Saturday, August 29, 2009

Illusion, a play

Eight people meet. Seven of them have agreed to accept and eat a piece of pie from one of them. They agree that they will act as if the pie were poisoned, and die, one by one, to see if the one man who doesn't know this is all a set-up eats the pie.

But the pie really is poisoned. And when the people really die, the fourth refuses, saying this was supposed to be a joke. But the fifth eats the pie anyway, as does the fourth, and sixth.

When it is just the man whose idea this was and the man who didn't know are left, the man who didn't know convinces the man whose idea this was to eat the pie himself.

The man who didn't know is at the table by himself. There is one last piece of pie.


The eight people represent humam's from history:

Adam (choice)
Socrates (principle)
Jesus Christ (teacher)
Joan of Arc (faith)
Lincoln (hate)
Hemingway (ego)
Ghandi (symbol)
Kennedy (idealistic)
Plath (victim)

The value of secrets...

Secrets are the distinguishing markers, replacing genetic characteristics, in social groupings. Secrets allow discrimination based on memes rather than genes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Love and Sufferring

What happens when "I love you" is about wanting the other person to love me? I can't control whether the other person loves me or not, so I suffer when she doesn't love me the way I want her to. The more I want her to love me, the more
I suffer.

Is it possible to love someone without needing them to love me back? Parents love their children this way - unconditinal love. What if I love my wife unconditionally? If she doesn't love me unconditionally, will she suffer?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Secrets, Intimacy, and Unconditional Love

What makes us human vs. other life forms:

The rate at which humans are able to learn and adapt (change my behavior by observing past and imagining future events).

a. How does a plant learn to follow the sun? Learning by selection. Memory by genetic coding.
b. How does a child learn a language? Learning by imitation. Memory by neuron coding.

- The ability to transmit learning from one human to another (the role of social behavior)
- The role of secrets, intimacy, and unconditional love in the strategic survival of the human species

Are the highest human functions a manifestation of the species' survival strategy (like unconditional love, which requires putting short term / reactive forces aside in favor of longer-term / proactive forces)?

What is the role of secrets in survival?
What is the role of intimacy in survival?
What is the role of unconditional love (and forgiveness) in survival?
What social patterns are adaptive versus prescriptive?