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techstepgenr8tion
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04 Jul 2021, 10:30 am

cyberdad wrote:
I often wonder drives self-centredness and selfishness? Certain personality types who are naturally low in empathy and high in self-gratification might think this way. Luxury apartments might also be linked to short term gains in sharing something beautiful to gain social respect for short term gain rather than thinking in terms of future generations being robbed form having a pristine environment to enjoy. This line of thinking certainly promoted by the neo-liberal breeders/replicators over the conscious individuals who see harmonious and sustainable existence with all life as important.

I started feeling a lot more comfortable with a set of answers on this several years ago - ie. that you can throw this into the $$ and status chase, and particularly that a culture that all dials in on that (listened to a great podcast with John Vervaeke discussing perceptual tunneling and opening) the more it becomes a dominance hierarchy, the worse people treat people below them - even if those people below them are 8-digit rich and not 9-digit, ie. it's a hollowing out game.

This is part of why, even if I'm not necessarily happy about where I'm at financially (doing really hard programming work, earning enough to live comfortably with my parents), I compare it to what it would be to earn a living wage but really be - socially - under the thumb of others, where if you don't watch all of the same shows, have all of the same interests you're either a serial killer, cannibal, or pedo and if you aren't one of the three then guaranteed you're either two of the three or all of the above (I mean really - straight-jacket conformity or being assumed to be a moral monster, classic Girardian scapegoating there as well) - f--- that game and f--- wasting my life dancing like a puppet on a string for people like that, it's like opening my skull and jamming dog crap in to suit someone else's need to own me. I need to space to actually be me and evolve honestly, and so much of what's demanded in the way of social conformity is really degrading. Obviously I hope the work I'm doing now pays off in future terms, I also hope I'm not the kind of person who could go out, get an MD, and be financially in the same position.

For me I feel like I really understand - deeply - the point I've heard various people make that poverty makes misery but once one's basic needs are cleared and one has the ability to take care of most of their needs (in the US that's something like 60 - 80K if you're single) then money stops buying happiness, and I know that I'm one of those people who can be incredibly happy in terms of how I manage my own mind, my time, how I occupy myself, etc., I have a lot of ways of doing that and all kinds of interesting - even inexpensive - things I can do to enjoy myself. What I feel like I can barely understand is these people who are really, perpetually, miserable where the whole game is - indeed - keeping up with the Jones's forever and being bitterly jealous about anyone whose doing a little better in the same vicinity or social circles - I have to think a person really has to be hollow and void of congruent content to find themselves in that spot.

That last point might be another angle as well - ie. miserable people run as wealth because it's the only thing in life, other than attractiveness and social glib, that they can compute as having value.

Some would say that the miserable climbers are the Darwinian winners because evolution doesn't care at all about our happiness, it just cares where we end up and whether we have kids. IMHO it's a joke. When everyone plays that game this is how you rip the wheels off the ecosystem and gift a horrible ecological, climate, food supply crisis to our children and/or grandkids. That last part is a classic case of what I mean by pure replicator scenario - self-inflicted misery and throwing one's humanity overboard for Darwinian fitness points all day. Even without it being an environmental suicide pact it's a pitiful waste of one's consciousness, experience of life, etc. and we're better off leaving that kind of behavior to insect colonies or whatever species has internal experience of the sort that would demand it and has no outsized impact on their environment, otherwise we're running *down* the steps back toward animality with wild abandon, heck not running - sprinting.


cyberdad wrote:
Yes that's a good point, In biology there's a diathesis stress model where an external factor switches on a gene (epigenetics) leading to expression of a particular behavior. It's often said that despite being adherents to technology, ideology, dogma or culture/social norms, that people are only one disaster away from returning to an animal/base form. And yes connecting this to another thread, most NTs make a conscious decision to groupthink. Keeping up with the Jones's is preferable to sticking out like a nail. People make it up as they go along to get what they want.

