YouTube -- Honey Badger Radio: Jihadist Brides
Karen/GirlWritesWhat @ 00:13:42: "What feminism did for the LGBT community was it [gave them] a really, really easy to swallow explanation for why they were hated. With feminism, all roads lead to misogyny. So, with lesbian women it's: You're women who don't behave like women, therefore that's misogynist and misogyny. And with gay men it's: You're men who behave like women, therefore that's misogyny because people hate you because you behave like women. So they essentially define the entire problem with acceptance of people within the gay community as misogyny – and you even see this with transgender people. Trans- men don't get acceptance because they're actually women pretending to be men and that's misogyny. And trans- women don't get acceptance because they're men not acting like men...they're hated [for acting like women] and that's misogyny..."
men  women  feminism  victimhood  predation 
7 hours ago
The Art of Manliness -- How Delaying Intimacy Can Benefit Your Relationship
'Oxytocin does indeed greatly increase during sex and peaks during climax. At the same time, another important hormone – dopamine – is surging too. But after climax, both oxytocin and dopamine quickly drop off. This drop in dopamine provides a feeling of satiety, and the two hormones affect each other; as the dopamine falls, so does your level of oxytocin. Dopamine is what drives you to do the deed, and oxytocin is what draws you to a particular person, so that when these motivators decrease post-climax, your overall desire for that person dissipates. Thus, instead of making lovers feel closer to each other, sex can actually make partners feel further apart and even discouraged and restless. -- The rise and fall of dopamine and oxytocin during and after sex can potentially make a relationship feel, if not like a roller coaster, then a little dramatic and bumpy. If, that is, a non-sexually-sourced oxytocin safety net isn’t in place first. Robertson again: “Frequent, comforting feelings are important in maintaining strong pair bonds. We only deepen our bonds when we feel safe. What keeps us feeling safe is bonding behaviors (attachment cues). The oxytocin they release relaxes our natural defensiveness (by soothing the brain’s sentry, the amygdala, and stimulating good feelings in our reward circuitry). The more dependable the flow of oxytocin via daily bonding behaviors, the easier it is to sustain a relationship. In contrast, a passionate one-night stand allows lovers’ innate defensiveness to snap back into place pretty much as soon as oxytocin drops after climax. The next day, when she doesn’t text and he doesn’t call, defensiveness naturally increases. -- Perhaps the drop-off is why pair bonders (including humans) rely on more than just climax to keep bonds strong. Pair-bonding species spend most of their “us time” engaged in non-copulatory, oxytocin-releasing (bonding) behaviors: Grooming, huddling together, tail-twining, or, in humans, comforting, soothing touch, kissing, skin-to-skin contact, eye gazing and so forth. Interestingly, pair-bonding monkey mates who engage in the most bonding behaviors have the highest oxytocin levels.” -- All of this is to say that when you have sex early on in a relationship, before you’re seeing each other every day and spending most of your time together and engaging in a whole lot of other bonding behaviors, you won’t have a strong non-sexual stream of oxytocin flowing to compensate for the hormone drop-off post-climax, which may make your relationship feel more bumpy, tense, and volatile. If, on the other hand, you wait to have sex until your non-sexual oxytocin stream is running full blast, this flow will smooth over the neurochemical ups and downs that accompany sex, so that intimacy enriches your relationship and draws you together instead of apart. -- Building a stream of oxytocin before initiating sex also provides fertile ground for creating an all-important foundation of friendship for your relationship. As Robertson mentions above, non-sexual bonding behaviors relax the defensiveness of the amygdala, creating a feeling of trust and safety with your significant other. This security provides time and space to work on the communicative and emotional side of your relationship without those aspects becoming underplayed and overwhelmed by a focus on physical intimacy.'
psychology  oxytocin  attachment  affectregulation  relationships  sexuality 
3 days ago
YouTube -- Honey Badger Radio: Mailbag, news and open lines!
Karen/GirlWritesWhat: 01:35:24: "They did an experiment with little kids, kids that have not developed a sense of empathy yet, they're like three years old...And they essentially said to this kid: 'I got all these cookies, and you have two choices: First choice is, you can have two cookies and everybody else also has two cookies. Or, you can have one cookie, and nobody else gets any cookies.' And guess which one these kids picked? They chose one cookie and everybody else got no cookies. Almost overwhelmingly. And it's because getting more than the next guy means more to an underdeveloped psyche with an underdeveloped sense of empathy – an immature person – than everybody benefiting and I get to profit twice as much by being generous to everybody else...'I would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.'"
psychology  serotonin  status 
3 days ago
YouTube -- HoneyBadgerRadio: BadgerPod GamerGate #7: Gamey Dickwolves Collusion
01:23:00: Alison/Typhonblue: "I would argue that we are at the precipice of a revolution in how we organize. And I think that what you're seeing in this repetition of this particular [weaponized victimhood] behaviour is that, people, in the past, had to organize based on a Threat Narrative about some exterior group. The Threat Narrative, essentially, is about who belongs to the group and who doesn't belong to the group, and the relationship to the group. And usually that's centred around morality or a set of belief systems. And throughout human history, we've organized ourselves around belief systems, we've organized ourselves around familial bonds – tribalism. But all it is is just an explanation of who belongs to the group and who doesn't. And when a group becomes big enough, it can start to allow for this toxic outrage of 'You don't belong to the group! You don't conform to the norms!' And why that happens is because when a group becomes big enough and unchallenged and has no external pressure, the internal pressure builds up, and the sense of external threat is gone so people stop cooperating according to their belief system of belonging. And they start attacking each other because that pressure of outrage can't go outward, so it goes inward. And then everything blows up. But, what we're seeing now is, with the rise of these new technologies, we're seeing a way of organizing people that totally transcends Threat Narratives. Because Threat Narratives establish intra-group altruism and ability to work together: as long as you have an enemy, you work together. But as soon as that enemy goes away, you stop working together because the in-group conflicts become too great and it explodes the group. So what we're seeing is that this Threat Narrative has become big enough and mainstream enough, that it's starting to explode the group. What I think is going to happen is that we're going to see a revolution in how we organize; we'll no longer need a Threat Narrative to organize people and get them working together – because now we have games, or the medium that games are within. And games provide a way of organizing people that requires no Threat Narrative. The game itself provides the sense of consequence, the sense of potential danger or failure that will cause altruistic behaviour within the group... We're going to move past Threat Narratives as a way of organizing people into organizing people via the structures that underlie games, game mechanics..."
psychohistory  poisoncontainer  victimhood  ideology  groups  commonenemy  thegamingofeverydaylife  infinitegame  sociology  * 
4 days ago
Reader Supported News -- A Family Business of Perpetual War
'Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia – and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats. -- This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks.' -- The best protection racket taxpayer money can buy.
america  empire  statism  mercantilism  war  perpetualwar  minipax 
4 days ago
The Progress Report -- Chicago Mayor Emanuel Proposes to Ax Taxes for the Poor
'Ed. Notes: Coincidentally, Chicago was the home of Homer Hoyt who did such eye-opening research on land values, how they determine the business cycle — if only his discoveries were put to good use by today’s leaders. Alas. -- It’s great that a public official recognizes the destructive power of taxes. But it stinks that he did not cite the constructive power of rent recovery. Indeed, the reason all the previous tax breaks failed to eradicate poverty is because they left out the most vital part — charging owners a rent for their locations. When they have to pay these land dues, then owners get busy and develop their lots, which generates prosperity for all. -- Hey, if the notion of paying rent to government worries you (often for good reason), then earmark all the revenue raised for a dividend to residents, similar to what Aspen CO and Singapore do. Getting the dividend while basking in prosperity will always keep the land dues affordable — and it sure would win an election for any politician!'
economics  geoism  land  rent  poverty 
4 days ago
The Daily Bell -- Bloomberg: More Flaws in Piketty's Book; Why Henry George's Tax May Be Best
From the Bloomberg article: 'Rognlie's third point is perhaps the most interesting. Economists combine a lot of different things into "capital," such as machines, buildings and land. Rognlie points out that almost all of the increase in the value of capital over Piketty's timeline comes from land, instead of from other forms of capital. In other words, it's landlords, not corporate overlords, who are sucking up the wealth in the economy. It's a dramatic, startling insight that was somehow overlooked before Rognlie came along.'
economics  geoism  "capitalism" 
4 days ago
Washington's Blog -- That Moron Who Spews Garbage and Doesn't Listen to Reason May Be a Bot
'...intentionally sowing discord and posting junk comments to push down insightful comments are common propaganda techniques.'
internet  bots  propaganda  disinformation  flood  discourse 
4 days ago
Evolution Counseling -- Do Not Lose Sight Of How Far You Have Come
'...Earlier on in your journey you would have been tickled pink to be in the position you are now, to have the skills and experience you have now. “I have nothing to show for it” is wrong thinking when the ‘nothing’ or ‘something’ doesn’t take into account the internal self-actualization that is hard to see but still very real. -- If you keep building on that self-actualization those external results that you have been hoping for just might fall into place. But you’ll never know if you quit. We will leave you with some motivational inspiration from Frederick Nietzsche. “In science it occurs every day and every hour that a man, immediately before the solution, remains stuck, being convinced that his efforts have been entirely in vain- like one who, in untying a noose, hesitates at the moment when it is nearest to coming loose, because at that very moment it looks most like a knot.”'
psychology  perseverance 
4 days ago
Psychology Today -- Unnaturally Good: The Plight of the Goody Two-Shoes by Leon F Seltzer
'...Child development research has shown that young children define themselves as good or bad on the basis of how they see themselves reflected in the eyes of their parents. Until they reach the age of 8 or so, they’re simply incapable of formulating a self-image independent of how they imagine their parents view them. Obviously, the problem with requiring such external validation is that in needing— sometimes desperately—to think positively of themselves, they feel obliged to adopt particular ways of behaving that they believe are essential to satisfy their parents’ quite possibly lofty, or unrealistic, standards for them. -- Such a deeply felt necessity can lead the child to adopt a certain inauthentic, or “fabricated,” self-portrayal—to project, or simulate, a “virtue” that inevitably twists them into a shape disharmonious with who they really are. That is, they turn themselves into badly distorted versions of what, otherwise, they’d naturally become (i.e., had they not been so "indoctrinated" by their caretakers). -- To put it a little differently, to feel they’re good enough to receive as much approbation from their caretakers as possible, they’re compelled to “handicap” both their thought processes and behavior. And the outcome? As they age, they can’t really allow themselves the freedom to evolve into their true adult self. Instead, they grow into an abnormally cultivated, outwardly virtuous, false self, while yet being plagued by nagging doubts about how good they really are—or, ultimately, who they are.'
psychology  attachment  childhood  repression  shadow  falseself 
4 days ago
The Rational Male -- Betas In Waiting
Comment: Rollo Tomassi: 'Women will break the rules for men who turn them on and create rules for men they don’t respect. -- http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/302rxv/women_will_break_the_rules_for_men_who_turn_them/ -- Comment: Rollo Tomassi: 'In an age when an unrestricted Hypergamy is the highest social priority for women, and made obligatory for men, sampling as many Alphas as her looks will afford before settling on a Beta makes pragmatic sense. -- I explained this in The Myth of the Good Guy, the man who somehow magically embodies the best of Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks isn’t believable to women, and in fact women don’t want those qualities in the same man at the same time – they want different men for different purposes. -- As such they don’t expect (or really even want) to find Mr. Perfect (perfect is boring). Solution: sample as many Alpha cocks as possible and/or as needed for as long as she’s able to outcompete her sexual rivals for that attention, settle on Mr. Good Enough for long term security and parental investment, and rely on social conventions that absolve you of any duplicity by excusing those Alpha cocks as learning experiences that led her to Mr. Good Enough. -- It’s pragmatic and brilliant when you think about it. It’s an exquisite solution to the problem of a dual mating strategy.' -- Comment: Jeremy: '@Stingray "I don’t think reality ever hits most women, because most would find the idea that we don’t love idealistically shameful. It would mean that we are not capable of the same thing as men and that our love is less." You wouldn’t shame a hen for not loving the rooster would you? I’m sure that sounds absurd, since roosters generally impregnate on their own whim rather than the hens. The situation human females are in and have been in over eons of evolution precludes energy wasted on loving a male idealistically. It cannot serve a females sexual strategy to get hung up on a man, when impregnation is not a sure thing and may require multiple encounters with multiple men to ensure pregnancy. In fact it would have probably negatively impacted human evolution if women fixated on one man.'
