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THe Problem with Human Beings

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posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 01:59 AM
Human Beings are problematic creatures. It just so happens that mother nature - via evolution - built an animal that could look at its hands and see it's body, and at the same time, the awareness of it's existence. Our bipedal body's allowed our hands to seem tool like. No doubt this particular vantage point, en-face, with our hands out before us, played a facilitating part in the evolution of our self-conscious minds.

Being able to think about ourselves makes us a truly cultural species. Imagine a swirling shape, it seems chaotic, but you can make out particular patterns in the apparent commotion. Different shapes emerge again and again, so much so that you can treat these patterns as "archetypes" that "contain" the information that swirls in these direction.

The most basic way to think of a Human being is dyadically. Every human being, from the get-go, is being shaped by another human being (and indirectly, many more people). For instance, stress during pregnancy is registered in the uterus through glucocorticoids. Glucorticoids like cortisol "inform" the relevant regulatory gene regions by modifying DNA processes, such as through DNA methylation and Histone acteytlation, among other processes whereby environmental effects "turn on or off" how the body responds to interpersonal effects.

Human beings are classified as hominins. Within hominims there are hominids, and within hominids there is homo. We are homo 'sapien", or "wise human". Before us there was homo habilus, homo neanderthalis, homo erectus, with a closest ancestor - so far found (science is a work in progress) australopithecus africanus, a bipedal ape with a chimp sized brain. Evolution and the science of biology provides the most plausible explanation for human behavior. And the primary thesis is simple and hugely plausible: a) all organisms are developing and evolving biological systems b) all organisms are responsive to perturbation (or disruption) of their normalized state, or "homeostasis" c) all organisms are therefore primarily defensive. Biology provides more than enough evidence across the board from every phylum that these are three continuous operating principles.

These principles always operate in us. But of course, as human beings, we are accustomed to imagining - getting caught up in the flow of positive self-experience, or what the psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut called a "self-object" experience, where someone unconsciously acts a certain way because he is having a positive experience of self in relation with others.

These sorts of "psychoanalytic" notions are more of an ethological exploration of human behavior, and the complexity it shows, more than anything else. Studies of the brain and of infant development show that the right brain is deeply innervated (connected via nerve fibre tracts) to the subcortical areas, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, HPA axis (stress response system) PAG, Nucleus Accumbens and the vagus nerve. The "nervous system of the gut" - the enteric system - constantly sends messages via neuropeptides naturally produced by bacteria, like serotonin and dopamine. Clearly, this indicates that the bacteria in our gut bias our affective feelings which in turn biases our cognition. This is BACTERIA. Beyond that, the brain is constrained by a basic biophysics. Long term potentiation can only go so fast - the dynamics of the cell clearly "process" the phenomena of consciousness, but there is a constraint rendered by being embodied: the body makes certain things possible and other things impossible.

Whats impossible is that we can be sure that we know or understand our behavior when we don't actually spend time developing that capacity. Reading can be a very self-conscious action because it is very cerebral. One hears ones voice talking to oneself about what one is reading. There is always this duality in our behaving, but we don't recognize the "laws" that cause us to act the way we do, unconsciously. The human beings very self-consciousness, or "self awareness" (which I take to be an actual ability that comes only after it is cultivated) makes emotion regulation a very unconscious process. The right brain picks up the messages from the environment - the person one is relating with - and the Amygdala "detects" relevant relation information from physical cues: body gestures , facial expression, tone of voice, all play a role in "framing" how we respond, by connecting these cues to "past experiences" that yielded a particular response. This process is even more amazing because the brain is so good at categorizing objects: certain people in certain places "evoke" this experience out of me. That is, certain neurological processes are set of, automatically, by "framing" our perceptions by unconsciously calibrating our attentional focus.

