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Author Topic: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"  (Read 4012 times)

Sleepy

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #100 on: May 24, 2019, 12:31:15 PM »
Your welcome but no, this lead to those ads:
because I think those working hard on beeing natural (Exxon, BP, Koch et al.) would be the only happy pigs in the barn.
I can remove the links to the Exxon ads, they were just added for fun and I don't think wili is personally offended.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

wili

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #101 on: May 24, 2019, 12:39:26 PM »
w wrote: "By calling it semantics you mean to denigrate it"

It's true that this is often how this word is used, but as a linguist, I am using the term strictly to mean that semantics is the branch of my field that this falls into. If I wanted to denigrate it, I'd call it 'sophistry,' which is what a few of the arguments here do indeed verge on.

Yes, it verges on many other areas, as semantics always does.

But can we agree that 'nature' is a word, and that we are discussing the meaning of that word (and its opposite) wrt humans. (And can we please drop the 19th century sexist use of 'man' for human...please?)

But speaking of word meanings, w asks "why is this one bad?" I guess I would like w's definition of 'bad.' Is there anything that s/he considers to be truly 'bad'?

 If not, then, yes, knowingly driving much of life on the planet to permanent extinction isn't 'bad,' if nothing is. But if anything fits the meaning of 'bad,' I would say that this is it. :)

And if you really want a discussion of metaphysics, perhaps you could enlighten us on which type of metaphysics you are coming from: Pre-Socratic, Aristotelian, Sāṃkhya, Vedānta, Buddhist, various European Medieval varieties, Kantian...I have some passing familiarity with some of these and others, having read some of the texts in the original languages, but perhaps you have your own variety? Is it influence by one of these (that you know of)?


And no, Sleepy, of course I'm not offended. 'Natural' is most mis-used and over-used in the commercial realm, where it truly has no meaning beyond its feel-good associations that they are trying to exploit.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 12:56:55 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #102 on: May 24, 2019, 12:51:48 PM »
Please, no semantics about semantics.  ;)
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

wili

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #103 on: May 24, 2019, 12:57:37 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D

We're really getting meta- meta- here! :)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #104 on: May 25, 2019, 01:44:58 AM »
Thanks for the laughs guys. Good to remember to keep laughing, or we might all go the way of Lurk...

Sleepy, I think I misunderstood your post with the videos. I definitely would not want you to delete them. Of course the appeal to "naturalness" gets used in the commercial realm all of the time. This is the moral use of 'natural' as synonymous with 'good.'

We've seen the word used that way in this thread many times. Though the definition I gave in the first post (and subsequently many times), does not explicitly have this moral sense, the two are very often conflated, i.e. what humans do (which, by that original definition, is unnatural), is bad. Again, this position has come up repeatedly throughout this thread, usually with the additional claim that there was some time "before" when we weren't unnatural, but never with a clear explanation of how the one state can arise from the other.

So yes Wili, we are talking about the meaning of words, but if you return to my first post in the thread, you'll see that there is no confusion as to how these words are customarily used (and so what they mean), but rather the claim that the presuppositions that the customary usage rests on clash with the picture of the world that we get from science (particularly relevant is evolution).

In other words: is our view of the universe monistic or dualistic? The way that we use the words 'natural' and 'nature,' presupposes one or another of these views.

These views are metaphysical; about the ultimate foundations of reality.

All of the various approaches to metaphysics attempt to achieve the same thing: an understanding of the ultimate foundations of reality.

My approach to metaphysics has been on display from the beginning, though I'll grant that in some posts it has been much more polished than in others. It is a poor adaptation (because I am not as intelligent) of the approach used by Ludwig Wittgenstein mixed with lessons from R.G. Collingwood. I approach metaphysics in this way, because we obviously cannot talk about "reality" without using language. Therefore our deepest views about reality are revealed largely by looking at language and how it's used, and in doing so exposing the presuppositions imbedded in it.

This approach is also there in Aristotle, who was very concerned with the way language was used. His book on the "Categories," for example, shows how what we can say about certain things depends on the category they belong to. But this is not an empirical study (though empirical studies can make discoveries that lead to tensions in our categories), it is a study of words and their use.

The seeds of it are there in Kant, who placed the noumenal out of reach and reminded us that we are always already structuring reality through categories.

This approach differs from systems of meditation that aim to connect to the ultimate reality through breathing techniques, sitting still, etc. Though some of these techniques also make use of thinking that more closely resembles the western philosophical tradition, as you no doubt know.


« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 08:07:49 AM by wdmn »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #105 on: May 25, 2019, 02:48:47 AM »

... usually with the additional claim that there was some time "before" when we weren't unnatural, but never with a clear explanation of how the one state can arise from the other.


An attempt at an explanation was made, but maybe you chose to ignore it?

What's really been discussed here is just the different meanings we colloquially assign to the word-symbol 'natural,' of which there are probably several usages. It obviously has several different colloquial connotations in how the word gets used in language. Of course humans, even those from civilized culture, are natural ... because they are biological life and living on the planet and evolved out of evolution, no different from any other lifeforms found on the earth. We obviously aren't separate from that. In that sense, we are natural. Obviously.

But the word is also used colloquially to mean ... all the rest of the biosphere and earth system that isn't human. This is where it gets quirky, and I think you've sometimes flopped back and forth between the two usages in this thread from time to time as you made or countered various arguments.

This time that you refer back to mockingly, that you don't think was, for which you ignored the explanation that was given for how the quirk in modern humanity arose, can be explained as follows. No other living creature in the ecosystem, including every indigenous culture civilization has ever encountered, has ever consciously chosen (by conscious intent) to exterminate a competitor the way civilization culture does. This is noted by ecologists, no other creature does this. And no indigenous culture does this. Only civilized culture does this. If it's not it's own food, or the food of it's food, civilized culture is ok with exterminating it. Farmers will actively hunt down all wolves just to be rid of them. Crop sprayers will proactively exterminate insects they feel are a nuisance. The examples are many. In fact, the biosphere is mostly all extraneous to civilized culture. Indigenous cultures certainly didn't share this world view. Only civilized man holds this worldview.

This is something no other evolving life form has ever done, not even indigenous cultures. A baboon is an aggressive animal, and it will attack and kill a hyena if it encounters one. However, it does not come up with a plan to consciously and proactively seek out and kill all hyenas as a policy for ridding themselves of their competitor. Only civilized man started doing this on a mass scale and by rationalized policy. Indigenous cultures didn't do this.

It's a pretty defining break from what ecologists talk of as being the peacekeeping law, or animal ethics. It allows for diversity and without it things don't evolve, you'd just wind up with several top species in each niche, and that is not what we see when we look out into the biosphere. Only civilized man exterminates things proactively, sometimes even completely in an area he is occupying. It's a defining trait of civilized culture and considered holy work among civilization agriculturalists.

This is the defining break from the rest of the living biosphere that civilized culture undertook. That was the switch. It's quirky in the same way we would distinguish murder from a non-murder death. Using the logic you used to say what we're doing to the biosphere is 'natural' is just removing a classification in a sense, like saying, as you noted, meh ... climate always changes. Well, then murder isn't murder, it's just another death. Arson isn't arson, it's just another fire.

Just as murder is not 'just another ordinary death,' I think when we can see one culture abandoning a pattern of behavior that all other lifeforms on the planet maintain, as I described above, we could certainly call it unusual, or crazy, or departing from the natural order, much in a similar way to how we don't think murder is just another ho hum way somebody died. We do distinguish murder as being different from just plain old dying. We should consider civilized culture's departure from the order found in the rest of biosphere a similar aberration and not seek to pass it off as normal or ok. We don't do that with murder or arson, because they aren't the same thing as just dying or just a fire.

Natural, nature, unnatural ... they're really just word symbols. Should we get rid of murder as a word too, because that too is just assigning a value judgement to a death. Maybe we should do away with that sort of classification too? That seems to be what your suggesting about a common usage of the word natural or unnatural. It brings nuance to our language, like how murder further defines ways someone can die.

And I hope you give some though to what changed in civilized culture that diverges from the behavior of any other life-form on earth. It's a pretty big deal. I don't think we should seek to cover it over and ignore it with semantic arguments. I'd be fine with calling civilized culture 'unnatural' due to the reason I explained above. They departed from an ecological law that all other life follows. Or maybe we should call it stupid instead. I'd be fine with that too. Or, insane.


sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #106 on: May 25, 2019, 09:41:07 AM »
I think that equating the word "natural" with "good" and "unnatural" with "bad" is not helpful. But also:

For the purposes of discussion, let's say that all of the earth excluding homo and all his effects from say, 120Kyr (Eemian, entirely arbitrary, i just like saying "Eemian") is "natural." 

But the question of how much of the rest of the evolution since the Eemian is not natural is unanswerable.

If we take Ruddiman's view, a similar unanswerable is how much of the world since 8Kyr is natural ?

Like it or not, we live in a world shaped by us. We are looking at mitigating fossil carbon release, a similar question could not have been raised or discussed or done by cyanobacteria in regards their release of oxygen. (?)

