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Old 12-31-2019, 11:21 PM
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Being born broken


http://9-1.huntergatherers.org/

So I’m not entirely sure how accurate this is. Suggesting that humans of the modern day are born “broken” in a sense. I mean the whole things reads of the sort of nonsense I saw in Freud or Jung. I haven’t heard of Berman before but I looked into him a bit and the reviews on his books seem mixed to say the least, and not that many to be honest. I haven’t read the book “wandering god” and likely won’t given my history with reading new stuff. Just wondering how true it is.
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:05 AM
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I took a brief look at the link you posted, but I have to say the print is very small and the prose is very dense. Could you please summarize the main points of that article?
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:22 AM
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:29 AM
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Isn't the murder rate in hunter gatherer societies something like 100x higher than in the west? So how can anyone claim those societies are more psychologically healthy?

It sounds like the noble savage fallacy to me. I don't see a lot of evidence for any of these arguments that hunter gatherers are better people.
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:38 AM
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I'm not getting the 'born broken' message you mention, but agree that it sounds Freudian. Apparently having our period of breast-feeding cut short from an ideal four years (?) results in us spending the rest of our lives trying to patch up this psychic pain with religion, leader-worship, pursuit of romantic love, charisma (?), etc.

As with the other thread about that noble Amazonian tribe, I can't help but think that these hunter-gatherer societies aren't really superior to modern, neurotic, civilisation. Their societies are simpler and infinitely-less culturally rich; so less neurotic, but going nowhere in particular. Without toilet paper.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:21 AM
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So somebody calling themselves J.A. Heffernan decided to create a website where they could write up some theories, and you're assuming that carries any weight?
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:24 AM
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OP, to answer your question, No it's not true. Don't read it anymore.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:26 AM
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You're born. You suffer. You die. Repeat until reincarnation stops.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:27 AM
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From the fact that evolution never reaches an equilibrium to the concept of Original Sin, there are a zillion arguments to be made that we are born broken. Why is less than ideal existence a news story, anyway?
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:54 AM
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Of course we’re "born" broken. Have you seen how much newborn babies and infants leak? Ick!
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:42 PM
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The above is a review I read about the book he cites in the link. Again I’m still not entirely sure how true this is. It still sounds like airy psychology and when I asked the author about it he just told me to read his books (and by that I guess buy them since I don’t see them in my library). But like I said, amazon shows the books have a very small audience and the reviews are mixed. So ultimately I’m not sure what to think on this.

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Old 01-01-2020, 04:24 PM
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BS. Just to mention one point. My DIL was going to try to nurse her son for as long as he was interested, but he totally lost interested around age 2. Of course he was eating a lot of solid food by and already cut down to a "night-time nip".
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:56 PM
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So ultimately I’m not sure what to think on this.
In other words, it's exactly the same as any other book, website, or article you've read on any of these subjects over the past few years.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:09 PM
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Anyone who thinks hunter-gatherers are interested in "balance" is full of balloon juice. Hunter-gatherers are interested in where their next meal comes from. That's why they hunt and gather.

And it's not like they sit around the fire at night and bond with each other, either. They're mostly looking out for predators who want to eat their food and/or drag away their young.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:33 PM
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I wish I had hard evidence against it, but I can’t deny that the lives of humans back then and now is quite different.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:08 AM
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Well, yeah.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:40 AM
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That appears like part of the fall of humanity through Adam and Eve in the Bible, and somewhat similar in the Quran and has made it's was into other faiths as well including Buddhism though in a different format, but the same darn thing. Yes we are broken as a human, not complete in ourselves, and helped by other broken beings (typically parents and other authority figures), who do what they can but can't help everything and thus humanity stays broken. However there is a way out of it, a connection to something beyond us but also within us. And I have seen this pattern in psychology also, as people shift from blaming others to looking at themselves for answers to questions they have had in their lives. The convergence of these faiths and studies seem to point to this is a universally true principal.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:23 AM
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That appears like part of the fall of humanity through Adam and Eve in the Bible, and somewhat similar in the Quran and has made it's was into other faiths as well including Buddhism though in a different format, but the same darn thing. Yes we are broken as a human, not complete in ourselves, and helped by other broken beings (typically parents and other authority figures), who do what they can but can't help everything and thus humanity stays broken. However there is a way out of it, a connection to something beyond us but also within us. And I have seen this pattern in psychology also, as people shift from blaming others to looking at themselves for answers to questions they have had in their lives. The convergence of these faiths and studies seem to point to this is a universally true principal.
The conclusion you happen to like is nothing like a "universally true principle".
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:19 PM
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Of course we’re "born" broken. Have you seen how much newborn babies and infants leak? Ick!
That's not broken, just bad gaskets.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:59 PM
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OP, you seriously need to quit reading this garbage.
Okay, new strategy: How's about just thinking and people watch til you can determine your own conclusions as to why folks are like they are.You'll never know all the mysteries of life and people. That's just how it is.
And let's not even get into understanding the opposite sex. That's a real rabbit hole.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:16 PM
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That appears like part of the fall of humanity through Adam and Eve in the Bible, and somewhat similar in the Quran and has made it's was into other faiths as well including Buddhism though in a different format, but the same darn thing. Yes we are broken as a human, not complete in ourselves, and helped by other broken beings (typically parents and other authority figures), who do what they can but can't help everything and thus humanity stays broken. However there is a way out of it, a connection to something beyond us but also within us. And I have seen this pattern in psychology also, as people shift from blaming others to looking at themselves for answers to questions they have had in their lives. The convergence of these faiths and studies seem to point to this is a universally true principal.
Just because a bunch of religions believe it doesn’t make it true. Also the only times I have heard of it happening in psychology is the result of a bad childhood or abuse (which seems more in line with what is going on).
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:21 PM
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Anyone who thinks hunter-gatherers are interested in "balance" is full of balloon juice. Hunter-gatherers are interested in where their next meal comes from. That's why they hunt and gather.

