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Why our world teeters on the brink of doom, but rarely ever actually topples. A hypothesis.

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posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 11:46 PM
As I flip through page after page of concerns here, I've come to notice (beaten across the head really) an air of sensationalism and pessimism. It's common knowledge here that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. The crap is about to hit the fan in a big way, and people are looking to alternative solutions on how to deal with it. Survivalism? Revolution? Revelation? But, I ask, is there a greater conspiracy going on? A grand messianic conspiracy - not of greed or power hungered individuals... but of time, of environment, and of evolution. A conspiracy that entraps us all in an illusion of a world perpetually on the brink of falling into hell - yet one that continually becomes more equitable, more comfortable, healthier, and more peaceful.

As I researched these old fears, to find out what had been said in the past, I made several important discoveries. The first is that there is nothing more sobering than a 30 year old newspaper. You can’t figure out what the headlines mean. You don’t know who the people are. Theodore Green, John Sparkman, George Reedy, Jack Watson, Kenneth Duberstein. You thumb through page after page of vanished concerns—issues that apparently were vitally important at the time, and now don’t matter at all. It’s amazing how many pressing concerns are literally of the moment. They won’t matter in six months, and certainly not in six years. And if they won’t matter then, are they really worth our attention now? - Michael Crichton: Complexity Theory and Environmental Management.

Regardless of what you think of Mr. Crichton's research into Global Climate change, the results he's exampled above is readily obvious to anyone who's actually done what he suggested... or perhaps even more poiniently, watched year old recordings of the nightly news or political radio shows. But why is this? Crichton doesn't go into this during his talk, partially perhaps, because he had enough controversy on his hands without dipping into the subject of human genetics role in behavior.

Psychology has undergone a major revolution in the last 40 years or so as technology has allowed us to peer ever closer and in greater resolution into the interactions of the brain. The cognitive revolution has revealed that our brains create the illusion of "self" out of the interactions of multiple specialized regions of dedicated to specific tasks.

Each of us feels that there is a single "I" in control. ~ One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the illusion of the unified self comes from the neuroscientists Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry, who showed that when surgeons cut the corpus callosum joining the cerebral hemispheres, they literally cut the "self" in two, and each hemisphere can excersize free will without the other one's advice or consent. Even more disconcertingly, the left hemisphere constantly weaves a coherent but false account of the behavior chosen without it's knowledge by the right. ~ Steven Pinker: The Blank Slate. Modern Denial of Human Behavior.

Roger W. Sperry's 1981 Nobel Lecture

But if "self" is a product of a specialized brain, then can human behavior be explained by the process which shaped the brain; evolution? Partially, yes, and I think this may be the case here. Consider our evolutionary history and closest relatives. Humans share a common ape ancestor with chimpanzees, and are classified formally as a Great Ape species. So it's no surprise that researchers often look to Chimpanzee/Bonobo behavior as an insight into our own behavior. However, we are also separated from them by several intermediary species and 3.5 million years of evolution. In this time, our family groups became increasingly more structural, expanded, and tribal. This long history alone has massive implications for our modern penchant to arrange ourselves in hierarchical groups and our projection of directed order on emergent phenomena in chaotic systems. Perhaps this is why so many "NWO" conspiracy theorists rail against "TPTB" - yet can very rarely name, agree upon, or provide empirically backed specifics of who, what, where, why, when.

And the world they're leading by the hand to hell? It's not. And the media is not "programming" you. They're reacting to you in a positive feedback loop of culture. I think we are misleading ourselves. I've heard several members (and personal acquaintances) disparage at how people will crowd around the scene of an accident and chaos, yet nobody crowds around and cheers when someone helps a stranger fix a flat tire, or help an elderly person clean their gutters. Only rare acts of extreme heroism get any acclaim at all. Yet, if we are so absorbed by the negatives, then why do we so often see history with rose colored glasses? Why do we so often remember the good times more prominently than the bad times?

