Posts Tagged ‘Danger’

CAN’T MAKE LOVE? There Is ALWAYS WAR, Or Plain Old DANGER: WISDOM KNOWS MANY TRICKS; Humanity’s Dirtiest, Greatest Secret

December 16, 2018

TIME TO SHAPE UP ON WHAT WISDOM IS REALLY CAPABLE OF: ANYTHING EXCITING. Neurology Is A Moral System, But It’s Not Found In Books… Yet.

[Future and necessary wisdom: fasten seat belts and read at your own risk…]

Humanity’s definition? Thinking better. That’s reflected in the name “Sapiens” (from sapere “to taste, have taste, be wise,”… there is no wisdom, or intelligence, without perception). It turns out that, to think better, one needs lots of neural connections (axons, dendrites), and those in turn grow from emotional topology, aka emotional logic.

So far, so good.

Thus, the greater the passions, the greater the ability to shake up the old connections, the old brain geometry, and build a new, better brain, that is more fitting to reality. Hence passions, strong emotions, help steer that pot known as the brain. That is why some think afresh while walking (it happens even to physicists; that idea that walking helps is so old, a philosophical school, the Peripatetic, founded by Aristotle, was built around it). That’s also hard sports, and more generally a dangerous life foster more brazen thinking. Advanced thinkers, throughout the ages, have tended to end badly. It’s not just because new, correct thinking messes up conventional brains made of concrete common wisdom. It’s also because advanced thinkers need the passions that danger provide with…    

Passions often invoked positively are “love”, “compassion”, “mercy”, “generosity”, etc Also positive, but often dangerous, controversial, “sex”, “curiosity”, the spirit of inquiry… And then there are passions viewed generally negatively, like “anger” (although found in Christ, Muhammad besides all revolutionaries worth the label)… Or, even more negative, “hatred” (often alleged by the eyes of others, those observing the beholder). And of course jealousy, greed, etc.

However… Let’s consider lions fighting, fangs and claws out. How do humans fight?

Lions Fighting, Woman Involved lurks behind (of course). Humans fight mostly with thoughts, though, not tooth and claw. So human fighting fosters more advanced human thinking…. Which is all very humanistic. Another serious twist on moronic conventional humanism… Talk about fight club! Brawling lions in a serious fight because one horny lion got interrupted during a steamy morning romp. The frisky lion and his mate were not happy at being disturbed during their raunchy session. The king of the jungle launched a brutal attack as he chased the intermeddler away before picking up where he left off. The fierce lions launched at each other during the ten minute scuffle, roaring aggressively as they fought it out over who gets the girl. [Photographer Johan Pieter Meiring, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, captured the scene at Kruger National Parks…]

However, passions, emotions, plain neurohormonal, not to say chemical, agitation create new associations, new thoughts, because they, and potentially only them, entice the making of new connections (axons), or near-connections (dendrites). Although still science fiction at this point, it’s pretty sure neurohormonal gradients are implicated. That there is such a thing as a “good” neurohormones or a “bad” one is more than debatable: it’s probably the sort of “moral” judgement which don’t apply to chemistry. (What we now, all too often, have called) “Bad” neurohormones have enabled struggles to death in the past, and we are here, because our ancestors won them. We stand on the corpses of trillions of enemies, red in tooth and claw. To spite, or deny, this prehistoric holocaust, is to spite, or deny, ourselves.

Such a negationist attitude about ourselves insures we can’t understand anything important, looking forward.

Once a friend of mine, an emergency MD,  told me all this may all be true, but we have to forget it now, all this prehistoric way of thinking, as we are in a world too evolved for this embarrassing heritage of ours. What I know, instead is that there is no thinking, but prehistoric thinking. Sorry, folks, we, you can’t get out of ourselves. Maybe sad to some, but it’s a fact. Losing track of this sorry state of affairs brings mayhem… because then we, and history, forsake the drastic precautions which need to be taken! 

What I see, then, is a world so evolved it’s bringing its own demise, and not evolved enough to survive it.  And the major problem has been, as with many of my friends, all too often ex-friends, that they were not passionate enough to pay attention to the evil mechanisms at play (fortunately Trump Derangement Syndrome has extracted many a fake liberal out of his or her self-satisfied torpor).

And there comes the twist. Human beings have been evolutionarily selected as the best thinking machines (by the holocaust alluded to above). So the pressure to think better (that is more fitting to the world as it is) is extreme, overwhelming, the main driver of human psychology (and not reproduction as the naive believe, confusing humans and rabbits).

And how does one think better, that is, continually afresh?

With more passions.

So, right, populations where passions are allowed to flow, everything else being equal, will be more mentally creative.