(I read a scifi story once about a cyanobacteria period civilization. Why not ?)

sidd

sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #107 on: May 25, 2019, 09:50:29 AM »
Re: posts seem to have been scrubbed from the forum

This is important, I reply at

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2161.msg200957.html#msg200957

sidd

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #108 on: May 25, 2019, 04:49:10 PM »

Like it or not, we live in a world shaped by us the civilized worldview.


Do people not realize that indigenous cultures are still living on the earth at this very moment? Do they not realize the indigenous are also homo sapiens sapiens too, and still living here and now in some places, and aren't just some previous stage of evolution? There's your supremacist mythology creeping out for you.

The only thing different about the singular culture called civilization, Eastern and Western, that separates it from indigenous culture, is the mental thought patterns that arise from stories they tell their children about themselves, which is what forms a worldview of a common culture.

It's a fallacy to call 'us' and 'we' these other examples of non psychopathic cultures as if they simply didn't exist as examples to draw from of humans who are also living in the world. They are ignored as if they just aren't there whenever these 'human nature' arguments are formed within the dominant culture. This is yet another one of the subtle myths narcissistic civilization culture tells itself ... that they are the next evolution beyond indigenous people, that this is now, and that indigenous stuff was all just in the past and irrelevant to today.

They aren't, both are homo sapiens sapiens, the indigenous people all over the planet (where they still exist unmolested by civilization) are still living out their evolutionary stable path, here and now, and all are homo sapiens sapiens. The only difference between civilized culture and them is the thoughts they think that have formed their worldview since childhood, which are very different from the narcissistic anthropocentric-supremacist worldview that civilized culture murmurs to itself. That's what changed, that's the actual problem here.

This isn't on our species. It's on the cultural worldview of just one single group of them. While that one group ignores this reality and does all this deflecting and compartmentalizing and rationalizing away of their cultural mental issues, away from themselves like we're seeing in this thread, trying to normalize it and make excuses for it, the problem and it's solutions for it will continue to evade them entirely.

When a heroin addict enters treatment they will do exactly the same thing. Point here, point there, point to this, blame that idea over there, make excuses for their behavior by comparing themselves to a bacteria maybe even, trying to find ways to justify their irrational behavior ...  anything but accept they themselves have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Civilization culture is not all homo sapiens sapiens currently living on the planet. I wish people could drop that cultural mythology and approach this rationally. I don't think civilized thinkers can though. It's a pretty strong myth they've steeped themselves in for thousands of years.

If civilization culture refuses to address itself and its glaring anthropocentricism, solving climate climate change won't make any difference at all to the cliff it just found itself falling off of, so they probably shouldn't even bother.



magnamentis

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #109 on: May 25, 2019, 05:28:55 PM »
Do people not realize that indigenous cultures are still living on the earth at this very moment? Do they not realize the indigenous are also homo sapiens sapiens too, and still living here and now in some places, and aren't just some previous stage of evolution? There's your supremacist mythology creeping out for you. ...................... <SNIPPED>


a very good way of thinking and now we should extend a similar respect to animals.

yes, they are not homo sapiens sapiens but that should not give animals a lower value, at least this is true for many if not most mammals.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 07:11:52 PM by magnamentis »
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nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #110 on: May 25, 2019, 07:02:48 PM »
Thank you very much Tim for your eloquency. Your Reply #105 and #108 were a joy to read. They are correct. You understand it too.

@magnamentis
The correct expression of your first sentence is "..to quite some extent to OTHER animals". It seems a small thing, but.
Value: I have not observed this concept in living nature.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #111 on: May 25, 2019, 09:50:54 PM »

Like it or not, we live in a world shaped by us the civilized worldview.


Do people not realize that indigenous cultures are still living on the earth at this very moment? Do they not realize the indigenous are also homo sapiens sapiens too, and still living here and now in some places, and aren't just some previous stage of evolution? There's your supremacist mythology creeping out for you.

The only thing different about the singular culture called civilization, Eastern and Western, that separates it from indigenous culture, is the mental thought patterns that arise from stories they tell their children about themselves, which is what forms a worldview of a common culture.

It's a fallacy to call 'us' and 'we' these other examples of non psychopathic cultures as if they simply didn't exist as examples to draw from of humans who are also living in the world.

Tim,

I haven't been responding to you because we're talking at cross purposes.

You did say, two posts ago, something I should respond to: "But the word is also used colloquially to mean ... all the rest of the biosphere and earth system that isn't human. This is where it gets quirky, and I think you've sometimes flopped back and forth between the two usages in this thread from time to time as you made or countered various arguments."

No, I am not switching between uses unintentionally. If you would please read the first post in this thread, or my previous post responding to sleepy and wili you would understand that I am very aware of the differences in use. The point of the thread is the tension between the differences in use, the way that the different meanings often elide into each other (whether intentionally or not), the consequences for thinking about our relationship to the environment.

Back to your focus in this thread: I actually work with a First Nation (as we call our indigenous people here in Canada).

The thing about capitalism is that it is so effective at destroying cultures, and so contagious (this has not all been bad, since some of what has been destroyed are practices that were extremely bigoted). Yes there are differences in culture, but you'll find that the CO2 emissions from China and India have the same heating effect as the CO2 emissions from the U.S. or Germany.

You'll also find that the Cree hunters driving their pick-up trucks to harvest moose emit the same kind of CO2 from their trucks as the French-Canadian (Quebecois) hunters going to harvest theirs. Yes, culture has been destroyed, but also people are faced with the same sorts of pressures across cultures: heat your home, power your vehicle, feed your family... For most of us that means using fossil fuels.

That said, I don't quite understand why you continue to be adversarial. You quite clearly accept that human cultures, all of them, are natural in the sense that they evolved on this earth out of the same types of interplay between organism and environment that drive the rest of evolution.

That different cultures have different kinds of relationships to their environments (and that these also change with time) was never questioned, and is so obvious I don't understand how it could be argued against. But all cultures impact their environments, and the depiction of indigenous people's has living in harmony with each other and their environments is as mythological and overly simplistic (not to mention European (see noble savage)) as a view that sees them as less evolved. What value does romanticizing these cultures have for solving climate change? If you want to be more specific and start naming individual cultures and what it is specifically that can be learned from them, maybe we could get a bit further in this discussion. Do you mean the Mayans and their agricultural practices, or their sacrificial practices? Or maybe the Easter Islanders who cut down every tree on their island to move their giant stone heads? Again, the danger in wanting to see one culture as "unnatural" and the rest as "natural," misses the depth of our problems, I think. So often the problems we face are human, all too human... or one might even say, animal, all too animal (I have already given the example of animals overshooting their carrying capacity, leading to ecological destruction and then the extirpation of the species).

As for now you seem to have conceded that the development of a culture of supremacy is as natural as any other, though less desirable. However, I can't help but note, we would not be having this conversation if computers and internet had not been invented, and both came out of the culture of supremacy. So maybe it's not so black and white, natural and unnatural?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 10:00:56 PM by wdmn »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #112 on: May 25, 2019, 10:09:49 PM »

... but you'll find that the CO2 emissions from China and India have the same heating effect as the CO2 emissions from the U.S. or Germany.

You'll also find that the Cree hunters driving their pick-up trucks to harvest moose emit the same kind of CO2 from their trucks as the French-Canadian hunter going to harvest his.

You don't seem to realize how far back it was that civilization culture moved out of the fertile crescent and swept across and assimilated pretty much the whole globe already thousands and thousands of years ago. India and China are definitely civilization, and have been for a long, long time. You're thinking Western civilization, when I explicitly stated Eastern and Western civilization. They are indeed one and the same culture.

And the Cree you mentioned have long been forced into assimilating into the dominant culture. Those that refused to assimilate were killed.

It's difficult to have this discussion with someone so steeped in a particular worldview and who can't even identify the culture I'm pointing at. That's an aspect of the problem, people have mistaken a culture they belong to, one that began thousands and thousands of years ago, for being 'human nature' instead of just being one cultural worldview.

That makes for a pretty big set of blinders. I agree we are talking past each other here.

Those Cree have been assimilated into the dominant culture for quite awhile now, it's almost impossible not to have that happen. You assimilate, or are killed, that's the culture. The indigenous writer and historian Jack Forbes wrote extensively about this concept. Those Cree are part of civilization culture now. And so is China and India, for a lot longer than you seem to realize.

You are viewing this through a typical cultural lens is what you're doing, one that can't even see or identify the culture it belongs too.

But hey, thanks for the thread and the opportunity to put some ideas out there about it. I appreciated it.




wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #113 on: May 25, 2019, 11:23:08 PM »
Tim,

It's very difficult to have the conversation, I will agree with you on that.

"That's an aspect of the problem, people have mistaken a culture they belong to, one that began thousands and thousands of years ago, for being 'human nature' instead of just being one cultural worldview. "

I seem to remember reading a book about this... Oh yeah, it was Roland Barthes' "Mythologies." He is concerned with destroying the "appeal to nature" fallacy by pointing out the importance of cultural difference and contingencies involved in them. The argument that this thread is about (and which you've not really engaged with at all) goes a step further: by eliminating the distinction between "natural" as non-human and "unnatural" as human (which would of course include our cultures), the appeal to nature drops away as entirely meaningless for a slightly different reason, i.e. every culture is natural, and clearly differences exist. Cultural difference is part of nature. You should like this! It means that our current culture could be different!

