The Gay Myth II

The Gay myth – Part II, Witches and Stockholm

The latest in my series of myths that practically everyone believes. Last time was part one of the gay myth

We’ve got this big fat question for which there are scientific studies done. The question is: “Why do certain people of the same gender make love, not war – what is wrong with them?”

So you’ve got this supposed group of people unique in their sexual fixations, Oh and there is the additional factors that there is no historical record of such a defined group ever existing before (although it has been said that they were constantly repressed before).
“Oh, but what about the Ancient Greeks?” you might say. Only problem there, is that it was more of a man-boy love thing, so since everyone really hates that, you’re going to have to forget about your Greeks!

Secondly there is no scientific reason why such a group should exist.

“OK” you may say “I know what I am, and I know that some other people are a different way, so all your talk of lack of historical precedent and scientific reason is going to have to fall into line with that.”

This is a version of the old believed ‘infallibility of personal experience’ that I’ve discussed before.

Basically if you see one piece of evidence that seems to be presented to your psychology directly, you will be willing to dismiss the whole rest of your logical understanding of the world to accommodate it no matter how incongruous that may be.

For instance, if you had a minor stroke in the part of your brain that deals with emotional connection to people, when you saw those people you would automatically presume that they had been replaced by identical clones. Yeah, that seems likely!

Now, witches; That seems like the kind of thing that couldn’t exist right? (And I don’t mean members of the modern Wicken movement), I mean the old lady down the street who you presume is putting a curse on you because your dog just died and she looked at you funny in the street one day.

Yet once people did believe just that – they believed that there was this special group of devil worshiping people with special and destructive supernatural powers.

So where are all the witches now?

Hey, here’s a suggestion: Maybe they got all the witches when they had witch hunters and witchcraft trials!
They must have cleaned them all up so that all the genes of people with supernatural powers were made extinct.

The only other explanation would be that the whole witchcraft thing was a cultural myth at that time, which was used to get rid of certain individuals that weren’t liked.
But that can’t be true. Many of those individuals themselves confessed!

At the time of the witchcraft trials did people say “Hey, you know the historical precedent for there being witches is kind of weak?” So far as I know they did not. Did they say “science doesn’t have a clue why such people should exist”? No. (well fair enough because science barely existed then).

Let’s get it right here: What I’m claiming is that we have a concept which doesn’t make sense. It may have started out making some kind of sense, but which got twisted and formalised and now makes no sense whatsoever.

Part of this, is the rigidity with which a variety of sexual strategies that humans have developed over millions of years have then been described and then placed in the formal cultural environment. Now I won’t describe the reasons for people pursuing these various sexual strategies in the environment, because that is massively destructive to the formal environment. Suffice to say; that people’s sexual strategies are many, varied and entirely tending towards their survival and reproduction. To make this understood let’s give the example of one such strategy:

In some long hostage situations it has been noted that women will become romantically attracted to the men that are responsible for taking them hostage, and this attraction will continue past the point where the hostage situation is resolved and the men in jail for instance. This is called Stockholm Syndrome, and it can be clearly seen that there is a good survival reason for it, in that people are probably historically more likely to survive in such a situation if they form such attachments.

Anyway, we have that little bit of formal description of that situation. Now what if we were to formalise it some more, and add a vast amount more judgments to the analysis?

We could say that some women are Stockholm women and some are not. That is their sexuality. If they are ‘Stockholm’ women what they ‘want’ is to be abducted and then be in close confines with their abductors so that they may then form a romantic pair bond.
So once a woman decides that she is a ‘Stockholm’ she can register online and browse various men than might then kidnap her in the middle of the night and then hold her for a certain amount of time in his house and then release her and which point she would make a choice as to whether he was the specifically right Stockholm man for her. Because a man that had the fantasy to do that would be a ‘Stockholm man’.

At that point of understanding in the culture there could be kids playing and some boys lock a girl in a cupboard, so the parents decide that the girl is obviously going to grow up to be a Stockholm women and noone should tease her about that because that is her sexuality that she can’t change even if she wants to.

After all we can all agree that Stockholm syndrome is real and has been known about for X amount of time, so any kind of madness which we might create around it in the culture must be ok!

That’s how bad things are.

If a male is seen to be acting or looking in too feminine a way people say “hey he’s gay” But when some one asks who you define gay you say “Someone who is attracted to men” So the apparently ‘normal’ man who is merely being attracted to some female behaviour is then ensnared in this concept even though both parties actually doing two different things.

But then what if we find out that the guy who is producing the ‘female’ behaviour isn’t even aware of what he is doing, and the whole time his conscious thought is along the lines of “How can I score with a hot chick tonight”?
So then it’s just the other guy who is then ‘gay’ – and what if that other guy has a ‘mate’ or ‘buddy’ who doesn’t notice the first male’s female like behaviour, but instead is scoping out the room for women based on how superficially cute they appear?

By this stage what we’re forced to do is call one guy ‘gay’ for basically noticing female behaviour, whereas another one is ‘heterosexual’ for not noticing, and instead being involved in some sort of object fetishism based on clothes, hair and jewelry.

And as for the guy who was producing the original female behaviour – he’s already half way down the street with a nice young bird, thank you very much.

That is literally how demented our cultural ideas about the social landscape are.

On the other hand what if it’s the guy who notices to the female behaviour that isn’t fully aware of his own attraction? In that case he’s going to have certain feelings which will cause him problems. He’s going to have to run after the person, tell him, try to make him confess and then castrate him with the culture he’s going to make him wear. He can go: “Hey, you’re gay, and for some reason that forces me to attack you.”

…just like they attacked the witches.

How many real witches were there again?

In the year 1548 at Arnhem in Holland one of the city’s most respected citizens was brought before the Chancellor accused of sortilege, or enchantment. This man was reputed to be the regions most learned and excelent physician, and knew ‘the cure and remedie for all manner of griefs and diseases’, according to the churchman-scholar Hegwoad. But his wisdom was not restriced to medicine. He was always ‘acquainted with all newes, as well forrein as domesticke.’
Accusers stated that the physician obtained his powers from a ring that he wore on his hand. Witnesses claimed that the doctor – who later became known as the Sorcerer of Courtray – constantly consulted the ring. It was stated that ‘the ring had a demon enclosed in it, to whom it beloved him to speak every five days.’
Despite the marked reluctance of the Chancellor to pass judgement on such a valued citizen, he found the evidence was so overwhelming that he had no choice but to find the man guilty. The physician was immediately proscribed for sorcery and put to death.

