At 09:21 PM 00/01/22 , Damien Broderick wrote:
>At 06:44 PM 22/01/00 -0600, Sasha wrote:
> >(I like reminding people that out of millions of animal
> >species, humans are the only one who have any problem seeing
> >each other naked - and this is entirely the consequence of
> >warped social norms.)
>Well, yes, but out of millions of animal species, humans are the only one
>who have any problem with kids copying each other's term papers, or driving fast through red lights in busy traffic
I don't think this is an equivalent issue. Extended and emergent forms
of social organization require corresponding extensions of control
mechanisms. Matching the shift in system structures, the regulatory
schemes become increasingly distributed, symbolic, and exobiological.
> or new husbands killing the former husband's babies - is this
>entirely the consequence of *warped* social norms?
Makes perfect evolutionary sense in some cases, as others have mentioned.
(And also a different topic). When the units of evolution were
individual animals, the wiping out of competitive entities happened
on the physical level. In a modern human society, this practice
lost its utility and only has destabilizing effects, so no wonder
it has been suppressed. The direct analogs of this practice on
the socio-economic level where the evolution is concentrated at
this point, seem more abundant than ever. In both social and
economic formations the new power structures routinely eliminate
undertakings started by their predecessors. This is a widely
accepted practice, and there are lots of social regulatory schemes
that make sure that such cases go smoothly and efficiently.
What I was talking about, was normal relations between individuals
that didn't have any problems in animal species, and have problems
in the society now only because of the warped dynamics of processes
in the human memetic swamp.
People still have the same sexual interests as animals but they
cornered themselves into the state where their behavior is unfree,
and concepts are hypocritical, and this does not resolve either
traditional or emergent issues. Moreover, the sincere social
discussion of what is being resolved, is socially acceptable,
and all struggle goes in various groups of people suppressing
and hurting each other just because they can't discuss the issues
they very well know exist. (Clinton firing Elders for mentions
of masturbation, prohibitions of public nudity (breast-feeding
in public is illegal in many U.S. states) "fornication",
sodomy and polygamy, plus all inconveniences on the personal
level where people spend huge amount of time and thought to make
their bodies look more attractive through the clothes, but would
never show the body itself or even talk about it).
I thought of conducting an experiment on rats, where they would
have to wear some clothes, with only feet and face visible,
and if any rat appears without such covering, it, and others that
see it, would be punished. Then see whether poor rats would have
sexual and emotional problems around nudity the way humans do.
Of course, there are many reasons for it in the human society.
Religion is often aggressively puritanical, prohibiting authentic
emotional expression it cannot monopolize; industry wants to
sell clothes; old people who make the rules feel threatened by
the beauty of the young that they cannot match; unionized sex
(marriage institution) protects its stability from disruption,
and after people haven't seen each other naked for generations,
they already really can't handle it, and have to perpetuate the
Most of sex-related restrictions and persecutions do not resolve either
old biological, or new social issues, but rather create new problems,
making people into unhappy hypocrites burdened by guilts and desires
they are scared to express. These restrictions are social diseases,
harming liberty as much as their analogs (from organized religion to
false advertising to tabloids) undermine reason.
Practically all people have internalized these random violations of
both reason and liberty to the extent that they feel enraged when
someone tries to debate these restrictions rationally - or when they
suspect that someone in private is breaking them.
The struggle between these people and a minority of experimenters
may be more important for our future than any technological issues.
Sasha Chislenko <http://www.lucifer.com/~sasha/home.html>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:33 MDT