Look to where we came from. Our animal relatives are constantly on the lookout for danger and conflagration. It draws their attention, because identifying sources of danger, and getting out of the way (or moving with the herd) might mean the difference between life and death. Altrustic behavior (again, excepting in cases of extreme heroism), do not have such immediate life-and-death concequences, so they are often apparently ignored. Chimps don't gather around and gawk at another ape grooming, or sharing a meal. Perhaps... this touches upon our penchant for idolizing heroes (while, to appearances, acting like villians ourselves).

So even if we're not in immediate danger, this instinct hasn't been shut off. We may interpret it differently at times, but there is no race or tribe of human beings on Earth who are oblivious to fast movements, large gestures, loud noises, etc. So if somebody wants to get our attention, such as an advertiser or producer, the threat of danger or presence of action are very powerful tools to use. I feel this is why you so disproportionately hear about murders, rapes, thefts, fires, disasters, and other negative media on the news. Couple this with tribal associations with political parties and budget cutting speculation and boisterous verboseness over fact-checked reasoned debate, and it seems easy to me to see how we've gotten into this situation where one or the other political party are demonized as "destroying our world" or way of life with their policies. So not only are we barraged with present day negative news, we're told it's only going to get worse and worse speculating out into the future. And with modern technology allowing instantaneous propagation of information, we're getting more of it faster and faster.

Are they right?

Perhaps the reason we see the past so favorably, is because it's past. But perhaps there a different component acting as well. As tribal animals which come from highly social apes, group cohesion (even in the face of sometimes brutal usurpation in leadership) is an important component. We rely on one another for our survival. Why do our amazing memories not become overwhelmed as our immediate attention with negative or chaotic images? Frankly, it would act to destroy the group cohesion. Even if we're not crowding around good or altruistic deeds, we remember them and long for their continuation... and we reciprocate them back out to others. Sometimes, we even convert our shared hardships into fond nostalgia that we long for again or use to identify with each other.

I'm sure this isn't a new idea in psychology or philosophy, but I don't recall seeing any papers on it specifically. It seems as though this process would also contribute to the vein of "Fallen from Grace" philosophies some hold in which they view humanity as progressively turning from a pure and noble creature into a savage brute. The fall of civilization from sparkling brilliance, to Armageddon. Colloquially, especially here, when people speak of human behavior, they often offer simplistic ideals of elemental good and evil that humanity somehow taps into - or suggest that we are just innately brutish greedy thugs by nature. Even those critical of religions which enshrine such ideals don't generally speak of it.

So I offer it here, as a proposition. The truth, I think, is that we have fallen for a simple trick of perception. An illusion of the mind. The truth is we are adaptive creatures who live in a non-linear and adaptive system in which emergent phenomena arise. We are not circling the drain, because there is no drain.

[edit on 11-8-2009 by Lasheic]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:41 AM
In a lot of ways you are correct, that we are constantly in a state of fear or panic.

Here is my theory why.

I think that the people in high positions in business and such are banking majorly off this hysteria and fear that gets constantly pumped out of the media.

1) People who think civilization is collapsing buy goods.
LOTS of goods. *More consuming - more profits*

2) People who are fearful of disaster will alert their friends, and thus turn them into compulsive end of the world shoppers. *More profits and more consuming*

Basically what I am saying is that, this "civilization is collapsing" stuff is very beneficial to corporations as it spurs more and more buying, heck even large scale purchases.

People who are frightened out of their minds will buy guns and ammo, keeping the gun industry afloat. They will buy food and goods that have long shelve lives keeping the wholesale industry afloat. They will buy gear and supplies keeping other sectors of industry afloat, such as the manufacturers of fishing poles or nets, or the makers of knives.

All in all I agree with your post, and believe that their main reason for keeping the fear mongering alive is to keep the consumers buying even more stuff because they know we are complex and require complex reasons to buy more stuff.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:54 AM
I don't believe that's what the OP is saying. He's saying that there isn't a banking cartel, or big oil or whatnot that is pulling strings. It's our perception that there is that creates the fear.

Of course as humans if we "see" it, "it" MUST be real.

But why do we see "it"? Because that's what we are genetically predisposition ed to see.