David Day, Tolkien’s Ring, p20

Punishing-witches-Laienspiegel

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The Race Myth

Part one

The interesting thing about the race myth is that the once dominant myth has become the counter myth, but a version of that original myth is now the dominant myth.
Let me explain: I’m racist, right? – But don’t want to be.
I didn’t start out racist but I became that way because society wants me to be, so I have the racism of society.

I remember when I was a child and I continually came up against the concept of race but I couldn’t understand it. I was in effect ‘colourblind’. Don’t worry, society got that out of me quick enough!

Society itself wasn’t always racist either, but it became that way in order to advance the interests of some people. Society then dumped overt racism for a seemingly more benign form that discards the part about superiority, whilst keeping the race talk.
Imagine if scientists discovered that there is no scientific basis for the concept of race. – Well guess what? They already have!
Yet funnily enough even the mainstream media acts as if race a distinct reality behind it.

Consider for example if you got bitten by a dog and there was the question of whether it was a black coloured dog or a white coloured dog that bit you. That wouldn’t seem relevant. It would be like “who cares?” Whereas with humans people think they are going to be able to get some kind of social information out of such a fact.

Infact there are no races but everyone wants to keep on thinking that there are.

“There are races – but they are equal” Is the official myth, whereas the hated counter myth is that there are races, and they aren’t equal! (Notice the subtle difference?)

The thing about the existence of the official myth is that it guarantees the existence of the old myth (now counter myth) of the superiority of your own race.
Think about it in terms of self serving bias as a scientific fact. So, if you identify as being a member of one group, you’re automatically going to see that group as being superior (at least by virtue of your own membership).
You’re going to be automatically sensitive to things that make your own group seem superior and others seem inferior because that’s human nature.

It’s human nature to be racist, once you believe that there are races – Shit, it’s just rooting for your own team! Therefore, since I culturally have that belief, then I am racist.

Don’t worry, you’re probably racist too!

Anyway, even if you manage to defeat your own self serving bias on this issue, and if it was true that there are races but they are equal, then because of some other things we believe, it would only be accidentally true.

Accidentally true?

Say for instance, if you took a group of ‘green’ people and a group of ‘blue’ people, and you gave them some ability testing and determined:

‘That although there is some natural variation between the members of the members of the respective groups, the overall result is that the each group was the same.’

So you have the two races but equal situation all proved and sorted out.

Say if you even had that!

Then you got the highest ability half of people in the green group and you killed them and the lowest ability half of people from the blue group and killed them. Then what you did was you kept the two groups separate and waited for have kids, then you tested the kids.

In that case if there was any genetic influence on the ability levels of the two groups, then it would have to be the case that the green race was ‘superior’ to the blue race.
It would just have to be!
So if there are races but they are equal, then the truth of racism is only a Pol Pot style ethnic cleansing away.
However, if you don’t believe in races then none of that means a damn thing – all you did was kill a bunch of people. (Which is what everyone’s dying to do of course)

Actually, the identified ‘races’ are an arbitrary distinction made on the basis of irrelevant criterion; For instance skin colour. So your ancestors might be from Africa, Southern India or Australia and have absolutely nothing to do with each other at all.

A person from Northern China might be equally ‘white’ in skin colour as one from Europe.

So in that case there’s other parts of the face which people use such as eye shape or nose shape. But did you know that there’s actually more genetic variation within Africa than the whole rest of the world combined? So in other words if you had to categorise three races based on genetics then they would be three African groups, with all Europeans and Asians as an appendage of one of those groups.
Get your head round that!

Of course you could use skin colour and facial features as a kind of rude determiner of cultural origin, although that is becoming less and less relevant with the intermingling of various peoples.
People’s cultural origin is important in terms of how they act. For instance whether they came out of an agrarian or hunter gatherer society will determine how much emphasis is placed on delayed gratification.
What it all might come down to is: Are you predisposed to delay gratification or not?
The reason for this is that people in an agrarian society have to think a year ahead.
If there was any genetic influence upon gratification delay then this it could have quite an effect on perceived differences between ‘races’.

There’s a couple of other considerations: Firstly, if your ancestors were civilization based, then you might be physically less developed than people from other backgrounds and vice-versa .
Whether civilization increases intelligence is debatable, but it certainly allows myth builders to flourish – For instance if you can convince people of a myth they will feed you, as in the case of priests and moral philosophers.


The race myth was debunked many years ago but still persists:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11392926/The-white-man-who-pretended-to-be-black.html

Myths and the Mythspace

Myths and the Mythspace

There are objects and there are facts in the world. Everything else is myth. So practically everything we talk about is myth.

Infact, there is so much myth that we really have to divide up the mythspace into first tier myths which are global, unquestioned, unquestionable, invisible and essential. ie myths that it is in everyone’s interest to believe.
I can’t really talk about the global myth although one might be summed up as:
“We aren’t animals”. (and all that is thought to mean)

There is second tier myths which are myths built on other myths and which serve some interest groups. Some of these may be recognised as myths by some people. e.g race.

Then there are third tier myths which are so implausible that they are actually called myths such as ‘urban myths’ as well as myths that children are told such as of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

From the perspective of first tier myth I am going to examine some second tier myths.

Where there is a case of disputation of myth there are two possibilities: The first is a rationalisation – what I call myth purification where the most outlandish aspects of the myth are washed away to leave a more plausible myth.

An example of this is the reformation, when the Catholic church stopped selling passes for people to get into heaven.

The other possibility is to fall into a counter myth where an idea is opposed from the point of view of another myth. An example of this would be during the Cold War with the ideas of communists verses the ideas of McCarthy. (both being mythical)

What myths?

A myth might be defined as a culturally relevant falsehood, which serves some purpose. They function by having some kind of emotionally motivating semantic content, which people believe and act on the basis of.

The reason why we have these myths, is that we need them in order to have the kind of advanced society that we do. But we don’t need all of them. I believe that we actually only need the first level global myth. It might also be an advantage if the global myth was known to be mythical – but (none the less) necessary.

Imagine for instance if you were watching a play or movie, but you believed it was all true. In that case you would be in the same situation as practically everyone is in regard to society.

You don’t run out of the movie theatre if a train comes towards you (as early filmgoers did) and yet you don’t find it all completely dull as you might if you thought it was just a pure lie.

This example will also show you that there can be a level of disbelief about such things but yet we can still get some social use out of them.

Often it is thought that if any believe is a myth we should instantly do away with it. And I know examples of ‘atheists’ for instance who laugh at the foolishness of religious believers, when any atheist I’ve ever spoken to believes in a whole range of moral myths themselves.

