This is a guest post (reposting from his own website) from Wayne Borean for your delectation. A little Monday morning something.
Hehe. OK, so I’m feeling crazier than usual, and I’m probably going to upset a lot of people with this, but humans are partially self-programming MeatBots.
What do I mean by that? It’s complicated, and I can’t claim to be an expert on this, my field is chemistry, not biology. But I know enough to write this. I think. I have no doubt I’ll get told how wrong I am, and I’m quite happy to debate you on the issue!
What is a MeatBot?
I’m using the term for any biological organism which has a central neurological system. A brain.
The human brain, along with the brains of every creature that has one, serves as a computer controlling the actions of the body. Certain mammalian pets, like cats, dogs, and rats show learned behaviors.
Like my sweet little dog Rosie. She loves stealing food, and she is quite good at manipulating her world to get it. On Sunday she stole twelve freshly baked cupcakes off the kitchen counter. While she is nowhere near as smart as a human, she knows how to communicate with us. She’ll happily tell us when she is hungry or when she needs to go outside. If her humans don’t always understand her and take her for a walk when she is hungry, she just tries again.
You’ll see the same with cats. Cats are quite capable of manipulating their world, in the ways that matter to them. Which I’ll admit is mostly begging for treats, telling you when the kitty litter needs changing, when the food bowl is empty, and when they want to be petted.
Scientist have fully mapped the brain of the C. elegans worm. This is the first instance of fully mapping the brain of any animal. After it was mapped, it was uploaded to a computer. There’s an article about this on Science Daily
which is well worth reading.
What is the difference between this worm, and a cat, dog, or a human? Complexity. Sooner than most people think we will be able to do this with humans.
So humans are MeatBots. Biological organisms with built-in computers. Ain’t it grand? But it gets even better!
Partially Self-Programming MeatBots
Anyone who has trained a dog knows that with work, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Effectively a trainer is re-programming the dog, by teaching it different ways of doing things. Yes, dogs are not complicated creatures, but they can and do learn, and getting them to stop bad habits (we never did get Sam to stop eating woman’s underwear) can be difficult.
Or take yourself. Have you ever changed your way of doing things, or your way of thinking? That’s self-programming.
Why I use the term Partially Self-Programming MeatBots is because there are things we cannot change. They are baked into our genetic code, and cannot be removed.
Then there are other things that have already programmed us. I’ve been dealing with one bit of exterior programming I’ve been dealing with for over fifty years. I was sexually abused as a child, and that sort of thing has long lasting effects. Every time I think I’ve come to terms with it, something else happens.
But even some good things, can cause issues. My mother taught me schizophrenic attitudes towards women. She didn’t mean to — but she was a child of her time (born in 1923). Back then, consent was not taught. What was taught was that:
- Women are fragile
- Women are tough – look at childbirth
- Women are sugar and spice and all things nice
- Women are crazy bitches
Needless to say, I grew up pretty confused. It took a long time to learn about, and then reprogram my how my mind perceived women. Now to me women are women. The biological differences mean that women do think marginally differently than men.
Everything that happens to you changes your programming to some degree. Let’s consider a child. The child was brought up going to church every Sunday, but later loses belief and falls away. Effectively the child has been reprogrammed by something that happened — or reprogrammed themselves based on something that they have perceived, rightly or wrongly.
Or the child was brought up by parents who pushed the child towards being a doctor. The child becomes a doctor because the expectations of the parents have programmed the child this way. The now adult may be happy at their job, or unhappy. If the adult is happy, the basic programming stays the same. If the adult is unhappy, they are for whatever reason fighting the programming. Possibly the child had dreams of becoming a musician, but gave up those dreams because the programming said Doctor as a career. Maybe the now adult reprogrammes themselves, gives up medicine, and buys a guitar.
This does not mean that a person can’t think rationally. It does mean that their thinking is constrained by genetics, and by the programming they have received.
Memory plays into this. Memories are stored in the brain, apparently as chemical chains which make neurons fire in the same way they did when the incident happened. Memory is limited by perception. Human senses are limited to what our genetics allow. Our eyes cannot see infrared, so infrared emissions won’t be part of our memories, and the same is true of sounds above and below our hearing range, tastes that we cannot taste because our taste buds don’t recognize them.
Memory is also plastic, which is why we are seeing so many convictions based on eyewitness testimony overturned. People modify their memories by thinking about them, and analyzing them.
Normal daily memories like what you had for lunch on February 10, 2018 will have faded by now, unless there was a traumatic event that day. Most people who were alive on 9/11 know what they were doing when the first reports came in about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center in New York, or for the older generation, it might be Pearl Harbour, or VE day.
Memory is how our programming works. The plasticity of memory is partly what allows a human to reprogram themselves. You’ll often see older people changing the way they do things as the older programming is forgotten, and newer programming replaces it. This can be in minor things, like changing their favourite condiments, or major things like taking up a new hobby.
Did you know that scientists have succeeded in transplanting memories
? The work was done on snails, but the basic concepts are applicable to humans, never mind dogs, cats, etc.
Where does this lead us?
Because or our genetics, we literally can’t think in some ways. We just don’t have the ability too, while we can think in other ways. The ability of any animal or human to think in any way is bound up in our genetic code.
We are also limited by our programming. If a person has been programmed since childhood to think a particular demographic is evil, reprogramming themselves to think otherwise will be difficult, and likely require a significant event.
In simple terms, humans can’t think rationally because of the limits of our genetics. Add our programming, and things get worse.
Humans can think rationally only in ways which our genetic code allows, and in ways that our programming doesn’t interfere with. We are just human.
This causes huge problems in the area of ideologies and beliefs. Most assume the ability to think rationally. Since humans can’t think rationally, those ideologies fail time and again, and their proponents get more and more confused. They should work perfectly…
To be truly effective, any ideology or belief must take into account the limitations that our bodies and minds place on rational thinking. Even worse, since no two people are the same, the limitations will be different for everyone.
What can you do?
I don’t know. I’ve spent more than thirty years working on my programming. In some ways, I’ve done well. I respect women now based on what they do. That was a huge change from what my mother and society programmed into me.
There are other things I’m still working on reprogramming, and no doubt a million things I should be working on. It’s hard. Really hard. Think of trying to rip our the roots of a large tree stump! That’s what it is like.
All I can suggest is when you realize you need to change, that you work on it. I also suggest that when you see someone doing something that looks irrational, that you consider what genetics and programming may have caused the person to take that action.
Good luck. You’ll need it.