A guided tour through the Omega Research Wiki
(This chapter is still under construction; major re-organization is being realized (april 2018); figures and pictures are still to be added)
(Nog er in verwerken: inhoud van "Eating from the Forbidden Fruit" ??)
- 1 Introduction
- 2 summary, what this Wiki is about in just 20 lines
- 3 Summary, what this Wiki is about in just 2 pages ("Standing on the treshold of change")
- 4 Ten issues to take into account
- 5 Selection pressure in societies in favour of docile behaviour (issue #9)
- 6 Putting bits and pieces together
- 7 More bits and pieces, needed to complete the puzzle and create effective understanding
- 8 More bits and pieces
- 9 And some more pieces .....
- 10 Approaching humanity's predicaments with a better and more complete tool box
- 11 Two technical reasons, each preventing long lasting social equilibria
- 12 Times are changing; what we may expect
- 13 In summary .....
- 14 Your support
- 15 Appendix on issue #6, Human Blindness to the Self
- 16 Appendix on issue #7, the E.L.C. (Energy -->Learning -->Cognition model)
- 17 Appendix on issue #9, Social Selection Forces and Population Cycles
(*) "This Guided Tour article is added to this Wiki for your efficiency and comfort.
It is meant to give you easier access to the basic line of argumentation, without diving immediately in all the details.
It is the easiest way to get to know the essentials of this Wiki and the easiest way to satisfy your curiosity, being able to choose the level of detail you prefer, while going.''
Humanity finds itself these days in an unprecedented and strange situation, a situation that in many senses is also rather precarious. On this Wiki it is pointed out how peculiar, how strange, how exciting and how dangerous this human situation is today and explains why and how this situation has come about. It aims at providing a better insight in how we humans function, in how our societies are run and about how we can avoid looming disasters. How can we survive ? And how can we make our fellow beings survive ? This Wiki article ends with explaining the transition that mankind will pass through shortly and the how and why of this transition.
Most of the research contributions on this Wiki are from the hand of Popko P. van der Molen, who spent most of his life searching for the roots of the major problems mankind is faced with these days. While searching for these roots of the most pressing problems, several lines of scientific research were embarked on that seemed relevant. These various research lines are discussed in detail, each in one of the separate articles on this Wiki.
What emerges after combining the various relevant research lines, is, surprisingly, a total picture that on the one hand highlights some peculiar characteristics of the precarious present human situation and that on the other hand also reveils a number of unavoidable changes that will most likely follow soon, or have already started to change. These expected changes are labeled the Point Omega transition, a term, borrowed from the French 20th century jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin, who coined it for describing a major transition in human development and wellbeing that he expected to come in a not too far future. He derived that expectation from the extrapolation of his paleontological research data. Whereas this term Point Omega is borrowed from Teilhard de Chardin, we do not follow Teilhard's own definition, but develop a new definition, based on novel insights as described on this Wiki. Our approach is secular, non-religious, sober and science-based.
It is shown however on this Wiki that the expected (Point Omega) changes are, as Teilhard argued, likely to occur indeed and also are likely to be more profound and strange than any change in the history of mankind we have ever seen before. The Point Omega changes are expected to be more far reaching than any previous invention, be it tool-making, the use of fire, the invention of the wheel or even agriculture. And because of their unfamiliarity these expected changes can for the time being only be imagined with great difficulty. This Wiki, and thus this Guided Tour to start with, are meant to make this collection of approaching strange and new phenomena better imaginable.
In this Guided Tour we will just mention the various research lines and their conclusions in brief and indicate how the various chunks of information do fit together and lead to more comprehensive conclusions about the human condition and the human fate. For details of each separate set of information, the reader can refer to the separate papers about each specific issue, through the links provided in the text.
Apart from presenting new data which resulted from the above mentioned lines of research, we will also discuss a number of more familiar phenomena, and we will explain how these familiar phenomena can be viewed in a novel way, highlighting their role in the present predicaments of humanity.
In view of everything that already is known and scientifically established, it should, from a purely technical point of view, and according to the information presented here, in principle not be very difficult to (re-)organize our societies in such a way that the most crucial and common human problems and dangers are overcome and disappear for good. It is argued on this Wiki that the major problem is to mobilize all available knowledge and to remove the taboos and superstitions that, until now, blocked the intelligent use of the knowledge that is available and has in fact been available for quite some time already.
For your efficiency and comfort
The various contributions on this Wiki greatly differ in detail, in length, in depth and in thoroughness of scientific underpinning of arguments and proof. This Guided Tour helps you to choose the sequence of articles that suits you best. Do you want a better overview first or are you looking for a better underpinning of arguments and of presented data? You can follow your preference at any place during this Tour. You may decide to dig deeper into the subject you are immersed in, or, reversely, you may return to the surface and look for a better and broader overview. The Guided Tour will give you such moments of choice during reading and browsing. For your convenience we therefore have marked the articles and contributions with asterixes (*), (**), (***).
- (★)<level 1> Quick and efficient: Stands for an overview article, short but superficial. These articles are best to start out with. They are the ones that the Guided Tour brings you first.
- (★★)<level 2> Some more detail: Stands for reading one level more deeply. These articles give more argumentation, but do not lead you into the depths of scientific corroboration and into a lengthy underpinning of presented data.
- (★★★)<level 3> More depth: Research level; stands for articles with so much detail that you might also find them in scientific publications and papers. The arguments given in these articles are best suited to help you decide whether you buy the viewpoints given or not, but they require more time and scientific patience from the reader. They contain more references to other sources of information. They are less efficient reading, but these are the articles that determine where we stand at the end of the day. In the Guided Tour these are the articles that you are guided to in case your curiosity keeps pressing on and doesn't let you "off the hook".
Throughout this Guided Tour we occasionally have put some of the basic issues in bold. This may be handy for quick scanning the texts while browsing around to find your way to what you prefer to read next.
What do you want ?
Each person is different. Each has his own concerns and curiosities. This Wiki may grab your attention for different - individual - reasons.
- You may visit this Wiki because you are concerned about your personal well being and you have searched the label "enlightenment".
- You may have heard of the novel scientific insights (Reversal Theory) about our emotional and motivational make up and wish to find out what advantages these insights might have for you, overcoming the usual human blindness for the self and for our own functioning.
- You may also be concerned about the dangers of nuclear (self-)destruction by mankind and want to find out about the roots of war and conflict.
Whatever the reason of you visiting this Wiki, all these approaches are dealt with and you will see that of neither of these issues the meaning can be understood without simultaneously understanding the other issues as well. It is the total, coherent, picture that brings clarity and understanding, an understanding that neither of the separate sets of information could possibly bring by itself alone.
Before following your curiosity and dive into the contents of this Wiki, it is good strategy to first check if these novel insights are what you personally really do need. Is this what will suit you ? If you have been reading already the pages with the "Disclaimer" and you have decided you want more, please continue, otherwise we advise to read the Disclaimer first (click here).
On the survival of Homo sapiens
((plaatje atoombom / paddestoel-ontploffing)) ((plaatjes in vorm van puzzelstukjes))
(*) This Wiki is about the way humanity will willy-nilly overcome the problems resulting from the present world wide population explosion and will survive this nuclear era, surviving the methods and tools for mass destruction that have become available. It is also about how humanity will manage to enter its next phase in evolution. As will be argued, this next phase is a phase with less mass unhappiness and suffering, a phase in which the evolutionary need for large scale wars and the all overruling need for the systematic suppression and neurotisation of people has disappeared.
While going, this Wiki also will provide some new data that have not yet been generally known before, new data that help to point out to us how we will survive and how we will create a more agreeable world.
((plaatje van ravage er na; na een bombardement)) ((plaatjes in vorm van puzzelstukjes))
However, this Wiki does not serve as a kind of "saviour" tool. It is argued that humanity will discover these data, these truths, unavoidably and automatically by itself anyway, whether they are presented at this place or not, and why this is necessarily and unavoidably going to happen anyway.
Short of aiming for a messiah role, this Wiki is merely aiming to bring understanding at a timely moment, in order to make adaptation to the new situation easier and make it happen more smoothly for the reader. This Wiki can thus serve as a midwife, making the birth of a new era easier and on a personal level help you to find your way out of the clutches of the old power structures that made the lifes of all of us so miserable for thousands of years.
Set up of the tour
(*) For your efficiency we will start the tour with summarizing very briefly, in some 20 lines, what are the basic conclusions of this Wiki. Subsequently we will present another "summary", now with some more details, what has led to these basic conclusions. This second summary takes some 2 pages. In these 2 pages we will mention the main ingredients, the main concepts and issues, that are needed to create clarity about the present human situation.
After that second summary we will present 10 quite different issues that are all simultaneously needed to reach a complete and coherent understanding. We will then briefly mention each of these 10 issues, explaining their implications, but without yet going into the details of the scientific underpinnings of each issue. For these more detailed underpinnings we refer with links to the appendices in this guided tour. And in the appendices further links to scientific papers are given, the reading of which may take some more stamina, patience or background knowledge from the reader.
So, in a way, we shall start this guided tour with right away presenting to you the final conclusions. We turn the usual line of argumentation upside down. The reason for this approach is that the main problem for humanity is its ignorance and its unsuspectedly deep level of blindness and confusion.
As shall be argued, these blind spots have biological, congenital, sources as well as learned, cultural sources.
Therefore we start with the end.
The reader needs the full perspective right away, with each little step of the long line of argumentation. Otherwise, the relevance of each issue cannot be grasped while proceeding.
While going, the empty spots in the overall picture will gradually, step by step, be filled in.
summary, what this Wiki is about in just 20 lines
(*) Humanity seems to be at the brink of a major change in the direction of its evolution. What happened before is the following. An increased intelligence emerged somewhere between 2 million and a quarter million years ago. For tool making hunting bands it apparently paid off to develop a higher level of communication and therefore a higher level of intelligence. But, this could only happen after a safeguard had emerged in our ancestor's genome preventing high intelligence from being used for manipulating our own behaviour. We call that "congentital Self-Blindness". It is argued here that this is a technical prerequisite for the evolution of higher intelligence. More recently, only some 10.000 years ago, another major shift occurred in human evolution, the development of agriculture. Agriculture made military defense, high level organisation and long term planning necessary.