Actually, If any individual was to wholly disregards myth they would ironically be regarded as crazy. This is not generally a cause of insanity however, but rather people developing their own unique and thus unacceptable myths.
Infact what we call ‘madness’ may often be the use of a particular myth to indicate some kind of social distress. It was once a kind of madness to believe that your body was made of glass and would break if you moved it. We don’t have that kind of madness any more.

Social dialogue belongs to the myth builders. The person or group that can build the most convincing myth will be able to gain the most power.

Why Myths?

Why believe a myth instead of the truth? And why do people often choose another myth competing myth, when they don’t want to believe a particular myth?

The root of all mythical belief is an emotional appeal. Myths are emotionally appealing and action inducing. Merely exposing the myth as false is emotionally empty, so you have competing myths around emotional topics in order to determine the ‘meaning’ of these topics.

e.g we have natural emotions around death therefore we have many myths around death. The same is true of birth and sex. What is called ‘romance’ for instance is just a set of myths around sex and coupling.

Since there is no absolute reason to do anything; we only ever have emotional motivation to do things. Myth connects the semantic to the emotional by providing larger than life appeals to our basic instincts and motivates our actions.

The 911 myth

The official Bush administration myth was that there was a global network of terrorist sleeper cells headed by Osama bin Laden and connected to Saddam Hussein. On Sept 11 2001 one of these cells attacked America most notably the World Trade Center in New York.
An invasion of Iraq was then necessary to stop any of his massive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Now we know that that is all pretty much false, except for the fact that some people did actually attack the towers and the Pentagon.

That falsehood should be enough, but for the counter culture that is not enough because it merely waters down the Bush administration’s case. After all some bunch of Arabs with something to do with Osama Bin Laden did attack America. Which Arabs? Ah, who cares about that?

No, they have to turn it around and say that the US government is so evil and insane that they actually staged an attack on their own military and economic headquarters. Now that’s a reason to be against the US government!

So myth and counter myth, each basically false but each emotionally resonant to some people.

Uniqueness

A feature of many myths is uniqueness – That some people or event has a unique feature that makes it worthy of worship. After all if something is not unique why think about it as opposed to the something of the same kind?
For instance in Christianity the suffering of Jesus is thought of as a unique event in torture and cruelty as opposed to a routine feature of Roman execution.

‘The’ Holocaust is thought of in this light. I remember reading in the Guinness book of records that the greatest holocaust is the Mongol extermination of Chinese peasantry . But guess what? That’s not the one we think about!

In the case of 911 the unique feature was flying a planes into buildings.

In the Lord of the Rings it was the one ring.

End of part one

New Project – The truth about Sexuality.

The Truth about sexuality

Greetings one or two people who may read this.  I have a new project explaining human sexuality because I’m just so damn sick of it not being explained adequately or sensibly.  So I have decided to make a start – again.  But before I do that I thought you might like to know where I got up to last time…

So what would you like to know about human sexuality?

Probably more than you realize.  There is of course the old puzzle that there seems to be such a variation in human sexuality, when there is such a simple evolutionary imperative of reproduction.  A question that might easily be summed up as “how can there be gay people”.  Of course this wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t an evolutionist or a hard core genetic determinist.  But I am, and if you are also then that could be a problem.

Then there’s other issues, usually around ‘consent’ where the reporting of having performed certain sexual acts will cause you to be imprisoned whereas others will not.

In Africa at the time of writing there have been laws against homosexuality even more extreme than what they used to have in western countries, such that an African minister said:

“Homosexuality is worse than Malignant cancer.  It’s worse than HIV Aids.  It’s worse than terrorism, which you are fighting left and right because it will just wipe out the whole of humanity.”

Actually as we will find out the opposite view is much closer to the truth.  It is Hetrosexuality that has that status.

Now I just want to say that it is not my desire that I go into this whole morass, it just seems to be such a pressing issue of people getting it wrong over and over, and me having to experience that.

So why not give the correct account and then put it up for people to not read because there is no likely path to them discovering the information, but at least I can feel relieved that they could theoretically find out the correct information if they wanted to.

The only real problem for me is that giving the correct account verges onto information that it would be dangerous to reveal and this is about the political structure of structure of society.  I even worry that people might extrapolate from the information that I do reveal, to a correct understanding of society and the environment.  But what am I talking about?  People never extrapolate a damn thing.  That’s why we’re in this mess to begin with.

OK that’s enough bollixing around.  Let’s get down to some explaining.  What sort of society are we in?  Sometimes I have said we are in “The Moral Society” but that’s a just a load of shit.  People just pretend to be in a moral society, and it’s fun  for me to attack that pretense

Really we’re in:

Sorry folks!  I’ll have to leave it there for now.  There was more, but it got serious pretty fast so I thought I would cut it short.  Stay tuned for next time though!

Even when Richard Dawkins is getting it right, he’s getting it wrong

Another day, another ‘shocking’ twitter statement from Richard Dawkins – and ideal blogging fodder for me.  There’s a nice tabloid report here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2730028/Atheist-author-Richard-Dawkins-says-foetuses-Downs-syndrome-aborted.html

I love where it says:

Richard Dawkins risked provoking fury today by claiming foetuses with Down’s syndrome should be aborted – and parents should ‘try again’.

You see, the problem here is not that he’s pro eugenics or whatever, the problem is his justification for that position .  That being morality (which is false) and suffering – which is just bizzare.

He claimed that the important question in the abortion debate is not “is it ‘human’?” but “can it suffer?” and insisted that people have no right to object to abortion if they eat meat.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11047072/Richard-Dawkins-immoral-to-allow-Downs-syndrome-babies-to-be-born.html

He insisted he was not questioning the right of people with Down’s syndrome who have already been born to live – just those who have not yet been born.

Well suffering has nothing to do with it, and not questioning the right of people with Down’s syndrome to live is another religious worship that he has.  He should be questioning all rights as all ‘rights talk’ is fundamentally flawed.

People have got to take a step back to basic self interest and work out the question of why you would put more resources into a fundamentally flawed human being than one who has much more potential? That’s what you’re doing with a Downs syndrome child.

People have all these religious and liberal ideas that prevent them seeing the reality of the situation.  All of this got a boost from the outcome of WWII whereby anything associated with fascist regimes was automatically discounted, but while this liberalism was supposedly in the interest of the Jewish people it was really just as damaging to them as well.

Let me ask you, if you seriously think there is nothing practically wrong with giving resources to keep Downs syndrome beings alive and that they should be loved and cherished like any other person: What if there was a disease whose sole symptom was that it caused you to give birth to Downs syndrome babies and it was highly contagious like the common cold.

