Making Stone Tools / A Non-verbal Process

A super group of videos…

Not a single word is needed to do this or to teach someone else to do this. The “tips” at the end would be demonstrated during the process. Children would see tools and other objects made day in and day out and would naturally copy their elders.

Archaeologists go on and on about how it takes “advanced cognitive skills” (like those needed to push around a shopping cart and swipe a credit card) to create stone tools. I have yet to hear a single researcher mention visual thinking. You can babble at a pile of stones, or another human, all day long, but all that yack-yacking will not produce one stone tool. The earliest stone tools are millions of years old; sophisticated flaked tools (Acheulean) were invented by Homo erectus, not Homo sapiens. Some research indicates that ‘language’ structure had its beginnings in sign language and not in vocalization. Pre and early humans were visual observers,  inventors and communicators – and not at all like modern social humans, who are a very recent “neotenic” variation of Homo sapiens.

All it takes is A FEW adept individuals to preserve techniques and to pass on skills. If a group were lucky, one “genius” might come up with improvements and refinements so that technical advancement could occur – which would probably be forgotten and reinvented many times. And critically, resources in one’s environment dictated solutions: nomadism provided exposure to new raw materials and new people, so “itchy feet” were likely more advantageous than staying in one place too long.

 

 

Archaic H. sapiens – H. sapiens sapiens / Testosterone

A composite image shows the facial differences between an ancient modern human (Archaic Homo Sapiens) with heavy brows and a large upper face and the more recent modern human (Homo sapiens) who has rounder features and a much less prominent brow. The prominence of these features can be directly traced to the influence (reduction) of the hormone testosterone. Photo Credit: Robert Cieri, University of Utah

2238323698Archaic vs Modern

Read more: http://www.zmescience.com/science/archaeology/civilization-testosterone-skull-04082014/#ixzz3eYaNNQr0

“It is important to note that lower testosterone is associated with tolerance and cooperation in bonobos and chimpanzees, and with less aggression in humans. It seems very plausible that as humans started to group up in larger and more interconnected settlements,

they needed to find less violent ways to sort out their problems – and in the long run, the non-violent path won.”

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Psychological Nuttiness Strikes Again / Theories of Emotion

from verywell.com

What Are the 6 Major Theories of Emotion?

Some of the Major Theories to Explain Human Emotions

By Kendra Cherry, Updated May 10, 2017

What Is Emotion?

In psychology, emotion is often defined as a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior. (We’re knee deep in magical thinking already – inverted and circular “reasoning” at the same time!)

Emotionality is associated with a range of psychological phenomena, including temperament, personality, mood, and motivation. According to author David G. Meyers, human emotion involves “…physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience.” (Just what do “psychological” and “conscious” mean here? Psychology is rife with “opportunities” for misinformation and crazy interpretation because it lacks self-regulation for standards of “scientific behavior” on the part of its researchers and practitioners. It is a “secular religion”)

Theories of Emotion

The major theories of motivation (?) can be grouped into three main categories: physiological, neurological, and cognitive. (This implies that neurological activity and cognitive activity are not physical phenomenon) Physiological theories suggest that responses within the body are responsible for emotions.

Neurological theories propose that activity within the brain leads to emotional responses. Finally, cognitive theories argue that thoughts and other mental activity play an essential role in forming emotions. (that chopping up into categorical objects again – thoughts and whatever other “mental activity” refers to – are held to be objects that act on other objects. Psychology is hopelessly stuck in a pre-20th C. conception of “physics” –

Where have psychologists been for the past 100+ years of scientific revolution?

Evolutionary Theory of Emotion

It was naturalist Charles Darwin (also a geologist) who proposed that emotions evolved because they were adaptive and allowed humans and animals to survive and reproduce. Feelings of love and affection lead people to seek mates and reproduce. Feelings of fear compel people to either fight or flee the source of danger. (Oh dear, the social narrative intrudes, as usual)

According to the evolutionary theory of emotion, our emotions exist because they serve an adaptive role. Emotions motivate people to respond quickly to stimuli in the environment, which helps improve the chances of success and survival. (Standard social blah, blah, blah)

Understanding the emotions of other people and animals also plays a crucial role in safety and survival. If you encounter a hissing, spitting, and clawing animal, chances are you will quickly realize that the animal is frightened or defensive and leave it alone. By being able to interpret correctly the emotional displays of other people and animals, you can respond correctly and avoid danger. (That’s it? That’s not a theory. That’s a script for a PBS kid’s show.)

The James-Lange Theory of Emotion

The James-Lange theory is one of the best-known examples of a physiological theory of emotion. Independently proposed by psychologist William James and physiologist Carl Lange, the James-Lange theory of emotion suggests that emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events. (A scientific theory does not “suggest” – it produces one or more testable hypotheses; generates valid experiments and must be independently confirmed or disproven. Neurotypicals reject this method, because they only believe in “social” authority. Independent “reality” does not exist for them.)

This theory suggests that when you see (or sense – we have multiple senses) an external stimulus that leads to a physiological reaction. (This is so.) Your emotional reaction is dependent upon how you interpret those physical reactions.

For example, suppose you are walking in the woods and you see a grizzly bear. You begin to tremble, and your heart begins to race. The James-Lange theory proposes that you will interpret your physical reactions and conclude that you are frightened (“I am trembling. Therefore, I am afraid”). According to this theory of emotion, you are not trembling because you are frightened. Instead, you feel frightened because you are trembling.

