Status and hierarchy are as fundamental to human life as murder

All three are middling instincts that are easily controlled or not even thought about by most people.

I mention this because several social-psychologists I like and respect have come down hard on the fundamental importance of the human instinct for status and advancement within human hierarchies.

I discussed this topic in January regarding Jordan Peterson. Yesterday, I noticed the video below where Peterson seems to be conflating status, hierarchy, and self-improvement. To me, it sounds like he is backing away from his views on the fundamental importance of status within a human hierarchy. This is good because the only evidence anyone can offer for that claim will be based on psychometric tautologies or, more vaguely, cultural inertia.

BTW, I like Peterson and wish him the best. His is a valuable and necessary voice. I hope he keeps talking and eventually becomes prime minister of Canada.

 

Games as semiotic focus

Define a game as “a set of rules that focuses and directs thought, feeling, intention.”

Most human games are overwhelmingly involved with human semiotics. Human feeling, thought, and intention overwhelmingly operate within and are defined by human semiotics.

Humans are semiotic animals who live within semiologies as much or more than their natural environments. Few of us can even comprehend our natural environments save through a semiotic system.

A semiology is a signal system, a system of signals. Humans need and want their signal systems to be organized; from this arises culture and psychology.

From this arises the many games of human semiotic organization. Humans crave meaning—a synonym for semiotic organization and focus—and thus play games (as defined above) with their intentions, thoughts, emotions, behaviors, instincts, perceptions, desires, and so on. Without meaning, focus, purposive semiotic organization, life is dismal and many humans destroy themselves and others for this alone.

Human semiotic organization can be beneficially reorganized in two basic ways:

  • Through general thought, which mainly changes how we focus and what we focus on. This region of organization includes all culture and science, including mainstream psychology and its treatments.
  • Through analysis of the most basic elements of semiotic organization, individual semiotics and semiologies. To do this at the individual level, two individuals are needed because you cannot successfully analyze your own semiotics by yourself. This is so because a great number of human semiotics are fundamental to both psychology and communication. They do not exist independently.

The goal of reorganizing individual semiologies is to optimize them. As individual semiologies optimize, individual psychologies inevitably optimize apace. Much is possible at this level that is not possible at the general level of psychological theory.

Reorganization at this level is done through individual semiotics, the actual signals of individual communication and psychology alike. To play this game—the game of semio-psychological reorganization and optimization—you have to have rules. Here they are.

Me on the outside vs me on the inside

This image was used on a social anxiety site to illustrate what it says. My take on it is virtually everyone in the world is like this if you expand social anxiety to mean inner confusion.

Under current worldwide social norms, inner confusion reigns because there is no way for individuals to communicate with profound authenticity, no way to connect on authentic levels. The closest most people can get is shared ideals, shared vows, shared beliefs, all mere pale shadows of true authenticity.

Those who lack profound authentic communication must needs necessarily also lack authentic self-knowledge. You cannot know thyself all alone. You must be able to communicate it, communicate with it, interact with it to know it. And you must be able to do this with a knowing other who is doing the same with you. This is so because our psychologies are based on interpersonal communication. There is no other way.

FIML practice can correct virtually all interpersonal communication problems between two people. FIML optimizes interpersonal communication and by so doing optimizes self-knowledge as well.

Motivated reasoning, speaking to effect

Motivated reasoning means reasoning to gain. Speaking to effect means speaking to cause something.

Both are the most common forms of thought and speech for all people with few exceptions.

Speaking to effect and motivated reasoning maintain personas.

Because it is difficult to tell truths and because trying to do so brings calamity, we don’t. We narrow thought instead; our voices dull faceless muffled sounds with no meaning.

This is the tone and timbre of samsara, the feeling of group delusion, the Suffering of the First Noble Truth.

On Jordan Peterson

He is a psychometric robot fashioned out of statistical analyses of human psychology; a machine credibly demonstrating what his data show to be the rightmost side of the bell curve.

Given his and our assumptions there is little else he can do. He is a persona made of repeatable ideas, the fruits of scientific labor. It’s a new kind of drama, analytical drama.

He demonstrates what many think about being human. Many don’t know what else to think.

Another famous psychologist does something similar, though his interpretation of the data rests more on compassion and understanding. Watch Allen J. Frances in the video at that link. You can hardly imagine a more kindly and intelligent speaker. Handsome, engaging, caring and alert, Frances displays the best human qualities expected of him. I see contradictions in his persona during the Q&A at the end because he models speaking to individuals in front of a large group.

When I first moved to California a friend took me to several in-home demonstrations given by people who were selling products or courses of study designed to make life better. Invariably, those people had shimmering good looks and charisma that was vibrant for the 90 minutes or so we saw them.

All of us are pressured by ever-changing bell curves.

I like all of the people described above. I hope Jordan become prime minister of Canada and/or keeps talking!

Real-time, real-world analysis of interpersonal communication

…From this, you can see that a percept is a “thing” in the mind, an electro-checmical “structure” with imagery, thought, and emotion. Based on what is known about the physical, brains (like all matter) are fields or fields intersecting; superimposed fields with remarkable stability and complexity.

If we consider the brain as some sort of field array and its particles as excited points on it, we can see how “mind” could be retained in the field array even though its brain particles have become unexcited through changed attention or death. (Source)