Author Topic: Handcuffs  (Read 7793 times)

LMNO

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2012, 08:12:10 pm »
Hmm.


I think I may have partially been speaking from a place of limited social priviledge; I may have been viewing the problem too narrowly.


In which case, I apologize. 



And, of course, this means I have no answer.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2012, 08:15:17 pm »
Hmm.


I think I may have partially been speaking from a place of limited social priviledge; I may have been viewing the problem too narrowly.


In which case, I apologize. 



And, of course, this means I have no answer.

Fair enough, and I admire your bipedality.

I don't know the answer either.

I love the idea of examining and rejecting self-imposed limitations; I just want to be careful about assigning all limitations to that category, because down that road lies something disturbingly similar to manifest destiny.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Placid Dingo

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2012, 01:13:37 am »
In life we could be limitless like this : refuse to define our name, our identity, our gender, our purpose.

OMG THIS.

I've been trying to get down some stuff on the subject of identity for the book I've been working on and haven't been able to get anything down, but this is the core of it. I've spent the past four years Anonymous. I answer to pseudonyms more comfortably than to my given name. My clothes are costumes and hand-me-downs. I look in the mirror and I see nothing. Okay, not NOTHING nothing, but just a meatsack, unrelated to who I am. The face is strange, angles wrong. I don't know myself in photographs.

I did it to myself, I know. Consumed too many weird ideas too fast, filled up on the mental equivalent of magic mushrooms instead of eating my peas like a good girl. Stared in the mirror in the dark, til my face vanished and I saw the monster beneath.

I see the walls, see the bars, know them for what they are and what they deny me and what they protect me from. But me? The thing pacing inside this elaborate psychic construction of memory and shame and chemicals? It's a gaping void. A tiny black hole, self-contained, around which my consciousness orbits desperately attempting to weave a narrative structure around it, to close the wound in space.  But the inexorable gravity of the void sucks it all in, spaghettifying identities to the breaking point and leaving nothing but radiation.


Huh. I guess that's a pretty good metaphor for self-centeredness. I should probably cut that out.
Thanks, guys.

I want to make it clear that I feel limits are a positive creative force here. I think the above is possible but not desirable. We need to recognise what limits or categories we belong to and thus take control over them to the extent possible; but not just destroy them.
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2012, 12:20:45 pm »
I want to make it clear that I feel limits are a positive creative force here. I think the above is possible but not desirable. We need to recognise what limits or categories we belong to and thus take control over them to the extent possible; but not just destroy them.

Oh, I was definitely not saying that it was desirable. Kind of the opposite, in fact.
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LMNO

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2012, 12:53:03 pm »
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

When I examine this further, my gut reaction is, "Well, shit.  We can't self reflect our way clear of fully instituted social violence.  I guess we're FUCKED FOREVER."

But that seems just as bad as the magical thinking trap I almost made for myself.  It reeks of helpless nihilistic determinism.  And, you know, fuck that.  There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your wiring to filter out bad signal, even if it won't end socially sanctioned sexism.

So, I guess the OP is aimed soley at a state of mind that is not being threatened by immediate existential threats of violence.  There are some social limitations that fall into this frame, but by no means does it intend to fix everything.  To be quite honest, even if you can figure out what personal traits were critically examined, and what was swallowed whole without a second thought, that doesn't change what's happening to you, it changes your understanding of it.

In a way, it's trying to find a way to identify bad signal.  It won't stop the bad signal, but at least you'll understand what it is you're dealing with a bit better.

Cramulus

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2012, 03:03:59 pm »
I think that while there are limitations outside of your control, you DO have a degree of control over how you relate to that limitation and how those limitations impact your internal state. That in turn effects your degree of freedom / wellbeing.

When you recognize a limitation, you create a version of itself inside you so that you don't keep running into it. The internal version can get out of sync with the external version.

LMNO

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2012, 03:13:32 pm »
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2012, 03:22:28 pm »
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

When I examine this further, my gut reaction is, "Well, shit.  We can't self reflect our way clear of fully instituted social violence.  I guess we're FUCKED FOREVER."