(Amazing how the standard “fear response” – common to primates, mammals and other animals, can be “negated” by “pausing” to think about what’s going on – and coming up with a “cognitive interpretation” of one’s physiologic response to an ACTUAL threat – the presence of a grizzly bear: fear is an instinctual response – WHATEVER WORD(S) YOU CHOOSE TO DESCRIBE IT. This scenario is plausible and applicable only if there is no danger present. If you are sitting quietly in your living room, and experience the rush of adenaline, etc, that is the FFF response, you might stop to think “Gee, there’s no danger present, but I feel afraid – this must be a “false alarm” – and this realization may result in a cessation of the physiological response. But – anyone who makes this “interpretation” when confronted by actual threat will be in serious trouble.

The Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion

Another well-known physiological theory is the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion. Walter Cannon disagreed with the James-Lange theory of emotion on several different grounds. First, he suggested, people can experience physiological reactions linked to emotions (?) without actually feeling those emotions. For example, your heart might race because you have been exercising and not because you are afraid. (Mind-boggling)

Cannon also suggested that emotional responses occur much too quickly for them to be simply products of physical states. (Beyond mind-boggling)

When you encounter a danger in the environment, you will often feel afraid before you start to experience the physical symptoms associated with fear such as shaking hands, rapid breathing, and a racing heart. (Okay, this is simply stupid! We are confronted again by “supernatural” fear that precedes the actual physical response that IS FEAR. And this “supernatural” power travels faster than the speed of light. LOL!)

Cannon first proposed his theory in the 1920s and his work was later expanded on by physiologist Philip Bard during the 1930s. According to the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion, we feel emotions and experience physiological reactions such as sweating, trembling, and muscle tension simultaneously.

(Gee, could it be that these two “categorical objects” are one and the same phenomenon – that “emotions ARE physiological responses? This is an example of the archaic conception of “mind and body” as separate “things” – and the attribution to a supernatural dimension the “magical patterns and templates” that  are believed to “create” reality.)

More specifically, it is suggested that emotions result when the thalamus sends a message to the brain in response to a stimulus, resulting in a physiological reaction. At the same time, the brain also receives signals (via amorphous goo from the supernatural dimension?) triggering the emotional experience. Cannon and Bard’s theory suggests that the physical and psychological experience of emotion happen at the same time and that one does not cause the other. (Separate but equal? That’s justice!)

(The neurotypical brain simply cannot let go of the “magical thinking” stage common in childhood, which attributes all phenomena to MAGICAL POWERS that defy physical reality. ‘Psychological’ refers to the imaginary explanations and narratives that are necessary to the neotenic brain, which is frozen in infantile conceptions. These narratives are created by social indoctrination into a subjective and isolated cultural context)

Schachter-Singer Theory

Also known as the two-factor theory of emotion, the Schachter-Singer Theory is an example of a cognitive theory of emotion. This theory suggests that the physiological arousal occurs first, and then the individual must identify the reason for this arousal to experience and label it as an emotion. (At last – someone recognizes “emotion words” as LABELS) A stimulus leads to a physiological response that is then cognitively interpreted and labeled which results in an emotion. (AYE, yai, yai! The “emotion” IS the physiological response. The “labels” are the myriad words that children are taught to use to “parse” the physical experience into socially-approved verbal expressions. Only social humans could invent this awkward imposition of “cognition as verbal manipulation” as existing prior to instinct in evolution.)

Schachter and Singer’s theory draws on both the James-Lange theory and the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion. Like the James-Lange theory, the Schachter-Singer theory proposes that people do infer emotions based on physiological responses. The critical factor is the situation and the cognitive interpretation that people use to label that emotion. (My head hurts, my stomach hurts, I’m out of exclamations of shock and disbelief. Children “learn” to label physiological response as “verbal” expressions, which are specific to their particular social and cultural context. Many societies also demand that “physical emotion responses” be quashed, hidden or forbidden expression.)

Like the Cannon-Bard theory, the Schachter-Singer theory also suggests that similar physiological responses can produce varying emotions. For example, if you experience a racing heart and sweating palms during an important math exam, you will probably identify the emotion as anxiety. If you experience the same physical responses on a date with your significant other, you might interpret those responses as love, affection, or arousal.

(This demolishes the idea that “emotions” are distinct categories of experience or “objects” in the brain, body or supernatural dimension. The ever-expanding array of “parts” that constitute brain and body in Western culture is astounding – and imaginary. The incredible number of “emotion words” in languages, do not each correspond to “an emotion”. They are invented labels.)

Cognitive Appraisal Theory

According to appraisal theories of emotion, thinking must occur first before experiencing emotion. Richard Lazarus was a pioneer in this area of emotion, and this theory is often referred to as the Lazarus theory of emotion.

According to this theory, the sequence of events first involves a stimulus, followed by thought which then leads to the simultaneous experience of a physiological response and the emotion. For example, if you encounter a bear in the woods, you might immediately begin to think that you are in great danger. This then leads to the emotional experience of fear and the physical reactions associated with the fight-or-flight response. (Nonsense again – this conceit that “conscious thinking via verbal language” is SUPERIOR to instinct screws up analysis of “how things work” The effectiveness of instinct is that you don’t have to THINK ABOUT IT! Instinctual behavior is automatic and has been aiding survival of myriad species for hundreds of millions of years!)

