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Personality Research articles on personality


Gene Slavery – Why Humans Are So Stupid

Puppies, kittens, babies are cute by evolutionary design. If they weren't, their survival would be jeopardized. They are essentially cute gene sacks, and to the extent their cute-ness gets your attention, moves you, compels you to want to take care of them, protect them, makes you a gene slave to some degree helping to ensure the survival of that gene package. Similarly, romantic love as it is experienced by most is an artifact of gene control. It's purpose is to bond you to someone for reproduction purposes in the interest of the replication/survival of genes (not in the interest of your own individual happiness). You might not have anything in common with the person or even dislike them from an intellectual or personality perspective. They might be injurious (physically, intellectually, and/or emotionally) to you as a person. But, if your genes find them suitable, you will have physical feelings for them. To the degree you are a slave to feelings (i.e., to the interests of genes), those feelings may very well lead you to do things that compromise your individual happiness. Of course, if genes are doing their job well enough you won't even be aware that your life has been hijacked by gene interests. Romantic feelings - like the beauty/appeal of babies, kittens, and puppies - often don't last. Once something stops serving the purpose of gene survival, it tends to wane (as evolutionarily only what is necessary/advantageous for gene survival is selected-for/reinforced).

Genes are simple things. They don't have the advanced cognition capability of humans but they control the reins of life more than human will. While individual humans rarely live more than 100 years, many individual genes have survived in their identical form for millions of years using human/animal reproduction as a vehicle for their survival. As a result, humans are a tool for the survival of genes, they are gene mules.

The problem with this order of things is that genes are mindless/inflexible, their only prerogative is to survive and multiply. This is what drives people with insufficient resources to have kids. Faced with scarce resources due to drought or overpopulation, genes don't amend their desire for survival/multiplication, they don't have the faculties for that. Instead, they continue their single minded simple motivations (survive/multiply). The historical result can be catastrophic. Their behavioral control on humans has caused civilizations to collapse time and time again. (source)

This will likely happen again if the status quo remains.

It doesn't make rational sense for a small percent of the world to live in a way that is unsustainable in terms of resources not only for the whole world but even for the present excess set. But, if you understand that mindless gene interests are driving behavior not rational individual human interests, than the madness is understandable. Irrational resource extravagance is about peacocking  in the interests of obtaining the best mates, and maintenance of offspring, in the context of genes competing for enhanced survival. Genes don't care if this causes civilization decimation because genes don't think. But humans can, and they can choose not to follow the instincts that would keep them a gene slave, that could destroy civilization (again), the world and most certainly will destroy them (as current human behavioral instincts always result in death).

Things like anger and murderous feelings don't make rational sense, but from the standpoint of gene competition they do. If someone doesn't like you, they and anyone like them is unfavorable to your survival, and therefore a threat to the genes you are a package for. From a gene perspective, it makes sense to eliminate anyone or anything that is not an ally to the survival of their gene package. Martyrdom doesn't make any rational sense, but people will sacrifice themselves for other gene packages similar enough to them. Cultural/ethnic pride is just a manifestation of gene influence. What does the death of one gene package matter if it promotes the survival of two or more similar gene packages, from the standpoint of genes. This is the same mechanism that allows bees to kill themselves for the protection of the hive (source). I think it's too simplistic to believe suicidal bombers are really motivated by the idea of 80 virgins waiting for them in heaven (which also doesn't explain female suicide bombers). It makes far more sense that they are being manipulated by instincts hardwired in their genes to promote what is similar to them and destroy what is different. The same instinctual manipulation that explains any number of more banal but still irrational things human do (like spend tons of money on weddings or funerals or sweet-sixteens).

Being 'pro-life', is really about being pro-gene. There is nothing pro-life about behaving in a way that threatens the survival of civilization. Not taking control of one's biology, mindlessly having children, threatens the survival of civilization (overpopulation). Unchecked human breeding results in a culture of death (death of children whose parents or government don't have enough resources, death to the entire civilization who ends up exhausting the earth's resources). Having and devoting resources to even a small family in a society heading for disaster can be ultimately a futile/morbid task. Some people argue it is essential that smart enlightened people have kids. I would say only if that doesn't take away from their ability to steer themselves and society from destruction/extinction. There is also no certainty that just because someone is enlightened, their child will end up that way. In fact, based on regression to the mean, they will likely be less so.

If you really value life, why contribute to the status quo which is on a path to extinction?

If you value life, figure out a way to survive, avoid aging. Of course, that would be divergent thinking which would make you odd, and that would make you less attractive to reproductive partners so your gene driven instincts will dissuade you from that behavior releasing neurochemicals which prompt feelings of shame and/or positive feelings towards more pro-reproductive/gene behaviors; this is what drives conformity/conventional-behavior. If you are convinced death can't be avoided or simply want to die, at least live a life that maximizes your existence apart from the meddling interests of your genes. If getting pregnant, morning nausea, and driving little gene packages to soccer practice or taking a job you hate to afford kids is what makes the most sense to you rationally, ok. But more than likely people who behave like that are gene puppets controlled by gene-centric neurochemical rewards/punishments, it's not truly self aware volitional living. It's very popular to ridicule how backward Christian Republicans are, but most liberal Democrats are not that much better as far as living their version of the gene puppet life. Both groups behave in many of the same irrational life patterns, both are responsible - via their gene competition driven material consumption - for poor working conditions in the third world and global pollution/raping.