From that moment on, evolution at the meme level took over the lead from evolution at the gene level. Meme evolution moves much faster than gene evolution and thus drags our gene evolution along. Human beings therefore suffer from incompatibility between on the one hand the "old" genetic organisation and Primordial innate impulses (P-feelings) and on the other hand the New "recent" meme level demands (N-demands) of modern agricultural, political and military structures.
Moreover, the meme level power structures have increased their influence over us humans by facilitating high levels of neurotisation.
However, quite a number of techniques with which power structures keep their carriers, us humans, down and unawares, are nowadays gradually losing their strength. Once these blinding forces have lost their power sufficiently, understanding will emerge of the cultural mechanisms that keep us bound in an unpleasant subjugation since the beginning of the agricultural revolution. By that time it will as a consequence also become more likely that humanity will become aware of the reasons for our innate Self-Blindness which has been our special feature for more than half a million years already.
Intelligence will then deploy more fully and it will end up understanding itself. And that is likely to trigger a chain reaction of understanding, freeing our effective intelligence and opening up myriads of new possibilities. The gradual evolution of humanity towards more consciousness, will then shift into the conscious evolution of Homo sapiens.
We have labeled this quality-shift as the "Point Omega" transition.
Summary, what this Wiki is about in just 2 pages ("Standing on the treshold of change")
(*) Becoming one gradation more specific, the summary then runs as follows:
It is argued that humanity is on the treshold of a major change in the direction of its evolution, which changing point we call Point Omega. Human hominid ancestors developed an increased intelligence somewhere between 2 million and a quarter million years ago, escaping from the usual upper boundary of intelligence in the animal kingdom(*). This could only happen after a provision, a safeguard had emerged in our ancestor's genome preventing high intelligence to be used for manipulating our own behaviour. We label this provision as (cognitive) Self-Blindness. So, what happened is that from the time this species of Homo developed out of its primate ancestors, it paired a superior intelligence to a specific inability to utilize intelligence to its own behaviour.
In a sense, we were able to become so clever by virtue of that peculiar stupidness, or rather a specific blindness for the self. All this happened more than 200.000 years or maybe even starting some 2.000.000 years ago.
-- The agricultural revolution
More recently, only some 10.000 to 20.000 years ago, another major shift occurred in human evolution. That was the development of agriculture. That cultural innovation thoroughly changed the way groups of humans lived together. The family groups or bands of individuals, our primate ancestors and related primates lived in, were replaced by much larger social structures with a much higher level of task specialisation. And agriculture made military defense, a high level of organisation and longer term planning, necessary. The evolution of culture became of paramount importance for survival in the group-competition for (agricultural) resources. From that moment on evolution at the meme level took the lead over evolution at the gene level(**). Meme level power structures compete with one another for supremacy and in the process they are dragging the much slower selection pressure at the gene level in their carriers, us humans, along. And that hurts.
-- Suffering from evolutionary "jet-lag"
Thus, selection processes between competing power structures nowadays determine the fate of mankind. It is "group selection" to the extreme.
Homo sapiens is the carrier of genes and at the same time the carrier of memes. Only, the meme evolution moves much faster than the gene evolution. And since the gene evolution is moving so much slower than the meme evolution, human beings are suffering from a certain emotional and motivational friction between our gene-level basis and the present day meme-level demands. This friction stems from an incompatibility between on the one hand our Primordial genetic organisation and subsequent innate impulses (P-feelings) and on the other hand the New demands and requirements (N-demands) of the quickly evolving modern agricultural and military organisations that are ruling our lives. We could call this an "evolutionary jet-lag" from which humanity is suffering(*).
Power structures need masses of carriers, us humans, that can easily be manipulated and programmed.
One of the ways power structures achieve that goal is by facilitating high levels of neurotisation and feelings of dependency. That is of course not conducive for a high level of individual development(***). But, whereas the quality of the behavioural output may thus on average be reduced in us neurotic carriers of the power structure memes, this negative effect is more than compensated by increased economic and military pushing power of the meme level power structures in charge. For the power structures malleability and obedience is more important than individualist creative output. Since one of the results of such neurotic dependency is an impaired developmental process, the result is that in us humans self actualisation(***) has become the exception rather than the rule, which is contrary to the state of affairs in primates and other animals. This is, in our species, a highly peculiar and evolutionarily exceptional state of affairs.
-- Dormant intellectual potential
In summary, we humans are evidently the pinnacle of the evolution of intelligence. However, our intellectual faculties appear to be harnassed by specific awareness blocks and intelligence blocks at several levels. So, different mechanisms work together to keep human intellectual faculties under control. More specifically, we suffer from the following handicaps regarding the deployment of high intelligence:
1) an innate Self-Blindness(*), blocking awareness of our own behaviour, originating from a quarter to two million years ago;
2) high average neurotic states and stress levels because of a structural mismatch(**) between our primordial behavioural impulses (P-feelings) and modern requirements from meme level power structures (N-demands); this mismatch arose since some 10.000 to 20.000 years ago;
3) extra neuroticising special effects from the meme level power structures that further facilitate malleability and obedience of its carriers. Both 2) and 3) result in higher strength and pushing power of the power structures in charge, but at the expense of a lower than normal percentage of self actualising individuals in the population.
This leads us to the following conclusion. With an intelligence that is structurally and genetically blocked regarding the own behaviour and that is furthermore systematically reduced by neuroticising power structures, the full human intellectual potential is not coming to full expression, but is largely laying dormant. If this view is correct, it implies a rather sorry state of Homo sapiens, but simultaneously points at unsuspected human potentials.
-- Point Omega
When studying in detail the mechanisms ruling learning and development(***) and the mechanisms ruling the life and birth of power structures(***), it can be argued that a number of the mechanisms that in practice keep us humans trapped in neuroticising power structures, are nowadays gradually losing their influence and power. That will most probably lead, at some point in time, to a situation in which humanity's intellectual potency will not be controlled and limited to the same extent any more and will gradually or suddenly break loose from its cultural fetters causing a chain reaction in personal and social development, including a sudden explosion of free intellectual capacity.
That will then in turn lead to an understanding of the cultural mechanisms that keep us bound in subjugation to the impersonal power structures in charge since the beginning of the agricultural revolution. And once that will happen, it is becoming more likely also that humanity will start to grasp the reason for our innate Self-Blindness that has been our special feature for more than half a million years already.
In short, once that happens, intelligence will understand itself, which (future ?) point in time we have labeled Point Omega. That is likely to trigger a chain reaction of understanding, opening up myriads of new possibilities. From that moment on, the gradual evolution of humanity towards more and more consciousness, will shift into conscious evolution, which will be an important shift towards a completely new direction in the evolution of Homo sapiens. This shift in human evolution will be far more basic and far more influential than was the agricultural revolution. From an evolutionary point of view, the agricultural revolution will then be seen as just a transitory state of mankind, that, in hindsight, unavoidably occurred just before our species "came of age".
It will be argued that the sequence of evolutionary events as depicted here may seem far-fetched and peculiarly improbable to us ignorant people, but that in fact a similar evolutionary sequence of events is necessary and unavoidable whenever and wherever in the universe intelligence emerges. And the emergence of intelligence, sooner or later, is in turn also an unavoidable and necessary consequence of physical conditions that are suitable for life.
Ten issues to take into account
(*) In the above 2-page summary of what this Wiki is all about, we briefly made acquaintance with a couple of phenomena that we need to take into account in order to be able to generate a complete picture of the present human situation. Some of these issues concern familiar concepts, but some other issues are not commonly known yet.
At this point we therefore now present a more systematic listing of 10 different issues that we all need for a complete understanding of the whole picture, the picture of what are the roots of human misery and of the most pressing problems in our societies.
4 of these issues concern phenomena that are already widely known, but the significance of which for prevailing human misery is often not (yet) very clearly understood.
These first 4 issues are:
- Superstition and ignorance in human society and their evolutionary role (**).
- Taboos and their function in human societies.
- Genetic pollution (**) and its effects on human societies.
- Disfunctioning and neuroticism versus optimal development and well being in individuals; the technical reversibility of these processes and a strong contagiousness (***) in both directions.
In this guided tour the role and function of each of these familiar concepts, numbered issue #1 to issue #4, will be explained. While going it will be indicated where on this Wiki each of these four phenomena is discussed in more detail.
Apart from the above mentioned 4, more or less familiar, issues, each playing its role in present day human existence, we will in this Wiki additionally also discuss 6 other issues, concepts that are not widely known yet. These 6, more or less novel, concepts are:
- The Upper Intelligence Limit.
- Blindness for the Self.
- Reversal Theory.
- Meme Level Power Structures.
- Selection Cycles in Social Structures, and
- the Point Omega transition.
We will now first indicate very briefly what these 6 novel concepts stand for.
Issue #5: -- The Upper Intelligence Limit is the phenomenon that in the animal kingdom intelligence has evolved many times throughout evolution, every time independently from one another and that generally speaking these evolved intelligent capacities do not surpass a certain level. It is explained why still higher intelligence levels in general cannot be an E.S.S. (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy). That is why this upper limit exists. However, Homo sapiens appears to be an exception to that rule. Having broken through that Upper Intelligence Level does however have a number of striking and serious consequences for our own species, which will be discussed at length in this Wiki.
Issue #6, Blindness for the Self: -- In general we humans are very little aware of how we function, how we feel, how our emotions are triggered and why and how we interact with one another. There is an avalanche of scientific psychological research data showing the existence and the working of these blindnesses in detail. It is indicated here why it has been an evolutionary necessity in us humans that such blindnesses evolved and have been and still are ruling our lives until this day. Whereas well-known and well investigated from a scientific point of view, we humans are peculiarly unawares of these blindnesses.