Now, given that this is the case, how should we go about our relations? First, of course, why is this necessary? Let's gt this out of the way by pointing out that human beings evolved in small tribes. The "evolutionary compromises" that made us emotionally dependent on the other - and so establishing an "equilibrium" point which "entrains" both selves - has also made us arrogant, narcissistic, and demented (see Nazi Germany). In other words, in a small context, human behavior has smaller consequences on the environment. Whereas in a world such as ours, human behavior in what the developmental psychologist Ed Tronick calls 'dyadic consciousness", can create enormous problems (see climate change).

Humans beings evidence the same trend in evolution of "adapt to survive". As conscious - and self conscious beings - we have the remarkable ability to review our experience. Because of this, by understanding patterns of behavior (such as inborn defensive tendencies in all creatures) I can look at other peoples behavior with me for what it is: system effects. Where they are and where I am usually constrains our responses in certain ways. My ability to think about certain things - such as politics, religion or morality with ones friends - is constrained by the basic emotional "feel" established by past communication patterns. To go into subjects that provoke anxiety causes the brain to "keep the mind from thinking" about things that would provoke anxiety. Its in these very individual ways of responding - so natural for every human being - that "attractor states" are made, and because of the long term impact of biochemistry on psychological functioning, ideas that provoke negative emotions are "coded" together as being "bad", and thus avoided.

Our next adaptation as a species will need to go further into the realm of consciousness, and one assumes, enhance the frontal lobe powers of the human brain. But besides the effects of culture on biological development, when human beings are raised - and thus "develop biologies" that support strong, resilient and coherent self-regulation skills, we can "let go", let go of the fears implied by our harsher judgements of things. Primarily, so much of republican logic is predicated on an anti-systems theory way of seeing things. It's a linear getting "caught up in emotion", and speaking from those emotions.

Just today, I was arguing with my sister about Lebron James. My mother hates Lebron James - its a horrible habit she has, muttering to herself expletives and insisting when I question her that Lebron is "arrogant". I think to myself and explain to my sister (who is usually very responsive to my

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 02:17 AM
logic) that if YOU were Lebron James, who just lost game 5, and is probably feeling #ty about himself, that perhaps the temptation to say "I'm the best player of the world" (especially when you are objectively, far and away, the most dominant player in the world) would occur because when you feel bad your often tempted to say arrogant things or act in arrogant ways because you "need" to confirm for yourself - besides the external part of letting other people know - that you're good.

Ergo, so Lebron said something arrogant. In this particular instance, I can see why he said that, though I also agree that it was sort of irrelevant to the question and is probably best said by others and not by yourself. Still, for my mother and mom, despite my persuasion, tended towards absolutely hating him (mother) to just not being able to say something good (sister), so that she could "bias" my moms unconscious processes to think more charitably about another persons existence. To me, Lebron James is a complex personality with complex "self states:; I've seen him speak humbly - and appear genuinely so - and I've also seen him be arrogant. To me and my general recollection, plus the fact that he is known for his unselifhsness/high assists, it would be fairer and less punitive, to judge another human being so harshly.

Systems effects are present always in our interactions. My sisters fascination in describing what she disliked about Lebron James was borne from a need to defend her expression - her stamp of the self - and my gentle though encroaching objections to her way of thinking stubbornly enforced (through feelings) her conviction that she wants to feel this way. Neuroscience and Psychology is showing how and why people do these things. Biology "scaffolds" our emotional-cognitive states. More common pathways have more synapses and more myelin mediating processes than less common pathways. On the inside, this feels to us as bad, an inhibiting feeling, logically opposed to another desire. Dissociation happens because of what Gerald Edelman termed "neural darwinism". Neurons that fire together "wire together". Those that are used attract more and more neurons into activity. This basic process is behind our need to explore our environments: our neurons are INTERESTED, sparked into focus.

On the other hand, trauma can stunt and even lead to cell death in the brain. Prolonged stress inhibits nerve growth factors and eventually "turns off' certain parts of brain activity so that the organism will not be put in that stae again: this is post traumatic stress, which disposes consciousness to "withdrawing from the world", avoiding contact, avoiding attention.