And it's not like they sit around the fire at night and bond with each other, either. They're mostly looking out for predators who want to eat their food and/or drag away their young.
Well, a whole lot of them must have fallen in love. Fortunately for us. So it wasn't all eating and not being eaten.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:36 PM
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OP, you seriously need to quit reading this garbage.
Okay, new strategy: How's about just thinking and people watch til you can determine your own conclusions as to why folks are like they are.You'll never know all the mysteries of life and people. That's just how it is.
And let's not even get into understanding the opposite sex. That's a real rabbit hole.
People watching doesn’t seem to help or address the main point of the link. That psychologically because of how our society is we feel like we have to fill some hole or as the result of a cut from some primal unity. I don’t like feeling like I’m born broken from something out of my control.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:35 PM
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I'm not getting the 'born broken' message you mention, but agree that it sounds Freudian. Apparently having our period of breast-feeding cut short from an ideal four years (?) results in us spending the rest of our lives trying to patch up this psychic pain with religion, leader-worship, pursuit of romantic love, charisma (?), etc. . . . .
The breast-feeding period is only that long when there's little food available that's easily chewed and digested by small children. When enough easily chewed and digested food is available, it's like Hari Seldon said:

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BS. Just to mention one point. My DIL was going to try to nurse her son for as long as he was interested, but he totally lost interested around age 2. Of course he was eating a lot of solid food by and already cut down to a "night-time nip".
One big problem with a hunter/gatherer life that requires nursing for four years is that nursing does not prevent additional pregnancies. This means that a mother with more than one child under four (or three, or two, depending on local resources) has to choose which child is nursed. I can't imagine the pain of making that choice. Talk about leaving a hole.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:00 PM
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I have big doubts about the nursing having an impact on psychology and that it was more of a necessity than anything else.

But the quoted post notes how HG don’t have to “lose themselves” in egoic striving or the “elites” charisma and other things.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:24 PM
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Anyone who thinks hunter-gatherers are interested in "balance" is full of balloon juice. Hunter-gatherers are interested in where their next meal comes from. That's why they hunt and gather.

And it's not like they sit around the fire at night and bond with each other, either. They're mostly looking out for predators who want to eat their food and/or drag away their young.
Well, that too is a gross generalization, and pretty inaccurate as well.

Hunter/gatherers generally did a lot more gathering than hunting, and both activities were characterized by seasonal flurries of intense activity and then a lot of idleness. Like, when the salmon run you better get out there and catch your salmon and smoke and dry them, but after that, you're coasting until the next harvest thing comes around.

California natives spent a lot of time gambling, singing, and making exquisite baskets. There weren't even that many big predators until the whalers started letting so many stripped carcasses float to shore, supporting a boom in grizzlies and black bears.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:27 PM
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But I guess it also makes me question what is natural and right when I see how different life is from then and now
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:16 PM
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Like how wanting relationships or getting swept up in a leader is just to try and recapture this feeling of the numinous
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:25 PM
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http://www.fearofnature.com/wandering-god-berman

Actually this was the book I'm talking about.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:09 AM
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Also while the link to the site seems hyperbolic I think it gets at how humans were ones adept at surviving "in nature" and now it's like there is a fear of it with them.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:09 AM
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I have big doubts about the nursing having an impact on psychology and that it was more of a necessity than anything else.