Now, not to discount your interpretation, of course, knowledge is power, and if these "PTB" know about this trend, then of course they could exploit it...but realistically they're probably not there. Any conspiracy "power" could just as easily be a group of like minded individuals who have created their own tribe, doing what they know makes them money. But there's no real far reaching plan to be oppressors.

In short, they're just doin what they do

S&F for this.... I like good old fashioned food for thought

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:04 AM
You can not say the gun industry is not profiting in a major way. And how could that be a coincidence?

Selling weapons is America's main business.

And all of the media fear mongering has caused weapon sales to skyrocket to unprecedented levels.

Yet nothing ever happens. Few ever "need" a gun in their whole life. And I seriously doubt we will need them soon.

However, the gun industry needs $$, and they are loving every minute of this "cant keep weapons on the shelf" type hysteria.

It is a conspiracy, but a mundane and typical one. A so called "Business plan" lol.

If there was no fear mongering to scare us into buying stuff, people might just sit on their money a little longer. This would create a very bad situation for our "consumer society".

Business will do anything to get people to buy their products, anything.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:09 AM
I believe you are all looking to deep.

The answer that alleviates all questions and mystery is simple. It is by design.

Once you understand that people literally sit behind the controls of our world, able to shape the masses like putty, able to move armies, and shape public perception, it's these men who lead us through boom and bust.

It is all by design. You guys have again began to discuss trivial, small issues which are spawned as a result of the central issue.

In short, if they want a crash they get a crash. If they want boom, they make it boom. If they want depression they will give you depression. Failing to understand the above, seriously limits your perception of life.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:37 AM
reply to post by Lasheic
Firstly, well done in writing an intelligent, well-thought OP. I can't think where, but I've noticed you often post a reasonable opinion.

Your argument is fairly accurate on a broad scale. Probably, it's because I share the opinion that I find it well-thought out?! I once studied the English Revolution and the Star Chamber activities that long preceded it. Without going into the details, it became clear that the world has always been 'on the brink' of ending in some people's eyes. From the Orthodox-Catholic split, Wat Tyler, Black Death and the Reformation, it was all world-ending. When Charles was beheaded, as the Godhead on Earth, many thought it was the sign of the 'End Days.'

In the 20th Century, we've had panics over two World Wars, Atom bomb tests, LHC, Y2K, AIDS, Ebola and the Cold War. In the background of these genuine concerns, the same religious beliefs of raptures, revelations and End Times have thrived and become wrapped up in domestic and foreign policies. It's clearly a part of the human condition.

From a distance...nothing much changes.

Where I disagree with your OP is that it (reading between the lines), supports complacency. We can look to history and see that the world is always on the brink, but it's never ended yet. Let's not worry? True. Let's not worry...too much. I honestly fail to understand what the guys who think the world is going to end have ever brought to human endeavor or progress. Whatever function they have is lost on me.

The people that have led sea-changes in human society that caused the status quo or Establishment to worry that 'the world teeters on the brink' represent the forces of evolution. Cromwell, Thomas Paine, Emmeline Pankhurst, MLK and a long list of others have driven us onwards when the complacency of acceptance would see us stagnate. In this light, the people across the world with genuine (overlooked) concerns for humanity's future
are the ones that will 'drive progress.'

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:39 AM
reply to post by king9072


I think a distinction needs to be made between that common perception of "there are a few elites behind the scenes that rule the world" and the actual direction the world ultimately goes...

There is plenty of evidence of a few powerful men creating world events and manipluating markets, but to say they literally have control of the entire world on a day to day basis is misleading (not saying you were intentionally trying to mislead people) and quite unrealistic. I doubt that is what you were trying to do so I just felt it apporopriate to try and clarify a bit.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:03 AM
reply to post by open_eyeballs
You're just shouting in the wind on ATS about that. Since at least the Middle Ages some people have been banging on about the world (at least their world) being ruled by some shady elite. Not an idea that makes sense to me. Also, it's such a fatalistic, impotent perspective that it doesn't support discussion. It barely supports getting out of bed...and refuses to acknowledge other nations, regions and independent thinking. Some deal got done in the 18th Century and a bunch of shady guys are driving history like their own golf cart?