men  women  solipsism  sacrifice  hypergamy 
4 days ago
judgybitch -- How to Pick a Wife – 2.0
'...When you find one willing to consider why these are of vital importance to men, a woman who understands she has a loaded gun and is willing to give you the bullets, that is a woman worth considering.'
men  women  marriage 
4 days ago
YouTube -- Emmy van Deurzen: Parental Death
'Emmy van Deurzen speaks about her mother's and father's deaths. She meditates on the way in which we can say goodbye to our parents when they die and considers the importance of making up your mind about what you want to inherit and what to discard in terms of their intellectual and emotional testament.'
psychology  death  individuation 
5 days ago
YouTube -- Mike Maloney: The Day The Internet Died
"It is titled net neutrality, and that's what you're going to get, the internet has been put into neutral."
internet  regulation  chokepoints 
5 days ago
BBC Radio 4 -- Promises, Promises: A History of Debt
'Anthropologist David Graeber explores the ways debt has shaped society over 5,000 years.'
history  economics  markets  credit  debt  money  statism  empire  documentaries 
10 days ago
Hipster INTJ -- The Great Big INTJ/INTP Post
'The easiest way to describe the difference between these two types would be to say that INTJs like to put things together and INTPs like to pull them apart. -- ...logical correctness is paramount for them. They fixate on tiny details because they can see how many problems could have easily been avoided if certain details had been accounted for. -- The INTJ may feel as though the INTP is constantly doubting them when the INTP keeps probing and debating after the INTJ considers a matter settled. The INTP may start to feel that the INTJ doesn’t respect their ideas when the INTJ ends a conversation before the INTP feels every aspect has been adequately considered. -- ...with the INTPs need for detail, the INTJ may feel like their INTP is nitpicking how they’re saying something and completely ignoring what they’re trying to say. On the other hand, with INTJs being big-picture thinkers, the INTP might feel like their INTJ is never being specific enough for them to ever understand what’s actually going on.' -- The map is not the territory.
psychology  personality  INTP 
10 days ago
YouTube -- [Fred Harrison]: Can We REALLY Scrap Taxes?
'Nations lose fortunes because of the taxes that penalise people who work and invest. Those taxes should be scrapped, argues Fred Harrison, with public services funded out of rent. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman explains why tax-dodging corporations cannot evade public charges on land rents. Winston Churchill also voices his support, but the Battle of the Budget was the one war he lost.'
history  economics  geoism  land  landlordism  documentaries  FredHarrison 
10 days ago
The Progress Report -- Foundations of Earth Sharing
'“There are two kinds of property. Firstly, natural property, or that which comes to us from the Creator of the universe – such as the earth, air, water. Secondly, artificial or acquired property – the invention of men. In the natural property all individuals have legitimate birthrights. Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property…Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue. Whence then, arose the idea of landed property? I answer as before, that when cultivation began the idea of landed property began with it, from the impossibility of separating the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement was made.” ~ Thomas Paine'
geoism  economics  land  landlordism  "capitalism" 
10 days ago
The Progress Report -- Seattle Restaurants Close - Linked to Higher Minimum Wage?
'Ed. Notes: Many business people like a law that forces all their competitors to comply at the same time (especially when they can pass on the cost), so nobody gets a competitive advantage. Of course, some businesses already operating at the margin can not keep their customers if they raise prices so they’ll go out of business. But as usual, the little people get overlooked when their reality gets in the way of others’ ideology. -- More crucial, bear in mind that most important factor, as always, is location, location, location. And ask yourself, who should benefit from the value of location? A lone owner or all of society — who are those creating site value in the first place. -- All the hullabaloo about minimum wage is another issue that’d disappear in a geonomy. In a gooney, owners would be paying land dues. To afford them, owners put and keep their land at best use — which means hiring people. The greater the number of jobs, the greater the wages — and without state interference. -- Plus, your wages would not be taxed, which is like a wage boost right there. -- Finally, most importantly, you’d be getting a rent dividend, a share of the revenue raised by land dues. Enjoying that cushion, you’d be able to refuse low-pay work, so those bosses would have to up what they offer. -- It’s way cool how geonomics works, and always has, whenever and wherever used. -- To win it, people need enough self-esteem to stop begging for minimum wages and start demanding an income apart from their labor — a share of the common wealth — just like right now the rich demand and get nearly the whole hog. No self-esteem issues on their part!'
economics  geoism  land 
10 days ago
The Progress Report -- 3 Major Papers Reveal the Truth About MONOPOLY
'Ed. Notes: I guess it’s finally gotten safe for the mainstream media to tell the truth. Now, if they’d only tell the truth about economics! About surplus! About natural values! About common wealth! And who gets it …'
economics  geoism  land  landlordism  "capitalism" 
10 days ago
The Progress Report -- Land and Labor in a World of Robots by Fred E. Foldvary
'As the technology of computing, robots, and drones advances, there have been discussions on the economic effects. Will robots displace human labor? Who will end up with the wealth? -- ...suppose that most of the work is replaced by machines, and only a few activities remain done by live labor. Robots would build and service other robots. With minimal labor costs, the wealth would first go to the owners of the robot firms. But competition would drive down profits to a normal return on asset values. In the long run, when patents have expired, the surplus income would not go to the owners of the robots and other capital goods. -- Economists call the surplus value, after paying all expenses including normal returns on investments, the “producer surplus.” But since labor would not get this surplus, and it is not going to the owners of firms and capital goods, it flows down to the non-labor factor, land. -- With lower labor costs, the producer surplus would be that much greater, and so the rent of land would soak up the gains from economic expansion and more productive technology. The beneficiaries of the displacement of labor would be either those who have title to land, or to the people in general if the rent is distributed to them.'
economics  geoism  land  rent  automation  "capitalism"  FredFoldvary 
10 days ago
typhonblue comments on Why have Gamers been so much better at repelling SJW's than Comics have?
'Ironically I would posit it's because of the larger female gamer base and the nature of gamers being more interested in personal consequences than victim politics. -- When you throw down a threat narrative you need a minimum number of damsels to populate it or it doesn't work. Which may be why SJW, feminists and media are trying their damnedest to keep women out of games by painting games and the gamer community as dangerous. -- They won't have enough female chattel to use as damsels in the future. And they don't like their property being stolen.'
women  feminism  ideology  victimhood  agencyvspatiency 
10 days ago
Evolution Counseling -- Desperate For A Solution
'When you are desperate for a solution you might think you are desperate for some variable in your external environment to change but what you are actually desperate for is to find relief from painful feelings of anxiety. -- That existential anxiety is cued off by uncertainty. The antidote seems to be certainty in the form of a firm plan. Whether it’s someone else providing you with this plan or you coming up with it yourself is of secondary importance when you’re in that state of high anxiety. -- But this puts you in a vulnerable place where you’re as likely to make a bad decision as a good one, which is why often the ‘solution’ is actually just becoming more comfortable with your discomfort, learning how to bear your painful feelings of anxiety so that you can expand your field of vision to eventually make the best choice for yourself rather than seizing right away upon whatever is presented to you. -- When you’re desperate for a solution you’re easy prey for charlatans of all kinds...'
psychology  emotionalintelligence  anxiety  control  falseself 
11 days ago
Evolution Counseling -- How To Cure Boredom
'People who get bored all the time are likely to have what Erich Fromm called a receptive orientation towards life. They are like babies with their mouths open, waiting to be fed. They expect the external environment to satisfy all their emotional, psychological, and physical needs for them. -- At a deeper level they don’t believe that they’re capable of producing, they don’t believe they can get these important existential needs met themselves, and this makes them wholly dependent on and often resentful of the world. -- When you hear people complain about being bored you’ll notice they pretty much always blame external variables, that there’s nothing fun to do, nothing good on t.v., etc. They center their boredom ‘out there’ and expect a solution ‘out there’. -- How to cure boredom is not to change variables in the environment but to change that internal orientation, to cease with the receptive mentality and start to cultivate a productive orientation towards life where the goal is to actively create in order to get needs met rather than sit back and wait.'
psychology  emotionalintelligence  boredom 
11 days ago
Evolution Counseling -- Masochism Versus Emotional Detachment
'...We can see that in both cases these rationalizations are effective because they’re true up to a point. The problem is not detachment or connection per se, but rather the compulsive drive to inhabit one attitude and the overwhelming, irrational fear of inhabiting the other. -- Those who are detached are fearful of human connection and those who are masochistic are fearful of being alone. In this sense neither attitude is growth oriented but is deficit oriented. They’re both taken on in order to combat feeling of helplessness in a world perceived as hostile, not in order to self-actualize. -- That’s the real difference between healthy drives and neurotic drives from the psychoanalytic point of view. Neurotic drives are compulsive and so they necessarily exclude other sets of behaviors. Those who are masochists need to subsume themselves in relationships, they need the feeling of security that comes from sheltering under a perceived stronger presence. Those who are detached need to avoid close human connections, they need the feeling of security that comes from not being dependent on anyone or anything except themselves. -- Neither has any choice in the matter, they don’t seek out human connections or solitude because it’s what’s best for them at a given time but because they are combating basic anxiety, and this is what makes their opinions about why they’re doing it rationalizations.'
psychology  attachment  affectregulation  defencemechanisms 
11 days ago
Oliver Burkeman -- Why ambivalence has good and bad points
'...Another thing we ambivalent types eventually figure out: life’s big dilemmas – the ones that trigger most ambivalence – rarely get solved by acting “decisively” and plumping for one option over others. “The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble,” wrote Carl Jung. They can’t be solved, only outgrown: “Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through this widening of his view, the insoluble problem lost its urgency. [It] now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain-top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality, but instead of being in it, one is now above it.”'
psychology  ambivalence  quotes 
11 days ago
Stan Tatkin -- King and Queen: Protecting the Couple Relationship
'One of the characteristics of secure functioning a PACT therapist communicates is that romantic couples are the King and Queen of their domain who protect their relationship and each other in public and in private. -- I had been working with Peter and Jane for four sessions. They came to therapy for help with intimacy, and our initial work focussed on therapeutic alliance and social contracting. Both were outsourcing their arousal regulation away from the relationship to substances. -- From the Partner Attachment Inventory (PAI), I knew both Peter and Jane experienced emotional neglect in childhood and had parents and caregivers who were either unavailable and didn’t protect them sufficiently or behaved in ways that were frightening. More importantly, the couple now had this information about each other and a better understanding about how each operated. They were beginning to understand how they had internalized an insecure model of one-person psychology and auto-regulation that kept them safe up to a point as children. As adults in a romantic partnership, the strategy of tolerating distress alone was leaving their couple bubble open and vulnerable...'
psychology  attachment  affectregulation  relationships  neglect  StanTatkin 
11 days ago
The Rational Male -- Idealism
'...Under the old set of books, when men’s attractiveness (if not arousal) was based on his primary provisioning role his love-idealism defined the intergender relationship. Thus, we still have notions of chivalry, traditional romance, conventional models of a love hierarchy, etc. These are old books ideals, and the main reason I’ve always asserted that men are the True Romantics is due exactly to this love-idealism. -- There was a time when men’s idealistic love concept pushed him to achievements that had social merit and were appreciated. Ovid, Shakespeare and the Beatles would not be the human icons they are if that idealism weren’t a driving force in men and society. Likewise, women’s opportunistic, hypergamy-based concept of love, while cruel in its extreme, has nonetheless been a driving motivation for men’s idealistic love as well as a filter for sexual selection. -- Under the new set of books, in a feminine-centric social order, the strengths of that male idealism, love honor and integrity are made to serve the purpose of the Feminine Imperative. Men’s idealistic love becomes a liability when he’s conditioned to believe that women share that same idealism, rather than hold to an opportunistic standard. This is what we have today with generations of men conditioned and feminized for identifying with the feminine. These are the generations of men who were conditioned to internalize the equalist lie that men and women are the same and all is relative. From that perspective it should follow that both sexes would share a mutual concept of love – this is the misunderstanding that leads men to expect their idealism to be reciprocated and thus leads to their exploitation and self-abuse.'