I've heard Daniel Schmachtenberger refer to that last piece as 'status-hacking' and he mentioned it as one of the key ways in which the idea of Homo Economicus breaks down, ie. that we aren't strictly rational actors but rather we're in a place where whatever fashion, cologne, car manufacturer, etc. can make itself appear the most glamorous can set an arms race for their product even if there's little it really does other than boost the signal that a person is high status.

This is also part of where there was an intelligence drain to places like finance and WallStreet, especially after we started paying scientists a lot less, it's where the $$ and prestige was even if it's mostly about finding new ways to create and float complex financial instruments.

While I'll admit that there are places where - if used to lavishly - game theory does become just so story telling (a lot of cognitive scientists in this area have nailed a lot of things down through convergences) it's also true that I don't think we can understand much of what's going on around us without admitting that we're in a place where we're grappling with this. I can't tell how much the lack of admission on that is vestiges of Christianity still holding onto culture vs. how much it's the people who are playing a more destructively competitive game with it want to keep it that way because the fewer people who know this - more for people for them to take to the cleaners.


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techstepgenr8tion
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04 Jul 2021, 11:40 am

cyberdad wrote:
I can see how this can be a reference point for drawing a map or moral compass. There's interesting data to suggest that altruism is built into our DNA. It has something to do with evolution of social groups engaging in altruism to strengthen the group and in turn help with survival.

Another thing on that - ie. trying to have a society where people actually can be moral - there are extremes of suffering, not of the passive variety but types where a person's told that their life, their cognition, the whole of who they are, is worthless - AND - on top of that they have to risk life and limb in order to survive, where they're not just worthless but enslaved to the kind of work that's destroying their bodies and minds or constantly risking their lives and even with them knowing this there's no stopping to recuperate because the dollars and cents don't add up for the employer.

Scenarios like the above are where the elephant tells the rider and it's moral dictates quite often to get lost. The elephant tends to be relatively liberal, lets say, about how you succeed or how you get your genes into the next generation but it tends to be quite illiberal on the point that this is your purpose for being alive and for it supporting all of your other endeavors. When one's surroundings say 'anguish, failure, and no future' things get bad and that's where the elephant starts thrashing the rider properly.

When I think of stories like US soldiers in places like Vietnam falling into the age old patterns of plundering and pillaging, or how many vets came back with PTSD - not just over the horrors of what they saw but the horrors they enjoyed committing at the time and what kinds of terrible rifts that opened up between their understanding of who they were up to that point and what else they found also lived within them - we really need to do our level best not to put men and women in that situation. With men in particular though the more who are forced into that situation the more the prison population swells and the despicable part about that, it's people who had more money and social power than they did putting them in intolerable positions and who never have to pay the consequences for pretty much binding their ankles, putting a wedge in front of their feet, and pushing, but having what I might coin 'stochastic deniability'. That also goes with killing workers slowly, such as what's been discussed with many Chinese factories not having health and worker safety regulations and if the process of the worker dying is complex then it's not the company's fault.

These are some of the places where I see that evil is alive and well in the world and where we're constantly guided to demonize the results rather than the causes.


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04 Jul 2021, 6:29 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
the more it becomes a dominance hierarchy, the worse people treat people below them - even if those people below them are 8-digit rich and not 9-digit, ie. it's a hollowing out game.
Some would say that the miserable climbers are the Darwinian winners because evolution doesn't care at all about our happiness, it just cares where we end up and whether we have kids. IMHO it's a joke. When everyone plays that game this is how you rip the wheels off the ecosystem and gift a horrible ecological, climate, food supply crisis to our children and/or grandkids. That last part is a classic case of what I mean by pure replicator scenario - self-inflicted misery and throwing one's humanity overboard for Darwinian fitness points all day.


Again a lot to take in but I'll address this point for starters.

I spoke earlier about social altruism. This may be hardwired but by the same token we are also driven by our biological imperative to replicate. This is perhaps the deepest motivational drive in our DNA. In order to replicate there is a need to be socially dominant (as an individual) and control our environment.

I think this driver explains the apparent selfish gene we are witnessing on display where we value heirarchy and where we fit on the social totem pole. We do see this in the animal kingdom. Evolution seems to have two successful models, the ant colony type model favouring workers and a queen or a pack of chimps where each male is trying to be the alpha.