The school of thought of avoiding death/degeneration is known as transhumanism. Many transhumanists focus on science and technology as their saviors - gene therapy, cryogenenics, etc.. This is too exogenic, impersonal, delegational an approach for me.

I think human health/life (in fact, all life) is a function of maintaining momentum, avoiding degeneration. Human viability is not unlike a child's spinning top, we launch upon the world with a particular momentum. That momentum is not maintained sufficiently through life because humans by default lack the internal activity maintenance level to continue that. So, we deteriorate. Even when young human cells are constantly dying, but healthy young humans are able to regenerate faster than they degenerate. As humans get older cellular regeneration falls below degeneration resulting in what we know as the aging process. There is no substantive difference in the type of physical degeneration between a twelve year old with Progeria, and an eighty year old. The Progeriac is born with a low momentum, degenerated cardiac state. Cardiac degeneration is ultimately the cause of aging. Aerobic (endurance) and Anaerobic (strength/speed) cardiac fitness maintenance can avert the aging process (all the new fad exercise programs- Insanity, p90x, etc. - operate on a similar aerobic/anaerobic concept called HIIT, high intensity interval training). The levels necessary to avoid aging just are not in the current human behavioral nature (as human longevity does not benefit genes, it's not hardwired in our instincts) so they have to be applied volition-ally and no human has yet acted/exercised sufficiently and/or regularly enough to maintain their aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular fitness, not yet.

Reversing the aging process at the extreme end means ultimately shutting down sexuality which is an early part of the aging process, and minimizing if not eliminating gender differentiation. One could hover in the sexually mature mode of development if they wanted. But en masse, this would increase the odds of over population issues. Without reproduction, what is the function of gender? Gender-wise, women are more vulnerable and weak compared to men. Thus, men have to bear a responsibility to protect women. Up to now, gene slavery has wired in incentives for men to want to do that and for women to want to remain more vulnerable/weak. In a future post-aging, post-gene-slave society does it makes sense for gender roles socially and physically to be maintained at all? Will gender (social roles and anatomy), reproduction, and sex become extinct or more extinct in parallel with the decline/end of aging?

Everyone is somewhere on the 100% gene slave ----- 0% gene slave continuum. The more you behave in ways which don't actually benefit your individual life experience, but do benefit the survival/replication of the genes you carry, or the genes of others, the closer you are to the 100% end. Gene slaves are ruled by their neurochemical and emotional reward/punishment system, not reason or self determination. Consequently, their lives don't make a whole lot of sense and they don't respond very well to reason. The fact that most people are like this to some degree if not to a large degree is limiting in terms of the quality of civilization. If you've ever stood by a friend who was behaving like a jerk (to you or others), pursued money more than necessary to survival, been intolerant to people that are different, dated someone you mentally don't like/respect, etc., you did so because your genes deemed it beneficial. Ultimately, when you follow gut/instinct without regard to reason, you are living via the lowest common denominator. That's why it's so important, if you want to avoid a gene slave existence, to expect yourself and others to be able to explain who/why they are. The more servile you are to genes, the less you can do that.

Ultimately, even if you are able to exist above gene control, and lead a life based on a consciously understood/explainable narrative, you are still a physical entity, beholden to the physical laws of the universe. A chariot driver may fully be in control of their horses, but their success to a great degree hinges on their ability to understand, respond to, and take care of their horses (the whole physical system under their control). If certain activity/things/people make you physically feel good and don't undermine you, there is no reason to be weary of them. On the other hand, certain drugs or partners may make someone feel good (and may benefit the cultivation/replication of that drug, or the viability of that partner, or their offspring) but in the long run causes them harm individually. Conversely, if certain paths make sense intellectually as being beneficial to you but don't actually prove to be physically beneficial long term, you have to adjust accordingly. The quality of your physical health, your form, is a reflection of the success or failure of your genetic instincts and/or your consciously selected behaviors. To the degree you are not happy, not healthy in any way, means you are doing something wrong. Even the most perfect human being is still flawed and they can never improve by relying on their instincts, their gene coding. You can't improve who you are and be loyal to who you are, improvement requires change, self transformation, betrayal of your original/default nature. Someone that lives entirely from their instincts (gene slave), is in a poor position to overcome their unhappiness, unhealthiness. Someone who lives more consciously at least has a chance.

The conscious health system I've come up with and follow, the Altus Regime, is basically upper body based cardiovascular training which is the opposite of what most people rely on (lower body based cardiovascular training).

Related Books:
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Sociobiology by E O Wilson
Genetic Enslavement by Bruce Gary - ebook



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