But not just that.

Suppose the positive passions can’t be deployed (say no love object, everybody hates you, etc.; not far-fetched, that was pretty much the situation of the Jews in a sea of hateful Catholics, after Roman emperor Theodosius I decided to “punish” heretics, around 380 CE… and again, after the hiatus of 5 centuries of Frankish tolerance came to an end; countless minorities found themselves in that situation, most minorities so excluded and hated are not around anymore to speak about it; some barely cling by: the 2018 Peace Nobel was awarded to a Yazidi lady, after Islam Fundamentalists tried to kill them all in the last few years)

So suppose no love is forthcoming, nor could ever come. What’s the next best thing to steer the mental pot in one’s head? Hatred. 

Ridiculously, conventional “humanism”, not too human, has ignored this.

“Best” and “Worst” as moral categories are not logical categories, only truth determines the latter [Chad Gold Picture, thanks!]

Hence, don’t love them at your own risk. They may hate you back. Just because they want to satisfy that most primordial of human instinct, thinking.

And what if objects of passion are not readily available?

There is simple way out, coming to the rescue: danger. Danger itself. Danger should in little time brings passions back up, thus thinking afresh. Thereof the fascination of human beings with risk taking: it’s more than a thought adjuvant, it’s a thought creator (another uncomfortable fact for Conventional Wisdom and Conventional Humanism).

Verily, wisdom is the most complicated thing… Understanding how wisdom works is crucial to predicting the future, and optimizing it (because if the good doesn’t develop new, more powerful wisdom, the bad and the ugly will). I emote, thus I think creatively, hence I am a human being in full…

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: a professional philosopher, MP, told me haughtily that there was no such thing as “emotional logic”. He had read that in textbooks. Right. Creators of ideas don’t get them in textbooks.

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Note 2: The Yellow Jackets in France have pivoted to fight for RICs (Referendums Initiative Citizens). As the two honest to goodness RIChest states, California and Suisse already have (not coincidentally: RIC make RICH). This is going to be a tremendous fight for improving civilization., mobilizing the collective debating power, hence intelligence humanity needs to survive. Officially six Yellow Jackets have died from their protest (latest was a French protester crushed by a Polish truck driver, who was arrested…) The Yellow Jackets need lots of war hormones, as they fight the huge forces of established evil, sucking at the teat of an exhausted planet…

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Note 3: Yes, today, I went down a wind slab (although I was on the lookout to avoid them). I had missed the rocky ridge further east, which was safe (when I realized it I was too lazy and getting too cold to go back up; anyway when one is on the slab, it’s already too late). It was probably way too thin to be dangerous, but, still, I was distinctly not amused, and used special tricks I evolved in such cases (go straight down the anchor points, not where the snow is thickest). Doing a wind slab every few years: nothing like it to realize what the human brain is really for….

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Note 4: Yes, hatred can be a very good thing: watch these millions of rabid Trump haters, foaming at the mouth. Five years ago, they couldn’t give a hoot about politics, and talking to them was like talking to fishes in aquariums. They aren’t yet intelligent, but, at least, less boring.

Now, propelled by their need to hate, they love (hating) Trump so much, politics is all they think they do. Let them hate away! They have now become politically receptive, however naive and ignorant they may still be… Passion is there at least, serious thinking may start, anytime…

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Note 5: An example of new, more powerful wisdom, has been the idea of “not leaving our children with debts”, used massively to justify crazy European economic policies impoverishing, often to the point of famine, most Europeans. This is fake wisdom, but the bad and the ugly plutocrats of Europe have used it with a vengeance.

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Note 6: The fascination with risk taking was no doubt a factor, when Nazi collaborator De Beauvoir & Nazi entertainer Sartre practiced “contingent relationships”, leaving a  trail of tears, depression (and official sanctions) behind them. Beauvoir ended at Radio Vichy… in 1944 from being dismissed of her job for seducing a child. 1944? That’s when the Nazis were sure to lose, so either Beauvoir was super arrogant from her relationships, or she enjoyed the obvious risk… If risk entices intellectualization, as I claim, this is explains it… Neurohormones: serious, so is sex…

Wingsuit Philosophy: 400 Million Years Strong

November 28, 2014

 

If Life is Quantum, why do Quantum assemblies jump off cliffs and peaks in wingsuits, with a high probability to be blown to bits? (See flying off the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Mont Blanc Range.)

Is it the love of danger? What else? Indeed, most of these ladies and gentlemen, when interviewed, insist that they love life. And most of them, indeed, seem to enjoy life, and are extremely lively.