men  women  hypergamy  sacrifice  sociology 
11 days ago
Thought Catalog -- 6 Truths About Dads Feminists Don’t Want You to Know by Janet Bloomfield
'#6. The best predictor of a child’s success is whether they live in a house with a Dad -- Feminist commentators lost their minds when George Will, writing for the Washington Post, pointed out that women and children who live in a home with a man to whom the children are biologically related are much less likely to suffer any kind of physical assault in their lifetimes. Yes, it is apparently offensive news that men tend to protect women and children from violence, and tend not to hurt or injure them. This news directly contradicts the feminist narrative of men as dangerous monsters who are out to oppress and enslave women and children, so the witches mounted their brooms and demanded Will be fired. -- But Will wasn’t reporting anything new. In 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services partnered with the Children’s Bureau to examine the role of fathers in the maltreatment of children and discovered that not only were fathers less likely to engage in child maltreatment, their presence in the home protected the children from their mother’s abuse. -- Children who grow up with fathers have better educational outcomes and experience social benefits that last well into adulthood. Fathers have a positive influence on children’s cognitive abilities, on their psychological well-being and on their social skills. -- But no matter what the evidence, feminists continue to sing the praises of single mothers. -- What they always manage to forget is that if a “single mother” is receiving support from the father of the child, and most of them are, then she is not a “single mother”. She is a “single woman”. He rejected her, not the child. He is still a Dad.'
men  women  childhood  abuse  parenting  fatherhood 
11 days ago
girlwriteswhat comments on I was wrong to talk of 'feminisation' (of males) - it's worse than that
'Male feminism is a means to gain the approval of women without having to earn the respect of other men.'
men  feminism  predation 
11 days ago
Honey Badger Brigade -- Submissive behaviors, being “taken seriously” and wanting to have it both ways
'One of the most puzzling and annoying things about our gender system is the paradoxical way femininity is constructed as both deserving of special protection from society (read men) as if they were children and yet simultaneously so morally superior to masculinity that it entitles women to judge men on their performance of masculinity and their manners and behavior in general. I came across an article that illustrates this double-bind nicely. -- ... Seitz-Brown is a pretty sloppy observer of speech behavior. No one is mistaking this [uptalk] intonation as signaling a question, it is taken to be a request for agreement or confirmation. Again, this is how subordinates act in conversations. -- Social neoteny as a feature of the female gender role - Neoteny is the retention of juvenile traits into adulthood. Here I am using it is a social sense. Here I am using it to mean the expectation on women and the permission they have to act in childlike ways and thereby also to be able to call for the prerogatives of a child – provision and protection to the point of putting the child’s interests and physical safety before one’s own. It is an appeal to privilege. -- This is already enough of an appeal to privilege, but it goes further, because on top of demanding permanent protection of the sort that only children are entitled to, Seitz-Brown almost assuredly does not think women should be subject to the limitations children normally are. -- There are a couple of things going on here. The first one is what I call a cult of daintiness. Some people define their femininity in terms of weakness, fragility and the duty of care and protection that enjoins on other people. It’s really just a dishonest control mechanism – actually, no – it’s a firmly entrenched cultural norm. -- This cult of daintiness comes out in all kinds of ways. we see it in the Princess and the Pea hair-trigger sense of permanent outrage and the demand for trigger warnings on everything, and the priggish policing of terminology. We see it in the drama around “street harassment, most racistly expressed recently in the Hollaback fiasco. -- And we see it in submissive speech behaviors like uptalk, but not just uptalk. A similar behavior that is relatively recent is rather privileged young white women speaking in a high -pitched staccato fashion, almost to the point of incomprehensibility. The incomprehensibility probably serves as an in-group signifier and has value just in that, but it also signals smallness and subservient status to everyone else, on an instinctual level.'
psychology  status  men  women  neoteny  agencyvspatiency  victimhood  entitlement 
11 days ago
Inner Mammal Institute -- Mammal at the Movies
'#Pride and Prejudice -- Elizabeth Bennett hates the pressure to “marry well.” She especially hates the alpha male next door. She blames British high society for her frustrations, without realizing that every female chimpanzee faces the same dilemma. Should a gal choose the alpha as the father of her child, or should she lean toward the guy she finds strong and clever regardless of his position in the eyes of her troop? -- Female chimpanzees are often attracted to outsiders who have no status in their troop. A lady sometimes prefers a gentleman for reasons unrelated to the public esteem he commands. Yet there are distinct advantages to mating with the alpha, and most female chimps end up preferring him too. A baby can only have one father, alas, so these choices have consequences. -- Mating decisions are fraught with uncertainty because you cannot really judge the quality of a partner until long after your mating decision. Whether you’re male or female, human or chimp, this conundrum is real no matter how carefully you choose. Mammals have always struggled to maximize their mating choices; it did not begin with “our society.” -- Every society develops ways of sorting out this mess. Every female decodes the signs of male potential according to her particular life experience. If all ladies used Jane Austen as their guide we would not be here today, because she was so picky that she never mated. Romantic fantasies are nice, but if every lady over-analyzed the matter as Ms. Austen did, a species would not reproduce itself. -- Of course, modern women are not consciously shopping for father material most of the time. They are shopping for “attraction.” But the mammalian drive to keep your DNA alive is at the core of neurochemical attraction. -- Our mammalian inheritance perplexes modern males as much as modern females. Low-ranking males may find themselves shut out by pushy high-ranking males and status-conscious females. And even alpha males have mating problems. Consider Mr. Darcy, the hero of the book behind this movie. He is rich, good-looking, and socially prominent. So many ladies want an alpha male’s attention that he could not protect all the babies that would result. He must choose between the quantity strategy (having lots of babies and hoping some of them turn out well without his involvement) and the quality strategy (concentrating his attention on the best mother, however that can be determined). Mammals with small brains opt for the quantity strategy. Mammals with larger cortexes tend to create fewer children and invest more time in each. -- Mr. Darcy’s large brain ends up setting its sights on Elizabeth Bennett, the girl who hates him for being rich. He displays his protective skills to her over and over until she falls for him, despite the blemish of his wealth. In fiction, girls who hate rich guys always seem to land a rich guy in the end, despite the abundance of available poor guys. This construct seems unrealistic to me, and Ms. Austen’s real-life failure at romance reinforces my suspicion. Even a female baboon knows better than to antagonize an alpha male and expect him to respond by becoming ever-more devoted. -- Yet rich-boy meets poor-girl remains a staple of fiction. The theme is recast in a modern setting in the TV sitcom, Ugly Betty. Betty is out of step with the herd, but every season another rich, handsome guy falls for her. We like the idea of attraction that’s not based on social status. But what really gets our attention is attraction that raises someone’s status. We want to think status doesn’t matter, but what we really want is for status to come anyway as a reward for virtue. -- Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy share an abhorrence of the status-driven mating game, and they think they’re unique in this! Of course, almost everyone hates the status-driven mating game. Yet it continues because mating choices have huge consequences. A primate does not risk letting another primate get close until they have reason to expect unthreatening behavior. But unique life experience makes primates hard to predict, so we take all available information into account – including status.'
men  women  hypergamy  sacrifice  status 
17 days ago
Inner Mammal Institute -- I, Mammal: Why Your Brain Links Status and Happiness (PDF)
'...Alas, bursts of happy chemicals are brief. They evolved to respond to changing circumstances, not to be a steady state. You can get more neurochemical happiness if you advance your status again. Even small advances will do – a momentary reminder of past achievements or future hopes can trigger them. But each new tide subsides, and your brain is soon seeking opportunity again. -- Sometimes you fail to win respect, recognition, or status, despite a big investment of effort. Sometimes the status you already have is threatened. Unhappy chemicals flood your system. You may tell yourself it shouldn’t matter, but the unhappy chemicals are a real experience. Your mammal brain will look for ways to protect your status to stop the unpleasant feeling. -- “Nice” people may say they don’t care about status, but they cannot undo millions of years of evolution. Status thoughts enter the mind in spite of ourselves. The mammal brain keeps looking for ways to stimulate happy chemicals and avoid unhappy chemicals. What’s a nice person to do? -- People often resolve this conflict by telling themselves they care about other people’s status. You can focus your attention on the status threats confronted by another being or institution to explain your unhappy chemicals. You can strive for an improvement in their status. You can stimulate your happy chemicals by dominating on behalf of others, and winning admiration for it. In this way, you can feel good without acknowledging your own appetite for status. -- “I don’t think this way,” you might react. “And I would know it if I did.” But your mammal brain doesn’t report its survival strategies to your cortex in words. It just releases the chemicals relevant to promoting your prospects as it sees them. It struggles to balance your many different needs. Your need for social alliances often conflicts with your other needs. This problem has no ultimate solution. Your mammal brain simply weighs the options in each moment. It emits happy and sad chemicals as you might use an accelerator pedal and a brake, to steer you toward things that advance your prospects and away from things that threaten you. -- You may think others care too much about status. Other people’s status seeking is easy to see, while one’s own status seeking is easy to ignore. Other people’s interest in social dominance gets your attention because your unhappy chemicals alert you to potential threats to your status. -- ... Status improves prospects for your legacy, however you define it. That is why status stimulates your happy chemicals. In nature, status brings more and better mating opportunities. This does not sound like a worthy goal to modern humans, so we find loftier ways to explain our lust for status. Many people say they want money so they can give it to a worthy cause. What they really want is the happy chemicals that are stimulated by all forms of “scoring.” -- ... The mammal brain is a sophisticated instrument for making those constant little choices between staking one’s claim and bowing to the preferences of others. We are descended from individuals who did what it took to meet their own needs and their children’s needs. That meant deferring to others some of the time, and seizing opportunity for one’s self at other times. Knowing how an animal makes social decisions gives us a window into our own neural operating system. A monkey does not use words when it decides between asserting and deferring. An ape does not analyze pros and cons the way you do when faced with a complex social dilemma. Our primate cousins do not theorize about the common good or the struggle for individuality. They simply assert themselves when they think they will win and restrain themselves when they think they would lose. This sounds awful to human ears, and we are constantly told not to think this way. But the issue keeps resurfacing because underneath each cortex is a mammal brain that thinks this way. -- The mammal brain never stops seeking reproductive success. As soon as a mammal meets its immediate survival needs, it invests its effort into raising its status. An animal cannot put reserves into a bank account or a warehouse to help meet tomorrow’s needs. When it has extra energy, it puts it into raising its status instead. In an uncertain world, achieving status today can help meet survival needs tomorrow. Survival and status are the same thing to the mammal brain because status improves chances of having surviving descendants. -- Modern birth control has given us the freedom to define success in different ways. We can have sex without investing energy in children. We are free to invest our energy into other personal legacies. But whatever your yardstick of success, you care about it with the intensity of the neurochemicals that drive animals to reproduce. All the survival energy of nature gets invested into your status goals because the same neurochemicals motivate it. If you want more happy chemicals and fewer unhappy ones, you have to please your mammal brain.'