Imagine a world where people embody the golden rule in their minds as probable mental representations of other peoples intention. Understanding our needs and our vulnerabilities - a daunting task for many - can be taxing enough. And reaching a point of effective meta-cognitive understanding of how to maintain positive and constructive interpersonal relations, is far more difficult.

But it is not impossible. Educational systems, creativity, and compassionate self-awareness, if leveraged to their fullest, can slowly bring more and more people into a state of "knowledge", of self as being a process that is influenced at all times by other selves/processes. Furthermore, our reality is "entrenched" in other systems: the earth system. Our naivate to date has led to our potentially screwing up our earth system by failing to infer that fossil fuel consumption would eventually disturb the temperature regulation of the planet. We added a "unexpected" input to a system that is operating according to particular patterns. Now we need to "adapt with the system". And what better way to adapt then to adapt our minds to systems ways of thinking?
edit on 17-6-2015 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 02:17 AM
Your dissertation is well executed. Eloquent observations.

I'm not sure if there's a underlining question you pose. You make note of "Republicans", and the frustration getting through to your sibling. Are you seeking remedy to absolve human misenthropes?

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 02:36 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 02:45 AM
a reply to: trifecta

Simply Knowledge = Power.

If were philosophical, and most of us are (and all of us have the potential to be) wouldn't it be nice to be able to know your values, consciously, and to be able to consciously express your values by managing how you brain organizes your self-states, or said differently, how context and the past compels us to act in ways that contradict our conscious values?

I'm not trying to absolve anyone. My talk with my sister was good hearted and silly at the same time. I try to move between two types of emotional styles to diminish the resistance that comes between people when we don't pay atention to how were talking - and thus provoking - people into certain self-organizations.

Misanthropists are lost people, wasting their life not finding deeper meaning, meaning that transcends the self and at he same time goes to the core of who they are. Defensiveness is at the heart of misanthropy. And fundamentally a basic narcissism/need for expression despite the unkind, uncaring and destructive quality of ones feelings.

I don't hate misanthropists because I genuinely understand that they are not wholly at fault for their feelings. Take that chick from NAACP whose parents called out for pretending to be black. Look at the naivete! Two well meaning people, after having a little daughter, decide to adopt for black children. White daughter grows up and ends up 'deciding' she doesn't simply want to care about black causes (a healthy and noble conviction) but literally WANTS to be black, which she accomplishes by tanning her skin, crimping her hair, marrying a black man, having black children (through him) and basically living, quite plausibly, as a black human rights leader. Alas, the psychodynamic explanation - the one from developmental interpersonal neurobiology - does not pop into her or her parents head. In her minds, shes "black", simply because she identifies as black. Her parents naively think that their early parenting and parenting during adolescence, with her daughter and other 4 black children, didn't induce the creation of a feeling - and then a desire - for her to find her whiteness "bad", so bad that she eventually sought to lose it, pretend it isn't real, and actually do things crimping/tanning, to maintain a perception of yourself/and for others, as being black.

You see how context-dependent this is? It's a systems effect. She's an adult with a racial-dysmorphia issue because her parents unwittingly presented being white as worse than being black, thus shaping the backbone of her adult convictions.

Misanthropists too follow this process. Life "frames" itself for them, and biological factors make their views very "true" to them. Although plasticity is always ready, the "repetition compulsion" takes hold so easily, that it takes certain kinds of experiences/contexts to engender the necessary changes (suffering being a common pathway).

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 05:25 AM
You are correct. Knowledge is power. Unfortunately, the one's with the knowledge, tend to be the one's with the power.

Power is intoxicating. It's a drug that challenges your constitution and fiber. Eventually, you build a tolerance to the euphoria, and raise the dosage. There reaches a point, where you compromise your moral compass, in pursuit of the high. When you "chase the Dragon", all bets are off, and you pass the point of no return. Each measure, you deceive yourself into believing you can tempt fate, just a little more, and push the limits to the threshold. Ultimately, critical mass is met, resulting in a conflagration so great, it leaves no spoils for repair, behind. By then, it's too late to face yourself in the mirror, because you can't recognize the reflection.

