Repost: Microaggression and FIML

I have been seeing a lot of stuff about microaggression recently.

The term interests me because FIML is all about micro impressions.

When done with a caring partner, FIML is designed to correct mistaken impressions or interpretations that often derive from micro impressions and/or manifest as micro expressions.

Anyone who has done FIML for more than a few months surely must be aware that we create wrong impressions of even our most trusted partners frequently.

A wrong impression often snowballs, leading to a wrong interpretation that after festering can be much harder to correct than the original micro impression.

So between friends, and especially FIML partners, the perception of micro aggression can and should be noticed and dealt with immediately or as soon as possible. It is basic to FIML practice that even a single uncorrected wrong impression can lead to serious divisions between people.

In this sense, I heartily accept the idea of microaggression being a thing. In fact, I believe it is such a thing that it happens all the time, especially if you mean micro mis-impressions and not just microaggression.

But the term microaggression means something different from the above, though the central concepts are related. Wikipedia has this short definition of microaggression:

…the use of known social norms of behavior and/or expression that, while without conscious choice of the user, has the same effect as conscious, intended discrimination.

The main difference is “without conscious choice of the user.” FIML is all about being conscious. Both parties being conscious.

If I perceive something in your speech, demeanor, or behavior that makes me think that maybe you are disrespecting me or mad at me or or suspicious of me or something like that, then if you are my FIML partner I am basically required to ask you about it if there is time.

In FIML, the asking is done without prejudgement. I simply ask “what was in your mind when you made that expression or said those words or did that thing.” Your answer must be honest. If you don’t trust your partner to be honest, you can’t do FIML (though you can start trying and see if either or both of you changes).

If your partner answers honestly and you do not perceive an iota of what you thought was in their mind, that part of the event is finished. If when the person spoke or acted they had no nothing about doing what you thought they might be doing, you are done with it. You no longer have any right to further impute your thing onto them.

You can if you want, and this is encouraged, continue to discuss the matter. For example, you might say: “From your response, I can tell that you were not disrespecting me and I am delighted to find that out. That’s a huge relief for me because I have spent much of my life reacting to people who do that as if they were disrespecting me. It’s weird to hear that I am wrong in this case and it makes me wonder if I have been wrong in other cases.”

Then the two of you can discuss that. I know one person who frequently reacts to educated northeast American accents as being “imperious” or “arrogant” when they are not. (Don’t get me started on all the many phrases and attitudes in culture that wrongly limit speech and thus culture itself—“condescending,” “know-it-all,” “argumentative,” “imperious,” etc.)

So, if two friends are having problems between themselves with microaggression, they are prime candidates for FIML practice. Of course, any two friends who are having any problems with micro impressions (all friends all the time) are prime candidates for FIML. (You cannot but have these problems.)

But microaggression as the word is being used today is not something FIML can deal with directly because it is

…the use of known social norms of behavior and/or expression that, while without conscious choice of the user, has the same effect as conscious, intended discrimination.

The important words here are “known social norms,” “without conscious choice” leading to “discrimination.”

I don’t know how to unpack that. From a FIML point of view, my guess is behaviors that could potentially be identified as “microaggression” according to that definition would be in the range of dozens per day per every person in the world. Maybe more.

An example many readers will remember is Michelle Obama reacting to a customer in Target asking her to hand them something they could not reach.

I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.

If even the president’s wife can get something so ordinary so wrong, you can see the scope of the problem. In the same interview, the president himself mentioned being “mistaken for a waiter.”

Both later downplayed their comments because they had to. Microaggression is an inherently super-ambiguous term open to a multitude of interpretations every time it is used.

In FIML, we find that micro-mistakes are real and dangerous. They are not ignored but addressed immediately because they can be so serious. Relevantly, in my experience with FIML a great many micro-impressions that I form are simply dead wrong. Most of them are wrong. I can’t enter that as evidence because the world does not have enough FIML practitioners for me to do a study on it. However, I do suspect that a great many micro-impressions of or impressions of microaggression are wrong.

