Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Peak Of Sanity - 2

Insanity & Intelligence are different issues
In the first post of this series, we focused on the more damaging and eventually fatal dementia emerging within the USA.

In this episode we are going to focus on "lighter", yet more widespread dementia that, while not physically fatal to individuals, can indeed be fatal to an entire civilization.

Remember that the observance of a national dementia only arises when it is institutionalized, after it becomes part of the national behavioral characteristics, the national fabric, like propaganda-deceit, which, in the USA we affectionately call "spin" (maybe because spinning some one around and around makes them dizzy?).

Let's pause further to remember that dementia is "degree based", beginning from the mildest forms & degrees, then going all the way to the wildest and most fatal forms & degrees such as the 100% fatal Alzheimer’s we talked about in the first post of this series.

In this post the foundation for identifying the national dementias to be focused on is the failure to consider the future in sufficient degree.

Only by having a grasp of the future can we judge our mastery of the present, at least in terms of how we are preparing for the future in the present.

I like to read history and palaeontology, but I don't get into those disciplines to find out where we are going as a civilization, or as a planet.

In this post even though we will do some background checking by referring to a scientific paper entitled "Biological Determinism / Fatalism: Are They Extreme Cases of Inference in Evolutionary Psychology?", we are not considering that paper as a way to look backward, as if that would tell us what is ahead.

One of the problems I have with some of the fundamentals of our institutionalized educational practices that teach science is that they are often too retro.

So much of some of the areas of science seem to be an exercise of driving while looking in the rear view mirror, rather than looking out the wind shield to see what is ahead.

Much of the rationale for this is the overblown notion "we can't know the future", so scientists tend to argue about the past with religionists (evolution vs. creationism); but guess what geniuses, we can not go back in time, we can only go into the future because "time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future" as the song lyrics remind us.

We need to learn and focus on the science that reveals the future to us, then use it to take us into the future in a manner that is fitting to that future.

Who the hell thinks science is going to take us millions of years into the past, a thousand years into the past, or even a year into the past?

That is why Ecocosmology Blog and the tenets of Ecocosmology were set forth, to assist with a look forward based on solid science, so that we can measure our human nature now, then modify it as needed to comply with the sure to arrive future, because the past is never going to show up, no matter how well we know it.

Here is a quote from the paper that does some focus on that mystical realm we call human nature, in terms of its past and its future:
The major difficulty in breaking human nature down into its most basic elements is that it is an amalgamation of both biological and cultural influences. This problem is conveniently represented in the all-too-familiar nature-nurture debate. In other words, how much of human nature is the result of genetic influences (i.e., genes), and how much is attributable to learned cultural influences; variably known as memes (Dawkins, 1989). sociogenes (Swanson, 1983), or culturgens (Wilson, 1975)?


Psychological processors (modules) in the brain are the product of natural selection through environmental pressure to succeed, survive, and reproduce. But the manifestation of the mindware (thoughts) and the overt behaviors that are born from these active and behaving cortical modules, is shaped by the environment.


The learned cultural traits that should appear after the human species suffers a major catastrophic blow to its viability may be the replacement of religious teaching with the teaching of environmental and scientific literacy. In light of such threats, social priorities will have to change or we will perish. The integrity of the human species is what hangs in the balance.
(Biological Determinism / Fatalism, emphasis added). If our Sun is what scientists tell us it is (now 'a life sustainer'), and if we know what the Sun will become (an Earth destroyer), then our current civilization's future is the span of time from now until the Sun destroys this planet (unless of course "civilization" destroys civilization first).

Thus, the Dredd Blog definition of national dementia is: any cognitive process that delays, impairs, or destroys the ability of civilization to survive on this planet by harming this planet (during the time we develop space travel technology with which to find another planet to live on when the Sun begins to destroy the planets near it, including the Earth).

In other words, cognition and behavior at odds with the tenets of Ecocosmology are dementia in and of themselves, but more than that, as we spew toxins into our environment and behave in hostile ways, then deeper dementia like Alzheimer’s will be produced (which will further limit our ability to survive by inhabiting this universe properly).

Unfortunately, there is a growing body of evidence (Anomaly Overload: An Evolutionary Theory of Truth) that indicates we have passed the peak of sanity in this civilization, so we may be left with only the hope of a better civilization next time around.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.


  1. We need to learn and focus on the science that reveals the future to us, then use it to take us into the future in a manner that is fitting to that future.