Perpetually chasing your tail, until the singularity consumes you whole.

The trick is not how you control power. It's how you don't let the power control you. The greatest suitor for power, it the soul who never seeks its reign.
edit on 17-6-2015 by trifecta because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 06:01 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I don't know about you, but I broke my brain at some point.

I can take your idea of systems, and with a much more limited view on bio chemistry/consciousness/Darwinism I could still say that systems self organize into larger systems.. Society becomes an organism.. Naturally this organism gains self awareness at some point, and to that end you have think tanks, and people controlling our past present future. They are the brain, or part of it.. The US Army is like a muscle.. We are fighting our self... And I almost think in fact we all know why we are killing our society body self.. It is because we feel the layer of free will as ONE person is the right layer, and we strive to maintain something out side or "democratic" large scale processes.


to me I really lost my ability to hate..
I can't hate Lebron James for being arrogant.. I am arrogant sometimes.. The most interesting thing about him is his basketball skill, which is a positive thing.. Most famous people are famous because they are good at something..

Society drives me in a call to action type of way, but I have very strong will..
I broke my brain... My thoughts? I don't have them unless I think them.. I only have an inner voice if I read or write, but at no other time as far as I can perceive. Call it active mind control.

My emotions are less of a power in chain of command for me. I only recently understood that when I ask people why they don't just control their emotions, they literally had no idea what I was saying to them. I had to have a strong sadness overtake me after this, and it came for "no reason," that I knew what they meant, about emotions being higher than mind..
I almost always knew what all my emotions meant, because they came After my choice of how I felt..

Mainly the point on the breaking of the brain.. I'm losoe in the chain of command.. I've found that many people auto respond, be it in words or in emotions, or any other way. I can't do that anymore(as much).. I don't have auto thoughts(as much). I have to think them on my own.. So if someone talks to me, I have to listen, and then think.. I take longer to talk, and it's hard to flow and remember things, because I have to do all the work. Almost like I merged parts of the brain, and I remained the thinker/doer of the system. The weird part in that, is I'm now more artistic then math oriented. But I can choose to be either.. Sometimes I don't know how I feel, because I havn't chosen yet.. Sometimes I sit there, and havn't decided to think in 30 minutes.. I know my subconscious is going full blast, but it doesn't have to pop up into my consciousness as an annoying sign waver.. It's just part of me, and I let it be part of my ego..

Here's my main point. What comes first the chicken or the egg? In an organized system, be it your own self awareness or the self awareness of the human society.. No matter which point you are on in the chain of command.. The chain of command is on a circle, and any point of the circle is the beginning, or the end, or the middle..

Like the movie Inception. We are waking up in the middle of our lives.. (like how you were talking of past genetics and environmental response, and on and on).. All that effects how we are, humans from the past.. And then knowing those gaining free will, by changing the future not completely based on the past..

I was in the Army
I have watched many movies
I have read books

I have no idea how much programming I don't personally like is running around in "my head." I do know that I actively explore "my head" all the time to check to see I can call it all me. It has to have my approval for me to let it stay in my name.

Even then, I do not ID myself as the mind, nor do I call myself "the body." nor is the ego me. In one way I am a mix of all those things affecting each other.. The word I use for it is offensive. I call it god.. I am some consciousness that has direct access to my subconscious, and my ego at the same time. My thoughts often ramble, because of this.

This entire post was written from my mind/ego, so it should be less psychic, a bit more dull, less artistic, and a lot easier for people who think in the mind to see what I mean (in as much as I can actually explain things LOL).

Hope some of that makes sense, and is actually relevant to the OP.


posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 06:12 AM

originally posted by: trifecta

The trick is not how you control power. It's how you don't let the power control you. The greatest suitor for power, it the soul who never seeks its reign.

this is something close to how I use my own power.. I like that you said that.

I liken it to either being a hand trying to grip the sand, and as the clutch tightens more sand flows through the cracks.
the sand that flows through the fingers, changing shape, and winning..

