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The Arrogance Of Ben Carson

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posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 12:32 PM
I'll make this post short: Ben Carson says that if he were in the situation that the 9 Oregon victims were in, he would have acted rationally. He would have had the "cognitive wherewithal" (my term) to realize that if everyone came together and attacked the shooter than less people would have died. I agree. A very rational, and, I'd like to repeat, very cognitive way to think about that situation.

However, reality doesn't work that way. Carson, the neurosurgeon, demonstrates his general ignorance of neuropychology - particularly that related to "threat".

It's simple. Everyone's heard of "fight or flight" - I'm sure Carson has as well. But what Carson does not seem aware of is that when an organism (or mammal) finds itself in a life-threatening situation, another impulse arises - and this one, literally "turns off" the rest of the system i.e. your thinking brain. This is called the freeze response.

Why does the freeze response happen? It's evolutionary. ALL mammals do it. But why, in the situation that Carson imagines, do only some people have the cognitive wherewithal to think, while others succumb and "tune out"? Again, this is developmental; even more ironic to my psychologist mind is the way consumerist culture BUILDS INTO our neurological processing an inability to "inhibit" the overwhelming fear that is felt. Carson, the conservative, pro-business, pro-consumerist archon of neoliberal culture, speaks from his ivory towers of "what would be logical". Typical of the conservative ethos, he cannot seem to understand that DEVELOPMENT SHAPES PERCEPTION.

Freeze follows fear. The person is sooooo scared, that they can't move. That they can't move, or feel that they can't move, speaks to how powerfully an overwhelming fear response to existential threat can be. For the most part, MOST people would find themselves "lost" in the dissociated, hypoaroused daze of the freeze response for the simple reason that it takes PRACTICE to a) recognize the affective processes occurring in your body b) INHIBIT them and c) conceptualize the nature of the situation, as so well cognitively described by Ben Carson.

I can tell you, as an expert in psychological trauma, that the vast majority of human beings in a consumerist, impulse driven society will be STRUCTURALLY UNABLE to INHIBIT the freeze response triggered by an existential threat to their lives, for the simple, obvious reason that the they do not practice the INHIBIT function (localized in the left hemisphere). In order to have the cognitive wherewithal that the low-reactive, soft spoken Carson speaks of would require a certain background - such as his own (as a medical surgeon) that equips the individual with enough cortical control of subcortical inputs - in this case, the most harrowing flow of emotion that an individual has likely ever experienced.

Carson of course articulately argues that he is "just planting seeds". Which is well good. But the problem isn't awareness. It's having the awareness that one can cognitively inhibit the intense affective (feeling) arousal in the body that matters: not some piece of cognitive knowledge. Carson, and many others like him, does not "get" that a different developmental history puts people in different situations vis a vis their feelings. Many people would 'fall' into the despair of the freeze response because their bodies respond far more strongly than others; Carson, for his part, would probably have the wherewithal to think - but again, in a consumerist culture that prods and coaxes pleasure-seeking, and which seemingly does everything in it's power to strangle self-awareness, it is very likely that a typical person in such a culture, even if they had the knowledge Carson speaks of, WOULD BE TOO OVERWHELMED, too horrified by THEIR OWN IMMOBILITY, to move, and thus perform the eminently rational strategy suggested by Carson.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 12:44 PM
So you're suggesting that the potential victims on the Paris-bound train, who attacked the terrorist holding an AK-47...and the attack by passengers on the 9/11 terrorist hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93, which went down in Shanksville, Penn., instead of the White House or Capitol Building, did the wrong thing?
It certainly sounds like Dr. Carson is advocating the same thing.
edit on 8-10-2015 by IAMTAT because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 12:48 PM
a reply to: IAMTAT

Dunno how you go to that conclusion.
OP I agree I see it almost everyday at work, people freeze up, people run or people fight.
I was injured at work due to people freezing up but I can not lay any blame because like you said it is part of who we are and is part of our natural instincts.
No one can say what they would have done in the shooting situation because we may have done one thing one day and another another day.
The power of hindsight makes us all heroes.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 01:44 PM
Isn't it better to have the mindset of, if this happens I'll do this. This is how I will rally people or take care of it myself.
Instead of oh I hope he doesn't hurt me. It's all about attitude. When your self defense is premeditated doesn't one have a better chance of following through? That way instead of saying to yourself in these situations " I don't know what to do, so I'll just hope for the best," you can say to yourself " I'm gonna get that f***er and here is how." Just my two cents and rambling at that so take it how you will.