Should there be any effort to control such a disease?  Or would there be no apparent problem with that since Downs syndrome is not a negative in its self?

What if every child was going to be Downs syndrome?  Would that be a problem for society?  Maybe we could convert the entire human race to Downs Syndrome and see how that works out.

The fantasy aspect

There’s an interesting thing on Wikipedia that point to a liberal moral fantasy among women about the issue:

Abortion rates

When nonpregnant people are asked if they would have a termination if their fetus tested positive, 23–33% said yes, when high-risk pregnant women were asked, 46–86% said yes, and when women who screened positive are asked, 89–97% say yes.[70]

Of course it’s no problem or cost for a woman to claim moral and religious purity and say she wouldn’t abort in the case of Down’s Syndrome if she’s not even pregnant but if she’s actually carrying a child with the condition then that purity carries a huge cost.  Only a rich bitch – some Angelena Jolie moral angel could carry that one off.  Gee in her case I’m sure, even if she was going to give birth to a clump of hair, some skin cells and a few teeth sticking out of it she would make Brad Pitt suck up to that.  It’s amazing what you can do when you’re a hard core Alpha female.

Whatever you do, don’t click here

Finally an apology.  We live in a culture.  That culture is liberal, religious, whatever.
I have a blog and I can say what I can’t normally say in the moral society.

http://www.bim-bad.ru/docs/hinckfuss_ian_moral_society.pdf

I don’t want anything

When it comes to funeral arrangements I don’t want anything, however I don’t want to tell people around me this as it’s only going to upset them.

I don’t want anything because it’s another example of the lack of beliefs that I hold.

Richard Dawkins for instance, when he dies, is likely to have a huge funeral.  He is after all a cultural Christian.  Part of this is the implicit belief that there is something mystical and special about a dead body.  Atheists believe this because they’re not really atheists.  Atheists don’t see a dead body as an inconveniently rotting piece of meat to be disposed of as such, but rather as a special and sacred thing.

If an atheist sees a religious person kissing a statue they will think “That poor deluded idolator” and yet they will go along to a funeral and effectively do the same thing.  The reason for this of course is that an atheist is infact religious – they just can’t get to grips with their own religiosity.

In terms of what I want, I don’t want anything, but in a society following the religion of liberal humanism, fake Christianity and fake Atheism this becomes a problem.  Not wanting anything becomes something  quite major in itself.

Normally if you* want to dispose of something for instance, you just put it in the bin but you can’t just put a body in a bin because someone will likely find it and then it will be all on.  So it would have to be disposed of in such a way as not to cause undue alarm among the citizenry.

One option is to donate your body to science but even if you do that, it seems that nothing is going to stop people from erecting a religious monument to that.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005907/So-thats-happens-donate-body-science–600-peoples-remains-buried-single-grave.html

I suppose it would be possible for a person to donate their remains to science with the proviso that when it is ‘used’ it is disposed of like any other medical waste in the hospital system.

Even this has problems however as it suggests that a dead person still has agency after their death, when in reality there is no reason that should be.  So the more correct response would be to say “Do whatever you want” and hope that they understand what you wanted when you were alive.

One thing I should mention however is that I’m not against people celebrating my death – ‘party it up’!  Any excuse for a party is a good one, so I wouldn’t want to deprive people of that.

 

* I often say 'you' when I mean 'one' because I think that 'one' sounds too formal and English upper class.  Sorry if there is any inaccuracy in interpretation because of this.

Not believing in things

I have this problem.  I don’t believe in a whole bunch of things that other people believe in.

Other people also think they have this problem but they usually seem to believe in something else to compensate.

Basically, whatever it is that you believe in I probably don’t believe in it.

Religion is an obvious example.  I don’t believe in it.

But I don’t believe in Atheism either.  I cannot support atheists because of this.

All the top ‘hot button’ issues I don’t believe in.  I don’t believe in abortion for instance but that’s not to say that I’m for or against it – I just don’t have beliefs about it.  I don’t believe in choice and I don’t believe in a right to life either.

In terms of gay marriage – I don’t believe in it, but I’m not against it because I don’t believe in gays and I’m not against people claiming to be gay because I don’t believe in the existence of heterosexuals either.

• I don’t believe in Morality

• I don’t believe in God

• I don’t believe in Liberalism

• I don’t believe in Conservatism

I just have this huge hole where my beliefs about these things should be.  I don’t even believe that I should believe in those things!

Fundamentally I don’t even believe I’m in social reality and on the face of it having a lack of belief that you’re in reality is a completely crazy thing to have.

Pretty much all I believe in is the physical world and general empirical beliefs.  That’s is.

I’ll try and think of some other things that I’m lacking belief in and update this extremely bloglike post.

Oh yeah, anything other than a biological definition of gender – I don’t believe in that.

I feel like I have to balance out any lack of belief that is seen as conservative with one that is seen as liberal.  So I’ll have to come back with a more liberal seeming lack of belief.

Oh, money!  I don’t believe in money!

(Obviously)

Informationism

Here I’ll put a recent formulation of Informationism for you to review:

 An Explanation of Informationism

If you’re anything like me you’ve noticed that there are far too many people who have an idea about what you should do, what’s ‘right’ and ‘good’ – If you’ll only listen to them.
You’ll be glad to know that Informationism is nothing like that.

Informationism starts from the idea that you’re going to do something The question is; “what can we know about that ‘something?’ ” Depending on your view of human nature it might be either quite alot or not much.

If you believe as I do that evolutionary forces have a great deal to do with how we will act then you will probably believe that that ‘something’ will be some sort of attempt to preserve and benefit our genetic and cultural information, as if we were living in the ancestral environment that we primarily evolved in.
The idea of Informationism is simply that we continue to try and benefit our information, but do it consciously, and tailor it for our current environment.

The core idea behind Informationism itself, is that the world (and us as part of it) consists of distinct replicatable units, these being the elements that informationism works with. However, regardless of the actual metaphysical state of the world, it would presumably be enough for an idea of Informationism to be implemented, for it to be successful in it’s own terms.

 The Fundamental Internal Requirement of Informationism

The most basic thing that implementing a belief in Informationism should do, is actually benefit your information. If it does not do this then there is no point being a ‘Informationist’ –  you would be better of believing something else. If for instance being a Christian was going to benefit your Information more, then you should go and do that instead. You would no longer be believing that you should benefit your information, but you would actually be benefiting it more, so it would be the most Informationist position.

