The Meta Model of Thought Control and Programmed Behavior09/03/2011 18:44
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom. Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning”
Are your preferences, thoughts and beliefs solely your own or are we obedient and compliant automatons who have adopted certain sub routines due to our social constructs? Be honest, do you go along to get along and imitate others for the approval of your peers? Do you dress alike, speak the same lingo and feel comfortable although you have no identity. We will be hacking at the root of our real problems, so brace yourself.
“It is said that even though behaviour is completely determined, it is better that a man “feel free” or 'believe that he is free.” If this means that it is better to be controlled in ways which have no aversive consequences, we may agree, but if it means that it is better to be controlled in ways against which no one revolts, it fails to take account of the possibility of deferred averse consequences...It is better to be a conscious slave than a happy one.” B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Issue 1.) Controlled/Programmed Response:
Humans as well as the animal kingdom have an instinctive nature which is vital to our survival. Take for example a lizard, it sees a bug or fly and it automatically sticks its tongue out and snatches it.
Lizard wants food(drive) -> Notices the prey(stimulus) -> Flicks his tongue out(Response)
Plants need sunlight(drive) -> Lack of sunlight(stimulus) -> Grows out towards the sun(Response)
There are many other knee/jerk responses, such as hunger and fight/flight responses. Wilhelm Wundt transformed psychology into a study of the brain and central nervous system. This would be applied to the educational system to establish a mold that would reinforce what they wanted to see in future adults. These adults would not be men of science or the arts but worker drones and they created the monster called, “Behavioural Modification”.
Programmed Behaviour Example: One must want something(drive) -> Notice something(stimulus) -> Do something(reponse) -> Get something(reward)
This is reinforced behavioural modification at work
This is an invisible force which applies pressure on individuals and changes their environment and social society to benefit others. An example of this is the gradual rising of the price of food and the lowering of pay: Workers need basic necessities(drive) -> Cutting of jobs and lowering of wages(stimulus) -> Workers work more for less but are happy just to be employed (response). It is engineered slavery on a massive scale. When there are positive and negative reinforcements society may adopt behaviours that are not in their best interest. Take for example the current undertones of fear concerning terrorists(Al Qaida) in our midst, and the actions of the government towards those who may or may not be terrorists. This leads to self censorship because you don't want to be made an example of(negative reinforcement) and you want certain privileges from the government(positive reinforcement). This is one of the most effective methods for thought control but it only works temporarily if we are not constantly exposed to it.
“From this and other experiments, Pavlov developed his theory of the conditioned reflex, which explains learning and training as the building up of a mosaic of conditioned reflexes, each one based on the establishment of an association between different stimuli. The greater the number of learned complex responses also called patterns the greater the number of conditioned reflexes developed. Because man, of all the animals, has the greatest capacity for learning, he is the animal with the greatest capacity for such complicated conditioning. Pavlov's experiments were of great value in the study of animal and human behavior, and in the study of the development of neurotic symptoms.
However, this knowledge of some of the mechanisms of the human mind can be used as we have seen already, like any other knowledge, either for good or for evil. And unfortunately, the totalitarians have used their knowledge of how the mind works for their own purposes. They have applied some of the Pavlovian findings, in a subtle and complicated way and sometimes in a grotesque way, to try to produce the reflex of mental and political conditioning and of submission in the human guinea pigs under their control.” Joost Meerloo, Rape of the mind
Issue 2.) Patterns and The Guinea Pig Effect
Humans are creatures of habit and those habits are sometimes hard to break. Do you always seem to drive the same way to work every day? Do you sleep on the same side of the bed every night or put your pants on with the same leg first every time? We have linguistic patterns such as canned phrases we use all the time. We have friends and family who use words like, 'no kidding', 'for sure', or 'thank god its Friday'. Over time this leads to where you cannot express yourself properly and we lose the ability to truly connect to each other. We are drowning in a sea of patterns that need to be broken. How can we remotely feel human when we act like we are pre-programmed? Try to break any patterns you see yourself doing and spontaneously live your life!
What could be worse than patterns? Overflowing stimulus to the point you no longer care to think about anything. I like to call this the guinea pig effect as scientists have done studies that show that rats will behave according the will of others if it is over stimulated. Teachers have noticed that kids regress to the level of 'beasts' when there is more visual, auditory and kinesthetic(VAK) stimulus in their environment. In our daily lives we are all overstimulated, with all of the electromagnetic junk, noise, advertising and everything else that we need to do in our lives. This leads to the point where we 'go with the flow' and follow suit with everyone else. You aren't thinking, but merely reacting to what live throws at you. This is why children are labelled ADHD. According the Miller's law we can only process information in 'chunks' which is why phone number are formatted like 555-1212, and there is a limit to our ability to filter out everything around us. We are all lab rats running around in a maze being electro-shocked to the point we perform certain actions that our 'masters' desire.
Becoming wiser and freer implies selective forgetting and changes of mind. This we accept, this we leave behind. Alert adjustment requires a change of patterns, the capacity to be de-conditioned, to undo and unlearn in order to become ripe for new patterns. The citizen of Totalitaria has no chance for such learning through unlearning, for growth through individual experience. Official oversimplifications induce the captive audience into acceptance and indoctrination. Mass ecstasy and mass fanaticism are substituted for quiet individual thought and consideration. “ Joost Meerlo, The Rape of the Mind
“if two organisms which have been coexisting peacefully receive painful shocks, they immediately exhibit characteristic patterns of aggression towards each other. The aggressive behavior is not necessarily directed towards the source of the stimulation; it may be 'displaced' towards any convenient person or object” B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Issue 3.) Fragmentation and Emotion
Sometimes there are injustices that are recognized across the board and solutions are offered but never acted upon? Have you ever wondered why? It is the old tactic, divide and conquer. In the political realm there is fragmentation, separate political groups and organizations may agree that a certain act is wrong but they cannot tolerate each other long enough to solve the problem. This festering wound is made worse with rhetoric and stereotypes so that there will never be unity. For those who do not belong to any of those groups they have been stigmatized and despise politics in general. There is always control on both sides of the issues so that no concessions take place.
After all the political posturing and pontification ends everyone is angered by the lack of action. We may protest or merely shake our collective fists at the television screen but anger limits our choices. It obscures our view of the issues and makes it easier for us to be led astray. Emotions can be a driving force for good but uncontrolled it can lead to disaster. Why is it we see more that divides us in people that unites us. The weak willed cynics of the world will always laugh at our actions but if you want real change you must first change yourself and don't worry about being laughed at or ostracized. History is replete with people who were scorned but were in the end making the all the right moves.
So are you a robot? Have you been fashioned in the mold that society deems correct? Are you unwilling to go 'against the grain'? Why do you not speak your mind when you know you should? Is it worth it to censor yourself for the sake of popularity and stability? Do you hate yourself for it? This is the Robotization of mankind and it is a brave new world that we are living in. Will you get back in touch with your humanity or does your programming override your hopes and dreams? Sometimes life may seem mundane but we are surrounded by beauty and wonder. We are waiting for you, so cast off your facade and experience reality for a change.
De Omnibus Dubitandum
Illegitimi non carborundum