[T]he more free riding you suppress, the more productivity that you enforce. And northern europeans simply suppressed more free riding than any other people.
What we resent is that physical effort is more costly to the individual than intellectual effort, and that intellectual effort is much more productive and scarce than physical effort.
Andy Curzon Yes and yes.
June 15 at 4:10pm · Like
Andy Curzon One of the reasons why intellectual effort is becoming more ‘productive’ and physical less is the pairing of technological improvements in machinery (reducing the production per unit of one man’s labour) and the internet is allowing for people like you and I getting hold of more intelligent perspectives at the click of a button than our predecessors.
June 15 at 4:12pm · Unlike · 1
Curt Doolittle Agreed. I just couldn’t afford to spend all the time in libraries AND run a business. Whereas, I can pretty much remain connected to the internet twenty four hours a day, and use every available moment to work.
June 15 at 4:20pm · Like · 1
Michael Philip what are the views of northern europeans on women and marriage?
June 15 at 4:23pm · Like
Curt Doolittle Michael Philip : I don’t understand the question…..
June 15 at 5:27pm · Like
Michael Philip eh, ok i mean what the views on sexuality and/or marriage in that part of the world as compared to say the USA
June 15 at 5:27pm · Like
Curt Doolittle Hmm…. Vews vs practices. Words mean nothing. Views are used to justify practices. Practices are habituated (traditional) normative. Practices are demonstrated preferences (truths).
Read this for a summary of Emmanuel Todd’s work on the invention of europe and different family systems.
Search for “Hanjal Line” and read on that.
Read this post on the american nations.
You’lll see that there are a number of basic subcultures in the USA that reflect dominant areas of emigration from europe to the states, and that these practices and corresponding moral codes remain intact over generations.
June 15 at 7:10pm · Like
Andy Curzon — ‘Practices are demonstrated preferences (truths).’ —
But it is also true to say that I can not look backwards at time as it was before video cameras even though I know that a man would still be killed by a dozen bullets through the brain. I have not experienced this but I know it to be true. Of course this ‘true’ has an ‘if’ contingent – if the man’s head is blown to bits then it is true that he will not go on living – but this makes it no less true hypothetically. It is useful to be able to view things from both these worlds, not putting one above the other but seeing them in parallel.
So are we splitting ‘true’ into two categories rather than confining it to what can be seen and measured?
From another angle, could defining what is ‘true’ as what can be observed physically not be constricting theory and it’s use within both understanding and application?
It seems to me a little like two people from different countries arguing that their language is easier to converse in.
I am all for ‘words mean nothing’ in regards to changing the shape of things in an instant, but they themselves (as sounds wave interpreted between people) do lead to actions. So to view the words in a slice of still time may be a mistake…not that you do.
June 15 at 7:18pm · Edited · Like
Curt Doolittle The word ‘know’ is term of obscurantism. Knowing is an experience, not an action. What action is any such ‘knowledge’ an experience of?
You mean, I suspect, that given your multitude of experiences, that yet another experience of the same, will correspond to the same cause and effect. And that you are wiling to gamble significant risk on this. (Despite the fact that people have survived many shots to the head…. )
You are willing to refer to a thing as a table because all other things you have called a table share properties.
That is all that you are saying.
The only way to judge your question of truth is cost. If you will die that cost is high. You only ‘know’ what you are willing to demonstrate that you know. Everything else is a matter of relative costs.
June 15 at 7:21pm · Like
Curt Doolittle Certain Deduction requires that sufficient informatin is present to yield the deduction. We can deduce (know) many things. However, our claim to degree of ‘knowledge’ is merely an empty verbalism without costs.
Distance in space for example, is not measurable without velocity. But on earth, at human scale, we do not consider velocity a property of distance. in mathematics we do not either. We assume infinite velocity of all statements.
We cannot confused ignored informatino useful in a given context, with the fact that we can merely ignore it given the context.