In some ways right/left politics seem to align against these two models. Left wing ideology favours ant colonies where workers work together for the common good. In right wing ideology there is a tendency to favour Darwinian heirarchy. An extreme example of this today is the concept of royalty,

And yes, self-driven individuals often are more obsessed about their social status than their happiness. You would have heard of the concept of not having enough money. A lot of NT people are never satisfied with their lot in life. I see this within my own family who pick and choose who should be congratulated/affirmed and who should be ignored. I have family who are highly successful and deem themselves "too important" to rub shoulders with the likes of us. So be it, that's their programming.

So some personality types also align with expression of these drivers - high self efficacy, aggression and low empathy align with people who succeed in climbing the ladder.



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04 Jul 2021, 6:38 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I think this driver explains the apparent selfish gene we are witnessing on display where we value heirarchy and where we fit on the social totem pole. We do see this in the animal kingdom. Evolution seems to have two successful models, the ant colony type model favouring workers and a queen or a pack of chimps where each male is trying to be the alpha.

I'll argue too that hierarchies have both a light and dark side. The light side is when it's competence-based, the dark side is when it's dominance-based. The idea is that you should have the most qualified in any given position. Where I think this shifts is the thermometer of where the society is at in terms of cooperation vs. defection dynamics. A society in high cooperation will tend toward competence hierarchies, a society in fractal defection will have dominance hierarchies (of the sort that gives us 'Clown World' among other things).

cyberdad wrote:
And yes, self-driven individuals often are more obsessed about their social status than their happiness. You would have heard of the concept of not having enough money. A lot of NT people are never satisfied with their lot in life. I see this within my own family who pick and choose who should be congratulated/affirmed and who should be ignored. I have family who are highly successful and deem themselves "too important" to rub shoulders with the likes of us. So be it, that's their programming.

Thus the tragedy - their lives flow through them like beer with very little of profound value happening.

It's hard for me to imagine having the lights switched on brightly upstairs making that their top, let alone only, priority, more like something they begrudgingly do - to some degree - because they'd have to do it to some degree to be treated like a person, and they'd want to get to meatier/juicier 'big picture' issues whenever they can get away with it. There has to be some degree to which one can draw conclusions from the ways people reliably behave, especially when they reliably behave in a manner without ever showing significant breaches of expectation in their behavior.


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05 Jul 2021, 12:18 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'll argue too that hierarchies have both a light and dark side. The light side is when it's competence-based, the dark side is when it's dominance-based. The idea is that you should have the most qualified in any given position. Where I think this shifts is the thermometer of where the society is at in terms of cooperation vs. defection dynamics. A society in high cooperation will tend toward competence hierarchies, a society in fractal defection will have dominance hierarchies (of the sort that gives us 'Clown World' among other things)..


Competence based heirarchy places value on what an individual can contribute which naturally doesn't favour (or value) people who have a disability.

In a village every member contributes and nobody is valued over another in terms of the type of trade/skill they have. This type of non-hierarchical system has been tried in a few places around the world.
Here's an example.
https://auroville.org/



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05 Jul 2021, 7:33 am

cyberdad wrote:
Competence based heirarchy places value on what an individual can contribute which naturally doesn't favour (or value) people who have a disability.

In a village every member contributes and nobody is valued over another in terms of the type of trade/skill they have. This type of non-hierarchical system has been tried in a few places around the world.
Here's an example.
https://auroville.org/

My general sense - if hierarchies are a permanent feature of the landscape and the choice is between having them be competence or dominance based, the later is dystopic which means I'd rather have the less obnoxious of the two.

I feel like where we're at right now is there's no social contract. There's 'law', lets say, to keep people from killing whoever their animal instincts might want to kill or behave generally sadistic toward, but outside of that in any ongoing basis we don't have any social contract for different types of people. One interesting thing I heard mentioned on a podcast I was listening to last night is that there are some people who are trying to rebuild the monastic model - you know - for learned introverts where living their whole lives trying to run up a corporate ladder just isn't what they're into and not how they'd want to contribute. We have a monoculture that benefits one kind of person, or a cluster of types that are tightly woven together. I get the sense that part of the problem for people with disabilities is that we are in a monoculture that values complex debt / financial instruments and only values talent when your one of the top ten in the world at something, and it's not a very easy place for most people to cultivate themselves because there's little chance that they'll be 'good enough' for it to exchange for social currency of any kind.