Many of us laughed or thought it was ridiculous for Michelle Obama to bristle at having a short person ask her for help because we all have been on one side or the other of an exchange like that and thought nothing of it. I have been mistaken for a store employee or construction worker more than once and never thought anything of it, except maybe to feel slightly flattered that someone thought I looked like I knew what I was doing.

Another problem with the notion of politicizing microaggression (because that is what the term is about) is whose microaggression against whom?

I have strabismus, lazy eye. Even though the condition has been surgically corrected, I still cannot maintain a direct friendly gaze for long periods of time. This means that many people are led to misinterpreting my micro expressions (I start to look down) as me being bored, tired, or not friendly when all that is happening is my eye is so tired it starts to blur and needs to look away.

I know this from years of experience and because some people tell me what they are thinking. One in twenty or twenty-five people have strabismus. Add in other eye conditions with similar problems and you will get much higher percentages. Add hearing problems, attention-deficit problems, autism problems, and so on and you can include most people in the world having difficulties with micro-expressions and how they are being interpreted by others.

If someone from a different culture or race or neighborhood interprets my strabismus as microaggression (boredom with them or condescension toward them rather than simple fatigue), they will get it all wrong. And there is little or nothing I can do about it.

I even tell people about strabismus sometimes. I explain what it does. They say they understand, but very few of them really do. Only very close friends or people who have similar eye problems understand well enough that it stops being an issue with them.

Moreover, strabismus and other eye problems can lead to problems with facial recognition. So the person in the store that asked Michelle Obama for help may have also had facial recognition problems. I have that problem, too, and I seriously doubt that I would recognize Michelle Obama if I saw her in Target.

So, sorry, I don’t have any really good answer to how to understand microaggression or deal with it. On a personal level with friends or FIML partners, micro-impressions are what we want to work with as much as we can. On a societal level, you can hardly do anything about it. A super-smart person might be able to become aware of a good many of the difficulties faced by people in the world, but even that person will miss many of them or misinterpret what they perceive even if they “know” the right thing to do.

At the abstract heart of the problem there is probably a measurement or resolution problem. Simply stated, no person can ever possibly do perfect microanalyses all the time in all situations with all people. Far from it. Thus, it is a sort of “reverse microaggression” to demand or expect that they can or will or should.

I suppose we can and should become more aware of how complex people are and how difficult it is to know even one other person well, or even to know yourself well. But nothing that I can think of will ever relieve us of the difficulty of dealing with the immense number of micro-impressions we all give and receive every minute of every day.

Heroin: Blame It On America

Any politician who claims to care about the drug overdose deaths sweeping the nation, but does not demand that we build a wall, deport illegal aliens and end the anchor baby scam, is a liar.

In 2014, more people died from drug overdoses than any year in U.S. history: 47,055. That’s more than die in car accidents — and it’s not even close.

This is a huge, horrible problem — and it’s a problem caused entirely by the fact that Mexico is on our southern border.

link to original

Danish journalist says European men are acting like women

 

Anissa Naouai interviews Iben Thranholm. 8:38

There has been a much stronger response to the migrants in Eastern Europe because the people there very clearly remember being invaded and dominated by alien races and ideologies during Soviet times.

If you cannot defend your culture, your culture will be destroyed. It can be destroyed physically in war, by demographic infiltration through mass immigration, or through ideas that undermine pride and cohesive social values.

Many years ago, I remember a Polish woman telling me, “You Americans want to get rid of all your strong men, but what you don’t understand is you may need those men one day to defend your society.”

She could have said the same about Western Europe.

Memories of war and domination by others fade quickly.

Much of what the Bolsheviks did in Russia and Eastern Europe was mental, psychological, intellectual. They also murdered many millions (the first mass murders in modern European history), but the intellectual groundwork came first and Eastern Europeans still remember.

Demography is destiny. Similarly, those who control the ideas of culture, control the culture. Those who control media, academia, and politics control the ideas.

“Masculinity” does not just mean having muscles and fighting. It also means, in the context of this video, being strong enough mentally to stand for your values, your people, your history, your culture.

BREAKING: Harney County Fire Chief Resigns. FBI Caught Posing As Militia At Local Armory

I am not completely sure what the issues in Harney County are. But far as I know:

The precipitating issue is the Hammonds were sent back to prison for arson, which many find dubious and excessive.