June 15 at 7:24pm · Like
Andy Curzon If considering hypothetical situations (and the ‘future’ in general) has been one of the major contributors to saving, investing and productivity increases it seems there is a great cost to confining or constricting this ‘if-then true’ verbalisms into the pseudoscience or tautology venn diagram.
What I mean to ask really is what is the point of this distinction in the first place? And is this aim malleable, or does it even matter that ‘the law of marginal diminishing returns’ could in fact be improved upon? I.e.: the human construction is no less useful simply because a better explanation has been presented. Things are only improved with correct information and applied hypothetical analysis. Of course ‘degree of knowledge’ is that thing we are always blind to as humans but this takes nothing away from the fact that it is useful to be aware of these verbalisms. So then why would we call them ’empty verbalisms’ if they are practically useful?
Lots of questions, I am struggling through analysis of that Hoppe essay so this is my break!
June 15 at 7:37pm · Like
Curt Doolittle Utilitarianism vs truth then? Knowledge of use (Utility) rather than knowledge of construction (truth)?
I think you might be getting distracted (as were physicists and mathematicians) between the utility of an imprecise concept as a general rule, and a statement of truth and apodictic certainty. Knowledge sufficient for action is not knowledge sufficient for truth claims. A monkey can use a stick. It means nothing.
The underlying argument upon which all this continental justification and cosmopolitan critique is suppose to defend, is the statement that economics is not empirical (observational) and therefore experimentation is unnecessary. Whereas, the evidence is that economics is empirical because most economic phenomenon are emergent and not deducible from first principles.
My counter argument is that if we cannot EXPLAIN phenomenon as rational human actions (OPERATIONS) then we cannot lay claim to understanding the phenomenon. Worse, that we cannot see what thefts and redistributions are conducted without that. ie: we cannot tell if an economic phenomenon is moral or not.
Worse, if it is immoral, it is a lost opportunity for exchange, more so than merely an immoral theft. That is to say,t hat the transfer could be conducted by transparent voluntary means, not by involuntary and obscurant means – if the recipient was forced to provide something in return: namely, adherence to preferred norms.
June 15 at 7:48pm · Like
Andy Curzon Got it. I think the reason why continental justification went in that direction was to explain away the logic behind redistribution. Economics is both observational in the experience sense and partly ‘a priori based’ in the personal consideration sense. This is no small point. I have not explained it well yet. But I think it is all about the complexity of inter-personal considerations. I can be clearer on my future when it contains only me and the few objects I need to survive, but as soon as another person enters the scene one must learn more and more through observation to become more and more accurate, always adapting.
In an odd sort of way the more ‘rules’ (or tools) one creates for oneself to live by (mathematics, logic, concept of gravity, concept of energy, space and time, etc) the easier it is to learn and adapt, but it inverts when it comes to co-operation. Nothing is to be presumed and as little is to be assumed as possible or these pseudosciences proliferate.
So your counter argument is within the framework of co-operation (or consideration between people), rather than personal reflection or understanding of reasons behind one’s own choice.
If I am vaguely on track here then things are good. Plug in any gaps where possible. This seems to be the only position I can be square with having read this quote a few pages from the Hoppe essay I sent you:
— ‘…as the foundation of the law of demand, this law of marginal utility then follows directly from the undeniably true proposition that every actor always prefers what satisfies him more over what satisfies him less.’ —
We would both agree that this ‘undeniably true’ is based on an a priori proposition: basically that people always act in line with their preferences. The fact that that proposition can only be shown through action does not mean that it is sometimes not true (and renders the conception of falsification in this instance irrelevant). Surely this is the simplest ‘if-then true’ with regard people: that if we act, then we show our priorities. The information is gathered through observation but the premise is created entirely independently from measurement or inter-personal experience (i.e.: if I thought of it, you would not necessarily and in every case know it through looking at me, or even observing me act).