    Here's the problem Dredd, we've got a significant portion of the population in the evangelical Christian camp (definitely a form and source of insanity!) who believe that their mythical god is actually watching over and deciding events down here and is planning on sending his only begotten son (I never did understand that whole story line. It has to be the dumbest, least coherent myth I've ever heard.) back down here anytime to redeem the righteous believers and doom the rest of us to perdition forever and ever amen. Not surprisingly, intellect and the embrace of the scientific method is not a hallmark trait in this bunch. Also not surprisingly, one of their cherished icons is the lamb/sheep.

    Here's my prediction: as the forces we've been discussing over the last few days continue to consolidate their stranglehold over the American sheeple, fundamentalist Christianity, urged on by the GOP and TBags, will boom like never before, and science in the schools will likewise be attacked like never before. American universities will be forced to rely even more on foreign recruitment for capable students in the hard sciences, but that too will be attacked as the right wing finally gets their way and immigration crack downs begin to grow teeth.

    As immigration reductions and deportments of illegals take hold, all of their jobs that can be will simply follow them out the door overseas. The ones that remain will either be automated where possible (not many), or the cost of labor will rise prohibitively and they will disappear altogether, no longer competitive in a global marketplace. Service jobs and products will suffer the most; elder care, maid services, landscaping, fast food, etc. Labor intensive agriculture (Florida and California produce) and meatpacking will take major hits too, which will really hit Americans where it hurts the most; in the gut.

    In short, the US is headed for third world backwater status, which is the fate of all countries after capitalism has its way with them and sucks every spare dollar up the chute to the plutocracy, reducing all economic activity to that which services the global economy with little to none left over to service the local economy. And to think, the whole scheme was hatched right here in the US! Some major league irony in that one!

  2. They say that suicidal tendencies can be mild or acute, progressing from mild to worse.

    I can see that nations that don't change course, like North Korea, are suffering from wide spread dementia whether they know it or not.

    Same with wealthy nations like the USA who stay on a destructive course.

  3. disaffected,

    There is no one "institution", such as religion, that entirely embodies dementia.

    Science is full of wackos, sadists, masochists, just like religion and government are.

    Often scientific establishment actors (that link is in the post too) inhibit the development of good science, tending to be status quo whether right or wrong.

    The weapons that can actually destroy the species comes from scientists who are lackeys to rogue government.

    Religion has sufficient denial generators, fanatics, and the like to challenge the corrupt scientists any time.

    It is the good guys within religion, science, art, and government that we need to heed IMO.

  4. Lots of good sanity related links today:

    Sarah Palin - NYT

    Peak Oil and the Pentagon - LeMonde

    Psychopathy - The Economist

    End Times - Al Jazeera

    Dredd, regarding your comments in #3 above: truly, dementia and corruption know no bounds. It's an equal opportunity employer. However, some disciplines lend themselves to unquestioning belief in miracles as practical solutions to everyday problems (certainly one definition of insanity) better than others. Religion is certainly one of those; however, to be fair, I'd have to put modern day economics in the same boat. Unfounded assertions based on completely fabricated "facts" (supported by the modern pseudo-science of statistics, which can be made to support any half-baked theory you want it too) in support of pre-decided policies benefitting a pre-selected minority. Quite a racket they've built there.

  5. Speaking of national dementia ...

    Noam Chomsky quotes a conservative who says all leaders are "schizophrenic":

    The scholarly literature is pretty straight on this. With regards to Latin America, but in general it's true worldwide, the main scholarship on "democracy promotion" is by Thomas Carothers. He's a neo-Reaganite ... [who] calls every leader "schizophrenic."

    Chomsky: "The Business Elites ... Are Instinctive Marxists"

  6. Hard to top Chomsky. He saw and spoke to issues clearly decades ago that most of us of have only opened our eyes to in the last few years. I must admit that it was only in the aftermath of eight years of Bush II that I even began to suspect what was really going on. It's just unspeakably amazing and fortunate for all of us that a prescient few like Chomsky exist and are so very far ahead of the curve.

  7. I see religion as "hope". Often, I can't make sense of the human experience and its need to destroy and conquer that which it ultimately discovers it loves, so I turn to a higher understanding for all my answers.

    This higher understanding has no boundaries ---no color, no gender, and it's timeless, and pure. You can call it your guidance or Spirit. I recognize it only when I surrender to it. In the human realm it doesn't make sense, but in the spirit world, it's all there is and you just know.

    I don't belive that God is going to send his only begotten son, I believe we are the sons and daughters, and we're lost. We've lost our ability to choose because we believe that the outer world is the Power, when in fact it is the inner world and our ability to choose something better that is the Power.

    And that's what this thread is about -- recognizing that we're lost and not being able to make any sense of it or to figure out way out of it.

    Didn't mean to preach, just wanted to share my thoughts.