Control freaks are the hand..
I try to be the flow of the sand..
And Stand on my own.
Not needing another's approval.
I am.
The only trouble with,
houses made of sand
Theirs is an ocean too
that comes over you.
A choice to stand strong.
Resist the water?
die trying?
Or let the wave flow.
How big is your ego?

^ meh it's ok..
I let my ego part in a bit much for it to be of my real self, and real taste, but it's readable at least.. Who Am I to judge?? Right? Who Am I.. To Judge..

edit on 17-6-2015 by KnightLight because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-6-2015 by KnightLight because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 06:38 AM
letting go of everything and everyone

I picture myself as a neuron with tenticles

things no longer interest me.. they Suprise me but don't interest me

animals and plants make me unpleasantly emotional.. just pure perfection

people interest me I attach a tenticle to a person who interest me.. they have one opportunity., highly egoistic and opinionated people don't make it at all.. it doesn't last long.. titanium walls go back up

I love easy.. it lasts a split moment..

but 99.99% of time.. complete disattach.. I feel no one will ever understand or comprehend what I feel and think of this beautiful and incredible and flawless creation we are alive in..

my world is a beautiful lonely planet

people amaze and fascinate me

edit on 17-6-2015 by Layaly because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-6-2015 by Layaly because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:10 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Did you hold your breath and turn blue when you wrote this? And my you sure have your work cut out for you!

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 11:54 AM
Does math exist in our heads only, or is it inherently built in to the structure of our universe?

Sure we recognize patterns and label them as mathematical objects and constructs. But if there exists a pressure differential, somewhere in the mid atlantic, will that pressure system follow a rule that no human being has control of? The same with nature and evolution. Yea I get it, nature and evolution guided our path and created that which we see today. Dandy. So then why is evolution a mechanism at all? Where did evolution come from?

Why did amino acids join to form nucleotides and then rna and dna? Dna is supposedly information, why did "information" arise and have this urge to reproduce and continue its existence? I'm not religious, so please don't initiate some religious counter argument that I believe in a creator. I am also not an atheist, I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say I know there isn't a god.

Math, physics, biology and whatever other scientific process you want to mention did it. Numbers and relationships, relationships and numbers. Where are these relationships and interactions amongst particles, molecules, bowling balls, planets, etc... calculated and computed?

So if math, physics and company are responsible for the current state of things, is math from a higher dimension? I'm not trying to be a troll, I honestly ponder these conundrums.

And the term for listening to your own voice inside your head is "phonemic awareness." (For those interested). Also a really cool topic. Human beings may be problematic, but we sure can be interesting.

posted on Jun, 17 2015 @ 12:02 PM

originally posted by: Layaly

I feel no one will ever understand or comprehend what I feel and think of this beautiful and incredible and flawless creation we are alive in..

my world is a beautiful lonely planet

people amaze and fascinate me

I feel as if you are wrong. For I am more in awe and complete amazement of the "planet earth" experience than all the people I know. Every day when I wake up my thoughts are, "whoa!! Wtf!! I'm here, holy crap it's cold. Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Consciousness, experience. How the....???"

So fear not, you aren't on a beautiful lonely planet. Maybe just far away from someone on your frequency. (Not to be taken in an esoteric manner).

posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 10:13 PM

originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: trifecta

Simply Knowledge = Power.

Something else is in control of that and it is not the human. Information is Power equals money equals that parallax defining ultimate control of the overall SYSTEM *heartbreaking*. Information gathering by the human to inform God aspect [the point of its reason to exist] should have been disclosed years ago by a trustworthy omnipresent Godform.
edit on 18-6-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 18 2015 @ 10:47 PM
It seems as if you're asking for two mutually exclusive things. I don't think you can have people be highly evolved and detached, yet fully immersed in society at the same time. Society functions well by having many tribemen/women roaming it together. The tension actually fuels progress, and growth. I don't understand how we could all be so highly evolved, as to reach a state would require many experiences with the less evolved. I guess it seems like a wish more than something that could ever be.