Once again this shows the importance/use/possible subjective value/desire of/for both these verbalisms (which I am sorry, but they are not ’empty’ by any standards but by those of a dogmatist) which can be shown themselves through observation and measurement by the fact that they have been created, are being used, are still being constructed today and will be for the remainder of our species’ existence, now that we have the cognitive scope to deal with such tools. And to be more clear, I am not stating that something is intrinsically useful because people think it is, merely that, rationally, when people continue in a direction of thought or action they are showing themselves to value this thought process or action, if only to themselves.
So in selling Propertarianism I see how you want to attack rationalism, just as rationalists (infuriatingly) want to attack nihilists and relativists but we must be honest and see that they are all in fact languages of expression. They all have their uses within certain frameworks and it seems far more productive to build a world within it’s own galaxy rather than invest heavily into inter-stellar warfare.
It reminds me of nature and nurture. We know nature is far more effective than nurture despite what ‘evidence’ seems to be presented to the contrary because we know how the human mind works (or at least enough to be confident that we are simply dualistic beings of yes/no, bigger/smaller, happy-yes-attract sad-no-repel mechanisms within our brain). So does it make sense to show how little nurture effects us? Of course not, because there is little doubt that one’s culture and nurture are effective in shaping a character but it will always be constrained by our nature (or cognitive and physical capacity). Interpretation from empirical data is constrained by our rational understanding of the ‘bigger picture’.
To be honest and intelligent one must always interpret some data sometimes, however straightforward it may seem to be, and this is where the constraints of rationality enter the picture. Just as one can not blame Genghis Khan’s culture completely for his raping and killing, to try and pin it all on nature is absurd.
Simply, I can not brush either empiricism or rationalism aside. To even consider them in series is inane because they are parallel viewpoints in very different settings from nature and nurture, but share an amazing expression of our will, as people, to resolve conflict by sitting on one side. They are false dichotomies. As such I am going to be bold and suggest that all the time Hoppe devotes to ‘killing logical positivism’ and all the time you spend knocking down ‘apriorisms’ will serve only to clarify their galaxies and separate them further and more accurately, not invalidate each other. If that is the only purpose then efforts are not wasted. He hates some of the results from taking a dogmatically empirical approach and you dislike some of the results from taking a dogmatically rationalist approach but that, in the nicest possible way, is irrelevant since we are discussing this to further and clarify philosophy, not cloud it in conflict and dogmatism.
June 15 at 9:11pm · Edited · Like
Juan Sebastian Ortiz I agree with the balanced Englishman´s last paragraph. Mind you, Mises was a dualist-Kantian and I think this is what your post gets to. You cannot formulate a representation of being without sensory data but you cannot argue about something relating to internal experiences of human cognition without making reference to your experience of human cognition. This is not a mere neurological process because we do not understand it as a merely neurological process, we understand it because of mirror neurons and the particular structure of the brain, it involves an intuitive insight. Rothbard called himself an empiricist. What I find particularly annoying is that these are nothing but representations of concept in the most Schoppenhauerian sense. It´s a false dichotomy with a cultural background. One is an anthropological-descriptive analysis that is deeply flawed because there are immense tracts of data that do not entail evidence but history, it provides a reference but not a working assumption. The other is a clean cut aim towards internal consistency and external functionality. Where the line that divides them clearly lies is a matter of nothing other than semantic foundations of meaning and what is meaningful. We are not anthropological biologists documenting the specific causes of the untestable. We are probing to integrate in construction. The formulation of empiricism is contradictory as Hoppe has shown but only in its formulation, yet without its formulation we are all cavemen regardless of IQ. A Stirnerian conceptlessness is at best a hallucination. I think it´s a matter of how ¨autistic¨ or explicit you want to get with your representation. Intention is projected in the abstract because those with the ability to accurately represent the world accurately not out of mere malthusian conditions but from true reflective insight were philosophical people. You can call yourself a more cold and honest thinker but the problems we face always are psycho-social or economic-interpersonal not material or academic. Functional universalism or cosmopolitanism is merely the acknowledgement of cost for the introspective mind, you act upon a line of thinking under certain assumptions not mere observations because you need to act and because novelty is virtually exponential however you