Issue #7, Reversal Theory: -- The next unfamiliar issue addressed is one of the basic and very important characteristics of our emotional and motivational system, which is the phenomenon of emotional "Reversals". Whereas one of the most basic parts of our biological make up, we are in general fully unaware of these mechanisms. And that is highly peculiar for a species that prides itself for its "superior" intelligence. But it is easy to understand in the light of the above mentioned all overruling human Self-blindness. Once we understand the dynamics of our emotional reversals, we also can start to understand how humanity lost most of its original capacity to learn. Learning and development come about by playful and curious interaction, a pleasant and effective condition which basically is our birthright. But most of us (way more than 95% !) large and by seem to have lost that birthright.
Issue #8, Meme Level Power Structures: -- Another unfamiliar issue is the finding that the world of Homo sapiens is not ruled by human persons, but rather by impersonal meme level power structures. In this Wiki we deal with the consequences for us human beings, making us live in a highly uncomfortable mental and emotional splits, having to comply with the demands of these meme level power structures (N-demands) while being designed and evolved for quite different, more original, social structures, hunter-gatherer bands, that our ancestors used to live in (P-feelings).
Issue #9, Selection Cycles in Social Structures: -- The ninth (unfamiliar) issue is a behaviour genetic social selection mechanism operating in any socially living mammal species, that renders limits to the life span of social structures and that produces an important boost to the spatial spreading and the reshuffling of genes in the gene pool.
Issue #10, Point Omega: -- The tenth issue summarizes the changes that can be expected to happen in the near future and the reasons why these changes will happen indeed. These changes can only happen together, not separate from one another. The occurrence of these changes together is labeled with the term "Point Omega".
In what follows, the remainder of this Guided Tour, we will make use of the above numbers, given to each issue to be taken into account. In the end we have to be aware of all of these issues simultaneously. These numbers may help us to avoid confusion and maintain some overview.
We will now first briefly explain here, in just 2 pages, a little more about the novel concept #9, the social selection cycles in socially living mammal species and how that functions in us humans. The reason is that this phenomenon (issue #9) is on the one hand still rather unfamiliar to most readers whereas on the other hand it is a crucial issue to be able to see the coherence of the different phenomena and issues mentioned. Without some understanding about issue #9 it is in fact virtually impossible to grasp the implications and the meaning of the complete picture.For that reason we will now first spend some extra words on this phenomenon, that is further below discussed in more detail in Appendix #9.
Selection pressure in societies in favour of docile behaviour (issue #9)
(**) Issue #9, Social Selection Forces and Population Cycles, is a phenomenon which thus far is only known to some specific groups of social - and personality psychology scientists, who happen to be specialists in a related field of research, like personnel selection, organizational selection pressure and ossification of organizations or in behavioural genetics.
As further explained in more detail in other articles on this Wiki(***), there is an important behaviour-genetic mechanism operating in any socially living mammal species, that renders limits to the life span of social structures and that produces an important boost to the spreading and the reshuffling of genes in the gene pool.
In short, this mechanism boils down to the following:
In socially living mammals there exists genetic variance in the innate propensity to behave more or less social versus behaving less or more individualistic and creatively. Within social structures there always operates an involuntary selection pressure in favour of social compliance and against individualistic explorativeness and creativity. Since these trait differences do have a strong genetical basis, this selection pressure brings about irreversible changes in the average behavioural make up of the group members. The consequences are that:
- Every social structure has only a limited life span.
- This life span is inversely proportional to the effectiveness of the selection pressure in individuals against self-willed creativity and in favour of social compliance.
- The life span endings, depending on the organization level we look at, appear to us as bankruptcy, desolvation, abolition, genocide, etc.
- At the end of a social life span, a catastrophy-like turn over of individuals and a strong reshuffling of genes in the gene pool also occurs.
- On the one hand this mechanism is by and large unknown to people, whereas on the other hand the population genetic effects and the catastrophic turn-over problems do have huge, far reaching effects on all participants involved.
- This mechanism does explain a range of social turn over phenomena that may seem very different at first sight. These phenomena range from the periodic migration waves in lemmings to the rise and fall of complete human societies and many dynamic population processes on organizational levels in between.
The latter social processes have in common that they had not yet been understood until now. However, we have to pay attention to this mechanism here, because it is to a high degree the source of many forms of human misery and represents one of the greatest contemporary dangers to human survival. Therefore this mechanism is introduced here as novel (because in general still unknown) piece of information.
Some more explanation is given in the appendix on issue #9(*).
The consequences of issue #9: cyclic changes in social structures and the origin of periodic catastrophies
(*) To the superficial observer it may seem rather counter-productive to carry a mechanism that functions as a time bomb underneath every social structure, being the cause of an eventual, but unavoidable, catastrophic turn over event. Such catastrophic events normally bring with them large percentages of the population to be expelled or terminated in a direct or less direct way. This seems like an enormous waste of energy, skills and capacity in the system.
However, it is not surprising after all, since the resulting selection pressure going with such turn over catastrophes more than counterbalances the very proximate disadvantages and misery for the individuals who are in the middle of such a turn over catastrophy. The advantages of such catastrophes for the gene pool are obvious. Many individuals will appear not to be able to handle the changing circumstances during a turn over in the social structure in question. They contribute less to the next generation. The badly needed selection pressure resumes its necessary role with one big leap. Those who stay in the gene pool, are likely to migrate and recombine in different groups and gene pools. The catastrophes make the genes move through their pool or even cross over to other gene pools. This is very beneficial to the gene pools as a whole. So, this seemingly counter-productive social selection system producing periodic turn over catastrophes, can very well be part of Evolutionarily Stable Strategies (ESS). Therefore it should not surprise us that such a mechanism exists in all socially living mammal species.
However, these cyclic selection processes, that have ruled our social and political lives always, like in any other socially living mammal species, these days are not affordable any more for Homo sapiens. The turn over catastrophes have become too great dangers for us to be able to afford them any longer. The technological developments have made war, genocide and revolutions too risky to allow them to carry on unconsciously and involuntarily as they always used to do. We simply have no choice but to start to understand these mechanisms and then subsequently steer these processes consciously and rationally in the required direction, taking the sting and the pushing power out of the "periodic catastrophy" machine that ruled our lives since primordial times. To put it differently: in this age of looming nuclear annihilation we simply cannot any longer afford the luxury of wars, genocide and wholesale rape.
This cyclic selection mechanism, together with genetic pollution, always has been the cause of periodic redistribution of gene pools over the inhabitable areas of land, also triggering migration waves. Once understood, we can in principle deal with both mechanisms without much difficulty.
After the agricultural revolution started, a number of still other mechanisms have emerged that helped to secure the periodic emergence of catastrophy, disaster and misery. These mechanisms are stemming from the demands from the meme level power structures that are ruling human life since. We will discuss, among other things, "superstition", "induced ignorance" (issue #1), "taboos" (issue #2), commonly induced and stabilised "neuroticism" (issue #4), etc., and we will also mention the mechanisms by which these conditions are induced and stabilised by the meme level power structures that are ruling our lives.
Putting bits and pieces together
Bits of information, needed to make our picture more complete and create better understanding
(*) Together with the above indicated phenomenon (issue #9) of selection cycles in social structures we now have mentioned in brief in the above chapter 10 phenomena and mechanisms that are considered of importance for understanding the major problems mankind is facing. Rehearsing, these issues were:
1, present day superstition and ignorance;
2, taboos as guiding devices;
3, genetic pollution in human societies;
4, neuroticism as major tool of meme-level power structures;
5, the evolutionary upper limit to intelligence that mankind has escaped from;
6, self-blindness that enabled higher intelligence to evolve, but hampers a proper monitoring of our own behaviour;
7, emotional and motivational reversals ruling personal development in both favourable and unfavourable directions;
8, meme-level power structures ruling human societies;
9, selection cycles in social structures; and
10, a Point Omega transition to be expected.
In this chapter we will explain in more detail how all these issues hang together. We'll give an overview of the present evolutionary situation of Homo sapiens and indicate the role and function of each of these ten issues.
As we will see, there are very good evolutionary reasons why humanity up to this moment in time has never been able to solve the most pressing questions and riddles that have presented themselves to us during already many thousands of years. Evolution needed us to be blind. Important things that really mattered to us necessarily stayed hidden from view all the time. They stayed hidden from our capacity to understand, which blindness was supported by superstition and misunderstanding (issue #1). Apparently, thát situation is what had most survival value.
Once we will have understood the grand picture nevertheless and once we have studied and checked also the details, it will also be understood why this state of ignorance has evolved and is still prevailing.
(((aparte) plaatjes van duivel / engel / heks / elfje/ kabouter))
In order to get some more understanding of how all these phenomena hang together, let's approach it for a while from the other side and make a little tour through the different realms of pressing contemporary human problems. While discussing these problems, let's consider the different numbered issues and phenomena mentioned above, indicating how each of them in turn relates to one or more of the major problems mankind is facing.
((plaatje oorlogsgeweld, guns; eerste wereldoorlog scene o.i.d.)) ((plaatjes in vorm van puzzelstukjes, verderop ook))
.jpg A major problem for humanity has always been the issues of war and peace. Some philosophers have pointed out that a well oiled and fairly operated society that manages to maintain peace within its realm, basically is a "project postponing evolution" or a "conspiracy against evolution".
What they mean is that humanity, just like any other animal species, is subject to processes of natural selection and that without being subjected to such evolutionary selection processes, a species cannot survive. Genetic drift and genetic pollution (issue # 3) would in that case reduce the quality level of that society's members to such an extent, that eventually, within a limited number of generations, it would not any more be able to meet the competition with neighbouring societies and sooner or later be overwhelmed and replaced by another societal structure which is still backed up by more genetic vigour. In other words, the longer and more just and fair a period of peace has been, the more the average quality level has dropped and the sooner competing societal structures will take over.
And when that happens, we are facing total disruption of society, collapse of protective structures, war, starvation, mass destruction, enslavement, genocide, or any combination of these unpleasant phenomena (issues #3 and #9). And, apart from outright actions of war and purposeful destruction, there are also a number of other mechanisms that may cause our organized societies to collapse after some period of seeming order and peace. See for instance here for a recent overview by Ehrlich and Ehrlich (2013) of the predicaments and inescapable looming disasters humanity is facing today.
