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New translation, the Magna Carta

 

sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems

counting beliefs - irrational associations

chapter 1, herds and the individual - sociology, the ephemeral nature of groups
chapter 2, counting beliefs - irrational associations
chapter 3, logicians, 'logic' and madness
chapter 4, intelligence and madness
chapter 5, irrational actions - analysis of behaviour
chapter 6, co-operation and being nice
chapter 7, the problem of moderation

back to abelard's front page

 
Counting beliefs - irrational associations is one of a number of documents analysing dysfunctional social, or group, behaviour in modern society.
The instinct to belong, to be part of a group, leads to a lack of independent thinking, and so to major foolishnesses. Here, abelard demonstrates analytic methods to deconstruct such 'thinking'.
on sociology on socialism 'social' economics supporting resources
and background documents
For more on sociology and socialism:

Introdution - socialism & sociology
sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems

Labour Party pamphlets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


advertising disclaimer

 

 

Index

the fuzziness of perception
loyalties and war
sets of cards
measuring a collective
some notes on the paris attack, 13 november 2015
mass murder psychology
misthinking can start from childhood
leaders and followers, acolytes
gangsters, cult leaders, fanatical fervour - taking power
the ways socialists lie
destroying the given order
the functioning and malfunctioning of association
the human is a hipporhinocercow

 

catching-behaviours
theories and creative nonsense
emotion
shopping bags
beliefs and actions
empiricism
agreement and belief
useful facts
worked example for understanding political and religious behaviour

related further reading
end notes

     the fuzziness of perception 
  1. All real world objects are fuzzy relative to human perceptive activity and acuity.

  2. The fuzziness varies greatly between the objects perceived, the person perceiving, and the degree of relevant training and "experience of the perceivers".

  3. Often seen quoted in a condensed form: "If you cannot measure it, then it is not science."
    — William Thomson Kelvin

     loyalties and war 
  4. It may be supposed that loyalty is a fine and uncluttered thing, but as Jesus of Nazareth said, "you cannot worship God and Mammon".
    He also suggested the pragmatism of "rendering unto Caesar". Note that this is a formulation of the separation of State and religion.
    Jesus also alluded to this problem with the parable of the Good Samaritan, when he asked, "Who is my neighbour?".

  5. Society is a cacophony of competing demands, and of power seekers vying for the service of available sheep, whether it be states or families, religions, chess clubs, or criminal gangs.

  6. In the last couple of hundred years, advanced states have worked to accumulate ever more power, setting up increasing tension between those states and the family and the tribe or village.

  7. Each grouping uses from weapons of guilt, rhetoric, onto unlimited degrees of mainforce, as they try to capture hearts and minds of available disciples.

     sets of cards 
  8. People can be considered as being as a set of cards, which have a particular set of attributes that can be considered as items of their role in life, character, ambitions, instincts, fears and beliefs. In one person the set might be:
         loyal, friend, policeman, father etc
    Another could be
         terrorist, uneducated, resentful.
    Yet another could be
         socialist, priggish, certain.

  9. These cards/traits/descriptions are apparently what classifies, and so 'makes' the human beings wandering around the planet. Or that is how many people regard themselves and others, as belonging to a set of cards, or even just one of these cards.

  10. These cards describe clans, tribes, gangs, groups, social class, religion, party, sect, the establishment, greens, rainbows, ...

  11. People are part of a pack of cards - catholic pack, the communist pack, the Daesh pack and so on.

  12. Some cards in different packs are the 'same', communists and Daesh are both sure they are right, they both know and have The Truth, both kill those who fail to recognise and accept this clearly superior truth which should surely dominate world societies. The communists will cleanse away wrong thinkers, while Daesh will remove the infidel.

  13. A table is made of wood. A table is in one pack, wood is in another, so they cannot be the same item according to members of one particular pack.

  14. Keep in mind that no two things are ever the same. [See also the error called ‘equality’]

  15.  measuring a collective 
  16. I shall use the socialist religion page as an example. This may take, for example, the section on Sorel. A given individual may put greater or lesser emphasis on this element of the religious dogma. A member's objective may be different. Fellow conspirators/believers will have different ideas or nuances.