categorize it so more observations do not necessarily yield more functions but more correlations to other functions. There´s no rationalism without empiricism but there can be empiricism without rationalism and this is completely meaningless, it is a form of pure observation akin to Asian contemplative philosophies. Do you want to find a purely empirical actor whose behavior can be reduced to demonstrated preference? look at a hunter gatherer. Do you want an even more empirical actor? look at a hunter gatherer from the time before language developed. Unfortunately I cannot stop agreeing with Hoppe there are natural elites who have been able to formulate reality in abstract terms, this I think is more refined than we imagined, the kind of natural elite here is not so much a breed of human as a particular luck of the draw within breeds of humans. For everyone else most of these tasks have been ported to the brain and the tribe. This is why the in my opinion the most honest social scientists have been the philosophers, especially the most autistic ones, because they were truly trying to formulate their perception of humanity in the most explicit way starting from the point that they were not themselves like the rest. Yes there´s always a historical precedent for the emergence of conceptual frameworks and here´s where I am most suspicious of Curt(in his attacking Rothbard moreso than Rand) the frameworks that have emerged from social interaction are always those which have been comparatively wrong, shown to be inferior to the analytic narratives of autistic/philosophers and only transitioned when a technological coincidence enabled the tribe to apply the insights of the autists. Only in this consensus model do you see the notion not of inspection for contradiction but of peer review emerge. This sufficient information for survival-cohesion, etc has always been inferior to the intuitive models (plus debugging) of some autistic philosopher or another because their particular perspective that of someone aiming to adapt and understand, which is to say categorical. Forever the tribe simply lagged behind the autistic until the time when something, crop yields, technology, commerce, etc facilitated the propagation of autistic formulations of being-ness. Mathematics, computing, geometry, etc. Human society, as a historical collection of observable anthropological phenomena has been nothing for the most part than the soil for great minds to increast the abstract tool-set of understanding and implement it into production. While this happens average intelligence increases but as Hoppe has pointed out, the relevant warp-speed tipping point is when there´s enough people capable of implementing the autistic formulations of the autistic into the economy. The great man has not been the product of institutions, castes, races or even pressures, it has been the product of a certain happy and tragic insightfulness which involves a luck of the draw statistically more difficult than even cultures are able to produce due to the regression of the mean. I doubt there have even been a million true philosophers in history and I think they were the result of at times accidental in or ex breeding of regressions to a repetitively high mean resulting not from intentional breeding but perhaps from Aristocratic cosmopolitan breeding. My point is, that without these people even the relatively new Lockean-Humean-Baconian-Popperian notions of science(read research and applied technology) could not have been postulated. Is it a false dichotomy? yes but only ¨pure¨ empiricism contradicts itself, pure rationalism in biological terms is probably a different approach to analysis and projection(formulation) from a few individuals ¨like us¨ who make the values for the tribe to use.
June 15 at 10:25pm · Like
Andy Curzon Sebastian, when you write
— ‘Forever the tribe simply lagged behind the autistic until the time when something, crop yields, technology, commerce, etc facilitated the propagation of autistic formulations of being-ness. Mathematics, computing, geometry, etc. Human society, as a historical collection of observable anthropological phenomena has been nothing for the most part than the soil for great minds to increase the abstract tool-set of understanding and implement it into production.’ —
you are defining autistic as simply ‘high capacity to and drive towards application of mind’. Well it is the only thing that makes sense if we see it as a spectrum in which case it is an adapting mutation within the Darwinian evolutionary stairs. Finally we can have an objective basis for the autistic person: one who applies themself with vigour.
This can be considered rationally but not tested because it would involve reading minds. So with the limits of today’s technology in mind, this would be an apt example of when a rational conception can be applied as an objective standard to gain insight into human beings. Again, this can not be measured or tested accurately yet but the premise may yet serve to divide the mover and shakers from the others along the same scale (80% or so) as that of this ‘autism’.
Also, with the last quoted sentence (ending ‘production’) I think you are showing your personal view on production maybe more than epigenetic and cultural development, especially in the past few centuries. To map how these minds have shaped the world is more than to see what they have produced, although to view it from such an angle is of good use in certain circumstances.