 Definition of the Informational ‘Entity’

It’s not just individual human persons that an be Informationists, it’s any entity that is capable if making intellectually informed decisions and carrying them out cohesively. It may be a government a group, a company, or an individual. However, it is not just the information within the bounds of the decision making entity that is of concern (where that entity is Informationist) but all information that is the same as information within that entity. A standard example is that of a person who has a child. They will seek to preserve the child as it will share information with them as the parent. This information will be both genetic and cultural.

 Content Similarity

The idea of preserving and creating content similarity for the Informationist entity (typically a human individual) is a key concept of Informationism. Whilst it may not seem right on the face of it, it is infact what we do all the time, and formalising it into that position makes sense. You would not, for instance; want to have a discussion with someone, and have your positions move apart, because this would violate content similarity. Content similarity can be summed up as preserving, and creating more instances of that which is the same as ‘you’, whatever ‘you’ happens to be.

 A Position that’s being Advocated

It is important to realise that this isn’t a moral theory. I don’t think that this is what you should morally do. The reason for this is that morality itself is a fraught concept. Basically it’s extremely contested, even what it means for something to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Therefore, it is better to avoid all of that kind of mess, and simply concentrate explaining Informationism and what it means. Since it is not a moral theory it also avoids attack on the basis of ‘Naturalistic Fallacy’.
It is rather a logical position that’s being advanced on the basis that you’re got to do something and everything else makes less sense in logical terms so you may as well do this.  It’s like a default position.

Informationism Parallels Morality in Many Cases

Although it’s not claimed that Informationism is what’s ‘right’ as such, it is often the case that what is considered to be right will benefit your information. This is because our natural moral sentiments evolved in the ancestral environment, and so that part of what we will tend to do often remains what we (informationally) should do. This as we still live in social groups, and the management of behaviour towards of the members these still remains a priority concern.

Informationism also creates a similar scale of ‘duties’, which would be moral duties if this were a morality, and this is based on the level of content similarity, or how much information the person (or decision making entity) has compared with that which it is making a decision about.

For instance, for a human; a member of the same family is owed more than a random individual. A random individual is owed more than a member of another species such as a dog. A dog is owed more than a plant and so on. This allows us to make sense of what would be moral obligations, but here they are neatly paralleled by an Informationist understanding.

 An Altruistic Approach

Further to it its near moral nature, Informationism is not to be confused with the philosophy of Egotism, which says that what we should do is what is in our own best interests. What Informationism advocates we do is what is in the interest of our information not ourselves (although this may constitute a good part of our information).
One of the ways in which Informationism can clearly be shown to be different from Egotism is that if an exact clone* of a person was created, an Informationist would owe that person just about the same level of consideration as what they owed themselves, because they would share all the same information. Under Egotism however they would be owed nothing.

Further to this; I would say that our conception of our selves relies on a recently generated myth.
See: The Refutation of Liberalism (A much earlier writing of mine – proceed with caution)

*Note: I am talking about a clone in terms of everything, not just genetic cloning.

 Informationism is Compatible with most Belief Systems

You can add Informationism to most other belief systems as it does not require that those beliefs are changed, but rather that they are promoted. This will hopefully create content similarity in others so that they share your beliefs.

 Thinking About It

If you think it in a charitable way, I think you will find that Informationism as a philosophy solves many of the decision making problems which we face. However I am open to some hard working out of any difficulties with the theory and hope to hear some.

Revolutions

Revolutions as changes of world view

Examining the record of past research from the vantage point of contemporary historiography, the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led my a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are viewed in a different light and joined by unfamiliar ones as well… …we may want to say that after a revolution scientists are responding to a different world.

Thomas S Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions p111.

A Warning

Over the past few years I developed a different understanding of human behaviour. In the beginning this was very exciting for me, and I looked to informing others about my ideas. However I soon found out that it wasn’t as simple as that. That if what I now understood was true it would mean a major effect on society and possibly a negative one. This was coupled with an intense personal crisis about the contents of my new understanding. After a large amount of thought and personal writing I have decided to take a similar approach to the unveiling of this theory that Darwin took to his theory of Natural selection. i.e. not to unveil at this time. However, there will be the added factor that I’m going to try to make it public that I am taking such an approach, so that if anyone else comes up with the same idea, I can at least be credited with it. This is in some sense then an ego prop, but I hope to at least give enough information that if and when someone else comes up with the same idea you will be able to recognise it as the same from the information contained within.

About Darwin

I’m sure you know that Darwin developed the theory of evolution by natural selection long before he published origin of the species, but then it wasn’t until he received a paper by Alfred Wallace that he decided to publish. Infact we know this about Darwin’s life:

1837 May 3
Darwin was influenced by the recent discovery of “fossilised monkeys” in Africa. He conjectured that such fossils were evidence that mankind was descended from some kind of ape ancestor. However, he dared not mention this to anyone, as such talk was tantamount to heresy.

1838
During this time Darwin was struggling between the desire to go public with his transmutation theories, and being ostracized by his fellow naturalists (Henslow, Sedgwick, Lyell and others). He solved this dilemma by keeping quiet for the time being.

1838 Spring
Due to concern for his reputation, Darwin decided to not publish any of his transmutation theories for many years to come.

1842 late June
While at Shrewsbury Darwin wrote up a thirty-five page sketch of his ideas about transmutation. This was the very first rough draft of his theory. In it he had natural selection figured out, and had a basic description of descent, both of which he said obeyed strict laws of nature. It is interesting to note that at this time Darwin thought these “laws of nature” were set forth by god during creation, after which time god stepped back and no longer intervened with the universe.

1842
Darwin made an outline of reasons not to published his transmutation ideas –
[1] Fellow naturalists would never accept his ideas.
[2] animal breeders would find a huge treatise too boring to read.
[3] the trouble making atheists would use it for their evil agendas.
[4] the church would scorn him.
[5] he did not want to be labeled an atheist.
[6] he would betray his friends and family to whom he owed so much.

1858 June 18
Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace, who was still at the Malay Archipelago. The paper was titled: “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type.” Darwin was shocked! Wallace had come up with a theory of natural selection that was very similar to his own. The paper contained concepts like “the struggle for existence,” and “the transmutation of species.”

1858 June 28
Darwin’s son, Charles Waring Darwin, died.

1858 July 1
On this date Charles Darwin first went public about his views on the evolution of species. The papers of Darwin and Wallace were read at a meeting of the Linnean Society in London.