Facial-Feedback Theory of Emotion

The facial-feedback theory of emotions suggests that facial expressions are connected to experiencing emotions. (That does not a theory make) Charles Darwin and William James both noted early on that sometimes physiological responses often had a direct impact on emotion (for the love of sanity: the physiological response IS EMOTION), rather than simply being a consequence of the emotion. Supporters of this theory suggest that emotions are directly tied to changes in facial muscles. For example, people who are forced to smile pleasantly at a social function will have a better time at the event than they would if they had frowned or carried a more neutral facial expression.

(The “jump” from “reverse smiling” – mimicry – which may stimulate a pleasant “feeling” to the socially-mandated “having a better time at an event” demonstrates belief in contagious magic.)

What is the experiential phenomenon that is called EMOTION?

Emotion in animals is pretty simple: a subjective physiological reaction to “something” in the environment. What we call “emotion” is activation of the familiar “fight, flight or freeze response” that results from sensory stimulation, and is usually attuned to “danger”.

Emotion is a word: a noun, which designates an object that can be “named” – but the physical phenomenon is not an object: the naming of “emotions” is a socio-cultural activity. Nature never created an “emotion thing” that resides somewhere inside a human or animal; like other animals, we have a brain and nervous system which interacts with the environment, ostensibly for our benefit – to promote survival. Humans created the social “idea monstrosity” that claims to be “the truth” about how Homo sapiens works. Emotions are presented as parts “inside of you” – their location has been argued over forever! The heart, brain, gut, mysterious fluids, etc. have been given the attribution as the “seat” of emotion. Most “social” views of emotion are negative: weird and destructive animal inheritances that must be controlled, not surprisingly, by society!

Peculiar dogma plagues our concepts and application of “emotion rules” –  notions which are purely cultural and do not “transfer” from Western psychology to “all humans”. Psychology demands the conceit that ALL HUMANS are mere replicas of “normal humans” who happen to be white males; underneath all the obvious  “human diversity” of size, form, skin color, hair types, skull dimensions, manners, behaviors and individual preferences is a “white male” prototype. “Evolution” is deemed to be a “mistake” – all humans were meant to be white males in thought, behavior and belief; inferior mistakes ought to at least “mimic” their superiors.

This promotion of a bizarre “evolutionary” fantasy sounds ridiculous when plainly stated; a farce, a narrative born of childish arrogance, a sociopathic “plan” for world domination, and yet this Western psychological addiction to imaginary superiority is supported, promoted and fed by American Psychology – in theory, policy and practice.

As usual, we must go back to basics to untangle the mess surrounding “emotions” and the “off-topic” arguments over good and evil, positive and negative, male and female, race and class, biology and religion, authority and expertise and supernatural origins, which are indulged as serious consequences of human beliefs (not facts) of what we call “emotions” – fact, myth and propaganda.

Example 1.

From Gerrig, Richard J. & Philip G. Zimbardo (a self-diagnosed psychopath, BTW) . Psychology And Life, 16th ed.  Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. Copyright (c) 2002 by Pearson Education.

Emotion:  A complex pattern of changes, including physiological arousal, feelings, cognitive processes, and behavioral reactions, made in response to a situation perceived to be personally significant. (Wow! Considerable “mumbo-jumbo” ahead)

Emotional intelligence: Type of intelligence defined as the abilities to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to understand and analyze emotions, to use emotional knowledge effectively, and to regulate one’s emotions to promote both emotional and intellectual growth. (See? Mumbo-jumbo of the ‘throw in every Psych-concept cliché you can think of’ type)

Example 2.

Paul Thagard Ph.D./ What Are Emotions? / April 15, 2010

Happiness is a brain process 

Philosophers and psychologists have long debated the nature of emotions such as happiness. Are they states of supernatural souls, cognitive judgments about goal satisfaction, or perceptions of physiological changes? Advances in neuroscience suggest how brains generate emotions through a combination of cognitive appraisal and bodily perception.

Suppose that something really good happens to you today: you win the lottery, your child gets admitted to Harvard, or someone you’ve been interested in asks you out. Naturally, you feel happy, but what does this happiness amount to? On the traditional dualist view of a person, you consist of both a body and a soul, and it is the soul that experiences mental states such as happiness. This view has the appealing implication that you can even feel happiness after your body is gone, if your soul continues to exist in a pleasant location such as heaven. Unfortunately, there is no good evidence for the existence of the soul and immortality, so the dualist view of emotions and the mind in general can be dismissed as wishful thinking or motivated inference. (Not so fast: this “duality” remains the hard-core belief of the “majority” of people in the U.S. And, as we shall see, in American Psychology.)

There are currently two main scientific ways of explaining the nature of emotions. According to the cognitive appraisal theory emotions are judgments about the extent that the current situation meets your goals. Happiness is the evaluation that your goals are being satisfied, as when winning the lottery solves your financial problems and being asked out holds the promise of satisfying your romantic needs. Similarly, sadness is the evaluation that your goals are not being satisfied, and anger is the judgment aimed at whatever is blocking the accomplishment of your goals. (BTW, this is not a scientific theory – it is a social narrative)

Alternatively, William James and others have argued that emotions are perceptions of changes in your body such as heart rate, breathing rate, perspiration, and hormone levels. (A reasonable proposition based in physiology) On this view, happiness is a kind of physiological perception, not a judgment, and other emotions such as sadness and anger are mental reactions (why is “mental” used here? That “ghostly” duality again!) to different kinds of physiological stages. The problem with this account is that bodily states do not seem to be nearly as finely tuned as the many different kinds of emotional states.Yet there is undoubtedly some connection between emotions and physiological changes. (OMG! This is a rambling misconception of a “supernatural origin of emotions” and refutation of physical reality as the foundation for valid hypotheses about thought and behavior in humans. This brilliantly demonstrates the serious mistake of believing that words are “actual objects” that precede and supersede physical reality. This is word magic – the belief that words have the power to create reality – Abracadabra!)

