Questioning Consciousness

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:33 pm

chump » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:34 pm wrote:No.


I was going to leave that question symbolically hanging with no response… because saying nothing sometime seems better than saying something I’m sorry for later…


Yeah, me either.

And I agree, I've been almost saying something for a few hours, then deciding against it.

Not to try to change anything, here's a re-iterated response, from a post I maded once in the Jimi Hendrix, International Fascism and Sirius thread:

By my reasoning, both light and dark cover sight like a veil


Being lost in an endless world of polarity, spiraling down and away into the distance into the golden land/darkworld is my definition of disorientation.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:31 pm

One might ask, how do I know I'm not disoriented. And I'd answer that it comes down to trusting myself.

Then you might ask, how do I know I can trust myself. And that's a question that can be answered using reason and simple logic: If you can't trust yourself, how do you know that you can trust that you can't trust yourself. You can't, it's an infinite regression. Disorienting, like spiraling away into the binary world of polarity.

So instead, I trust myself. That's proper orientation.

Don't be confused, I'm not saying orientation is just pointing in a certain direction. It's a movement, always moving inward. Say I have a gut feeling. I ask myself, do I trust this gut feeling? Or an intuition. Do I trust it? No, I trust the one asking the questions. Orientation as a movement, ever inward.

Maybe you've let yourself down in the past. You've trusted yourself, and you were wrong. I'd say that's alright, in fact that's how you learn about yourself. There's no shame in being wrong, and no shame in failure. What is shameful is not learning from mistakes. Honesty comes in handy. Not "honesty," the philosophical concept. Honesty, the virtue. Honesty the virtue means being honest with yourself. It isn't about anyone else.

It's the warrior mindset. The real warrior mindset, not some weak school, military madness. Given the choice between life and death, the warrior always chooses death. No, not literally, silly, I don't mean a death wish. "Always choosing death" means being clear, resolved, at peace. Not afraid of dying. At peace, knowing you tried your best, did your best. The true warrior doesn't care about winning and losing.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby BenDhyan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:52 pm

So when you say I trust myself, you are making a distinction between the I who trusts and the I who is trusted, could we say the former is the relatively superficial thinking I or ego mind, and the latter the inner or contemplative mind?
Ben D
User avatar
BenDhyan
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:11 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:54 pm


https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... t-yourself

Trust Yourself
Is there self-doubt, holding back, and fear of looking bad or failing?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D
Posted Jan 18, 2017

[…]

Sure, be prudent about the outer world and recognize when it's truly unwise to let go, take risks, speak out. And guide your inner world like a loving parent recognizing that not every thought or feeling or want should be said or enacted…


——————


https://youtu.be/yfZ5fa5bPJU
-


”At first, pull your punches. If they persist, pull the plug. But still: Trust but verify. Still play, but cut the cards Still watch closely - and don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

- Ronald Reagan
User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby 82_28 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:19 pm

I dunno. I am scared about my own impending death because I am scared for others' impending deaths. I should have become a teacher, I've been told. My answer was/is, well, If you want to see me get fired on the first day. I should have become a doctor, I've been told -- not happening. I love to always help but no way could I have someone's pain and demise be something I have to live with. They told me I should become a vet, yeah, no way there either. It is not as though, however I do not consciously care. It is that I care way too fucking much. My consciousness is always putting myself in others' shoes. It is totally depressing to have to live like that. But you have to protect "yourself" so to speak to not completely lose it. This requires a modicum of selfishness which just so happens to complete the cycle in our inexorable fealty to capitalism at the end of the day.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
User avatar
82_28
 
Posts: 11175
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:34 am
Location: North of Queen Anne
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:35 am

BenDhyan » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:52 pm wrote:So when you say I trust myself, you are making a distinction between the I who trusts and the I who is trusted, could we say the former is the relatively superficial thinking I or ego mind, and the latter the inner or contemplative mind?


