Selfish Culture, Selfish Genes

Someone pretty intelligent I know posted as “incredible” on her facebook page, a song competition show. The competitor, whose chest was adorned with appendages, much larger than her head, went through an elaborate show of showing “incredible” timidity, before engaging in an “incredible” song of heart and hope forlorn, complete with the, as usual, “incredibly” baffled “judges”.

Stupid Gets Who Stupid Watches

Stupid Gets Who Stupid Watches

Why is such corporate fantasy so fascinating to the uncomprehending masses? Don’t they have anything better to do with what’s left with their minds, than admiring incredibly stupid, canned chow show?

No. Because precisely they find salvation in what they have been designed for, incomprehension.

If one were cattle going to slaughter, what’s best? Pondering one’s fate? Or celebrating someone else’s horns? Well, it’s not a choice, when you have been designed to moo, and little else besides.

This happened to the Roman empire. By the time the People erupted in massive, lethal fighting about sport teams, the Green versus the Blue charioteers, in the Sixth Century, the masses had been completely mentally engineered to only care about “sports”.

Even Emperor Justinian, a highly educated despot who got to power at 16 years of age, and kept if for more than four decades, was disgusted by these Nikka Riots, to the point that he thought of abdicating. (His whorish wife dissuaded him to do so; at least so says official history.)

It’s not just that stress and sleeplessness is bad for your brain, and can make it degenerate irreversibly.

Epigenetics rules genetics. And culture rules epigenetics. Thus, a degenerate civilization, as Rome became, also enjoys degenerate genetic expression.

Stressed out mice have degenerated descendants.

One may want to use such findings. And thus block those who advocate a society exclusively based on buying, selling and competing. Or, in other words, stress and conflict.

Selfish genes don’t exist, but selfish, and degenerated cultures certainly do, and they affect the very substance of minds. Reciprocally, superior cultures will give superior gene expression.

This is no doubt why the Greeks, a genetically diverse group, were the overlords’ of world imagination for two thousands years at least (say from early Crete to the early Roman imperium).

The Minoan, Mycenaean, and  Greek traits: suspicion of authority, inquiry, individualism, ruled for that long, probably because those traits were epigenetically derived from the culture. Genetic race has no meaning, but culture makes a race.

Thus culture is no luxury, but the essence of who we are, aspire to be, and can do.

Patrice Aymé

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8 Responses to “Selfish Culture, Selfish Genes”

  1. Dominique Deux Says:

    What you don’t quite state but seem to assume is the degeneracy is somehow an irreversible process. That once a culture starts down that slope and the epigenetics take hold, only an outside import of saner cultural traits and genes will revert or negate the trend.

    I’m not so sure. Look at a country like Brazil, the epitome of engineered soccer idiocy, and how the very lowest classes, the targets of that engineering, are growing rebellious.

    Or look at the way public judicial torture and barbarous executions, once the equivalent of spectator sports, ended up disgusting the French public, which actually mobbed and killed a few executioners before Louis XVI abolished them.

    There is hope yet in the old gene pool.

    • Paul Handover Says:

      Well said, D.D.

      George Monbiot has just published an essay that goes to the heart of man’s behaviours and that I will be republishing over on Learning from Dogs before the end of the week.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: The shorter the essay, the smaller the context. The question of the reversibility of epigenetic changes is smack dab inside the leading edge of research. I would assume a double role: thanks to epigenetics, a new ecological pressure is created for further genetic changes.

      It’s true than in, say, France, in the Middle Ages, it was observed that the nobles looked like a different race from the epigenetically devastated, submissive (up to the occasional jacquerie) poorly fed, sun roasted, back broken serfs. Now the population looks much more homogenous. Thus epigenetics is reversible.

      The fact that Brazil is revolting for all to see is excellent news. The favelas have long been insurrecting… But this is massive. Roussef meekly says she was lied to by FIFA… (That the privates would pay for the works. Does not she know that the trick is that the privates make the public work for them? That’s what being tortured by the military does for you: you forget about what’s really going on… Although Snowden has re-awaken her comprehension…)
      PA

  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Don’t Trust, And Verify http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Britains-Got-Talent…

    ‘Shy’ Britain’s Got Talent contestant Alice Fredenham accused of faking her stage fright as…

    Shaking with nerves and wiping away tears, only to reveal a beautiful voice… Alice Fredenham melted everyone’s hearts on Britain’s Got Talent last week.

  3. Nathan Daniel Curry Says:

    “”Epigenetic” changes are INHERITED (Lamarckism in action).
    So we change species by changing values. When for the terrible, terrible we get.”

    Nathan Daniel Curry: Hmm. This would be perhaps your boldest statement ever. For it argues that memetics and genetics is connected. Something that the concept of samskaras in sanskrit proposes too.

  4. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Chris Snuggs commented on your activity on WordPress.
    Chris wrote: “Spoilsport! Where is the photo of these appendages?”

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