  17. Take the main six dogmas. Emphasis and different understanding will vary among the group. Assume some 'perfected' theory or a bible of the religious dogma.

  18. Then each person in a group could theoretically be assessed on how many of the dogmas they held, and to what degree they believed, or asserted they believed, each dogma/meme.

  19. Of course, they would each believe, or attempt to convince their fellows, that they were the true believers as they competed for attention, for dominance and for acceptance; meanwhile convincing themselves that they are part of a collective or movement or perhaps a more important/valuable cog.

  20.  some notes on the paris attack, 13 november 2015 
  21. I am interested in the ginormous public expression of solidarity against the ignorant loons that perpetrated the latest Jihadi attack.
    Surely that cannot serve the interests of lunatic central.

  22. I am interested to note that most of these attacks are primarily made against young people.
    I am reminded of the Oxford proposal in the 1930s:
           "We will not fight for king and country."
    When it came to it, they led the fight against National Socialism.

  23. Perhaps the primitives believe they can scare the young into the Corbyn/Obama "Peace at any cost" brigade, from appeasement to submission.
    I see little sign that is going to be anything but counter-productive for the would-be jhadis.

  24. I took time to watch a session of Eagles of death metal - quite an impressive group, and very macho.

  25. I am impressed at how 'soft' are many Middle Easterners. They seem threatened by more advanced civilisation.
    You see the same with Putin's ridiculous posturing as the Russian empire recedes into history.

  26. These people appear to find adjusting to a lesser role in history a very painful experience. The group/tribe/nation become less powerful, and so can claim less resources.

  27.  mass murder psychology 
  28. Note the similarity to many mass murders, such as in school shootings, perpetrated by 'losers'. They kill as many as they can, and then kill themselves (or provoke the "suicide by cops" option). Hitler, Saddam Hussein, or Ceaușescu do the same on a larger scale.

  29. There are some unsophisticated 'reporters' calling these self-destructive ignoramuses, 'brave'. As is often said, suicide is the coward's way out.
    These sad loons are indeed cowards who cannot face the stresses and problems of normal life.

  30.  misthinking can start from childhood 
  31. A stick of dynamite is reasonably safe until you light the fuse.
    For example, the ruler of Germany, Angela Merkel, was 'educated' in the former German Socialist Republic.
    That programming very likely remains buried in her head (computer). It just needs the appropriate stimulus.
    The refugee 'crisis' appears to have sparked that fuse for her.

  32. Most humans are simply mad. They have nuttiness conditioned in during childhood. Those nuttinesses stop them thinking well under various and unpredictable circumstances.

  33. Look at Barack Obama, raised between Islam and Marxism.
    It is very foolish to ignore such facts.

  34. Look at the loon that raised Ed Miliband with his Marxist nonsense. Now in Britain, there is Jeremy Corbyn.

  35. This may be psychological rocket science, but it can be understood with sufficient study.

  36.  leaders and followers, acolytes 
  37. Although the apparent 'calm' behaviour of this type of attacker is related to hypnosis, it is more complex than that. It is more a matter of cult conditioning.

  38. These aggressors are losers, following 'leaders' who are often shysters manipulating them. For another example, look up 'love bombing' by the Moonies (followers of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church).

  39. The shysters play on the insecurities and resentments of ignorant and lonely/isolated people.

  40. These 'leaders' are more like mafiosi/gangsters.

  41.  gangsters, cult leaders, fanatical fervour - taking power 
  42. A group of Socialist fanatics took over Russia in 1917. Another similar group took over Germany in the 1930s. The mafia, the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels control billions of dollars and kill at will.

  43. Supposedly ideological groups often start as criminal gangs. Then people try to consolidate, they form franchises, they try to get a cut of the market.

  44. It happens in business, it happens as tribes form nations. Lawyers do it, accountants do it, protection rackets and franchises work that way.
    This is not 'mysterious'. It is standard human behaviour and social structure formation.

  45.  the ways socialists lie 
    • By 'trashing' the person - a form of distraction.

    • Using a false assumption in questions posed, or replies made.