It's a difficulty of language, I think. "I trust I," is what I'm trying to get at. The I who trusts is the I who is trusted. This I isn't static, a thing that can be grasped, it would be like 'trying to bite one's teeth.' The mind is oriented in motion, an ever inward movement. The orientation as the oriented, the oriented as the orientation. All this language fails as well, because it has made distinctions. Finding no other mode of expression available, language falls back on conventions of is's and isn't's.

---

I think Dr. Hanson is talking about simply being aware of your environment. If you're standing on the ground, holding onto a rope attached to a hot air balloon, and a sudden gust of wind lifts the balloon, let go of the rope, otherwise you'll find yourself a hundred feet in the air. If you're standing at the bottom of a well, and someone pulls the rope, hold on to the rope. This is equally relevant inwardly as well as outwardly.

I disagree with Dr. Hanson about 'inner parenting.' Your inner world is you. Are you a child? Do you need to be babied? I think it says much about Dr. Hanson's view of himself.

Anyway I think parents, loving or otherwise, are like adult children. Most have no idea what they are doing. There are rare exceptions, of course.

Makes much more sense to me to treat your inner world as you would treat a good, close friend.

Trust but verify is an old Russian proverb. Doveryai no proveryai. Probably means something close to the old Sufi saying, "Trust god, but tether the camels."

Lenin used to like to say it, he picked it up from his grandma, or an old aunt or something. But he was using it in a different way. When Reagan said it, how was he using it?

From the Free Association Thread:

dada » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:25 am wrote:Doveryai no proveryai.

When Lenin said it, did it have a paranoid flavor? Did it create paranoia around him. Like saying nicely, "I'm paranoid, you would be wise to be paranoid as well." Paranoia with a smile.

When Reagan said it, it would probably stir echoes of that paranoia in those who understood it in that Lenin way. Was he aware of that? I doubt it. Maybe he felt it, but wasn't sure where the effect was coming from. He wasn't really using it correctly, though. So it probably made him look like a fool. Russians laughing at him right to his face, without him realizing.



But Reagan probably thought he was using it in that "trust god, tether camels" way. Like Lenin's old aunt.

---

82_28 wrote:This requires a modicum of selfishness which just so happens to complete the cycle in our inexorable fealty to capitalism at the end of the day.


Well, there's something to say for keeping up appearances. Spies pledge fealty, too. "In the world but not of it" takes on a different meaning in this light.

---

Orientation as ever-inward movement isn't like moving in a direction towards a compass point. It's like when Gurdjieff explains about Upper and Lower Bokhara. Upper Bokhara isn't in the North, Lower in the South. Upper Bokhara is in the mountains, Lower in the valleys. The distinction is one of elevation.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:48 pm


https://www.cryptogon.com/?p=53457

Weird Coincidence: “That First “and Yakasa Maezawa
September 18th, 2018


A few days ago, I was trying to get through a new and excruciatingly boring TV show called, The First:

The First is an American-British drama web television series created by Beau Willimon and starring Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone. The show portrays members of a team of astronauts as they become the first humans to visit Mars. The series, a co-production between American streaming service Hulu and British television network Channel 4, debuted on September 14, 2018 in the United States.


In episode one, the CEO of a fictional private space exploration company walks into her living room. A picture of what looks like a skull painted by a graffiti artist is prominently displayed above the fireplace.

Here’s a partial screenshot:

Image


I thought, “WTF is that grotesque thing? The set designer had a bit of fun there!”

Flash forward to yesterday and SpaceX announcing that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will travel around the moon in the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

I had never heard of Yusaku Maezawa, so I did a few searches. Within a few seconds, I saw this:

Image


[???]
User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Blue » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:08 pm

^^^ Coincidentally I watched the first episode of Hulu's original "The First" last night and yeah, sooo boooring. Hoping it will pick up the pace. And yes, they kept the camera on her living room for a few minutes with the painting displayed. However, I recognized the artist and thought, oh, timely. That's what they do in Peak TV I guess. I don't watch much TV.