But that seems just as bad as the magical thinking trap I almost made for myself.  It reeks of helpless nihilistic determinism.  And, you know, fuck that.  There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your wiring to filter out bad signal, even if it won't end socially sanctioned sexism.

So, I guess the OP is aimed soley at a state of mind that is not being threatened by immediate existential threats of violence.  There are some social limitations that fall into this frame, but by no means does it intend to fix everything.  To be quite honest, even if you can figure out what personal traits were critically examined, and what was swallowed whole without a second thought, that doesn't change what's happening to you, it changes your understanding of it.

In a way, it's trying to find a way to identify bad signal.  It won't stop the bad signal, but at least you'll understand what it is you're dealing with a bit better.

I agree with you about the usefulness of the OP; self-reflection is useful in identifying and removing self-imposed limitations. Once you have recognized that a limitation is socially imposed, you can act against the limitation through activism and education. You may not change that limitation in your lifetime, but you can make progress. For example, currently most schools are primarily funded by their neighborhood's property taxes. The predictable results are that the schools in wealthy neighborhoods are much better and have more educational resources than schools in poor neighborhoods. We as a society are imposing a limitation on access to quality education on poor children. As a poor child, I might grow up to reflect on this and resent it. I may also take action to remedy my lack of education, but what do I do to remedy the inequity that caused it? It makes sense to support campaigns for starting a state-wide pool from which schools are funded equally on a per-student basis. Schools in wealthy neighborhoods will still receive donations from wealthy parents, of course, but the education provided by the public for the public good will be equalized.

Some ways of changing your world are internal. Others are external.   

Of course, as an aside, it should be recognized that due to resource constraints it's relatively less likely that poor people will have the luxury of all this self-reflection; it is by nature a luxury.

I just wanted to ask the question about socially imposed limitations because it seemed like the tenor of the thread was moving in that magical-thinking direction where all obstacles can be overcome by wishing them away, and I wanted to ground it a little.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2012, 03:29:44 pm »
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

It may be possible to avoid seeing racism completely if you're white, and it may be possible to avoid seeing sexism if you're male. But that brain-state is just a form of avoidance, and doesn't actually serve any higher purpose than making the user feel more comfortable in their world. If you are black, your avoidant brain-state isn't going to prevent you from being pulled over by the cops for driving while black. If you're female, that avoidant brain-state isn't going to prevent you from being approached with unwanted, insulting, and lewd propositions by strangers.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Cramulus

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2012, 03:34:08 pm »
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

the goal isn't to avoid it completely


the goal is to not let it become a bigger limitation than it actually is

LMNO

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2012, 04:33:46 pm »
I think we're all in agreement. You can't wish away racism, but you shouldn't be mentally trapped by others' racism, either.

navkat

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2012, 09:56:26 pm »
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

the goal isn't to avoid it completely


the goal is to not let it become a bigger limitation than it actually is

Right, but as it's been pointed out, those of us who aren't made to be aware of it on the daily are in danger of a nasty case of inadvertent solipsism.

Wolfgang Absolutus

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2012, 12:26:08 am »
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.
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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2012, 12:39:45 am »
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here. 
If someone does the Fine, youre right, Im clearly a terrible person, Im Satan, Im the worst person alive, I should just die thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


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Wolfgang Absolutus

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Re: Handcuffs
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2012, 12:56:54 am »
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here.
He is talking about the argument that the instutitions that oppress us, The MachineTM et al, are just other people right? The only one who is really holding each of us back and limiting our freedom is ourselves. We give in to fear, hate, and ingrained assumptions and that is what stops us. Internalization of petty external rules is the true source of individual oppression.
So if we abandoned our emotions, stoicism, if we rejected external restrictions, part of embracing nihilism, we could remove these limitations and truly be free.
The proposed solution is social revolution but I am skeptical.
This is how I understand the argument but I suppose that it could be fatally flawed. Could you tell me where I went wrong please?
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