The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Friday, April 2, 2010

Human regression, anthropology


This is a continuation of the previous post on the subject of present day human regression, problem with "Baby Boomers" generation etc.

I have been thinking of expanding it into an essay but I am not quite sure how to attack it.   As far as I know it has never been postulated this way.  It has probably never been said that certain traits and attributes of the modern human culture such as social uniformity and an obedience towards authority in power and regulations, may in fact be the symptoms of regression into our distant evolutionary past. It is important to recognize it since it may harm our long term survival.

On the first sight that may sound like a pure anarchic heresy.  I need to explain.   During our relentless discussions and rants (me with Dozent), we realized that there is a behavioral pattern, namely people who tend to be the most willing followers of hierarchy of power, who like obeying all regulations spread by governments, corporations and churches, are the same who have unusually well developed group social skills, and at the same time tend to lack the skills that defined our humanity in the past. The same type of people also lack certain human skills that used to ensure our survival, that is:  innate creativity, ingenuity, ability to manipulate or adapt to changing environment, high mobility  and tendency to build strong bonds within the small teams of equals based on skill and usefullness rather than on some hierarchy of authority and power.      

I will describe some basic differences between the characteristic of nomadic humans the way I see it, in contrast to the opposite traits of the so-called "Baby Boomers". Please keep in mind that use the last term in a simplistic generalized way, to described a certain subculture.

"Nomadic" (Homo Sapiens)  "Boomers" (Simian Sapiens)
outwardly - individualists,
inwardly - co-operative
outwardly - collectivists, inwardly
- aggressive and competitive
disobedient followers
adaptive, flexiblestatic, rigid
racially blind intolerant of strangers
value creativityafraid of new
dislike static ordervalue stability
rely on individual workwork unconnected to wealth
authorities = problemsauthorities = source of wealth
strong team bondsstrong social group bonds
manipulate environmentmanipulate people
technical and science skillslack of technical abilities
logic and mathverbal reasoning and rhetorics
observe what worksobserve what others say
individual survival prioritygroup has priority
idealizes religionsuses religions
support commerce consider it unfair profiteering
nomadic mentalitysettled mentality
highly focused on 1 taskmultitasker
"What I produce belongs to me""What you produce belongs to us"

Update 24-April-2010
More comments by Dozent posted on this subject, see the comments section.
Update 8-Feb-2011
Added last row in the table.
Update 4-March-2012
Added introver/extrovert attribute.  Note - read this article about Susan Cain's book.
Updated table 16-Jan-2014


Stan (Heretic) said...

Note: I am posting Dozent's contribution to above subject in form of a separate comment to the main post, since I wasn't sure how to glue it well to the main text.

Dozent's comment, quote:

You are right. Please note the problem might be much more complicated then we thought. 200-250 years ago the great French philosophers and even greater American statesmen (called the Founding Fathers) had a discussion on the role of the government in the society
They have come to a conclusion what the government is for and what it should not do Based on these conclusions they wrote 3 constitutions: Polish, French and American. Polish was destroyed by the Russian Tsars and Prussian Kaisers, French was modified, but the core is still there American has been amended but is virtually unchanged. (However, nobody is paying attention to what is states) This is not a rant. I have observed nobody is discussing the role of the government. In fact, monkeys has already violated both the spirit and the letter of both American and French constitutions by quietly expanding the role of the government into the roles only communists and other tyrants have usurped It was done absolutely on purpose with the help of journalists and lawyers (like Obama and Clinton)

Mind you, in the world of the fuhrers there is no room for any Constitutions, legal rights or similar nonsense.

Similarly, please observe the Republian Party in the States is morally and philosophically lost. How can they ask for the decrease in the government, lower taxes and expanding the role of an individual if this is exactly what they desperately want. So the only idea remaining in their platform is Jesus.

I told you - we are endangered species. There are so many boomers there is simply no way out. Not in their lifetime which happens to be our lifetime. Like it or not these are our monkey peers. You have to provide them with health care and pay for it. You have to give them food and shelter.
The only thing you can do is to push idiots out of the seats of power - but how to do it in a democratic society
with so many monkeys expecting free welfare.

No, there is only one way out - a parallel Universe. Literally, if we want to do anything useful and interesting in the reminder of our lives we have to find people who
think and act alike, most likely using internet and create a Parallel Universe - with parallel money, parallel industry. In short, we have to phase out of the monkey's space into our own space with no monkeys ["Boomers"].

Whether it is in the valley in Colorado, a Pacific Island or truly in parallel Universe I do not care.
It is imperative we do it. A partially working example is Quebec where informal activity is the backbone of the economy.

Stan (Heretic) said...

More comments from Dozent (Stan P.):

I promised not to rant on that anymore but could not resist :-)

As is widely known, aggressive Homo Sapiens (Cro-Magnon) murdered all Neanderthal people and ate them for supper.

That excellent theory has been dealt a heavy blow yesterday on Discovery Channel. Most Neanderthal sites has been already very well researched and the chronology is known, where did they live and when disappeared.

So, it turns out that there exists a strong correlation between consecutive onset of glaciations and consecutive extinctions of the Neanderthal people from the individual sites. That is all the evidence is pointing out that the Neanderthal were killed by glacier not by humans.

There is a suspicion that Neanderthal were forest dwelling ambush hunters that thrived in the forests, but when glacier advanced, the trees died and the land became an open tundra.

The last known site is Gibraltar at the southernmost tip of Europe where Neanderthal lived only 24 thousand years ago, and they disappeared during the most recent glacial advance.

Reasearch on their teeth indicate not only chronic malnutrition but also practiced cannibalism - probably out of hunger.

Excavations suggest that Neanderthal was a local settled species. All tools found in all caves were made out of local materials. They all died when food ran out.

In contrast to that, Homo Sapiens survived without problems in Siberia, and tools found on their sites were made from materials brought from thousands of km away, for example from Crimea.

That means that Homo Sapiens traveled around and practiced trade, while Neanderthal didn't and probably died of cold and hunger 24 thousands years ago unable to cross Gibraltar strait while
for example Australian Aborigines
sailed across the ocean to Australia 50 thousand years ago!

Interestingly, they found deep holes in those Siberian sites, filled with mammoths bones. Humans were digging holes in the permafrost to store meat in the natural "freezers"

It looks like the first engineers operated 30,000-50,000 years ago inventing and building seaworthy boats, "refrigerators", knives, spears and leather yurts.

Wonder, what would Al Gore say to all that???

Should we perhaps burn some more coal, just in case???

It is stupid not to learn out of some people's disasters, even from Neanderthal.

Jerome said...

Good grief, the "boomers" column sounds a lot like insect hive behavior...

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Jerome, welcome to the blog!

Re: "Good grief, the "boomers" column sounds a lot like insect hive behavior..."

It does, doesn't it?

I was trying to refrain from using more accurate analogy (beehive mentality, or herd mentality like among monkeys)
since it carries some negative emotional baggage. I am trying to refrain from making judgments and do not really consider one group (subculture) to be more "right" or "better" then the other, just different and have survival advantages and disadvantages depending on circumstances. In the same sense as one species isn't "better" just different from one another.

For example, by now it appears quite obvious that the stationary and inflexible lifestyle of Neanderthal humans was better adapted, that is "superior" and more successful than our Homo Sapiens/Cro Magnon subspecies, as long as the environment was also static and not changing!

I believe it is or will be similar with the modern Western "Baby Boomers" subculture of our power elite.

Their superior social skills ensured that they managed to capture virtually all positions of authority and power in large corporations, institutions and governments. It worked for them very well as long as the overall economic and political situation remained stationary, predictable or stagnant after the WWII until 1989. IMHO that year marked the beginning of "history" not the end.

Their weakness (but not ours!) is the lack of inherent abilities and technical skills to handle emergencies and rapidly changing environmental or economical factors. Things ARE changing and our elites may go extinct like the Neanderthal people, pulling us down with them as well if we aren't prepared. Look what they have already done to our once great industries and notice the ruins of science and medicine!


dav0 said...

Since the core of these discussions has been to to reduce observations on society/culture to almost first biological principles, it may appear that Dozent is perhaps a little over pessimistic about the big picture.

Natural selection favours diversity; whether that entails random genetic mutations that confer benefit to an organism under adverse circumstances, or higher processes such as ingenuity which confers benefit by the ability to adapt to it's environment and get on with things AND/OR to change the environment to suit it's needs.

At the risk of offending tree huggers, which let's face it, isn't that hard, I am using the term 'environment' in it's broadest biological context such that in biological terms Phenotype = Genotype + Environment. In short, it appears that these principles go beyond anthropology end extend into the more fundamental realms of cellular biology.

The only biological alternative to ingenuity is large numbers e.g. bacteria etc. As members of the animal kingdom, we have highly advanced immune systems which protect us from the onslaught of millions of micro-organisms 24/7 without a conscious thought. Our immune systems are great but not perfect and as such rely, to a certain extent, by assuming rational or sane behaviour of the owner/operator such as being smart enough for instance not to eat shit (figuratively and literally).

To comment on Dozent's perceived requirement for a parallel universe, there are two ways really. One way is in and one way is out. By in, I mean in general, existentialism but more in particular along the lines of Sartre, Camus et al. creating an inner universe in your mind to protect you from the external world; a cocoon of sorts. The way out is as so many of my Irish (and Polish) forbears in the past, the practice of 'voting with your feet'.

I would strongly recommend both Stans (Heretic and Dozent) to read -'The Lives of a cell: Notes of a biology watcher' by Lewis Thomas. It is a collection of essays very well written. One of the fascinating ideas he exposed was that the Eukaryotic cell and in particular the cell organelles, perhaps came together as a symbiotic collection of different organisms which work together for the greater benefit of the organism (trying hard not to use the worn out phrase - the common good). One quotation from the book which is quite poignant is - "We pass thoughts around, from mind to mind, so compulsively and with such speed that the brains of mankind often appear, functionally, to be undergoing fusion." This was written in 1974 but appears to be a premature definition of a meme.

In general, the book provides an alternative view of the world as opposed to Lovelock's (puke) Gaia hypothesis of the earth as an organism. Thomas portrays the world as a cell in a more objective approach.

In conclusion, I think it might me more productive to draw parallels from fundamental biology rather than stop at anthropology as the former might be a richer source of metaphors to describe life in general.

I also feel the need at this point to say that I'm not a biologist (or anything really) so my comments are not necessarily statements of scientific fact, merely personal observations. The fact that I am not holding my opinions as universal truths is an attempt not to appear as being dogmatic, as dogma appears to be the root of many of the evils discussed herein.

Perhaps as Heretic puts the comparison of Nomads vs. 'Boomers' similar conclusions could be drawn by a comparison of Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic life forms - we'll see.

OK, rant = off, that's just my 2 grams of pond scum for now ;-) Dav0.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi dav0,

Thanks for the comment, I am going to get Lewis Thomas book and read it.

dav0 said...

Don't buy it! I am making alternative arrangements.


Stan (Heretic) said...

I am putting more of my and Dozent's conversations here below in form of comments. The original conversation took place through email. This is for the record, in order to have it available on line under the original article, as food for thoughts.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Dozent wrote: "thesis 'they do not know what they are doing' seems to be wrong"

You misunderstood me. I never suggested or believed that they all know (some may be) [talking about "Baby Boomers" subculture].

I simply suggested that they act they way they do because they _unconsciously_ know that it is benefitial for them, giving their inability or unwillingness to do a creative or productive work otherwise! Furthermore, it is not relevant what is going on in their heads, it is what they do or don't do that is!

Dozent wrote: The term "negative selection" is a symptom, not a root cause. Why negative selection? what causes negative selection? Term "incompetence" also means nothing. Why so many "incompetent" people in the key positions.

Exactly! If that were just random "walk" then you would have had a random mix on the top, where as now you have almost no one competent anymore on the very top!

That's what made me think about the whole situation and that's for me the proof (circumstantial) that we are dealing with a subculture or a distinct sub-group of the societly that acts coherently as let's say bees in a beehive, not randomly at all.

Why negative selection? It is not negative! For them ["Baby Boomers"] it is definitely a positve selection! Their leaders are simply those that achieve positive goals for their subculture as a whole albeit not for us! If you were like them, the last thing you wished was being ruled by a competent workaholic engineers with stable rock-solid gold currency. In such a system "a plumber and a baker and a confiture-maker" would have thrived while a "monkey" would have to beg for food! No wonder they like Social Democracy - it is a compromise for them (on their own, they would probably gravitate to some kind of more authoritarian system) but also for us and the compromize by them on our behalf!

We never noticed but they as a subculture of consciousness, do actually make some concessions towards us, except not in the places we would expect! Not all of them want to see us, the do'ers, inventors, enterpreneurs, engineers etc - dead or working in death camps or in gulags. They are trying to accomodate us as the sort of caste of "untouchables" that is allowed to live and vote but not in the important matters. At the same time I don't think that we feature anywhere in their vision in any positions of power! Yes you may get invited to their barbecue party but no further than that, have no illusions! I think, they would never co-opt us to their power structure just because we have skills that can "save" them, because their companies and now even countries are falling.

What we consider "saving" would be a total disaster from their point of view, because for them the social structure is more important ("valuable") than any business or profit! As an example, I personally have seen that at a company M. to whom I talked to in 2009.

Power is more important than profit! We knew it too but we forgot. They didn't! That's why for example, NASA (about which that discussion begun) did not rehire von Braun nor his people


Stan (Heretic) said...

More reposted, written by Dozent:
(part 1 of 2)


Thank you for taking time to write it down. I essentially agree with it all. We went too far trying to postulate destructive activity out of spite. This is not the case.
However, they are really a different species. The word "destructive" does not have a meaning to "them". Construction or destruction refers to making or breaking things, an activity of no interest to the "Baby Boomers".

They are intelligent, they can use tools we have build and they have plenty of time.

What is more, the entire American culture glorifies Baby Boomers' culture. So is European, though in a different way. We have come along way since the Protestant times when work was the noblest activity and success meant blessing from God.

One disagreement:
No we did not forget about power! It does not have the same meaning to us. Without "power" and structure Baby Boomers starve. We don't. We starve when they are completely in control, just like they are now.

When I was younger (an more capable) I was quite a perfectionist. Even then I had no need to "control" my environment.
I still have a lot of ideas, though very little time to implement them. I am not bored. I am always doing something unless
I have completely no energy. My motto is "to live and let live"

For the Baby Boomers it spells disaster. They need structure, power and control levers because without them they really would starve
- if not today then tomorrow.

Please notice, they are quite conscious of their precarious position. They know from bad experience that a control freak
at the top spells disaster for them too. ....
What is more, their social skills enable trade. Ours do not! Finally, there is more of "them".

However, when there is too much control and too many of "them" society ALWAYS falls apart.
I think we have reached this point already. Why? Because You and I have come to the realization that work for "them" does not make sense.


The industrial revolution put an engineer in charge. They made things, they sold them. They had money and power. It took time for the "monkeys" - including your favorite "aristocracy" and "szlachta" to catch up. They did.

After the age of scientific and industrial progress and experimenting there come a time of social experimenting: Lenin, stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot come to mind together with Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Homeini and others.

They all have offered "social impovement" for people who could [or would] not do anything. Besides, there was no need for more inventions.

[to be cont]

Stan (Heretic) said...

[cont] (2 of 2)

All these wonderful experiments have failed except one.

This last social experiment is called Social Democracy. It is a natural state for a "Benevolent Monkey" ruler.

Resources are limited, inventions are dangerous and difficult to control especially at the hands of gurus.

So lets just keep what we have. Lets share equally our good fortune for eternity. Lets share the work, share the resource, the money. Of course someone has to run this stable system and the guys with MBA's are the most qualified. After all, they have larned how Mr. Ford run his factory
100 years ago so they should be able to do THE SAME.

What is wrong with this picture ? very simple, the word "sharing". In order to share you have to share something. When nobody works there is no something, so one has to "take from the rich". The inevitable result is
inequally sharing the NOTHING. I do not think we are talking prison camps here. These are benevolent, educated Baby Boomers people.
They do not want camps.

Can social democracy work?


But it has to become obvious to everybody, including the Baby Boomers. It is obvious to us. We have been there [note - Stan B. the Heretic and Stan P. aka Dozent were born in the Polish People's Republic, a communist state at that time].

Frankly, WE DO NOT KNOW either.
For example, farming has become so efficient we may NOT run out of food - like in Communist Poland
Also, Baby Boomers DO HAVE SOME GOOD POINTS: for example engineers and industrialists have a very bad
historical record in industrial polution and mining polution. For whatever reason WE did a very poor job.

Not everything Kinka says to us does not make sense. A lot of it we should have done but we did not.
Regardless, who was responsible.

Finally, it is time to tackle your statement "we forgot about power"

No we did not. "They" forgot about money! Money is not gold or paper. Money is work. They forgot about work.

They WILL PAY for it!

Otherwise the Soviet Russia would be today the strongest empire in history!

Staszek 8-) [Dozent]

Sam said...

Maybe you're wrong. Maybe it's just a cycle. I noticed you labeled the groups "Nomadic" and "Boomers".
Could you have read "Generations". If so you will note the cyclical nature of your complaints.

Of course it could be even worse than you think. The freedom of Women to choose mates could be breeding more and more aggressive Men. Some Men have begun to use psychological warfare to counteract this trend.

Some have given up on Women. They drop out of the breeding pool all together.

Human evolution is happening at a super elevated rate. Just something to think about.

Stan (Heretic) said...

It may be cyclical but the pattern is quite strong and consistent. I should also add the "Introvert" on the left of the table and "Extrovert" on the right hand side, based on my recent readings and Susan Caine's book:

The Power of Introverts

Audio clip of CBS Radio 1 with Susan Cain

She said basically everything that I wrote above, except - she did not dotted the "i" by stating the "specist" nature of the phenomenon!
This is her book:

(Read the reviews under the book)

Also this is her recent NYT article:

The Rise Of The New Groupthink

Stan (Heretic) said...

I also was under an impression that a culture that only allows men to select mate bread more competition amaong men thus may eventually lead to more male aggressivness selected through the natural selection process.

Conversely, when women do selection the opposite is probably true.

I personally prefer a balanced approach. 8-:)

The other side of it is that cultures that overemphasize one gender seem to hinder remembering of other lifetimes (involving alternated genders). That poses a real handicap.


Sam said...

You said,"I also was under an impression that a culture that only allows men to select mate bread more competition amaong men thus may eventually lead to more male aggressivness selected through the natural selection process."

Au contraire. Men want less aggressive Men around them. Aggression can cause death and dismemberment.
Men are more even handed and fair than Women. Ask a Women if she would rather work for a Man or a Women.

You said,"Conversely, when women do selection the opposite is probably true. "

No,no,no. You probably believe this because Women say so. Never believe what Women say. They even may believe that they are telling the truth but they're not. Aggressive Men do not threaten Womens ability to have children in general. Aggressive Men are more interesting and exciting to Women.

Never Listen To A Woman

Womanly Advice

Stan (Heretic) said...

When I was his age I had exactly the same attitude! I hated the modern teenage and twenties' culture so much that I widthdrew to computers and science. Completely.

This is a sign of imbalance. Women have a different type of biological "energy", they are not sinister, scheming or self-serving etc. At least not any more than men or not any less. If you look at it from a distance you will see that there is a perfect balance and either gender is equally capable of screwups and achievements. Look at the cultures that are totally male-obsessed and you will see that they all are falling flat on their faces! Failing miserably in every possible area including or especially in those domains traditionally attributable to men's such as warfare, craftsmanship and technology!

It's not an exception its the pattern!

The correct way of handling it in this case (i.e. young frustrated teens and twenties) is to discover one's gender-complementary psychic/bio-energy and use it in a creative way that is not limited exclusively to social interaction and dating. If you are male then discover your "female" part's attribute such as intuition. And use it! Don't be afraid of it but accept it and make the best use of it. You will be surprised! No, it absolutely positively would not make you gay or lesbian etc, unless you already were. To the contrary! It would augment your life energy and physical strength by a huge factor!