      Goebbels method of lying:
    • Repeating a lie over and over again until it is widely believed.
    • Telling a big enough lie.
      e.g. the British banks caused the 2008 recession in Britain.
      e.g. Labour was the origin of the NHS.

      Sorel method:
    • Bringing up a myth to radicalise people and prepare them for war.

      See also Labour Party structure.

  46.  destroying the given order 
    • Lenin method:
      Lenin was right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
      [The Economic Consequences of the Peace,1919, ch. 6]
      This is, of course, the point. This is the objective of Marxists/Socialists - to so disrupt society that they can take over. Lenin generated devastating inflation. The rouble depreciated about 50 million times by 1923 [Katsenellenbaum, Russian Currency and banking, 1914-24, published 1925].


    • Stalin method:
      Kill off the establishment. Examples: The French Revolution and Stalin's attempt to kill the capitalists (kulaks).
      Kill off anyone with education. Examples: Pol Pot, Mao's cultural revolution, the Iranian revolution also used similar methods.

    • Cloward-Piven method:
      "First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the Cloward-Piven Strategy seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."

      "In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands."
      [Quoted from discoverthenetworks.org]

  47.  the functioning and malfunctioning of association  
  48. A central function of mental behaviour is building associations. For example, I plant seeds and food grows.

  49. A human, with development of language, has become detached from direct interaction with nature. All manner of fictions have become part of his reality. Associations are no longer only those arising from the real world. Some very dysfunctional associations are formed.
    For example,
    1. if you are a good person, you will go to paradise, do not pass go, if you blow yourself up in the market place of the infidel, you may even believe you will get a harem;
    2. the class enemy is the capitalist who runs the farm. You will become rich if you kill him;
    3. if you make friends with your neighbour's wife or husband, going to bed with them, you will become spiritually dead, you will burn for ever in hell's fires.
      These foolish associations tend to lead to mayhem and general unpleasantness.

    See also Mind reading end note.

  50. Thus, a person can think about 'things' that do not even exist , or are unreal.

  51. Notice, using example at 38c., the association between two unconnected ideas/ memes - copulation and hell fire (ideas of death and of endless torture).
    Putting such associations into young minds is liable to lead people into great confusion, where death and sex become linked, and where, under almost random circumstances, such links can become very dangerous, for example, serial sex murder.

  52. Notice the mixture of real world memes, such as sex, and imaginative ideas, such as hell fire.

  53. You must always teach a person to systematically refer both the assumptions and the supposed links between those assumptions back to the real world. (See also Hume and cause) (See also chance, cause, choice)

  54. 'Islam' is a series of memes - see, for instance, socialist_religions.
    The selection of memes in any individual mind may interact with one other. Which memes that have been imbibed by any individual cannot be determined from the outside.
    Then, there is how much those memes that have been internalised or which may interact under various external inputs;
    nor can you forecast how the individual interprets those memes.
     catching behaviours 
  1. People widely imitate the behaviour of others around them. They often catch a behaviour in the manner of catching a disease.

     the human is a hipporhinocercow 
  2. A human being is a strange fellow, balanced between the individualist, akin to a tiger, and a herd animal like a sheep, mixed with some mad dogs or people aspiring to live in an ants' nest. Human behaviours change and interact according to context and 'personality'.

  3. Humans, with their tendency to neoteny and a big brain are considerably more intelligent and, therefore, more adaptable than other earthlings.

  4. If you take a group of humans and make half red hats and half blue hats, they will sort themselves into two tribes. These two groups of people will tend to start competing, developing different cultures.

  5. It is important to know who are your enemies.

  6. One lot will call themselves the Romans and another lot, the Celts. Every Roman will know it's fine to worship their leaders as a god, while every Celt will know that if the harvest fails, it is a religious duty to sacrifice their leader to propitiate the gods.

  7.  theories and creative nonsense 
  8. Humans make all sorts of associations without useful or real evidence in the world and nature at large.
    Here is a short list of such nonsenses.
    • The CIA are after me.
    • I've been abducted by aliens.
    • Jews control the world.
    • I can read minds.
    • Astrology can predict the future.