Those guys that used to have billboards? "The End of the World is Nigh!" They stay inside out of the rain and post on ATS

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:07 AM
Great post, I enjoyed reading it. It really reminded me of 1984, the way you were describing it. I too think that all of this fighting, conflict, and everything else that is going on right now is part of some greater conspiracy. It seems to me that a lot of people I talk to in my day to day life laugh at a lot of this stuff now. I can admit I laughed and made jokes about the swine flu and how people on the media were making it out like everyone's going to die tomorrow and there were people who laughed at it, because I think especially the younger generation now isn't taking this stuff seriously anymore. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, I think it's more people are just tired of being told that they're all going to die tomorrow. My personal belief and this sounds completely crazy, I know, but I just think that this is all an illusion. Everything, it doesn't matter what it is is all an illusion of control to make you think the way you do. Do you notice that people keep looking to the future, and dwelling on the past, but don't live in the present. We never take the time to just be what we are. I can't tell you how many people I see who quote age old worn out quotes from people in the past and parade around like they know something because of this overwhelming truth, and want to bang their heads against a wall because people don't see the genius behind the quote. They keep looking ahead to what's going to happen, and hoping that everything will be fine. I think because life is so much easier now than it was in the past, because we're not fighting for survival as much as status, we've lost that connection to being alive. If you stay in the house all day and never face death, then I think that connection slowly fades away before being completely gone. You cease to be truly alive, because you have nothing else to compare it to. I really think people need to start doing what they truly want to do and not be so confined by all the social, political, and personal boundaries that are put up in front of them that tell them they can't do this because of so and so. If people can only be themselves with themselves to appease the age-old dogmas and structures that we have today, then what is the point of being? I think this is what is going on right now. People are becoming less and less themselves in their own bodies. I think most if not all people are two completely different beings on the outside compared to what they really think on the inside. If you understand this, then you can understand maybe the reason why people feel there is a shift going on. They can feel it themselves, because they are looking at the now and how they are acting as it's happening and actually observing themselves. I've noticed a few times that what I'm really thinking and what I'm saying in a conversation are two completely different things. Sometimes what I'm saying actually surprises me because it's nothing like what's going on in my mind. I just see myself as playing a role in a huge game. Now, I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride and letting whatever happen happen. Why do you think you have all these people online who are talking about all these big things and wanting to change them, but you never see real change. It's because people can be honest online, or dishonest, to be precise. They can come online, find a forum or website that adheres to what they truly believe in, and then say what they're really feeling because they have the confidence that others will accept their beliefs. When you go out in public, you have no idea who believes what. There's not a sign over everyone of them saying I believe 9/11 was an inside job or that the Galactic Federation of Light is going to save us all. I still believe we're on the verge of some astounding awakening, like our eyes are really going to be opened for the first time and we're just going to understand and laugh at how it makes no sense and perfect sense.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:11 AM

Originally posted by open_eyeballs
reply to post by king9072


I think a distinction needs to be made between that common perception of "there are a few elites behind the scenes that rule the world" and the actual direction the world ultimately goes...

There is plenty of evidence of a few powerful men creating world events and manipluating markets, but to say they literally have control of the entire world on a day to day basis is misleading (not saying you were intentionally trying to mislead people) and quite unrealistic. I doubt that is what you were trying to do so I just felt it apporopriate to try and clarify a bit.

I don't believe that I have been misleading in any form.

What I think you assume, is that my statement is too far reaching, and would require to many people to implement. But there is a flaw in that opinion, because it implies that everyone would need to know what they were doing.

That is wrong. Millions of people are carrying out someone elses agenda right now, some are aware, some are absolutely oblivious - some even think it is their own agenda.

Through policies and attitude, a CEO can steer thousands of employees without them knowing. This is not a new concept.

Just as, a few thousand people can literally change the day to day life of billions, by heading organizations which trickle down to each and every person.

But I can simplify this even further, because the topic is "boom and bust".

