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Deleted post.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 07:55:54 PM
I have a hard time seeing how this:

"It's strange how much effort humans devote to showing themselves to the world to be something other than what they are, how much energy most of us devote to convincing the folks around us—and ourselves—that the image we project is the substance of being.  If other living things had time to worry about something other than being what they are, I suspect they'd hold us in quite a bit of contempt.  I know I do."

Is not humanity being humanity. That's the difference.

Perhaps, like the trout's inefficient, two-chambered heart, it is one of those 'fatal flaws' that the messy process of evolution often leaves intact.  Under favorable conditions, it is no real impediment, or perhaps even a virtue; under conditions of stress, it becomes essentially destructive.

That said, it seems suspiciously like a cultural practice than "human nature" as such, given the varying rates of prevalence in different populations.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:00:32 PM
Better to auto-die than be killed by monstrous human who fucks-with-fishes-for-fun?


Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:04:03 PM
Better to auto-die than be killed by monstrous human who fucks-with-fishes-for-fun?

Or better to auto-die under relatively unusual circumstances than take the metabolic penalty associated with a more elaborate circulatory system.  It takes a truly extraordinary fish to fight itself to death.  The capacity of a smaller fish to resist is generally exceeded long before its heart or energy budget gives out. 

The terms a fish usually gets from me are rather more lenient than they can expect from an otter, a heron, or a bigger trout.  I'm not sure that makes what I do any less monstrous, but the next step up the food chain is always a monster.  There's a reason top predators haunt the collective nightmares of humanity, too.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:08:08 PM
I have a hard time seeing how this:

"It's strange how much effort humans devote to showing themselves to the world to be something other than what they are, how much energy most of us devote to convincing the folks around us—and ourselves—that the image we project is the substance of being.  If other living things had time to worry about something other than being what they are, I suspect they'd hold us in quite a bit of contempt.  I know I do."

Is not humanity being humanity. That's the difference.

Perhaps, like the trout's inefficient, two-chambered heart, it is one of those 'fatal flaws' that the messy process of evolution often leaves intact.  Under favorable conditions, it is no real impediment, or perhaps even a virtue; under conditions of stress, it becomes essentially destructive.

That said, it seems suspiciously like a cultural practice than "human nature" as such, given the varying rates of prevalence in different populations.

I don't know. Our brand of social primate has adaptions that others like it do not posses, stacked utop older revisions. Adaptions are exactly what you describe: optimal under the conditions they arose to deal with and potentially fatal in other circumstances.

You can witness a sort of posturing in other mammals that by all reasonable accounts, is done with the intent to communicate an illusion of superiority.

There are non-cognitive adaptions we can see on other species which provide illusions of being something other than what they are to the onlooker.

I'd suggest that cultural variance is just as much a part of the human condition as anything else.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:08:47 PM
Nice, Dylar. I'm glad you didn't take that personally, as so many would have.
I once saw a huge sailfish get hooked by a gringo on a boat in the Sea of Cortez.
The beast fought valiantly for maybe fifteen minutes, until getting lucky and speeding off.
Even the pinche gringo had to admire it.


Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:18:50 PM
Nice, Dylar. I'm glad you didn't take that personally, as so many would have.
I once saw a huge sailfish get hooked by a gringo on a boat in the Sea of Cortez.
The beast fought valiantly for maybe fifteen minutes, until getting lucky and speeding off.
Even the pinche gringo had to admire it.

If fishing is a sport, it is most certainly a blood sport, and anyone who pretends otherwise is lying to himself.  I'm a lot of things, most of them indifferent to bad, but I'm no liar.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:27:15 PM
I have a hard time seeing how this:

"It's strange how much effort humans devote to showing themselves to the world to be something other than what they are, how much energy most of us devote to convincing the folks around us—and ourselves—that the image we project is the substance of being.  If other living things had time to worry about something other than being what they are, I suspect they'd hold us in quite a bit of contempt.  I know I do."

Is not humanity being humanity. That's the difference.

Perhaps, like the trout's inefficient, two-chambered heart, it is one of those 'fatal flaws' that the messy process of evolution often leaves intact.  Under favorable conditions, it is no real impediment, or perhaps even a virtue; under conditions of stress, it becomes essentially destructive.

That said, it seems suspiciously like a cultural practice than "human nature" as such, given the varying rates of prevalence in different populations.

I don't know. Our brand of social primate has adaptions that others like it do not posses, stacked utop older revisions. Adaptions are exactly what you describe: optimal under the conditions they arose to deal with and potentially fatal in other circumstances.

You can witness a sort of posturing in other mammals that by all reasonable accounts, is done with the intent to communicate an illusion of superiority.

I think this reading is more in the nature of anthropomorphization.  Animals don't "posture" to communicate an "illusion of superiority," they posture to indicate a willingness to resist violently if necessary. 

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:35:57 PM
I have a hard time seeing how this:

"It's strange how much effort humans devote to showing themselves to the world to be something other than what they are, how much energy most of us devote to convincing the folks around us—and ourselves—that the image we project is the substance of being.  If other living things had time to worry about something other than being what they are, I suspect they'd hold us in quite a bit of contempt.  I know I do."

Is not humanity being humanity. That's the difference.

Perhaps, like the trout's inefficient, two-chambered heart, it is one of those 'fatal flaws' that the messy process of evolution often leaves intact.  Under favorable conditions, it is no real impediment, or perhaps even a virtue; under conditions of stress, it becomes essentially destructive.

That said, it seems suspiciously like a cultural practice than "human nature" as such, given the varying rates of prevalence in different populations.

I don't know. Our brand of social primate has adaptions that others like it do not posses, stacked utop older revisions. Adaptions are exactly what you describe: optimal under the conditions they arose to deal with and potentially fatal in other circumstances.

You can witness a sort of posturing in other mammals that by all reasonable accounts, is done with the intent to communicate an illusion of superiority.

I think this reading is more in the nature of anthropomorphization.  Animals don't "posture" to communicate an "illusion of superiority," they posture to indicate a willingness to resist violently if necessary.

If that's your interpretation, I doubt any more of my words can change it. ;)

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 08:43:58 PM
A bit like slavery then: seemed like a good idea at the time, but as times changed, that good idea became a bad one.

That's how it ended up, because fascism, like all Utopian movements, posit Reformations that in one way or another, leave out a few human quirks here and there. Thus, when they get into power, they enact tyranny and genocide because those little quirks stand in the way of the "New Order." Their conception of humanity is always counter propositional to the way humanity behaves.

Exactly. All human systems inevitably lead to exclusion of certain forms of humanity, because any system has to be closed to be a system. Fascism, democracy, aristocracy, communism, socialism, they all will fail because it is impossible for them to understand all. Anarchism seems like the solution, but wouldn't it eventually end in the eco-raping mass culture form of democracy today, since the exploiters would improve on patterns to train the masses to exploit themselves?

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 09:18:43 PM
A bit like slavery then: seemed like a good idea at the time, but as times changed, that good idea became a bad one.

That's how it ended up, because fascism, like all Utopian movements, posit Reformations that in one way or another, leave out a few human quirks here and there. Thus, when they get into power, they enact tyranny and genocide because those little quirks stand in the way of the "New Order." Their conception of humanity is always counter propositional to the way humanity behaves.

Exactly. All human systems inevitably lead to exclusion of certain forms of humanity, because any system has to be closed to be a system. Fascism, democracy, aristocracy, communism, socialism, they all will fail because it is impossible for them to understand all. Anarchism seems like the solution, but wouldn't it eventually end in the eco-raping mass culture form of democracy today, since the exploiters would improve on patterns to train the masses to exploit themselves?

The statement is really only applicable to utopias. The American Democracy has been through the cycles outlined in Plato's Republic more than once now. If the system itself falls it will be due to two primary factors:

1) The failures of the cultural mythology of progress are misattributed as failures of democracy because

2) the common understanding of democracy is its definition, not the thing in practice over the course of history. Analogous to the claim that communism was never tested because no society met the rigid theory of Marx.

Thus it's easy to miss a happy coexistence between aristocracy and democracy and view the two as being opposed, despite the wealth of historical examples demonstrating otherwise.

Re: Anarchy

Anarchy is a mess. It's not worth elaborating further on that point since most anarchist social models tend towards Utopia.

Re: Deleted post.
March 12, 2014, 11:28:32 PM
I used to get exercised by politics, the mechanics and the isms and all the shiny, shiny pageantry.  It's pretty easy to get sucked in; people like to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and politics is an obvious vector for those impulses.  The problem is you get inside and you realize that everyone is fighting to be the one who gets to define what exactly it is that is bigger than our individual selves.  You end up wading in this vile slurry of emotional projection, fantasy wish fulfillment and raging ego.  Gross.

The funny thing about stuff that's bigger than us, though, is that it's bigger than us.  Politics isn't, really.  It's just us writ large, a rather less inspiring notion.  It is the illusion of control rather than the substance, and the substance in this case really is unobtainable.  Remember, bigger than us; we're eminently dispensable.  I tend toward a strategy these days of tending to the little corner of the universe I occupy, and, you know, just mostly trying not to be a dick.

Re: Deleted post.
March 13, 2014, 12:22:55 AM
Smarter than the average bear :)

Re: Deleted post.
March 13, 2014, 12:34:40 AM
I tend toward a strategy these days of tending to the little corner of the universe I occupy, and, you know, just mostly trying not to be a dick.

This is generally known as submission, acceptance, and concession.

It's just us writ large, a rather less inspiring notion.

Sounds like democracy, which is the individual projected onto the larger screen. Not every approach has that flaw.

Quote
Thus it's easy to miss a happy coexistence between aristocracy and democracy and view the two as being opposed, despite the wealth of historical examples demonstrating otherwise.

Part of the problem is a signaling problem. Democracy is shaped around the individual; aristocracy is shaped around the social order and serving its ideals.

NHA

Re: Deleted post.
March 13, 2014, 03:06:24 AM
I don't really see there being any fundamental difference between the various power structures. It's always an elite few ruling over the masses. In (representative) democracy the system gets to choose who and what you are allowed to vote for. In communism the means of production, and wealth, are in the hands of the inner party members, not the people. UAE/Dubai is a monarchy, yet effectively looks every bit as crass as american style capitalism.


I think my biggest gripe with democracy is that it has the annoying ability to endlessly shift blame to different branches of the government. Sure you can replace the president but it doesn't effect the majority of the power structure.

At least in a monarchy its clear who to lynch if needed.

Re: Deleted post.
March 13, 2014, 05:51:48 PM
I tend toward a strategy these days of tending to the little corner of the universe I occupy, and, you know, just mostly trying not to be a dick.

This is generally known as submission, acceptance, and concession.

It's just us writ large, a rather less inspiring notion.

Sounds like democracy, which is the individual projected onto the larger screen. Not every approach has that flaw.

Quote
Thus it's easy to miss a happy coexistence between aristocracy and democracy and view the two as being opposed, despite the wealth of historical examples demonstrating otherwise.

Part of the problem is a signaling problem. Democracy is shaped around the individual; aristocracy is shaped around the social order and serving its ideals.

I don't agree with this and will offer up the American South prior to the American Civil War as support for my claims.