  9. “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.”
             After G.K. Chesterton.

  10. Humans are endlessly creative as they try to make sense of a confusing and cacophonous world battering on the senses, so they make up theories.

  11. Some examples of what I am talking about can be found in the psycho-bunk section.

  12. A great deal of rubbish can also be found under economic forecasting, government pronouncements, and advertising claims.

  13. Theories about black holes are not much use without strong, empirical evidence.

  14.  emotion 
  15. A sane person is integrated and enmeshed with realism and reality. The inclination of academics to break mental functioning into Aristotelean bits may be useful for thinking about the world , but it is a very poor guide for life.
    On emotion, regarding the film Inside Out.
    Minsky - gone, an important mind in artificial intelligence video [x]
    Mind reading - interactive guide to emotions

  16. Each emotion may be considered as a meme.

  17.  shopping bags 
  18. You will notice that persons who subscribe to one religion or another will gather a whole clogging mass of detritus unrelated to their cult.

  19. Example: Anthropogenic global warming. Socialists will 'believe' in it and eagerly embrace it as an excuse for accreting more power to government. On the other hand, ring-wing fundamentalists will jump to the opposite corner, denying scientific fact and clinging tightly to their filthy fossil fuel profits.

  20. You will find these shopping bags of beliefs, fashions and tastes with any cult - even to similarity of dress, as can be seen in the extreme of the burkha. This ludicrous garb is very little rooted in the tenets of Islam. Again referring to my page on socialism, how many daft things can be believed before breakfast?

  21. Each belief should be considered to be a meme.
    This becomes aggravated by random, meaningless associations with other memes.

  22.  beliefs and actions 
  23. Beliefs (thoughts) do not matter. Actions do.
    Usually, a belief in unicorns will not result in public aggravation.

  24. Thus, many daft beliefs may not result in daft actions.

  25. Democracy of beliefs does not work.
    1. A few may believe - a few may not matter;
    2. millions may believe - a million may invade and enslave you.

  26.  empiricism 
  27. Facts are useful.
    Knowing the beliefs of idiots is useful because idiots are liable to attack you if you let them know, or they discover, or even falsely believe that you do not hold their beliefs.

  28. Other people's beliefs, however irrational, are part of the reality in which you live.

  29.  agreement and belief 
  30. Can we both agree on an item in the following?
    • MI5 is after me.
    • Trees can grow taller than people.
    • There are (defined as) 3 feet in 1 yard.
    • Women 'should' cover their hair and/or several other parts of their bodies.

  31. Is the agreement concordant with language and external reality?

  32.  useful facts 
  33. Known unknowns - what you know that ain't so. (See also red hats.)

  34. Particular selections of mixtures of sense and nonsenses are labelled are 'a religion', or even a personality!

     worked example for understanding political and religious behaviour 

    This example is in the form of interaction between abelard and a correspondent.

    1. Please define 'fundamentalist'.

      Someone who believes fairy stories in preference to reality,
      and who tries to force the fairy tales on other people (society).

    2. So would you define a socialist as someone who believes in "equality" and who tries to impose that on others?

      It is one fairy-story/meme. [See also equality.]
      It is a part of what a person called a socialist, or who calls themselves a socialist; will usually claim to believe (I cannot see inside their head).
      For me to call them a socialist, a crude shopping bag, I would want them to believe at least three or four of the daft beliefs which make up the socialist religion. (Again, I cannot check the meaning or degree of 'belief' without further investigation.)

    3. At Socialist religions, you list "some dogmas of socialism", such as puritanism, authoritarianism, collectivism/anti-individualism, class hatred and anti-ownership.
      Should I conclude then that holding three or four of these dogmas would qualify someone to be a socialist in your eyes?

      Yes. I probably put the belief in collectivism highest (not solidarity).
      You also have the tall poppy approach to dictatorship or office politics.


    4. Re: Islamism, do you make a distinction between Islam and islamism?
      Do you regard all Muslims as being fundamentalists?

      See counting beliefs - irrational associations [this page].