Understanding how the brain works shows that these theories of emotion – cognitive appraisal and physiological perception – can be combined into a unified account of emotions. (are you ready for some fabulous psych nonsense?) The brain is a parallel processor, doing many things at once. Visual and other kinds of perception are the result of both inputs from the senses and top-down interpretations based on past knowledge. Similarly, the brain can perform emotions by interactively combining both high-level judgments about goal satisfactions and low-level perceptions of bodily changes. The judgments are performed by the prefrontal cortex which interacts with the amygdala and insula that process information about physiological states. Hence happiness can be a brain process that simultaneously makes appraisals and perceives the body. For details about how this might work, see the EMOCON model of emotional consciousness (link is external).

Before we proceed to, Major Theories of Emotion,

(I desperately need a break)

let’s peruse a few “general” definitions of emotion.

Word origin of ’emotion’: from old French esmovoir to excite, from Latin ēmovēre to disturb, from movēre to move (this is the same, regardless of the specific definition)

Note how many “non-physical” reference words are included

Thanks to FARLEX ONLINE, which collects stuff for you, in one place.

emotion

a state of arousal characterized by alteration of feeling tone and by physiologic behavioral changes. The external manifestation of emotion is called affect; a pervasive and sustained emotional state, mood. adj., adj emo´tional. The physical form of emotion may be outward and evident to others, as in crying, laughing, blushing, or a variety of facial expressions. However, emotion is not always reflected in one’s appearance and actions even though psychic changes (duality again) are taking place. Joy, grief, fear, and anger are examples of emotions.

Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

emotion

A strong feeling, aroused mental state, or intense state of drive or unrest, which may be directed toward a definite object and is evidenced in both behavior and in psychological changes, with accompanying autonomic nervous system manifestations.

Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

emotion

a strong feeling state, arising subjectively and directed toward a specific object, with physiological, somatic, and behavioral components.

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

emotion

1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, and anger.

2. Such mental states or the qualities that are associated with them, especially in contrast to reason: a decision based on emotion rather than logic. (That duality again, when “reason” and emotion are not opposed in human behavior, but work together)!

The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

emotion

1 the outward expression or display of mood or feeling states.

2 the affective aspect of consciousness as compared with volition and cognition. Physiological alterations often occur with a marked change of emotion regardless of whether the feelings are conscious or unconscious, expressed or unexpressed. See also emotional need, emotional response. (“Conceptual clichés” again)

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

emotion

Psychology A mood, affect or feeling of any kind–eg, anger, excitement, fear, grief, joy, hatred, love. See Negative emotion, Positive emotion, Toxic emotion. (Yeah, a list of emotion words is not a definition; neither is a social “judgement” about “good and evil”) 

Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

emotion

Any state of arousal in response to external events or memories of such events that affect, or threaten to affect, personal advantage. Emotion is never purely mental (emotion is physical, actually) but is always associated with bodily changes such as the secretion of ADRENALINE and cortisol and their effects. The limbic system and the hypothalamus of the brain are the mediators of emotional expression and feeling. The external expression of emotional content is known as ‘affect’. Repressed emotions are associated with psychosomatic disease. The most important, in this context, are anger, a sense of dependency, and fear. (Oh dear, the unscientific social narratives never end – emotions  are the “bringers” of pestilence and punishment.)

Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

emotion

a short-term positive or negative affective state. Typically differentiated from mood in that an emotion is of shorter duration and evoked in response to a specific event, such as anger. (So odd! Anger is  the ’emotion’ – reaction; there seems to be a universal neurotypical inability to discern cause and effect!)

Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone © 2008 Elsevier Limited. All rights reserved.

emotion

a complex feeling or state (affect) accompanied by characteristic motor and glandular activities; feelings; mood.

Mosby’s Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition. © 2008 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

emotion

aroused state involving intense feeling, autonomic activation and related behavior. Animals have emotions insofar as they are motivated to behave by what they perceive and much of the reaction is learned rather than intuitive (instinctive) (Hmm … the categorical division  animal  / human is maintained, but with animal emotion being “lower in status” – a mere reaction – which is true in humans also. The reactions are based on rewarding and adversive properties of stimuli from the external environment. The center for the control of emotional behavior is the limbic system of the brain.

Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3 ed. © 2007 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Is there any question as to why social  humans cannot communicate with each other?  Without a foundation in physical fact and common meaning, language is gibberish – an extension of confused personal opinion, narcissism and nonsense.; a toy, a sham, a hindrance to understanding.

Visual Thinking / Speyer Cathedral – Space Shuttle

A visual thinker files away information in the form of images that may be “triggered” by encounters, many years later, that recall a stored image. Often, these mean nothing – are simple coincidence; mere curiosities – and will be returned to visual memory, but “updated” by the comparison.

