and I am excited about what it bodes for our future.

If political position is largely a consequence of self-structure, it stands to reason that a self more attuned to it's own internal functioning will be less prone to projection, less prone to abusing other people, and also, because it recognizes how "each of us are alike" will be more socially conscious, and more socially attuned. In other words, more caring, both towards its own self (an intrapersonal attunement) as well as towards others (interpersonal attunment).

Thus, inevitably, the future will be one with more social programs.

So long as more and more schools adopt mindfulness in schools - a program which simply teaches children how to understand and process their own emotions (for their own health, stress control, etc) it is inevitable that future generations are being groomed for a more socially conscious society; that is, a society which adopts a more socialistic, and probably decentralized, approach to human economic and political activity.



posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


Think about how you are and ask yourself, how am I like this? Why do I think what I think, and why do I believe what I believe. If you asked these questions sincerely and dared to probe your own history, you will have discovered that everything you are has been built in the process of relationship.

You have posted a solid thread here Astro. You relate valid observations assembled from decades of research and experimentation and draw a number of speculative conclusions as to how lack of awareness or ignoring these findings effect not only individuals and therefore our entire social structure.

It is a sad commentary that ATS members overlook or ignore threads such as yours. Your title is provocative enough and I am surprised it has not garnered a fist full of rebuttals.



posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
...brains evolve over a life-span, actually inform how we educate our youth?

Mindfulness in schools is something i'm personally part of, and I am excited about what it bodes for our future.

If political position is largely a consequence of self-structure, it stands to reason that a self more attuned to it's own internal functioning will be less prone to projection, less prone to abusing other people, and also, because it recognizes how "each of us are alike" will be more socially conscious, and more socially attuned. In other words, more caring, both towards its own self (an intrapersonal attunement) as well as towards others (interpersonal attunment).

Thus, inevitably, the future will be one with more social programs.

So long as more and more schools adopt mindfulness in schools - a program which simply teaches children how to understand and process their own emotions (for their own health, stress control, etc) it is inevitable that future generations are being groomed for a more socially conscious society; that is, a society which adopts a more socialistic, and probably decentralized, approach to human economic and political activity.


People can read more about Mindfulness at: greatergood.berkeley.edu...

I've carefully read your post three times and I'm still not sure how to respond except to say that even if something like Mindfulness programs are taught in some schools, I doubt it will be adopted in a majority of the Public School programs. I would expect it to be presented in schools on the coasts, but not in the South, the Southwest and the Midwest states. I say that simply because those states suffer financial constraints, teacher and resource shortages and with so many established programs competing for scarce dollars, I rather doubt Mindfulness programs will find funding.

You've stated that its likely the future will be one with more social programs? I can't tell if your talking about more "social welfare" programs, or if your talking about a future in which there's more social conscience or better put, a future where social conscience is more emphasized. I'm guessing you mean the latter. On that assumption, I'd suggest that you might be correct, as to certain strata of the society, but the problem going forward is social stratification and those in the lower strata aren't going to care a whole lot about social conscience issues. And therein lies the problem with developing greater social conscience, the economic stratification in a world that's moved past peak employment and is experiencing greater resource depletion. More people expecting more in a world that's delivering less each year. One of the big surprises of the "Great Recession" was the reluctance of people to move geographically to find jobs. Less geographic mobility is contributing to less economic class mobility and so we're experiencing the beginnings of the development of an economic caste system.

Good luck with the future. My guess is its going to be very much a mixed bag.



posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte
Interesting thoughts...
...but...seemed like a lot of words to say - you believe...Your Way (socialism)...is The Way for a better future.

It further seems that...all those atrocities you blame on "conservatives" (which suggests that you are largely referencing the U.S.A.) have gone at least as atrociously in other nations under socialist forms of government...if not much worse.

It appears that you want everyone baptized in the same doctrine from early childhood...so that everyone will agree with...you...

And - I'm guessing that the 'stubborn', 'defective' &/or 'unruly' ones that the indoctrination doesn't effectively 'take hold' in...will be shipped off to re-education schools/camps/gulags...etc...

It would appear that you are proposing a human hive state.
If that's the best way to go...why didn't we 'evolve' that way?



posted on Oct, 8 2014 @ 02:57 PM
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If there are more people every year and less jobs every year then something will have to change eventually.




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