1859 November 22
“Origin of Species” went on sale to the public at a price of 15 shillings. 1,250 copies were printed, most of which sold the first day. It was an immediate success and Darwin started the same day editing the work for a second edition.

http://www.aboutdarwin.com

You will note that Darwin had natural selection worked out by 1842, but it was not till 1858 that he actually went public with it. So he sat on the information for 16 years!
The difference between Darwin and I however is that he was already a respected biologist, whereas I’m effectively nobody.
At one point Darwin doesn’t want to say anything, because he believes it would be regarded as heresy. It might be said that today that isn’t an issue. However, I think that heresy today could be summed up as scepticism about humane values, as well as opinions that disagree with the majority cultural consensus about contentious issues.

Managing the mind bomb

There is a theory that I can say little about, because of what I believe the consequences would be. The situation is analogous to the person who first works out how to build a new weapon of mass destruction. What should they do? They may not want that information to be released, but they won’t want someone else to later discover the same thing, and get the credit for the technical accomplishment either.
So, what I’m going to do is state as much as I can, so that in the event full revelation by someone else, I will still be recognised as the person who first understood and theorised on this phenomena. This way I will at least be credited with the intellectual ability, come that eventuality.

Recognition – What such a revelation would look like

The theory, if and when it comes, will consist of one, or both, of the following parts:

1: An intellectual theory of human behaviour

The least dangerous part is a theory of human behaviour, related to evolutionary psychology, but with massively more explanatory power, and taking into account a much larger range of actual behaviours.
It will be especially explanatory of human social behaviour.
There will be some of this theory in what follows.
In effect though, this intellectual theory is not too likely to be presented, unless someone has worked out how to access the information psychologically. That is the really dangerous part.

2: A psychological technique.

This part is a kind of psychological technique for accessing information beyond the cultural and intellectual. Once a person becomes so ‘enabled’, it is not a matter of choice whether they believe the intellectual theory. So long as it has been explained to them beforehand, it is all intuitive to them. However, if it hasn’t been explained they may adopt other interpretations.
Infact, some people are often in this state, but they don’t have the theory, and so interpret using their own personal, cultural and intellectual means. The thing is, anyone who is in this state will probably not intellectualise it, but if they do, they will probably use their existing cultural symbols, rather than explanations from evolutionary psychology and the like. In fact they may even think they are experiencing something beyond psychological explanations, and that it thus disproves such explanations.

The reality is far more terrible.

A person in this state is able to ‘see through’ existing cultural conceptions to a more primitive and basic level of human operation.
Furthermore, a person in this state will provoke much of what they will then be able to see in persons around them, when it might otherwise be absent.
A good example of a ‘psychological technique’ is simply the ability to read, and thereby pick up huge amounts of extra information from the world that you wouldn’t have otherwise. If we didn’t know about such a thing as written language, we might regard all the text around us as a kind pervasive, stylistic, cultural decoration.
Another example would be ‘magic eye’ pictures. If you didn’t know what they were and someone put one on your wall, you might go your whole life just thinking it was a decorative pattern until you were given an incredibly simple psychological technique to see what was there.

What people are doing

When people act normally, it is as one or the other, or (more probably) a mix of various classes of behavioural possibilities, which are well known and described within culture, although less so specifically within academia.
Some of these classes of behaviour, are among the things I can’t spell out, because of the cultural values respectively attached to them, which would tend to suggest that people would try and change them if they became more consciously aware of them. However, the reasons for people acting that way are usually well founded within the environment, and so it may well be unwise to change. (one of the things I would like to advise, is for the values attached to certain behaviours to be modified)
Behaviours ranging from; the exalted, to the maligned, to the criminalised, turn out to be part of our built in biological possibilities, and we are performing them from one class or another all the time, regardless of our accepted status (or behaviour class) within society.
What effect revelation of this is likely to have is anyone’s guess. Personally, I would expect widespread depression, suicide, and possibly even revolution, as the justifications upholding the basis of existing power structures collapses and and a new psychological elite takes control.
In general, I feel that the effects of general knowledge of this information would probably create social changes equivalent or greater than the sixties in the west. In some ways, we might be more human as a result, but an essential issue is that our existing values, when applied to the new understanding are likely to cause major problems, so it would be wise to modify them, in order that any revelation has less disastrous consequences.

Advised value changes include: (but are not limited to)

  • Reduction of belief in supernatural entities, especially gods.
  • A freer and less concept and value bound approach to sex and sexuality.
  • More tolerance of psychopathic behaviour.
  • A more communitarian approach, and the dissolution of the individual as an indivisible single entity.

Within existing concepts it is hard to provide pointers however.

Levels of behavioural causation

What I am going to describe here, is three levels of behavioural causation which make up part of a grid of behavioural possibilities (behaviour including thought). We can imagine it to be like a spectrum, with the biological at the bottom, then the cultural band then the intellectual.

1. The biological level This is the basic instinct for living. When I’m hungry in the morning and want something to eat, that’s the biological level.

2. The cultural level This is heuristics for living. When I have toast for breakfast that’s cultural. The hunger is biological but I could have rice or a chocolate cake. Why do I have toast? Because that’s become an automatic cultural response for me.

3. The intellectual level This encompasses the specifics; the problem solving for living. If there is a problem with the cultural or biological level or some kind of challenge to that, you can use your intellect to work it out. If I have to read and interpret the nutritional information on the side of the peanut butter packet I’m going to need the intellectual level for that. There’s also some stuff that could be said about the discord between the three levels, and how the biological level is built for a hunter gatherer, while the cultural reforms itself every generation, taking some elements of the past along with some innovations. The intellectual structures do this too, but they should be more flexible if based on true reason and logic.

Everyone already knows this in some sense. However, stating it clearly can provide a powerful tool for analysing and understanding human behaviour.
But that’s only part of the story. There’s another, equally important spectrum of behaviour, and that’s the one I’m not going to talk about. Together these two spectrums make a complete three dimensional map of human behaviour. Knowing one, you’re kind of like a ‘flatlander’, only seeing part of the picture.
So what is this other spectrum? It’s actually a major aspect of biological reality that has been culturally and thereby intellectually interpreted, but very badly so. Furthermore, there is also the direct seeing this biological reality when unfiltered by cultural perception.
– “Well of course it’s filtered by cultural perception” you’re going to say; “Your perception”. Well no it’s not, it’s being seen ‘technically’ and then interpreted culturally, rather than the other way round. This does create problems like the emotion of ‘the horror’, but I’ll get onto that later.