In this case, a chance “appearance” of a photo of Speyer Cathedral, found while searching for something else on the Internet, immediately produced in my mind, an image of the Space Shuttle. The striking similarity of forms passed from a coincidence to a curiosity – and then to an idea expressed by Oswald Spengler in Decline of the West:  – that Western Culture is driven by the desire to overcome the visible; to expand into time and space; to replace organic nature with machines.

A thousand years in time separate these two iconic products of Western Civilization: Is the space shuttle not the fulfillment of the cathedral? Note that the (abstract) concept of Western desire for domination and “spatial conquest” is represented in my visual brain by SPECIFIC concrete objects, which only then, can be “connected” to word concepts.

untitled-speyer

Speyer is dominated by its Romanesque cathedral (dedicated 1061). Speyer is one of Germany’s oldest cities and the resting place of eight medieval emperors and kings of the Salian, Staufer and Habsburg dynasties. History: Speyer was the seat of the Imperial Chamber Court between 1527 and 1689, and also held 50 sessions of the Imperial Diet. The First Diet of Speyer (1526) decreed toleration of Lutheran teaching, soon revoked by the Second Diet of Speyer (1529). The latter diet led to the Protestation at Speyer the same year, during which 6 princes and 14 Imperial Free Cities protested against the anti-Reformation resolutions. It is from this event that the term ‘Protestantism’ was coined.

The History of the Space Shuttle, by Alan Taylor, Jul 1, 2011 (Fabulous photos): From its first launch 30 years ago (1981) to its final mission scheduled for next Friday, NASA’s Space Shuttle program has seen moments of dizzying inspiration and of crushing disappointment. When next week’s launch is complete, the program will have sent up 135 missions, ferrying more than 350 humans and thousands of tons of material and equipment into low Earth orbit. The missions have been risky, the engineering complex, the hazards extreme. Indeed, over the years 14 shuttle astronauts lost their lives.

 

Steven Pinker on Male-Female Brain Differences / Important

This is an important presentation of the “problem” of differences between the male female brain as characterized in Western Civilization. Yes, I have much to say about specific claims made: Pinker makes the case – a description actually, of the “status quo” as a cultural phenomenon which is “rooted in” biology. But – the biology can be interpreted and “applied” in many ways. Men have traditionally done the interpreting – and mislabel their opinions as “truth” which is the wrong word to begin with in a science context.

The problem is, Pinker, as a speaker for the status quo, does not grasp the essential questions. He does not venture outside the western psychological paradigm that “everything human” can be accounted for by the SYSTEM of psychology that has created the Western status quo regarding male – female status. The “division” of all things human into male and female “camps” IGNORES what males and females SHARE as characteristic of Homo sapiens, the species. This intra-species competition is ridiculous! Why would an “intelligent species” divide its wealth of abilities and capabilities into two parts; value one set of those traits and talents (male) as important, but denigrate “the other” set (female) as unimportant. This in itself is idiotic –

A grand accumulation of “studies” does not sum up to be a anything but that – a body of studies which DO NOT QUESTION the assumption that such studies “are interested in truth” to begin with, or represent any serious investigation of male and female contributions to the species as a whole. Our evolution, which has been the product of a “male-female co-operative team” is cast as an adversarial proposition, in stark contrast to our admiration for a male-female co-operative system for survival that is evident in many species. Male-female “contact” beyond mere reproduction in Homo sapiens is ignored, in favor of a “male brain” obsession – that of dominance. This too, is idiotic –

“Our” view (the male is always assumed to be the species exemplar) of “human truth” is highly unbalanced! And it’s not “our truth as a species”  if women, and our female brains, are not included.

More later…

Burial Customs / Vanishing Cemeteries of the Southwest

Nothing is familiar at Yuma Cemetery save the long cedar needles that lie scattered across the sand and the queer excitement of coming upon special graves. Two recent burials have been paved over with concrete; their freshly painted crosses are too bright among the older, dust-laden, wind-stripped monuments. A year has gone by since I first walked here, but unlike last spring, the loose soil is bound by tufts of short grass stimulated by this winter’s exceptional rains. The old comfort returns, and a kind of happiness. I feel close to these places, as if each is filled with friends. Not the people buried here, whom I could never know, but the monuments themselves.

A Roman family planted a cedar tree near the house when someone died, in order to warn away the Pontifex Maximus, who must avoid the contamination of death. In Ajo’s tiny cemetery, familiar cedars nod benignly over the rows of graves. A few plots are surfaced with artificial turf, with tiles or colored stones, but most are covered with concrete that has been thickly coated with white paint. Traditional iron and wood crosses have been supplanted by commercial headstones. Prosperity brings formality. It’s a lovely graveyard, but lacks the mystery of Tubac, or the potent intimacy of Casa Grande.

Two young men pace their work to the heavy metal music playing on their truck stereo. They rake the family plot, return dirt to the mound above a simple grave, clear away holiday decorations and prop up fallen saints. One wears a T-shirt emblazoned Shit Happens. Both wear baseball caps pulled tightly over their foreheads.

“Let’s do half today and quit,” one urges.

“OK by me,” the other answers.

“Ready then?” They throw their tools into the bed of the truck.

“How ‘bout a six-pack at Ray’s?”

“Let’s do it.”