But the quoted post notes how HG don’t have to “lose themselves” in egoic striving or the “elites” charisma and other things.
People ALWAYS form hierarchies.

Hunter/gatherers are dependent on their local environment. They need to know a great deal about local resources and to coordinate to harvest the local resources. Coordination is critical to survival and it doesn't happen by floating mentally "in nature". I'm not sure what "egoic striving" and "'elites' charisma" is supposed to mean, but if they've got anything to do with managing one's place in a group or managing between groups, then they were survival level critical.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:10 AM
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Also while the link to the site seems hyperbolic I think it gets at how humans were ones adept at surviving "in nature" and now it's like there is a fear of it with them.
Rosa Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.

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Old 01-06-2020, 03:02 PM
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People ALWAYS form hierarchies.

Hunter/gatherers are dependent on their local environment. They need to know a great deal about local resources and to coordinate to harvest the local resources. Coordination is critical to survival and it doesn't happen by floating mentally "in nature". I'm not sure what "egoic striving" and "'elites' charisma" is supposed to mean, but if they've got anything to do with managing one's place in a group or managing between groups, then they were survival level critical.
Well the link I posted is a book that suggests such things. But from what I have read about HG seems to suggest that the tale is quite varied and not exactly monolithic
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:55 PM
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But the author in the link seems to suggest otherwise
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:35 AM
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http://9-1.huntergatherers.org/

And this one seems to suggest that in order to recapture the experience with the “numinous” (according you erikson) modern man tries many fusion experiments.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:40 PM
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So somebody calling themselves J.A. Heffernan decided to create a website where they could write up some theories, and you're assuming that carries any weight?
He is also self published and has no academic credentials online. He does not mention any academic credentials in his introduction, stating: "I have undertaken this project out of an intellectual fondness for the subject matter . . . "

This is a hobbyist. This is a hobbyist who could not find anyone willing to publish his meanderings unless they were paid up front (White Poppy Press). And this is a hobbyist with a horrible bright orange background on the home page of his website. I would not read anything he wrote for fear of it killing brain cells.

And about the "hole" - that's a feature, not a bug. Humans spend many vulnerable years in childhood during which they need to stay close to and pay attention to the other humans around them. That requires motivation. Fortunately, most humans are born with a "hole" - a strong urge to be with, and create social bonds with, other humans. Without that "hole", even in adulthood, the odds of survival go way down, especially in a hunter/gatherer situation.

Modern resources allow people born with less urgent "holes" to survive, so if anything, modern life has allowed less "broken" personalities to spread. Theoretically. There's really no way to measure how urgent the inborn need to connect is among different populations. So we, and JAH, are stuck telling stories about how we think things might be working.

I did run across a magazine article, long ago, about scientists studying a hunter/gatherer tribe and how difficult it was to just watch while babies, children, and adults died of starvation. Because if you provide food, you change the society. Did you know that babies are born with a greater or lesser propensity to cry? Guess which babies were more likely to survive during periods of starvation. Guess why.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:21 PM
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http://www.fearofnature.com/wandering-god-berman

Actually this was the book I'm talking about.
That's a review from, I assume the owner of the website. He describes himself: "Corbett Robinson . . . is a California native. He obtained his BA degree in Religious Studies with minors in Philosophy and Native American Studies from Humboldt State. He currently works for the National Park Service, on the Trail Crew for Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

I'm not sure I'd rely on him to accurately describe the book: Berman, M. Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality (2000). That's Morris Berman, with, according to wikipedia, a bachelor's in mathematics and a PhD in History of Science. He's described there as a humanist cultural critic who specializes in Western cultural and intellectual history. It looks like he ranges a bit from that when he writes for a general audience, but he was published by university presses.

At a brief scan, Berman's writing is dense and he argues against a lot of other historians/popularizers on a number of topics. In the introduction to Wandering God, he writes that with the hunter/gatherer outlook: "One does not "deal with" alienation (the split between Self and World) as much as live with it, accept the discomfort as just part of what is." This is the exact opposite of what JAH is claiming in your first link.

It looks like CR's review is a mix of summary of MB, quotes from MB, and his own ideas, with references to other works. I don't know how much he strays from MB's conclusions. JAH, on the other hand, is very much going his own way. He's much easier to read, but that's all his own stuff. The reference(s) are there only for decoration, not support.

