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Social Stagnation in Superstitious Rumination

September 24th, 2017

Recently, in an online publication, which shall remain unnamed due to citation variances among differing publications wherein little consistency prevails, published a rather informative article regarding public inclinations toward “anti-intellectualism”. In agreement with this, it can be readily observed, providing one takes the time and effort, that on a selective range, American society is devolving into a gluttonous lethargy of “anti-thinking”. As such, emotionalism trumps reason, and whining, groveling and temper tantrum throwing selfishness over-ride intellectual advancement.

This is an intriguing, yet scary prospect in view of debasing social afflictions facing humankind. From at least one perspective of research, with a history of reporting techno-social trends, one investigative effort promoted further discussion concerning an increasing inclination of arrogant hostility toward advancing higher pursuit of knowledgeable inquiry. Given such postmodern proclivities, attention herein is focused on mainstream American consumer culture. Yet, the view can be applied globally.

From another informative source, an assertion is made relative to what might be characterized as an “aristocracy of American political culture”. For instance, wealth accumulation is ruthlessly proselytized from every media mode during every pretended wakeful moment of unimaginative existence. Ease, comfort and bloated consumption add to the societal decadence of obsessive material acquisition. Influence is pandered relentlessly throughout the unhallowed halls of academia to the pontificating pretentions of political demagoguery. From secured complacency of familial heritage, politicians pass on their “legacy” to offspring. So-called progeny rise to the silver-spooned occasion and assume the “entitlement of their well-primed destiny.

In the process of unenlightened social deterioration, there is a determined effort to act in purposefully stupid and self-centered ways. From the standpoint of the various assertions, the admonition of a few determined voices, directs attention toward the intentional effort of most people to “dumb” themselves down. In the process, there is a weakling albeit sissified inclination to follow the herd and conform to the powers that control and manipulate communal processes. Behind the fa├žade of freedoms, many are intolerant of others who desire to differentiate and evolve to higher ascendency.

Lazily detached from rigorous investigative thinking, feeling fearfully entitled to what others have gained, whether material or abstract, a mass of the populace relishes in grotesque mentally regressive self-indulgence. Foolish inferences project fractiously faulty conclusions for subjective validations in stupefying conjectures. As if most do not care because it is too taxing, the quest for loftier levels of intellectual expression is devalued for the simplicity of immediate gratification.

The sacred solitude of limitless ideations from strenuous insightful contemplation is often subverted by irrelevant metaphors. By pious platitudes of emotional and irrelevant anecdotes, the superficiality of trouble-free “single factor” causation pretend to explain the complex nature of human issues. Serious inquires driven by factual validation for greater understanding and wisdom is a journey few will accept.

And yet, this is not a new willful effort on the part of the general public, or the history of the human species. Not much changes where human nature is concerned. The past repeats itself in different venues, with new players and technological variables. In a macabre sense irony, each generation perpetrates the primordial fictions, fallacies and foolhardy errors of the previous ones. Re-invention of superstitious forms of “magical thinking” continues to fabricate self-indulgent and devolving consequences.

From the founding of the republic, if one focuses on the U.S., to present day, there are numerous acts of irrationality in the treachery of self-destruction. The entire history of the human race can be associated with barbaric and torturous actions of hedonistic debauchery, from exploitation of natural resources to terrorism and warfare. Of mental and physical destructiveness, abuse by varied means of psychophysical debasement, oppression and domination, the species continues a dismal saga.

In spite of a couple hundred thousand years of exploiting each other, as well as planetary resources, the species remains generally stagnant. To transcend to a more evolved civilization does not appear to be the current human trajectory. With few noble niches of inventiveness and exceptional creativity, most do not desire to do much more than satiate themselves. At the same instance, people are very cunning in their abilities to deceive others for personal enrichment. A variety of deceptions cleverly cloaks the real intentions behind human motivations, with malice aforethought leading the way. Eventually there is price to pay for the decadence of self-glorification.

Sinister, unsacred and perverse satiation, magical thinking perpetrates a range of devolutional instigations that hampers human environmental progress. Beyond the realm of rational deductive processes, reinforced by rigorous factual evidentiary discovery, the self-serving motivations of the many persist in persecuting the transformation of the few. Obstructions by diverse belief systems connected to supernatural fixations, supported by superstitious conformities, fosters social regression to hasten extinction.

Abusively self-serving and egregiously divisive, magical belief systems invite grotesque fallacies of inference, whereby unsubstantiated and simplistic conjecture foment faulty conclusions. From hastily drawn assumptions, small and large aspects of society become retarded. In a sense, reality is fabricated to fit the narrow worldview of certain groups, in order to control and otherwise dominate others. Anti-thinking as a result influences nearly every institution and interaction of mainstream society.

Given the pride and prejudice across a diversity of human interaction, fictitious flirtations with the supernatural seek to explain causation for almost every aspect of human living conditions. From the luck of the draw, to keeping one’s fingers crossed, as well as someone crossing their heart, critical thinking skills suffer greatly, as do contemporary literacy and I.Q. scores. In similar connection, recent studies offer dim future prospects in that the human genome is deteriorating.

Maybe the human civilization, or attempts at being civilized, is a timeline in which the clock is winding down to a sudden and dramatic stop. As such, dumbing down acceptance of less than superior social performance, associated physical deteriorations, and resources exhaustion through gluttonous consumption, aid the slide toward eventual demise. The age-old struggle of “good and evil” continues their parasitic warfare, with the darkside gaining the upper hand through a calamity of mythic dogmatism.

Acting in less intelligent self-gratifying ways is very much an integral process across a wide expanse of populations for the sake of immediate gratification. Such behaviors are typically of juvenile nature and assert an arrogance of ignorance embraced by a majority. From the claim of a few contemporary investigators, the devolving regression is relevant in this era of insatiable consumption and hedonistic self-righteousness. Such are the indications by which people contribute to the collapse of their cultures. And, of course the self-indulgence deteriorates further in the rise of the “experts”.

With postmodern self-indulgent motivations, the piety by which one asserts their “expertise” is ever rising and societally pervasive. Today, anyone can be an expert on anything. It really does not require much actual experience or well-earned intellectual framework, nor does the pretense demand too much effort. For instance, the alleged realms of “higher education”, bastions of “knowledge and learning” are rife with those proclaiming their “expertise” in one thing or another. Most prominently of course, are the ivory-towered spheres of the so-called “behavioral and social sciences”.

Because the regression is occurring in a seemingly unnoticed reality of present moments, the purposeful “contagion” of ignorance perpetrates the eventual human demise. Fantasy, while a wonderful potential of intrapsychic creativity, is tainted by the fractured dysfunctional instigations of selfishness. A “zombie apocalypse” of stupidity is well underway. In spite of significant technological advancements, not much has changed in terms of the primal nature of the human species.

Where intentional gullibility is embraced reverently with arrogance, to escape the maturity of becoming a more transformed species, diverse means of destruction loom menacingly nearer. Anti-thinking, particularly from sources of mysticism and supernatural belief systems, are on the rise. Such oppressive collectivism is grossly counterproductive. In less than peaceful ways, stupidity contaminates global environments. Human processes all too often degenerate to the metaphorical depiction of that ascribed to the “four horsemen” of the apocalypse.

To hasten the spread of the “zombie absurdity virus”, varied means of infotainment collaborates with edutainment, in contrived deteriorations toward simple-minded lethargy. For the greediness of conforming to an ignorant status quo, such weaknesses of thoughtless creativity degrade future prospects for humankind. With the arrogance of ignorance, prideful selfishness, and aversion to investigative analysis with critical evaluation, fallacies of inference are allowed high value status.

Extreme ideological belief systems are very effective at such perversions of self-interest, in the stirring of emotion over rationality. Magical thinking, absent any concrete proof or sufficiency of evidentiary substantiation perpetrates dogmatic mythologies that become counterproductive to social progress. Persecutions, oppressions, outright thuggery in the mugging of others by demeaning inflictions are easily justified.

Criticisms of every kind are quickly accepted as “authoritative”, regardless of the primeval foolishness behind their emotional conjecture. For the satiating titillation of “feel good” mediocrity, one will attack the other to safeguard erroneous assertions that incorrectly validate preconceived notions. Often, the fallacy of inference quickly translates to the erroneous prospects of faulty conclusions. Having skimmed over the possibility of evidence to the contrary, many default to a safe easy to understand pattern of believability. Absent substantial evidence, falsehoods are perpetrated.

Premeditated malice aforethought purposely contrives deceptive gambits that hunger to ensure cognitive bias whenever possible. From prejudiced perspectives of poorly interpreted perceptions, most people, as studies tend to illustrate, purpose to control others by claiming the machinations of hidden forces in conspiratorial illusions. Patternicity for the sake of some mystical hidden agency can be easily claimed in terms of simplistic explanations, as claimants cross themselves or knock on wood.

Alleged agenticity of one sort or another, forming the basis of misguided and misinterpreted correlations, commit fabrications of “magical thinking”. Everyone tries to get his or her viewpoint into acceptance, regardless of validity. For some with a limited few of the real world, additional expenditures of mental energy, to apply rational thinking processes is too cumbersome. Confirmation biases overrides reality.

Any attempt to control personal bias to every logical extent possible is elusive in modern day social discourse. Most do not care to exert the additional efforts. These claims frequently elude the factuality of credible evidence, as reliance on unsubstantiated beliefs achieve easy acceptance. And, belief is where the problems come from, as found in a range of religious ideologies. Extreme ideological doctrines are potentially dangerous and degrade the probability of serious investigative analysis.

Pretentious assertions for the unhallowed ground of subjective validation invite the superficiality of less than reasonable provability. From pseudoscience to the supernatural, swindles, cons and schemes work to weave stories that erode the prospects of scientific validation. As indicated earlier, there is an alarming trend of non-analytic thinking in response to critical societal issues. Another study on the subject of “dumbing down”, offers the disappointing claim as to the intellectual capabilities of the average person. The growing concern of a devolving culture is of real concern to some of us.

As one science fiction writer of many decades passed postulated, the human species might split into two or more groups. From this inventive storytelling, contemporary scientists have speculated the probability of an extreme upper class, and a very primal underclass. That is to say, at least two very divergent and divisive groupings, not necessarily supportive of each other, could “split off” so to speak. Whether devolution comes by intellectual decline or physical deterioration, human demise appears likely. There are debates in various directions around this idea.

In the real sciences, as in biology and physics, as opposed to the pseudosciences, like psychology and sociology, many scientists would like to argue against the notion of a “devolutional” process. Nonetheless, given the signs of an increased diminishing capacity for extraordinary intelligence in modern society, coupled with easy emotional reactivity, which leads to an overriding of rationality, an argument could be made for a devolving process. Such could be asserted in terms of a disdain for science, and embracing of anti-intellectualism, and a predilection for the supernatural.

Magical thinking precludes reliance upon scientific validation. Logical exercises in applications of healthy skepticism, using scientific methodology of inquiry, continue to be purposefully elusive from the most social discourse. Some scientists will not be conformable with the idea of “human devolution”, as they say it is all a matter of evolutionary processes. Yet, for a few classical criminologists, or rational choice theorists, the concept of “human devolution” has contemporary applicability. It is one means to illustrate purposeful criminality across a societal spectrum.

In addition, by inference toward a species regression, there is included the suggestion that people intend to ensure self-destruction by acting in stupidly juvenile ways. People can escape higher ascendency in maturation by being irresponsible and avoiding accountability. When held accountable for maladaptive behaviors, an array of excuses can be quickly concocted by complicity with the pseudosciences.

By easy acceptance of any “appeal to authority”, someone said it so it must be true; an alleged expert can explain away the behavior. By some theoretical construct, purported to have the trappings of scientific validation, perpetrators can be portrayed as “victims”. From there, someone can point to “drug therapy” that might cure the maladies of another’s illicit or illegal thinking processes. The deceptions are endless.

Such also applies to past and present “empires”, kingdoms and super powers of one sort or another. Devolving beliefs, social regressions, extremist ideologies and debasing behaviors seem to lend credence to cultures that flourish then collapse. History has many examples. In fact, some researchers have posed the question as to the life cycle of a prominent nation state, in terms of its rise and fall. One criticism in the modern global economic structure is that irresponsible consumerism hastens eventual demise. From pioneering energetic quests, to environmental depletion, terrorism, and warfare, human civilization has not exactly distinguished itself on planet earth.

To that speculation, there is the idea that an unevolving, self-indulgent and selfish human species chooses to bring about its extinction. Especially collusive are the commercial and political interests that perpetuate the illusions. Deteriorating counter-productive thinking processes, lending to maladaptive activities, does not occur because some theoretical construct claimed a pseudoscientific notion of “mass brainwashing”. Neither is it valid to assume there is a genetic predisposition, or people are just “hard wired” that way. People make deliberate choices for purposeful intent.

Social stagnation into superstitious seductions has long been the escapism of human beings. Studies of contemporary social interactions indicate believability in things ascribed “supernatural” or paranormal, even extraterrestrial, is increasing. While some might argue belief in a mainstream religious ideology appears to be decreasing, further assessment might be, where are people shifting their beliefs? Further research tends to suggests “ghosts, gobbling and gremlins” become easy simplistic alternatives.

From astrology to UFO abductions, the latest survey data depicts a multifaceted American culture where at least 75% believe in some kind of paranormal phenomenon. One could easily include within this belief system framework a range of conspiracy theories. As one author put it, there a three related conspiratorial obsessions. These include the political, the paranormal and the planetary. Of this diversity, extreme ideological religiosity cannot be ignored, particularly as related to terrorism.

With all that divergence of perception regarding myth, magic and mysticism, wonderment invites questions as to the future ascendency of human civilization. Inclinations toward superstitious ruminations, as opposed to rational analysis through scientific validation based on facts, devolve into social stagnation.

Parental Influence on Infant Brain Development

September 24th, 2017

The role of a parent in an individual’s mental health development and the health of our society, has never been so prevalent to me after studying the theories of Alfred Adler, Louis Cozolino, and Karen Horney. Each of these theorists agree that early childhood experiences determine a person’s behavior and world view for the rest of their lives. Adler (1958) emphasizes that a person’s “style of life” or behavior pattern is “crystallized” by age 5 (p. 34). In fact, the roots of mental illness stem from poor parenting such as neglect, abandonment, and abuse. For an individual, this leads to a life of suffering and a potential of contributing less to society. In this paper, I will focus on quality of parenting related to the developing brain of children in producing long-term neuroticism.

The Infant Brain

The human brain is most pliable during childhood. A child’s experiences during this time of development determine their behavior and beliefs as they mature into adulthood. At the moment of birth, an infant has a deep longing for the affection of their mother. According to Adler (1958) “For many months his mother plays overwhelmingly the most important role in his life; he is almost completely dependent upon her… This connection is so intimate and far-reaching that we are never able, in later years, to point to any characteristic as the effect as heredity” (p. 120). It is intriguing that the mother and infant connection is so deep that it can override heredity. Based on Adler’s conclusion, I believe that mothers perform the most vital role in determining the future of mankind.

Childhood

As an infant enters early childhood their world view starts forming based on the treatment they receive from their parents. Horney (as cited in Olson, 2011) states that a child’s basic needs are “safety and security”. Any behavior by a parent such as neglect, humiliation, or unfair punishment threatens their child’s security and is “basic evil” The result of a parent’s “basic evil” is a behavior of “basic hostility” expressed by the child towards their parents and the outside world (p. 129). The result of poor parenting has profound negative effects on a person as they navigate through adulthood. If a child’s basic needs of safety, security, and satisfaction are fulfilled by their parents, they will develop healthy thought patterns, resulting in a more fulfilling life. However, if the treatment they receive from their parents during these early developmental years does not meet their basic needs, the individual is likely to develop neurosis and suffer from mental illness. Depending on the extent and longevity of their mental illness, the individual may not survive. “When a parent abuses, neglects, or abandons a child, the parent is communicating to the child that he or she is less fit. Consequently, the child’s brain may become shaped in ways that do not support his or her long-term survival” (Cozolino, 2014, p. 7).

Conclusion

As you can see, childhood experiences have a massive impact on a person’s behavior and personality as they age. The course of life an individual travels is determined by the quality of parenting they receive as a child. It is possible to change problematic behavior by seeking out and undergoing effective treatment. I acknowledge that there are also biological factors that influence behavior, personality, and mental illness, which I would like to cover in another paper. Our society needs to put more emphasis on quality parenting, especially during the early childhood years and embrace the importance of a nurturing mother to an infant. I believe that better parenting would lead to decreased mental illness, suffering, misconduct, and a significantly increased quality of life.

References

Olson, Matthew, H., Hergenhahn, B. R. (2011). Theories of Personality. (8th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc., NJ

Adler, Alfred., Porter, ALan, Ed (1958). What Life Should Mean To You. (9th imp.). Capricorn Books, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York

Cozolino, L. (2014). The neuroscience of human relationships: Attachment and the developing social brain (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.