The underlying issues are federal ownership and control of the land.

The argument for the feds is there is a lot of case law, bills from congress, and court rulings that show the feds do indeed own BLM land.

The argument against that position is 1) all of the above violates the Constitution, which it does appear to do, and 2) all the parties that claim the feds own the land are themselves federal—congress, courts, BLM, FBI, prosecutors, and probably more than that.

I really like the people in Harney County and tend to trust them. Seems to me the feds are pushing too hard, especially by sending the Hammonds back to jail for five years.

Also, I am strongly in favor of states’ rights because that is how our system is supposed to work.

That said, I also fear states’ right in land issues in the West because once states control that land it will be corrupt state officials selling the land to their friends, not necessarily being reasonable with ranchers.

It seems to me that the feds have overreached in this case and now can’t back down because they are a stupid bureaucracy. Would have been better to give the Hammonds a pass and let them continue ranching rather than send them back to jail.

Since they didn’t do that, it would still be better for the feds to back off, let the Hammonds out of jail, and let the County return to business as it was. Good law enforcement often calls for de-escalation and this case is an example of that, imo.

Lithuanian independence January 13, 1991

Today marks the 25th anniversary of a major turning point in modern Lithuanian history as well as the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

On January 13, 1991 tens of thousands of unarmed Lithuanian citizens confronted Soviet tanks and soldiers at the Parliament building in Vilnius and the Vilnius TV Tower.

Iceland was the first country to recognize Lithuanian independence on February 11, 1991.

More about the events of January can be found here.

Edit 01/27/16: Lithuania opens mass trial for 1991 Soviet crackdown

More basic anthropology and how that affects news and politics

Yesterday I discussed the basic principle of consanguinity and how that affects societies that practice it.

To continue in this vein, today I want to describe how some very basic anthropological concepts apply to Europeans.

Yesterday we saw how large groups of clannish people from consanguineous cultures are all but guaranteed to cause problems in Europe, which historically eradicated consanguinity and most clans.

But that leaves open the question of why Europeans are blind to the inevitable problems that will arise when consanguineous clannish cultures migrate into Europe in large numbers.

In the news this morning, I found this article: ‘Cover-up’ over Cologne sex assaults blamed on migration sensitivities.

Here are some quotes from it:

Politicians and police were facing mounting questions on Wednesday over how a crowd of some 1,000 men “of North African or Arab appearance” was able to mass around the city’s main train station on New Year’s Eve, with roving gangs allegedly assaulting dozens of women with impunity.

and

There has been widespread condemnation of the city’s police force after an official press release on New Year’s Day described the celebrations as “peaceful”.

…questions are being asked over why it took five days for the media to report the incidents.

So why did that happen?

The basic anthropological reason is Europeans are extremely sensitive to feelings of shame.

This is so because European communal bonds are built on the ideas of fairness and universal morality that developed after clans were eradicated in Europe.

These ideas have existed in European populations for so long that those populations have evolved to rely on them for social cohesion. This is an example of the co-evolution of genes and culture.

Co-evolution of genes and culture is a feature of all societies. It almost certainly accelerated during the past 3,000 years since the advent of large-scale agriculture.

In European society, this sort of co-evolution encouraged the emergence of a strong sense of shame or guilt. These emotions emerged because shame, public shaming, and guilt are used to police European post-clannish, universal morality.

Now we can answer the questions posed above from the linked article.

Why did police allow the large crowd of rowdy men to gather? Because they were ashamed to do anything because if they had, they might have been criticized for being “racist.”

The police not only did not break up the crowd to protect German women, they further falsely described the celebrations as “peaceful” in a press release.

How could German police feel more ashamed of a word (racist) than of not protecting German women?

The answer is their natural tendencies and professional requirements to protect German women (or anyone) were overruled by the dictates of their consciences.

Their brains malfunctioned so much that the police protected themselves against false imaginary accusations instead of doing their jobs by protecting actual women.

I say malfunctioned because in a larger context that is surely a malfunction.