It really isn't that strange that they chose a piece of artwork so prominent for the show or that the Japanese tycoon who owns it is paying to be the first civilian to fly around the moon. He says he likes art and wants to take artists with him on the flight but clearly he buys it as a commodity investment. I suppose it's kind of like life imitating art, or art imitating life but not that weird except for the timing but sometimes a coincidence is just that.
User avatar
Blue
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:39 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:52 pm

"God’s way of remaining anonymous?"


"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
— Ian Fleming



https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/coincidence

“We do not create our destiny; we participate in its unfolding. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny.”

― David Richo, The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know

——————————


“Coincidences mean you're on the right path.”
― Simon Van Booy, Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories

——————————


“It's hard to believe in coincidence, but it's even harder to believe in anything else.”
― John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

—————————
User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 pm





http://www.alteredminds.co.uk/viewtopic ... 2024#p2024

by gods+lonely=man » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:46 am

Philip K. Dick-
Schizophrenia and The Book of Changes.


''What distinguishes schizophrenic existence from that which the rest of us like to imagine we enjoy is the element of time. The schizophrenic is having it all now, whether he wants it or not; the whole can of film has descended on him, whereas we watch it progress frame by frame. So for him, causality does not exist. Instead, the acausal connective principle that Wolfgang Pauli called synchronicity is operating in all situations--not merely as only one factor at work, as with us. Like a person under LSD, the schizophrenic is engulfed in an endless now. It's not too much fun.''


Schizophrenia and The Book of Changes
User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby dada » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:16 pm

"He's having it all now," "we're watching it frame by frame." I'd say both are hopelessly lost.

I'd elaborate, but what would it matter to the hopelessly lost.

I have judged this thread, and it has been judged wanting. I no longer have anything to do with it, I wash my hands like Pilate. And as my judgement extends retroactively, I've sent my vampire fairies to withdraw all of my spirit force out of my posts. I take no responsibility for where my prescient sight sees it heading. Good day.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:29 pm

^Nope.


Image


You can sure enough send some condescension as you close the door quietly and kiss us goodbye; but when we clicked submit - and did commit, we can’t take it back - because we already did it and the deed is done!!

Maybe I should mention I meant nothing personal - posting some PK, and (personally) I could really care less ‘bout most of the comments that many have left, but the posts we send will (spiritually, quite possibly) always reside in this “Questioning Consciousness” cyberspace place - insinuating something to make ourselves smile, or make us sad, in the thread of the dead where we read what we said - wearily wending our wildly wacky wily wiles… and whatever we were wishing to wonder aloud…

Anyway (quaint as it was), I’m continuing the discussion in 'Questioning Consciousness’ with simply another piece of the puzzle:





https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/arts ... at-74.html

[...]

by John Pareles
Nov. 13, 2016

Leon Russell was born Claude Russell Bridges in Lawton, Okla., on April 2, 1942. An injury to his upper vertebrae at birth caused a slight paralysis on his right side that would shape his music: A resulting delayed reaction time in his right hand forced him to think ahead about what it would play. “It gave me a very strong sense of duality,” he said last year in a Public Radio International interview.

[…]



https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-07/ ... sical-path

Hit musician Leon Russell credits an injury at birth with setting him on his musical path

July 7, 2015
by Julie Lowrie Henderson

[…]

Russell credits his artistic development to a birth injury that damaged his upper vertebrae and left him slightly paralyzed on the right side of his body. “It gave me a very strong sense of duality,” he says. “It gave me an outlook into this plane that we live on and if I hadn’t had that, I’d probably be selling cars in Paris, Texas.” Russell became one of the most sought after session musicians in Los Angeles during the 1960s, working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Phil Spector and from Glen Campbell to the Byrds.

[…]



User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:59 am



Sage of Quay™ Radio - Sofia Smallstorm - Does AI Control Reality? (Sept 2018)

Tonight my good friend and colleague Sofia Smallstorm returns to the show.