((hongerende massa; concentratie-kamp-achtig o.i.d.; liefst slavendrijvers met zweep o.i.d., die massa voortdrijven;)) ((bijv. slaven bij pyramidebouw in oude egypte)) ((vredes-duif met palmtak o.i.d.))
There is one important reason why evolutionary forces work out in such catastrophy-like events in the case of Homo sapiens. Why would evolution work out so differently from how it operates in other species ? The answer is that since some millions of years, Homo s. has become ecologically dominant. That implies that our hunter-gatherer ancestors at some stage in their evolution, once stone age technology developed, had less and less to fear from predators and from climatological hick-ups. As a consequence the ecological equilibria, the balance with the carrying capacity of the environment, had to be maintained by intra-species aggression, territoriality, etc. And that, naturally, is what happened. Being a group-living primate, mechanisms of group selection therefore started playing an ever more prominent role. And in the present era, with our present technological and organizational level, group selection events go by the labels of economic strangling techniques, war and genocide. These are simply the present day methods which mother nature applies in the case of Homo sapiens to maintain sufficient levels of selection pressure to prevent a population genetic total collapse.
If we want to come to grips with issues of war and peace and of looming disasters, we will therefore at least have to understand how all this works. Many issues of such selection and competition mechanisms are well known and investigated at length in scientific areas like (behavioural) genetics, population genetics, economy, etc. However, this type of knowledge has rarely been applied to thinking about the fate of mankind itself. For instance, population genetics theory has quite successfully been applied in matters of cattle breeding and such, but the implications for the human species has always been kept in taboo spheres (issue # 2). These are issues one "should not speak or even think about". So, many notions and tools that we would need to get a better understanding about matters of war and peace are in principle readily available, if we only put ourselves to simply utilize them, breaking eventual (irrational) taboos where needed.
The above mentioned Genetic pollution (**) is one such issue (#3). It can easily be understood and estimated as to quantity of damage, what genetic pollution is doing to any society that has managed to establish a certain measure of fairness and justness and peace.
More bits and pieces, needed to complete the puzzle and create effective understanding
Another issue that is not generally known yet, also not in scientific research communities around these subjects, is a certain type of selection pressure, operating within any socially living group of mammals, that causes certain specific social selection cycles with a certain life span. In other words, this type of internal social selection pressure works as a built in time bomb in any social structure (issue #9) in socially living mammals. Above, we spent a few paragraphs to briefly indicate what this selection mechanism is about. The evolutionary advantages can also easily be understood. Here we will limit ourselves to just mention the phenomenon and point out that in the "appendix on issue #9"(*) this social selection mechanism causing cyclic changes in social structures is described in more detail.
((tikkende tijdbom met opschrift "harmony & peace"; zo'n ronde bal/bom zoals in stripverhaaltjes met een brandende lont er aan)) ((en op de bolle bom het opschrift "harmony & peace";)) ((of zo'n plaatje er op geschilderd zoals je in die Jehova-boekjes ziet met een leeuw vredig liggend naast het lam)) ((en anderszins undestructable peace uitdrukkend; alles in vorm van puzzlestukjes))
In short, two major factors that are often overlooked when investigating issues of war and peace are: genetic pollution (issue #3) and the life cycles of social structures by internal social selection forces (issue #9).
The latter mechanism is producing the quickest limiting effects on the life span of any project that is trying to maintain peace, fairness and "justice". The effects of genetic pollution work a bit slower. So, here we have one population genetic mechanism, that is virtually unknown yet, even in circles of professionals (although these mechanisms have already been published around 1980). But it is rather easy to understand.
However, if we want to asses its effects on human society and on our own lives, we also have to dive into the mechanisms of our own social interactions and social reflexes that motor these cyclic selection processes.
For a complete understanding we therefore also need to know how human beings deal with their own social relationships and what exactly is triggering which effect. We also need to know to what extent such social reflexes are similar or different from those in other social animal species.
Looking into that matter, we quickly stumble across another issue that is crucial to our understanding and that is the quite peculiar human capacity to be blind for one's own and to a lesser extent be blind to other people's behaviour (*)(issue #6). It can be shown experimentally that human beings have a conspicuous incapacity to asses their own and each other's behavioural intentions, qualities and capacities. This in turn has consequences for the workings of the above mentioned involuntary internal social selection pressures in human social structures, causing limited lifespans of any social structures involved, and with concomitant turn over catastrophies (***) going with it, in the form of bankruptcy, revolutions, genocide (issue #9), etc. (see the Appendix on issue #9(*) for more details).
((plaatjes: blinddoek in/voor spiegel; dus van achteren de figuur die in de spiegel "kijkt" met blinddoek voor; de blinddoek zichtbaar via de spiegel)) ((phenix verrijst uit de as/ het vuur)) ((revolutieplaatje, bijv. van de Franse bastille)) ((alles in vorm van puzzelstukjes))
So, we need to know also about the specific blindnesses (*)(issue #6) humans are saddled with, that make the eons old and still unhampered selection pressures possible to continue to operate in spite of humanity's high level of intelligence. Therefore this Wiki contains also contributions about Amathology or the science of ignorance (**)(issues #1 and #6). See also the Appendix on issue #6(*) for more information on this subject.
Without an understanding of the mechanisms of ignorance, innate as well as caused by external factors (learned ignorance), we cannot hope to come to grips with matters of war and peace, nor with matters regarding human unhappiness and suffering (issue #4).
We need all the bits and pieces to understand the essentials of our situation.
((plaatjes: dom/sloom gezicht)) ((lijdend gezicht; ... )) (dit mogen heel schematische gezichten zijn)
((plaatje: puzzle half af; een puzzel, waar nog het e.e.a. aan ontbreekt qua stukjes ))
More bits and pieces
((lampje, zoals "lampje" van Willie Wortel in Donald Duck; flash-inzicht))
(*) Investigating the above phenomena, we also want to know how human understanding can enhance or moderate or change the various mechanisms studied. Therefore we need to know how human learning and development can be of influence on such selection reflexes as mentioned above. To what extent can human beings overcome the innate and culturally amplified blindness and ignorance (**)(issue #1) and start to come to grips with social reflexes that in general, unchequed, lead to mayhem and disaster ? This Wiki contains the details of a still rather novel and little known theory of learning (*) (although also already published more than 30 years ago), based on Reversal Theory and explaining how the contageousness of human development as well as of human neuroticism works and how human development and growth is influenced by social interaction.
((neurotisch stress-hoofd; etc.)) ((bijv. te halen uit T-shirt ECL plaatje; kan ik voor zorgen))
The understanding coming forth from this novel theory of learning is laid down in the ELC (***) (Energy -> Learning -> Cognition model) (see also the Appendix on issue #7(*)). It describes how we gather experiences automatically and involuntarily and how we learn and grow. It also describes how human development and learning is ruled by very strong positive feed back loops. Such loops do cause so called "developmental traps". That is, once a person has entered a series of positive learning spirals, his or her development is becoming more likely to develop positively in the future also. And reversely, once a person has ended up in a series of negative learning spirals, his/her further development is likely to become more and more hampered. This is a mechanism within persons. A similar effect can be found between people, mental and developmental health in a group of people having a strong positive effect on the developmental chances of individuals belonging to or dealing with such a group of people. But the reverse also holds.
So, in both directions there is a strong contageousness within and between people.
((duivel pest/prikt mens)) ((engel beschermt/helpt mens))
In summary: "Unpersons unperson persons" and "Persons re-person unpersons (issue #7)". These "positive feed back loops" in human learning and development, either in a healthy or in an unhealthy direction, and the concomitant developmental traps, do have strong implications for societies that have ended up in structures of repression and misery (issue #8), which is mostly the case. And the reverse also holds, i.e., for societies that have managed to organise and escape from collective unhappiness and disaster (which happens only very rarely). So, these "positive feed back loops" create a certain stability in social structures. And it works both ways. An unhappy, stressful and neuriticizing society tends to stay that way, but also a supporting, happy society has a strong measure of built in stability, and the ELC explains why.
Thinking about war and peace, it is clear that we also do need the information from these particular lines of research.
((massa zombies)) ((stralend persoon))
And some more pieces .....
Having touched upon the mechanisms of human learning and development, we are dealing with human suffering and misery on the one hand and human enlightenment and liberation (issue #7) on the other hand, either in individuals or in whole populations. It is argued on this Wiki that, once we have acquired a rather complete overview of all these different but intertwined mechanisms, we discover the likelihood of a transition in the functioning of the human species, that is looking like what the catholic scholar and priest Teilhard de Chardin was writing about, "Point Omega (issue #10)", a transition point that is estimated here to be rather near in time. From Teilhard de Chardin we have therefore borrowed the label for this Wiki.
((Omega-symbool)) ((overal in vorm v. puzzelstukjes))
Looking at these issues of human learning and development and of the peculiar and specific human areas of blindness (issue #6), the question arises how these states of affairs have ever been able to be ESS's (Evolutionarily Stable Strategies). How can it be that a certain species, Homo sapiens, does have certain capacities for learning and development while most persons in most large societies do not "realise" those potentials at all, but only develop into truncated, limited phenotypes, neurotic and relatively miserable (issue #4) ???
In this Wiki it is postulated that this is indeed a phenomenon that is highly unusual, if not for evolutionary reasons generally impossible in the animal kingdom, but that in the case of human evolution we are facing a unique species in a unique situation in which this strange anomaly does indeed make evolutionary sense in a rather strange, unique, and surprising way.
((mutilated person ; kreupele ))
The point is that Homo sapiens has escaped the so called "upper intelligence limit (issue #5)". That is a boundary that usually limits the evolution of intelligence in any phylum in the animal kingdom. Any intelligence above a certain functional level, becomes self-defeating and stops being an ESS, because intelligence above that level usually bites its own tail. As explained elsewhere on this Wiki(**), a high level of intelligence enables individuals to find short cuts to proximate behavioural need-gratification loops, bypassing the more simplistic, but more risky or costly, behaviours that ordinarily were designed by evolution to gratify those needs, while at the same time producing behaviour favouring ultimate procreational goals and results.
