Author Topic: I, Mammal  (Read 647 times)

Precious Moments Zalgo

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I, Mammal
« on: November 30, 2011, 01:30:19 am »
I recently started reading I, Mammal by Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning.  In this book, she is basically saying the same thing that The Good Reverend Roger has been preaching for years, that humans are just a bunch of status-obsessed monkeys seeking to dominate other monkeys.  She goes pretty deep into the neurochemical reasons for why this is so.  It makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm getting a lot out of it.

This quote is from the inside cover.

Quote
Humans have inherited the brain structures that all mammals have in common. This mammalian limbic system controls the neurochemicals that humans experience as happiness. Our happy chemicals flow when we do things that promote survival from a mammal’s point of view.

Survival often rests on our ties to a herd or pack or troop. The mammal brain constantly chooses between the urge to take what it wants and the urge to avoid harmful conflict with group-mates. Neurochemicals guide a mammal to either hold back or assert, as it reads the circumstances of each moment. When a mammal finds a way to meet its survival needs, its brain releases happy chemicals.

Dominance hierarchies emerge spontaneously as each mammal in a group seeks rewards and avoids harm. The social dominance behaviors of wild animals are eerily familiar. The field notes of a primatologist are suspiciously similar to the lyrics of a country western song. A zoology textbook bears uncanny resemblance to a soap opera script. Animal behavior tells us what our own limbic system cannot put into words.

We all look for ways to stimulate our happy chemicals and avoid unhappy chemicals. We mammals are curiously preoccupied with social hierarchy as a result. You may say you’re “against status.” But if you filled a room with people who say they are anti-status, a hierarchy would soon form based on how anti-status each person is. That’s what mammals do.

The mammal brain responds to the world with neurochemicals, not with words. This lack of language makes it hard for the human cortex to understand the mammal brain it’s attached to. No self-respecting human thinks of themselves as a dominance-seeking herd animal. But if you want happy chemicals, you have to get them from your mammal brain. We can finally understand this hybrid brain of ours thanks to an accumulation of research in animal science and neuroscience.

The frustrations of social hierarchies are not caused by “our society.” We are simply heirs to the brain that helped mammals thrive for millions of years. It’s not easy being human with a mammalian operating system. Managing your mammal brain is the challenge that comes with the gift of life. No one else can manage it for you, and you cannot do it for someone else. When you know where your neurochemistry came from, you can stop fixating on our flaws and celebrate how well we do with the mental equipment we’ve got.

She has a PDF version of her book available for free on her website: http://www.imammalthebook.com/I_Mammal/I_Mammal.html
I will answer ANY prayer for $39.95.*

*Unfortunately, I cannot give refunds in the event that the answer is no.

Alty

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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 02:25:49 am »
Ooh you can get an epub too. Thanks. I requested a copy.
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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 10:02:05 am »
Wait... so Roger WASN'T just a lunatic?
Worldview shattered.

I'm really enjoying this, even if it does make me feel like a dopamine junkie.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 05:21:36 pm »
Wait... so Roger WASN'T just a lunatic?

Nope.  Not JUST a lunatic.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 05:31:59 pm »
This is exactly why I want to study biological anthropology.
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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 10:38:51 pm »
Wait... so Roger WASN'T just a lunatic?

Nope.  Not JUST a lunatic.

A raving prophetfit, perhaps?
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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2011, 01:10:32 am »
human nature: the unquenchable desire to forcefully impart ones will on everyone else while at the same time resisting the will of others.

Alty

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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 09:31:35 pm »
So far, this book is awesome. It seems so soft at times, but it all adds up.

It has given me a lot to think about and seems like a decent solution to dealing with many, many interpersonal problems. If I was in charge of HR, which I am, I would make this required reading for all employees (also me).

It certainly explains a lot about he ill-fated match between me and the former Mrs. Alty.
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Alty

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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 12:39:32 am »
After some correspondence with the author of this book it turns out her husband went to school with Kerry Thornley.

 :fnord:

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Re: I, Mammal
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 02:04:38 am »
After some correspondence with the author of this book it turns out her husband went to school with Kerry Thornley.

 :fnord:

Everything defaults to  :fnord:?
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