Boom and bust is 100% created by the power of the Federal Reserve, it's policies and use of inflation and deflation, all of which is unaudited by the American people. Thus, your beliefs are limited, if you fail to grasp the fact that a handful of men, can affect billions.

Additionally, our problem (thanks to the media) is that we then mistake the byproducts of these core issues as the actual issue itself. This is what gives us the perception that it would require millions of people working in unicen to bring about these changes. When that is absolutely not the case.

The fact is, ever since the inception of the federal reserve, the economy can and has been manipulated like a stage puppet. This is true in theory, in practice, and throughout history.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:12 AM
reply to post by Kandinsky

You're just shouting in the wind on ATS about that.

Oh boy, tell me about it...I come here to a conspiracy website thinking rational discussion can take place over world and historical events...

I might as well be asking for Carmen Electra to fall in my lap...

Those guys that used to have billboards? "The End of the World is Nigh!" They stay inside out of the rain and post on ATS

Oh man, you dont know how many times I have tried getting that point across. Its defintiely not a popular view. You would have better luck getting people to listen by running around with the shirt pulled over your head screaming "THE SKY IS FALLING!!"...

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:27 AM
reply to post by king9072

What I think you assume, is that my statement is too far reaching, and would require to many people to implement.

Not at all. I understand the conspiracy theories about the boogey men behind the scenes.

There is a huge difference in boom and bust cycles initiated by corrupt means and "controlling the world behind the scenes."

Im not saying there has not been world events manipulated by a few powerful men. Surely there has been. Surely there continues to be lobbyists for different corporate agendas. Politicians for different ideologues with agendas. Religious hierarchy for different religious agendas etc., etc.,. But in reality they are all competing. The world is a melting pot of financial corruption looking to gain whatever advantage they can.

There are no select few that control the legislation in my home town politics. Does that mean if they wanted something in my hometown they couldnt get it? Heck no! They could use a number of immoral ways of achieving their goal. Or better yet they could even use our own system against us...but to think they have some plan to dominate the world for each and everyone of us is a little far reaching...yes indeed.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:51 PM
reply to post by midnightbrigade

He's saying that there isn't a banking cartel, or big oil or whatnot that is pulling strings.

No. Though it's indisputable that power brokering goes on in both business and government, I can't see it as any part of a coordinated or concerted effort by a select "few" to rule the "many". Conspiracies that big require far too many resources to keep quite, and the random interactions and reactions of our planet, our biology, our economy, our culture, our technology... it's just not tenable to wield absolute control.

Our world is not linear. It does not work by simple cause and effect relations, like the pulling of a lever or tweaking of a knob. It's created by cause and effect reactions so numerous that they are beyond our comprehension or capability to quantify and account for... and they occur on every level, from the sub-atomic to the interplanetary.

Now while trends do emerge from this chaos of interactions, they cannot be predicted with any sort of real accuracy. We can monitor trends, see what interactions produce positive or negative feedback, but identical interactions on subsequent days will not yield identical results. Occasionally, that same interaction on an otherwise innocuous day, could cause catastrophic changes in the system and break the trend.

This is why I don't believe we are under the control of a grand directed conspiracy. We are under the influence of multiple independent and much smaller conspiracies each competing with each other, merging, diverging, emerging, and falling apart. We interact with.... we manage... the systems we find ourselves in. Climate, Economy, Society, Evolution, Medicine. We cannot control them.

I think people do tend to "connect the dots" too readily, and are lead askew into impossible mental gymnastics trying to accept and defend their theories... because they're just not realistic. The more connections are made, the more ungainly and monstrous the construct becomes. It falls apart. Perhaps this is why so many liken getting into conspiracies to "going down the rabbit hole"- borrowing the meme from the Matrix that it borrowed from Alice.

The fact of the matter is, that your brain is not evolved to see reality as it truly is. It's evolved to see just enough of reality to ensure your survival in an environment our species has largely left behind. Now the brain is extremely adaptive. Writing was not essential to survival of our ancestors, but spoken communication was. This likely why children are adept at learning spoken language... but struggle to learn how to read and write. Our brains aren't built for that, but are adapting through effort. However, a child with down syndrome will never be able adapt their brain enough to compensate for that disability no matter how much effort is put forth. They will gain varying levels of improvements, but it's not something you can cure through mental therapy or training.