Sofia and I discuss how artificial intelligence has possibly advanced to the point where it is predicting and controlling our lives…


[…]

Sofia: … The machine sees the whole picture. It has that big picture mapped out, and we don’t see it, and now these people who have created these machines are leaning on the machines to really run things…

Alright, everybody is saying, all the people who are awake are saying “Can you believe it! Can you believe what’s happening? Can you believe how fast this is going? I mean they’re doing this, and now they’re doing this, and they’re mandatory this…”, I mean all this stuff that’s being ratcheted up, and every one of us feels it, Mike. ; even the people who aren’t awake are feeling it. They have this feeling of incredible oppression, and heaviness and doom, and they’re nervous. People say things like, “I don’t know where the world is going”, “I don’t know where the country’s going.” It’s going according to AI! That’s where it’s going; and AI is just piling this stuff on us faster and faster because… AI has already figured out how to get us from A to Z; because it can put pieces so far out on the board, and it can pre-compute and calculate exactly what that zig-zag path to that end result is going to be, because it’s analyzed billions and billions of things - that we have provided.

Mike: In my view that’s exactly what’s going on; and to add to that, when people take a look around, and the reality seems cartoonish - like we’re living in a comic book, this is because the data that’s being fed into the AI is comic book, cartoonish behavior - emotions , reactions. So, this is why some people look around them and say, How can this be?” It’s because AI, the machine, has looked at it and said, “This is where it’s at. So, let me do the computations and plot out the next steps. Let me put the scenarios out there. This is why I see the world operating the way it is, because we have fed the data into the machine, and the machine understands human behavior and it understands human needs, human wants, and it’s because we’re giving it to it. It wouldn’t have any data to work with if we didn’t offer it up…

[…]

Mike: There is something called business analytics, and in many corporations, multi-national corporations, they have initiatives that have to do with business analytics. Business analytics is all about data - data collection, data sorting, compiling; and using that data to predict your customers’ or clients’ needs and wants before your client knows what they need or what they want. This is happening, and has been happening for a long time within the multi-national corporations, and probably even at small level corporations at this point.

That’s a perfect example, if you just take my example of a corporation just looking to understand how a customer’s going to react, what are they going to think that they need, or what they want, solutions and so on, that if you take that and extrapolate that and make it larger, it’s exactly what we’re talking about. This is what the AI is doing to the general population and the masses at a much larger scale. It’s predicting your needs and your wants - in fact, it’s actually formulating your needs and your wants. That’s what it’s doing: Hey, you need this, you want this, you’re going to like this over there, you’re gonna like that over there, you should buy this… This is what is in play now. And people are chasing it! People are grabbing onto it and embracing this.

[…]

Mike: I don’t want people to think that what we’re saying here is abstract… that we’re talking about something that doesn’t exist, because… it’s real. Business analytics is real. It’s not on somebody’s drawing board somewhere. It’s real. So, there would no reason to believe that it’s not existing outside of the corporate structure. I think it would be very naive to believe that it’s not taking place outside the corporate structure.

Sofia: Mike, that was a very important piece. It’s very, very important to this. They say parallel, but as you say, it’s the corporate image of what we’re experiencing in our real lives, and one thing I realized was that, huh, it doesn’t matter how sloppily they do their stunts - let’s just call them stunts, you know - staged scenarios for instance; and they don’t finish correctly, they don’t clean up after themselves, because they already know the result. The machine knows how all kinds of people in mind are gonna react to all kind of things, and it can very confidently put a chess piece on the far edge of the board and win, and it knows that the placement of that chess piece, that’s the winning move, and we’re sitting here going, ’What’s that? Where did that come from??”


[…]


Sofia (quoting from the book, New Dark Age, by James Bridle): “… In advanced chess, a human and a computer play as a team against another human-computer pair. The results have been revolutionary, opening up fields and strategies of play previously unseen in the game. Blunders are eliminated and the human players can analyze their own potential movements to such an extent that it results in perfect tactical play and more rigorously deployed strategic plans. But, perhaps the most extraordinary outcome of advanced chess is seen when human and machine play against a solo machine. Since Deep Blue, many computer programs have been developed that can beat humans with ease, but even the most powerful program can be defeated by a skilled human player with access to a computer - even a computer less powerful than the opponent. So, cooperation between human and machine turns out to be a more potent strategy than trusting to the computer alone.”