psychology  serotonin  status  competition  maslow 
17 days ago
Inner Mammal Institute -- Meet Your Happy Chemicals (PDF)
'Chapter 7 addresses the burden of choice. We all have free will because we can use our pre-frontal cortex to inhibit our neurochemical impulses. You can make choices that increase your happiness, but it doesn’t happen automatically. It requires a constant weighing of trade-offs between the potential rewards of one course of action and another. We can never predict the outcome of our actions with certainty. This exposes us to uncertainty, disappointment, frustration, and cortisol. Choice brings a huge potential for unhappy chemicals. Since the brain strives to avoid unhappy chemicals, people find ways to avoid choice. One way of doing that is to imagine “a better world” that supplies happiness constantly and eliminates unhappiness. It feels good to imagine your happiness guaranteed, without the pressure of difficult trade-offs. It feels bad to see how the real world falls short of your ideal world. But if you seek happiness by living in an imagined world, you leave your real-world choices to others. The result is disappointment and another vicious cycle. Chapter 7 shows how to break it by accepting the trade- offs and uncertainties inherent in free choice. -- ... Nice people don’t talk about the competition for resources in nature. In polite society, it’s forbidden to acknowledge that social dominance feels good. But everyone has a brain that longs for the good feeling of serotonin. Everyone can see this motivation in others. The point is not that you should push your way to the best teat. The point is that your brain constantly monitors your access to the resources you need to survive. When the access seems secure, you feel good. And then you look for ways to make things more secure. You may get annoyed when you see others trying to secure their position. But when you do it, you think, “I’m just trying to survive.” ... Young mammals quickly learn to avoid injury by submitting to stronger individuals. Being dominated hurts, and the cortisol it triggers wires a youth to avoid conflict. That may look like “cooperation” to the casual observer, but the animal still wants its chance to eat and reproduce. So it seizes opportunities where it’s likely to win without getting injured. I am not saying we should dominate the weak. I am saying each brain is focused on meeting its needs. -- Animals can’t save money for a rainy day. The only way they can put something aside for the future is to invest today’s extra energy into social power that can help them survive tomorrow. That’s why each mammalian herd or pack or troop has its status hierarchy. The organization is not conscious, of course. Each individual simply remembers whom they fear and whom they trust, and a hierarchy emerges organically. Cortisol motivates each individual to hunch down in self-defense in the face of a stronger group-mate. And serotonin motivates it to relax and swell its chest swell with pride (or air, depending on how you look at it) when it is strong enough to get respect and meet its needs.'
psychology  existentialism  serotonin  status  cortisol  hierarchy  will 
17 days ago
Inner Mammal Institute -- FAQ
'#Can social support make us happy?: Social bonds make us happy and unhappy. Oxytocin causes the good feeling of social trust. Serotonin causes the good feeling of social dominance. Alas, these spurts are soon metabolized and your brain looks for more. You don’t always get them where you expect to, and disappointment triggers cortisol. You might interpret that as an external threat even though you created the threat yourself with your expectations. You can relieve your own cortisol by relaxing your expectations about what others should do. -- The mammal brain seeks dependence and independence. When you have one, your brain worries about the other. When you enjoy the safety of a social group, your inner mammal fears intrusion on your independence. But when you escape social constraints, your inner mammal fears the danger of isolation. -- We humans are born helpless and vulnerable. The first experience in each brain— the experience all your later circuits are layered on— is urgent distress that you cannot relieve on your own. Social support is the only way to relieve your early distress. We are all deeply wired to fear the loss of social support. Yet we all lose support because every mammal transitions from dependence to independence. A species can only survive if its young learn to meet their own needs before their parents die. That takes about seven years for a young ape, two years for a monkey, and two months for a mouse. This is infinitely longer than a lizard, who runs away from home as soon as it cracks out of its shell. The bigger a creature’s cortex, the longer its period of early dependence, because it takes time to connect neurons in ways that tell you how to meet your needs. Reptiles know it all when they’re born because they are pre-wired with the knowledge of their ancestors. Humans are born without knowledge but with the ability to construct knowledge from experience. The price we pay for this potential is an early vulnerability that stays with us to some degree.'
psychology  attachment  securityvsnovelty  individuation  anxiety  existentialism  OttoRank 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- When Love Brings Pain - #1 by Loretta G Breuning
'Your brain seeks the good feeling of letting down your guard. -- Love feels good because it’s a physical letting down of your guard. So why does this lead to pain so often? Because your brain is touchy when your guard is down. The slightest hint of threat triggers cortisol, the chemical messenger of pain and potential pain. -- While you're enjoying the nice oxytocin feeling, you want to feel that way forever. But all too soon, you are hit by the reality that your partner is a separate person with needs of their own. Your oxytocin drops, and your cortisol is triggered. -- How do you react to this cortisol? Most people react in the way they learned when they were young, because that’s when the brain myelinates its pathways. The behaviors you observed when you were young activated your mirror neurons, preparing you to react that way yourself. You may accuse your loved one of throwing you to the wolves. They may accuse you back. Love hurts.'
psychology  brain  emotionalintelligence  affectregulation  attachment  oxytocin  trust  cortisol  relationships  conflict 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Stop Traumatizing Yourself by Watching the News by Loretta G Breuning
'#Oxytocin: The mammal brain is always seeking safety in a world of potential threats. Oxytocin creates the safe feeling you have in the company of those you trust. Animals stimulate oxytocin by sticking with a herd, and the news stimulates it by creating a virtual herd. It's tempting to rely on a virtual herd to meet your oxytocin needs because other people often frustrate you in person. -- In the animal world, herds promote survival because because there are more eyes and ears to notice predators and sound the alarm. Animals find safety in numbers by listening for the alarm calls of their herd mates. News is a steady stream of alarm calls. They may not help you navigate the threats in your individual life because they are designed to appeal to a wide audience. But they stimulate the nice oxytocin feeling that you are protected by the herd. This feeling comes at a high price. The herd you run with expects you to share their vigilance. You may lose this sense of belonging if you ignore the news. And your herd may actually shun you if you stop focusing on the perceived common threat. Your oxytocin will fall, triggering a sense of urgent survival threat that a sheep has when separated from the flock. It's tempting to go back to the fold and direct your attention in the same way as the rest of the herd. Reporters make this easy by constantly suggesting that you trust your safety to them. -- #Serotonin: News is a reliable serotonin stimulater because it always puts you in the one-up position. Journalists are always finding fault with the powerful, which elevates you in contrast. The mammal brain releases serotonin when you raise your social dominance. Seeing yourself as more ethical and more intelligent stimulates that nice feeling, and raising yourself above the high and mighty gives you an extra boost. "The news" will constantly do that for you. -- Journalists suggest that hostility toward leaders is a sign of your higher intelligence. Apes have the same hostility, however. Apes live with alphas who dominate their food and mating opportunity. Anger at the man is a primal impulse, not an intellectual triumph.'
psychology  brain  news  twominuteshate  herd  oxytocin  serotonin  status 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Why People Confuse “Fairness” With Self-Interest by Loretta G Breuning
'Does everything seem unfair? Your brain creates that feeling. -- Watching another get the advantage feels like a survival threat because in the state of nature, it is. -- You may insist that you don’t think this way, but you easily see this in others. We don't see it in ourselves because the mammal brain never tells you in words why it is releasing neurochemicals. It just propels you toward behavior that stimulate serotonin and avoids behaviors that stimulate cortisol. And each time these chemicals flow, they pave neural pathways that tell you how to feel good in the future. -- But when you get the red cup you desired, the serotonin will be metabolized in a short time. Your brain will look around for ways to get more. You can end up with a lot of cortisol in your quest for serotonin. Maybe you don't see this in yourself. Maybe you hate people who are always questing after something and feel ethically superior to them. See! You did it! Your brain keeps finding a way to put you in the one-up position.'
psychology  brain  serotonin  status  envy 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Why You Can't Stop by Loretta G Breuning
'Do you look for flaws as if your life depended on it? -- There's a good reason: our brains are designed to seek. In the state of nature, you seek food and safety constantly to survive. You feel a momentary thrill when you find what you seek because your brain releases a bit of dopamine. Then it goes back to seeking. If you want more of that great dopamine feeling, you have to meet a need again. Finding threats and obstacles is one way to do that. Your brain scans the world for information relevant to your survival, and when it finds something, dopamine! But the good feeling passes in a moment and there you are seeking survival-relevant information again. -- The brain doesn’t waste dopamine on the same-old, same-old, but saves it for new information about rewards. -- This is why life is complicated: New things fail to make you happy after a short time, but they can make you unhappy when you risk losing them. -- We are designed to get excited about something new. Our brains invest effort in the pursuit of the new because good feelings start to flow in anticipation. It would be nice to have that feeling all the time, but dopamine is quickly metabolized. It not meant for constant highs. It is meant to reward you for seeking. -- Your quest for flaws may not meet any real needs, of course. But real needs are hard to meet, and you risk being disappointed when you try. The world gives us rewards in ways we can’t necessarily predict or control. Finding flaws is just one way to help you avoid the disappointment of the real world. It helps you create an artificial world in which you have a better chance of getting the dopamine, again and again. -- The solution is to tolerate disappointment. This is not the solution you might be hoping for, perhaps. But tolerance for disappointment helps us leave our artificial worlds and come to live with the uncontrollable reward structure of daily life.'
psychology  emotionalintelligence  dopamine  cortisol  control  pessimism  optimalfrustration  stoicism  * 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Do You Feel Like the Clock Is Always Ticking? by Loretta G Breuning
'Humans have the unique ability to perceive abstractions. Death is an abstraction. The future is an abstraction. Being human means knowing your own death lies in the future, even if nothing threatens your life in this moment. The knowledge that our time is limited is so disconcerting that we try to distract ourselves from it. Some people use work and others use play. Either way, the constant quest for distraction starts to wear you out. -- Animals fear threats when the threat is near. Humans fear threats that are far away. This helps us succeed at avoiding threats, but as soon as we do, our attention shifts to the next potential threat. Thinking about threats triggers cortisol, the same chemicals animals release when they smell a predator. Just thinking about the smell of a predator can get your cortisol started, which tells your cortex to look for evidence of a predator. A bad loop results. You can end up focused on every possible threat to every human alive and those yet unborn. -- To escape this loop by, we have three popular strategies: #1. control: try to every detail related to threats #2. distraction: use work or play to distract yourself from threatening thoughts #3. legacy: build something that may live on when you’re gone. -- The mammalian brain rewards you with a good feeling when you do things that promote the survival of your unique individual essense. Animals strive to spread their genes because it feels good, not because they have a conscious intent to reproduce. Natural selection built a brain that rewards you with happy chemicals when you build your legacy, whether you consciously intend this or not. A two-edged sword results, however. Any threat to your grandchildren, your artwork, or your better way feels like an urgent survival threat. The more you invest in legacy-building, the more threats you're alert to.'
psychology  death  anxiety  cortisol  control  conservatism  existentialism 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- The Primate Brain Likes to Win, But Can't Always Have It by Loretta G Breuning
'Dopamine is the good feeling of getting a reward the meets your needs. Serotonin is the good feeling of getting respect from your fellow primates. Oxytocin is the good feeling of belonging to a protective group. -- You might deny or mask such feelings with your verbal cortex, but you have inherited a brain that needs these chemicals to feel good. No one can stimulate your chemicals for you. Your brain evolved to stimulate them by takig action to meet your needs. -- #Serotonin: A different kind of motivation comes from serotonin. Let's say our monkey's fruit is snatched by a bigger, stronger monkey when he finally gets to the top of the tree. Experience has taught him that bigger monkeys cause pain, and falling from a tree causes pain. His cortisol surges and he relinquishes the fruit to avoid pain. Now imagine that our monkey checks out the rival fruit-snatcher and decides that he is indeed the bigger, stronger one. He will not let go of that fruit now. He will get the resources he needs to spread his genes. A surge of serotonin causes this feeling. Experience teaches a monkey to determine when he is in the superior position and when he is in the inferior position. These words horrify us in today's culture, but a monkey would starve to death if it always saw itself as inferior. It has to feel confident to go for it some of the time. Serotonin creates that confidence. This is not what "everybody says" about serotonin because social comparison makes people uncomfortable. But our brains go there anyway, and rejecting your natural urge to get the banana can leave you bitter and resentful. You are better off undertsanding it. -- You may say that monkeys should cooperate, share the bananas, or leave the bananas for the needy. By saying these things, you mark yourself as a superior person in today's society. You are just seeking serotonin in the modern way. You stimulate oxytocin when your self-restraint helps you belong, and dopamine when it helps you reach your goals. Modern society is more successful at reducing conflict that we realize. Modern primates cooperate often because we have learned that it helps us get rewards, respect and acceptance. We get into trouble if we snatch another monkey's banana so we develop other ways to win. -- #Oxytocin: Belonging to a group promotes survival in the state of nature. An isolated primate is quickly killed, and natural selection built a brain that seeks safety in numbers. Oxytocin causes the good feeling of social solidarity, and low oxytocin warns your inner mammal that you're in immediate danger. Our brains are constantly aware of potential threats to our social bonds. Competition can threaten your bonds, but it can also strengthen them. Superior skills can bring recognition that reassures you of social acceptance and belonging. Secure social bonds feel good because they stimulate oxytocin. You may disdain herd behavior in others, but anything that stimuates your oxytocin feels good.'
psychology  brain  attachment  oxytocin  serotonin  status 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Three Little Words You Long to Hear: “It’s their fault.” by Loretta G Breuning
'...you pay a high price for the good feeling of avoiding blame. In the long run, it makes you feel like a powerless victim. It cripples your ability to grow from experience. Blame obscures the power of your own actions. Once it becomes a habit, it's hard to take responsibility. Just thinking something is your fault triggers your cortisol, and you surge with rage, panic, fear, or anxiety. This cortisol is caused by a neural pathway you built long ago. If you got hurt by taking responsbility long ago, and shifting blame relieved the hurt, your brain built connections that spew cortisol in similar situations today. If you grew up around others who avoided blame, your mirror neurons took it in and more connections got built. -- "Why should anyone be blamed?" you may say. But when your brain sees a problem, it looks for a cause. Your conscious mind has no intent to blame, but it skillfully marshalls "evidence" that makes you feel good in the moment. In the long run, this habit leaves you feeling like a victim of other people's misdeeds. If you surround yourself with people who see the world this way too, you never know what you're missing. You successfully avoid the dreaded feeling of being responsible for what happens to you. But you're trapped in a dead end.'
psychology  brain  cortisol  control  victimhood  learnedhelplessness  agencyvspatiency 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Hook Ups, Oxytocin, and the Brain’s Quest for Trust by Loretta G Breuning
'Sex is a boom and bust way to get your oxytocin -- Sex triggers a big jolt of oxytocin, but it’s soon gone. Once it’s metabolized, you feel endangered like a sheep without a flock. Our brain keeps seeking oxytocin because that promotes survival in the state of nature. A sheep survives in a world full of wolves if it sticks with the flock. An ape survives if it has reliable allies. A lizard's genes survive if it finds mates. Natural selection produced a brain that feels good with oxytocin, and bad without it. -- Elderly people holding hands on a park bench are stimulating oxytocin. They don't get enough for spikes of ecstasy, but enough to protect them from extremes of insecurity. Unfortunately, holding just any hand does not work. The mammal brain is very picky about when it releases oxytocin because misplaced trust threatens survival in the state of nature. Apes are known to bite off the fingers, toes and even the scrotum of a troop mate. Lizards can get eaten by individuals they approach for sex, and lambs succumb to predators cloaked in the scent of the flock. Getting close makes it easy to get hurt. Our urge to trust could get us into trouble were it not for nature’s alarm signal: cortisol. This chemical is often equated with stress, but it's the primitive brain’s pain signal. Betrayed trust leads to physical pain in the state of nature, so your cortisol siren is triggered when your trust is betrayed. -- We are left with a terrible dilemma. Our brain craves the good feeling of trust, yet it avoid things associated with past pain as if your life depended on it. Humans have struggled with this brain since they first walked the earth. In past millennia, people relied on fixed social bonds to stimulate their oxytocin and ease their cortisol. They formed tribes, clans, families, and pair bonds with sharp distinctions about when to trust and when not to trust. Maybe you got bitten by the people inside your trust circle, but survival without them seemed impossible. You rarely got to pick and choose your trust bonds, or build your own from scratch, or take a chance outside established trust networks. -- Today, we want more. We want big surges of oxytocin with no stabs of pain. We leave behind the imperfect social bonds of our youth in the expectation of something better. But it turns out that trust bonds are harder to build than we expect, especially after the neuroplasticity of youth. We shop for oxytocin and get disappointed sometimes. As disappointments accumulate, our brains keep alarming us with pain signals. What's a modern mammal to do? -- An immediate blast of oxytocin is tempting, of course. But once you get it, it passes quickly and you’re left feeling like something is wrong. The fast, easy road to oxytocin often feels bad in the long run, but social bonds that are forced on you feel bad too. Your brain feels best when you have trust bonds that built up from many one-to-one experiences over time. -- This is hard to do because we mammals easily get in each other’s way and trigger each other’s cortisol. If you run from every alarm bell, you may never build trust circuits that are big enough to survive the everyday annoyances of a mammalian herd or pack or troop. -- Trust builds from an accumulation of small experiences. Each time you enjoy the trustworthiness of another person and offer your trustworthiness to them, your neural pathway builds. -- Touch and trust go together in the state of nature because you can’t let someone get close enough to touch you unless you are sure you can trust them. Today, we rub shoulders carelessly with all kinds of people and it seems safe. But if we don’t build deep bonds of mutual trust, our mammal brain tells us that we are not safe. -- Trust bonds don’t get built by partying. They don’t get built by analyzing the flaws of “our society.” Other people can't build them for you. You can build your own oxytocin circuits if you make it a priority. If you do, you will be rewarded with a calm, safe feeling instead of chasing after huge ups that are followed by huge downs.
psychology  cortisol  attachment  trust  oxytocin  sexuality  herd  touch 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- [The connections between your neurons make you who you are] by Loretta G Breuning
'Our brains evolved to honor our early experience, and sound the alarm when we violate it. -- The connections between your neurons make you who you are. These connections turn on your happy chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin) and your unhappy chemical (cortisol). Happy chemicals mask the alarm feeling that cortisol causes, but good feelings pass quickly because the brain chemicals get metabolized. Threatened feeling return, and people often rush to trigger more happy chemicals in any way that worked before. Happy habits are powerful because they mask the sense of urgency caused by cortisol. Your brain thinks you're putting out the fire, even as you're setting a new fire. We are better off learning to tolerate our own threatened feelings instead of rushing to mask them. We will always feel threatened because the brain doesn’t distinguish between physical threats and social threats. Once your physical needs are met, your brain focuses on social needs as if your life depended on it. The social disappointments of your past built neural superhighways that turn on your cortisol today. You can learn to turn off that alarm instead of masking it with a happy habit. You can build new happy habits that support your well-being.'
psychology  dopamine  oxytocin  serotonin  cortisol  brain  trauma  emotionalintelligence  absurd  * 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- [Compassion for bad behavior can promote bad behavior] by Loretta G Breuning
'The problem is that the brain learns from rewards. Your compassion is rewarding to others. If they get your compassion when they act badly, their brain wires itself to get rewards by acting badly. Compassion is good, but the pendulum can swing too far the other way. Your good intentions lead to harm if they reinforce self-destructive behavior. -- When you hold yourself responsible for their outcomes, you teach them they are not responsible for their outcomes. -- The rescuer is typically as addicted to rescuing as the receiver is to needing rescue.'
psychology  victimhood  learnedhelplessness  codependence 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Are You Addicted to Empathy? by Loretta G Breuning
'Like a drug, empathy gives you an immediate high, and by the time you see the long-term consequences you are hooked. Empathy is like a drug because it stimulates your natural "happy" chemicals. You stimulate oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” when you say “we are all in this together.” You stimulate dopamine, the brain’s predictor of rewards, when you say, “we will beat this dragon.” You stimulate serotonin by raising your stature as a "good" person. These good feelings wire the brain to seek more of whatever triggered them. Thus we seek more empathy. -- There's a fast, easy way to get it: negativity. Someone says things are going to hell in a handbasket, and others agree. Everyone feels good, and everyone gets to blame their frustrations on external forces. This builds a negativity habit as we reinforce each other in the belief that we are in a handbasket of one sort or another. As the habit builds, you can end up agreeing with things you know are wrong.'
psychology  dopamine  oxytocin  serotonin  status  empathy  boundaries  pessimism 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Every Day Is Independence Day, and Interdependence Day by Loretta G Breuning
'The mammal brain rewards you with dopamine when you meet a need, and it rewards you with oxytocin when you create intimacy. Your mammal brain takes what you have for granted and focuses on what you lack. Once your dopamine is stimulated, you would like some more oxytocin. Once you have enough oxytocin, you long for more dopamine. Both are important, but in each moment, a mammal weighs one need against others.'
psychology  dopamine  oxytocin  securityvsnovelty  OttoRank 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- Five Ways to Boost Your Natural Happy Chemicals by Loretta G Breuning
#1 Dopamine (Embrace a new goal): Embrace a new goal and take small steps toward it every day. Your brain will reward you with dopamine each time you take a step. The repetition will build a new dopamine pathway until it’s big enough to compete with the dopamine habit that you’re better off without. -- #2 Serotonin (Believe in yourself): Confidence triggers serotonin. Monkeys try to one-up each other because it stimulates their serotonin. People often do the same. This brain we’ve inherited rewards social dominance because that promotes your genes in the state of nature. As much as you may dislike this, you enjoy the good feeling of serotonin when you feel respected by others. Your brain seeks more of that feeling by repeating behaviors that triggered it in your past. The respect you got in your youth paved neural pathways that tell your brain how to get respect today. Sometimes people seek it in ways that undermine their long-term well-being. The solution is not to dismiss your natural urge for status, because you need the serotonin. Instead, you can develop your belief in your own worth. People are probably respecting you behind your back right now. Focus on that instead of scanning for disrespect. Everyone has wins and losses. If you focus on your losses you will depress your serotonin, even if you’re a rock star or a CEO. You can build the habit of focusing on your wins. You may think it’s cocky or risky or lame, but your serotonin will suffer if you don’t. -- #3 Oxytocin (Build trust consciously): Trust triggers oxytocin. Mammals stick with a herd because they inherited a brain that releases oxytocin when they do. Reptiles cannot stand the company of other reptiles, so it’s not surprising that they only release oxytocin during sex. Social bonds help mammals protect their young from predators, and natural selection built a brain that rewards us with a good feeling when we strengthen those bonds. Sometimes your trust is betrayed. Trusting someone who is not trustworthy is bad for your survival. Your brain releases unhappy chemicals when your trust is betrayed. That paves neural pathways which tell you when to withhold trust in the future. But if you withhold trust all the time, you deprive yourself of oxytocin. You can stimulate it by building trust consciously. Create realistic expectations that both parties can meet. Each time your expectations are met, your brain rewards you with a good feeling. Continual small steps will build your oxytocin circuits. Trust, verify, and repeat. You will grow to trust yourself as well as others.'
psychology  dopamine  serotonin  status  oxytocin 
18 days ago
Psychology Today -- How Baboons Choose Their Leaders by Loretta G Breuning
'...you may think your response is motivated by the information in your cortex. But your cortex scans for information that explains the neurochemistry already released by your limbic brain. We don’t realize this because the cortex generates verbal explanations for its conclusions and the limbic brain doesn't.'
psychology  rationalization  emotionalintelligence 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- How Psychologists Promote Greed by Loretta G Breuning
'Your primitive brain has a simplistic way of interpreting social relations. It compares you to others and ranks you above them or below them from moment to moment. I am not saying we should do this but the animal brain does it whether you intend to or not. When you're in the one-up position, your mammal brain releases serotonin and you feel good. When you're one-down, your mammal brain perceives it as a survival threat and stress chemicals are released. You have good reason to seek the one-up position. You are only trying to survive. But when other people do that, your sense of relative deprivation triggers neurochemical alarm bells. -- “I don’t think this way,” you may say. “I think everyone is equal.” Equality is an abstraction, and the mammal brain does not process abstractions. It strives to feel good. You feel good when you see yourself as an equality-loving person because you feel superior to all those greedy people you imaginee. You get to feel superior without having to acknowledge your own urge to feel superior. -- The urge to be special is always there because the serotonin feels good. If you filled a room with people who say they don’t care about status, they will soon form a hierarchy based on how anti-status they claim to be. That’s what mammals do. I’m not saying we should do this. I’m saying that when you lie to yourself about your own self-seeking, you have an exaggerated sense of the self-seeking of others. -- When you feel one-down, you feel hostile toward those you perceive as one-up. You can easily find others who share your hostility. With this social support, it’s easy to believe in the reality of your own perceptions. Your can convince yourself that the guy who got seven dollars in this round of the game is out to grab all you have. That feels bad, but as soon as you position yourself as morally superior to him, you feel good. Self righteousness is a way to put yourself on top without the mess and bother of competing for resources. -- It’s not easy being a mammal. In the state of nature, you never knew where your next meal was coming from. You could not put anything aside for a rainy day before food storage and money were invented. All a mammal could do was invest today's extra energy in social dominance, because that could improve its access to resources tomorrow. Natural selection built a brain that is always looking for a way to get ahead. If you hate this in people, you will end up hating everyone, and you won’t even know why.'
psychology  serotonin  victimhood  status  shame  ideology 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Why I’m a Registered “None” by Loretta G Breuning
'Each brain sees itself as the center of the world, and sees today as the pivot point in human history. Things have been "going to hell in a handbasket" for millennia because thinking of the future bring awareness of one’s mortality. The thought of your own demise triggers anxious feelings that your brain rationalizes by projecting them onto the state of the world. Connecting with grandchildren relieved this existential angst in the past. By age forty, people had grandchildren and lived near them. Today, this way of feeling good about the future is rare. Your genes may be annihilated in the future, and the thought is so painful that your brain equates it with the annihilation of the world.'
psychology  death  eschatology 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Cave-Man Approach to Stress-Management by Loretta G Breuning
'Humans have been trying to stop bad feelings since we first walked the earth. You may have heard that human brains create more anxiety than animal brains, but evidence for the opposite conclusion is strong. Primitive brain structures create anxiety, and the cortex strives to restrain it. -- The reptile brain scans constantly for signs of danger. It’s always on high alert. The mammal brain eases this anxiety by forming social attachments. Social groups distribute the burden of scanning for danger. But social bonds cause stress in their own way. Social animals release cortisol when they see distress in others, thanks to mirror neurons. And social animals have in-group conflicts that can be as stressful as predator threat. What's a mammal to do? -- When you know where this bad feeling is coming from, you realize that it's not necessarily an emergency. It's just a source of information. If you ignore the information the bad feeling will continue. If you react automatically to the information, you may end up with more emergencies. Instead, you can honor your bad feelings by blending them with new information. -- Your brain releases cortisol when it sees threat. A big surge of cortisol is pain or panic, while a small, steady drip is anxiety or stress. These bad feelings are good because they warn you of danger in time to avoid it. A gazelle gets a bad feeling when it smells a lion. It survives because it doesn't wait for the bad feeling of the lion's teeth in its neck. You don’t need to touch a hot stove twice because cortisol connects neurons the first time. Cortisol paves neural pathways that make it easy for you to recognize anything that hurt you in the past. Cortisol doesn't work by triggering a sophisticated risk analysis. It works by making an organism feel so bad that it will do whatever it takes to make the bad feeling stop. -- Your brain needs stress to function. Like a car needs an accelerator and a brake, your brain needs one system to push you toward things that are good for you, and another system to pull you back from things that are bad for you. Without your unhappy chemicals, you would seek happy chemicals without due regard for the risks. Unhappy chemicals promote survival as much as happy chemicals. Accepting your internal alarm system makes it easier to live with.'
psychology  stress  cortisol  anxiety  stoicism 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Control the World or Control Yourself? by Loretta G Breuning
'People repeat undermining behaviors because the happy chemicals mask their unhappy chemicals. You can never completely eliminate unhappy chemicals because they evolved to warn you of survival threats. Survival is threatened as long as you are alive, and your unhappy chemicals are there to help warn you of potential risks. But the moment your happy chemicals droop, the unhappy chemicals grab your attention and you wonder what's wrong. You may blame "our society." You may rush to stimulate more happy chemicals in any way you can. And you may not like the consequences. -- You can escape from this loop in the next ten minutes by doing nothing. That's right. Simply free yourself from all distractions for the next ten minutes. This allows your core insecurities to bubble up and command your attention. You will feel bad, but you will do nothing instead of rushing to distract and divert and mask the feeling. That teaches your brain that bad feelings will not kill you. You can tolerate bad feelings instead of rushing to happy habits with bad consequences. -- Now you are free to choose behaviors that are truly in your own best interests. If you make new choices repeatedly, new neural pathways will build, and you'll have a new happy habit. You will still experience dips in your happy chemicals, leaving you painfully aware of the insecurity that comes with being alive. But you can control your response to those dips, whether or not the world “behaves” the way you want it to.'
psychology  optimalfrustration  control  stoicism  emotionalintelligence  anxiety  meditation 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Social Comparison: Taming the Beast by Loretta G Breuning
'When two mammals meet, each brain makes a quick evaluation of the other. Animals avoid conflict because the weaker individual usually submits to avoid getting hurt. Each species has dominance and submission gestures that get the business out of the way quickly. Conflict only erupts when two individuals are almost equally matched and each brain believes it could win. Have you ever known two people who are extremely similar and but absolutely hate each other? Their mammal brians perceive the risk posed by unresolved social dominance. -- Our brains seek dominance for a good reason. You feel bad if you always submit, defer, and cede to others. If an animal always took the one-down position, it wouldn't get enough food to be healthy or enough reproductive opportunity to keep its genes alive. You may not care about your genes, but you are descended from people who reproduced successfully. Your brain was naturally selected to get your attention when others stand in the way of meeting your survival needs. When others have better abs or more "friends" or bigger grants, your survival mechanism may get triggered. You are not consciously linking social slights to the risk of your genes being annihilated. But animals don't think this consciously either. Neurochemicals don't need conscious intent to do their thing. -- Your brain will check other people out and compare them to you whether you like it or not. You were born with a social alarm system, and if you try to ignore it, it may just ring louder to get your attention. So accept your social radar, but remind yourself that it is not fact, and that you are safe in this moment. It's not easy being a mammal!'
psychology  status  transactionalanalysis 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Don’t Reduce Everything to Nature and Nurture by Loretta G Breuning
'Of course, your experience is shaped by your environment and your genes. But there's more to it. Your experience is shaped by the experiences that came before. Your neurons start making connections as soon as you're born, and strong experiences of pleasure and pain shape the way you see the world. As you start choosing your experiences, you keep weaving the neural tapestry that you've become. -- What I am criticizing is the kind of studies that presume two children raised in the same home differ only because of genes. The research implies that each child got the same "nurture" and therefore only genes differentiate them. But each child does not get the same nurture. Unique circumstances shape each child, even when parents are perfectly even-handed. -- It bothers me even more when broad statistical studies conclude that genes must explain the variance once income/socioeconomic status are held constant. They suggest that nothing matters in life except your social class and your genes. This kind of thinking gets taken for granted in subtle ways, creating thought habits that overlook the importance of early experience. -- In short, people say they "controlled for environment" so it must be genes, but they don't really control for environment. They ignore differences in early experience (because data aren't available). Yet in our personal lives, we can see huge differences in outcome for kids from the same "environment" or "nurture" or "culture."'
psychology  brain  epigenetics 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Independence v. Belonging: Riding the Seesaw by Loretta G Breuning
'A sheep sticks with the herd while seeking greener pastures because oxytocin feels good. The sheep approaches new pasture slowly so the flock can move with him. But when they get there, the sheep finds himself nudged out of the best feeding spots by his pushier flock-mates. So his brain scans for better options. At each moment, the sheep is choosing between his group bonds and his individual needs. -- Your hunter-gatherer ancestor foraged for food in the same way. She constantly weighed the trade-off between approaching new rewards and maintaining the safety of the group. With each step, she made a choice. -- These choices get trickier when a mammal pursues mating opportunity. On the one hand, strong group bonds help a mammal attract mates and protect offspring. On the other hand, individual action is essential for reproduction. You are probably not interested in reproducing per se, but your brain chemicals are very responsive to things that affect reproductive success in the state of nature. Group dynamics make your neurochemicals surge because your mammal brain links them to survival. -- A mammal that always stayed isolated would have little success at passing on its genes. But a mammal that always followed the herd and refused independent action would also have trouble reproducing. So the gene pool filled up with mammals that could choose when to follow the group and when to act independently. Your brain is inherited from them. You thrive by making choices between independent action and group cohesion. You are doing it all the time. -- These decisions might feel like a burden, and with more freedom of choice the burden seems to grow. You may wish there was one right answer instead of having to weigh the evidence each the time. But there is no formula. You have to call the shots one by one. People will be happy to tell you how to call your shots if you let them. But they will steer you toward their own well-being, even if they speak of the greater good. -- The tension between belonging and independence will not go away. You might imagine a world in which everyone else moves in the direction you think is best. If you wait for the world to be this way, you will wait forever. You are better off appreciating your freedom to choose. Your brain was naturally selected to make that choice.'
psychology  individuation  securityvsnovelty  OttoRank 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Why Love Is a Roller Coaster by Loretta G Breuning
'Getting respect feels good because it stimulates serotonin. In the animal world, social dominance brings more mating opportunity—and more surviving offspring. But animals don't dominate because of conscious long-term goals. They dominate because it generates serotonin, and that feels good. -- You may want to believe that your own love is pure and untainted by social status. But in other people, you can easily see that status magnifies the neurochemical power of love. And once you do, maybe you can admit that the romantic attentions of a higher-status person triggers strong feelings in your own mind. If you should fall for someone who just happens to raise your status, you can't deny that it feels good. -- But your brain always wants more respect to generate more serotonin. Your loved one may give you that feeling at first, by respecting you or helping you feel respected by others. But eventually your brain begins to take the respect you already have for granted. It wants more, so it can get more good feelings. That's why some people constantly make more demands on their loved ones, and why others constantly seek out higher-status partners.'
psychology  serotonin  status  hypergamy  women  men 
23 days ago
Psychology Today -- Score! Dopamine! Repeat! Or Not by Loretta G Breuning
'Old rewards don’t make us happy because the brain soon habituates to them. It takes what you have for granted and focuses its attention on new rewards.' -- 'We've inherited a brain that scans for threats all the time. So we find threats! When you understand your neural inheritance, it's easier to take that threatened feeling with a grain of salt.'
psychology  dopamine  anxiety  control 
25 days ago
Psychology Today -- What a Let-Down! by Loretta G Breuning
'Your brain evolved to look for problems. It gives you a break while your happy chemicals are surging, but when the surge ends your brain goes back to looking for problems. -- #The Dopamine Let-down: After you've reached a big goal. The day after a race or any other significant accomplishment, you often feel bad. If you look for a reason, you might decide that your performance was lacking in some way. Or that the goal you worked toward was somehow ill-chosen or the community unappreciative. If you knew that your dopamine spiked from the big event, and now it's returning to normal, you might not burden yourself with these negative thoughts. You'd still feel bad for a bit, because normal is less exciting than a dopamine spike. By accepting the bad feelings, you return to the normalcy that makes dopamine spikes possible when you really need them. -- #The Serotonin Let-down: I'm not the big-shot around here anymore. You used to be the president of the PTA, and people sought you out when you walked into meetings. Now you're hardly noticed. PTA meetings used to trigger your serotonin. Now they're a let-down. It feels like something is wrong with the world. The disappointment is real, but you risk giving it global proportions unless you understand its true cause. -- #The Endorphin Let-down: Now it really hurts. Imagine twisting your ankle during an exciting tennis match. You hardly notice because your body releases endorphins when it's injured. That masks pain for a few minutes while you do what it takes to meet your survival needs (which includes scoring in tennis). Once the endorphins wear off, you're in serious pain. You wonder why, since you felt fine after you twisted the ankle. You start having painful thoughts about the game and everything that went wrong in it. You'd be better off if you knew it was an endorphin let-down. -- #The Oxytocin Let-down: I wish I knew who I could trust. You're working with a group that really synchs, and it feels great. But something changes, and now some of your mates seem incompetent while others seem out for themselves. You feel you can't trust them anymore, but without trust, the work feels awful. What a let-down!'
psychology  emotionalintelligence  dopamine  serotonin  status  stoicism 
25 days ago
Psychology Today -- Nature Gave Us Four Kinds of Happiness by Loretta G Breuning
'Happiness is just a neurochemical spurt. Four different brain chemicals create happy feelings, and you need all of them to feel good. You miss out when you rely on one or two old familiar ways of triggering your happy chemicals. You can enjoy a balanced happy chemical diet if you know the distinct kind of happiness each brain chemical evolved for. -- #Endorphin happiness is triggered by physical pain. The body's natural morphine masks pain... #Dopamine happiness is triggered when you get a new reward. When you see a finish line, your brain releases dopamine. It's nature's reserve tank of energy. #Oxytocin happiness is triggered when we trust those around us. It promotes bonding between mother and child, and between sex partners. It's stimulated when you're with a group of like-minded people, or when you get a massage. #Serotonin happiness is triggered when you feel important. Animals release serotonin when they dominate a resource. Their serotonin falls when they cede a resource to avoid conflict. Being one-up feels good, but conflict can cause painful injuries. The brain is constantly analyzing information to balance the risk of pain against the satisfaction of winning. -- ...the brain only releases happy chemicals in limited bursts for specific aims. It did not evolve to release them all the time. If happy chemicals flowed all the time, they could not do their jobs. -- When your happy chemicals dip, however, you notice. Something feels wrong. -- Nothing is wrong. Your happy chemicals evolved to ebb and flow. But if you attend to this feeling that something is wrong, it can preoccupy you. Your cortex will scan the environment for evidence that something is, in fact, wrong. And it will find evidence to confirm that feeling. -- If you expect all the happy chemicals all the time, you're going to be disappointed. And if you focus on that disappointment, you wire your brain to see the world through that lens. -- Try as you might, you can't control your environment in a way that ensures a steady flow of happy chemicals. -- You could instead accept the fact that happy chemicals evolved to promote survival behaviors, and just appreciate them as they come and go.'
psychology  brain  happiness  dopamine  serotonin  oxytocin  stoicism  archetypes  control  power  * 
25 days ago
Psychology Today -- The myth of animal altruism by Loretta G Breuning
'...Testosterone and oxytocin motivate sex, serotonin rewards dominance, and aggression is a cocktail of neurochemicals. Mammals seek dominance because the serotonin feels good. Dominant animals get more food, which builds the strength it takes to keep their DNA alive. Strength helps males vanquish predators and compete for sex. Dominant females get extra food that helps them make more nourishing milk, chase off more predators, and get better paternal genes. (In some species, stronger females compete with other females; in other species, they run from all males and manage to escape getting impregnating by all but the strongest.) Dominance is not just about sex. It's about survival, and sex is one facet of survival. -- ...the mammal brain stays alert for opportunity. When it sees a way to dominate without getting hurt, it goes for it. That's why mammals become aggressive when group mates are weak. And it's why authoritative leadership calms down dogs, children, and committees. -- ...the instant an individual shows weakness, a pack-mate seizes their spot in the pecking order.'
psychology  brain  dopamine  testosterone  serotonin  status  power 
25 days ago
Psychology Today -- The Brain Needs Downs to Have Ups by Loretta G Breuning
'The mammal brain is always scanning for problems because it evolved to keep you safe. The cortex is always trying to "do something" about the perceived problems so your mammal brain can feel safe. Obviously this is an endless loop because life cannot be perfectly safe. The safer your life is, the harder your mammal brain works to find the next possible threat. If you were starving, you would focus on the hunger and forget about other problems. The safe your life, the further your brain will look to find problems to worry about. Yikes! It's not easy being a mammal with a human brain. Putting these anxieties into words as you did is one of the best ways of training your brain to create the feeling of safety in a realistic way.'
psychology  anxiety  control 
25 days ago
Carcinisation -- The Last of the Monsters with Iron Teeth
'...These children’s cultures recognized the existence of terrible monsters, and they were able to organize against these threats. In 1954, “hundreds of children in the Gorbals district of Glasgow were reported to have stormed a local cemetery, hunting for a ‘vampire with iron teeth.’ According to press reports at the time, they said that the vampire had ‘killed and eaten two wee boys.'” (Sandy Hobbs and David Cornwell, “Hunting the Monster with Iron Teeth,” in Perspectives on Contemporary Legend Vol. III, 1988). This incident was one of at least eight “hunts,” documented in newspaper articles and interviews, from the 1930s and continuing until the 1980s. Hundreds, or in one case thousands, of children participated in monster hunts that often lasted several nights – militias called up not just against the vampire with iron teeth, but also against such characters as Springheeled Jack, an unnamed banshee, and ghosts known as the “White Lady” and the “Grey Lady.” Adults in 1954 blamed horror movies and horror comics for the vampire hunt (much as video games would be blamed today), but Hobbs and Cornwell trace the children’s adversary back much further. Nineteenth-century parents (and perhaps generations before them) had threatened their misbehaving children with the fearsome Kinderschreck known as “Jenny wi’ the airn teeth,” and her characteristic dentition is displayed by ancient bogeymen from Yorkshire (Tom Dockin) to Russia (Baba Yaga).'
childhood  trauma  displacement 
25 days ago
Carcinisation -- Socially Enforced Thought Boundaries
'Communities of all sizes are bound by their notions of the sacred. A violation of community sacredness – from casting aspersions on the rite of voting to mocking a family tradition – is experienced by community members as a kind of pain. This is one mechanism by which communities and their sacredness are maintained. People hurt each other, if “only” psychologically, when they violate each other’s sacredness. -- It is not governmental regulation that is the biggest threat to free expression, says Mill; the good opinion of one’s neighbors, and their economic cooperation, are far more important than most legal threats short of prison. -- Human groups discover their values more in action and ritual than in arm’s-length analysis, and their group beliefs affect how they perceive the world, including their own suffering and pleasure. Core sacrednesses similarly resist analysis at the merely textual level, at arm’s length. Understanding flourishing is a hermeneutic process of observing people (etic) and listening to them (emic). This does not make it unknowable, but it implies that we should have a great deal of humility in approaching the problem.'
groups  goodthink  ostracism 
25 days ago
Carcinisation -- Two Patterns
'The sacred is approached only through successive boundaries of porous exclusivity. This experience may be necessary to facilitate the experience of the sacred. “The organization is so powerful,” Alexander says hopefully, “that to some extent it can itself create the sacredness of sites, perhaps even encourage the slow emergence of coherent rites of passage” (Pattern 66). The pattern at least makes it possible for rituals to emerge. -- The second pattern, united with the first pattern in its shape, is a pattern in human social organization. It is that people need to be provided with many degrees of public and private, a gradient of intimacy occupied by progressively intimate groups. The binary of public and private is not enough; just as we must have progressively intimate realms to approach the sacred, we need progressively intimate realms to express our social selves. Porous exclusivity characterizes each layer of the structure. -- In low-trust societies that are not functioning well, these layers of porous boundaries must be barred and locked. People are left with a binary choice between a vulnerable “public” that is exposed to all, and a socially dead “private” that is disconnected from others (whether inside a home or vehicle). Unfortunately, the internet has mirrored the trajectory of the society at large. Beginning as a set of overlapping zones (and communities) with distinct character and porous exclusivity, it increasingly resembles the binary public/private of our built environment. -- The pattern so far described is also reflected in the human self — the human self being literally the reflection of one’s social spheres. According to Philippe Rochat, we are “constrained toward (self-)consciousness” by other people in our environment (Others In Mind: Social Origins of Self-Consciousness, 2009). We must keep others in mind, model their cognition and emotion, in order to monitor our reputation and simulate future scenarios involving them. We see ourselves through the eyes of others, adding a third-person perspective to our first-person experience. And the self, properly located, exists not deep within us, but in between ourselves and others.'
internet  womb  space  probabilityspace  possibilityspace  ritual  self 
25 days ago
Ribbonfarm -- Gardens Need Walls: On Boundaries, Ritual, and Beauty by Sarah Perry
'The work of elaborating an aesthetic together, as a small group, providing context for each other’s selves, is some of the fundamental work of being human, a way for humans to be valuable to each other that markets cannot supply. -- ...I am remarking that we are all deprived of a possible source of beauty and enjoyment by the lack of coherent community aesthetics. We are deprived of both context and excuse for beauty, and individuals are seldom up to the effort and social risk. It is not a problem we are well-designed to solve individually, for it is not an individual problem at all, but one of groups.'
ritual  groups  communities  possibilityspace  art 
25 days ago
Melting Asphalt -- Border Stories
'...disease-avoidance instincts are stronger in people with a conservative sensibility — so if you lean liberal, you may not be quite as attuned to the threat of disease and its effects on your attitudes and behavior. -- Religions, meanwhile, exhibit a host of features that seem to flow straight out of the behavioral immune system. This includes, first of all, an obsession with physical cleanliness and hygiene, the result of which are detailed rules about food, sex, menstruation, and how to handle corpses, as well as purification practices like bathing and washing one's hands; "the body is a temple" and all that. Going beyond physical cleanliness, however, most religions have co-opted the emotion of disgust and pressed it into service toward more abstract goals, like moral cleanliness or keeping the group free of contamination by outsiders. Cleanliness is next to godliness (and not just in Christianity). -- If a germaphobe is someone with a hyperactive behavioral immune system (the kind of person who wears a surgical mask out in public), then a skeptic is someone with a hyperactive epistemic immune system. -- What happens when a closed-minded skeptic comes in contact with an open-minded believer? The same thing that happens when a germaphobe refuses to shake someone else's hand: Both parties get annoyed. The skeptic sees the believer as dirty, like someone sneezing out bad ideas without realizing that he should cover his mouth. Meanwhile, the believer sees the skeptic as rude, unwilling to do the socially-appropriate thing and exchange a few germs/​ideas in the name of friendship.'
groups  boundaries  ideology  religion  disgust  immunesystem  skepticism  nearfar  discourse  * 
25 days ago
Seth's Blog -- The narcissism of minor differences
'Substantive disagreement is rarely the issue that splits tribes, destroys thriving groups or wastes time at meetings. Instead, it's our desire to carve out a little space for ourselves in a group that seems to agree on almost everything. -- The work is too important to sidetrack about the things we disagree on. -- Point out this narcissism when you see it and move on to the important stuff, to amplifying the things we agree on.'
psychology  groups  identity  narcissism 
25 days ago
Evolution Counseling -- Getting High Just To Get By
'One of the factors that delineates recreational drug use from addiction is that addicts cease trying to move from normal functioning into the altered state, but start from a sense of deficit and are trying to reach that baseline state of existence with the aid of their drug of choice. A shift happens where they start getting high just to get by.'
psychology  addiction  dopamine 
25 days ago
YouTube -- ABCTVCatalyst: Gut Reaction (2014) 1/2
'Through extensive study which remains ongoing, we've come to understand the many benefits associated with the bacteria which exists within our bodies. This "good" bacteria regulates our immune system and determines our defenses against potentially harmful bacteria from the outside world. In so doing, it also maintains a crucial role in the areas of mental and physical wellness.'
bacteria  health  documentaries 
26 days ago
The Daily Bell -- Defund the BBC?
'#Free-Market Analysis: Once one understands how much of the information band British media promotions occupy, it is difficult to watch the BBC for any length of time. Watch the Beeb for a day and be educated about how to believe and what to say. #ISIS and Al Qaeda are shadowy Islamic terrorist groups that want to take over the world. #Central banks: Large and in-charge and let's keep it that way. #The British Empire is fallen. Britain and its City have no real power these days. #Large corporations are the fulcrum of the market and the predictable outcome of capitalism. #If wars must be fought, England will fight them and win, usually because of a certain "special relationship." #Scotland Yard and all the other intel agencies that swarm around Downing Street are the bitter fruit of perilous times. They are necessary and there will be more of them. #Global warming is the most pressing threat of the modern day. -- The Beeb is a prime exponent of dominant social themes. Each finds space for elaboration on news programming. These themes, in our view, have only one aim: They promote more centralization. Centralization of money, power, health care, media, etc. -- The centralization being sought is worldwide. Britain is an epicenter of globalism, a cynosure of the internationalist movement. To some degree it is an occupied country, with its "plebes" struggling along, torn by poverty and tortured increasingly by Britain's authoritarian mindset.'
BBC  forcedmemes  minitrue  oligarchicalcollectivism  1984 
26 days ago
The Rational Male -- The Invisibles
Comment: Johnycomelately: 'The ‘invisibles’ aka nice guys are a vestige and legacy of monogamy culture programming, that frame used to work (under a scarcity economic ecology) but under serial polygyny culture it is no longer desired by women. -- Women hate nice guys because they hate monogamy, every slur that is placed at the feet of nice guys is in reality a slur on monogamy culture, boring, unexciting, plain, suffocating, unsexy, predictable, monotonous, hard work, lack of freedom etc. -- Nice guys are the mirror of monogamy culture (hard working, dutiful, family orientated, predictable, prudent, reliable, responsible, honourable) and women hate them for it. The nice guy is a threat to her serial polygyny freedom and the FI will reframe everything with a monogamy culture tint as oppression, i.e. patriarchy. -- Interesting David de la Croix emphatically demonstrated monogamy culture was chosen by females when the economic ecology optimised it and provided maximum female utility. Women choose the social structure that provides the optimal cost benefit ratio under the prevailing economic ecology and men dutifully follow. The patriarchy is an FI fallacy. -- Unfortunately the ‘red pill’ may in actual fact be playing into the serial polygyny paradigm.'
men  women  sexuality  hypergamy  sociology  civilization  panarchy 
4 weeks ago
The Progress Report -- Brit Landlords Get Billions from UK Taxpayers
'Ed. Notes: These reformers are not distinguishing between rent paid for houses (and other buildings) and rent paid for land, for the location. One is a payment for something human-made, the other for something nature-made. Upon receiving such payments, owners behave diametrically differently. One motivates recipients to build, the other motivates recipients to speculate. -- Similarly, taxing those two payment/income streams has different consequences. When the taxman takes a cut of the profit from leasing a building, then the owner does less maintenance or erects a low-quality structure in the first place. When society charges owners the rental value of locations, then owners use their land efficiently. They increase the housing stock. The added supply reduces the cost of housing. -- Further, society could share out the recovered “rents” as a dividend to residents, similar to what Aspen CO does. As site values rise, dividends would swell. The problem of affordable housing would be solved forever. And governments everywhere — not just the UK — could save tons of money by no longer subsidizing either rich landlords or poor tenants.'
economics  geoism  rent  rentseeking  landlordism 
4 weeks ago
Seth's Blog -- The trolls inside
'The worst troll is in your head. Internet trolls are the commenters begging for a fight, the anonymous critics eager to tear you down, the hateful packs of roving evil dwarves, out for amusement. But the one in your head, that voice of insecurity and self-criticism, that's the one you need to be the most vigilant about. #Do not feed the troll. #Do not reason with the troll. #Do not argue with the troll. -- Most of all, don't litigate. Don't make your case, call your witnesses, prove you are right. Because the troll knows how to sway a jury even better than you do. Get off the troll train. Turn your back, walk away, ship the work.'
psychology  resistance  parts 
4 weeks ago
Personality Junkie -- Ni-Ne Friendship & Approaches to Perception
'What’s perplexing to Ni is that even though Ne may have seemed intrigued by, even highly enthusiastic over an Ni idea initially, Ne by nature tends to lack the theoretical staying power of Ni; it’s fleeting. This catches the Ni off-guard as it’s naturally expecting the kind of discernment and religious devotion that he himself exhibits as an introverted intuitive. The result can be Ni actually feeling betrayed, as if Ne is guilty of intellectual, or metaphysical, infidelity. Ni, having spent a lifetime carefully crafting and refining its paradigm, is horrified when Ne, like an unwitting consumer tossing back a $2,000 glass of Burgundy in a gulp or two, fails to really realize (let alone savor) what Ni has supplied. And before the Ne can even get the words, “thanks for the drink!” out, he’s already looking for the next vintage (or so it seems to Ni), because once Ne has gleaned the “basic” concept, it needs to find another new idea or theory. After all, how can Ne be certain that a given wine is the best one not having tried anything else? -- For the Ne’s part, the initial encounter with an Ni’s philosophy has the appearance of something novel (since it’s likely the first time Ne is coming in contact with that theory.) Such apparent novelty implies that the Ni type is open to new theories and areas of conceptual exploration, much as the Ne is. Imagine the Ne’s surprise when he learns that the only theory that Ni is open to is his own, and that when confronted with new concepts from Ne, Ni isn’t going to be nearly as eager to entertain them as Ne was. So goes the common refrain from Ne types: “you’re so closed-minded!” or, “you’re just threatened by competing ideas!” Additional accusations may include decrying the Ni as dogmatic and hypocritical for dishing out its own perspectives without being able to receive others’ in turn. -- Often, however, all that is needed is some space and time for each type to do some additional work within the functional stack, to consider one another’s type differences as well as their personal philosophies. The Ni type can’t be expected to show the same openness to a new theory that Ne would, nor can Ni expect the same commitment, “or closedness,” to a theory that Ni has. However, as Ni continues in its growth and development it will (albeit slowly) tweak and refine its paradigm to include those pieces of information that it has extracted from subconscious Se experience. In other words, if one of Ne’s proposed theories actually holds weight, Ni figures that it will eventually “discover it” for itself and incorporate it into the working Ni theory – a much more authentic way for an Ni to adopt an idea than by simply accepting it from without. The same is essentially true for Ne, except that it’s consciously collecting as many competing theories as possible from the outset so that it may work them through the remainder of the functional stack, through Si as well as the judging functions. And if an Ni theory is true, it too will be proven with time and experience. -- If Ni can appreciate Ne’s need for exploration, trusting that Ne will return if, after tasting hundreds of vintages, he eventually realizes he’s found something really special in Ni’s insights, then a respectful and enjoyable relationship can occur. Conversely, if Ne uses its open-mindedness to understand the difficult position that Ni is in with respect to being able to accept a new theory from without, trusting that Ni is constantly refining its insights and learning to be open to experience so that its theorizing eventually becomes “all-inclusive,” these two types can continue sharing a particularly special rapport with one another as they each set about on the quest for knowledge and truth.'
psychology  personality  INTP 
4 weeks ago
girlwriteswhat comments on Men working with women for true equality
'...A patriarchy would be better described as a society where burdens and responsibilities are removed from women and imposed on men, and where male authority is a natural and necessary consequence of that. -- For instance, if 100% of the financial responsibility for the family is placed on the males in that family, it only makes sense that they also have financial authority. To remove the authority without also removing the responsibility is essentially imposing financial servitude on males. -- I have no problem with women's feelings of being unjustly repressed by this set of norms. I would certainly feel repressed if I had to live under them. But I do have a problem with the interpretation that the norms exist, that the intent behind them is, to unjustly repress women for men's benefit. If male authority derives from a transfer of burdens and responsibilities from females to males, then the intent behind the norms is not misogyny. -- Feminism's primary (sole?) focus, as far as I can see, has been in granting women authority equal to men's, without a corresponding shift of the burdens and responsibilities. The reason behind this is their interpretation of the intent behind the norms, and their narrow interpretation of what constitutes power (at least, the power that matters). They have placed moral judgments on the distribution of power between men and women, rather than viewing them through a lens of dispassionate analysis. The began with the conclusion of injustice against women, and worked backward, looking only at the evidence supporting their conclusion, and reinterpreting all contrary evidence as supporting evidence. Reinterpreting say, paternalism as an intentional strategy to keep women subjugated and maintain male dominance, rather than a means to keep women safe and healthy in harsh or dangerous environments. If you look at both of these explanations of the intent behind paternalism, you will see that the first interpretation imputes a malfeasant and dastardly intent on the male, while the other does not. Guess which one is the feminist interpretation?'
feminism  ideology  victimhood  men  women  entitlement  solipsism 
4 weeks ago
The Rational Male -- Queens, Workers & Drones
'From the Paradox of Commitment: The idea is that commitment should only have meaning in a feminine defined reality. Ironically, it’s Men who commit far more readily to ideals, family, military, business ventures or partnerships, and servitude than women have the capacity to appreciate, because recognizing this doesn’t serve their imperative. In other words, a commitment to anything that doesn’t directly benefit the feminine isn’t commitment; answer? Redefine commitment to reflect feminine interests. -- One thing that needs to be understood about women’s innate feminine solipsism is how it’s expressed on a meta-scale. It’s very easy to observe and consider individual examples of women’s subconscious sense of self-importance (read any comment from women on a manosphere blog), but what most men aware of this phenomenon don’t consider is how this solipsism scales up to the larger social narrative. -- ...Millions of women solipsistically expressing the demands that would ensure a secure hypergamy for themselves makes for a fem-centric social narrative. And from this develops an expectation of, and entitlement to a default, secured commitment to satisfying women’s hypergamic impulses. -- #Selective Breeding: So powerful is this sense of entitlement, so consuming and convinced of the correctness of their purpose is the feminine that women will literally breed and raise generations of men to better satisfy it. Hypergamy is cruel, but nowhere more so than in the relationship between a mother overtly raising and conditioning a son to be a better servant of the feminine imperative. -- But to breed a better worker, the feminine imperative’s queens can’t afford to have any corrupting, masculine, outside influence. On a societal scale this might mean removal (either by disincentives or forcibly) of a father from the family unit, but this is the easy, extreme illustration. There are far more subtle social and psychological means that the imperative uses to effect this filtering – via mass media, social doctrines, appeals to (feminized) morality, the feminine is placed as the correct imperative while the masculine is filtered out or apologetically tolerated as vestiges of an immature and crude reminder of masculinity’s incorrectness. -- Yet for all of this social engineering Hypergamy still demands satisfaction of women’s most base imperative, Alpha seed. The queens need physically / psychologically dominant drones – if just for a season and at their ovulatory pleasure. While beta workers are endlessly vetted in sisyphean tasks of qualifying for the acceptance of the feminine imperative, the Alpha drones live outside this shell; their qualifications only based on how well they satisfy the feminine’s visceral side of hypergamy. -- The great irony of this social solution to hypergamy and long term parental investment is that the vast majority of the offspring of this arrangement would be raised to be better workers. Those betas-to-be boys must be insulated from the corrupting influence of the drones lest they devolve into the Alphas they crave yet cannot control. It may seem counterintuitive, to raise what should ostensibly be optimized genetic stock as a cowed, sometimes medically restrained, feminized beta males. However it is through this harsh conditioning that truly dominant Alphas must rise above. Essentially the genetic lottery isn’t won by women in such a social environment – it’s men, or the ones who rise above in spite of the conditioning efforts of the feminine imperative. -- #Generation AFC: We’re just now seeing the results of almost three generations of this selective breeding effort. While women bleat and bemoan, “Man Up!” over the lack of suitable men to meet both their hypergamy and their provisioning, they only grind their teeth at the results of a social momentum set in motion by women two or three generations before them. While more boys are raised to pee sitting down by women concerned that their sons’ testosterone poisoning will make him a potential rapist, the fewer and fewer “suitable” males present themselves 20 years later.'
men  women  solipsism  hypergamy  sociology 
4 weeks ago
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