Our brains are not highly tweaked performance machines. They're a patchwork cobble-together of multiple interacting, communicating, and competing systems. The "YOU" that you identify with free will, consciousness, or the "Soul" is an emergent phenomena of this system. A byproduct which turned out to be beneficial to survival at the time. Destroy or interfere with some of the components of this complex system, and the person you identify as "YOU" changes. Drugs, for example, are notorious for affecting brain chemistry and causing personality shifts. I'm sure you know quite a few stable and peaceable people who become rather angry drunks, right? Ever seen someone on X-tacy loose their inhibitions?

What of Phineas Gage?

But why do we see "it"? Because that's what we are genetically predisposition ed to see.

A predisposition, however, that can be identified and consciously avoided. It'll always be with us, but so long as we can identify these behaviors and their causes, we can work to mitigate them. For example, racism. We'll never get rid of racism totally, because we're still identifying ourselves in parts of tribal groups - and any major difference in appearance, philosophy, behavior, etc is going to be ostracized to some degree. We can work on both the social and individual level to mitigate this, but there comes a danger when the pendulum swings too in some people's cases - and they express their racism towards another, or their own, group. Effectively, they've switched tribes due to the stigma of being associated with the other.

In fact, it wasn't more than just a few years ago when the co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, James Watson, was drummed out of the scientific community as a racist for suggesting a possible genetic component to the apparent disparity in IQ between Native Africans and Europeans. Whether he was racist or not, doesn't affect the data - which nobody will touch. It's taboo. He may well be right in that there is a genetic -COMPONENT-... but genes aren't everything. We are shaped by environmental, parental, developmental, economic, cultural, or purely based on luck. Not to mention that it completely ignores the fact that these dispositions only appear in populations. Evolution does not apply to individuals, so racism is still uncalled for and vile regardless.

My main point wasn't to disprove conspiracy theories, but rather to present a scenario in which I think may help explain two very basic and well known human behaviors. Ones that are often expressed here on ATS. And to explain them in a way that makes sense and fits with the evidence, because I'm growing weary of over-simplified, under-developed, and overly negative views of human behavior. We're not going to change ourselves by "evolving to a 4th dimension using the Chi energies of ETs on 2012". If you want to change behavior, you have to recognize it for what it is, and understand why it exists. It's the same reason I don't support those who call for the destruction of religious institutions. They're not the problem. It's fundamentalism, and it exists in all areas of our lives. Especially political and ideological.

All I'm trying to do is to offer a hypothesis on why these behaviors are with us, and how they interact to produce a mental illusion I feel that many are trapped in.

(BTW: I also don't believe that free will actually exists, however being adaptive creatures in a complex system we will never fully understand, the issue of Free Will is moot and pointless. For all intents and purposes, it exists because complex systems can only be managed - never controlled. We will always have that % of doubt, or not knowing all the factors, no matter how small - and that's all it takes.

reply to post by muzzleflash

If there was no fear mongering to scare us into buying stuff, people might just sit on their money a little longer.

Point being, however, we invite the fear mongering because we respond to it. Nobody programmed that into us... it's just how our brains work. We seek it out, and they provide. FOX news is perhaps the largest peddler of fear mongering, and they also have the highest ratings. The people watching aren't sheep... they're human. They're responding to FOX's sensationalism, just as people here respond to Alex Jones or David Icke's sensationalism.

The producers and program managers at FOX are just people. Even if they KNOW they're intentionally playing up or speculating for sensationalism - a good many issues or shows are aired and discussed because they've also fallen for the trap and want the message to get out. They're human, what do you expect?

reply to post by king9072

Reality doesn't work like that, I'm afraid. Just my speculation, but I feel that many people who cling to that concept of shadowy groups in total control of our lives are merely looking for a scapegoat to blame the iniquities of the world on. Perhaps the same reason some cling to religion to be comforted by belief that they're just a player in "gods plan".