"Those Cree are part of civilization culture now. And so is China and India, for a lot longer than you seem to realize."

We're talking at cross purposes because you keep assuming you'er talking to an idiot. First you assume I am unaware of indigenous cultures, then you assume I am unaware of the assimilation of those cultures... even though I mention this twice in my last post.

You might find that separating ourselves from nature and not understanding ourselves as part of our environments may have been/may continue to be a major problem for why we treat the planet as we do. It may be connected to the "supremacism" that you keep referring to. It maybe the very view that this thread is counteracting... Hmmm...

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #114 on: May 26, 2019, 12:19:59 AM »
I don't assume you're an idiot. I did see you say capitalism is contagious and effective at destroying cultures, and that's I guess where you were referring to assimilation. I saw you refer to the Cree driving pickup trucks though, and thought you were pointing to them as being 'indigenous,' and thought you might have missed that their actual culture was eliminated some time ago in the past through colonial policy. Same with India, they've been civilization for thousands of years now too, maybe even one of the earlier places to become civilized in fact, even though there are some remote tribes that are still only just now being forced off their remote lands in some of the mountainous regions and into the assimilation juggernaut.

I don't assume you're an idiot. I just thought you might have thought I was pointing at people like the Cree as being the indigenous I was referring to. I'm Canadian too by the way. I think you have to look to places like South America or Africa to see the last places where the civilization mindset is slowly ousting the last remaining neolithic people that remain. That's where I got confused I guess at your reference to the North American indigenous people who are mostly just indigenous by label these days and no longer by actual practicing culture.

Anyway.

I was actually trying to tease out something much deeper and more fundamental than just modern capitalism (although it is a concept based somewhat on the cultural worldview I was pointing toward.) The mental shift in worldviews happened long before modern capitalism arrived on the scene, probably 8,000 years or so ago, and then 400 or so years ago back in North America, and continuing today in South America and Africa mainly. I see capitalism as just an evolution and extension of a part of that creeping worldview.

The Cree were actually the ones who long ago labelled it 'Wetiko' ... 'the cannibal.' They realized that if you fought it, you were then wetiko too, and it had successfully spread ... to you. If you ran from it, then it got your territory and had successfully spread ... in your absence. If you hunkered down and grit your teeth and tried to persevere within it, your children just grew up assimilated into the culture, and the wetiko once again had successfully spread ... to your children who grew up assimilated now. It was the darnedest thing they saw, and they definitely saw it as a disease of the mind, a sort of narcissism that refuses to acknowledge itself or self reflect.

...

We do agree on some things though. That the word nature is an odd one that carries a mythology to it of 'us and it ... separate in thought.' The North American indigenous actually had no such word for it, because it would've seemed absurd to them to separate themselves from the biosphere as such in their minds, and so had no concept of such a thing. That's not because they were idiots either. It just shows their worldview didn't separate themselves apart from the biosphere in their minds like civilization culture does. That idea we can surely agree on, and is exactly what I was trying to talk about as to how words and stories have very powerful effects on how we perceive our world. That's how culture is passed down, as stories, even scientific stories. It's information that forms our worldview from the time we are young, a lot through words.

...

I agree, I was talking about something a little wider than just this one concept you've introduced in the thread. I also agree with something else you just said strongly too. If we think it's just 'human nature' to be this way, which you do hear said a lot on climate boards, as if civilization is inevitable ... then it can't really be changed then, can it?

If it's just a cultural worldview though, taught through stories and language, then that indeed, as you've stated, means that it can be changed, and that we don't have to be stuck with it.

That's why I hammer away at culture the way I do. It sort of is what I do as my way of trying to address ecological collapse. So thanks for letting me hammer away in your thread for a little while about it, even if it strayed a little.  ;)

I don't assume you're an idiot. I was just drilling down into what quickly become very complex and veiled ideas. Please don't be offended.


nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #115 on: May 26, 2019, 06:24:27 AM »
Quote
"But hey, thanks for the thread and the opportunity to put some ideas out there about it. I appreciated it."

Yes thanks from me too wdmn. I noticed some time ago it is very difficult to change one's deeply held concepts ('normals'), so your (defensive?) not so nice wordings now and then ("armchair theories") are understandable. I commend you for your patience and openness in trying to understand, even when the discussion seems inappropriate or wrong to you or "not answering the question".

As a side note: I do my thinking outside, as close to living nature as I can get. I practice my understandings. Not to turn it into something serious but I do have an armchair at home, covered by unread newspapers.

I think if Tim, with his far better communication skills, hadn't taken over the baton, my supremacy-theory would have been ignored. So thanks again Tim for your efforts. I've got friendly feelings for you. Someone else who is able to think 'outside' is a real find for me. I wish we could be friends.
I'm curious whether you thought it all out by yourself or via earlier paths by others through reading books, such as from Daniel Quinn and about the Cree peaceful nature tribe.
I did find it myself (and much more) without reading other peoples' ideas. I don't want to go into a forest with pre-made paths by others everywhere because it can strongly sabotage any really 'new' views.

wdmn, you mentioned Aristotle. Do you think he was a scientist? There were no academics then.

I am not an academic but I am a scientist. A truth-finder. My experience is, when I find deep truths it seems impossible for me to communicate them. As if nobody wants to know. I have less communication skills I guess but it is also because I don't have any academic or other credentials(which I did on purpose!). I chose to be poor out of high morality. I chose not to be in the academic system because I see it for the masculine hierarchical unfriendly competitive system and nasty groupbehaviour it is. I see it as another 'insane' remnant from aristocracy, just like consumerists' modern 'good life'.

My wish is that even though I don't communicate in a way you're used to (I'm sorry, I try), you accept that it is possible I've really found something. That you try to respect me. I'm a really nice guy you know. And very smart but also very aware of the trap/dangers of supremacy.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #116 on: May 26, 2019, 07:04:37 AM »
Thank you both.

It is difficult in a thread when you feel like you need to respond to a thousand arguments, and easy to get frustrated.

I was not familiar with the term wetiko (which is actually Algonquin according to my quick search), but did know the Ojibwe (more properly Anishinaabe) version "windigo."

https://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/seeing-wetiko-on-capitalism-mind-viruses-and-antidotes-for-a-world-in-transition/

There's a lot in that article of value. In my language I would put where this thread overlaps with it in this way (and there is a key difference):

Nature is an empty signifier. That means it has meaning without reference. There is no "thing" that corresponds to the word 'nature' (here the key difference), and I reject the inclination to "fill" the signifier by attaching it to a personification like Mother Nature.* It is empty, but to borrow from Zizek, borrowing from Galileo "eppur si muove": and yet it moves. It has meaning, and therefore shapes us and determines us, and is therefore a force within history. The above linked article connects this "virtual force" of a concept with Plato's theory of "ideas." How it shapes us is, I have tried to make the case, very different if we take our own actions and creations as unnatural, and so separate from it, rather than as emergent within it.

Nature, as I've tried to make it understood, is the materialist version of "God;" it is a totalizing concept. This movement from God to Nature is found in the philosopher Spinoza in the western tradition (so I reject what I see as a simplified interpretation of the Enlightenment offered in the above link).

I shouldn't say anymore before I think some more, or try to understand other thinkers some more...


Nanning, you asked, "you mentioned Aristotle. Do you think he was a scientist? There were no academics then."

My understanding was that Aristotle was one of the fathers of science. His students went out and made observations on things like plants. Aristotle compiled books on things like meteorology; he was interested in empirical understanding but lacked any sort of scientific method (as far as I know). But he encouraged the study of particulars as the necessary first step in knowledge.

Again, I should probably shut up now before I stray too far into territory that I don't really understand...

Thanks again.


wdmn

*This substitution only has the appearance of "filling," since the personified signifier "Mother Nature" is also empty. The difference is the "force" of the two concepts, since they have different mythologies embedded in them.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 07:31:57 AM by wdmn »

johnm33

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #117 on: May 26, 2019, 03:00:36 PM »
The Rapa Nui find it both amusing and ironic that their main source of employment is escorting people from the culture that laid waste to their island around their island as an example of what that culture proceeds blindly to do to the whole planet. They have a different history which runs from living in a sustainable permaculture garden where little work was needed, and strangers welcomed, to a wasteland where they tried to hide from the lunatic europeans visitors, who's rule they now live under. The 'remote' uncontacted tribes of South America have a similar tale. They once were prosperous nations, but repeatedly decimated by European/African diseases some incidental/accidental some deliberately introduced are now remnants in a hostile world trying to avoid any further contact in I suspect a vain hope of surviving as a people.
Better to compare 'man' in this current culture to the social insects where multiple examples of the types of rapacious behaviour we exhibit are to be found. Living as social beings en masse must follow certain gaming rules, that is a particular dynamic will work best, unfortunately, judging by the ethics free gaming of this by these insects it looks rather like the whole system has to be geared to serve the whims of the centre, with disposable 'workers' who do all the work supervised by a ruthless unthinking but equally disposable security 'caste'. Rather like the type of regime that is, and is routinely imposed by, the Empire, not a natural fit for humanity.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #118 on: May 26, 2019, 05:22:33 PM »
@wdmn

"... so I reject what I see as a simplified interpretation of the Enlightenment offered in the above link."