June 16 at 12:41am · Edited · Like · 1
Juan Sebastian Ortiz I am not necessarily defining autistic, I could take Curt´s empirical position and then leave autism undefined as a series of more or less traits within a continuum of aspergers and non verbal disorder. What strikes me as evident is that the interesting weirdos of history who indeed applied their minds to things fit these traits which have been collected in ¨diagnosis¨ there´s definitely an overlap.
June 16 at 12:49am · Like
Andy Curzon I wonder, If one would not call the group of people with high IQs a group with a disorder, why could the ‘autism’ or ‘application of mind + cognitive and physical capacity’ spectrum be thought of as so?
The answer may lie in the pairing of focused thought from many an individual with a lack of time and effective effort in understanding social norms, or redefining these norms as to fit their personal perception of the world.
Apparent overlap with traits may simply be an expression of individuality conveyed through, again, a focus on particular fields which often leave the ‘simple’ things in life out. A lot of great thinkers like having receptionists or secretaries to organise their lives because their focus is better directed ‘like an arrow’, as you say Sebastian.
Focus, desire, ability and time combine with the human mind like fillet steak and peppercorn sauce to devastate and redefine what good food ‘really’ is, more and more through time. Whether the offshoot of this is that people are insular or flamboyant, it is the focus of someone’s attention where the energy is being used and as such it may be an idea for it to be the focus of investigation.
June 16 at 3:27am · Like · 1
Michael Philip it seems that extreme empiricism breeds dogmas like the is/ought gap and causality is replaced with metaphysical coincidences (in the case of Hume) while extreme rationalism breeds pure reason which is completely detached from reality. (which Hume also criticized).
June 16 at 3:45am · Edited · Like
Juan Sebastian Ortiz Andy, maybe, maybe, but I advocate us as the norm…as a compromise between testosterone levels, time preference and cognitive ability. The term autistic came from this. This is a perfect example of empiricism gone apeshit bad. All noblesse oblige is filtered out and suddenly every formulation is just a projection of bias. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPgUa_IjW7A
Base: race, sub-racial group and it’s traditions, gender biology. Superstructure… See More
June 16 at 5:11am · Edited · Like · Remove Preview
Andy Curzon Let’s not jump in and use the ‘us’ word with regard to these three things: testosterone, time preference and cognitive ability. To find pairing of people with similar levels in all three would be tough enough, let alone attempting to band all apparent autistics in an ‘us’.
Why is it so tough for me to convince people that this ‘autism’ (especially aspergers) is close to arbitrary, oversimplified and basically fallacious? Investigate what it is really supposed to be and (although some of these can be tough to answer accurately) ask yourself:
1. Are you good at processing and understanding language?
2. Can you understand facial expressions ‘well’?
3. If you play poker, are you better at live poker than internet poker?
4. Do you have an over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to sensations?
5. Do you have trouble communicating?
6. Do you make sense of the world around you differently to others?
And others, but these are the most useful to both categorise one as autistic, and to show how illogical and incorrect the whole generalisation is.
According to modern mainstream if your answer to the top three is no, and the bottom three is yes then you are somewhere on the ‘spectrum’ (how convenient!)..
Here is one of many explanations of this ‘autism’, read the text:
What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person comm… See More
June 16 at 2:11pm · Edited · Like · Remove Preview
Andy Curzon Curt, I am fascinated by what you have to say on all this. If there is one thing I can hopefully show you it is that the classification of autism is more damaging to our understanding of our species than it is helpful, and by a large margin because the whole paradigm is inverted and over-conflated. In one sense, it reminds me of classifying people as confident or introverted across a spectrum: not only is this a false dichotomy but people change with circumstance as one can grow to be more sociable or less ‘autistic’ (or more, but what is this ‘autistic’?!).
Given all this, let’s attend the questions briefly and consider Curt, Sebastian and I, just an an initial consideration. (Marc and Jim, this may interest you, let us know what you think.)