We don't like admitting that we're not in control. Never were, never will be. It's frightening to think that we're just cast about in an endless sea of chaos and that bad things happen to good people for often absolutely no reason at all.

The truth is, our reality, our society, and our economy has behaviorally more in common with a flock of birds or school of fish or the direction of breeze than they do with top-down hierarchical power structures exerting directed control.

Perhaps not the best video, but does a good enough job covering the basics.

2 part video on emergence, the interactions of simple rules governing a system to create as series of new rules on the second layer who's interactions form a third layer... etc.

For example, Biology is an emergent phenomena of chemistry.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:06 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

Where I disagree with your OP is that it (reading between the lines), supports complacency.

Not at all. At least, no more than the recognition of gravity as the force which held us to the Earth supported the complacency of mankind to stay on this planet and forget about traveling to the stars. I merely think that if you want to effect real change in human behavior, it helps to understand why we have that behavior and how to recognize it when we display it.

Understanding is the first step towards effectual change, not an admission of defeat. If a RAM chip becomes unseated on your PC motherboard, kicking the case and calling it a POS all you want isn't going to fix the problem. Neither is crystal energies, praying to god, or feung-shwey. You have to understand the symptoms and have the courage to pop the hood and have a look around. You might wonder why the PC is making strange beeping noises, but if you know from reading the manual or prior experience that the sequence of beeps indicates a RAM issue - you've narrowed down your search considerably.

Same idea. Delving into the genetic and evolutionary components of what makes us human, in both mind and body, might be disconcerting. We will likely see some ugly truths about ourselves that dualists have long tried to pawn off on other factors.. and the answers won't be easy. Especially that sheer serendipity plays a far greater role in shaping who we are than most would like to admit.

Perhaps, you've fallen into the same trap I had just mentioned. The co-argument to my statement that the world appears to be going to hell continually is that we find our lives getting better. Not across the board... but in general. Our lifespans have skyrocketed. Our quality of life exceeds anything our grandfathers could have imagined. We are safer, more equitable, and freer than at any time in human history.

The "freer" remark may cause some to bulk, as new laws continually pass... but what of the freedom that technology has brought? Freedom from disease, from toil, from ignorance (if we so choose), from even the surface of the planet itself. The greatest liberator of mankind in history has been knowledge. This society we've built gives away knowledge for free to any and all. It's literally oozing through every pore... be it libraries, the internet, television, radio, portable devices, telephone, open forums of discussion. This level of information given to the public, to the world... this collective knowledge of mankind at your fingertips is simply unprecedented in the history of the world.

This isn't to say that all the information you'll get is accurate, and nobody is going to spoon-feed you an education. But if you want it, and you have the dedication, the desire, it's there for you.

If knowledge is power, and civil discourse the backbone of democracy, then why would anyone bent on "ruling the ignorant masses" allow such a device capable of educating the public and giving THEM knowledge be allowed to be constructed in the first place? Despite their censorship efforts, look at the change that world trade and internet access has brought to China in just a few short years. It's nothing like the Soviet Union was... how they were... just 30 years ago. It makes no sense to allow it to propagate and invade every aspect of our lives. Another distraction? Disinfo? ... ok, but even were that true, it's not THEIR fault that Chocolate Rain has more views on YouTube than all of the MIT courseware classes combined.

"They" didn't pollute the internet with distractions. We did.

reply to post by open_eyeballs

Im not saying there has not been world events manipulated by a few powerful men. Surely there has been. Surely there continues to be lobbyists for different corporate agendas. Politicians for different ideologues with agendas. Religious hierarchy for different religious agendas etc., etc.,. But in reality they are all competing. The world is a melting pot of financial corruption looking to gain whatever advantage they can.

Exactly. Thank you.

I will say that the same motivations which drive the greed and corruption in business are found in all of us. Any one of us in those kinds of positions for long enough would do exactly as they do. Your job, and you get paid well for it. Keep in mind, also, that those heartless corporate bastards are human beings too. They also share the same capacity for altruism, charity, and compassion as any of us do.