God Bless

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 01:47 PM
a reply to: KingKelson

I think that the point what the OP is trying to say is it is fine having that attitude but when it actually happens instinct cuts in and it will either be fight flight or freeze.
You just do not know how you will react and you may react differently to the same situation at different times.
Training of course helps and I think If you are in situations often where the fight or flight instinct occurs you may control them better.
I feel this instinct often at work.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 01:48 PM
a reply to: IAMTAT

Certainly the heros of the train attack had at least one trained soldier among them.He spurred the defensive neurological reactive mind and was quick to call up his rational mind that called for logical action. Likewise I think that on the plane, the immediate 'freeze' through shock had had time to subside so that action could be taken in due course. Of course I was not there but this is my supposition in line with OPs statements.

Those heroes did not do the wrong thing, as might any number of the people in Roseburg. The difference though is that the people in Roseburg had the guns pointing right at them with several dead on the floor. Their 'freeze' mechanism most likely had no time to unlock. Where as the ex soldier outside the door who was shot seven times blockading the door not only had had training in combat skills but also had had time, outside of the room to push past the 'freeze' and act in a more responsive manner rather than strictly reactionary.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 02:08 PM
a reply to: IAMTAT

Where did I say that they did the wrong thing? You aren't getting the distinction I'm making: i've already said that Carsons ultra-cognitive assessment is right on; problem is, it goes against biological processes inherited by our species.

If we would like to encourage such processes, then, logically speaking, we need to BUILD THE processes into our culture infrastructure; otherwise such suggestions amount to arrogance, spoken by men operating from a higher 'rung' made possible by their own developmental circumstances.

In point form, my argument is:

a) it takes great effort to inhibit a free reaction
b) it takes great AWARENESS to even maintain a coherent picture of what one is experiencing WHILE one is in the midst of an existential threat
c) if we would like to make people more self-aware, lets build it into them.

Saying, "oh im just planting ideas" is useless garbage, as the self is inherently dissociative. Which means saying something to someone when their minds are relaxed and at ease IS VERY DIFFERENT when their brains are "captured" by the traumatic pressures of a freeze response (not being able to move itself speaks to the inactivation of the cortical motor areas in the right hemisphere, adjacent, it should be mentioned, to emotional processing areas)

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 02:11 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Some just can not read nor understand your OP it seems.
Don't worry some here understand and agree with you.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 02:51 PM
Ben Carson is a real winner, that's for sure:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Citizens of the Roman town of Pompeii who were victims of Mt. Vesuvius’s eruption in 79 A.D. could have survived if they had “just outrun the lava,” the neurosurgeon Ben Carson told Fox News on Wednesday.

“Most of the plaster casts we have of Pompeii victims show them basically just lying down and whatnot,” he said. “If I had been in Pompeii and I heard Mt. Vesuvius erupting, you can bet I would have made a run for it.”

He said another option open to residents of Pompeii would have been “to fight the volcano.”

“Archeologists estimate that the population of Pompeii was about eleven thousand,” he said. “You can’t tell me that if eleven thousand people put their minds to it they couldn’t beat one volcano.”

New Yorker

Yeah, outrun or fight a pyroclastic flow.

I've been to Pompeii, while it was an impressive city there is no way the people could have stopped the volcano. The victims probably collapsed from fumes/smoke/ash and couldn't run.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 02:53 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

lol OMG and this guy is running for president?.
Awesome place isn't it btw? I went in a thunderstorm and it was very spooky.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 02:57 PM

originally posted by: boymonkey74
a reply to: MystikMushroom

lol OMG and this guy is running for president?.
Awesome place isn't it btw? I went in a thunderstorm and it was very spooky.

I was pretty impressed...they had these circular stepping stones in the roadways so you could cross without getting your feet wet.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 03:45 PM
a reply to: boymonkey74

Appreciate that.