That link was interesting in the few points it made about various things, such as the transmission of thought memes, ideas of capitalism, etc, etc ... but other than lifting a few quotes from Jack Forbes, it really wasn't anything to do with the indigenous ideas presented by Forbes about wetiko. You can't search the internet for any ideas about indigenous thoughts on the wetiko concept and get much returned to you ... the internet is whitey's domain. I know, I've searched it too, and there isn't much there on this subject. That link you gave wasn't all that much about wetiko or what it's really about, so don't make your judgement from that. If you're interested, I suggest you get the  book by indigenous historian and author Jack Forbes called "Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism." That website was ... just some person's website about ... stuff. It wasn't much of a representation of what wetiko is about. I suggest Jack Forbes book. He dives into the psychology of it.

...

@johnm33

Yup. I could write all day about the psychopathy. But how does one actually go about rewiring and reversing the now completely distorted psychology of a 7 billion strong global wide phenomenon? But, yup. Pretty sickening. Pretty broken.

...

@nanning

I think it's a lot like how you did it. Observing, thinking, a life long interest in human social psychology. I have had certain books fall into my lap along the way, but they were usually just a validation of what I was discovering on my own or a few better worded insights that I was getting from them. I'm like you, I find it's a lot less about taking in information and more about filtering certain information out. Garbage in, garbage out, after all. Some of my journey has actually been about taking certain information I picked up from the culture I'm surrounded by and removing it from my mind. What's left after you take out the garbage is much better, and was always in there to begin with it seems, but just gets suppressed by all the crap we are fed. Sort of like a universal set of concepts has been covered over.

I think you'll find few out of the 8 billion people are going to think outside like you do. You'll find it's a pretty lonely journey. I've met several people who all have this piece or that piece, and maybe one in my life who got it enough to actually practice something different about how they live their life at a fundamental level.

The reason I recommend Daniel Quinn, even though it isn't 'everything' about the various discoveries I've made, is that it's easy and quick to read, it's short, it's a pretty powerful set of thoughts all in a simple to get through book that isn't some anthropological or historical tome, and I can link people to a free copy of it because I know people will never go out and actually buy the book otherwise. When I read it a few years ago, I thought, yes ... this is good, he's found a way to say it that's fairly accessible to the civilized mind (maybe.) So that's why I recommend it. He found a good way to say a few things, so I borrow from him quite often. But no ... I didn't learn this from him. I think I uncovered it because I always was only on the periphery of civilized culture, yet in direct contact with it but not really joining in with it. And I did a lot of running around in the forest off designated trails like you. Haha!

Good luck nanning. You won't find many uncivilized thinkers out there who have taken out the trash from their minds. They are out there, but they're just rare is all. I definitely noticed it in your perspective right away on this thread when you first posted. That's why I jumped in. No, these ideas don't get much traction out in society. When the trash is gone, it's amazing how much alike we all actually think underneath all of that garbage perspective we are fed by this culture. It's profound actually, that there's something underneath all that cultural conditioning. I don't read newspapers either, lol.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #119 on: May 26, 2019, 06:22:34 PM »
Better to compare 'man' in this current culture to the social insects where multiple examples of the types of rapacious behaviour we exhibit are to be found. Living as social beings en masse must follow certain gaming rules, that is a particular dynamic will work best, unfortunately, judging by the ethics free gaming of this by these insects it looks rather like the whole system has to be geared to serve the whims of the centre, with disposable 'workers' who do all the work supervised by a ruthless unthinking but equally disposable security 'caste'. Rather like the type of regime that is, and is routinely imposed by, the Empire, not a natural fit for humanity.

A few more thoughts on this for you johm33. What Jack Forbes explored a lot in his book on wetiko disease was a psychological phenomenon that worked much along the lines of how the 'Stockholm Syndrome' manifests in abused people. I see it when I talk on blogs with Americans, where the poorest and most trodden upon in their society are amazingly the one's who often defend the propaganda they are fed the strongest. The indigenous noticed this effect when their culture was being rolled over too, how their children often became little wetikos and started emulating the behavior of their imperial captors.

This is not accidental psychology. There is knowledge behind how this psychology is applied. The Catholic residential schools in Canada that continued to intentionally break the culture of the indigenous after they stopped outright shooting them is an example of this. Children were removed and isolated from their families, which induces trauma. Then they were forbidden to speak their language, practice their culture, and were systematically beaten and abused.

To see how this wasn't just the misbehavior of a few bad men like that Catholic church claims, we need look no further than how this shared knowledge for breaking a culture is also being employed by the Chines in Tibet right now. Residential schools, where children are removed from and isolated from their families, forbidden to speak their language and practice their culture, and are systematically beaten and abused and psychologically traumatized. Sound familiar?

The whole insect system is, among other varied ways and methods, achieved through the application of psychology. The abused, often repeats the cycle of the abuser. That's one of the indigenous observations of the wetiko system, that they saw it affecting their children in a way not dissimilar to a form of intentionally applied Stockholm syndrome, where the abused almost falls in love with their abuser and then is caught in a cycle of emulating them.

Anyway, just some more thoughts. Reversing this psychology would be no small task, if it's really even possible at all on any sort of mass scale around the globe. That's where my eyes glaze over. It's quite the conundrum civilization has got itself into here.


johnm33

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #120 on: May 26, 2019, 08:00:03 PM »
Those schools were run by many denominations in the US and Australia as in Canada, in some only 2 out of 3 children ever made it home. When these schools began to close the culture of abuse spread far and wide through the churches, by design or accident?
I think it's possible to run a civilisation guided by ethics rather than 'free market forces' the Inca gave it a fair go, iirc they sustained a denser population healthier than any society since in the same area, but too socialist for modern politicians.
The social insects are controlled by pheremones, for humans it's memes or narratives, the ancients composed complex narratives which contained an enormous range of cultural information, from star knowledge for navigation and farming, medical and other uses of all types of plants and all the incidentals of their culture all this in 'myths' that were the multi-layered memory mansions of the people. read for instance homers secret illiad Our narratives of history and religion are even more removed from the truth than the news, being designed to create the geography of our minds.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #121 on: May 26, 2019, 08:36:16 PM »
This is what I found so powerful about Daniel Quinn's Ishmael book. Through the Socratic conversation he constructed between the teacher and the student in the work, the teacher was able to tease out of the student some of the turns of phrase and usages of common wordings that exposed a cultural narrative, one's that the student wasn't aware where just narratives at all. The student had taken them for granted as simply being just the way people talked, even scientific smart people, and hadn't perceived them as being cultural narratives or mythologies whatsoever. Some of them even patently false or misleading or wrong. It revealed to the student in the book a culture that he hadn't even thought he was a part of, one that he had vehemently denied knowing of any 'story' his culture was telling themselves about themselves at all. At first the student had denied he was even any part of any supposed mythology story, or not one that he knew of, that they were a very objective, scientific people. The culture of civilization whispering in his ear, which was all but invisible to him, until some of the myths were pointed out to him, to which he was shocked. Watching this process unfold in the book was fascinating and very instructive about this concept.

Damn memes.  :-\

Edited to add: What Daniel Quinn pointed out, was the meme of anthropocentricism that runs through civilized culture, which is proving to be so destructive to our biosphere and leading to collapse. He wrote it before climate change was even a thing, which is a pretty instructive thought all on its own.
.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 08:56:43 PM by Tim »

Neven

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #122 on: May 26, 2019, 09:20:16 PM »
Sorry for the off-topic, but do you guys know of any indigenous tribes that employed taboos to prevent the accumulation of possessions/wealth (the most altruistic tribe members would become chief, for instance)? I vaguely remember reading about it in a book by either Joseph Campbell or Claude Lévi-Strauss, but maybe I just made it up.
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Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #123 on: May 26, 2019, 09:35:55 PM »
Sorry for the off-topic, but do you guys know of any indigenous tribes that employed taboos to prevent the accumulation of possessions/wealth (the most altruistic tribe members would become chief, for instance)? I vaguely remember reading about it in a book by either Joseph Campbell or Claude Lévi-Strauss, but maybe I just made it up.

Well, if this helps Neven, the North American indigenous custom was the reverse of accumulation and wealth. If someone had two blankets for instance, as Jack Forbes put it in his book, it was their custom and an honor to give the second blanket away to someone who had none. It wasn't a one off or birthday custom, this was their culture, evolved over millennia, to ensure the equal distribution of needed items to one another. The opposite idea, of hording all the blankets until you had a monopoly you could use to extort people with, was just not a concept they ever came up with. It was a matter of survival of the group, on which they all depended, not a meme of individualism. They gave their extra stuff away to each other, as a cultural axiom.