In other words, intelligence, if above a certain level, tends to cause a mismatch between proximate and ultimate behavioural systems. They stop running parallel. For that reason, in animal species there is in general a limit to how far intelligence can develop. Above a certain level it becomes self-defeating indeed.
((grafiek homo sapiens breekt omhoog door barrière; hier maak ik wel een aanzet toe)) ((boven streep verlichtingslampje, onder streep dom/neurotisch gezicht; idem)) (géén puzzelstukje)
The fact that Homo sapiens escaped this intelligence boundary (issue #5) explains why we have such conspicuous awareness blocks regarding our own behaviour (#6). This unique type of "blindness" must have been introduced in our genome before the high growth of intelligence could take off, or latest simultaneously. So, it is probably an adaptation that is at least - guess - a quarter to two million years old. This peculiar characteristic of us humans plays a crucial role in a number of other mechanisms that we need to take into consideration when we want to understand the present human situation. This specific blindness for the self (*)(issue #6) is a strong moderating factor for a number of the other mechanisms discussed on this Wiki.
((blindfold in mirror; net als eerdere spiegel-plaatje of een variant daarop))
Another important factor on the level of human awareness is the selection pressure in favour of docile behaviour and against intelligent enquiry that started some 10.000 years ago at the beginning of the agricultural revolution. (Issue #11 van maken ? of refereren naar issue #4 ?) From that time on the ordinary (human) autonomy was gradually replaced by the influence of meme level power structures. All mechanisms as discussed above must be seen in the light of the evolutionary struggle, not between people, but between impersonal power structures, a struggle in which we human beings are merely the carriers of the meme sets struggling for survival and supremacy. In this struggle the main requirement for us humans is to be docile and reliable carriers of meme sets, cultural sets of ideas and recipes that together "make" a culture. We have become a thoroughly domesticated species, "domesticated" as seen from the perspective of the impersonal power structures, the meme-level entities that, in evolutionary competition with one another, rule human life since some 10.000 years.
((braaf hondje o.i.d.; zo'n hondje dat braaf op z'n achterpootjes zit en met de voorpootjes in de lucht))
This recently (about 10.000 years) emerged selection pressure, in favour of docile behaviour and against intelligent enquiry, is different from the earlier mentioned selection pressure (issue #9) within social structures in favour of compliant behaviour and against self-willed behaviour that was mentioned some pages ago and which selection pressure is of a much older origin, much older than the human species, and in fact stemming from the origin of the earliest socially living mammal species.
Approaching humanity's predicaments with a better and more complete tool box
(*) When investigating human history, it soon becomes apparent that it seems to be impossible to avoid war and disaster from happening for longer periods of time. In fact, well organized societies have as their primary goal to prevent the individuals to make each others lives miserable by unpredictable violence and arbitrariness. The state holds a monopoly on the use of violence and sets rules for its subjects who enjoy a certain protection and peace in return for abiding to the rules. However, no matter how well designed a political structure is set up and ran, it always appears to work for only a limited period of time. Sooner or later, but invariably, uncontrolled violence breaks out again, whether internally, within its own structure, or with neighbouring states. A little study of history will suffice to demonstrate the validity of this rule.
It can be argued that these periods of break down, disaster and misery are beneficial for the human population, because in such circumstances everybody has to rely on himself more than otherwise and selection forces resume their customary role. Mother nature thus makes the badly needed corrections in terms of the necessary selection forces, that had temporarily been set aside in the fair and just and well oiled society with "more or less" (relatively) equal chances for everybody.
Maybe this is just how it is and and is it biologically impossible and undesirable to organise eternal peace, and was it never meant to be. Maybe this is the case. In fact it does seem to be so, but nevertheless there appears to be a novel problem for humanity, which is the technological revolution and the means of destruction it has produced. We are now living in the nuclear age and we have acquired the potential to destroy the human population a couple of times over. Maybe this is a bit exaggerated and even in the case of a large nuclear shoot out there will always survive some people in some remote corners of the earth. But even if that is true, than still it seems totally unacceptable to let such a nuclear shoot out happen at all. Humanity would at the very least be thrown back to primitive circumstances and large areas of the world would become uninhabitable for ages. Obviously that is not what we want. But, how to prevent further full swing wars ? We should find out about its causes and reasons one way or the other, and rather soon than late.
In the literature on war one finds a wealth of overviews and theories (see e.g., van der Dennen, 1995), but to date there does not seem to be one single theory of war and peace that is convincingly explaining it all at the required level of understanding. We show on this Wiki that this is not very surprising, because two of the above mentioned major factors / principles / mechanisms are missing from all these theories and overviews, two principles that are absolutely indispensable for acquiring a full understanding of our human situation and the forces that rule war and peace.
1) Cyclic selection forces (issue # 9)
2) Genetic pollution (issue # 3)
(*) Issue #9) One of these two factors we already described above. It is in the cyclic selection forces and concomitant changes in social structures, automatically causing periodic turn over catastrophies. This mechanism is up till now virtually unknown to researchers in the field. It is in itself enough to prevent any long term political structure to bring peace and well being in the long run. Sooner or later the internal selection process will have proceeded that far that a turn over catastrophy cannot be avoided any more, signalling the end of the (utopian) political arrangement.
From this mechanism we can derive one certain and indispensable condition in case we want to organise an end to periodic war and destruction. And that is that we have to become aware of this automatic selection process and we have to introduce some counter selection pressure.
This is in principle easy to achieve and in fact it is on a small scale already applied in the practice of business organisation and selection advice (see e.g. the application of the KAI, Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (***)). So, it has already been shown that it cán work. In principle it should therefore not be very difficult to also implement these techniques on a larger scale up to complete political states, ......... if only the political will and determination would prevail.
Issue #3) Another factor that would make it impossible to establish and maintain ever lasting political structures with peace and harmony for all, is the phenomenon of genetic pollution. This phenomenon does have a different genetic effect on the population in question, but its long term effect is similar. It also makes a long lasting structure of peace and harmony technically impossible.
This automatic biological effect on human populations can however also be countered with well directed measures. Parents in general wish to have healthy and successful children. Well, the technical means to achieve that are already available and are laying ready on the shelf nowadays. Also, there is no need any more to have unwanted children. No matter the resistance from the churches and other religious power structures, methods for birth control are spreading all over the world and will not be stopped from becoming "normal". In fact, the technical means are available to counter the effects of genetic pollution without the least measure of compulsion. And they certainly will be applied more and more. People will more and more simply demand it. Once this becomes main stream, its effect wil help mankind to move from "evolving gradually towards a higher level of consciousness" into a situation of "evolving consciously". For more details about the effects of genetic pollution click here (**).
These two above mentioned mechanisms do need some measure of awareness and action from mankind to be overcome and to stop to periodically cause war, disaster and chaos while the subjects, or rather victims, us, stay unaware and helpless while suffering our fate.
On the other hand, from the earlier mentioned list of mechanisms that keep us bound in relative slavery, misery and proneness to war and mayhem a number will change automatically by themselves, also without our purposeful actions. Our technical environment is rapidly changing and these irreversible changes will also automatically bring with them crucial changes in the working of those several mechanisms that always kept the miserable state of modern society - i.e. the last 10.000 years or so - in place.
Let's mention a few of these changing mechanisms here below.
Times are changing; what we may expect
(*) As to taboos and induced neuroticism, there seem to be developments in operation that "just will do it for us".
In order to see that more clearly, we have to take a closer look at the details of how exactly the meme level power structures keep us trapped and bound in slavery and in stupid blindness. Once we have a clear picture of how that works we also can recognise that many of the tools of repression of the power structures that keep us bound, are becoming unstable through recent technological developments.
(*) We live in the middle of an information explosion. People are flooded with avalanches of information they can choose from. Also, they can find through internet information on most subjects they care about. Power structures used to lean among other things on important information privileges, depriving their subjects of most of the information available, thus preventing initiatives from that side quite effectively. This privilege was a powerful tool for power structures to maintain and consolidate their power, but through the new internet developments this highly powerful weapon of information exclusivity is dwindling away rapidly. We live in the age of the democratization of information.
Also "taboos" therefore can sooner and easier be unmasked for what they are, as mere stories of power structures full of do's and dont's, that dwindle away under scrutiny. The information explosion produces ever more scrutiny, so these power tricks gradually but surely lose their grip on humanity. They also lose their grip on guarding our ignorance. That is the first of the newly developing trends that prepare the way for the point Omega shift.
Second, birth control is spreading quickly all over the globe these days. This means that an ever higher percentage of the children is being born "wanted" and planned. That, in turn, means that in more cases the parents are prepared for the arduous task of bringing up the child successfully. And that, in turn, means that the child in question is more likely to receive proper amounts of love and attention that are needed for an optimal development (according to the ELC theory, describing the effect of sufficient "strokes" (***) on children's development). This implies that less and less children are being brought up to become neurotic individuals with truncated behaviour patterns. A higher percentage will be able to "self-actualize", which implies more individuals being able to escape the clutches of the power structures that are trying to subdue them into a mild but steady state of neurotic slavery, contaminating also their neighbours and colleagues in the process.
Third: nowadays, there are a number of serious threats for the (pleasant) survival of mankind that force more and more people to think over thoroughly the human condition and the options that we have. There is mass pollution; there is the nuclear capacity to destroy the human species by and large or completely, waging war is nearing more and more to potential massive self-destruction. There is massive overpopulation; etc., etc. These urgencies trigger more awareness about our own situation and our own functioning than has been usually the case. Subsequently, this triggers attempts to overcome the innate blocks to being aware of and to thinking clearly about our own behaviour and our own (social) situation. Such increased awareness therefore sooner or later undermines the ultimate power of the meme structures in charge. In short, we gradually start realising that "we have no choice but to finally start understanding ourselves".