[…]

Mike: I thought of two things as you were reading that because that… The first thing was that humans are learning from machines, and that leads us right down into the trans-humanism agenda that is playing out.

[…]

We’re learn from machines, machines can teach us, we’re no longer programming and teaching machines, they’re now teaching us, and now it plays into that whole trans-humanism piece that they keep talking about: The merging of man and machine.

Sofia: In fact, Mike, he writes this right after: “This strategy of cooperation (he merging of man and machine) drawing on the respective skills of human and machine rather than pitting one against the other, may be our only hope for surviving life among machines - whose thought processes are unknowable to us!

There you go!! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!!!”


[…]

Mike: It becomes one of these mommy daddy structures. They know when to take care of you, and they’re extracting your knowledge and your skills. But, what they’re also extracting out of you is your resourcefulness, your resiliency to be a human being. God forbid, if you should step out of that environment, like you said, most people are not going to know what to do. They’re not going to know how to survive. They won’t know anything. So, I think that is part of the agenda overall, where they want that dependency. They want you to love, and they want you to embrace the corporatocracy.

Sofia: And I am going to throw in here that AI has figured out how this is going to work. It knows this is a guaranteed result - because it otherwise wouldn’t be happening. That is what I now believe… that that societyis not at all evolving the way we used to think before we knew that there were all these, you know, New World Order plans… There’s no evolution of society that’s natural. It’s all created and it’s intensification is because AI is planning the trajectory.

[…]
User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:04 pm

We should possibly consider this AI stuff if we’re seriously questioning our consciousness:



Sheila Aliens Hallucination Weapons, 25th Frame Effect, Russian Virus 666 + DARPA/DoD

Published on Oct 13, 2018

UPDATE (A.I. VIDEO): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF5fK...

DoD PDF mentioning "hallucination weapons": https://goo.gl/FDuW1X
Russian Holographic YARS Missile Launchers: https://goo.gl/TaLnDa (translated into English)
The Mind Has No Firewall (1998): https://goo.gl/AbXF9u
Deference Tones/Voice to Skull: https://goo.gl/f1vQFN
Technological Simulation of Hallucination (2005): https://goo.gl/PB5EzA
Artificial Stimulation of the Temporal Lobe: https://goo.gl/YSLZJw
Exploring The Human Computer Interface and Photic Driving: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/...

User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:54 pm





https://washingtonsblog.com/2018/10/cla ... peace.html

Classical Conditioning for Peace
Posted on October 22, 2018 by DavidSwanson

According to the analysis of police-murder-instigator Dave Grossman, the reason that only a minority of soldiers attempted to kill in World War II and earlier wars was a general aversion to committing murder. And the reason that the vast majority of U.S. soldiers (marines, sailors, etc.) have attempted to kill in recent decades is “classical conditioning.” A fireman rushes into a fire without thinking, if he or she has been conditioned through drill repetition to do so. Soldiers kill without thinking, if they have been trained to do so through the repetition of the realistic simulation of killing.

Image



Of course, afterwards, you can hardly stop people from thinking about what they’ve done. The top cause of death in the U.S. military is suicide, and the top indicator of a risk of suicide is combat guilt.

I’m wondering what would happen if a government were to invest heavily in advertising and recruitment, and then pay hundreds of thousands of young people good salaries to be conditioned for peace. I strongly suspect that one thing that would not happen would be regret and guilt leading to suicide. But what would such conditioning even look like, and what side-effects might it have?

I’ve never thought of this before, primarily, I think, because I don’t want to trick anybody into being peaceful, and don’t believe it’s necessary. When I talk with people who believe that war can be justified, and who are open to talking about it, more often than not I persuade them through straightforward respectful discussion that in fact war can never be justified. If I just had 7.6 billion hours with which to spend an hour with each person, I tell myself, I could talk most of them out of belief in war, and some of them into taking action to undo governmental preparations for war.