There are strong individuals with moral obligations and boundaries they won't cross. Some decisions ARE made for the greater good, to save jobs, to help communities, and there's no shortage of accountants and lawyers who will turn it around to make it look greedy and vile in promotion of self interest for the board members and investors.

We can't just cut a broad swath of humanity out and declare them monsters because they are fighting for their futures in a cut-throat environment. In many ways, economies resemble ecosystems. Those at the top don't micromanage every single little facet of corporate action. They have managers, Pres & VPs of management, sales, publicity... numerous levels of HR, billing, Customer Relations... and alot of the evil a company is perceived to do is, really, emergent or done at the assumed behest of stockholder's collective desires. This doesn't absolve personal responsibility, mind you, but it's another blow to the idea of control and simplistic systems.

Just remember that they are human too, and in another time or place, those greedy CEOs would be down on their luck right next to you complaining of greed and corruption.

An interesting speech by Psychologist Philip Zimbardo on why he feels Good people do evil things, and vice versa. I hope a lesson people take away from it is that by dehumanizing a group - be they ethnic or social class - they are enabling evil. Because once you stop dealing with people as PEOPLE and start treating them as monsters - as non-human - it's not long before injustice and evil follow.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by Lasheic
I've just written several hundred words in response. I referenced different areas of psychology e.g. classical conditioning, cognitive psychology, crowd behavior etc. It was well-considered...then a touch on the mousepad and *tada*...deleted. I've tried to get the gist down again and lost the imperative. Fairly p***ed off would be a good description.

In short then, I agree with your position. A broad view of human behavior and perception is sensible, but not demonstrated by most people. The world is probably not coming to an end 'circling the drain,' although many people find reassurance in the notion that it is. I can't accept the idea of a group of individuals controlling the 'masses.' I dislike the term 'masses' due to pejorative associations and the people that use it somehow elevate themselves from the influences that affect us all. I've drawn the conclusion by considering the simplistic notion and applying the ever more elaborate knots that are required to justify the idea. It's a cat's cradle.

I think you misunderstood my first post or I wasn't clear, perhaps I misunderstood yours and you weren't clear? Who knows? It's possible we're at cross-purposes. IMV our behavior and perceptions have been forged and elements refined over an expanse of years numbering some several hundred thousand. Whilst our actions are dictated by our biological make-up and socialization, some studies suggest we have no free will and are wholly dependent on our genetics. This implication is that decisions are made before we think we've made them. Disturbing idea, but reasonable.

I will say that the same motivations which drive the greed and corruption in business are found in all of us. Any one of us in those kinds of positions for long enough would do exactly as they do. Your job, and you get paid well for it. Keep in mind, also, that those heartless corporate bastards are human beings too. They also share the same capacity for altruism, charity, and compassion as any of us do.

My perspective is that a holistic view supports all that and more. Human civilization isn't coming to an end by our actions. It isn't controlled by shady groups working through the centuries towards a plan. The media does not dictate reality. Reality isn't designed by Western Govts and media allies, although it's colored by them. Whatever group isn't trying to poison the population of the US.

My point about individuals is that they drive elements of humanity. Individuals first thought to use a stick to winkle ants from holes in branches...others emulated. It was they that knapped flints, crossed Beringia, led marches and stood up against oppressors or were oppressors. You know the story. My reference to potential complacency is that if everyone accepts their lot and marvels at how much better things are, stagnation would set in.

It's stupid to predict the future, but it's fair bet that in a 100 years a portion of the population will be calling folk 'sheeple' and 'masses' and warning that 'this time it really IS going to end!"

If you disagree, please don't cause me to respond! Most points were lost in the first deletion and this is a fairly poor second attempt. Bollocks

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by Lasheic

well, that was before the NWO had all the ducks in a row... well name one town that is now self suffiecient... hummm,
there are a few in the remote regions but nothing that could possibly support the needs of 300 million people. without the supply chain functioning... its gonna get desperate real fast. and its all part of this NWO stuff from way back when...

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