Fourth: like neuroticism, self-actualization also is very contagious. The communication explosion of this era reduces distances. Through the internet all sorts of groups emerge with increasing ease. Self-actualizers, historically a very small minority, therefore also can easier find their likes nowadays. Critical sizes of self-actualizing groups can therefore develop easier and can eventually trigger chain reactions of contagious self-actualization. That will undermine the usual thoughtless and massive subservience to power structures. We will return to this aspect below.
All these recent developments reduce the stability of the classical mechanisms by which power structures acquired stability and longevity, controlling their subjects (their "carriers") sufficiently. Gradually, many of the millennia old fundaments of power start crumbling and are falling apart.
The above trends for instance loosen the taboo networks that keep human thought locked up and that are put in place and maintained by the local power structures in charge, religions and otherwise. As a result, the inborn as well as the induced unwillingness to consider the important issues for the human species are loosening up and more and more people start to direct their curiosity and intelligence to the questions that really do matter. And one thing that they then automatically will stumble across, is details of how the power structures operate and how they maintained their power over them (us).
Another thing that the above modern trends bring closer, is a weakening of the artificially induced neuroticism in us humans that made us more stupid than what would be natural to our genetic endowment. So, this weakening of our neuroses is making us more clever and intelligent. That also induces a more intelligent investigation of what rules us and keeps us down. And that is bringing us closer and closer to a mass reversal from neuroticism to states of self actualization (this shift being point Omega).
In order to see how these latter effects come about, a better understanding is necessary of how the human system of emotions and motivations operates. We should therefore take a closer look at the mechanisms of the ELC (Energy Learning Cognition model). As explained in the chapters on the ELC(***), our system of experiencing, learning and development entails strong positive feed back loops. That means that truncated and neurotic behaviours induce ("positive") feed back loops, resulting in "negative" learning spirals in people, in themselves as well as in their neighbours. On the other hand, complete and fully actualized behaviours induce ("positive") feed back loops resulting in "positive" learning spirals in people and in their neighbours.
In short, psychological well-being and self actualization are highly contagious, just as are neuroticism and lack of skills are contagious. Until now, mass neurosis and misery have been the usual state of these two basic possibilities, induced and stabilized by a multitude of tricks, wielded by the power structures in question. But it is precisely those tricks, inducing neuroticism, that are becoming unstable and wavering. The result seems to be a gradual growth towards the point where the artificially induced mass neuroses cannot be upheld any more and where they will reverse into their opposite, causing "positive" feed back loops in the wholesome direction, producing an enhanced growth and development to mass health, vigor and actualization (Point Omega reversal), instead of the customary positive feed back loops producing neurotic misery. (Click here (***) for more information on how the ELC mechanism will trigger a mass psychological chain reaction.)
In short, it looks like most of the mechanisms that have kept us down in misery, slavery and ignorance are gradually losing their power these days, making it more and more probable for humanity to reach a critical percentage of self-actualizers, which will trigger a mass reversal to positive feed back loops in the wholesome direction instead of in the usual direction of neurotization, fear and mass stupidity. This change of direction, this shift in probability for self-actualization, is what we have labeled the "Point Omega reversal".
What will human society look like after Point Omega ?
(*) Now, what will happen, once that shift has occurred, that shift in focus, that shift in the likelihood for any person to realize self-actualization? For one thing, happiness is a rather subjective matter. One gets used to everything, even hanging, the pun goes. There is much truth in this saying. People are primarily just aware of changes happening to them. People compare. Steady states tend to become "back ground noise", gradually disappearing from awareness. A neurotic person in general has no idea, or only vaguely, that he/she is functioning below normal level and is feeling more than average anxieties. Reversely, a self-actualizer, if he/she has grown up like that, and does have little experience with stressful and neurotic states of mind, generally has no clue as to being a self-actualizer. To him/her it seems to be the usual and therefore the "normal" situation.
So, whereas human beings will tend to grow towards higher levels of skills and stability, they will not so much report higher states of "happiness", simply because they use their own usual state as a reference point, not knowing anything else. However, in such states there will be way less misery, as objectively measured. There will be more real equilibria and more structural stability. Also, there will be much more room for creative exploration and innovation. And since the gradual human evolution towards a higher consciousness will reverse into "conscious evolution", there may be a myriad of directions to choose from, in which directions we may steer our own evolution.
Below, we summarise a number of the characteristics that we may expect after Point Omega in terms of the jig saw puzzle pieces as listed in the paragraph "Issues to take into account".
Superstition, taboos and false belief systems will disappear. The power structures will be seen for what they are, for how they operated and exerted power over us. Inducing ignorance and superstition will not work any more. Instead, sobriety and unhampered intelligence will rule and be considered as "normal", not as inexplicable "strokes of genius", as they used to be regarded before.
Problems of war and peace will be much easier to handle and because handling them will finally be based on a thorough and complete understanding, there will by and large be world wide consensus about how to deal with issues of war and peace. Competition will express itself at completely different levels from that point on. The physical dangers of large scale wars will be history, liberating huge amounts of time and energy for more useful issues.
Genetic pollution will stop being an automatic source of periodic catastrophical collapse, disaster, destruction and genocide. People will have started breeding consciously and will automatically, willingly and even enthusiastically, generate a sufficient counter-force against genetic pollution.
The cycles in social structure of growing and aging, with the concomitant turn over catastrophes like bankruptcy, revolutions, genocide, etc., will be history, since the previously automatic internal selection forces in social structures will be insightfully countered by purposeful, compensating selection forces.
Our inborn weakness, us hardly being able to observe ourselves and each other objectively, our characteristic "blindness" for the Self, will be mollified by our awareness that this weakness is an innate human trait, but that we can intelligently and purposefully add sufficient awareness about the social and psychological mechanisms that are ruling our daily lives. Such initiative will not be hampered any longer by all sorts of cultural taboos and other tricks, blocking such awareness, the stings being removed from the meme level power structures.
"Amathology", or the science of ignorance, will be a standard ingredient for psychological education. This also means that the extent to which human beings are able to understand one another and assist to one another, will move to a completely different and unprecedented high(er) level. The positive feed back loops in the "wholesome" direction, resulting from that, will in itself already stabilize mass self actualization.
Human unhappiness and suffering, as objectively measured, will be reduced to an unparalleled low level. However, this will not imply that the same holds at a subjective level. That is a completely different matter because subjective emotions are strongly relative and have a strongly "myopic" character.
Human intelligence will be able to increase again. The advantages for the meme level power structures have ceased to exert their evolutionary power in favour of an on average low intelligence. Selection pressure in the opposite direction, in favour of a higher intelligence, stemming among other things from our present day high-tech world and the need to be able to cope with it, will exert its full pressure. That need for high intelligence will not be slowed down or counter-effected any more by the pressure in favour of moderate intelligence as exerted by the meme level power structures in charge, needing multitudes of docile "sheep" as its reliable slave carriers and cannon-fodder.
The selection pressure in favour of extreme docile and uncritical behaviour will have evaporated.
With this short, and far from complete, listing we have almost come to the end of the guided tour through this Wiki. You may dive deeper in the data and arguments supporting this story by using the links in the above texts or in the short summary of this article below. We hope you enjoyed the Tour and that we managed to trigger your curiosity to where it really counts for us all.
In summary .....
(( plaatje van complete puzzel; zelfde als eerder, maar dan compleet))
✰ <level 1> We will now summarize in short the highlights of this guided tour through the Omega Research Wiki and for your convenience provide further links to other articles and chapters on this Wiki. With each link it is indicated with asterixes which level of (eventually scientific) underpinning the reader may expect at the referred to place.
This Wiki aims at providing a better insight in how we humans tick, in how our societies are run and about how we could avoid huge (e.g., nuclear) disasters. We have ended up in a rather dangerous global political and environmental situation. How can we survive ? And how can we make our fellow beings survive ?
In view of everything that is known and scientifically established, in fact for quite some time already, it should not be very difficult to (re-)organize our societies in such a way that the most crucial and common human problems and dangers are overcome and disappear. It is argued on this Wiki that the major problem is to mobilize all available knowledge and to remove the taboos and superstitions that until now blocked the intelligent use of the knowledge that is already available.
Four phenomena are indicated that are generally missing from our world view, but that are crucial for being able to understand the essentials of the present human situation.
These four crucial phenomena are:
1) The dynamics of human learning and development, based on "'Reversal Theory (*)(issue #7)". The organization of the dynamics of emotions and motivations implies a strong contageousness of psychological health, but also of neuroticism. This holds within individuals as well as at the social level. Without a solid understanding of Reversal Theory (***) and of the ELC (Energy Learning Cognition model) (***), the reasons for the present human situation and the possible options that we have instead, can never be understood well. So, inevitably, we do need to understand Reversal Theory and the ELC.
2) Within social groups and structures there is an automatic and up till now unhampered selection pressure in favour of sociable adaptation and against creative individualism. This results in a limited life span of any social structure or institution. Social structures always carry a time bomb within, fueled by automatic social selection cycles (***)(issue #9). When social structures collapse at the end of their life span and are replaced by fresh, smaller structures, the turn over catastrophes go by the names of dissolution, bankruptcy, revolution, war or genocide. Since this mechanism always, since primordial times, has been the engine behind the periodic reshuffling of the gene pool and the concomitant catastrophic events, it is absolutely impossible to understand even vaguely the source of much of human misery, let alone to be able to do something about it, without knowledge of these automatic social selection cycles.
3) The typical human blindness for the self (*)(issue #6). This is the innate incapacity to utilize our intelligence for understanding our own and each other's behaviour. This is a consequence of the higher than "normal" human intelligence and it developed since some quarter million to two million years ago, when one line of hominids escaped from the ordinary evolutionary "upper intelligence limit".
4) Since the agricultural revolution, some 10.000 years ago, the power in human societies is in the "hands" of impersonal meme-level information structures. These meme-level power structures (*)(issue #8) compete with one another and cause an evolution on the meme level that is running much faster than the gene-level evolution of our physical properties. This causes a structural friction in us humans (*), being subject to selection pressures on the meme level that leave the gene level adaptations lagging hopelessly behind. Ordinary human psychological functioning is strongly determined and coloured by this evolutionary friction.