But within German or European culture, actions like theirs have not so far been seen as malfunctions, except sometimes after the fact.

The Rotherham sex scandal in England is another example of widespread fear among police and officials of being shamed. There are literally hundreds of other examples throughout Western Europe.

These examples show how a culture that evolved in response to the absence of clans developed a sense of moral shame that is poorly adapted to the present world.

The actions of European politicians who have allowed these problems to develop and of the press that consistently hides these same problems can be explained in the same way the actions of police in Cologne have been explained.

Some very basic anthropology and how that affects news and politics

A well-known difference in world cultures is the degree to which members of a culture marry close relatives. This is called consanguinity. The map below shows rates of consanguinity across the world. Click on the image to expand the map and see the numbers better.

Cultures with high rates of consanguinity tend to be clannish. This means that a basic organizational unit of the society is a clan made up of closely related members. Clans are usually hierarchical and demand primary loyalty from their members. And this generally results in nations with weak state institutions, corruption, and lots of fighting among clans.

Young males in clans generally learn from an early age that violence is the best way to settle disputes because that is how it has been for centuries and because there are no alternative like a fair and effective legal system.

Clannish societies also engage in crowd behaviors such as those that occurred in Cologne on New Years Eve. To an anthropologist, attacks of that nature should not be surprising. They are a fairly normal aspect of clan-based behavior and psychology. Germans, though…

…have been shocked by the scale of the attacks, involving many groups of drunk and aggressive young men.

Witnesses and police said the men were of Arab or North African appearance. (same link as above)

Being shocked by something so predictable says a good deal about German idealism. Do they really think that just breathing the air in Germany will change the psycho-sociologies of migrants that have developed over thousands of years?

Displaying amazing ignorance of the root cause of what is happening in Cologne and many other parts of Europe, the Mayor of Cologne herself actually said

…that [German] women should adopt a “code of conduct” to prevent future assault at a crisis meeting following the sexual attack of women by 1000 men on New Year’s eve. (link)

When your ideals stubbornly do not match reality, it’s time to change your ideals.

Europe used to be a clannish society. But the Catholic Church banned consanguinity during the Middle Ages. Banning consanguinity was a deliberate and premeditated way to destroy the clan structure of much of Europe.

After that ban, a different sort of society evolved in Europe, based on strong state laws and a universal morality that sees other people as being largely “the same as” oneself and thus deserving of fair treatment.

Some other really basic differences between societies are the way women are treated (see the above) and how the truth is treated.

In Europe and European-derived cultures, the truths people believe in are open and ideally should be shared with others without prejudice. The scientific method is a good example of this. Europe did not keep its science and technology secret.

This is not the case in many other cultures. In many parts of the world codes exist that define what can be said or not said to “outsiders.” And in many of those societies it is considered right and proper to lie to “outsiders” in order to gain an advantage over them. If you allow large numbers of people like that into your society, you are going to have problems.

The ideas expressed above are so basic to human social psychology, it’s long past time to stop being ignorant of them or pretending they are more malleable than they are.

China makes an Orwellian game that scores how good a citizen you are

I hope this isn’t true, and if it is, I hope people disrupt the hell out of it.

There’s a new game in China called Sesame Credit. You gain and lose points when you play it.

“But instead of measuring how regularly you pay your bills, it measures how obediently you follow the party line.” (see article below for link)

It goes live in January and will be voluntary until 2020 when it become mandatory.

An article with more detail can be found here: China Just Launched the Most Frightening Game Ever — and Soon It Will Be Mandatory

A voice they don’t want you to hear

The string-pullers on TV and in DC don’t like diversity of views, especially when they can’t control them.

And they  don’t like the people expressing those views for a similar reason—they say things you’re not supposed to hear.

This explains both the popular appeal of Donald Trump and the barrage of attacks he faces daily.

James Kirkpatrick describes it well:

The rise of Trump isn’t “fascism,” but long overdue resistance and self-defense from an occupied people tired of being treated like enemies of the state in the country they built.

You have to go to alternate media sites to get reasonable analyses of American politics today because mainstream media is all about controlling the message, controlling what you hear.

Kirkpatrick’s essay is well worth reading in full:  Trump’s “Fascism” Is Just White America Finally Hitting BACK.

Kirkpatrick on Obama:

But even as the lying Main Stream Media shrieks about the imminent Trumpreich, there is an eerie silence as Barack Obama’s Occupation Government engages in actions which would be termed “fascist” if directed against non-whites and non-Christians. Chief among them was Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s declaration to a group called the “Muslim Advocates” that her “greatest fear” was the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric.” Lynch said the Justice Department would “take action” against those who engaged in speech that “edges towards violence.” (same link as above)

It’s ironic that it takes someone who is very rich to actually speak for a huge segment of the American people who are not, but that’s how it is.

Washington and Jefferson were rich. A rich person with good intentions can do a great deal of good.

I don’t see Trump as fascist or dangerous, but rather as the first candidate in decades who may actually do what he says.

Two essays about White people

The first essay discusses rising death rates among middle-age Whites and sort of concludes that they deserve it. When I saw the piece was by Barbara Ehrenreich, I clicked on it immediately because I usually enjoy her work. Not this time. I think the essay, Dead, White, and Blue The Great Die-Off of America’s Blue Collar Whites, is terrible. If you read it, I urge you to look at the comments, many of which refute her points very well.

The second essay, The Nation Publishes Ethnically Motivated Anti-White Hate Propaganda Screed, is a response by Guillaume Durocher to an essay that appeared in The Nation magazine.

Durocher’s piece reads somewhat like the comments following Ehrenreich’s. A basic point is that White people as a group have needs and interests and that they should be allowed to speak about them without being called “supremacists.” (At the time of this posting, there are no comments under Durocher’s essay.)

I have written about White identity on this site once, making the point that:

I see nothing wrong with White identity or White identity groups, especially defensive identity groups that want to conserve and promote the values and culture of White people, who can be defined as people of predominantly European extraction.

The issues discussed in Durocher’s and Ehrenreich’s essays are well-worth thinking about and discussing with friends. I doubt they will be settled soon or that they can be reasonably summarized in a few sentences. I raise these issues because they are important and controversy can be a good thing, especially when it is resolved peacefully through words.

___________________

Edit 12/07/15: National Data: November Jobs—Americans Lose Ground As Immigrant Job Displacement Ties Obama-Era Record

On Freudianism and the assertion of interpersonal meaning

Freudianism is an extreme example of the assertion of meaning where there is none, or very little.

It is extreme for two reasons: 1) because it is scientifically groundless and 2) because so many people believed it.

Communism, many religious beliefs and practices, fads, styles, ethnic myths, many “historical” misinterpretations, and much more are examples of false meanings that are asserted and believed by large numbers of people.

You could say that pretty much all human culture is a similar stew of strongly asserted falsehoods mixed with some facts.

Freud was an interesting writer and his ideas were and are worth considering, but they should have remained minor points in the history of psychology and never become “meanings” that influenced the entire Western world.

In this respect, Freudianism is an excellent sociological or macro example of what individuals do psychologically, on micro and meso levels with themselves and others.

Humans are extremely prone to append or assert meaning where it does not belong either because there is no “meaning” in that context or because the “meaning” being asserted is incorrect.

Freudianism shows how powerfully and massively wrong we often get meaning and how wrong our analyses of human thought, emotion, and behavior can be.

At the macro level of trends like Freudianism, we can and should have asked for evidence.

At the micro and meso levels of human psychological understanding we can and should ask for evidence or confirmation from the person or persons about whom we are asserting psychological meaning.

If you do this frequently with a trusted partner, you will begin to see that many of the “meanings” you append to that partner and to yourself are false.

If you see an Oedipal complex in your partner, chances are you will be seeing something similar in yourself.

False macro meanings like Freudianism can be corrected through science. At the micro or meso levels of the individual, wrong meanings can only be corrected through a practice like FIML.

In the future we may be better able to understand micro and meso levels of interpersonal meaning through the use of brain scans, but even brain scans need interpretation and will be difficult to use during real-time, interpersonal interactions.

See Micro, meso, and macro levels of human understanding for more on what is meant by these levels.