Estruscan mourners staged blood combat over new graves, the munera, or funeral honors that the Romans continued as gladiatorial games. Blood, and its symbolic equal, wine, and in these graveyards beer, was spilled on sand or earth to settle the restless hungers of the dead. Comanche women slashed their bodies with shards of metal or glass, or with knives or fingernails, to keep the wounds flowing for months, to the same end.

Arizona town cemeteries, where families buried their dead as they pleased; built shrines and memorials out of whatever they had at hand, and left “presents” of cigarettes, beer, candy and favorite jewelry and photos, returning on holidays, or any day, as needed, to talk to their dead. Despite the Catholic religious affiliation, the graves were utterly pagan in attitude and atmosphere.

These places were my refuge when graduate school became an idiotic waste of time.

I signed up for a photography course in order to have access to a darkroom, and spent many happy hours wandering throughout southern Arizona taking photos. I felt at times that I was “stealing” images from another time and dimension; an ancient world of great beauty and human depth of feeling. I never really became good at printing images, and the images don’t capture what I felt.

The “newer” extensions of the cemeteries were becoming “lifeless” – sod was laid (ridiculous in Arizona, where irrigation is a necessity) and flat metal head markers were required to make mowing the grass easy. Rules and restrictions for “flowers only” – no gifts. Truly awful.

Neanderthals kept H. sapiens out of Europe for 40,000 years

Neanderthal: general extent of occupation.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/17/neanderthals-kept-early-homo-sapiens-out-of-europe

The discovery of a hoard of ancient human teeth in a Chinese cave has forced scientists to reconsider our species’ relations with our closest evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals. The find, revealed in the science journal Nature, shows modern humans must have left their African homeland and reached southern China more than 80,000 years ago.

This unexpectedly early date contrasts with our ancestors’ far more recent arrival in Europe – about 45,000 years ago – and suggests Homo sapiens was prevented, for some reason, from moving there for tens of thousands of years. Anthropologist María Martinón-Torres, from University College London – a member of the team that made the discovery – is confident of the reason. She blames the Neanderthals.

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and emerged from the continent about 100,000 years ago and swept eastward with little apparent resistance from other hominid species they encountered. But when they headed north, they reached the Levant and met the Neanderthals at the southern edge of their European domain. And there they stopped our spread. Essentially Europe was too small for the both of us.”

Neanderthals were experienced hunters and gifted foragers, and had controlled Europe for hundreds of thousands of years. They were therefore able to keep us at the edge of Europe for 40,000 years, added Martinón-Torres. “It was not a matter of physical confrontation, however. It was a matter of who was best able to exploit resources. They had much more experience of the harsher, colder conditions that existed in Europe. I think we have underestimated them. They were not grunting, ignorant cavemen. They were our equals.”

The discovery of the teeth – 47 found at Fuyan cave in Daoxian, in southern China – was made by a team led by Wu Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. The teeth were beneath rocks over which stalagmites had grown. Dating techniques indicate the stalagmites are at least 80,000 years old. And so everything below that layer must be older. (Teeth are made of dentine and enamel and the latter is the body’s hardest tissue. As a result, teeth are often preserved at prehistoric sites while other body parts decay and leave no trace.) In fact, the teeth could be up to 125,000 years old, researchers suggest. Nevertheless they closely resemble those of modern Europeans. “The Fuyan teeth indicate that modern humans were present in southern China between 30,000 to 60,000 years earlier than in the eastern Mediterranean and Europe,” states archaeologist Robin Dennell in a commentary article about the find in Nature.

The difference in timescale is remarkable. Modern humans were thought to have left their African homeland about 60,000 to 70,000 years ago, eventually reaching Europe about 45,000 years ago, the earliest date that scientists have established for the presence of Homo sapiens there. It then took a further 15,000 to 25,000 years to complete our conquest of Europe. However, the new study suggests the real figure is far higher and modern humans had to wait between 40,000 and 50,000 years before they got into Europe.

In contrast to our progress northward, modern humanity’s progress eastward was unexpectedly rapid. However, not every scientist blames the Neanderthals for blocking our progress in Europe. “One possibility is that an early dispersal headed eastwards through Arabia away from Europe and that the colonisation of Europe through the Levant occurred via a later dispersal,” said Professor Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, London.

“In addition, the climate in Europe was relatively cold and inhospitable then,” he said. “We were not properly adapted to conditions and couldn’t get a toehold – and, of course, the Neanderthals were there already.”

However, when modern humans did arrive in Europe, they made remarkable progress. Within a few thousand years, they had settled across the continent while the Neanderthals had disappeared. As to the causes for this rapid extinction, researchers point to the harsh climate Neanderthals had endured in Europe for the previous 200,000 years, when the continent was swept by ice ages and intense cold. Conditions eventually took their toll and numbers of Neanderthals dwindled. Tribes got smaller and smaller and their genetic diversity was compromised. (Novel-writing)

“Essentially, Neanderthals were eventually left in a genetically exhausted state,” said Martinón-Torres. “When we did get into Europe there were hardly any of them left. The rest went quickly after that.”

 

Human Mating Strategies / Mathematical Game – Bonkers

Why do I do this to myself? I intended to update this post with today’s date and a new comment, but the very idea of quantifying “mating” is so bonkers that I just had to do a new post, which involves consideration of what I have learned since this was originally posted.

THE END: This is where you end up if your “mating strategy” is successful.

The modern male-female social miscommunication game

Behav Ecol (2004) 15 (5): 748-756. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arh073

Mating games: the evolution of human mating transaction

Sarah E. Hill a and H. Kern Reeve b *see original for author info.