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Wingsuit flying is an extreme form of extreme sport. It entangles extreme neurological control, extreme speed, and extreme terror. Plus extreme contempt for probabilities. In other words, all what makes man tick where it counts most, in what counts most, in battle.

The film concludes with a list of more than two dozen wingsuit fliers known to have died in 2013, while practicing their passion.

The first attempted wingsuit flight, more than a century ago, was off the Eiffel Tower (then the world’s tallest structure). The gentleman long hesitated before jumping. He received a significant hole in his head. However, an autopsy revealed that he had died of a heart attack during the flight (so great was his fright?). Frenchmen invented the modern suits in the 1990s. Tubes inflated by air pressure rigidify them. The explicit aim was to land with them (to do this, I believe a 6 meter wing span is needed, thus further, hard, but imaginable, progress in material science).

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

So why is danger lovable? Danger is not just lovable, it is adaptative, in the evolutionary sense of the term. That means that, for human beings, to love danger present greater advantage that the alternative. Can I prove it? Well, wingsuit flying and all sorts of behaviors potentially lethal to those who indulge in them, are only explainable by the thrill of danger. If this thrill is perceived as more valuable than life, it’s that life cannot do without it.

As Sherlock Holmes noticed, when one has eliminated all other explanations, what’s left is what is going on.

The usual suspects, the loud vegetarians, mosquito lovers, peaceniks, Dalai Lama worshippers, partisans of the intrinsic goodness of man in general, and of the extreme placidity and sanctity of themselves in particular, will meekly bleat that from such violence comes the undoing of man. Assuredly, they will reckon, loving danger leads to war, mayhem, and horror of horror, violence, to put it in one hated word.

Yet, what is man if not the creature of ultimate force? Violence is how man was built, one mutation at a time.

After these vigorous considerations, I went running more than twenty miles in the mountains, some of it above 8,000 feet. Never mind a little snow and ice: the greenhouse presents advantages in late November. At some point I met some mountain bikers: ”What are you doing, so far from anywhere?” I did not tell them I was philosophying, as I already looked crazy enough with my skimpy outfit (running is higher metabolism than biking).

Back in the land of computers, I stumbled on an interview of Jeb Corliss, an expert of “proximity flying” (see above). He reached pretty much the same conclusions as yours truly, in an interesting article with a stupid title:

“Courting popularity has never been a priority for Corliss. “Listen,” he tells me, “I talk about the deaths. I talk about the disasters.”

“And if you die?”

“If I die, I want that footage on TV the next day.”

“Why?”

“Why? Because this is not chess. This is not backgammon. This is not . . . ” (Corliss racks his brain for a yet-more-contemptible pastime, and finds one) “golf. This is dangerous. I believe that footage of fatalities is way more important than film of some guy flying across a beautiful meadow. What we are doing here is very important. I believe that flying is what evolution is about. Think of the squirrels.”

“OK.”

“At the beginning, there were probably only a very few squirrels that even contemplated flying from tree to tree. The other squirrels thought they were crazy. I imagine hundreds of them died in the attempt. But then, in the end, one of them managed it. Now that, to me, is evolution. And now we are evolving, through technology and through skill. I liken what we’re doing in proximity flying to the first animals that left the water. We are evolving and growing. And becoming stronger. What else,” he asks, “is the purpose of life?”

The usual suspects, if they have time to stop grazing their pastures, will call the preceding Nietzschean, or Hitlerian, and condemn it. But that would be wrong on both counts: Nietzsche hated evolution, and Hitler loved regression. Corliss’ philosophy wants progress. That philosophy, which has been mine, ever since I reflected in the wastes of Africa, is very close to Lamarck, and… Sade.

400 million years ago, during the Devonian Period, the earliest tetrapods derived from the lobe-finned fishes.

It is an important point that, although plants did not need brains to conquer the land, brainy animals, having brains, had to decide to conquer land.

Strict “Darwinists” speak as if they cannot understand this, and brains are just what genes do (see in particular Dawkins). Does that mean they never decide anything, except what class and genes gave them? (Lord Matt Ridley, one of the most strident advocates of total gene control, and of plundering the planet, is a major and most propagandizing plutocrat; believing “genes” control all means class controls all).

Yet, that’s obviously wrong: if all and any fish had been so terrified of land that they had not tried to crawl on it, all the mutations in the world would not have made the vertebrates conquer land.

For 400 million years, our brainy ancestors took great chances, and very few of those who took the greatest chances, that is, the most lethal chances, could reproduce. They died early, they died hard, but they tried something crazy, to give some mutation a chance… And, as we will see in a companion essay, a chance for this mutation to appear!

Without the will to progress, there would have been no progress. There would be only plants, bacteria, viruses.

Patrice Ayme’


Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

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EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence