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.coming to grips with deception
#1
In the political level of judgement, wherein we humans pretend to show preference for honesty, it might make us cringe to watch the mighty, under oath, plead the 5th amendment. It's fair to do that. True, it's slightly short of honesty, or full disclosure, but we've deemed it necessary for justice to serve its purpose. (As in Roger Stone, for a recent example.)

In coming to terms with the overwhelming deception we are faced with on a day to day basis, I find some comfort in the process of natural selection and evolution in general:

Strategies for survival; i.e., the march of life; consistently demonstrate the advantages in deception.
There are preying mantises that look like a leaf; deep-sea fish that dangle a fake worm in front of their gaping mouth; an endless list of examples.

We tend not to see that behavior as lying, cheating, or stealing. It's clever. And necessary.
In fact, that feature of successful species has given rise to us; the crowning achievement in it all. We shouldn't be surprised by the more glaring demonstrations of this evolutionary advantage being exposed. 

The awkward interface of this, on the human level, is the system we put in place to counter it. Justice and law. Truth. That stuff.

Going back in time, if a common shyster stole your food, you might try to kill him. If he stole your tribe mate's food as well, you'd team up for revenge. No lengthy trial. No expensive funeral.
Going further back in time, nature allowed; enabled, even, an invertebrate with a very sleazy trick. Perhaps it was able to pretend to be something it wasn't. A fun place to visit.

Chomp! Another chumpy crab-like beast bites the dust.
Over time, the surviving chumpy crab-like beasts have a meeting. They decide to use chemical warfare against the oppressor.
They become venomous. It requires lots of individual sacrifice, but eventually, that cheating deceptive bastard learns his lesson.
He won't be eating me.

The rewards in this refinement of various forms of violence; cheating; lying; stealing, etc are such that phenomena like this occur:

A related organism might try to dodge the high cost of being venomous, and simply wear the same colors as the hard working predecessors.

Sometimes it's enough to look bad-ass without doing any of the heavy lifting. The tattoos could be enough.

I'd like to bring this up to date if anyone feels like playing.

Beyond predator and prey, there is the struggles of competing omnivores. That gets interesting. In some cases, it comes down to who gets their huge mouth open first. It's a snake eat snake world.
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#2
Whenever i rant philosophic like this, there is an underlying deception.
First, I am trying to get out of work.
There's a smidgen of delusion in the DNA of megalomaniac assholes; they might be inclined to hone the skill; possibly hit it big with a self-help best-seller.
Well, I've already read the self help book of the future that I was going to write...and it didn't help a lick.

Whatever hopefulness we might delude ourselves with should be tempered by the second law, eh?
Look at the most physically fit person in history, on their death bed, and they look like shit.

hence, strategy is essential.
That includes the strategy of pretending.

pretending that the Titanic isn't going down...polishing the brass in spite of the bad news from the future.

This is the state of the art new ad for Titanic Brass Polish, of course.

(It's really good polish.)
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#3
(12-05-2018, 01:54 PM)stanky Wrote:  In the political level of judgement, wherein we humans pretend to show preference for honesty, it might make us cringe to watch the mighty, under oath, plead the 5th amendment. It's fair to do that. True, it's slightly short of honesty, or full disclosure, but we've deemed it necessary for justice to serve its purpose. (As in Roger Stone, for a recent example.)

In coming to terms with the overwhelming deception we are faced with on a day to day basis, I find some comfort in the process of natural selection and evolution in general:

Strategies for survival; i.e., the march of life; consistently demonstrate the advantages in deception.
There are preying mantises that look like a leaf; deep-sea fish that dangle a fake worm in front of their gaping mouth; an endless list of examples.

We tend not to see that behavior as lying, cheating, or stealing. It's clever. And necessary.

Hold that thought ....

In fact, that feature of successful species has given rise to us; the crowning achievement in it all. We shouldn't be surprised by the more glaring demonstrations of this evolutionary advantage being exposed. 

No, we shouldn't be surprised at all.

The awkward interface of this, on the human level, is the system we put in place to counter it. Justice and law. Truth. That stuff.

....snip ....


I'd like to bring this up to date if anyone feels like playing.

Beyond predator and prey, there is the struggles of competing omnivores. That gets interesting. In some cases, it comes down to who gets their huge mouth open first. It's a snake eat snake world.

Always feel like 'playing' but that post only elicited the response of "So, your point is??"

Nothing contentious in it to argue about really.   ... but I'll find something. Cool

The main divergence of agreement lies with your expectation that humans operate on logic.  They don't.

Only dear old hippies with a finely honed belief in 'our better side' fail to note that the rest of us are having no trouble in compartmentalizing different behaviours within different layers of society.  Maybe it depends on the degree of balance between cynicism and wishful thinking.

Cunning was always an advantageous trait, not only in the human species, but in all species, even in 'non sentient' ones. 
Call it cheating, but to do that requires cunning.

How basic is 'cunning'? 
It's got to be further down the scale than genes.  It seems to form the genes rather than be produced by them.  As you pointed out even amoeba use it.
Is it 'molecular'?  Has it always been the overlooked driver of all evolution?

"Survival off the fittest" ..  a little ambiguous perhaps?  People tend to associate that with physical advantage.  But if that were so the Neanderthals would be living on Park Ave.  Or Silverbacks. 

The 'fittest' has to be taken by it's literal definition.  The best 'fit' for the niche, or the situation. 
Cunning individuals did their damnedest to claim a place in the best niche,  the losers went off to find another one, or die.

Maybe some of the losers adapted to 'fit' different niches, but that they had to adapt was down to the cunning of the one who threw them out.  The losers had to smarten up to survive.  It lifted the game all round. 

Think about those critters which survive only in deep ocean volcanic vents.  They're at a dead end as the losers all die, no matter how smart they get they can't adapt fast enough to live beyond the 'niche'. 

So what if politicians have to be lying cheating cunning bastards?  Isn't that what the people have always expected from their 'leaders'? 

Did anyone ever get to be King by never telling lies about patriotic heroism and the inate 'greatness' of the the clan to draw in some followers?   No one gets to be King on their own.  Even Jesus needed staff, and campaign volunteers to go out and con the faithful in. 

How many other philosopharting old Jews were sitting on hillstops spewing words of wisdom which no one heard because they weren't cunning enough to market their message better?

How many other meglamaniacs never made it to King, and died lonely because they weren't cunning enough to con in enough troops to fight and die for them?

We, the plebs, encourage cunning bastards.  We forgive their peccadilloes more easily than some dumb bank robber.

There is a kind of status bestowed on those who 'get away with it' longest.  We all know they're crooks, but we seem to only get upset ("outraged") about it when they get caught. 
We've come to expect our politicians to be cunning and ruthless enough to match it with other nation's politicians doing the same thing. We vote for 'street fighters' because they're the best 'fit' for the political niche.

Politics is the baby of the voters, they decide on what is acceptable within it's bounds,  we've just raised it wrong according to some, but maybe we've raised it to be a mirror of what we'd all like to be. 'Kings' of our own destiny ... AZIF.

There has to be a law of physics that covers the propensity for all life to try and find a way to buck the system.
It's pretty normal.  Maybe what's not normal is the laws we impose to curtail the excesses of enthusiasm in their 'cunning' quest for dominance?

... but, the laws too were supposed be a form of cunning defence mechanism utilized by those on losing side.  
Unfortunately most of the defendants seem to be worst affected by their own laws.

Maybe because the people who needed the laws weren't cunning enough to stop the predators being the ones making them!? 

Kind of like the sheep hiring the wolf to design the fold. Confused
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#4
Hey, a bit much for polishers of brass...I get it.

Well, we got your back, bros.

hang onto your hats. 2019 will be epic.

we're about to launch Carbon Fiber polish.

It's not enough to own a high-end carbon fiber bike...

That thing must shine!
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#5
hell's bells..
i didn't see Di's post before i wrote the one above.

Right off, I must commend her on the length of it, as it was prefaced with "i have nothing to say".

For the moment, forget old hippies and logic.

I'm not promoting either here.

If anything, I'm promoting inevitable doom, tempered by irrational behavior, if only to help it slide down better.

Not everything is a debate.
(I don't mind debating, natch)

but sometimes, someone will toss out something just to see what the feedback might be.
Yours, bless your xyphoid process, is argumentative. That makes you my favorite.

Why?

Because you at least read the shit.

Here's my latest ego-voice when I bother to write something that i think is good:

Well, there's a fair chance one person might read it.

And that's all i need to get out of work.


(don't quit me girl...i'm all out of elbow grease.)
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#6
'Old Hippie' is a term of endearment, you know that right?

I'm usually up for an argument as that's the way ideas and opinions are transported, weighed, and digested.  
Small talk doesn't get the job done.  Wink
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#7
To add flavor to the theater, it helps to exaggerate the unique aspects of the various players.

I'm happy to be the stoned cat riding my unicorn towards the rainbow, where happiness reigns ever after.
And I'm glad for my version of Di...the token old female right-wing apologist and climate denier...it helps sell the argument.

Truth is less fun. She and i are both aging white people in first world nations, able to afford this internet connection; have an occasional ciigy; bourbon; chocolate break...and we both read a lot...and like to write.

he's a larger point in this:

In a copacetic future, we would need to invent adversity. As soon as technology is able to transport us everywhere, we need to invent the treadmill and the gym.

Oh shit...

we're already in that future.

It's made out of my projections about you, and your's about mine.
Times 7.5 billion.

Divided by and multiplied by what ever algorithms one finds tasty.


side bar alert:

was thinking about algorithms today. Plus Al Gore. Plus rhythm.

and his band:

The Al Gore Rhythm aces.

(I wonder if Al Gore plays guitar?)
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#8
He sure played the public like geeetarrrs.
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#9
If this site was for songwriters and poets, and we risked posting our latest drivel (in that context) the feedback would be different.
The criticism would be more about the choice of words for the rhyme and rhythm, and not the historical accuracy.
Was the chord progression too predictable?
What if i changed that A minor to a D-sharp minor, and switched to 7/8 time right there?

And then the chorus of the colored girls in the back ground?

And then, maybe a debate about the colored girls in the background?

Like, I'm a racist. except, these dark gals were on the street when i found them...and I payed them more than what they might have earned instead, being crack ho's and what have you....but there's no end to that debate..so i yield and say. "I just like the sound of their voices."

I never meant to hurt anyone.

and that's why i'm riding this rainbow unicorn toward the sunset.

With no license.
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#10
Well just try and not let it fart or you'll have to pay green house gas emission taxes.  It's not only cattle that fart you know.  ... Angel Heart
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