      Having read this page, I'm speculating that you don't regard all Muslims as fundamentalists,
      in as much as you'd at least want to figure out which of the memes of Islam are guiding their actions,
      and whether they wish to impose Islam on others before making such a judgement.

      Yes. However, one belief is that lying to promote the religion is acceptable, or even recommended.

    5. Regarding those Muslims living, for instance, in Britain, would you suggest that most are not fundamentalists and that only a minority are?
      Or do you believe the fundamentalism may be more prevalent than that suggests?

      My own guess is that wide swathes believe about as much as the usual teen who knows little more than their ipad and who they've friended on Farcebook.

    6. I'm currently mulling over the following points...
      Depending on the precise mix of memes, a Muslim living in a Western democracy might be a fundamentalist who seeks the imposition of Islamic rule on the country they live in (perhaps as a prelude to worldwide caliphate even), without being a terrorist threat,
      because they've decided that they can/will/should achieve their goals peacefully and lawfully via building up a political movement that will eventually win power and then legislate to set up an Islamic state.

      Consider the Fabians, with their bunch of socialist memes. Step by step, I believe the logic could well move them towards mass-murder.
      Life is a path. You set out with one intention, and you end up somewhere very different.
      The law of unintended consequences, and the paving on the road to hell come to mind.

      Are there any particular socialist memes you'd single out?

      The strength of belief in the dogmas is relevant.
      Forced equality.
      Forced fraternity.

      Part of the screed is the linking of memes in dysfunctional association/s.


    7. So it seems to me that in as much as Islamist fundamentalism is a threat to the West (or anything not conforming to the fundamentalism), the terrorism we've seen may merely be the most visible and violent expression of it.
      If there are large numbers whose main disagreement with the terrorists is the violent means employed to advance Islam/the caliphate, then a narrow focus on the terrorism may mean we're in danger of missing an important part of the action.

      Yes, crudely. Assuming I follow that bit, I'll develop a bit.

      Consider an inchoate teen.
      1. He believes he'll get seventy-three sloe-eyed virgins and a permanent erection.
      2. He believes he will find approval in the group if he blows up infidels.
      3. He believes he will please his mother figure/s.
      4. His mafia boss has threatened to kill his mother and baby sister if he doesn't.

      You may consider in order -
      1. A normal teen, obsessed by girls (or boys), thinks of sex 504 times a day.
      2. The outsider, say a runt, constantly bullied by the local oafery, yearning for membership and belonging.
      3. Perhaps he has been encouraged to dependence as opposed to self-actualisation (independent thinking).
      4. is rational, as it involves real world beliefs.

      All these may end up in an exploding pest.

      What is the probability if the teen has been raised as a Moslem?
      If there are .001%, there will be a few but annoying number, and you are unlikely to detect them easily in advance.
      If there are 1%, you have a very big problem.
      If the pool is a million, and you can predict the
      memes and the associations that are most dangerous,
      then you can adjust your education/conditioning process to lower the problem.

      Donald Trump [2016] is proposing a hiatus on letting the potential population in (consider internment of potential enemy agents in war time)
      or you can carry the risk,
      or you can supervise a school system (with people of sufficient ability) and stop employing socialists or Islamic fantasists.

      1. In other words, there is no one way.
      2. Filtering involves judgements based on statistical evidence.
      3. Every individual and situation is in fact different.
      4. It requires linking exploding with memes and associations, an empiric investigation problem.

      As an aside, remember every organisation boss is looking for how to achieve her ends, whether it be producing plastic bath ducks in Peking, or gaining power over a region.
      (Remember the mafia boss does not need to believe any of the nonsense of the 'religion'. She may just be using it for her 'pathologic' aims and power seeking.)

 

Socialism, and previously smallpox, kill by the millions, indeed, by the tens of millions. All that differs is the mechanisms.