What I don' think we can get away from is that we're a global society. Could we try doing something like rebuilding Dunbar-sized units? Possible but I'm not sure how many people really want that because in some sense it chews up mobility and there'd have to be meaningful tradeoffs for the better which don't offer precisely the same benefits of autocracy.


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05 Jul 2021, 7:51 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
My general sense - if hierarchies are a permanent feature of the landscape and the choice is between having them be competence or dominance based, the later is dystopic which means I'd rather have the less obnoxious of the two.

Within reason. Competency is over-valued in our neo-liberal western-conservative society. Spirituality, scientific thinking and humanity is not.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
We have a monoculture that benefits one kind of person, or a cluster of types that are tightly woven together. I get the sense that part of the problem for people with disabilities is that we are in a monoculture that values complex debt / financial instruments and only values talent when your one of the top ten in the world at something, and it's not a very easy place for most people to cultivate themselves because there's little chance that they'll be 'good enough' for it to exchange for social currency of any kind.


Agreed. We live in a monoculture that values conformity and being "one of the boys".



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05 Jul 2021, 8:32 am

cyberdad wrote:
Within reason. Competency is over-valued in our neo-liberal western-conservative society. Spirituality, scientific thinking and humanity is not.

The one thing we have that we can't get rid of though as it's structural to reality - things crash and burn when people who can't cognitively operate them try operating them (with or without disability).

We probably need to do something around the other side, ie. stop telling people that if they aren't doing something insanely difficult that they aren't a person. For example - how glad is every corporate exec, every morning, to see the smiling face of their Starbucks barista? How glad are they to see their waiter or waitress at J. Alexander's on lunch break or their Panera cashier? Someone's really going to tell me then that these are jobs for lesser people, or the one my family brings up - 'step up' jobs for high school and college kids who haven't gotten degrees yet, and yet we're going to an increasing service based economy. A large part of the overproduction of professionals as Peter Turchin has described is a cutthroat status race where everyone who possibly can run up that hill does, and then you have hundreds of people fighting for the same job. This is the Ponzi scheme aspect of our economy and this attitude, this way of doing things, then pretty much sets us on course for treating each other like Hunger Games opponents.


cyberdad wrote:
Agreed. We live in a monoculture that values conformity and being "one of the boys".

A lot of people here probably wouldn't be a fan of her work or thinking (it's almost diametrically opposed to the current trends), but Mary Harrington's one of those people who showed up on my radar whose been saying - effectively - that market neoliberalism has been trying to press humans into something interchangeable 'meat legos', that it's inherently anti-natalist, and that it's doing harm to people when it's shot beyond considering the realities of sexual dimorphism, of different stages in women's lives (it's particularly tried to exorcise 'the mother' as 'the maiden' better fits the constant worker and self-absorbed consumer), and I think one of the better arguments she's making is that women are being told... perversely really... that to be proper 21st century women they're supposed to be 'one of the boys' in terms of life-long careerism, fiercely competitive, etc. where in doses that's okay but they're being weighed against men which - at the life strategy level and things that matter at deep structure life-planning and priority levels - are nothing like most women and it's easily as bad or worse than telling autistics that they need to be NT or perish.


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07 Jul 2021, 3:21 pm

Well another thing recently that I do not get about the woke generation when it comes to the entertainment industry, is that they are calling out Chris Pratt now, because he said he wanted to make a movie that represents the lives of blue collar Americans.

And now they are calling him out for being racist for saying that. But why? Lots of people of different races have blue collar jobs in America. Shouldn't the woke generation like such a movie, because it's about the underdogs, which they consider themselves to be? Or are they seriously under the impression that only white people in America work blue collar jobs? It's because of things like this is why they woke generation keeps coming off as contradictory or hypocritical to me, and I cannot make sense of it.



