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Автор: NHA   
10.04.2009 20:37
Индекс материала
Neurohacking Tutorial 4 - Functional Analysis Interpretation
Personality Reloaded
Humanity Reloaded
When Things Go Wrong
Interpreting Your Functional Analysis
Build Your Personal Plan
Summary and Exercices
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Who Are You 2 - Humanity Reloaded


“All we are saying, is give peace a chance”

(John Lennon)

The view of 'human nature' in general is also undergoing a radical transformation. We are not, contrary to almost universal current belief, 'naturally' provocatively violent or warlike.

This may be SO contrary to what virtually everybody believes that it may seem absurd. But remember, once (not too long ago) virtually everybody believed that the sun orbited the earth and mental illness was caused by demons. Today, virtually everybody (possibly including you) believes that humankind has a “nature” for violence, bloodshed and warfare that we will probably never transcend.

Almost all accounts of human behavior emphasize conflict. Many people come to believe (as it is constantly portrayed on TV) that we are simply all assholes in the same big toilet. Enough pressure, and we blithely slaughter one other.

We don't subscribe to that destructive point of view, because we've seen the evidence that hasn't yet gone public. (The science that isn't in any way interesting to the media because it doesn't have sex and violence in it).

A common theme among neurohackers is a deep and enduring intuition that humans, at root, are “goodies”. We're the good guys; we can certainly use violence to defend ourselves, but in optimal conditions we are peaceful, intelligent, creative creatures and it is not a part of “human nature” to be warlike.

This belief may seem at first irrational and 'hippy-dreamworld' in the face of all the “evidence” all around us of humanity's violence and ills. Many believe that humanity gets nasty when we do not live in optimal conditions; for example the belief that we get violent and fight when there are too few resources or too high a population for everything we need to go around, especially when there are unequal power groups and accessibility is prejudiced.

That sounds a bit more rational, and it's closer to the truth, because these conditions are a threat to survival, but once again the evidence points to us not quite perceiving the whole truth because not all violence is about resources or status (how does self-harm, child abuse, killing potential allies or beating your partner up increase your resources or status?)


The belief in the “human nature” of violence is one of the biggest con-jobs the public has ever been taken by, and it turns out that this belief is the equivalent of saying that humanity is “naturally” insane! We would like to share with you the 'busting' of the 'violent human nature' myth here. In fact you can come with us through the clues to this mystery and try to guess “whodunnit”...


First Clue

Our first clue is that in real life, it is enormously more common for humans to be cooperative and to attempt to get along than it is for them to be uncooperative and aggressive towards one another, but we don't notice this. We don't notice the statistics because it's not newsworthy that billions of people didn't rape or kill anyone today, so the media don't talk about that very much, busy as they are talking (and worrying) about the TV newsrooms' anxiety-based portrayal of 'reality'.

'News' is short for 'New things'. The news about 'the usual' is boring, the news must pick out the extremely UNusual to get attention and viewers. Evening news broadcasts actually follow the rule: "if it bleeds, it leads". The media portrayal of human behavior takes a constant focus on violence and warfare that is completely disproportionate to what goes on in real life. The vast majority of people are just not violent or warmongers, but our attention is constantly focused on a media diet of stories about the tiny minority who are.

The media view assumes "we're some kind of automata where aggressive genes force us to pick up knives and guns like zombies and attack each other without any thoughts going through our heads", says psychologist Steven Pinker of Harvard University US, War is not in our DNA. And if warfare is not innate then neither is it inevitable.

Changes in the rate of warfare and homicide, says Pinker, cannot be explained by changes in ‘human nature’ over such a relatively short period. Cultural changes and changes in attitude must be responsible, he says. A growing number of experts are now revealing that the urge to wage war is NOT innate, and that understanding its real causes could well move humanity in a direction that could make war a thing of the past. And the information is there already; it only needs a critical mass of people to understand what's going on and to do something about it.


Robert Sussman, an anthropologist from Washington University US calls the 'violent nature' myth the perpetuation of the "5 o'clock news" view of human nature.

Currently, anthropologist Douglas Fry of Åbo Akademi University, Finland, identifies 74 (current) "non-warring cultures" that contradict the idea that war is inevitable. Fry points out that hunter-gatherers in the modern era show little or no genuine warfare (defined as 'organized fighting between rival groups').

Instead, humans "have a substantial capacity for dealing with conflicts non-violently", he says. One group might simply walk away from the other. Alternatively, an objective third party might mediate a resolution. Cooperation is much more likely.

These examples are crucial, Fry says, because (and we want you to think hard about this, dudes), our ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers from the first emergence of the Homo lineage around 2 MILLION years ago until the appearance of permanent settlements and agriculture less than 20,000 years ago. It's hard for humans to get a perspective on these kinds of relative periods of time, but that lifestyle constitutes more than 99% of our evolutionary history as Homo, during which there is no evidence of any homicidal tendencies, and many groups still leading that lifestyle remain violence-free now. 

As Brian Ferguson of Rutgers University, New Jersey, points out , there is nothing in the fossil or archaeological record supporting the claim that our ancestors have been waging war against each other for hundreds of thousands, let alone millions, of years. In fact, the first clear-cut evidence of violence between groups appears about 14,000 years ago, he says. Suddenly we find mass graves of skeletons with crushed skulls, hack marks and projectile points embedded in them; rock art in Australia, Europe and elsewhere depicting battles, and settlements clearly fortified for protection against attacks.


Q: What else changed suddenly at the same time?

(If you guessed better technology, you're mistaken.)

A: War began when humans shifted from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one that was commonly tied to agriculture, Ferguson says.


Second Clue

Our second clue comes from the field of paleopathology (the study of disease by analyzing ancient remains).

