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Oregon Massacre And Relationality

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posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 05:49 PM
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With yet another gun killing, I can't help but wonder, will Human beings ever become privy to the non-linear dynamics that govern our action and perception? I truly do hope so.

Since the 'discovery' of the laws of complexity, it has been a slow process, but humankind is coming closer to understanding human nature, with reference, of course, to evolutionary theory.

There's a myth - one that strikes me as reprehensible - that people somehow, magically, without some sort of contingent preadaptation, go cookoo and decide to kill people. It amazes me. I am a psychologist and scientist with a very deep interest with how human beings have become as they are, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the killer was "primed" by previous life-experience to do what he did.

Now don't go jump to the other side and accuse me of blaming the victims. What he did was abhorrent; but I also know better than others what it feels like to suffer developmental trauma, and therefore, to become a person who struggles "making relationships" with others.

Bullying is a noxious, anti-adapative behavior that really has no functional value for human beings. In most hunter-gatherer societies, people who bully or freeload are either sent packing or killed. Why is that? You need to think in terms of NATURAL SELECTION, that is, natural process, in order to appreciate this cardinal law of human nature: we have evolved to pay attention to the affective valence of facial, vocal and gestural communicative displays. Affective valence means 'how it feels' for us on the inside. If you're an astute observer of your own experience (something I think I'm pretty good at) you will notice that your affective experience generally follows what your right-brain (or relational unconscious, something also called 'implicit relational knowing') perceives in any communicative interaction. Of course, content - what is actually said in speech - is important as well, but you'll notice that content can be de-coupled from implicit non-verbal cues in faces, voices and body's. Because of this, unless consciousness (left brain) is taught to prioritize the meaning of non-verbal behaviors (processed in the right hemisphere), human beings will tend to misinterpret the meaning of their experiences.

We are one. Inevitably. We evolved together, with you - the other humans - serving as the "environment" for my developing nervous system. This is something only beginning to be realized (Tomasello, Dunbar, Trevarthan, Malloch etc) and studied more deeply, and hopefully, this incredibly important knowledge will help humankind overcome the MASSIVE dissociations that keep us caught up in this treadmill where evolutionary exigencies battle it out.

Heres a simple behavioral reality - a fact of nature that none of us can escape from or deny. You and I and joblo next door are subject to this whether we agree with it or vehemently deny it. When you experience shame, as a behavioral response and defense mechanism, human beings experience a "hatred for the feeling" of being shamed. Hatred, anger, EMERGE as a consequence of being "degraded" - placed low in the social ladder, we can say, but it's important to not put this social-status perspective too high, as most evidence suggests that ancient hominid relationships were therapeutic in that our "recognition" hungry brains evolved action-tendencies such as expereincing empathy when witnessing suffering or pleasure in other persons, as well as expressing sympathy for another persons suffering.

So is this the type of world we live in? I would say NO, it is not. Our culture and society has done a piss-poor job situating shame as the core-problem, not merely for the mentally ill person who buys guns and goes on a rampage, but also for those legislators hell-bent on reminding themselves how "manly" they are, not to be so caught up in the girly emotions liberals occupy themselves with.

For me, the issue ultimately boils down to rationality: our nervous system is primed to defend itself from shame and low social-status. If we live in an environment that hyper-emphasizes competitive drives and doesn't make any efforts to neutralize the effects of shame/low status by offering the various "losers" social/therapeutic support, than you should simply accept these types of massacres as something the "winners" deserve, as a natural corollary of living in a world where people don't seem to care about you.

Since success and failure in life is so biased and scaffolded by relational circumstances (family you are born into) until we make a better effort to act more sanely with one another i.e. with reference to economic, business and commercial interests - these sorts of insane feedback loops, between a hyper-emphasis on capitalism, libertarianism, social-defeat and massacres will continue to happen, as they are BUILT INTO our nervous systems.

These disasters are consequences of an evolutionary mismatch, between an environment in which we evolved to pay attention AND CARE about one another, to one where might seems right, or at least feels too tempting to resist.




posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 05:55 PM
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How can issues of such irrationallity be reliably detected without establishing an overbearing control issue that doesn't impinge on Constitutional edicts?

edit on 2-10-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-10-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


I think this sums it up.




posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 06:25 PM
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And yet, I spent many years of my life being bullied before spending three years of my high school existence in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone I almost married and I am no more likely to haul off and murder massive numbers of people than someone else who never suffered all this.

So what is the difference? Why does it make some and break others?



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 06:32 PM
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I totally agree.

We have a culture of greed materialism and the self above all else.

We have lost our concept of community and family.

It's the root cause of our societal breakdowns and I think the expansion of corporate culture into every facet of our lives plays a major roll.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 06:55 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
And yet, I spent many years of my life being bullied before spending three years of my high school existence in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone I almost married and I am no more likely to haul off and murder massive numbers of people than someone else who never suffered all this.

So what is the difference? Why does it make some and break others?


Ketsuko, I feel your hurt. There are many like us and yet we don't feel the desire to terminate others lives. Does anyone really know the answer?



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko




So what is the difference? Why does it make some and break others?


Biology. Your point is proof positive that bullying does not cause nor lead to mass murders or even violence. The notion that the human being is a blank slate upon which the environment moulds monsters is a dogma of psychology. We can rightfully blame the perpetrator, and not his history, not his reading material, not his parents, not his addictions etc. The perpetrator is the only guilty party.
edit on 2-10-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Thank you. A point that bears repeating.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I hate to get cliche Ket, but here it goes. The old proverbial "straw that breaks the camels back" I know, I know. But in that straw in maybe that one aspect of human complexity lies the difference. And if the throw of the dice lands in our favor it is for us to embrace it and nurture it. Again to get proverbial, 'there but for fortune'.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Just to be a little more clear, the idea that one is born with these qualities is equally dogmatic.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

The value of the individual human life has been severely diminished. People feel like they no longer matter. People feel marginalized, unimportant, unheard, trivialized, disenfranchised, disillusioned and angry.

We have perpetuated a consumer culture that glorifies greed, fetishizes objects and creates consumer mania. We latch our self-worth onto other people's opinions.

We've been allowing a toxic culture to ferment and permeate our the very soul of our nation. People want to be heard, people want to feel that they matter and are somehow important and have a place and role in society.

But no, we're told we're not important and that we're not special and that we're just another faceless drone in the machinery of the industrial democracy of the United States.

This -- this right here is the black goop that is rotting the core of our country.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

No sorry. We may all have our breaking point, but at which point does that excuse deciding that your break justified taking as many with you as you can? Time was that those who broke simply took care of themselves and left the rest of us to wonder why. Now they take themselves and as many others as possible grabbing at notoriety. And, God help us, we give it to them.

There is no cliché at all in that.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:26 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Astrocyte

The value of the individual human life has been severely diminished. People feel like they no longer matter. People feel marginalized, unimportant, unheard, trivialized, disenfranchised, disillusioned and angry.

We have perpetuated a consumer culture that glorifies greed, fetishizes objects and creates consumer mania. We latch our self-worth onto other people's opinions.

We've been allowing a toxic culture to ferment and permeate our the very soul of our nation. People want to be heard, people want to feel that they matter and are somehow important and have a place and role in society.

But no, we're told we're not important and that we're not special and that we're just another faceless drone in the machinery of the industrial democracy of the United States.

This -- this right here is the black goop that is rotting the core of our country.


Ah, but to be fair. We also live in a culture that takes great pains to tell every child that they are unique and special snowflakes in the name of fostering self-esteem.

I think that does quite a bit of damage because as you say when you get into the real world, you are only as special, unique and important as you achieve for yourself. No one thinks you are anything just because you breathe. No one gives you a trophy, job, raise, etc., just because you are you. You have to earn it. You have to take risks, and everything about child-rearing is about creating an individual who is risk averse and doesn't know the first thing about how to handle challenge when it bites them on the butt as adults.

So, yes, they feel lost and alone. For the first time, they are experiencing reality and being asked to achieve rather than having it all handed to them in the name of fostering self-esteem, and that self-esteem they had? It fold like a house of cards because it was never worth anything anyhow. True self-esteem comes through self achievement and self actualizing - things you can't get when you aren't allowed to learn, grow, explore ... and yes, fail and learn from that.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:33 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: ketsuko




So what is the difference? Why does it make some and break others?


Biology. Your point is proof positive that bullying does not cause nor lead to mass murders or even violence. The notion that the human being is a blank slate upon which the environment moulds monsters is a dogma of psychology. We can rightfully blame the perpetrator, and not his history, not his reading material, not his parents, not his addictions etc. The perpetrator is the only guilty party.


