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Orwell
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10 Jul 2009, 5:14 pm

0_equals_true wrote:
A lot. We tend to forget we are still animals, just because we can write rants doesn’t change that fact. Chimps are our ancestors we share behaviour of both chimps and bonobos.

[nitpick]Technically, chimps are not our ancestors, we share a common ancestor with them. More accurate would be to refer to them as our siblings or cousins.[/nitpick]


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10 Jul 2009, 5:21 pm

Orwell wrote:
0_equals_true wrote:
A lot. We tend to forget we are still animals, just because we can write rants doesn’t change that fact. Chimps are our ancestors we share behaviour of both chimps and bonobos.

[nitpick]Technically, chimps are not our ancestors, we share a common ancestor with them. More accurate would be to refer to them as our siblings or cousins.[/nitpick]

Yes that is true we are closer to bonobos, we diverged from their ancestors.



Sand
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10 Jul 2009, 11:39 pm

It is, I suppose, somewhat comforting to assess the psychology of bonobos in an attempt to find the roots of human mentality but all of us have our roots in some kind of wave riding slime at the dawn of life and whether this was psychologically defective is rather difficult to determine. I would gauge the the current batch of politicians and business leaders are not terribly different mentally from the original slime.



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11 Jul 2009, 6:37 am

0_equals_true wrote:
Yes that is true we are closer to bonobos, we diverged from their ancestors.


At the deep cellular level the animal that humans most closely resemble is the swine. That is why swine parts are used to replace worn out valves in our hearts. George Orwell (Eric Blaire) rightly chose the swine as his new ruling class in -Animal Farm-.

In the South Sea Islands were humans were sometimes the main item on the dinner menu, they were referred to as Long Pig.

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11 Jul 2009, 6:42 am

Sand wrote:
It is, I suppose, somewhat comforting to assess the psychology of bonobos in an attempt to find the roots of human mentality but all of us have our roots in some kind of wave riding slime at the dawn of life and whether this was psychologically defective is rather difficult to determine. I would gauge the the current batch of politicians and business leaders are not terribly different mentally from the original slime.

It is defective to say that out behaviour is a direct commutation with the past. That was a field that was popular in the 70s and before, but has been widely criticized. 'throwback' psychology. Like saying an office worker is being the hunter, etc.

Instead you can look at other animals, to see how they behave in a more practical sense, taking into consideration their environment and what could be the motivating factors.



syzygyish
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11 Jul 2009, 7:05 am

0_equals_true wrote:


Instead you can look at other animals, to see how they behave in a more practical sense, taking into consideration their environment and what could be the motivating factors.


So how do you observe the motivation of psychopaths?


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11 Jul 2009, 8:23 am

syzygyish wrote:
So how do you observe the motivation of psychopaths?

In a way psychopathic traits are not that unusual if you look at other animals, at least on a superficial level. However their motivation appears to primary about mating, food, and social status.

It is important not to get bogged down in psychiatric definitions, because you could say that sociopath and psychopath are very close in that respect if not interchangeable in diagnostic manuals. However this is all pseudo-science, arbitrary checklists with little rhyme or reason for those particular requirements (and yes I even think this is true of the diagnosis of Aspeger’s or other ASD).

Psychiatry does not concern itself with collecting the masses of data that is required to analyse human behaviour, or scientifically based observations. They do acknowledge the spectral nature of things but almost nothing they do reflects this. They arbitrarily decide that one condition excludes another, or they could be co-morbid on a whim. They are confused mostly because of their contradictory definitions. That is why ever odder, and vaguer sounding definitions are emerging all the time like “Nuero-psychiatric disorder”, that basically don’t mean anything.

For me the starting point for understanding behaviour is stimulus->response. There was a study that showed people who enjoy gambling, showed activity in the brain with fMRI scan in the same location as those who like donating money to charity, and those that are amorous or aroused. In other words the pleasure centres of the brain. It feels good.

Serial killers, unlike in the movies, often can go long period of time without killing, but tend to kill when their life is not going so well. So they are compelled strongly, or may get sadistic enjoyment. There is not reason for a psychopath to be a particular type of killer such as spree, serial, genocidal, etc.

So for the sake of argument we are talking about genocidal killers. I think they enjoy that they can completely wipe out a particular group. Not only that they can control other people so they don’t have do it themselves. They are motivated by the fact it make them feel powerful, I think. There is also some documentary evidence that, they are can be very paranoid and insecure, so making themselves feel powerful can be uplifting. Even their closest confidant wouldn’t necessarily know the real reason why they are doing it though. Hitler had a basic plan, whereas Himmler was obsessed with Aryan mysticism, which was a useful device to unite the Third Reich. Hitler has showed no interest in this subject prior to this. I’m not even sure if it actually matter to them which group of people they choose to have annihilated. But excising mechanism and predeceases are important tools.

It would perhaps be more meaningful to understand why people are so obsessed with things like nationalism, race and religion/mysticism, etc. I think those this have very primal reasons, but manifest themselves in a modern way.

Anyway, from studies on people with head injuries, the ability to sympathise is linked to the fontal lobe. There have been some brain scans of people who are in prison for multiple murders, however it is not exactly easy to get them to cooperate, and even though they may appear to show some sort of difference in the frontal lobe, it is still early days as to what that amounts to.

This is what I'm saying about people not doing things for selfless reason, and this absolutely includes the Mother Teresa’s of this world. She had her own interests too.