Wandering God is the last book in a trilogy about consciousness and spirituality through different eras. I did not read it. I only scanned through. I'd describe what I did read as being based on what has been written about "consciousness and spirituality through history" by past historians, philosophers, and early psychologists. So if you'd enjoy having him describe other people's guesses about the internal workings of long dead people to you and then tell you which of them he agrees with or disagrees with, go to it. There may be some actual evidence in there, but what evidence there is is drowning in multiple conclusions from multiple people.

The first two books in the trilogy are The Re-enchantment of the World and Coming to Our Senses. He's also written a trilogy on the decline of American civilization: The Twilight of American Culture, Dark Ages America, Why America Failed (2011).
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:54 AM
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That's a review from, I assume the owner of the website. He describes himself: "Corbett Robinson . . . is a California native. He obtained his BA degree in Religious Studies with minors in Philosophy and Native American Studies from Humboldt State. He currently works for the National Park Service, on the Trail Crew for Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

I'm not sure I'd rely on him to accurately describe the book: Berman, M. Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality (2000). That's Morris Berman, with, according to wikipedia, a bachelor's in mathematics and a PhD in History of Science. He's described there as a humanist cultural critic who specializes in Western cultural and intellectual history. It looks like he ranges a bit from that when he writes for a general audience, but he was published by university presses.

At a brief scan, Berman's writing is dense and he argues against a lot of other historians/popularizers on a number of topics. In the introduction to Wandering God, he writes that with the hunter/gatherer outlook: "One does not "deal with" alienation (the split between Self and World) as much as live with it, accept the discomfort as just part of what is." This is the exact opposite of what JAH is claiming in your first link.

It looks like CR's review is a mix of summary of MB, quotes from MB, and his own ideas, with references to other works. I don't know how much he strays from MB's conclusions. JAH, on the other hand, is very much going his own way. He's much easier to read, but that's all his own stuff. The reference(s) are there only for decoration, not support.

Wandering God is the last book in a trilogy about consciousness and spirituality through different eras. I did not read it. I only scanned through. I'd describe what I did read as being based on what has been written about "consciousness and spirituality through history" by past historians, philosophers, and early psychologists. So if you'd enjoy having him describe other people's guesses about the internal workings of long dead people to you and then tell you which of them he agrees with or disagrees with, go to it. There may be some actual evidence in there, but what evidence there is is drowning in multiple conclusions from multiple people.

The first two books in the trilogy are The Re-enchantment of the World and Coming to Our Senses. He's also written a trilogy on the decline of American civilization: The Twilight of American Culture, Dark Ages America, Why America Failed (2011).
So he pretty much just quotes a bunch of different people but presents nothing original of his own?

Also I don’t get what he means by the split between self and world, and I doubt that was the HG outlook and if it was then it’s not a good one. From what I can tell humans caused a lot of damage because of that split, unable to see how we are connected to the world and everything around us. Plenty of eastern philosophy argues quite well against this perceived “split”:
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:12 AM
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If that’s the main point of his piece then HG were wrong in their view of the world because there isn’t a split between you and the world,
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:45 AM
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And it's not like they sit around the fire at night and bond with each other, either.
That's a load of cack, and you have no idea what you're talking about. Bonding around the fire is exactly what they do.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:56 PM
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That's a load of cack, and you have no idea what you're talking about. Bonding around the fire is exactly what they do.
Well that and sometimes watching each other starve to death. But the main topic of this thread is the alleged psychology not lifestyle
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:58 AM
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Rosa Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
Nature is what, if it goes away, so do you.

I like, "The purpose of life is to make a purpose." That's after we reproduce. Without progeny, we leave only memories. But I digress. We need training to become decent people. Of COURSE we're born broken, rotten, imperfect. The only perfection is in death. Till then, we fuck up. It's called learning. Live and learn, or don't. The older I get, the more perfect I become, soon to be intolerable. Still broken, but what the fuck, that's life.

If we weren't born broken we'd have nowhere to go but down.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:28 PM
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I guess that’s one way to look at all of it. I just don’t like thinking that wanting a romantic relationship makes me broken to trying to mend some tear with the primal unity or whatever
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:00 PM
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...what is natural and right...
...may be different from each other, depending on circumstance.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:31 AM
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True. The other part in the link is arguing how spirituality changed also with this "verticality". Humans had creation myths and created gods and spirits that ruled over things. ONe could argue much of our society today is a result of that with games where there are winners and losers and rankings.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:49 PM
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Isn't the murder rate in hunter gatherer societies something like 100x higher than in the west? So how can anyone claim those societies are more psychologically healthy?
Their children also die at a rate probably around 20-30% before the age of 5.

But, if you measured their stress levels, you'd probably find that they're more carefree and happy than your average modern day person.