Reality for us

Reality as we experience it is cultural reality. We are not seeing biological reality, so most of the things that are happening in biological terms we are either blind to, or we explain in cultural terms.
Reality as we experience it, is infact a subset of the wider reality, that is actually more basic, but exacting in its operation. Because it is so explicit, most people would be likely to regard it with horror in cultural terms.
There are fictional examples that would throw some light on this, but to specifically mention them would be misleading.
One of the problems with revelation is; that once seen and interpreted with our current cultural understanding, events occurring in the wider reality (that people don’t currently have conscious access to) then create a too extreme response. You might call it a ‘meta response’ to subtle behaviour, when a subconscious adjustment would be the only natural expedient response.
Another reason is the actual things we are doing… (which is another area I can’t go into)
This is a reason that our values need to be readjusted along the lines of greater tolerance and understanding, a greater relaxation of the ego, and a blurring of social identity. Some kinds of meditation and Buddhist practices might also be a wise precaution.
What we a talking about here, is a full paradigm shift of all cultural understanding, and all intellectual understanding that is linked to that. It would be like something along the lines of what happens when an isolated tribe comes into contact with western civilisation. But even more than that in some ways, as it can cause a short circuiting of different parts of people’s mental lives, resulting in a crippling paralysis.

Everything is Something Else

What I am suggesting here, is not that people are wrong about their interpretation of the events which take place round them. We might call this the cultural level interpretation, augmented by some intellectual interpretation, and this is very often self referentially correct – correct on it’s own terms. There are many compelling cultural interpretations in the world, though most rely on a different conception of what human beings actually are than can be scientifically supported. For example the declarations in the American independence document.
What I am suggesting infact is; that while cultural interpretations have somewhat respectable justifications, their entire explanatory system runs in parallel to a much more accurate, complete and systematic possible explanation referring to the wider reality. This is the ‘something else’.
A good analogy might be; if you were in a ‘show’ and being televised to an audience, except that you as one of the ‘performers’ did not know you were in a show, or the wider dynamics of how your relationships worked.
In this case you might say that everything you did was something else. That there were some people who you thought were genuinely interested in you, where as infact they were operating from different motives.

Everything is infact something else…

The Horror

Seeing everything as being also something else, may create an emotion that I call ‘the horror’. Kind of an intense experience of cognitive disidence, this emotion is generated when the cultural and intellectual interpretations of the social environment are in conflict. For instance, if you see something happening in one sphere, that your values oppose in another.
People may look back on their experiences in another paradigm, and know of the things they thought and did, but generally not why they thought and did them. Imagine being in both paradigms at the same time.
It is one thing for example; if you could return the Pope to the German army at the end of World War II, and he had to somehow deal with that, but it would be yet another if he had to carry out his elderly duties as Pope, and his teenage duties as soldier at the same time.
You can divide up the horror into two kinds – the horror at behaviour, and the horror at language. In each case it is because two parallel interpretations might be given for the same behavioural acts, speech or written text.
Any person who is able to decode consciously both streams of information, is faced with the problem of how to deal with the separate, and often conflicting messages. This may either be through the disparate subject matter of the respective messages, or because of their conflicting, and often socially unacceptable nature.
An aware observer is likely to be confused about how to respond – even, what to respond to.
The effect may be similar to the experience of someone who hears voices as they go about their business, except that the ‘voices’ here are powerful interpretations, and identified with individuals or groups of people.
Another issue is; that it is not just the interpreted outputs of others, but the actions of the individual themselves causing a possible personal crisis of self identity. Something like alien hand syndrome or the like, where the individual feels themselves no longer in control of their own body and even mind, as if their own self becomes alien to them.
A person who is interpreting the world thus will take an action in the social environment, and then will half a second later realise that the action they have just taken, has an entirely different causal mechanism or reason for being done than the normal cultural explanation. For a further example of a similar experience of horror, imagine that a woman had to have dinner with a charismatic and powerful man, that she knew was planning to kill her. In this case his charm and interest in her life would be wasted, as it would all be interpreted as a tactic for him collecting information about her habits, in order that he could better carry out his deadly task. But still she would have to remain calm and happy looking despite her inner turmoil. Everything would be something else, so it’s nearly an exact analogy.
So, some very serious and damaging psychological effects can occur as a result of seeing the wider reality of human existence.

Why people don’t see the truth

In terms of the psycho-sexual environment, why don’t people see that, instead of the cultural mythspace that they actually operate in? The reason (so far as I can discern) is that they’re generally not using the part of their brain that is able to automatically decode such stimuli, and so it is simply edited out of the viewing process as irrelevancies.
When they are using that part of their brain, they continue to use the same intellectualisations, and so while they detect that something is going on, since there’s no words for it in the mythspace, it remains simply ‘feelings’.

Infact a more interesting question for me is; why some people do seem to know the truth and they really don’t want you talking about it. But I’ll have to go into that at a later date.

Why it doesn’t help to know the truth

In general, people ought to evolve towards a greater realisation of reality, as that should be advantageous to them in the environment. If they do not then there ought to be a pretty good explanation for that.
For something like gods it’s not too hard. All it is, is the extension of our natural bias towards seeing things in personal and social terms into the physical environment. If you don’t see things in social terms then you’re autistic and will have limited hope of reproducing, whereas if you see more than there is in social terms, then you will have just as much, or more chance passing on your genes.
For the psycho-sexual environment, because our brains have this natural level of flexibility in operation, in terms of which behaviour set is used, we can operate in vastly different kinds of social ways at different times, however only one behaviour set is truly capable of creating the mythspace, and so that is the one we operate in.
Because the mythspace allows the development of civilisation, and the others aren’t really needed once civilisation is achieved, they are simply sidelined and our effort goes into the mythspace.
It’s like how blindness increases perception in the remaining senses. But in this case it’s more of a narrowing of focus, and operating within a narrow band of human possibilities.
We could imagine a child who is locked in a room without any kind of stimulation for years on end, and its brain would atrophy. But if you gave it a Computer and hooked it up to the internet with the online game ‘Second Life’ it would become an ‘internet child’. It would be the best at Second Life because that’s all that it would have to do. It would probably become the worlds fastest typist, even if it could speak in grunts. It might end up earning a fortune in real money playing Second Life, and so at that point you might say that within that mythical cyberspace it was doing pretty well. There would be no point taking it out of its room because it would only be a maladjusted retard like creature who could only communicate by typing.
That’s like us within our cultural mythspace v’s the ‘real’ human world.
One other point is that seeing the wider picture of what’s going on can be highly distracting. If you watch a film that’s one kind of experience, where you can be transported into another kind of cultural mythspace, for a hopefully pleasant and/or exciting transcending experience. But imagine that you went along with a video camera and filmed the filming of an entire movie, including the cameras filming the actors and the studio in the background. Then you cut it to the same length as the original, with the same scenes. Watching that footage would be quite a different experience to the actual movie, and one in which transcendence would be unlikely to be achieved.