However, I just watched a Netflix show in which an attempt is made to condition someone for peace. At least that’s one way of looking at this show. It’s called Sacrifice by Derren Brown. I’m about to spoil any surprises in it for you.

Stop reading here to avoid spoilers.

It should be noted that The Guardian, Metro, and Decider didn’t much like this show, and generally objected to the ethical decision to manipulate the man who is the subject of the show’s experiment. To believe the show’s producer, however, the man was quite pleased with having been so experimented on. In any event, one would be very hard pressed to get a corporate publication to object to the manipulation of children through video games and war movies, and to the manipulation of military recruits to kill and to believe that they are likely to survive unharmed. If manipulating someone is objectionable — and I can certainly see why it would be — should we reserve those objections for the manipulation of someone for a good cause?

In fairness, similar publications have had somewhat similar objections when Derren Brown, in another Netflix show, manipulated people into doing what they believed was committing murder. But it was individual murder, not mass murder, and not with any uniforms or bombs or national anthems or any of the accouterments that make it OK.

If you watch the preview for Sacrifice, the conclusion won’t surprise you. It’s just the in-between parts you won’t be sure about. A show that attempts to get a man to put himself between a gun and a stranger wouldn’t be aired unless, in the end, the man did it. But how is he brought to the point of doing it?

What makes the show more interesting and valuable, is that the man, Phil, is a U.S. citizen highly prejudiced against “immigrants,” and Brown intends to get Phil to take a bullet to protect a Latino immigrant from a racist white American. So, there are two things that Brown claims to do to Phil: make him brave, and make him care about people he hasn’t cared about.

The make-him-brave part is done with Phil’s consent. The manipulative part is that Brown tells Phil he’s installing a “chip” in his body that will help to make him brave, which is of course not actually true. The rest of the bravery conditioning is done with Phil’s participation. He listens to audio recordings and thinks brave thoughts. He’s conditioned to associate a certain musical jingle and hand motion with finding great courage. Ethical complaints with this seem weaker than practical ones, specifically the likelihood that it wouldn’t work on everyone.

The caring part of the conditioning is in some ways more dishonest, but also less like conditioning. (Brown calls this “empathy,” rather than caring, but it’s not clear that it relates to the strict sense of empathy, meaning experiencing the world from someone else’s point of view.) Phil is shown DNA ancestry results that find him to have ancestors in Palestine and Mexico. He’s nudged in the direction of reconsidering his prejudices. He’s not told that that’s what’s happening. He’s not agreed to it. But he’s told what are presumably accurate facts. If the DNA results were fabricated, or would have to be fabricated in the case of many other people, that presents a certain weakness. But there’s no repetitive conditioning involved here.

There is another element in the preparation to care, however. Phil and a Latino-looking man are asked to sit and stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Phil becomes emotional and asks to give the man a hug. Hardly a word is said. This is not rational persuasion. But there’s also nothing dishonest about it. I can’t imagine what harm would be done by employing this technique on a mass scale.

The most dishonest and manipulative part of the experiment is the use of numerous actors to create a staged incident in which Phil is led to make a choice to get out of a truck and stand in front of a man being threatened with a gun. The world cannot hire a hundred people to manipulate every one person into acting heroically. The math doesn’t work. The paranoia of everyone afraid they were in a show would be damaging, even if it might have some positive results as well. And one heroic act isn’t enough.

But why couldn’t “empathy exercises,” DNA results, bravery practice (with or without placebos, but always respectful and consensual), be combined with rational, fact-based education about alternatives to war, nonviolent dispute resolution, the rule of law, restorative justice, anthropology, the actual history of wars and war propaganda, the environmental damage of militarism, the counterproductive results of bellicosity, and the need for courageous concerned actions to reform corrupt systems, to reverse destructive policies, and to mitigate the oncoming disaster of climate chaos?

What would be wrong with conditioning ourselves to work for peace?



Fwiw:



[…]

This show is about how readily we hand over authorship of our lives every day and the dangers of losing that control...

[…]


———————


On the other hand:

User avatar
chump
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests