Neanderthal H. sapiens Brain Comparisons / Idiots

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New insights into differences in brain organization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans

Eiluned Pearce, Chris Stringer, R. I. M. Dunbar
Abstract

Previous research has identified morphological differences between the brains of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs). However, studies using endocasts or the cranium itself are limited to investigating external surface features and the overall size and shape of the brain. A complementary approach uses comparative primate data to estimate the size of internal brain areas. Previous attempts to do this have generally assumed that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization. Here, we argue that, in the case of Neanderthals and AMHs, differences in the size of the body and visual system imply differences in organization between the same-sized brains of these two taxa. We show that Neanderthals had significantly larger visual systems than contemporary AMHs (indexed by orbital volume) and that when this, along with their greater body mass, is taken into account,

Neanderthals have significantly smaller adjusted endocranial capacities than contemporary AMHs. We discuss possible implications of differing brain organization in terms of social cognition, and consider these in the context of differing abilities to cope with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance. The assumption is that THE ONLY TOOL AVAILABLE to ANY SPECIES is this “magical” and probably imaginary social brain, which only H. sapiens possesses. No animal has ever coped with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance = 500 million years of evolution was a total failure!

ASTOUNDING! Why do we hate Neanderthals? More to the point, Why are neurotypicals so blind to their own prejudice?

Does anyone ever consider that Neanderthals NEEDED visual processing MORE THAN they needed “social cognition”? These conclusions are ignorant  and shaped by modern social assumptions that we “beat the Neanderthals” and indeed caused their extinction. Why is this our ONLY INTEREST in Neanderthals? How infantile!

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Visual Thinking does not equate to artistic skill

The previous post featured the “Draw a Person DAP test” There is so much wrong about this test that the assumptions, interpretations, conclusions, usages and nonsense behind it have me speechless. However, there is one assumption that needs talked about: intelligence cannot be conflated with drawing skill. The ability to draw is “native” to some people; many more can be taught / trained to draw passably well. This “artistic ability” cannot be exploited if the person is not curious about “how things appear” and a critical observer. Drawing was for centuries a task that was elemental to becoming a professional artist, but today a person can staple his or her sneakers to a wall and be hailed as a genius.

I’m Asperger; a visual thinker, which has nothing to do with the skill of drawing, which I totally lack. (Asperger clumsy?) and yet I worked for many years as an advertising art director and designer, as well as “making art” for self-expression. I could not draw to save my ass.

I was ridiculed, chided, laughed at and queried by clients who tried to decipher my layouts. “You can’t draw? How did you get this job?”

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Well, because creative people are creative at working around obstacles. One art director I worked with was blind in one eye. He just didn’t tell anyone. I made collages; pieces cut from magazines, resized, hand colored, worked into (sometimes scary looking) layouts: ideas presented and mostly understood. In a way, I was lucky: back in the dark ages before computer image software, everything was done by hand. If you presented a realistic detailed layout of an ad or illustration, well by God! the finished piece had better look just like the layout.

My strange ambiguous layouts let me get away with changing whatever I decided to change. Sometimes people noticed, mostly no one did. Everything was fine really, as long as the finished product was successful, (if a bit of a surprise.)

As far as the DAP test goes: the drawings I made as a 4-year old would have condemned me to the basement of psychological assessment. When I was in my 20s and 30s, my drawings would have done the same. Thankfully, no one ever judged my intelligence by my drawing ability, and I discovered photography along the way.

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War Helps Me to Sleep / Repost Memorial Day

The dumping ground of valueless human activity.

The dumping ground of valueless human activity.

check out: http://nationalpriorities.org A website that tracks military and other spending.

The TV is on late at night, playing through the darkness of the house, playing with my sleep. A new war dawns over and over and over on the small screen. An explosion thousands of miles away illuminates the living room. I press the mute button. Why listen to the sounds of destruction, when for Americans at least, peace can be accomplished by remote control?

Immense sums have been invested to prepare our soldiers against the new death, which is the same as the old death, but our billions cannot protect them against the enemy’s ubiquitous homegrown ingenuity. A mere glance at the history of war shows that the number of boys who are allowed to grow to manhood is limited by old men, who pretend to know nothing about their power to sacrifice young men. Death and destruction are the enemy’s fault; blame them. For reasons of equality this reduction now includes women, and those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq arrive in my living room on C-17 transports, or so I am told by a reporter, since they only descend to earth after midnight, in deep secrecy.

Our killers have been cautioned to stifle expressions of excitement and pleasure after successful killings, because a ‘clinical, surgical’ war is just and good: our soldiers’ blank faces prove that we are superior morally to the enemy, for whom the act of mass murder yields a collective religious exaltation. Do the victims care? Count our deaths as a victory for democracy and we won’t mind being blown apart like watermelons during target practice.

The human body is less aerodynamic than a potato: a potato is ejected from a mud house that has just been shattered by an American rocket, a house that was someone’s world. Not a big fat American world, but someone’s world. Contrary to protocol, “We got that sucker big time!” escapes from the ecstatic mouth of the soldier who called in the air strike. None of the body parts, bits of a radio, plastic tubs and buckets, nor a thin mattress land in the darkness of my house, but the debris collects somewhere in that bottomless pit called television, where hundreds of thousands of dead bodies go. It’s the New Hades.

The dog lies with her head on the pillow. She watches whatever I watch, at this moment a video loop that leads up to the destruction of a tank whose extravagant price is unknown to those who paid for it. Fated to die a thousand deaths on the news channels of the world, its passengers shared stifled fear, Ritz crackers and stale Cheese Whiz: their Last Supper. Did they suspect that the sacrifice they were about to make was not meant to protect Americans or their home towns, but to serve lies cooked up on Profit Street by the old men of the meddling West?

At the moment of their obliteration, do our soldiers suddenly comprehend that the men who run the show in Washington, D.C., don’t have the skill to decide what necktie to wear to a press conference? Will it dawn on these baby ducks in warrior’s costume that it’s the TV show made for the public that counts; that the old males who have sent them to wander aimlessly in the world’s ideological vortices, don’t give a fuck what happens to them?

Americans are hampered by religious instruction that has never been clear to them. “Thou shalt not kill,” is not, and never was, a universal call to disarmament and nonviolence. God simply reserves murder, especially mass murder, for himself. In legal terms, the taking of life belongs to The State. The State is composed of old men, who are the true gods and love blood sacrifice.

Citizen shoppers are intercepted at a shopping mall by a reporter who asks them, “Do you support to our dead troops?” an act of magical thinking stunning in its stupidity. The shoppers say, “Thank-you for killing bad people of a different religion who live somewhere on a map that is utterly blank to us; thank-you for being killed so that we no longer must fear dangers that do not exist.” Amen.

Fighter jets land in my living room, as if the carpet is the deck of a spacious aircraft carrier that is docked under a blue sky – somewhere in America. Kids tie yellow ribbons to a chain-link fence, as did the youth of Rome and Carthage. The trick of war is to produce suffering on a level that is unendurable for civilians and soldiers alike, and to keep it up until the other side gives up, but inevitably, we end up doing this unendurable thing to ourselves.

A WWII veteran dredges for anecdotes that will please the media. He sits in a Walmart parking lot, in a wheelchair, next to a van with a lift. Weighed down by the manly jewelry of war that oppress his sunken chest, the old man mumbles for reporters as if he a puppet whose strings are being operated off camera:

“The Good War years were the best of years of my life.” Nostalgia penetrates the TV screen like a patriot’s sweat, and I know I’m being told that today’s ruinous war will be remembered with deep affection by future television production companies.

We got those slant-eyed suckers big time!” the old soldier does not tell his fellow Americans. He does admit that the shock from Japanese bombs burst his eardrums and that his buddy’s body danced like a rag doll, animated by bullets from a Japanese fighter plane: a second buddy survived to spend the rest of his life rotting in a VA psycho ward, very far off camera. War is, after all, a demonstration of the wonderful effects of applied physics.

“The war was wonderful,” the old man says. “My memories help me to sleep.”

 

 

How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

Drop in at http://www.defenseone.com – the thrill of new weaponry designed and built to the highest possible cost; you’re paying for it!

Reactive armor and cross-domain fire capabilities are just some of the items on the Army’s must-have list. 

When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster briefs, it’s like Gen. Patton giving a TED talk — a domineering physical presence with bristling intellectual intensity.

These days, the charismatic director of the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center is knee-deep in a project called The Russia New Generation Warfare study, an analysis of how Russia is re-inventing land warfare in the mud of Eastern Ukraine. Speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., McMaster said that the two-year-old conflict had revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect. Should U.S. forces find themselves in a  land war with Russia, he said, they would be in for a rude, cold awakening….for the rest of the story go to: http://defenseone.com/technology/2016/05/how-pentagon-preparing-tank-war-russia/128460/?oref=d-dontmiss/

I’m not kidding! All the military products and programs (and future wars) that you will never, ever see on TV news programs. 

 

 

Recommended Blog / “Unwritten Rules” Social Help

From http://unwrittenrules.org 

I’m a man with high-functioning Asperger Syndrome. If you have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like me, or if you just want to know more about social customs, then I hope that you’ll find this web site useful. I’ll be writing down the unwritten rules that I learn as I explore the social customs around me. I’ll also be discussing depictions of ASD in popular culture, and linking to useful resources and web sites that I’ve come across.

This site explains the unwritten rules for the following situations:

This site also has information on the following subjects:

  • Important concepts to understand when discussing the unwritten rules;
  • Useful resources for understanding the unwritten rules;
  • Discussions of how ASD is representet in popular culture; and
  • Information about this web site and its author.

Welcome to Unwritten Rules. I hope you enjoy your time here.

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If social rules are so important, why then are they “unwritten”? Do we learn “unwritten” laws of physics? Actually, social rules are not unwritten; there are just too many that are specific to a social context; class, race, wealth, job, workplace, church, athletics, and on and on to ever compose an authentic list. Rules apply to specific groups, cultures and subcultures: these are written down all the time.

The assumption that “everyone” (except ASD people) automatically inhales social rules, as if the info is spread by some hooky spooky contagion, is another one of those social myths that needs to go away.

The one truly unwritten social rule “allows” certain people to ignore, transgress, and to make up their own unfair rules: the rich and powerful, including politicians and the corporate elite.

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Why do psychologists have so much power over human lives?

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Psychologism. The Haunting Fear that somewhere someone may exhibit behavior that hasn’t yet been labeled  pathological.

APA Psych Net, 2016

Psychological (“mental”) health can be defined as the presence of healthy reactions or the absence of pathological reactions. But since there is no general agreement about a positive definition of psychological health, a negative one is more widely used. (The experts cannot describe a healthy human!) Behavior pathology exists when an individual’s reactions are disordered. This means one or both of two things: the reactions are not justified by the external situation or they are ineffective in achieving desired results. There are three major categories of behavior disorders: neurosis, psychosis, and character disorders. A neurotic is a person who admits to being unhappy, behaves irrationally, and exhibits certain symptoms (tension, phobia, compulsion). (Sounds like a typical “western” human) The psychoses represent the most extreme forms of pathological reactions. Psychotics have poor contact with reality, behave peculiarly, are a danger to themselves or others, and are often unable to care for themselves. Persons suffering from character disorders behave, with little evidence of anxiety, in an immature, self-centered manner oblivious to the needs of others and society. (Sounds like a typical “western” human) There are two major classes of psychological therapies, psychotherapy and somatotherapy. Psychotherapists attempt to modify their patients’ behavior by communication. Somatotherapists use physiological methods to bring about changes in behavior. The most commonly practiced forms of psychotherapy are psychoanalysis, client-centered therapy, group psychotherapy, and general psychotherapy. The main forms of somatotherapies are shock therapy and chemotherapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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Psychology has taken over “the job” of dictating  not only human behavior, but the very values of what it means to be human, and provides insidious methods of controlling social existence – reaching it’s tentacles into traditional religious and governmental domains: social, educational, and foreign policy and the development and rationalization of military aggression and torture are but a few of psychology’s triumphs over individual choice. Its influence continues to spread into every aspect of personal and public life.

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Encyclopedia Britannica / Philosophy: Psychologism, in philosophy, the view that problems of epistemology (i.e., of the validity of human knowledge) can be solved satisfactorily by the psychological study of the development of mental processes. John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) may be regarded as the classic of psychologism in this sense. A more moderate form of psychologism maintains that psychology should be made the basis of other studies, especially of logic. A classical attack on both forms of psychologism was Edmund Husserl’s Logische Untersuchungen (1900–01; “Logical Investigations”).

Psychologism, however, continued to find adherents. Early in the 20th century, James Ward developed a genetic psychology that he considered essential to any adequate epistemology; Brand Blanshard’s monumental The Nature of Thought, 2 vol. (1939), insisted that epistemological studies must be rooted in psychological investigation; (modern psychology has insinuated its opinions into practical epistemology: a dangerous claim that psychological “theory” explains “everything human” Try to think of a category of human thought, behavior and knowledge that hasn’t been psychologized) and Jean Piaget conducted considerable psychological research on the genesis of thought in children, accepted by some philosophers as a contribution to epistemology. Similarly, empirical studies of innateness (via the “visual cliff,” in which an infant placed at the edge of a glassed-over “cliff ” shows behaviour suggestive of innate depth perception) continue to be seen as epistemologically significant.

For a peek into the vast reach of psychology in modern life, google Careers in Psychology

How Psychologists see children / Operant Conditioning

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Why would anyone raise a child by following the advice of people who torture small animals and use the “results” as the guide to “dealing with” children? Children are not lab rats, but the insistence on the part of psychologists that rat behavior=human behavior is how American parenting and education have degenerated into a vast system of Operant Conditioning and psychological experimentation. Schools don’t teach academics; they indoctrinate children with dehumanizing “theories” of humans as Big Rats.

BF Skinner: Operant Conditioning

From Simply Psychology.com Saul McLeod, 2007

Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect – Reinforcement. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened).

Skinner (1948) studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a ‘Skinner Box‘ which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box.

Skinner Box illustration operant conditioning

B.F. Skinner (1938) coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.

Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated.

Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative.

Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.

Is it a surprise that when children are subjected to this inhumane regime, mayhem becomes the status quo in public schools? Children know when they are being abused. Children become objects whose function is to be manipulated by teachers and parents into proper social robots: There is an utter failure to meet childhood needs – first and foremost education.

The psychologist suggests you choose your own punishment. So, do you want your mouth washed out with bar or liquid soap?'

Punishment (weakens behavior)

Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it. It is an aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows

Like reinforcement, punishment can work either by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus like a shock after a response or by removing a potentially rewarding stimulus, for instance, deducting someone’s pocket money to punish undesirable behavior.

Note: It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement.

There are many problems with using punishment, such as:

  • Punished behavior is not forgotten, it’s suppressed – behavior returns when punishment is no longer present.
  • Causes increased aggression – shows that aggression is a way to cope with problems.
  • Creates fear that can generalize to undesirable behaviors, e.g., fear of school.
  • Does not necessarily guide toward desired behavior – reinforcement tells you what to do, punishment only tells you what not to do.

Modern Thoughts from Ancient Brains

“There is something paltry about exact bookkeeping.”

Ethics, Aristotle

This is a clear statement of my attitude toward the social domain, which is all about exact bookkeeping.

 

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