Sexual selection theory (Darwin, 1871) has recently been used by a number of evolutionary thinkers to explain men’s and women’s particular, and often conflicting, mating strategies (see Buss, 1994; Buss and Schmitt, 1993; Gangestad and Simpson, 2000). In this article, we extend such work by developing a set of mathematically explicit game-theoretic models of mate choice between potential mates. Our quantitative models incorporate evolutionarily-relevant contextual cues (phenotypic quality, resources, and outside options), into game theoretic models designed to generate the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) for mating transactions at specific moments in time. Using the concept of the ESS and game theory allows us to predict the evolved solution (specific mating behaviors of men and women based on their contextual particulars) to the adaptive problem of constrained mate choice in humans (Dugatkin and Reeve, 1998; Maynard Smith, 1982; Parker and Maynard Smith, 1990).Indeed, we are not the first theorists to explore human mate choice in terms of transactions involving specific exchanges and tradeoffs between men and women. Many psychologists have used verbal models based on evolutionary theory and marketplace analogies to derive predictions about human mating behavior (see, for instance, Baize and Schroeder, 1995; Buss and Schmitt, 1993; Frank, 1988; Gangestad and Simpson, 2000; Green et al., 1984; Harrison and Saeed, 1977; Li et al., 2002; Murstein, 1972; Noë et al., 2001; Pawlowski and Dunbar, 1999; Regan 1998a; Thornhill and Thornhill, 1992). However, men’s and women’s mating strategies are highly variable, responding to a number of important interacting contextual cues. Verbal models can be an unreliable guide to understanding such phenomena as such models are not well equipped to solve the outcome of complex interactions rigorously. Furthermore, because the predictions generated from a verbal model are not quantitative, they can contain a number of hidden assumptions that are exposed in explicitly quantitative models, putting weak constraints on what predictions a verbal model generates. In the following, we present quantitative models that both formalize the conclusions that these investigators have reached on more intuitive grounds, in addition to generating new predictions about human mating behavior.

Okay, I have to say it: Have these “modern thinkers” ever had SEX?

What we have is the same conceptual problem that occurs over and over! That is, the projection of modern social systems onto ancient evolutionary processes.

What is being presented in this “game theory” approach is a mathematical analysis of socially-constructed models for “controlling” reproduction within Western (and other) cultures: 

MARRIAGE as a social contract is a recent practice!

Sex is ancient and still dominates reproduction. This bizarre “social mating game” by its very existence, PROVES the overwhelming  power of sex as the “real” evolutionary strategy. Quantifying “mating” is just another attempt to “prescribe and control” sexual reproduction within socially-contrived boundaries.  

What human history clearly demonstrates is that social control over “sex as a tool of evolution” is a temporary and often-defied constraint, which must be enforced by rules, laws, contracts, family interference and threats of punishment – even death! Gee whiz! Homo sapiens had sex with with Neanderthals and who knows how many other “cousins”?  

To the contrary: Nature tricks individuals into reproducing at every opportunity that presents itself, using whatever physical enticement is available. There is a reason that sex is an obsession for males AND females. DUH?

The blah, blah, blah continues…

In our integrated models, an individual’s optimal mating strategy at a given moment is derived via game theoretic models that incorporate the following variables: (1) the total value of the focal male (the sum of his resource holdings and phenotypic quality), (2) total value of the focal female (the sum of her resource holdings and phenotypic quality), (3) the distribution of values of each sex’s competition, (4) the distribution of values in the pool of alternative mates, and on (5) any environmental inputs such as the ease with which new mates are found, the ease with which males can generate resources to provide to females, or the relative importance of phenotypic quality and resources for offspring success in a given environment. In each of our models, males exert control over their desirability to females by regulating the amount of resources offered to potential mates both as a function of their own attractiveness and the overall mate value of the female. Because male resource offerings to females clearly affect female mating decisions and are necessarily under the control of those males, both male and female fitness are necessarily intertwined in mating transactions. In other words, the best strategy for one depends on the action simultaneously taken by, hence the best option for, the other, and a formal game-theoretic analysis is required to reveal the ESSs (here equivalent to the Nash equilibria) for both sexes.

The following theory is, to our knowledge, the first set of mathematical models developed for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of human mating strategies. Moreover, although in its first stage of development, the models parsimoniously unify our understanding of previously disconnected empirical data on human mating and generate a rich set of testable predictions. Indeed, the models also may be tested in any species in which males transfer resources to females so as to secure fertilizations with those females.

What actually happens in social reality:

You become mutually boring: note the matching berets.

Your parents give you to this guy, in exchange for five bar-b-que’d cats.

 

 

Knowledge is where you find it / Social Control of “Truth”

Last night I tuned in to C-Span; the channel that carries interviews with authors and “governmental events” – it was still too hot to sleep. The author was Mike Lee, Junior Senator from Utah, a Mormon and “champion” of less control by the Federal government over state, local and private American life. The interviewer was also a “super-geek” – Neal Katyal, a former top lawyer in the Obama administration.

Sometimes, being corralled in front of the TV, by the heat and the wasteland that is the summer landscape on cable, one does discover common cause with those whom one has little affinity. First – these men are two extremely intelligent people, adept at civilized discourse about fault line issues, conversations which lead most Americans to outright screaming matches. Perhaps this “miracle” of communication was due to the exchange being based on specific people and instances in American history and not on  hysteria over entrenched and ignorant beliefs about our country, its history and its  foundation citizens and legal documents.

Mike Lee’s book is: An anthology of historic characters, known, little known and forgotten, who “objected to” a “federal” concentration of power and feared a drift into a Monarchy if protections were not established. This “battle” over the distribution of power between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists is a common and central subject for “debate” (to put it mildly) throughout our history, and a “hot topic” today, fanned by infantile divisions between culture-groups, economic classes, conservative / liberal insanity and “the media” who consider themselves to be, a 4th branch of government, equal to (or superior in power to) the President, Congress, and the Judicial branches.

On Mike Lee’s website: Elected in 2010 as Utah’s 16th Senator, Mike Lee has spent his career defending the basic liberties of Americans and Utahns as a tireless advocate for our founding constitutional principles. Google his website for the rest –

On SALON’S website, an article about Mike Lee’s book: The headline is, “Mike Lee’s bad history: Utah senator’s book is an ignorant hodgepodge concocted to justify the modern GOP Sen. Mike Lee’s terrible book tries to reboot some of America’s founding fathers as modern-day Republicans”

From (CNN) President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court will be introduced on Monday by an unlikely suspect: a former top lawyer in the Obama administration who is currently spearheading an attack on Trump’s revised travel ban. Neal Katyal served from 2010-2011 as acting solicitor general for President Barack Obama and he believes liberals should back Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

Well, of course, this is the hyper-social environment in the U.S. today. An all-out fight for “ownership” of power and legitimacy is in full bloom – it’s a typical, neurotypical tradition to stage “coups” and to replace “the enemy’s” belief system with one’s own; to play “King of the Hill”  – to co-opt the top of the socio-economic pyramid, where one’s clique can happily and victoriously abuse the “loosers” and squander  unconscionable  sums of public funds in schemes of political retribution, social engineering, and world domination. It’s a neurotypical pattern of disastrous outcome “governance” that has never really advanced beyond the gigantic-ego monstrosity of “Top Male” dominance: the Social Hierarchy, which serves the few and exploits “the rest of” humanity. 

Is a hierarchy the inevitable choice for governing neotenic social  humans? Yes.

But it doesn’t have to be violent, brutal and so steep that the top 1% of the population enjoys life to the max and beyond, and the bottom 99% are a disposable mass of humanity that is “robbed of” natural equality. The U.S. Constitution “took on” this (perhaps hopeless) challenge of “flattening” the social pyramid. The current “radically steep” pyramid is not a final result; the battle continues for a less awful distribution of wealth and power that provides a decent lifestyle for as many citizens as possible. 

This is why I am enthusiastically thankful to be Asperger.

I have no social or political agenda to imprison my thinking: my interest is in how to make things better for individual humans. This starts with “How things are” and not with, “How can I force my narcissistic overreach on everyone else?” It also means that I can listen to (almost) any person without immediately rejecting the totality of their existence – experience, ideas, musings, prejudice, behavior, whatever, as “illegitimate” I can “appreciate” a person’s method of thinking, or their creativity, or their passion without agreeing to their conclusions. I can very strongly and doggedly criticize a person, institution, or intellectual system, without the hatred inherent in social conflict. This is the “Asperger Way” and it is healthy.

I almost forgot to relate what I gained last night from a civilized discussion between two hyper-legal types about a hot subject, in which “political insanity” was set aside in favor of intellectual analysis, and without neglecting personal experience and origins of cultural influence.

It was the  phrase,

“assume into existence”

used by Mike Lee to epitomize how “the winners” in any system justify their tyranny over “the loosers” –  a simple phrase with relevance to my pursuit of exposing institutional abuse of the “neurodiverse” population, and of many other groups, especially girls and women; a for-profit industry composed of the “professionals” found in the social sciences, psychology, psychiatry, Big Pharma, and related businesses and corporations. A massive industrial complex equal to the military industrial complex in power, and which profits from creating and perpetuating human misery; an industry that has become the instrument of “federal control” over the rightful domain of self-actualization in a “free” society.

The winning system legitimizes the imposition of it’s “word-concept” reality by the simple default (and magical) explanation that “winning” confers “truth” (even scientific proof) on the winner’s narrative of reality; that is, the entire content of the winning belief system is granted “legitimacy and cosmic sanction” by virtue of being the “winning” narrative. Thus, every idiotic, unfair, unjust, unrelated, and harmful idea, policy and selfish agenda is swept into the winning side’s monopoly on “truth, justice and the American Way” By attacking and suppressing the ideas and values of “the losers” – simply on the basis that they lost, “assumes into existence” the “truth” of any version of social reality that the winner puts forth. 

Authority claims power, not by intelligence, compassion, fair standards and ethical behavior, nor by humane laws and policies, but by the “assumption into existence” of the “absolute truth” of its version of reality, against all competitors.  In the U.S., the magic symbol of “proof of truth” is money: the acquisition of wealth is, as the Puritans insisted, a sign that God has chosen the rich to rule the planet and to “correct and improve” all its “defective subhuman” inhabitants. Eugenics is an American idea.

The very definition of “what it means to be human” has been “stolen” by the  American behavior industry; removed from traditional individual, family, and community consensus, on the “assumption” that the power of profit validates the industry’s “Puritanical pseudoscience” narrative of “normal” human behavior and justifies its racist, sexist and human-hating prescription for social control.