Paleopathologists studying ancient skeletons from Greece and Turkey found that the average height of hunter-gatherers [both male and female] in that region towards the end of the ice age was a generous 5’ 8”. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, reaching by 4000BC an average of 5’ 2”. By classical times, heights were slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks & Turks have still not regained the overall average heights of their hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Another discovery by paleopathologists concerns thousands of Native American skeletons from the Illinois and Ohio River valleys. Corn, first domesticated in Central America thousands of years ago, became the basis of intensive farming in those valleys around 1000AD. Until then, American hunter-gatherers had skeletons “so healthy it is somewhat discouraging to work with them” [as one paleopathologist complained].

With the arrival of corn, American skeletons became ‘interesting’ to study... The number of cavities in an average adults teeth jumped from one to seven, and tooth loss and abscesses became rampant. Enamel defects in children’s milk teeth imply that pregnant and nursing mothers were severely undernourished. Anemia quadrupled in frequency, tuberculosis became established as an epidemic disease, half the population suffered from Yaws or Syphillis, and two-thirds suffered from osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases.

Mortality rates at all ages increased, with the result that only one percent of the population survived past the age of 50. Almost one-fifth of the entire population died between the ages of birth and four, probably because weaned toddlers succumbed to malnutrition and infectious diseases. Thus corn, usually considered among the New World’s blessings, actually proved to be a public health disaster. Similar conclusions about the transition from hunting to farming emerge from studies of skeletons all over the world.


Third Clue

Our third clue is knowing that the type of malnutrition suffered by people on high GI diets causes metabolic syndrome (hypertension and glucose intolerance). There is now substantial evidence that circulating cortisol concentrations are higher in people with metabolic syndrome.

Hunter gatherers enjoyed a varied diet with adequate amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals, while farmers obtained most of their calories from starchy crops. In effect, humanity gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition. The population would 'appear' at first to be getting healthier -on constant high GI foods it would certainly be getting fatter, maturing faster and ageing more quickly. The immune system would also be poor.

Most of today’s leading infectious diseases could not become established in hunter-gatherer communities. These diseases persist only in societies of crowded, malnourished, sedentary people constantly reinfected by each other and their own sewage. Almost all infectious diseases that humans suffer today have their origin in zoonoses from farm animals [viruses and bacterial diseases have ‘jumped ship’ and evolved to infect the humans tending these animals, thus spreading to the general population.]

Because of dependence on one or a few crops, farmers ran a much greater risk of starvation if the crop failed than did hunter-gatherers. [The Irish potato famine is just one example]. If a large population expecting large amounts of food suddenly has very little, those unable to move on or hunt are reduced to surviving through scavenging and theft (and in some cases, cannibalism).

But besides malnutrition, famine and epidemic diseases, farming brought another problem to humanity –class divisions.

Only in a farming population could contrasts between disease-ridden masses and a healthy, non-producing elite develop. Among archaeologists, skeletons of the ‘elite’ are distinguished not just by expensive grave goods or ornate burial, but by a four-fold lower rate of bone lesions from epidemic diseases.

Farming exacerbated sexual inequality; women became the beasts of burden, were drained by more frequent pregnancies than their long-term breast-feeding hunter-gather sisters, and suffered poorer health than men.


Fourth Clue

It is understandable then, that in this environment they had created for themselves -one based on agriculture- such societies were going to experience a high level of anxiety, and here is our final clue -if a pregnant woman is malnourished and anxious, her blood chemistry alters the development of the fetus in the womb. Rear networks overdevelop (the genome is getting the message that whatever is born had better have a huge muscular and skeletal system in order to catch its dinner and defend itself from all this danger). The truth is, the fetus is constantly injected with anabolic steroids. This stimulation and fast growth of rear networks can only happen at the expense of frontal networks, which underdevelop because when the brain is under the influence of cortisol, blood supply favors rear networks. (the mother's rear nets will also enlarge and her frontal nets shrink).

This results in a population with a low capacity for cognitive reasoning and a high capacity for both anxiety and violence unless the brain imbalance is addressed. It always can be, but in some people it never is.


We have at this stage enough 'clues' to confidently reject the fatalistic belief that warfare is in any way “innate”. Rather than being a product of our genes, warfare occurs in response to mental damage brought on by a dysfunctional lifestyle. The idea about lack of resources is partly correct, but these people didn't lack food, they lacked nutrients and they got dumb and they created a society based on their own anxiety. The resource they needed most was peace of mind. Anxiety had claimed its first casualties.

Violence is not a biological compulsion but a behavior induced by dysfunction, often due to the epigenetic changes brought on by environmental conditions such as overcrowding and malnutrition. Even then it is far from inevitable, as the variability in warmongering between groups and across time attests. But put simply, the majority of people's lifestyles are sending them mentally unbalanced and senile, and have been ever since anxiety started imposing borders and boundaries that get in the way of intelligence.


“I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.“

(Neo, “The Matrix”)


We now know “whodunnit”, We dunnit, but we dunnit by accident because a lot of things we are supposed to be able to do to adapt in emergencies (like survive on corn flakes) we started doing all the time.

We also know this situation can be changed, because this is how evolution evolves; by adapting in response to fuckups. In human beings it needs to use our intelligence to do that, without anything getting in the way. Evolution built this complex system of your brain to hack obstacles, adapt, repair and upgrade itself, and after 2 million years' practice and experience, evolution's kung fu is the best.

With this knowledge, comes free will. We no longer have the ill-fitting figleaves of “genetics” or “innate” to hide behind as excuses for violence. Our nature is shaped by our environment and experience, and with the knowledge of how to change both we have the free will to change both.


Обновлено 29.05.2017 17:54