 

now read
chapter 3, logicians, 'logic' and madness

 
Related further reading
on socialism

end notes

  1. Lenin, 1917 - central banking (nationalisation) and socialism

    "The big banks are the "state apparatus" which we need to bring about socialism, and which we take ready-made from capitalism; our task here is merely to lop off what capitalistically mutilates this excellent apparatus, to make it even bigger, even more democratic, even more comprehensive. Quantity will be transformed into quality. A single State Bank, the biggest of the big, with branches in every rural district, in every factory, will constitute as much as nine-tenths of the socialist apparatus. This will be country wide book-keeping, country-wide accounting of the production and distribution of goods, this will be, so to speak, some thing in the nature of the skeleton of socialist society." [Lenin]

    The rouble depreciated about 50 million times by 1923 [Katsenellenbaum, Russian Currency and banking, 1914-24, published 1925].

    And again in 1990-3 Russia destroyed the rouble.
        Jan. 1990 : $1 was 10.27 roubles
        June 1993 : $1 was 1060 roubles, that is inflated by 100 times (source: IMF and World Bank). This was in the Gorbachev-Yeltsin era).


  2. Hume (1711-1776) and cause
    Although people gain much information from their impressions, most matters of fact depend upon reasoning about causes and effects, even though people do not directly experience causal relations. What, then, are causal relations? According to Hume they have three components: contiguity of time and place, temporal priority of the cause, and constant conjunction.

    In order for x to be the cause of y, x and y must exist adjacent to each other in space and time, x must precede y, and x and y must invariably exist together. People do not experience and do not know of any power, energy, or secret force that causes ‘possess’. Judgements about causes and their effects are based upon experience.

    To cite examples from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748). There is nothing in the experience of seeing a fire close by which logically requires that one will feel heat. There is nothing in the experience of seeing one rolling billiard ball contact another that logically requires the second one to begin moving, why does one expect heat to be felt and the second ball to roll?

    The explanation is custom (habit). In previous experiences, the feeling of heat has regularly accompanied the sight of fire, and the motion of one billiard ball has accompanied the motion of another. Thus the mind becomes accustomed to certain expectations. "All inferences from experience, therefore, are effects of custom, not of reasoning." Thus it is that custom (experience and memory), not reason, is the great guide of life. In short, the idea of cause and effect is neither a relation of ideas nor a matter of fact. Although it is not a perception and not rationally justified, it is crucial to human survival and a central aspect of human cognition.
    Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica CD 97, (Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.,1997).

  3. Marvin Minsky [1927 - 24 January, 2016]
    In the context of this document :-

    This and the next end note are here primarily for background. I am very dubious of Minsky's approach as set out in his book, Society and Mind, and many other places.
    It is a programmer's approach, which tries to draw comparisons between the brain and a series of sub-routines. Whereas, a human being (or any animal) acts in real time, based on instinct and previous experiences.
    And these experiences differ in every detail from person to person.

    While it is known that some 'memories' can be recalled by stimulating the brain, the brain grows day by day laying down new pathways and eventually pruning some pathways that are not used;
    and
    it is also known that there are some local processing areas, such as line recognition, in the visual cortex.

    Much of average human behaviour is driven by remembered 'emotions' and more basic instincts, see next note.

  4. Mind reading - interactive guide to emotions
    In 2002, Simon Baron-Cohen and a team at Cambridge University, England, produced a catalogue of alleged emotional expressions. Baron-Cohen was hoping to train 'autistic' people to improve their social interactions, or even to become more 'normal' by reacting to and expressing emotion. He claimed to be listing 400+ emotions, clumped into 24 groups.

    Mind reading - emotion groups

    The team produced a cd-rom with work sheets and 5,000 facial expressions as displayed by actors (see the sheet below).

    While Baron-Cohen seems to realise that the mind is not observable, the following is quoted from his text (users') guide:

    "Emotions are states of mind that arise as a result of specific experience and drive us to take action. Although emotions exist in the mind and so are essentially unobservable, they are frequently revealed through facial expressions, voice, posture and gesture, even when you try your hardest not to give your feelings away."

From this moment on, Baron-Cohen continually refers to 'mind reading' and even calls his disk and methods by that label. (The disk is still available on the secondhand market for an exorbitant price. It does not run properly on Windows 10, added to which, the web site is somewhere between abandoned and nonexistent. Note that other supposedly available versions may be highly infected.)

You may take it from this that I am little impressed by this approach either. Emotions tend to act as fairly random reinforcers and as sources of confusion to clear and even to sane thought. To beat, emotionally blackmail, or reward a child as you try to impress upon them, or attempt to make them internalise nonsense about hell fire and infidels, and peculiar associations therewith, is no way to produce sane or thoughtful adults.

I am also reminded of the standard political saw, "the most important attribute of a politician is sincerity and if you can fake that, you're made".
Remember, this catalogue was put together using actors, and looks like a fine tool for teaching psychopaths how to fool others, or to teach children to trust saleswomen. See also Lie detection.

Emotions are, in fact, the great mind-killers. Fear, anger, and even love are not the best states in which to judge your decisions. As another saying has it, "love is blind".

Mind reading - emotions activity sheet

  1. "The spores of the fungus attach to the ant, eventually breaking through the exoskeleton using mechanical pressure and enzymes.[7] Yeast stages of the fungus spread in the ant's body and presumably produce compounds that affect the ant's hemocoel, utilizing the evolutionary trait of an extended phenotype to manipulate the behavioral patterns exhibited by the ant.[9] An infected ant exhibits irregularly timed full body convulsions that dislodge it to the forest floor.[10] The ant climbs up the stem of a plant and uses its mandibles with abnormal force to secure itself to a leaf vein, leaving dumbbell-shaped marks on it. A search of plant-fossil databases revealed similar marks on a fossil leaf from the Messel Pit, which is 48 million years old.[11][12] Once the mandibles of the ant are secured to the leaf vein, atrophy quickly sets in, destroying the sarcomere connections in the muscle fibers and reducing the mitochondria and sarcoplasmic reticula. The ant is no longer able to control the muscles of the mandible and will remain fixed in place. This lockjaw trait is popularly known as the death grip, and is essential in the fungus's lifecycle.[10] The fungus then kills the ant, and continues to grow as its hyphae invade more soft tissues and structurally fortify the ant's exoskeleton.[8] More mycelia then sprout out of the ant, and securely anchor it to the plant substrate while secreting antimicrobials to ward off competition.[8] When the fungus is ready to reproduce, its fruiting bodies grow from the ant's head and rupture, releasing the spores. This process takes four to ten days..." [Quoted from wikipedia.org]

    Socialism and other cult beliefs turn you into a zombie.

  2. The Unknown

    Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me,
    Because as we know,
    There are known knowns.
    There are things we know we know.
    We also know
    There are known unknowns.
    That is to say
    We know there are some things
    We do not know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns,
    The ones we don’t know,
    We don’t know.
    [Donald Rumsfeld, 12 February 2002, Department of Defense news briefing]

  3. Cutting down the tall poppies

    Periander was, to begin with, milder than his father, but after he had held converse by messenger with Thrasybulus the tyrant of Miletus, he became much more bloodthirsty than Cypselus [his father].

    He had sent a herald to Thrasybulus and inquired in what way he would best and most safely govern his city. Thrasybulus led the man who had come from Periander outside the town, and entered into a sown field. As he walked through the corn, continually asking why the messenger had come to him from Corinth, he kept cutting off all the tallest ears of wheat which he could see, and throwing them away, until he had destroyed the best and richest part of the crop.

    Then, after passing through the place and speaking no word of counsel, he sent the herald away. When the herald returned to Corinth, Periander desired to hear what counsel he brought, but the man said that Thrasybulus had given him none. The herald added that it was a strange man to whom he had been sent, a madman and a destroyer of his own possessions, telling Periander what he had seen Thrasybulus do.

    Periander, however, understood what had been done, and perceived that Thrasybulus had counselled him to slay those of his townsmen who were outstanding in influence or ability; with that he began to deal with his citizens in an evil manner. Whatever act of slaughter or banishment Cypselus had left undone, that Periander brought to accomplishment.

    [Herodotus, with an English translation by A. D. Godley. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1920. The Histories, Book 5, 92-f]

 

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the address for this document is https://www.abelard.org/sociology/sociology-structure-of-analysing-belief-systems.php

approx. 4850 words
prints as 10 A4 pages (on my printer and set-up)

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