My views on this topic are evolving fast and there are a lot of things I may decide to edit or add later!
Answer about what really happened and why humans do some of the weird stuff they do.
Let’s meta the fuck out of this….
Humans didn’t categorize one another [all that much] in the Pleistocene, say 25 thousand years ago. People back then all had ADHD, they were all pansexual, and their plastic thinking (thinking in to malleable categories and attributable thinking) was limited. This had benefits and disadvantages. But then the Pleistocene started ending, and ice started melting. As ice melted, sea levels rose. It got warmer. This compressed people’s habitats together and that caused conflict and territorialism. Some people found it useful to start claiming land as opposed to a slash&burn agriculture, semi nomadic hunter gatherer existence. That in turn sharply reduced the quality of food (people became smaller and unhealthier) but increased dependability and quantity of food for the majority of people will both quality and quantity of foods increased for a small category of “leading figures” of society. This allowed that leaders to grow taller and survive more aggressive, dominant strategies, as well as claim more females for procreative activity. The consequence was that a small dominant strain could imprint their genes, those genes in that small niche turned towards dominance and psychopathy, and they flourished. The undercastes survived as long as hey acquiesced to this emerging Holocene status quo.
That’s what we in genetics call a genetic bottleneck event as well as a genetic diversification event. There’s evolutionary pressure favoring two sets of genes – one dominance, conflict, diverse diets including meats and favoring decreased empathy, the other favoring docile acceptance, nonaggression, routine and diets favoring grains. For most of the last millenia the ‘Morlocks’ (warlike elite nobility) genes, to use but an analogy, were actively seeking to breed only inside their narrow genetic band, and to constrain the ‘Eloi’ (docile agricultural commoners) from spreading genetic traits they didn’t fancy. You saw examples of that in what I call “rolling stone” behavior (one dominant celebrity guy taking as many procreate mates from the eloi class as he wanted), The “Primae Noctis” or “First Right of Kings”, and of course the rampant inbreeding in upper echelons of european nobility. So it has now become normal for a small percentage of the lower classes to have both the atavistic ADHD gene (as an example), combined with a natural tendency to dispassionately treat fellow human beings as tools (or means to an end), to actively lack empathy, and to have peculiar mix of sexual and social dominant characteristics. Excesses of the latter we label “Sadism”.
Likewise the most successful breeders of the “Eloi” underclasses were docile, submissive, sycophantic – and their willingness to grovel and flatter occasionally culminated in geneplexes we have now come to know as “masochistic”. You see the same neoteny in domesticated dogs. That’s probably why people like trump constantly refer to people he loathes as dogs, but that may be a particularly unpleasant colloquial example.
As the Holocene progressed we notice that the cognition of humans also changes to favour increasingly more complex, modal, stacked abstraction. That’s where the emphasis on human labelling comes in. Intelligence is not a medium neutral arbiter of reality. It is a system that uses a complex and evolutionary very buggy substrate of the primate brain to achieve results in the environment. You see how slanted this mechanism is in small clades of humans that have actively practiced subgenus genetic selection towards what they perceive to be intelligence, such as Ashkenazi Jews – who are definitely smarter, but also suffer from a markedly increased likelihood towards asperger, autism spectrum disorders as well as signs of inbreeding.
In the european middle ages towards the Renaissance there were events that increased genetic selection. This period was an active genetic bottleneck period. If we look at graves from those roughly 1200 years (500-1700AD) we notice that the genes found in rural burial site bones have largely died out in modern times, whereas the genes of people’s bones found in burial sites near cities survived, sometimes flat out, i.e. a correlation of well over 95%. So it stands to reason to conclude that genes favoring collaborative strategies, the ability to think abstract, think in complex plastic labels or categories, collaborate dispassionately was a successful genetic survival strategy. In those 1000+ years the status quo strongly favoured patriarchal feudalism and quite often a rather harsh autocratic style of running society, reflecting the genes already in ascendance throughout the Holocene. You still see a marked genetic differential between nomadic humans in today’ world, who have a predisposition towards ADHD (what I’d call “free spirits”) and markedly less so in genetic strains of urbanized or sedentary humans. I Swahili some 60+% can be diagnosed ADHD, as an example. But what’s in a label?
So concluding – we may see several interesting explanations emerge for certain mysterious, mostly inexplicable behavior in humans. Some of my conclusions may be very insulting to some people. First, what is it with people and belief in “god” ? My conclusion I present to you (for which I’d love to see hard scientific studies) is that most human genes were strongly selected towards unswerving loyalty and fear for a mostly unseen all powerful male. This may serve to explain religiosity; the strange conviction there’s some kind of transcendent, all powerful male (often with a beard) hovering just behind you, judging your every action and ready to mete out ‘heavenly’ bliss, fortune, alternately to inflict “hellish” torment. I just described a significant portion the leitmotiffs in human “civilisation”. I also conjecture that this explains the very strange behavior of humans towards masochism and sadism. What is the use of masochistic behavior (the sexual titillation brought on my extreme submissiveness and sexual servitude) and I can easily think of some genetic algorithms favoring this behavior.
So the problem may be less a matter of how people tag, label, categorize one another – it’s the instincts and empowerment that allows and urges some to inflict violence on others based on those tags.
> Before 1800 all societies, including England, were Malthusian. The average man or woman
> had 2 surviving children. Such societies were also Darwinian. Some reproductively successful
> groups produced more than 2 surviving children, increasing their share of the population,
> while other groups produced less, so that their share declined. But unusually in England, this
> selection for men was based on economic success from at least 1250, not success in violence
> as in some other pre-industrial societies. The richest male testators left twice as many children
> as the poorest. Consequently the modern population of the English is largely descended from
> the economic upper classes of the middle ages…
But it also explains why we are in the sucky world we live in today. And in one word – Capitalism. The prevailing and sometimes bewilderingly ruthless of people today is not social, not gregarious but intertwined with a curious mix of subservient docility in majorities versus an absolutely psychopathic ability of some minorities to use other people as a means to an end. The excess of this is of course when this ‘successful’ strain of ruthlessness brought slavery to other continents from the old world. But it also shows when (in particular) males are compressed together in very confined environments, say for example prisons. I alleged human males to be functionally insane under most conditions and that insanity is especially evident in claustrophobic horror of prisons in underdeveloped countries such as the US. Look closely at the prevailing sadistic attitudes of people outside prisons towards these males, as well as the aggressive, sadistic and rapacious behavior between males inside those prisons. These behaviors are markedly less present in female prisons.
I believe we can gauge the gamut of human pathology in that light, clear as day. We are a species that dominates, collaborates, exploits, rapes, domesticates – and if need be exterminates – itself.
Happily there are also instincts in the human mind that escape the above mold. One such instinct towards joy, inspiration, experience and sharing is found in the mysterious human instinct some experience – ASMR. Can someone invent an evolutionary rationale for ASMR?
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