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07 Jul 2021, 9:11 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Someone's really going to tell me then that these are jobs for lesser people, or the one my family brings up - 'step up' jobs for high school and college kids who haven't gotten degrees yet, and yet we're going to an increasing service based economy. .


There is a general understanding that in neo-liberal capitalist states that education is a litmus test for class/status. For example, a poor struggling actor, artist, designer or writer is treated significantly differently if they graduated a prestigious college for the arts (or fine arts) or design compared to somebody who is self-taught. In Australia one's accent is also a indicator of refinement (the more British you sound the more likely you were private schooled). People in inner city melbourne or Sydney tend to "thumb their noses" at Aussies who sound like Paul Hogan.

Within the educated class there is of course further division based on economic power and corporate status within organisations or self-made positions with companies they formed. Its very rare to school leavers who are successful entrepreneurs and often those who do make it come from well to do families who are able to provide social and business networks or start-up money.

Vocationally trained tradesmen can become rich but ensure their children don't struggle by sending them to prestigious schools/colleges so the next generation can join the rarified atmosphere of the elite.



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07 Jul 2021, 9:42 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
market neoliberalism has been trying to press humans into something interchangeable 'meat legos', that it's inherently anti-natalist, and that it's doing harm to people when it's shot beyond considering the realities of sexual dimorphism, of different stages in women's lives (it's particularly tried to exorcise 'the mother' as 'the maiden' better fits the constant worker and self-absorbed consumer), and I think one of the better arguments she's making is that women are being told... perversely really... that to be proper 21st century women they're supposed to be 'one of the boys' in terms of life-long careerism, fiercely competitive, etc. where in doses that's okay but they're being weighed against men which - at the life strategy level and things that matter at deep structure life-planning and priority levels - are nothing like most women and it's easily as bad or worse than telling autistics that they need to be NT or perish.


Yes this makes sense. It started during the rise of christianity and the fuedal era where laws were drawn that were highly restrictive and designed to curtail individual freedoms relating to beliefs and conforming to feudal dictates. This was further homogenised in the industrial revolution where class structure was further solidified and "people knew their place" and moving out of those dictated social roles creating a generation of cookie cutter people who basically thought the same way. It wasn't till the 1960s where women's rights, civil rights and increased access to higher education created a more diverse society where freedom of thought was at least entertained and person's lot in life was dictated by their social status or religion or cultural background.

But we have seen since 2016 is that large swathes of people across the western world are cookie cutter clones basically following the same programming. While the platforms have changed (e.g. social media) the end result seems to be the same, Human beings as a whole have a long way to go to accept diversity whether it be cultural, social or neurodiversity



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08 Jul 2021, 7:09 am

cyberdad wrote:
But we have seen since 2016 is that large swathes of people across the western world are cookie cutter clones basically following the same programming. While the platforms have changed (e.g. social media) the end result seems to be the same, Human beings as a whole have a long way to go to accept diversity whether it be cultural, social or neurodiversity

I always get the sense from dealing with these people that it's generally more frantic and neurotic than described. They need to stab. They need to stab to win. They can't stab people who are like them because its not safe - they'll get stabbed to death. Is if safe-er to stab someone whose different? Yes, they're less protected, that and that person whose different is showing all the behaviors they would have been stabbed for! They have no right to exist - DIE!! !

I have no clue what sort of wedge can be jammed in that flow and divert it toward something like benign competence or get them to actually be able to see their body and mind as a vehicle that they feel like they can control, as if they were something like an autonomous homunculus living inside their head (I feel this way, it's unexplainable perhaps to anyone who doesn't feel it) who can then say 'Wait a minute, there are levers on the wall, and I notice my own thoughts control my body and... how I feel..... okay.... so there are varieties of misery that I've been inflicting on myself that.... technically I don't have to if I've survived this long and know that I don't need to get so naive and stupid as to die at someone else's hands in order to not be coked up on terror all the time....'.