Many indigenous also viewed the idea of private land ownership in the same way. The way the Hawaiians were ripped of out of their land was that US missionaries came over and instituted the legal system of private property laws. They told the Hawaiians to go into town to sign up for the land they claimed was their own. That was so foreign to them as a concept that they scoffed at the idea and never went and signed up for any land, and that's how they lost it all.

But the North American indigenous concept, as an entire cultural belief system, of giving away anything extra you had to someone who didn't have one of those items, as a deep honor ... wow, what a concept, hey? Pretty much the opposite of the civilized ideas about private accumulation of wealth and property in it's entirety. They literally knew of no other way but to share equally among the group. Pretty foreign to the civilized idea of how things ought to be now, which we can see plainly led to no good. The civilized idea is simply not what got us through 3 million years of ancestral evolution, as we can plainly see by our current crashing system. But it's a worldview, a mindset. The indigenous had the better evolutionary plan by far, in most things they did and didn't do. Civilization isn't born out of evolutionary ancestry at all, it was a break from it, and that's why it crashed now after 500 generations.

Hope this is what you were looking for. Accumulation society is a fail on all levels.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #124 on: May 26, 2019, 09:36:57 PM »
Sorry for the off-topic, but do you guys know of any indigenous tribes that employed taboos to prevent the accumulation of possessions/wealth (the most altruistic tribe members would become chief, for instance)? I vaguely remember reading about it in a book by either Joseph Campbell or Claude Lévi-Strauss, but maybe I just made it up.

As Tim alludes to, you may be thinking of the potlatch custom of the pacific northwest tribes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potlatch

"Dorothy Johansen describes the dynamic: "In the potlatch, the host in effect challenged a guest chieftain to exceed him in his 'power' to give away or to destroy goods. If the guest did not return 100 percent on the gifts received and destroy even more wealth in a bigger and better bonfire, he and his people lost face and so his 'power' was diminished."[9] Hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and nations, were observed and reinforced through the distribution or sometimes destruction of wealth, dance performances, and other ceremonies. The status of any given family is raised not by who has the most resources, but by who distributes the most resources. The hosts demonstrate their wealth and prominence through giving away goods."

johnm33

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #125 on: May 26, 2019, 10:02:32 PM »
Similar customs to potlach were extant in PNG, it's difficult to claim understanding of these things but I have the impression that it was more or less competitive generosity. iirc 'ongas big moka'
......more thoughts, since the practice was similar throughout the clans a whole network of mutual obligation developed.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 10:13:08 PM by johnm33 »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #126 on: May 26, 2019, 10:34:54 PM »
And those big celebrations were probably a way of instilling and preserving the custom in the minds of the people, because the way Jack Forbes described it, it trickled down and was observed at the day to day level among people within the group, at the blanket to blanket level each and every day among individuals, not just at big celebrations.

They had lot's of fabulous ideas for how to weed out undesirable behaviors, like having different people distributing the meat from those who had done the hunting. After all, if you'd just lost a finger that day hunting, you might feel you were more deserving of a bigger portion of that meat. Having someone else distribute it was a check and balance against certain thoughts creeping in and getting the better of people. Those big potlatch celebrations were possibly a way to encourage the distribution behavior among individuals on the day to day level that Jack Forbes described.

Jack Forbes is indigenous, by the way, and as an author fought hard to give accurate accounts of his people's historical culture, unlike what we find in some of the revisionist history written through a colonial cultural lens. I feel confident trusting his accounts of the historical culture. He definitely claimed the giving away to each other was a custom on the day to day level, between individuals. It was just their worldview, their narrative.

Neven

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #127 on: May 26, 2019, 11:01:57 PM »
Thanks for the answers, everyone. I often think about how the current wealth cult we live in, could be turned around.

After all, if you'd just lost a finger that day hunting, you might feel you were more deserving of a bigger portion of that meat. Having someone else distribute it was a check and balance against certain thoughts creeping in and getting the better of people.

Sure, okay, but who gets the finger?!  ;D
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #128 on: May 26, 2019, 11:08:20 PM »
Thanks for the answers, everyone. I often think about how the current wealth cult we live in, could be turned around.
 

This is, I think, a great challenge for modern society.  In previous eras, successful individuals received praise and status for "bringing home the bacon" to their communities.  The modern approach is to tax and re-distribute.  The donors get no recognition or status, so it feels like theft and/or punishment to them.  And thus, intense resistance to such taxes.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #129 on: May 27, 2019, 06:33:27 AM »
Tim,

Thanks for the recommendation on Forbes. How is it that he managed to remain "truly" indigenous? Especially considering he apparently spoke (speaks) and wrote in English. You would think -- as you've mentioned -- it would be difficult to avoid having a colonized mind if you speak the colonial language...

You keep talking about a "North American indigenous customs," which seems overly general to me. I understand that there were a lot of overlaps (ancestral and otherwise) between many of the different nations that were here when Europeans arrived, but there were also great differences. I much prefer specifics when talking about these sorts of things. It is much more useful.

I also wonder if you include groups like the Mayans in your general category? I understand the Mayans were a civilization, so maybe are automatically disqualified?

The idea of giving back when you are successful, of course, is not so foreign to "civilized" peoples (Tim's term, not mine). Noblesse oblige, and philanthropy for example. The idea of giving away one of your coats if you have two is literally a quote ascribed to Jesus. Charity is one of the pillars of Islam. There have been many systems of communalism (communism, socialism) that have emerged out of "civilized" culture, and though none have proved capable of fighting off the death cult, neither were the indigenous cultures. Moreover, "civilized" people continue to attempt to build new systems. So while I appreciate your comments, I find some of them a bit too general and without nuance.

Again, I'm not attempting to say that we're not in a mess. We are, quite obviously, and most of us on this forum are ware of that or we wouldn't be here concerning ourselves with how the ice is melting.

I personally believe that there's no way back. I think that it's the wrong move to idealize a past culture. We're in the situation we're in. Individualism did take root, and with it some very good things, I'd say. The challenge is not whether we can go back to something else, but whether we can transform what we have into something new.

In the context of this thread, for me, part of that transformation -- rather than a time warp -- is the realization that there is "a whole mythology contained within our language" to quote Wittgenstein again. Specifically to do so by looking at the terms "natural" and "nature," and how even our environmentalism has often fallen into a dichotomy of man and nature as binaries (if you follow this logic through to its end from an environmental approach you end up with a sort of deep ecology that basically can only envision a 'healthy' Earth if there are no people on it).

We find a similar sentiment in the quote from the link I shared in my previous post:

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the White man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land infested by “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us.
~ Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle

At least the indigenous people Luther Standing Bear was speaking for did not view themselves as in opposition to, and alienated from their environment, but as builders/keepers of it. I would say then that the way forward, rather than seeing ourselves as just another animal, is to recognize that we are uniquely conscious builders of environments, to take responsibility for that, and to steward the earth. Thankfully "civilized" culture has given us science, which can be extremely useful -- I am aware of its limits -- for assessing how our environment works, and how our actions are changing that, and how we might build our environments differently to have a different result.

This is exactly what was called for in the widely talked about paper "Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene" that came out last summer (link: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252):

"Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."

How to do that is not really a topic for this thread, but we can go there a bit.

So I guess my intentions were not unlike Quinn's in his book, though I'm obviously in need of a lot more practice. Thanks for helping to get the conversation to this point, even if it was by a slightly different route than anticipated.


@Steve

You bring up taxation.

Allow me to be pedantic for a minute so you can see my thought process:

Our current society has several systems of social credit, with the most important one being money.

Money is a token of credit that allows you to make demands on the rest of society (so long as you're in a place where the currency is acceptable).

The difference in wealth that exists across people seems to be unacceptable from this perspective. How can any work done be so valued by the rest of society that they essentially hand over the keys to the whole space ship?

So, I would suggest, rather than just thinking in terms of redistribution of wealth (i.e. taxation), we should be thinking in terms of limiting the allowable gap between top salaries and bottom ones. The distance between these two has been creeping up in most "developed" countries since the 1980s if I'm not mistaken. I do think we need to reward people who have skills that are rare and valuable, and have worked hard to develop them, but there have to be limits, and it is fair for society -- which awards the credit -- to set those limits, rather than some mysterious "market force."
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 06:44:45 AM by wdmn »

sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #130 on: May 27, 2019, 10:25:25 AM »
Re: allowable gap between top salaries and bottom ones

Not just income. Wealth. I know a few very, very wealthy people who show no income at all.

And then i know an Amish family that swings over 10 million USD a year in soybean alone, not to speak of the beef, pork, wheat, corn and the rest they deal in. And show very very little personal income. But their bishops take it outta their hide for their community. And that family is cool with that.

As to non Amish, those few rich folk i know are almost all much less grateful or giving. 

sidd

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #131 on: May 27, 2019, 04:05:03 PM »
Sorry for the off-topic, but do you guys know of any indigenous tribes that employed taboos to prevent the accumulation of possessions/wealth (the most altruistic tribe members would become chief, for instance)? I vaguely remember reading about it in a book by either Joseph Campbell or Claude Lévi-Strauss, but maybe I just made it up.

African hunter-gatherers shame hunters with great catches just so they don´t feel like the important man. It´s a nice idea but that works on other levels then concentrated wealth.