Other than the above 4 mechanisms that are unfamiliar to most people, the following phenomena that are crucial for a thorough understanding, are more commonly known, but often not considered in the context that we now need here. These well known phenomena and their application in the present point Omega context are:
Superstition and ignorance in human society and their evolutionary role (**)(issue #1).
Taboos and their controlling function in human societies. (issue #2)
Genetic pollution (**) and its effects of collapse and rejuvenation in human societies. (issue #3)
Disfunctioning and neuroticism versus optimal development and well being in individuals; the technical reversibility of these processes and a strong contagiousness (***) in both directions. (issue #7)
Selection pressure in societies in favour of docile behaviour (*)(issue #9).
This, together with genetic pollution (issue #3), always has been the cause of periodic redistribution of gene pools over the inhabitable areas of land, also triggering migration waves. Once understood, we can deal with both mechanisms without much difficulty.
All in all, the mechanisms that we describe on this Wiki help us to understand how and why Homo sapiens has ended up in its present precarious situation and how that state of affairs has been stabilized over time. However, understanding of the mechanisms involved also shows us what other options are in principle available. That understanding shows which other, radically different, fate may be in store for humanity. In fact, understanding of all mechanisms involved suggests that it is almost unavoidable that mankind will, sooner rather than later, enter in a next phase of evolution, an evolutionary phase bringing with it changes for our way of life, that are far more radical and far reaching than were the changes through the agricultural revolution that started around 10.000 years ago.
Let's hope that it will not be necessary that a nuclear shoot out and concomitant disaster and misery will be needed to trigger our awareness to shift upward to the required level. Let's hope that our communal awareness will increase quickly enough to avoid such disaster.
This is the end of the Guided Tour. Point Omega will most likely come, whether we try to induce it or not. A number of developments that come about automatically and unavoidably, will autonomously trigger the emergence of that Point Omega. This Wiki can help the reader to be prepared. That's all we need to do. The rest will follow by itself automatically. Enjoy the ride !
Thanks for your attention.
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Appendix on issue #6, Human Blindness to the Self
(*) A series of blocks to a rational and purposeful approach; strange effects from recent human evolution
Whereas in principle nowadays the technical means are available to tackle the above mentioned basic causes of periodic war and disaster, there does not seem at present to be any broadly carried willingness to tackle these problems at a significant scale.
The notion of genetic pollution is taboo if applied to human beings. The available knowledge on this issue is only being applied to cattle.
Likewise, one may expect resistance to applying counter measures to the automatic selection forces in favour of sociability and compliance and against self-will and creativity. Such an intitiative also would encounter a number of strong taboo's.
In us humans there are a number of built in factors that cause an unwillingness to consider the above mentioned issues and a range of other "sensitive" issues. We will mention four of these blocking factors here below.
The major Blindness Block, probably stemming from some 0,5 million to 2 million years ago
((mirror plus blindfold; zoals eerder, of een variant daarop))
(*) 1) The first block is the innate tendency to not use our intelligence on our own behaviour. As pointed out elsewhere on this Wiki (*), this is an awareness block that must be some half million or more years old. It was an adaptation for our hominid ancestors who grew more and more intelligent, living in circumstances where high intelligence did pay off very well.
As pointed out earlier, this adaptation, this block on the use of intelligence on the own behaviour, this blindness to the self (labeled issue #6 above), helped circumvent the ordinary upper limit to intelligence that in principle holds for any living animal species.
Normally, in any reasonably intelligent animal species, intelligence cannot evolve beyond the point where it enables individuals to find short cuts to emotional satisfaction, avoiding the energy and time-consuming behaviours that would result from reacting "without thinking". The latter behaviours are the ones evolution has produced as best ways to survive and procreate, but if they get short-cutted by easier, more "clever" ways to short-term satisfaction, procreation is endangered and the too high intelligence level, enabling such short cuts, bites in its own tail and as a consequence will be weeded out by natural selection.
Our hypothesis is that in humans the evolution towards higher levels of intelligence than that specific, general maximum level, only became possible after innate blocks had formed that made the utilisation of intelligence on the own and each other's behaviour very difficult. And that was the "Blindness for the Self" we are facing now (see here(*) for more information on this innate Self-Blindness).
So, if we wish to regard and study the conditions to organise peace and stability for the long term and abolish war and political disasters, we would at the very least have to come to grips with this typically human innate blindness structure. If not, we will continue to live and interact like monkeys, but ............. monkeys with nuclear power.
((plaatje van chimpansee met machinegeweer en op achtergrond ontploffende atoombom (paddestoel) ))
Three more recent Blindness Blocks, stemming from 5.000 to 10.000 years ago
2) (*) The second block (issue #2) is because there has evolved, since some 10.000 years, cultural systems that wield complex taboo systems, serving to maintain their power over people. These meme level power structures among other things incorporate a system of taboos that prevent us from investigating our own behaviour. This strengthens the already innate tendency to steer clear from meddling with the own and each other's behaviour. These taboos help to keep us even more stupid than we already were for innate reasons.
((plaatje: sssst !!))
So, if we wish to understand the basics of the problems of war and peace we also will have to be willing to overcome a multitude of current cultural taboos.
3) The third block is stemming from us maybe having lost part of our intelligence as compared with some 10.000 years ago. From the time the agricultural revolution began, there was a premium on docility and on fitting into large organizations. From that time on the impersonal meme level power structures took over command and these power structures were served better by docile subjects than by highly creative individualists. These power structures use a variety of techniques to keep their subjects under control. Among these tricks are systems of lies and superstition that increase the dependency of the subjects on the power structure, reducing the individual's capacity to deal with the environment at hand by themselves independently. Adaptation to such systems of counterfeit and superstition is more difficult when one is highly intelligent than when one is somewhat dull and mediocre. Intelligence makes adaptation to superstition and fairy tales difficult for reasons of cognitive dissonance. Therefore it is likely that since the agricultural revolution there has been on average a negative selection pressure on intelligence. Intelligence would pay off for members of the ruling class, which is always a minority, but it would often be a disadvantage for the survival chances of subordinate members in the power structure in question, which is always the great majority. In other words: the power structures "breed" stupid and docile carriers for themselves.
((hamer op lampje --> begrip in scherven uiteen))
It would be worthwhile to find out if we can find data on the growth or decrease of average intelligence during the last 10.000 years. It might be an explanation for the finding that modern man has a somewhat lower brain volume than our ancestors from before the agricultural revolution.
Whether true or still an unwarranted hypothesis, this lower intelligence, lower than what we had before, could perhaps be another, third factor making it difficult for us to tackle the perennial problems of humanity effectively.
4) The fourth block is stemming from us being saddled with a culturally induced level of neuroticism that prevents us from too much intelligent investigation of anything and, subsequently, also of our own behaviour. The more neurotic, the less space for intelligent investigation and the less danger for meddling with the norms imposed by the meme level power structures that are geared to help these impersonal power structures to survive and to spread. A higher level of neuroticism reduces the level of useful output of people, but on the other hand it does enhance the malleability of people and the possibilities to manipulate them. And that is a major and crucial advantage to the power structures in charge.
((gezicht met stress en neurotische spanning))
So, if we wish to tackle and understand our problem effectively, we also should try to overcome our culturally induced neuroticism. This is not easily done on the individual level, but it might be far easier to influence on the population level, by purposefully and collectively organising the reduction of the various neuroticising external societal factors.
Whether or not this fourth factor is valid also, at least the other three factors prevent us from intelligently and soberly investigating the phenomenon of genetic pollution in human gene pools and the effects of cyclic changes in groups and social organisations, let alone develop the remedies.
Obviously, we are at the very least saddled with a couple of serious handicaps, innate as well as learned. And we need to come to grips with those handicaps. We need to become masters over ourselves, again.
Overcoming awareness blocks
If we want to do something about understanding the predicaments of humanity and find remedies for the perennial problems, we obviously need to break through this multifacetted structure of ignorance and blindness that has evolved for very valid evolutionary reasons, but that are now posing some serious and dangerous handicaps to our survival.
We cannot do much about blocking factor 1) (labeled as issue #6 before). The innate blindness for our own behaviour is very old and is deeply and solidly ingrained in our system on a genetic level. This part of our specific stupidness and ignorance cannot be "unlearned" it is firmly anchored in our genetic hardware.
And if blocking factor 3) (issue #11) (selection against high intelligence since some 5.000 to 10.000 years) is correct, than this is also something that we cannot hope to change within a few centuries. Genetic changes come slowly.
Blocking factors 2) (issue #2) and 4) (issue #4) however, are different. If we would decide, we could tackle both blocking factor #2, the taboos, and blocking factor #4, artificial neuroticism (issue #4), purposefully and diligently, and we can do that right now.
For more details about the above mentioned awareness blocks one may refer to the article "Eating from the Forbidden Fruit" (**).
Appendix on issue #7, the E.L.C. (Energy -->Learning -->Cognition model)
(How we gather experience, learn and develop)
(*) Children learn and develop by playing. Almost everybody is aware of that. Children play for fun. They like to explore and to venture out. In between they seek - and generally find - cover, security and reassurance. Alternating between venturing out playfully and seeking cover and reassurance, they gather experience in optimal quantities and thus develop their skills and behavioural repertoire. Adults show less playful behaviour. They are "mature" and their behavioural repertoire is supposed to be fully grown. However, in Homo sapiens, the learning animal par excellence, also adults keep learning by trial and error, motored by curiosity and playful behaviour. On the other hand, human adults and also semi adults, show less playful exploration than what seems natural. By and large humanity lost its ability to learn by playing after the juvenile phase. The ELC explains how this works in detail and this Wiki deals with the reasons why humanity lost most of its capacity to "learn by playing in the natural way" and deals with what are the implications of this defect for the present human situation.
