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    Thread: You are Never Sober and No One is Sane

    1. #1
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      You are Never Sober and No One is Sane

      What do the following four examples have in common?

      Eating too much Junkfood
      PMS
      Brain Tumor
      Steroids

      I'd like to share this playlist, though it probably deserves a thread of its own apart from my notion that you are never truly sober or sane, it will help support the claims I am making

      1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology - YouTube

      This is a lecture on Human Behavioral Biology and could possibly contain the most useful information you have ever encountered. I recommend this lecture to all Humans who wish to understand Humans.

      But back to my point. We consider our ego to be the controller of our being. We consider ourselves to be rational thinkers. We consider ourselves to be our personality at all times.

      Worse yet, we consider other people around us in a very two dimensional way. We take our impression of them and construct their personality in our heads. Even though it cannot possibly be accurate, we accept this personality we constructed as fact. Only when we get to know someone do we account for changes in mood.

      And we often consider our mood to have a rational cause, we get angry when something pisses us off, we get sad when something beckons our sympathy. While there is typically an external cause (or justification) for the reaction, our actual mood is based upon chemical reactions in the body which is heavily dependent upon our diets and lifestyles.

      For example, sexual attraction shuts off part of the male brain and limits their capacity for rational thought. This inebriation is most profound in the face of drugs and hot chicks but we are constantly being subtly inebriated or irrationally influenced by our habits and diet. Eating a lot of high creatine foods would make you into a different person with a different personality than eating a lot of complex carbohydrates. Drinking sugary beverages or even just the amount of water you've had to drink that day influences your personality

      The first example highlighted in the lecture is about a mutation in the brain which would cause a normally rational person to exercise irrational behavior such as punching some work colleague in the face or having an affair with a 16 year old girl. Rationally speaking, it's not very intelligent to get yourself fired from work or screw around behind your wife's back with a minor. But from the standpoint of evolution, this sort of mutation is understandable. We emerged from creatures of violent dominance and sexual promiscuity. It's only reasonable these genes would continue to pop up in order to test the water to see if this may, possibly, be a more viable method.

      Consider the peppered moths of industrialized London. Before the turn of the century most peppered moths were light gray but there was an occasional darker colored moth. The light gray color enabled them to blend in with the lichen that grew on the trees. After coal production boomed, a black film covered the trees and killed off the lichen, thus enabling the darker moths which used to stand out more to conceal themselves better and within a few generation the peppered moth population had turned to a much darker color. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of light gray ones. These guys are usually easier prey but perhaps when the lichen grows back they will become the most suitable variation again.

      In much the same way, behavior which we may consider to be completely nonviable resurfaces occasionally to enable humans to adapt more quickly to changing circumstances. Sanity and soberness could be defined as nothing more than the most viable behavior at the time, if it can be defined at all.

      Spoiler for answer to opening question:
      Supernova likes this.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    2. #2
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      I really am never sober. Well done.

    3. #3
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
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      We have tons of genes that are simply not activated, some of them very ancient. Evolution can only tinker with what is available and can't ever 'start from scratch' (except for that one time...), so we are very layered creatures by now. As for sobriety and sanity, I think I can follow you because I think rational thought might be a more recent/peripheral layer of cognition, rather than a more fundamental one.

    4. #4
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      I'm not really sure where you got "start from scratch" from. Actually I completely agree with you. Mutations are not just random, crazy flaws. As the playlist points out when it covers molecular genetics, it's all about the way our body produces proteins and the ways this can get screwed up so that genes which should be inactive become activated and vice versa.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    5. #5
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      I have realised this too. Not sure how fact based the video is, I'll watch it later.
      But, it has become quite obvious that people's moods are not really based on something that happens, like someone getting pissed off coz someone else cut them off in traffic or whatever. The person isn't really angry about that, it's all the dietary influences, sleep quality, sexual/social health/life and whatever else, probably many, many factors contribute to it.

      I get incredibly pissy if I'm hungry for too long, for example. If I don't orgasm for a few days I get jittery and anxious.

      There's quite a few things I could mention that I've noticed. But that should suffice.

      I'll watch the videos later and maybe make some more comments.

    6. #6
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      The video is... a recording of an actual course at Stanford University. If anything about it is not factual, it's my poor attempt to explain the complex ideas in the lectures, not the course itself.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    7. #7
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      I haven't watched the videos but agree with pretty much everything in the OP.

      Of course, 'sanity' must be defined. We generally use the term 'sane' to describe regular people who see reality similar to how most of us do. Under that definition, you're using it incorrectly. But I know you're using the term 'insane' to make the point that we don't see reality as accurately as we think.

      I'd like to see entire threads on a few of the subjects mentioned. Like the fact that we don't judge people accurately. We assign personalities that are somewhat flat at first, which might become more complex as we get to know them better. I've been noticing this a lot lately and it's been bothering me, and I think the realisation that I really don't know what the fuck anyone is thinking and am personally even a worse judge of people than most people are, has caused me to become better at judging people. This is because I try to only solidify the facts about people in my mind that I'm almost sure are correct, while reserving judgment about other unknown facts as much as humanly possible. I'll often consciously quantify my sureness. For example, I'll tell myself I'm about 70% sure that this person is feeling anger toward me.

      I'll definitely watch the videos later. I hope they're scientific, the title of makes me want to watch it. But if they seem not to be, I'll probably stop. I have more to say even about the OP but I'll type more some other time.

    8. #8
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      The personality thing is also witnessed by that fact that people are automatically turned-off by someone who is angry. Like if you see a guy getting angry at a check out person in a store, you would be like "Wtf is wrong with this asshole? I hate him already, what a moron". Or whatever.

      Because your opinion of him is, as omnis said, two-dimensional.
      You don't really think about why he could be angry. Maybe someone he loves just died, maybe he got fired from his job, maybe he just got in to a car accident.
      There's so many things you just don't consider about a person's actions.
      If you aren't really good friends with them, you base their entire person on the few actions you see them carry out.

      I've tried to stop doing this, but it is quite difficult when I've been judging people for my entire life based on a few seconds of observation.

    9. #9
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      I'm not really sure where you got "start from scratch" from.
      That was just a reference to biogenesis.

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      Judgments are not bad in and of themselves. It is when we agree with our judgments that we act detrimentally. It is important to see your judgments and then see through them.

      As far as the video, guys, it's an actual course at Stanford University. It is taught by one of the leading experts in human behavioral biology. It is not going to be an interesting watch.

      I find the first lecture to be rather inspiring to anyone, after that it's really only interesting to people who wish to truly understand the mechanics of evolution and human behavior.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      What do the following four examples have in common?

      Eating too much Junkfood
      PMS
      Brain Tumor
      Steroids
      Oh. I was thinking more along the lines of "Make hormones 'all fucked up' (not at baseline)."

      And I also judge people based on a first reaction. People always say "don't judge a book by its cover" but that's the first thing I do. I have to FORCE myself to consciously reconsider the judgements I make, "Well I don't know this person... so all of those things I already think about them I should try and forget." Doesn't work so well, but aren't we all human and share some of these same problems?

      What if it were an earlier human situation? You'd have to judge the person, as either friend or foe, whether you can more rationally cooperate or conflict with them, whether they are more similar or more different than you, etc. Kind of hard to control something that was likely necessary to our ancestor's survival

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      That's why I think it's important to condition oneself to make as accurate a judgment as possible, based on experience. To come up with, not just one judgment, but a few which describe the different possibilities, along with the non-numerical chance that each judgment is true.

      As a simple example, suppose someone insults you in such a way that you can't tell if he's joking or not. You're pretty sure that he is, but there's a small chance he isn't. Recognise this and don't just assume that he isn't joking. Choose your actions with this knowledge in mind.

      My paranoia of assuming the wrong thing often causes me to behave irrationally in these situations. Using the previous example, even if I were to think rationally and determine that the person is probably joking, I fear the consequences of assuming he is if by chance he isn't, so I'll tend to assume there's a greater chance that he isn't. I'm trying to stop doing this. Although it might arguably make sense to act as though he isn't joking out of fear, that level of deceit toward oneself is unacceptable to me.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      My paranoia of assuming the wrong thing often causes me to behave irrationally in these situations. Using the previous example, even if I were to think rationally and determine that the person is probably joking, I fear the consequences of assuming he is if by chance he isn't, so I'll tend to assume there's a greater chance that he isn't. I'm trying to stop doing this. Although it might arguably make sense to act as though he isn't joking out of fear, that level of deceit toward oneself is unacceptable to me.
      Sometimes I feel that people will judge ME for how I perceive THEM... and then I catch myself judging them for judging me for judging them. It's a terrible vicious cycle that I cannot break. I don't want to accidentally sound like I'm trying not to judge them even though I already have; because then that will make me appear judgmental. So self-conscious...

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      That is called paranoia, you're stuck in a thought loop. Just chill out lol

      Both of you need to realise it isn't the end of the world what someone thinks of you. Problem solved.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ThePreserver View Post
      Sometimes I feel that people will judge ME for how I perceive THEM... and then I catch myself judging them for judging me for judging them. It's a terrible vicious cycle that I cannot break. I don't want to accidentally sound like I'm trying not to judge them even though I already have; because then that will make me appear judgmental. So self-conscious...

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      Quote Originally Posted by tommo View Post
      Just chill out lol

      Both of you need to realise it isn't the end of the world what someone thinks of you. Problem solved.
      Of course it doesn't really matter. That isn't difficult to realise. Registering that fact into the subconscious so that we don't feel that it matters, overcoming the inclination we've evolved as social animals to care what people think of us, is a far greater task that not everyone finds so easy.

    17. #17
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      Undoubtedly. I still care what people think, much to my distaste. However, you can lessen the amount that you care with simple practice. Just stop the thought loop about what people think of you etc.

    18. #18
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      Mindfulness is all about seeing your judgments, rather than just unconsciously agreeing with them. Once you can see your judgments, you can see through them to the essence of what is.
      tommo likes this.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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