Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Subtractive interpretations, Simple minded extrapolations, this and a $1 will get you an inexpensive beverage.

"Subtractive interpretation:" is the basis for how we perceive everything. I know that humans filter input in order to survive, probably every living thing does. Plants accept certain wavelengths of light in order to photosynthesize and reflect others, that's why they are green. Animals have sensitivy to the olfactory and visual signatures of prey, predators and poisonous non-prey.

In addition, actual senses have been evolved in order to increase senstitivity to certain input so that it is more difficult to ignore, and decrease senstivity to other input in order to prevent overload. So filters are applied at a hardware sensory/biological level and at a software psychological/social level.

People "see what they want to see" because what they want to see has been conditioned into them. The concept of who and what attempts to control this condition and for what purpose is the source of a lot of conspiracy theories about capital "T" Them, and there are various unsavory aspects to how conditioning is applied in advertising in an attempt to drive consumer behavior, but the fact is that the application of these subtractive filters is essential to being functional and it happens constantly, for the simple fact that not everything can be as important as everything else.

Society also strongly encourages certain filters based on a person's role. A young person may be encouraged to sleep and eat well and to be extremely active and "industrious" when awake, in order to maximize the potential for successful material endeavours. They are encouraged to be socially interactive and inculcated with an elaborate set of rules for interactions. The reason for this is to be materially prepared for social engagement which leads to marriage. "Engagement" is a word presenting the image of gears whirling, then synchronizing, then finally meshing in the industry of marriage.The whirling man gear synchronizes with the whirling woman gear and they exchange and potentiate power, which in turn is conveyed along various pathways to society as a whole, particularly through financial driveshafts as they merge and divert resources in order to fulfill family pattern programming. But point this out to the couple planning to be married, they see none of this is happening, they are simply fulfilling their wish to be married and you are being a nuisance. Then, once they are married and have their first child, they are not able to sleep or eat well despite the fact that their industry is required to work even more effectively due to this utterly unproductive new consumer, and to point that out would render you callous and unfeeling for cute little babies.

But that is the point of some of this conditioning, is that it is exactly "right" up til the point to which it achieves it's goal, and then it is oddly meaningless and no longer useful. Extrapolated absurdly, all of the conditioning that may have assured you wild success as a human in society becomes worthless on your deathbed while your sled is being burned in the big fireplace.

I think that electronic music, of course especially industrial music, expresses this well in an abstract way, with a good level of irony. I understand that electronic music for most people who like it is what they just dance to while they are pursuing their own programmed desires for various things that have more to do with their social conditioning, but to me the appeal of the sounds is this reminder, and the experimentation with it is a way to get outside and redefine the filters that separate "noise" from "music". Maybe being creative, being an artist is a large part of that, recognizing the filters, taking them in hand and adjusting them, showing people that they are there, and presenting that realization.

And there is a biological mechanic in all of this. The woman has biochemical programming to attract a male in order to produce and rear offspring, and the male has biochemical programming to mate. The institutions of macro society apply a great deal of effort in controlling this programming in order to bring about the previously described meshing because of course it a) generates big dollars and b) ensures the continuity of (a), but there is tradition and family and all the rest as well.

We tend to think of certain primitive cultures as being archetypical and "pure" models of early societies. with the "simple" building blocks of individual, family, clan and tribe. The gears and shafts are less complex, the goals fewer and more essential. An individual is enmeshed into family automatically, his role is imparted, and he or she fills it. The role one plays in the family depends on gender and order of birth. The range of societal roles individuals and families plays in the scheme of clan and tribe are more limited and the benefits are clearer:  procuring food, providing physical security, preparing food, and participating in making decisions are activities that everyone participates in and has knowledge of. Specialized roles and people providing training in these are limited:  treating illness, conducting ceremonies, creating tools and artifacts. But even so, there is a significant amount of cultural and social training and programming that occurs within this "simple" model: everyone has a set of taboos, hierarchies, and rules of conduct that they must adhere to. It's a big deal to start a family.

What is "the state of nature"?  Ok, Adam and Eve story, where there are two people and one rule (which the two people ultimately break, but that is literally another story). All Adam was supposed to do was to name things, and all Eve was supposed to do was to multiply. They had one rule, not to eat the fruit from a certain tree. We literally, positively absolutely don't know why they weren't supposed to eat that fruit, and neither Adam or Eve asked God why and we can't trust the devil's veracity (by definition of that character) as to the reason.The story has been twisted in popular interpretation, negative filtering/reconstruction in full force, to indicate that the first two humans didn't have 'carnal knowledge' prior to eating the apple and that is what they got from eating it, but that is utter bullshit: it is very clear that they are told before all of that to "be fruitful and multiply" if you read just the beginning of the story it is an easy proof.

But the idea here is that is as simple as it gets, one rule, and one goal per person. It seems that, maybe, had the one rule not been broken, after Adam and Eve reproduced, their offspring would share their relationship with God and get similar instruction on what their one task would be.

Modern people don't like the story of Adam and Eve, because it is not scientifically viable and people get angry at people who keep insisting it is, and I get a little angry at them too because I think they're being stupid, it's not the point of the story to provide an accurate actual account of primordial history.

It's a great story, because taking it apart provides so much for thought. For example, was Adam and Eve's _real_ sin to not ask the angel who delivered the warning about not eating the fruit "why can't we eat the fruit?" Just think, if they asked "Ok, we hear the punishment is bad, but why can't we eat the fruit?" At that point, the Creator had just got done doing beautiful, amazing creating and was being very loving and cordial, and seemed very happy with them. Seems like he would have told them. Maybe they would have been satisfied.

But the whole point of course is to demonstrate human nature. No matter how many kids Adam and Eve might've had, you'd be reading begetting afer begetting thinking "any minute now, one of these bastards is going to eat the fruit and boy, we'll find out if it really does do [whatever]" because you know human nature. I really enjoy thinking about that story, so much happens there. The whole idea of two simple people being in contact with the Creator and still ignoring what he said seems at once so stupid of them and still so accurate.

Here's another extrapolation, if the role of "Eves" is to convince "Adams" to do evil's bidding, then do Adams ever owe Eves anything? All of the excuses for every cruel thing ever done to any woman right there in that interpretation, and it is the example of the negative effect of biased religious interpretations in a nutshell, plucking one thing out of context and magnifying it. That's another reason modern people don't like the whole notion, it makes me mad too.

Another extrapolation, less extreme, let's see: if Adam was a modern man, and Eve did something to cause him to lose his nice place to live, go from being literally the richest a man could be in the world and ruined his stature forever, would he stay with her? I mean, Eve basically does something that you'd say "if you were the last woman on earth I wouldn't hang out with you" and she IS the last woman on earth, (the only woman) and she talks him into screwing up EVERYthing. But... he not only stays with her but has kids with her. What an IDIOT. And they are a super dysfunctional family: one of his sons kills his other son, and of course it is hard to ignore the whole inbreeding implication. As long as you're inbreeding and killing, throw that bitch Eve off a cliff for destroying your life and marry one of your daughters, hell marry them all if you want. An entire Jerry Springer season right there.

Nobody seems to question why they stayed together, though, and it tends to resonate with an idea Adam was a really a nice guy who was just a little gullible, and that he understands that Eve was really pretty much the same way. Other than screwing up the prospect of eternal Paradise on Earth for all of humankind they are mostly a lovable couple. It was the serpent's fault after all, to trick Eve just to put us where we are today. It seems easier for me to get mad at Eve, or at Adam for being coerced by Eve. That's interesting, I tend not to get mad at the serpent, who is really the enemy here, making up stories that intentionally mislead people.

Anyway, if you have a $1 you can get an inexpensive beverage now.


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