Yeah sure, we're not products of the enviornment.

Go ahead and tell planet earth that.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:44 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

No offense by asking this, I just always seem to forget. But are you female or male???



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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He was emotionally disabled

"attended a school for teens with emotional disabilities" His myspace:

26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer, who appeared to have bought Nazi paraphernalia online and supported the IRA. This isn't about being picked on. He was extremely sick and twisted.




He also appeared to write a blog post hosted on a torrent site about Vester Flanagan, who shot two journalists live on air in late August.

He reportedly wrote: "I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are.

"A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day.

"Seems the more people you kill, the more your’re [sic] in the limelight."

www.freerepublic.com...




edit on 2-10-2015 by StoutBroux because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: StoutBroux

His post seemed to me like someone who was wanting attention but not getting any. Someone who felt like they deserved more attention from others for being special or different or unique but wasn't getting it.

He also seemed to like the idea of being a "bad guy" type. The nazi thing and admiration of killers and the fame that came along with it. Also the Dark Magic "Left Hand Path" stuff. All of it is like taking the "Good Guy vs. Bad Guy" theme and wanting to be the "Bad Guy" type because of the respect and fame and power that comes with it.

That's my opinion anyway. Funny thing is, if he didn't do what he did, I wouldn't have thought he was much different than a million other people with similar profiles or interests.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:17 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

a reply to: MystikMushroom

Both of you are right and also wrong. You're dealing in absolutes, when the reality of the problem is rather murky. In both of your experiences what you said may be true, but you have to look at the whole picture.

There is a malignant dichotomy in the U.S. between reality and fantasy/aspirations. I've no doubt this is quite intentional, but that's another topic for another day. Yes, people are treated like special snowflakes and get spoiled rotten, but only some people. Yes, others feel mistreated and stifled by the lack of recognition they get in their daily lives, but again it's only some people. Reality for the "special snowflakes" ends up being a nasty kind of solipsism, while reality for the "lonely losers" ends up being either low-intensity passive despair (more common), or a single-minded hatred for the perceived normalcy and privilege of the "special snowflakes" (what leads to occurrences like this shooting).

The real reality of America is the most vicious kind of social Darwinism the world has ever seen. We're taunted with fetishized illusions and icons, and this can have the effect of perpetual disappointment and despair for some people. The special snowflakes are paraded around and dangled in our faces for all the lonely losers to gawk at enviously, while in reality the special snowflakes are often equally disaffected. The special snowflake lifestyle is not a healthy one, and in my experience they often destroy themselves through hedonism alone. Indulgence is its own beast, more rapacious than any human should hope to be.

Meanwhile, the lonely losers delude themselves into thinking (insert fake idol/illusion) is all that's important. I mentioned single-mindedness for a reason. Some of these people are utterly consumed by pure fantasy and idolatry. It is extremely dangerous for a person to exist in this state, as we've all seen over and over.

This did not happen in the past because of the simple fact that the technology didn't exist for it. The special snowflakes couldn't parade themselves on a large scale, and neither could the lonely losers gawk on such a large scale. The blinking lights, flashing screens, and neon idols have changed everything. People are barely conscious of what's going on around them anymore, much less conscious of themselves. If one cannot view oneself in a (mostly) honest light, one is not likely to progress beyond the emotional stage of a child.

There are plenty of normal people still around, though. They still make up the majority, thankfully, though that is liable to change.

It will likely just get worse from here. I truly see no hope for the U.S. as a society, as it stands now.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:26 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

That was an interesting perspective and way to put it. I have a feeling that social media, facebook, youtube, etc. has played a big part in this. Everyone seems to be living a pseudo life as well as a real one. They live their real lives because they are forced to but many people are just zombies in that life doing what the body has to do. Meanwhile they live their conscious life as the fictionalized version of themselves that is their persona online.

They create the most ideal version of themselves they can from parts of their real life mixed with their fantasy of who they want to be and as if they are their own PR firm, they promote this other more liked, more wonderful, more beautiful version of themselves. Sometimes to the point that they won't allow any real interaction between the real them and another real person. They only want to interact as their PR version with others.



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:37 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

Yes, pseudo-life is a good way to put it.

This was a good post by Astrocyte, and I think he's on to something. There are evolutionary imperatives that aren't being met, quite simply because people are living pseudo-lives.




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