The problem ultimately amounts to dissociation, and what we can call "emotional naivety".

When you feel one way, it is very easy to say "Oh, I would do 'this'" if you ever found yourself in a particular situation.

But if the situation were to occur to such a person, they would soon realize that they're cognitive awareness in ONE STATE (where one is relaxed and ABLE to think) doesn't exactly translate into another state.

You know what a freeze response feels like "from within", and hence, you can understand my point that when in the midst of a freeze response, it is actually VERY HARD to activate your thinking processes, inasmuch as an evolutionary more ancient part of your nervous system has taken over; just think of the paradox: in order to think, you need those parts of your brain to be operative (i.e. receiving blood flow). But blood flow has been cut-off rather dramatically, primarily because you got SO SCARED SO FAST that you almost can't even say what is happening.

Wisdom is largely about understanding how everyone experiences the world in different ways; and these ways, ultimately, has to do with the type of world this person has had to adapt towards.

The highly egocentric mind and personality of Ben Carson apparently cannot appreciate this rule, and thus, fails to treat it as more fundamental than his his ever-giddy routine of telling people "how they should do things"; of course, present in these claims he makes is his own grandiosity.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 03:51 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I had to explain to a coroner at coroners court that I froze for a split second when a patient where I worked jumped through a glass window and killed herself.
No blame was put at any of our feet but blimey I still wonder If I had been quicker and not froze for that one split second when she started running at the window If I could have gotten her.
I dunno I really don't.
We wouldn't be here without the fight or flight mechanism we all have I think.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 07:40 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I'll be the first to say it.

You're just a racist.

posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 08:19 PM
a reply to: boymonkey74

No blame was put at any of our feet but blimey I still wonder If I had been quicker and not froze for that one split second when she started running at the window If I could have gotten her

See, this ^^^ this is something we can't do to ourselves.

There is something called the "reality principle". It basically says: this is how the world IS. You can either accept it, and thus, experience a spiritual transformation (this is what tends to happen) or you can kill yourself quite pointlessly with guilt.

Thankfully, there are also other people who have experienced the same thing. We all live it. In fact, there is a good chance that ALL of us have at one point during our development experienced this "freeze" state; and indeed, when it occurs, it leaves a "shock" on the nervous system. It's presence still implies itself into our minds by leaving an 'imprint' on the brain.

The basic point is, trauma is inevitable as we are dynamically constructed beings: our bodies, via our genes, records the history of our biological ancestors. Everything about us, in fact, can be relate back to the 'basic' principle of the first nervous system; why, for example, do we have movement and sensation? Science shows that sensory neurons evolved to sense certain features of the environment. When predation began, itself based on the emergence of cells feasting on other cells (phagocytes), life needed to evolve movement to survive.

If you notice what the basic theme is here, you can say that it's 'tension'. Life is dynamic, and what emerges within it our sometimes contradictory and non-linearity. Movement is basically the core process of our nervous system, around which is built the more sophisticated modalities of our minds.

The amygdala, at around the midline of our brains, directs ALL activity. When you saw that patient run for the window, jump through it, and killed herself, you responded just as any other feeling creature like ourselves would. I can only imagine! It seems surreal. And btw, this proves the point I was making earlier: who could have known that "knowing" something REALLY MEANS knowing it, in the first person with the associated feelings.

You may have been exposed to this image before - of an insane person jumping through a window - and back then you probably didn't give it much attention; you may (as I can see myself as saying) have said something glib and stereotypical, really just because this is how you tend to speak with people you know. And then, one day, the reality of actual experience hits you. You get to see how humans respond to things that 'shock' them out of their day to day insipidness.

That's it, boymonkey74. This is basically how I live, simply because I want to live. Its basically about not suffering and coming into agreement with that cosmic mystery sitting behind all of existence.

posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 04:32 AM
a reply to: AstrocyteCarson would have hid under a chair and cried. Not to say that is an unnatural response- but LOOK AT HIM. He couldn't handle a problem with a coupon at a supermarket, he would talk the cashier to death in a whiny and slow voice though. I have no confidence that man could act rationally in any high stress situation.

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