I am pretty sure there is a culture of giving away items but there is no accumulation like we have in the current system because it can´t be done in primitive cultures without property rights.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #132 on: May 27, 2019, 05:45:31 PM »
wdmn,

Let me try and take you through some of the mythological language you use when you speak. By mythological, I mean it's a story, a narrative, a meme.

I personally believe that there's no way back. I think that it's the wrong move to idealize a past culture.

The past? A past culture? No way back?

This is clearly a narrative, and one I've already pointed out in this thread ad nauseam, but I'll try one last time.

This is social Darwinism, which is not something Darwin ever espoused himself, in fact he spoke out against the idea. It's a narrative that says people such as the Amazonian tribesmen or the Kogi tribe in Columbia or the Dongria Kondh tribe in India ... are stone age relics of an evolutionary past.

It's a narrative that tells a story of how civilization is the evolutionary successor to these people's, who are all from the evolutionary past. It's a story, a myth, a narrative ... a meme.

Did civilization people grow another set of physical adaptations and present a different genetics from the people of this this supposed evolutionary past, like Darwin's theory speaks about? No, they didn't. They are the same DNA as civilized people. Both are homo sapiens sapiens. So where does this bullshit come from that they represent the past, and civilization represents the future? Those people I just mentioned are living here right now as we speak.

You're passing along a mythology here. A story told in word usage alone, not a reality. Indigenous thought is not 'the past.'

What's really hilarious here is how you then turned around after saying 'we can't go back to that' ... and quote a scientific paper that expressed an idea lifted entirely from an indigenous narrative of respecting the environment and caring about it, rather than just plundering it as an externality.

What are these transformed social values the paper was referring to, if not those of the indigenous people's who have told civilized thinkers this exact very same thing for centuries every time civilization rolled over them? This is the people out at Standing Rock calling themselves 'water protectors.' These are the people who two hundred years ago told civilization that its accumulation society and private land ownership customs would most certainly result eventually in environmental collapse.

That concept, of having respect for the environment, is one universal to all indigenous cultures civilization encounters. It was only just civilization culture that abandoned this narrative and cultural point of view thousands and thousands of years ago when the totalitarian agriculturalist culture (one culture) emerged out of the fertile crescent thousands and thousands of years ago. Now you seem to be saying you want to 'go back.' Or do you really think the idea of not plundering the environment, and instead developing some form of respect for it, is suddenly a brand new idea these scientists had, just now? No, it's an idea borrowed from what the indigenous have been saying to civilization for centuries.

So you've said both things now without even realizing it. In your own mythological language said how we can't go back to this supposed past ... and then suggested we do go back to this past. You just altered the words between the two contradictory ideas you expressed was all.

The indigenous in the Amazon are not from the past. They are there right now. What a bunch of mythological language you just used. One that paints a mosaic that says civilization is the next evolutionary step after those 'indigenous stone age people from the past.' You just, very subtly, expressed a mythology there. A story. A culture forming story.

...

Want to hear another story myth you just expressed?

I would say then that the way forward, rather than seeing ourselves as just another animal ...

Whoa, whoa, whoa. But you are an animal. There, didn't even need to spend too much time on that one. You are an animal. Why are you trying to distance yourself from that?

Surely you're not trying to promote this mythology that the Abrahamic religions all started that separates humans from animals and tries to paint them as being some sort of superior supernatural special creature made in the image of some god from the sky are you? Because that's what I heard in the language you just used. I heard you promoting a mythology there ... because you are an animal.

...

And furthermore, about Luther Standing Bear's quote. This is the sort of thing I'm talking about, is Luther Standing Bear's view of the biosphere, instead of the Christian cult's view that it's beneath them, ugly and filthy, wild and savage. That's a mythology the Christians have promoted heavily among their people for the past several thousand years, the very same people who now think they are more advanced than those 'wild savages' on an evolutionary scale because of this meme they tell themselves about themselves.

Now, to use your convoluted word symbols, you want to go backwards to an idea from some guy from the stone age.

Can't go back? Can go back? You've said both things again.

Using some of the ideas from indigenous culture would be in line with something I am suggesting as a possibility. What, did you think I meant running around in loincloths or something when you implored how we can't go back? No, I'm talking about ideas and narratives and memes, not about loincloths and living in teepees.

Your wording about 'back' with it's subtle implications of 'moving backwards' ... is a memetic mythology. A narrative. Just as much as how separating humans outside of the biosphere with the use of the word 'nature' as a separation signifier forms a very subtle narrative and lulls the mind into a very specific point of view. You've also done this now by labeling indigenous thoughts and ideas as being 'from the past.' See what you did there with your mythological meme?

...

Last one, even though I could keep going, is the way you used the word 'stewardship.'

I saw nothing in Luther Standing Bear's quote that implied control over the environment that the word 'stewardship' conjures. The indigenous didn't see themselves as arrogant controllers of the environment. This idea of stewardship over the environment has only come along out of Christian thinking as Christian thinkers started to become aware over the past few decades of how their original thousands of years old idea of dominion over the environment was starting to look a little ignorant and destructive and power hungry ... control over, dominion over ... conquerors of it.  It was their realization of environmental degradation that only just started to become obvious to civilized thinkers a few short decades ago, so now, the 'control' language has shifted in the churches from 'dominion over' to 'stewardship over.' It sounds better, but it still implies dominance and control.

It still spreads the same myth of superior to the environment The controller of it. Dominion over it.

It's a meme, dude. A narrative. A destructive one to the mind. Luther Standing Bear wasn't saying anything about controlling the environment through any sort of stewardship idea. The word stewardship is directly implying something smarter and more able will care for something less smarter and less able. It's just the same old freaking superiority, magical special creature, separate from nature ... nature's goddamned steward now for blinkin' sakes ... worldview of the arrogant narcissist. Luther Standing Bear wasn't talking about being any steward. He was speaking out against that meme of separation and superiority to the environment that infects the civilized mythology.

...

So your thread was about being lulled into mythologies by subtle word usages. I just pointed out a whole bunch of them that you use. It's a good subject, and once you see the mythology of superiority and narcissism the civilized narrative tells, you never see it the same way again afterward.

...

Thanks for the discussion. I'm not even going to address the comment about how it is that Jack Forbes can speak and write in English. I'll let you think that mystery over for yourself. By the way, I'd already read that research paper you posted. I was struck immediately about how long after the bell it was that this researcher was suddenly grabbing at the concept of actually caring about the biosphere, and saying how civilized culture needs to make a social transformation. Same thing them Indians from this mythological 'back then' have been telling civilization for hundreds of years now and continue to tell them today. Civilization seems a little slow on the oopidsday in that paper, not advanced at all if you ask me. I had read that paper already when it came out. What you should do is read Quinn's books, and maybe Jack Forbes books. It would save me a lot of typing. In Ishmael, he undoes and exposes several of the mythological narratives you just used. I think it would be instructive for you. And what Forbes does, is describes how these memes get transmitted, almost like mental viruses. I'm sorry if that seems like a general idea to you. I think it's actually drilling down into something quite specific myself. Incredibly specific.

Cheers.

.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 07:21:20 PM by Tim »

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #133 on: May 27, 2019, 09:33:42 PM »
Tim,

When you've gone through the transformation (maybe 'possession' is a better word to keep with your wetiko talk) from "indigenous" to "civilized" -- using your language -- which you have put in the terms of devolution, and yet clearly with the "civilized" culture as something that originated later in time (since you have said it will only last 500 generations, etc), then how are you supposed to simply forget the transformations that have occurred?

You can't, and that is what I meant by "going back" (please, don't be silly, we're not all going to be living like they do in a few amazonian tribes). The sort of attitude called for in the scientific paper I quoted is not "indigenous" though there may be overlaps (though even you seem to suggest later in your post that it is not, since it calls for stewardship). For one, it is a scientific paper, and science emerged out of the "civilized" culture. In the quote I gave from Luther Standing Bear the word "tame" was used. Something that is tamed has been tamed by something. It is well known that certain "North American indigenous cultures" used fire to shape their landscape. They did it because of the benefits it had to them, such as encouraging the growth of certain plants, making it easier to hunt, farm, etc. Again, because you refuse to really talk in any specifics it makes it difficult to engage in a meaningful conversation with you.

I'm quite aware that there are mythologies embedded in all language. All language has ultimate presuppositions, which in practice remain unconscious: things that we don't know that we know (to use Zizek's language). Those of science, I have argued are monistic as opposed to dualistic. The scientific language (actually more broadly the Judeo-Christian language) also presupposes that time is linear as opposed to cyclical; i.e. we look to history and we see a dynamic of change at work. No where did I presuppose that this change was always a progression, or that it was teleological and guaranteed success. You can keep parts of a mythology without keeping all of it, particularly if you are willing to think.

If you want to define any attempts to live on the world in a way that is respectful of the environment, etc as "indigenous," even if they make use of technology and knowledge that could never exist in an indigenous society such as the few that you've named, so be it, but once again you're obscuring more than you're revealing with your overly general language.