1. (no = ‘autistic’) Are you good at processing and understanding language? Curt, as far as I can tell processes a lot of information pretty efficiently and it would be tough to suggest that he is bad at understanding simple or complex ideas. Sebastian, your English is excellent considering it is not your first language and having explained a lot of complicated topics to you, we have had deep discussions leading me to view your ‘processing and understanding’ of language to be well above average. I would like to think that my understanding of language is also not weak.
2. (no = ‘autistic’) Can you understand facial expressions ‘well’? When Curt met Sean Gabb and I, he said something about being less expressive facially than some but at the same time complimented Sean on his expression, suggesting an awareness, categorisation and recognition at the very least. Sebastian, you seem (to me) to wave in and out of awareness of expression (for awareness may be the first step to ‘understanding’), and I have studied facial expressions (and SMEACs – sub-modal eye action cues) on and off for about ten years so am hyper-aware for things like business trust, poker, spotting lying etc.
3. (no = ‘autistic’) If you play poker, are you better at live poker than internet poker? I don’t know if Curt plays poker. I don’t know whether you prefer online poker or live. I certainly prefer live poker and even consider the layer lost from internet poker enough to deem live poker the best game I have ever played (by a long way) and internet poker as another (subjectively) close-to-time-wasting activity. The main part of the game which appeals to me is the reading of facial expressions which, hopefully, I am reasonable at. This can be shown by long run profit/loss pretty accurately. This, to me, is an excellent consideration because it hits the heart of the apparent similarity between ‘autism sufferers’.
4. (yes = ‘autistic’) Do you have an over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to sensations? This is the biggest trick question because it guides the mind to think of those situations that noise or other sensations have ‘bothered’ us. Curt said that the music in London (not sure where) was too loud for him to concentrate. Sebastian seems mildly ‘over-sensitive’ to attacks on Rothbard (I suppose that is a sensation) but I see no other correlation or visible sign of this at all. I cover my ears when police cars and ambulances pass. But what does this mean? Do we all share a common over-sensitivity or are there reasons why we do these things that are vastly different from each other with almost no connection? Curt likes quiet music because it is easier to concentrate when music (especially with lyrics in the song…phonological loop interruption etc) is quieter, Sebastian protects Rothbard because he has decided this from information given and I cover my ears because I do not want to damage my ears in the long run. These are all decisions made independently and with consideration, not impulsive or ‘necessary’. I will not go on with this since it is mildly barmy to link them any further.
5. (yes = ‘autistic’) Trouble communicating? What does this mean? If I asked whether some had trouble sleeping most people may not sight a few instances but simply say “yes”. Curt writes succinctly but sometimes by-passes explanation to be concise, but he predominantly does this consciously, as far as I can tell. Sebastian, you have said (self-report….problems already with bias either way) that some people say you are verbose and yet I think the opposite along with Sophie and others. So do you communicate too simply, in too complex a manner, both, or neither? Well that is tough to answer and leaves the question hanging without a real answer beyond: all of the above at different times. Just watch your speech at the conference to show that you are an effective communicator. This is why I flew you halfway across the world! And whether I am a good communicator is tough for me to judge but I doubt that I am terrible. Again, I swing between expressive, succinct, moral-based, scientific, logical, etc depending on who I am addressing so to band me into a section here may be unwise.
6. (yes = ‘autistic’) Do you make sense of the world around you differently to others? This is the best question as far as I am concerned. This really shows me that the only thing in common on this ‘spectrum disorder’ (!!!) is in fact, as stated, application of mind, or focus and intensity. There is no doubt that Curt is driven and energetic with his passions. Sebastian, your knowledge of a wide variety of things is much more than most 30-ish year old and more than most 50-ish year olds too. I try to consider everything and can discuss topics for 9-11 hours (on average). I only ‘get into’ a topic after about two hours and find it frustrating when people get tired or ‘bored’ after a few hours when we have just scratched the surface. But is this me making sense of the world ‘differently’ or more intensely? I am not suggesting I am ‘more correct’ that most people, just that I have trained myself to divorce thinking from stress (paramount when learning anything: sport, a language, or any subject really) with great effort and attempt to apply my mind to the things I decide too. So simply, it is a matter of will, time, and capacity (as stated a few posts up), and virtually nothing to do with ‘differently’.