I'm good with people at a distance, or close up one on one for short bouts. I can be very understanding like this. My system takes in a lot, and gets exhausted dealing with brutish people for too long, thou. You can have people who seem rather insensitive ( I mean their actual nervous system response), and find a need to slam, bash, yell, and walk into your space too often. That's draining. Most people aren't so bad, but it depends on the terrain of the place. Overall I need a lot of time to recharge, and can't be expected to always be so understanding and resilient to the brutes.

posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 03:16 AM
I'd like to draw a distinction between four parts of our awareness.

A) Voluntary Actions
B) Involuntary Actions
C) Potential Occurrences
D) Known Occurrences

When it comes to "A" this forms the part of our "will" and this is comprised of a complex system of predictive cognition - we can see that performing a certain action will lead to a specific outcome, thus, I know that if I use my hand to move the mouse cursor, it will end up in the corner of the screen if I move it diagonally upwards. This sounds "silly" however really there is a part of the brain that can envisage the outcome of an action, and plan that action so the outcome is desirable. For a computer to do this, requires significant processing power, and for humans, we can even perform actions that we can perceptively see eventuating within time spans of hours or days. When it comes to longer term predictions, we look at things that are reliable and repeatable - I know that I will go to work on Monday, I know that the workplace will be open, I know that my alarm clock will wake me up. Sometimes though, we do take chances when reality is less predictable, for instance, riding a skateboard over complex terrain...

If I ride a skateboard over some bumpy concrete, I can plan to go in a straight line, however, suppose I unexpectedly rode over a small rock, destabilising myself, at this point, instinct kicks in, that is, category "B" and I react to an unexpected variable, adjusting my course autonomously.

Now, take a stove, could it be on or could it be off, I could contemplate "C" - a thought that observes possibility but does not imply an action, we contemplate many "possibilities" or "what ifs" - constantly.

Sometimes this observational facet connects to the decision-making facet - I might decide to check if the stove is switched off, confirming something that I was confused about, this is a category "A" action that is used to turn a category "C" action into a category "D" thought.

(C) "Is it on or off"
(A) "I will check to see by observing the power light"
(D) "It is off"

This is where observation translates into action, that translates into knowledge.

Also, I might foolishly test to see if the stove is on my touching the element, retracting my finger instinctively (B) I realise that it is on - this is where our more primitive curiosity leads us to knowledge - where our instinctual reactions cause us to determine knowledge because we could question the state of reality (on or off).

The "problem" amidst all of this, is that to know certain things, we have to take certain risks, we have sometimes to act in order to determine the state of reality, the more we question reality and affirm its nature, the more knowledge we gain as a result, and in turn, this knowledge is used to determine future actions - I might not know what a mouse does, however, by questioning its function, by moving it, I then can see an outcome, and realise that it is used to move the arrow on the screen.

The more you question, the more knowledge you gain when you take risks and experiment, however, not all such experiments are harmless, and, I fear, that for us to progress as a species, we have to learn many lessons "the hard way" to determine what actions lead to what consequences.
edit on 19-6-2015 by systemresistor because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-6-2015 by systemresistor because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-6-2015 by systemresistor because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 06:26 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

The most basic way to think of a Human being is dyadically. Every human being, from the get-go, is being shaped by another human being (and indirectly, many more people).

Of course!

Q: If you were born into isolation on a deserted island; therefore never having any experience or interactions with another human: Would you know what it is to be a human?

Self awareness becomes layered when the question is contemplated...

One may remain self aware, yet unaware of who they truly are...without interaction.

posted on Jun, 19 2015 @ 06:58 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte
Humans have never been the problem. God/creator is the problem. It will not FINALLY declare itself as IAM in charge; in so doing take full responsibility for your triumphs and misery/failure. Say once and for all; ADMIT IT: "I have no mercy for myself/you, [I as God] hate my human expression. I am not a kind/nurturing/loving ENTITY" and no where close to understanding myself.
edit on 19-6-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)

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