The Possessed Ape

“Man is more of an ape than any of the apes” – Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

We’ve had the Naked Ape, The Moral Animal and The Third Chimpanzee, among others. My vote would be for The Possessed Ape. Here’s why; Once upon a time a chimpanzee was tried as a French spy1 by suspicious English villagers. Later on in history only dark skinned humans were considered to be a type of ape. Now we’ve got to to the point where if you ask the average person in the world if any human is a type of ape they’ll probably say “no”.

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Monkey_hanger&oldid=90705106

Not so long ago primatologists in Africa came into contact with a band of chimpanzees in the forest that had never come into contact with humans before. Instead of running away like chimpanzees accustomed to humans hunting them usually do, they simply saw the humans as another band of chimpanzees and acted as such. It’s got to the point where chimps in the forest have more of an idea about what we are than the average person on the street. Why?
At first glance of course chimpanzees would see humans simply as strange looking chimps. However, after more observation they would report something strange (if they could intellectualise it). They would see us responding to a mysterious force as we we in communion with some other invisible being, and as if something else was controlling our bodies. We would seem possessed, with jerky movements and strange actions.
This force is our power of language and abstract reasoning.

So I can even be a theist in the literal sense of John 1.1

John 1:1 (New International Version)

The Word Became Flesh 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Responses

Of course, I can’t just say all these things, as they don’t make sense within the current context. It might be hypothesised that I am undergoing an unfortunate kind of imaginative delusion or mental illness. I think this is the most convenient explanation, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to rule it out without some serious thought. It would be important to note however that this message is sane and rational and brought forward with the greatest care and sensitivity.

And to anyone else with their finger on the psych bomb – remember, I won’t press the trigger if you don’t.

What I want to happen about this post

I have no expectations. I understand what most people’s response would be. The most that I can hope for is that it is date stamped and held in some kind of filing system. Alerting me to anyone who has similar ideas would also be appreciated. Of course, if anyone wants further clarification or information about the things I can talk about, I would be happy to supply it.

Thank you for your time,
Ford Andrews

Appendix

Notes to others

I may as well include this advice to anyone who discovers what I am talking about here, in case I am not available in the event of them coming into contact with it. “Once upon a time you dressed so fine, threw the bums a dime, in your prime then you…”*

Welcome to the Zoo!

First of all tread very carefully. You may become depressed or elevated. Only use anti depressants in case depression becomes severe. It is important to try to use NEW concepts to explain what you are seeing. New concepts will be needed. My worst fear is not that this is discovered, but that existing concepts will be used to explain it, and the chaos that would cause.
In particular remember that these things apply to everyone – it is just that you can see it.
Don’t bother trying to discuss this with anyone – they won’t understand. Worse, they will try to interpret what you’re saying using their existing cultural symbols. At first the things you’re seeing may delight or horrify you, but just remember it’s a one way interpretation, and for you to respond to it directly will only cause confusion.
If you really find it difficult to cope, I can suggest going to a place where people are less responsive. I know from personal experience that Korea is one such place. There people are often in a different mode from westerners.
Most importantly, you will have to get used to the fact that you’re not in control of yourself as you once thought and move to a more management role of yourself, with certain ‘policies’ towards certain things, rather than specific actions that you take. This is probably one of the more horrifying things, remember though that other people are in the same position, except they don’t know it.
I may as well tell you before you do anything too drastic; what you’re seeing can be unseen. Infact that’s probably the first thing you will want to learn to do. That’s right, you’ve learned to see, and now you have to learn to unsee.
It is important that you can change your mode back again, you may not see why, but don’t worry you soon will, and that’s when you can start to have serious problems.
On the other hand if you try to adjust modes just to please people it may precipitate a wholesale disintegration of self, and peoples reaction might be more negative than ever.
It is better to choose one mode and operate using that with ‘policies’. Also don’t try and use it to ‘get one over’ on people. It might seem easy, but people can act very cunningly in the environment and get you back without even knowing it themselves.
You can’t believe that people you know are now doing those things? Well just remember, you’re probably actually provoking them in the environment. From their perspective they’re not doing anything different from what they’ve always done and you’re the one who’s acting strange.

  • Bob Dylan – Highway 61 revisited is the best album to listen to when this has happened to you.

A Theory of Information

Long before I discovered the things that provoked this letter, I developed a theory of how we might act which I called Informationism. Basically what the theory is, is a claim about the kinds of forces responsible for our functioning and then an optional prescription based on that fact. My intention here is to give a quick overview of this theory, rather than an in-depth justification. Also understand that this is not a moral theory. I don’t think this is what we ‘should’ do, but rather it’s something I advocate based on what seems logically correct.

The claim is; Evolutionary forces mean, that what we will tend to do is do what is beneficial for spreading our cultural and genetic information in an ancestral environment.

The prescription is; what we could decide to do, is what actually will benefit our information in this environment.

The justification for this is purely negative. You are going to do something. Now whatever you do do is going to be your brain’s cultural interpretation of some biological urgings that you have. You surely know what those biological urgings are trying to get you to do, so why not actually do that, rather than the million other variations on the theme?
Whatever the justification or explaination can be given for existing actions, it will boil down to some attempt to benefit information, so why not just benefit it? There is no ‘reason’ to, any more than there is an ultimate reason to do anything.
There’s little more that I can say about that in terms of justification, as we’re really talking about a blind biological and cultural process, out of which we get arising a toolmaking ‘rational space’ in our brains. We can actually make decisions based on logic within that, we just don’t have any motivation to make the decisions based on the original ‘orders’ to the biological forces.
All we can do is invent myths to wrap around things so people have social motivation to do them. People are eager to follow the will of their creator. As it turns out the ‘creator’ is a blind replicating process, but people say that to follow that would be a ‘naturalistic fallacy’ or idolatry in religious terms. Do we owe these ape bodies anything because rationality has arisen in them? Well at the moment the options are to go along with a mass of myths, fantasies and wishful thinking about what humans should do, or actually align with what’s happening in nature. The alternative isn’t to be more noble, it’s just to fail as an organism and believe a lie. Imagine a fly on a buzzing against a window. If you could give that fly intelligence but it still didn’t have the motivation to use it then it would still keep on buzzing against the window. If you asked it why it would say “Because I feel like it”.
So it needs more than the urge or the intelligence – it requires the urge to use the intelligence. If you decide to chop down a tree using your arm, you will quickly get the urge to use intelligence to find a better way to chop it down.

This is a major excerpt from the later half of:

A journey to the end of philosophy

If you would like more you can get it here:

http://www.amazon.com/journey-end-philosophy-selected-explanations-ebook/dp/B00IPDO4X8