I could go on but with a little application of mind it becomes so clear that this distinction of ‘autism’ is both misplaced and oversimplified, let alone damaging. Marc likes to think of Aspergers as a ‘gift’ but I am trying to get across that that is a massive misconception. If I go blind and hear better this is not a gift, it is a change of focus.
Put simply, I think if psychology and general investigations into the mind are exceptionally fruitful in the next decade, we will totally give up on this ‘spectrum’ nonsense and redefine these groups much less specifically, or more specifically into thousands of groups, instead of the get-out clause of a single spectrum. This includes the classification of ‘ADHD’ and ‘OCD’ also which have led to all sorts of prescriptions for damaging medicines as well as a misunderstanding of a biological disorder and an active decision.
When I was 7 or 8 I used to smack lamp-posts when I walked past them. This grew until I did it to all of them all the time until I felt uncomfortable not doing it. An idiot would call this OCD but it was simply that I enjoyed the sound of the ‘ping’ and enjoyed working out which types of lamp-posts made what pitch of sound, for how long and how much my hand stung. I wanted the sharpest sound for the least sting. But, it was done through choice. The uncomfortable feeling was from breaking habit and I figured this out.
Also, from about 12 to 17 years we had a thermometer outside the front door so on the way in and out I would guess the temperature every time. This was in order to become excellent at doing this and nothing more. Again, when the thermometer came down I felt ‘discomfort’ from turning to where the thermometer was and my guess not being confirmed or adjusted. I am not suggesting either of these ‘are OCD’ or that this loop in the mind is not similar between all people who enter them (same part of brain or same process) but many people thought I ‘had OCD’ for quite a few of these things so I decided to break the loop. It is people who decide not to break this loop that are supposed to ‘have OCD’. Madness.
I mean, ADHD has already been torn to shreds so need I say I was an extremely hyperactive child who wanted to spend half his childhood playing sport and the other half reading encyclopedias. ADHD?: hmm.., or energetic child?
If someone needs to apply more energy to focus in order not to flit between things then this could be for a thousand different reasons. The best thing to do is either enjoy a breadth of things without specialising in anything, or to apply you mind to learning how to focus. It took me about half an hour to an hour a year to get concentration up to about ten hours but now it is quite easy, like tying shoe laces or walking down stairs without falling over.
So Seb, no, not maybe maybe. I am sure it will be in your own version of where I am on this because all the books and studies do the same thing. They all look at behaviour and self-reporting rather than looking at the flow of a mind through time, which is close to impossible given current technology. Sometimes it can be more fun to discuss without constant reference to videos and articles but to explain 100% from one’s own mind, it is like driving a manual: tougher at the start but well worth it for personal development.
June 16 at 6:37pm · Edited · Like · 2
Curt Doolittle Medicine identified the behavior. Medicine (incorrectly) because of socialism (equalitarianism) tends to see everything as ‘broken’ that deviates from the mean. The Cathedral (socialists) tend to reinforce this model by positing a docile, communal, feminine norm, rather than treating us as near-speciated, in a hierarchy of classes, and roughly specialized – even beyond the gender specialization.
Cognitive science has expanded the definition. I think the most important work on the subject is done by Simon Baron-Cohen. And I have extended his argument to include the Solipsistic behavior of women as well as the autistic behavior of males. I think before you say much on the subject it’s important to read his work.
The criticism that Autistic behavior is an illness I think is part of the Medicine/Cathedral/Socialist fallacy. The meaningful question is whether (a) we can be happy or not (b) whether we can successfully compete or not. I tend to position the Solipsistic-Autistic Spectrum as a form of specialization that exaggerates properties commonly associated with genders. I do this because these associations tend to radically influence our moral biases (our moral blindness), and therefore our political preferences. The more autistic the more libertarian, the more solipsistic the more socialist. And the data supports this proposition.
