[First draft] Starting with the article I wrote “for my sister”, a new fire seems to have ignited inside me.
At Reboot11, joining the discussion after the talks in the workshop “future building for WikiCrats” (organized by Nadia El Imam) and discussions after other things are merging as well and the past days I seem to be talking about nothing else.
One returning thing is the body/mind connection. Apparently Plato is to thank for the idea that the sexual, animal and sensual part of our human state is best to be repressed. See this short reference. Another returning thing is the idea that we are economical, rational beings. See this reference to get more info about that. A third one is based on the theory that people need governance not to fall into a state of chaos, rape and murder, “a war against all” as Hobbes believed.
With these ideas as a basis you can build a society where i.e.:
- It is preferable to learn how to repress any bodily sensation and focus on the development of your rational thinking
- People perceive themselves and their decisions as rational and where emotions are considered to be a nuisance you rather avoid. Especially the “lower” or “negative” ones.
- Sex could be considered as a functional activity only: to procreate in order to prevent our human species from extinction
- The government is essential to watch over us all and tell us what choices, rules and behaviors are best to live by
As an effect:
- Play might be considered as a lower rate activity. It is neither economical, nor rational and therefore useless for your adult life and merely useful for recreational purposes.
- To feel emotions and understand and explore your own body and sensory/bodily experiences might be considered to be a lower rate activity and maybe even something to stay away from, as the body and our emotions is part of our animal nature and not rational.
- To explore play and the exploration of bodily experiences and expression of sensuality might be considered childish, irresponsible, strange, maybe even harmful (seductive, disobediant, disruptive) to them/ourselves and others and something that should be corrected.
- The government might be allowed to lay any rule upon us as they deem just. Furthermore this government might even be allowed to interfere with isseus on very low levels, write rules like: “how to sell an orange to a customer” and create subrulings like: “How to sell an orange to a customer which has an income above the local avarage income” and “How to sell an orange to a customer which has been ill the day before.”
Here are eight of the items I shared with others this past week:
- Emotional confusion regarding sensuality and sexuality: by only having a limited “language” for the different emotions and bodily experiences it is hard to create a clear space to the different variations on love, lust, endearment, feelings of bonding, feelings of warmth. Imagine a space in your mind where you can completely enjoy all the feelings you can experience for someone else, without holding back, and shine. Where it is normal to fall in love with a stranger three times a day, never see that person again in your life and be totally happy with it.
- Western society and retarded views regarding female-, male- AND homosexuality: women in Western society have for a long time been preferably regarded as “subordinate to male sexuality” which can even lead to the idea that rape is allowed under certain circumstances. Until 1973 homosexuality was officially considered to be a mental disorder (see reference here). Masturbation has been considered “wrong” and “taboo” until the late 60’s (read more about this and “medical” points of view here) and has sadly been a very obscure thing for woman. (Quoting an article on BBC Home to state the basics: In fact, a great deal of the problem with women’s sexual gratification is their own general ignorance of the anatomy involved. A woman who is totally unacquainted with her own body is relatively unlikely to find someone capable of satisfying her, even to her own apparently inferior standards.)
- The misconception regarding the differences between men and woman: we used to think women were very emotional, where men were rational, men were practical and woman were not, woman can not handle money where man could, women could not organize or magage things and events where men could, women could never be good scientists/leaders/teachers/programmers where men could (do you start to see a pattern here?) in fact most men are hardly rational in their own decisions, fail to organize and be organized over and over again and can be easily surpassed in leadership by woman. When you start to look further, you will find more and more that most if not all of the “differences” which are related to emotion, cognition and mental abilities are simply biased bullshit either way around.
- The position of women in Western society: while pointing fingers at Muslim societies, it is only since the 1980′ that Western society started to drop their own sexist preconceptions and a male dominated society started to view women as possible equals in some professional fields. Still, even by “modern” men, women still are viewed as less than equals due to the remnants of our social- and cultural programming.
- Humans as social, empathic, pain-avoiding and problem solving animals versus Hobbes and co.: I believe our social wiring, our ability to mimic and simulate the emotions of others (empathy) and our strive for an easier and more pleasant and pleasing life are the returning elements in any developed society and civilization. Pain here is wider than the physical “ow!” pain. It also includes boredom, trouble, problems, abuse and the feeling of lonelyness, lack and loss.
- Schooling is killing creativity in children: Our current way of public education – in my opinion – uses the factory model of production, production units and quality measurement. Each year a specific target needs to be reached. This target consists of an X amount of children being able to reproduce specific knowledge according to one specific model and standard. It is linear and limited in what it offers. In this system, your conformity and your skills to reproduce are rewarded highest. Creativity and alternate thinking are mostly considered disruptive.
- The world as fluid and constantly changing: We tend to assume that the world and things happening in this world are quite linear and therefore predictable, where it is not. Our reality is so complex, with so many factors, forces, fields and elements interacting, that any attempt to find, create or enforce an all enveloping order is doomed to fail. You can not freeze a moment and make it everlasting. Plans you made yesterday already might need change today. As a result we are constantly improvising.
- Schooling based on improvisation, play, discovery, negotiation and coached self-education as a basis: We remember best what is most relevant to us. We solve problems by searching for solutions. When you look at children and adults still in the process of play, in most cases they start investigating the things they are interested in automatically. When they have been tought to think from open spaces and possibities they will use improvisation to solve the problems they encounter.
Tame your horses
We were tought to “tame the horses”. Be strong. Manage your emotions. Don’t cry. Do not ask questions. Obey the rules. But against what price? And do our “horses” need to be “tamed” or is “taming the horses” a flawed model based on the wrong preconceptions?
Set your horses free
I believe horses should be free. They will not rape each other, nor take each others rights to claim their place in an endless and abundant world, nor die because I am not there to feed them. I think the horses will find their own ways and start to shine and be happy and will be running around and create new beauty just by what they are.
To believe in old systems that do put not trust in human nature is strange. I rather take the ones that believe in the good qualities we have.
Utopia does not exist, but we can certainly do much better regarding our own development as an emotinal and intelligent, social and empathic animal then we do now.
Additional to item 5:
In general we try to create solutions to solve the problems we encounter and gain a new level of stability. Our empathy allows us to feel for other people and feel sorry for other people so that their problems become part of something we want to solve ourselves. Our social component makes that we enjoy being with other people and preferrably people we like (avoidance of “pain” again) and also why many societies and groups within societies are starting as self-organizing before becoming organized and governed and why governments have no need at all to be “big brother” or our “big mom and big dad”. (We sometimes tend to forget that people in the government are just as stupid and dumb and short sighted and human as we and our neighbors are).
Additional to item 8:
Most scientists from the current and old days in my view simply continued and continue their play, their daydreaming and their skills for improvisations in combination with – in many cases self-tought – systematic and methodic approaches to solve problems and manifest their fantasies (objects, machines, computer programs, movies, books, calculations, formula’s and so on) into this world. Where I think play and curiousity is our natural way to learn, via request based coaching we can hand the kids tools to focus this natural play into more systematic ways where suddenly the scale of things are increased. The further development of natural negotiation can help kids reaching goals they alone woult never reach. And even the “soft” kids interested suddenly can learn mathematics and physics when you connect it to something relevant like that “the seeds of a sunflower are organized according to the Fibunacci range” and that by knowing that “human limbs are restricted to specific physicallimitations” you can optimize these movements and even invent new ways of moving.