“Reversal Theory” (***) (developed by Apter and Smith) explains the emotional and motivational dynamics that form the basics of our learning process. The basic principles are explained in a different chapter with graphs, pictures and examples. For more details see there (**). In fig. 5b below the working of the ELC is summarized. For a detailed explanation of this figure see here(***).
Since these mechanisms of emotions and motivations are the very basis of our behaviour and thus of our very existence, awareness of these mechanisms is of crucial importance. It is striking and highly peculiar, that awareness of these mechanisms has not always already been our normal state. On the contrary, our cultures invariably have taken care of blinding us specifically for these basic aspects of our existence, utilizing and enhancing the already innate specific human blindness for the self, establishing and maintaining numerous structures to consolidate that blindness. Becoming aware of the reversal mechanisms in our emotional organization is therefore a key to any attempt of mankind to (re)gain autonomy.
Once these basic mechanisms of collecting and digesting experience, and from there the dynamics of learning, are understood, it is much easier to optimize instructional and educational methods, helping to enlighten mankind. In fact, this very theory can render the tools to boost self-actualization processes on a massive scale. It enables people to effortlessly enhance and stimulate general developmental processes in one another. Click here(***) for more details.
Before diving into the details of Reversal Theory it is good to realize that whereas the mechanics of the motivational reversals are basically very, very simple from a purely technical point of view, they are nevertheless very difficult to grasp for most people. This is because of the reasons as mentioned above, the clear evolutionary reasons, resulting in the unavoidable specific human blindness for oneself. Click here for more details. (*)
Explanatory power of the E.L.C.
(*) The ELC explains how animals with an open ended learning capacity do have an emotional and motivational system that is designed to maximize the use they can make of any surplus energy and time available. In case there is not enough energy available, this system directs the individual to seeking cover, safety and rest, in order to restore as quickly as possible the internal energy balance. However, if there is energy available, the individual is "pushed" to spend that energy, also in case there is no problem to be solved at that very moment, on acquiring new experiences and thus gather more knowledge of the world around. The ELC is organized in such a way, that automatically that surplus of energy of an individual is directed towards those ("exiting") areas of experience where the individual does not yet have sufficient knowledge and experience. In those areas the individual still can learn something useful, because there is not yet full mastery. Only by the time that in that specific area of the world around, in that specific area of experience, there has been gathered enough experience and also enough knowledge, that area in question is "mastered". By that time that area is experienced as "boring" in the paratelic state and will therefore not be further explored when sufficient energy is available, because not "exiting" any more. From that time on the energy will be spent on more exiting areas of exploration. In that way the ELC directs any energy surplus towards experiencing and learning particularly about those areas of life where the individual can profit most from expansion of its experience and knowledge.
The ELC explains how this system contains a set of positive feed back loops. The result is that in case a person is already in a state of equilibrium in terms of telic / paratelic balance over time, the likelihood of learning more and integrate further experiences well, is high. In case an individual only has a limited level of skills and does not have a well balanced telic / paratelic rhythm, the likelihood of learning well from subsequent experiences is also much lower. Basically, one could say that the ELC-like organisation of our behaviour is very unfair, the lucky birds learning more rapidly and effectively than the unlucky persons. In case differences in skill and well-being already exist, the ELC-like organisation is likely to amplify such differences in the future. One could formulate this as a strong internal "contagiousness" of the learning system. For more details click here (***).
Betwéén people a similar contagiousness exists. The ELC explains(***) how emotional and physical support from other people may help to restore the emotional balance in the supported individuals. And such restored balance in turn stimulates an easier emergence of paratelic states. In tense and neurotic people the paratelic states are in general too little prominent. Their frequency is too low. Social support and help can cure that. So, also between people the ELC shows that there is a high contageousness. Living in a group of self-actualizers heightens the chances to enter in optimal learning spirals also and find ones' way towards self-actualization. And reversely, living in a group of neurotics with truncated behavioural systems, one will find less social support and help and as a consequence one will not be able to restore the telic/paratelic balance easily and one is more likely to also stay trapped in neurotic and truncated behaviour patterns oneself.
It is pointed out in the pages about the ELC that present day humanity is in general trapped in negative learning spirals and operates on a level that is far below what would be possible in terms of our genetic endowment. From an evolutionary point of view this situation, an animal species, us humans, of which most individuals do not realise their full innate potential, is highly peculiar, if not almost unbelievable. If human beings would be more often well balanced, they would be more often self-actualizers and not be stuck in truncated and less effective behaviour patterns. On the whole our civilizations appear to be trapped in a system that blocks the full expansion of human possibilities and that keeps us bound in neurotic misery. However, the ELC indicates that, from a technical point of view, the opposite would in theory also be possible, and also would be stable in itself. For reasons that are now easy to understand, our evolution has directed us towards this one of the two basic options, the unpleasant one. We shall explain elsewhere (*) why this is the case and why this strange and peculiar situation could not have been avoided at this stage of human evolution.
For more detailed information about Reversal Theory and the Energy Learning Cognition model (the ELC) click here (***).
Appendix on issue #9, Social Selection Forces and Population Cycles
(*) Never in human history one could put a permanent end to conflicts between social groups and organizations. One of the behavioural mechanisms making that impossible is the involuntary selection pressure within groups. Essential in this mechanism is a certain kind of social-role blindness, a peculiar unawareness of what we are doing on the level of social-role interactions, whereby forces of attraction or repulsion between individuals are effectuated.
Other elements of this mechanism are involuntary incrowd–outcast selection reflexes and a personality 'trait dimension', i.e. a dimension in which people differ from one another, which may be described as a `readiness to comply with a submissive role'. This dimension is correlated with a large amount of social behaviour and a small amount of thing-oriented, individualistic and explorative behaviour. It is, by definition, of great importance for the distribution of social roles and for the social structure in a group; it determines, for example, the likelihood of an individual assuming or maintaining a compliant and socially accepted subordinate position versus the likelihood of drifting into an outcast position.
Knowledge about this innate personality trait dimension and of its effects in social groups and structures may increase our understanding of a wide range of intriguing and sometimes disquieting phenomena. These phenomena range from educational and organizational strategies to the often catastrophe-like collapses and turn-over phenomena in companies and other social structures, and from the way social roles and positions tend to be distributed up to the resulting evolutionary consequences.
((plaatje: finger-pointing and shame/fright; bijv. gelovige krimpt ineen onder de dreigende vinger )) ((van de ouderling of dominee))
From a purely biological point of view, differences between individuals are to be expected in any socially living mammalian species in a number of situations where choices have to be made. They regard for instance readiness to comply with a submissive role; sociability versus thing-orientedness; and compliance versus self-will. Individuals make up their mind all the time about these "choices". It can be argued that the underlying biological organization must, from an evolutionary standpoint, be very old and elementary. What is of importance here are the consequences of these behavioural differences on the level of social interaction. A life span theory of social structures and organizations (causing limited life spans) can be shown to be one of the implications.
The way these interpersonal differences are behaviourally organized (and the way our awareness tends to be blocked in these respects) have far reaching consequences; an increase in our understanding of the life cycles of social structures might be by far their most important result. Such understanding enables us to map the processes underlying periodic catastrophe-like turn-over phenomena and to learn how to control their violent backlashing at any level of organization.
((phenix uit de as herrijzend))and ((collapse and catastrophe)) ((zaagtand-grafiek; maak ik zelf wel ?? (geen puzzelstukje)))
The duration of social-structural cycles is predicted to be roughly inversely proportional to speed and intensity of selection for the trait under discussion. In an industrial company the intensity of selection and the take-on/dismissal percentages are much higher than, for example, the selection intensity and the immigration/emigration percentages in the much larger units of political states. Therefore the average cycle periods are likely to vary from a few decades in companies or in political parties, to a few centuries in political states, or even to one or two millennia in whole civilizations.
The small-scale turn-over cycles with a relatively stronger and quicker selection effect are superimposed, therefore, on the larger-scale turn-over cycles with a longer life span. Thus, individuals may be outcasts in terms of some small-scale social structure while at the same time being totally accepted incrowd members in terms of some larger-scale social structure. The small-scale cycles may be seen as the ripples on the surface of the long range waves of the large-scale cycles, What happens with a person at the social-role level of a sports club is not necessarily parallel to what happens to him at home or at the level of the village community, and what happens to a person on the level of a company does not at all need to be parallel to what happens to him on the level of the political state. In fact, being an incrowd group member on some small-scale level of organization may be vital for a person to keep functioning properly in case of struggling with an outcast position on a larger-scale level of organization.
If it were possible to manipulate these – hitherto involuntary – selection mechanisms, it would be possible to stop or to speed up population cycles at will. This might for instance be relevant for personnel management in industrial companies or for measures on the level of political nations. The latter might be of particular significance in our nuclear age, since population cycles on this broad level tend to be worked out and consolidated by means of war and other economic strangling techniques. Mankind as a whole, up until now, has been able to afford this luxury of genocidal praxis, but war and economic asphyxia, nowadays, threaten to come close to total nuclear destruction. It would be worthwhile, therefore, to take the pressure off the dynamic population cycles kettle and to search for a way to replace or short-circuit nature's hitherto applied selection tricks with which it powered our evolution and our spatial spreading and distribution. It seems about time to substitute alternative and less dangerous mechanisms for it.
Issue #9 does have one more very useful spin off. Understanding of the genetic basis of personality differences between self-willed creative innovators versus social adaptors also gives us clues for solving the decades-old discussions and controversies about searching for a meaningful model of the structure and origin of personality differences. The personality dimension from issue #9 does have its roots in genetic differences, but it also has consequences for differences in social role reflexes and the subsequent situation-dependent distribution of social roles. Therefore it renders specifications for so called anchoring dimensions for rotation procedures that can produce a better understanding and overview of all sources of personality differences together. Such an anchoring dimension specifies exactly where to allow for obliqueness and where to allow for orthogonality between personality dimensions. Elsewhere we explain what can be the result from solving this alchemistic chaos in the field of personality theories.
For more detailed information about these selection forces in social groups and the resulting periodic turn over catastrophies click here (**).