As a very mild autist who has worked very hard to improve my condition I tend to attempt to save others the pain by un-demonizing the autistic end of the spectrum while at the same time informing autists of how they can be happy by realizing how to cope on one hand, and how to take advantage of our ‘gifts’ on the other.
Like both of you I have the luck of high intelligence. Like Andy I am able to study that which I cannot ‘inuit’, and make use of it. I don’t feel ‘fear’ the way most people do. I feel it as ‘annoyance’. (except in elevators where I am scared to death unless I focus and control it). Unlike serious autists I am not burdened by an inability to maintain ‘presence’ in the real world, nor am I devoid of a ‘self’. It’s just that the autistic experience (that amazing place in your head) is like a very powerful force of gravity that I must constantly fight from falling into. And the only way to do that is to make sure my other stressors are very limited. An autistic person can never leave that place, and has no self to interpret stimuli, and is forced to experience whatever is in front of him.
If you have a broader range of empathy and more ‘self’ it is easier to get dopamine rewards. I do it by absorbing information. If I don’t, then I have too few means of getting dopamine rewards. That is why I like selling things. Because it’s an amazing high, and I get a lot of social interaction out of it. So I got good at selling. And that is probably why I’ve accumulated wealth.
For say, Seb, it is harder for him to get dopamine rewards, so that is why, like most autists, he needs a rigid framework that allows him to get rewards. We know that severe autistic like number games and calendar games for the same reason. This is why attacking rothbard is painful because it’s a clear route to rewards wherever he can work on it. THe way to solve this problem is to extend the range of inquiry. And to develop new means of stimulation. The problem is that you can’t do that under stress easily as an autist. Which is why I would like to see him (you seb) be in a calm stable place for a few years, and get into a place where you make reliable money.
Conversely, watch how some women can be brought to tears by oxytocin releases when they think about or are about to give blood, or care for some creature, or feel empathy for someone. It’s just drug addiction. Nothing more. It’s just beneficial drug addiction. Cause being addicted to hugs and kisses and caretaking turns out to be pretty desirable for all involved.
Anyway. My life was difficult largely because I grew up in a very rural, isolated mennonite farming community in the 60’s and 70’s and I had to have fist fights on a regular basis to protect myself from the local animal (questionably human) population. I had only books, and thinkers in those books, to associate with at my level. If you have family that’s quite bright, then that makes it a lot easier. Today when the diagnosis and medication are available, life is much easier. I mean, In our backward community, I just was the target of abuse. This was well before being a nerd was fashionable. So rather than take it I became an aggressor against it. (Thus fulfilling my family’s motto: “woe to he who aggresses against me” which I had no knowledge of at the time, but I suppose is a long standing family trait.)
Autism is stressful. Stress reduces our ability to grow neurons and actually kills off neurons. For autists, or for males in general, this is a very bad thing, because we must grow replacements for in-utero damage to us that makes us excessively male. Some drugs are neurogenic – that’s why they work. I think in the future it will be much easier to ‘grow new neurons’ and therefore increase the possibility of reward associations, such that more of us more happily leave the autistic spectrum behind.
Conversely, aggressiveness is caused often by neural damage. Nature wants us to be aggressive. Otherwise we don’t kill the guys next door and take their chicks….. Which is the most effective algorithm we can adopt.
June 16 at 7:34pm · Like · 2
Andy Curzon Excellent answer Curt, thanks. I like this the most:
—‘ If you have a broader range of empathy and more ‘self’ it is easier to get dopamine rewards. I do it by absorbing information. If I don’t, then I have too few means of getting dopamine rewards. That is why I like selling things. Because it’s an amazing high, and I get a lot of social interaction out of it. So I got good at selling. And that is probably why I’ve accumulated wealth. ‘ —
June 16 at 9:32pm · Unlike · 4