Modern life and morality force us to live in a way that goes against evolution. Evolution is a psychopath and, naturally, humans are relatively psychopathic on that basis. Pushing them to be moral, organized, timely, to share, to be peaceful, etc. causes them stress since it's a difficult thing to manage and live up to. It requires mass social pressure and economic incentives to accomplish - and even that fails some percentage of the time.

The price of the freedom to be a raging a-hole day in and day out, through your whole life, without having someone bash a club through your skull is that you will be more stressed out and less happy in your life than you would be for the much shorter life you would have lead as a hunter gatherer (and where you would have ended up getting pushed over a cliff one day, while no one was looking). You do not have to watch 30% of your children die, but you will be less happy on a daily basis in return for that.

It's the price we pay.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-14-2020 at 02:49 PM.
  #47  
Old 01-14-2020, 05:09 PM
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I guess that’s one way to look at all of it. I just don’t like thinking that wanting a romantic relationship makes me broken to trying to mend some tear with the primal unity or whatever
It's not. You wanting a romantic relationship makes you a normal, healthy human being.
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  #48  
Old 01-14-2020, 11:51 PM
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It's not. You wanting a romantic relationship makes you a normal, healthy human being.
Well apparently not.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/07914...rb_top?ie=UTF8

Moderator Note - excessive quote removed

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 01-15-2020 at 08:07 PM.
  #49  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:19 AM
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Modern life and morality force us to live in a way that goes against evolution. Evolution is a psychopath and, naturally, humans are relatively psychopathic on that basis. Pushing them to be moral, organized, timely, to share, to be peaceful, etc. causes them stress since it's a difficult thing to manage and live up to. It requires mass social pressure and economic incentives to accomplish - and even that fails some percentage of the time.
Um... no. This is a misunderstanding of what evolution is. Evolution is a neutral process, which OFTEN (perhaps usually) favors social cooperation over selfish individual short-term benefit. Human beings are the most notable example of how successful the evolution of cooperative behavior can be.

Wiki:
Co-operation (evolution)

Cooperation, Conflict, and the Evolution of Complex Animal Societies
Organisms as diverse as amoebas and elephants frequently live in groups. Why do these and many other animals form complex societies?

The Evolution of Cooperation
When and why individual organisms work together at the game of life, and what keeps cheaters in check

Cooperation, not struggle for survival, drives evolution, say researchers
Empirical experiment confirms new hypothesis on evolution of life

Darwin and Malthus Were Wrong: Cooperation Is Key to Evolution

The statements in a new conceptual model of evolution undermine the whole rationale for Social Darwinism.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:06 AM
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Um... no. This is a misunderstanding of what evolution is. Evolution is a neutral process, which OFTEN (perhaps usually) favors social cooperation over selfish individual short-term benefit. Human beings are the most notable example of how successful the evolution of cooperative behavior can be.
I don't disagree. But one notes that the cooperative model that works best, tit for tat, has a punitive side. And one also notes that cooperation among humans pertains to relatively small groups who, a large percentage of the time, are hostile to one another, raiding the other group for fun, to kill a few, rape a few, and steal a few as slaves to take back.

Particularly when it comes to the family unit, we are not psychopaths in the majority case. When it comes to, say, the fate of the people of Syria, many modern people will say that they all need to be saved and given refuge, etc. But if that does not happen, your average person will simply move on, unaffected. Some will be hurt, angry, and sad - it is a bell curve - but that's not the middle of the bell.

If you read historical literature, it is not uncommon to see statements that so-and-so beat his servant, child, or charge and it goes by completely unremarked upon as a unremarkable and often expected thing. It's just as common sense that you would challenge a person to a duel for insulting you as you would beat a servant for mouthing off.

In the 19th century, slaves were whipped, soldiers were flogged, sailors were flogged and keelhauled, factory workers were beaten, and children were universally switched. It is fairly likely that it's not until the 20th century that we began to enter a phase of human history where your average person might never have been beaten, at least once, by a person who commanded them.

But, quite possibly, people used to be happier on average. Some percentage of us prefer the modern world and understand why we wanted to get here and why we should stay here. Most people are just going along, living life in accordance with the rules of society as imposed upon them by the majority - same as at all times through history. But, through history, those rules were closer to human nature - a mix of cooperative, punitive, and occasional genocidal wrath - and as best we can tell, is quite possible that the majority would be happier if they had been born in a place that still lived according to an older set of rules.

Or, our ability to measure stress and happiness is completely borked. That's not impossible.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-15-2020 at 10:08 AM.
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