Friday, March 6, 2009

Exercise examples and more context information

Based on what I wrote, imagine this.

1. You turn on "past TV" and watch the earliest of human development, where they first organized into groups and then at some point used weapons to war against other groups, for whatever reasons. You watch day after day of one group overpowering the other group and slaughtering everyone in the group, including, in fact, especially the infants. So one group would war and wipe out the other group: not armies but tribal family and clan based units. The whole objective of each conflict is to kill all of the others, probably because they competed for the same food. You watch day after day of these events over a period of thousands of years.

And then one day you notice one group declares war on another group, but instead of slaughtering them all, this winning group decides to keep the other group alive and force them to work for them. You applaud... and then you just realize that you've applauded the development of slavery.

2. You oppose inoculations against disease because you think something about them "causes" other ills, such as autism, or that they are a privacy imposition.

You turn on "past TV" and watch day after day of people walking around with even one disease, let's say smallpox because it is so visible. You can watch as it actually happened millions of individuals suffer from and die from the selected case study disease. So you can "be there" in true "reality TV" as every family loses at least one child, maybe more, to rampant disease, and entire families are wiped out. Like true "reality TV" you feel their pain and you say, "If only something could have been done." Your heart is wrung after watching let's say the hundredth episode of "past TV" of a smallpox infected person suffering and dying. You then flip the channels and listen in as generations of scientists wonder what caused the disease and work to develop cures, some of them primitive and totally wrong, while, as intellectual knowledge grows, others start to understand and work on cures. They start to develop inoculations. You applaud them. Huh?

With these examples of "past TV" you can structure your own logical imaginings of the day to day, like watching paint dry or a faucet dripping, of how humans really lived, and how they reached the conclusions and outcomes that they did. It puts your modern opinions within their proper context of what factually actually happened.

Think of any of the social, environment, moral or business issues we face today, and imagine what "past TV" would show you about those day to day experiences, and how humans without drama lived and adapted. Adaptation is different from evolution or enlightenment by the way. Humans adapt their behavior according to real circumstances, and that can occur within a moment in the blink of an eye or over generations.

Some terminology and concepts:

Quick adaptation is, for example, you change a driving habit instantly when you find one day you have an accident due to it (you may stop texting while driving after an accident). Slow adaptation is a group of people learn to grow different crops for food when the weather changes and they no longer have enough rain for what they used to grow.

Evolution differs because that would mean the people who used to eat the original food die out and only ones who can eat the new food survive and reproduce, so it is a biological outcome to a long time "opportunity" (an advantage or disadvantage that one's body must respond to through survival or not). So a bad opportunity (not enough rain to grow your crops) for evolution arises and one way that would be "solved" if adaptation is not used (because humans are too primitive) is that they stay in place and everyone dies out except the few people who can eat the local shrubbery. Evolution takes place biologically, while adaptation is mental. Humans adapt to the loss of rain and their original crop that they depend on by growing a new crop that is drought resistant or moving to a place where their original food can be found. Primitive humans and animals have evolution "imposed" on them when they lack the ability to act through adaptation. Thus they evolve by dying out until only the population that has the minority ability to eat what is available survives and passes on those genes.

Enlightenment is not "answers to problems" such as what to eat. Enlightenment is having the proper spiritual context for the ongoing human condition. For example, Jesus pointed out to the disciples that the lilies are the most beautiful of beings all on their own, without human adornment, and that the sparrows can find their own food. Jesus is enlightening the disciples about how much God proportionately loves humans for if he bestows the love of beauty and the finding of food on the humblest of creatures, how much more so does he love humans who are conscious and who know him? Jesus does not give a textbook exposition of the genetics of lily colors and spots or pointers on where the sparrows can find even more food. Thus moderns must stop thinking that "enlightenment" is "problem solving." It is not. Lack of that understanding is part of the "aliens with answer" and "psychics tell you what will happen" dead end trap of much modern thinking.

The human problem solving tools are:

1) Adaptation (change behavior)
2) Evolution (have circumstances of life and death imposed on you).

Enlightenment is not a problem solving tool.

So, by the way, go back to the modern person who opposes inoculations based on let's say an autism fear. I am not telling that person to stop being cautious or even to change their belief. What I am showing them is that they need to understand the other position fully. They need to understand the full context of consequences of no inoculation or spotty inoculation since it is not an "individual" decision. Past TV shows that it's called "public health" for a reason: disease management is not an "individual choice" or "individual risk" by its nature, even though free society to some extent respects individual non-compliance. What I am saying is that those who support more research or who have fears about inoculations, in that example, need to understand the context of risk profile and history for all, not just themselves, that they are making their assumed argument. If people truly understand their own history and the facts they find themselves cheering the very developments that they may later question, whether the questioning is legitimate or magical thinking.

Part of problem solving, via adaptation, is having the facts. Suppose the texting driver has an accident because she was distracted while texting and looked away from the road and crashed. She would reasonably stop texting. However, suppose her accident was caused because her tire exploded? Adaptation would then shift to ensuring that future tires are safe and properly pressurized, while not texting is a secondary adaptation because if she was not texting maybe she'd have a split second advantage as she fought to control the now out of control car. Improper adaptation would be to continue to have unsafe tires and to text, but to put a bigger bumper on the car. See, this is why people must have clear thinking about past and present reality, and primary and secondary causes and effects. This, actually, used to be taught in school :-) That's why I'm teaching you the terminologies and principles as they used to be taught in your average every day educational system to the young.