Yes, we are animals. There's a big difference between seeing ourselves as "just another animal" and as "an animal, but with unique consciousness."

Again, please stop talking to me like I'm an idiot.


« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 09:44:07 PM by wdmn »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #134 on: May 27, 2019, 09:59:05 PM »
Your use of 'the past' to describe cultures that still live here on the earth right now, right under your nose, is illogical. It's not an objective observation of reality or time at all, it's a smear, a slur. One that says, the way those people live and their cultural ideas are to be ignored. Who wants to 'live in the past.' But they aren't in the past, they are there right now. The way you talk sometimes is absurd and irrational to me.

I can clearly see where you can't even identify the instances of where your language conveys influencing myths.

Here's a thought. Instead of looking at what you can 'take' from indigenous thought, what you can 'accumulate' onto your system that would help it ... why don't you consider comparing and contrasting the different cultures and consider what some of the things are that some of these indigenous examples don't do that you culture does do ... and consider removing things from your culture, instead of just looking at it as accumulating something more to it, like a bandaid over a bleeding wound?

That's how I'd suggest you approach indigenous examples and comparisons and contrasts of other non-civilized cultures. Has that ever crossed your mind? Can you only just add, and never subtract? What is it these cultures don't do that yours does? That's another way to look at it.

You can't add Luther Standing Bear's concept of how to perceive the biosphere to your culture. To are going to have to first subtract the way civilization came to view it.

Again, it's a whole direction your mind faces that isn't very obvious to you. But it is to me.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 10:08:14 PM by Tim »

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #135 on: May 27, 2019, 10:06:25 PM »
Tim,

The "past" is in reference to the presumably "uncivilized" state that those who are now "civilized" emerged from. There are a few small pockets of "indigenous" peoples left in the world according to your definition.

What I'm interested in is the transformation of us "civilized" fools, into something else. I am much less interested in what someone from an uncontactable tribe in the middle of the Amazon is doing (though if you have some specifics to offer about what they are doing, that might make your argument slightly more interesting). So we investigate OUR presuppositions and OUR thinking (by looking at OUR language and how WE use it), in order to transform them internally, not by appropriating and accumulating. My process has made no reference to indigenous thought until you brought it into the thread. My process is about a transformation of civilized thought from within. It is not about adding. If it is about subtracting it only is in so far as when a metamorphosis occurs certain old parts, which used to function, fall away.

The comparison with Luther Standing Bear was a comparison. I didn't base my thinking on his quote. What would be the point of trying to recreate a form of thinking that existed in a different way of life in a different language that I have almost no knowledge of? I can't go "back" to that (it doesn't exist in North America anymore according to you), and I can't go back to my ancestors as they lived 501 generations ago. The only possibility is onwards to something new.

Hopefully that is clear.


Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #136 on: May 27, 2019, 10:11:15 PM »
Well, I pointed out some of the key usages of language that your culture is deluding itself through, and you just reject them. So, good luck.

Again, you slur those people by labeling them as 'the past.' That's just a concept you have formed in your own head. It's literally ... racism.

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #137 on: May 27, 2019, 10:14:00 PM »
I'll add that I think your civilization is doing just fine at what needs to be done to correct itself. I'll leave it in your hands and stop posting in your thread, you seem very sure of yourself and what you're doing. Super sure.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #138 on: May 27, 2019, 10:17:39 PM »
Tim,

Can you please re-read my last post, as I made a bunch of edits that you may have missed that are relevant to my use of the word "past."

Then I'd appreciate it if you withdrew your comment calling me a racist.


Thanks

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #139 on: May 28, 2019, 05:33:34 AM »
Quote
.. certain old parts, which used to function, fall away.
If I may transfer this to the context of your functioning brain, in how it was 'designed' to function by natural selection.

Old Parts fall away because they don't function anymore within 'optimal parameters' to paraphrase Data (STNG). Don't use it (or abuse it) and you'll lose it.
I observe many parts that have fallen away in this context such as loss of mother instinct and survival instinct. Young children still have all parts which then get eaten away (abused) fast by programming them with 'civilisation'.

People in civilisation have dysfunctioning brains because of the non-meshing of civilised culture with the 'machine's design'. Things 'break' and your thinking changes. Human language also has a big influence because it has e.g. violence, sexism, property rights and hierarchy. The way people think is not from an abstract objective distance. It is from within the 'toolkit'. It is part of it.
Civilised people think with a 'machine' that's not functioning optimal and miss a lot of benefits of complex interaction with living nature. This strongly influences your thought processes. Outside is where we belong.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/27/health-indoor-habit

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #140 on: May 28, 2019, 06:13:49 AM »
Nanning,

Yawn. You're speaking in such generalizations. Do you really believe that violence, hierarchy and sexism occur only within "civilization"? Fine, perhaps you're defining civilization in terms of everything you don't like, in which case these statements are just axiomatic (and extremely boring).

If it's not the above, and you're actually making empirical claims, you (like Tim), have done a very poor job of offering any specific data to back up your claims.

So, just to pick the most basic thing, do you think violence exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom, or no? Do you believe that there are dominant males (and females) within, for example, chimpanzee social groups, or do you deny the documented cases of this? Do you believe that male lions will kill cubs so that they can have a chance to impregnate females, or do you deny the documented cases of this?

And if you find this in the animal kingdom, why would you think that it is so strange?

Are you aware that there were many wars between neighbouring tribes in some parts of Indigenous North America? That the Cree around James Bay would refer to Ojibwe as "boogeymen" (in their language, of course), and depict them as kidnappers (who would take female children especially)? Do you know that the Ojibwe had many wars with the Iroquois?

Do you believe that pacifist movements have emerged within civilized culture? Do you think that the Quakers are not part of civilized culture? Do you believe that Martin Luther King Jr and Ghandi were not part of civilized culture?

We could go on and on with this. You've offered nothing but generalities.

You also seem to be mistaken in your understanding of evolution. You keep speaking as though the environment in which a species evolves is the only environment it should inhabit. Are you aware that most species alive today have survived massive changes in environment (not due to humans, I might add)? You speak as though evolution has a teleology, and somehow humans have bastardized the teleology. So you again seem to be suggesting that there is something unnatural about humans (at least civilized ones).

Whether civilization proves successful or not in the long run, there is no basis for this in evolutionary language, since most species are not successful in the long run, and most variations (or mutations) prove to be unfit for survival.

Again, the point of the thread was not to discuss whether or not this civilization is desirable or not, only whether there are tenable grounds for calling human beings unnatural. At this point I don't even care about returning to that subject, I just wish that you would at least say something interesting by giving specific examples if you're going to speak at all.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 06:30:03 AM by wdmn »

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #141 on: May 28, 2019, 06:50:37 AM »
Look wdmb ... you started a thread discussing memetics ... without even knowing that's what you were talking about I think ... and that's what I engaged you in, was a discussion about memetics.

And you had no clue what I was talking about.

I think you're the bore dude. Rather boorish too.

You're right, your thread was pointless with you leading it.  ;)

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #142 on: May 28, 2019, 06:55:27 AM »
Tim,

Your civilized ego is showing.  ;)

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #143 on: May 28, 2019, 06:58:28 AM »
Says the crybaby who whined all the way through the thread.

You speak with a very forked tongue all through your irrational discussions, like typical wetiko.

 :o

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #144 on: May 28, 2019, 07:01:33 AM »
Now now Tim, it's difficult to have an adult conversation with someone who isn't civil.

Or are you being civilized... now I can't tell.  :-\

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #145 on: May 28, 2019, 07:03:14 AM »
<snipski, snapski, leave it be guys, you've reached the end of the line; N>
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 11:43:00 AM by Neven »

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #146 on: May 28, 2019, 04:54:00 PM »
@wdmn
I would like to continue this thread even though you seem not to be interested anymore, I think it contains important information and fundamental understanding of the questions of how we got here and what does our culture mean. I think it could be a fertile thread. Not many posted here but there sure must be some who are interested (and polite). It would be nice to further explore this. The total understanding I have of all matters in this context seems consistent. I wonder.

Do you mind? I ask because you seem to sort-of claim this thread because you started it and posed the question. Thanks, by the way, for giving this opportunity.

Reading your posts here, in my interpretation, it looks to me as if you try to understand by testing and trying to fit it (Tim & nanning truth) in your worldview. But it doesn't fit. Like trying to fit a 5 sided carpet in a 4 sided room. Every time you try to fit a couple of corners, something pops up. Those 'pop-ups' give a bad feeling (emotion in reactionpost) and derail your understanding. It doesn't fit because the underlying pattern is wrong. In the metaphore obviously a four sided carpet is needed. I think I see how that might apply a bit. You'll probably think this is too general, sorry, this is my way.
Really, for you to understand 'it' you need to change your worldview. That's possible with focus. Finally, in my interpretation, you seem to need all the details before you can see the pattern. This is just my unexpertly interpretation, please don't take it as offensive. I can easily be wrong in this. I would like you to be kind in your response.

@Tim
Eyeing your last posts, I wish that you to try for a higher morality, it's great making yourself 'better', from my experience. How would an indigenous human react in such a situation? Be proud of yourself.
Please don't take this as condescending. I welcome your further input. Most of your posts, to me, were great to read.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #147 on: May 29, 2019, 02:09:10 AM »
Nanning,

I appreciate your carpet metaphor; I don't think, however, that you're entirely correct in your assessment.

What I reject is the assumptions both you and Tim are making about me as a person. This is a dialogue. Stick on topic. Respond to the questions and the substance of the posts. Don't come with ad hominems or assumptions that I don't understand anything other than a "civilized" mindset. Please. Yes, I was somewhat edgy in calling your posts boring, but was trying to provoke a real dialogue.

On the contrary, Tim called me a racist, a wetiko, an asshat, an idiot, and a forked-tongue. What sort of dialogue is that? He attempted to get under my skin, so I responded in kind. But both you and he have left many of my questions unanswered.

Can you please respond to some of my questions in the previous post I addressed to you?


Thanks for your courtesy,

wdmn

Tim

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #148 on: May 29, 2019, 04:41:04 PM »
wdmb,

You asked for specifics, and what I was giving you is something specific. I identified for you the root of the entire cultural problem that's leading your people into collapse. You can't solve a problem, until you know what that problem actually is.

Your cultures problem is like racism. Which is a concept of supremacy. Racism towards plants. Racism towards animals. Racism towards insects. Racism towards rivers, and oceans, and soils. A worldview of superiority about yourselves over all other things on the earth, over all other forms of life on the earth, over the entire earth system. Civilization is a culture of supremacy and dominance over other things. That's what racism is; the idea of superiority and supremacy over other things. That's what it calls progress.

I pointed it out to you in the language you use, which forms a story-line. All any culture is, is just the enactment of a story so as to make it come true. Your cultures story, it's language, is about putting yourselves first. It's about dominance and supremacy over the entire earth ... you first, only yourselves, only you.

You said you want to know the way to transform your culture, and that's what I was showing you, specifically. And all you did was rail against what I was showing you in a dozen different ways and called it boring after you rationalized away the points I was making at every step of the way. You didn't want to hear it at all, so you went on the offensive to stop it, which is classic wetiko behavior.

I called you a wetiko, because in this thread you demonstrated all the behaviors and tactics of a wetiko. A wetiko is a narcissist, that's what it means in western language. You said, "Yes, I was somewhat edgy in calling your posts boring, but was trying to provoke ..." That's what a wetiko does, is start provoking whenever someone starts poking around in their beliefs, until it stops the discussion, which you have succeeded in now doing. It's just a subconscious tactic. Congratulations.

I called the language you were using racist, because civilization is a racist culture, one that uses subtle racist language to tell a racist story that their culture then enacts and makes come true. That's what a culture is, the enactment of a story formed through the particular language they use. Your culture is racist towards all forms of life other than their own, including other homo sapiens sapiens cultures that they've now just about eliminated from what used to be a diversity of cultures, and turned it into one big mono culture of just themselves, just their one culture ... supremacy. They've also done this to the entire biosphere now too, which is why it's collapsing. All I did was point that racist language out to you and showed you where you were repeating it, in several different ways. Most of the people on this forum repeat this mythological language almost anytime they're talking.

I called you forked tongued, because that's the argument style you use with all your deflecting and avoiding and hostility towards what I was trying to show you about the very specific problem your culture needs to solve (by just stopping being the way they are, by stopping enacting that story of supremacy and dominance you are enacting and passing along through your language, by finding another story to enact.) I showed you how thinking you are stewards over the planet is just another dominance story. How calling the indigenous 'the past ... over, impossible to know anyway (now that your culture has killed them all)' ... how that is just the enactment of a dominance and supremacy story. I showed you how saying you're 'not just another animal' is a story of supremacy. I was showing you how your language is rife with this story you all now enact. The language is what drives it, that's what memetics is, which is what you began your thread about without even seeming to know it.

And you didn't want to hear any of it. You flew into a narcissistic rage, and chased me out of here. Yup, that's being a wetiko alright. That's why I identified you as being one. That's why therapists won't even treat a narcissist. Because they're trapped in a delusional bubble of supremacy so complete that they just rage at any therapist who points out their problem to them, just like you've done in this thread. They'll proclaim out into the air that they've heard nothing of value from the therapist, just like you've done in this thread. If the therapist gives them an explanation, they'll just say they haven't been given one, just like you did at one point in this thread. Then they'll call the therapist boring and say they don't want to continue, just as you've done in this thread. Pretty classic dude, if you had any awareness about the condition. Most people in civilization are afflicted with narcissism, consumerism actually encourages it as a behavior, which is something experts fully acknowledge. That's what wetiko is.

I called you an idiot, because you kept saying you felt like an idiot, so I finally just agreed with you was all. I tried not to for a long time, but when you became foul and provokative at me, I aquiesced and simply just agreed with you.

There is no point talking to you any longer wdmb. Look at you, demanding nanning answer your questions like a control freak. That's your culture talking again ... control, dominance, supremacy ... and you can't even see it, because the narcissist can't see he's a narcissist, that's part of their whole problem. Like you even know the right questions to be asking anyway, which you most abviously don't or you'd have solved this problem on your own already and understood what the problem is even about, instead of railing against an explanation of it the way you've done in this thread.

There's no point continuing with you wdmb ... you're steeped in enacting a story that you don't even know you're a part of, and don't want to hear about it when someone tries to point it out to you. You call it boring and say they're not actually saying anything. Talk about covering your ears and saying la la la la la.

"Yes, I was somewhat edgy in calling your posts boring, but was trying to provoke ..."

Yup, you sure were, all the way through the thread. What kind of dialogue is that? It's the classic tactic of an incurable wetiko to provoke people. You can see this behavior on facebook all the time. I'm sure you would rationalize away how you were doing something else other than what you actually were, because you can't even see it in yourself. That's how the wetiko illness manifests, as a bunch of rationalizing and deflecting away from ever recognizing your own behavior, or your story, or your language, or your culture.

So ... go solve your own problem wdmb. But I don't think you will, because you don't know what the problem even is, and you'll just chase away anyone who tries to point it out to you. Nice job you're doing with this. You should go conquer space next. Maybe that would help. More conquering.

Goodbye wdmb.

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #149 on: May 29, 2019, 06:05:52 PM »
Tib,

You've assumed my relationship to "my culture," and granted yourself a position outside of it from which you can call me a supremacist. Yet it is you who called me an idiot, a wetiko, etc. all things I would assume you consider yourself superior to. You've decided to make this personal again and again, as though you have some superior knowledge that is beyond my grasp. And yet you haven't made an argument that is foreign to me or difficult to understand. I was 18 and smoking weed the first time I heard claims similar to what you're making here. Please don't flatter yourself over your originality. We're in a dialogue. Focus on ideas. Answer questions when they are raised. If they are bad questions, make your case for why they are bad. Maybe then we can get somewhere. On the other hand if you're convinced you're talking to the devil incarnate then we probably aren't going to get anywhere.

I responded with an argument clarifying the comment about "past." You did not respond to what I said.

For the sake of the readers it goes something like this:

According to your worldview, there are two kinds of humans (or two kinds of worldviews, and all humans hold one or the other) indigenous (A) and civilized (B).

All humans began as (A).

Accumulation began in the fertile crescent with farming and (B) arose.

(B) spread with the spread of civilization.

(B) spread by assimilating, converting, infecting, possessing (whatever language you want to use) people who previously lived as (A).

(B) has only survived 500 generations, whereas (A) continues to survive, but only in a few small pockets (as far as I know you've still only given one vague example; that of uncontacted tribes in the Amazon; which raises the question -- that you didn't answer -- about your own place in all of this).

Therefore, while (A) still exists, for any (B) (A) represents a past state of THEIR OWN existence, a state from which they have fallen (surprise, surprise).

I suppose you are claiming it is possible for a (B) to RETURN TO (GO BACK) to being an (A) (the way a person who has fallen ill may go back to being healthy). I have suggested that this path is likely not possible, at least for most (B)s; that once you've been ill in this way, there is no path back to your former state. I have suggested instead that only possibility then is towards some new state (C). This requires a transformation of the way that those within (B) think. That happens by doing things like considering the presuppositions within the thinking of (B). In someway that is what my thread does, though I have again and again rejected your simple binary worldview that divides all of history into (A) and (B). I have asked for specifics so that we can see nuance, and also test how true this division of world history, culture and thought into (A) and (B) is. You seem to expect me and everyone else to just accept this picture of the world as true, because you say it is.

You decide that my questioning is itself part of (B) and therefore you cannot talk to me. So it is your worldview which is so narrow as to break down the possibility for dialogue. You can only talk to those few other (A)s remaining. (How it is that you have the good fortune of being an (A) I don't know).

As for the claim about stewardship, I would be happy to discuss that more in depth, but chose to focus on the comments about the "past" first. I'm trying to keep our posts from becoming too long.

Also, quite wrong is your claim that I lost it. But we can simply scroll up the thread to see what really happened.

If you're leaving now, I can't say I'll be sorry to see you go. But I'm always willing to dialogue when you're ready for it.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 06:34:23 PM by wdmn »