When they're living in that much fear - it's not even just that they can't stop and smell the roses, it's that most of the finer tools they would have otherwise had available aren't and so they have to resort to violence of various sorts to solve problems that could have been handled much more delicately than with a sledgehammer.


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08 Jul 2021, 7:24 am

I think of the times, in looking at my above post, when I myself fly off the handle and it's reliably when I'm given tasks and deadlines where I'm finding exponential complexity and there's no way to explain it to anyone who isn't a programmer - which then means I end up pounding on myself and eating concrete until it's done. I used to regret that behavior, to some degree I still do but I'm realizing that at times it's unavoidable and so I try to throw it in reverse later to be as kind and gentle to myself as I possibly can and call what I went through a moment where - if I were a Starbuck's barista - I was asked to shift from serving coffee to being an unqualified brain surgeon and if I couldn't do surgery on brains then I needed to be black-listed from future jobs serving coffee.

It's a similar feeling to what you'd get if someone was in your house to harm your wife and kids.

I get that the world we live in can be terrifying, I also see where while there are times a person will - reliably - have their universe shrink to the size of a dime because they are in either a life or death situation in the literal sense or in a life or death in terms of loss of career and little place for much other than suicide on the other side of it if they fail, most of the time - the wide majority of your life - there's no need for it, and in fact to even have one's adrenal system and 'fight' response work properly under duress it's really important that they're sleeping well, eating well, and also that they're not letting it constantly get triggered by small stuff because it just runs down, not to mention makes life miserable.


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09 Jul 2021, 2:30 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I always get the sense from dealing with these people that it's generally more frantic and neurotic than described. They need to stab. They need to stab to win. They can't stab people who are like them because its not safe - they'll get stabbed to death. Is if safe-er to stab someone whose different? Yes, they're less protected, that and that person whose different is showing all the behaviors they would have been stabbed for! They have no right to exist - DIE!! !


I think this is very deeply coded in our genes and hardwired in our brains to distrust outsiders. Its sort of a survival mechanism. It only takes a very shallow brief negative experience for a toddler to forever associate differences as bad. For example a child with disability (you can insert any group here e.g, black) lets say comes to a playground. A kid stares at the disability wondering (quite innocently) why this other child is different. It only takes a parent to quickly grab their kid and say in a rushed tone of voice "Ok darling, its time to go home". When they get home the toddler asks "Why was that kid in a wheelchair". The parent will say its rude to ask about such things or change the subject.

The toddler automatically associates the disability with something to avoid. Then in future they hear other kids making fun of a disabled person and it doesn't take long for negative attitudes to develop.

People on WP wonder why I spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about this subject, its because its one of the most difficult things to deprogram from our conditioning.

We all like to think we are above programming but in reality we are not.



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09 Jul 2021, 7:18 am

cyberdad wrote:
People on WP wonder why I spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about this subject, its because its one of the most difficult things to deprogram from our conditioning.

We all like to think we are above programming but in reality we are not.

I'd say my big battle has been that I pulled myself away from domination of this sort (actively getting my identity twisted by other people's machinations), to whatever degree that I could, in my early 20's and early to mid 30's. I did everything I could to learn about myself and the universe on neutral terms, did a lot of what Robert Kegan would call 'self-authoring', I then had it jammed back down my throat that I'm 'different' and that it's the only thing that matters - at all - about me aside from level of income or social status. I'm back to rescuing myself from identity domination.

The funny thing is, and I could almost cry thinking about this sometimes, in my late 20's I'd have these moments where I was thinking 'Wait.... I'm an adult... I make perfect sense... why am I socially caged in?', this was back when I was still assuming Enlightenment secular humanist landmarks and interpretations of people in general (almost as bad as being stuck in the self gaslighting mode of 'wait - why do these people perpetually and reliably 'misunderstand' me?'). The answer - these people aren't adults, they're violent by first recourse, they don't make sense, and they're dominating the world by sheer quantity.

The synopsis of my experience so far - if your different you have no right to peace, inner or outer, even if you could get away from society and manage your psychology just fine if left alone. The point isn't your morality, your psychological health, even your degree of intelligence and industry to make money for other people, it's your genes.


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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling