title: The Human Conditioned (meme)
title: Literacy Prison And The Atrophy Of Critical Thinking
Language is a tattoo on our brains that we did not consent to.
Generally Spoken Language. Perhaps the ability to speak and understand oral language is a gift—as it is now an important aspect of accessing a nurturing community during, but most especially after, childhood. Unfortunately, language also is a gift to the state and other coercive entities, as these now have a pre-formatted body on which to exert calculated domination over. It is a narrowing in to a formalism the avenues by which communication can travel; language leads to massive and unnecessary brain pruning as it happens before there are much of any contrasting experience from which to draw meaning of the repeated utterances. If mothers and others sang more in the presence of the wonderful new life inside of her belly, rather than opt for the harsher communication methods of arbitrarily uttered and normalized homotonic language, think of how much more of a pre-figuration of joyousness would come along with the new born baby. The bars of disharmony that cage the songless bird are sown early before flight could be attempted.
Specifically Written Language (neo-language). Less shrouded in pre-historical and pre-agricultural uncertainty is written language, which is far more nefarious than the less mediated spoken language, albeit built atop its prefigurations. Eyes evolved for seeing are utilized more and more for reading symbols, the problems with this evidenced by a multi-century trend of weakening eyes due to atrophy (and a poorer diet as a contributing factor, and lack of sunlight, which is typical of science studies missing the forest for a tree). Weaker eyes is not an isolated effect of literacy, for the whole body is effected in a myriad of ways when imposed upon by words and other symbols. The “keep off” sign trying to assert the power of property to narrow the motion of literate peoples, has no effect on the illiterate person who has additional freedoms of roaming; one’s name on a teacher’s board is itself an indicator and a means of punishment or reward, a conditioning that bemoans of the manipulation of domesticated dogs.
Rules and laws generally, which are the paper-trail burdens that the youth must inherit from their olders who think they are bestowing them with an accumulating progress, are a great disservice to the critical faculties of humanity; the vector by which this plagues is primarily enabled is written symbolic language. Some rules will block freedom in the name of safety (i.e. the “keep off” sign) but really what is created is a lack of vigilance that leaves “the benefactors” of the rule with their guards down for many but the most obviously dangerous situations; the illiterate roamer, a rarity these days, is alternatively much more used to being aware of his surroundings and much more ready to detect danger, sign or no sign. There is an insidious assumption on the part of the less vigilant—behind which there have been no less than millions of deaths—that since so many different things have danger and caution statements, that those things and situations without such stated warnings are automatically safe and have been somehow already vetted.
To continue with the safety theme that serves as one main justification of laws and rules, it is in contrast with the much more naturally dangerous and much more naturally safe world prior to rule-overload that the world now filled with artificial safety regulations is a poor trade; things clearly and preventably dangerous are traded off for a series of questionable, dubious forays that have guarantees issued by faulty human oversight (which allows for a continuation of the stream of unfortunate victims to the mis-regulation by reliance on laws). We are in the world of infrastructurally induced paranoia than naturally effervescent pronoia, and the whole is resultantly weakened.
The Symbolic Realm Blunts Critique. Critical faculties atrophy as a direct correlation with literacy, I would argue, and it is a deal of an effort to ensure that critical faculties are reactivated and sharpened using the literacy faculties. Critical thinking can be taught using symbolic texts, but it is not because of these texts that it is enshrined and the leap across the chasm is not necessitated by any teleological force, but a free choice that coincides with the inherent freedom of critical thought. Critical thinking is the spine of the long lineage of humans and pre-human lifeforms that have successfully continued their lines in to the present precisely because they were able to see through and think through traps, scams, ensnarements that would have weakened or killed them off were they not able to. The imaginative and artistic capacities evolved within all of us—obvious in children before they are educated out of it as Picasso famously lamented—are foundational to critical thinking. Without any ability to envision an alternative (or a counter-history), a critique has no base from which to leap off from, and a criticism only exists as a grumble rather than an agent of change; Paul Valery nicely captures this when he offers “naming the things that are absent is breaking the spell of the things that are”. Mainstay schooling that most of us undergo often instructs neatly formed methodologies that must be adhered to, and, in so doing, critical thinking cannot be supported but must atrophy for want of expression. While science and math are requisites, creative writing is an elective few any longer elect; and creating thinking is an art few can any longer select.
title: Anthropomorphization And Similar Symptoms
Imbuing non-human entities and beings with humanness—whether encountered in fictive poetry/prose, or in the crude form of calling trains “Thomas” and “Percy” with faces painted on—are attempts to fill deep voids that humans are sensitive to in our interaction with the world. The widespread use and independent origination in different cultures of anthropomorphism is indicative of a lack of actual deep human interaction (quality) spread across enough persons (quantity), something that advancing civilization seems to rob us of. All of us who are Cast Away via alienation with a less than sufficient amount of tribal-level intimate relations will create or subscribe to as many “Wilsons” as needed to make up for the lack we feel. “Wilsons” can drop out as we mature and be replaced with other “Wilsons”, whether they be new anthropomorphisms or actual people that we can idolize but are not truly interacting with (i.e. television show hosts).
A fiction I tell myself for psychological benefit (when I have the thought and focus to do so) is that the piece of red meat I am cutting and chewing and swallowing, was from a hunt that I went on earlier that day (a group hunt or solo). I imagine it was done with primitive weapons in a completely non-domesticated setting, and I imagine the animal alive while I/we were tracking it. Intuitively I think that this flight of imagination is mentally healthy, and an additional appeal is that it constitutes a break of the absurd western moral code of intentionally bearing false witness, or a supposed weakness that is presumed when one lies to oneself. If our primal wanderings can have a refuge in our minds, than lets keep the torch alive there while we work out some possibilities for nomadic living outside of our minds!
title: Civilization Trapped (meme)