Humans are low bandwith communicating self preserving autonomous robots. A human can engange in stabile repeated behaviour if the environmental factors are constant, but they evolved to deal with constant novelty in their environment due to the constantly changing nature – of nature. We could call humans ‘Humanibods’ or ‘Androids’, ‘Biobots’ just to accentuate their true nature.
I think it is best to think of humans this way on some occasions. We seem to reject the idea that our behaviour is fully predictable, but for the largest part it is. There is basically nothing we do without a reason or cause, either internal or external. If we want to break that pattern we have to do it consciously (so we actually don’t), if we do it spontaneously we are considered “mad”. Go into the street and shout “banana!”, you will be sane if you do it because of this post. You will be insane if you do it without any prior thought. You’ll be accused of having fruity Gilles de la Tourette, and draw quite a lot of attention.
If we super rarely do anything we have not been taught or have not observed in others, then it follows we are programmed by our environment and our experiences. We are predisposed to repeat behaviour we have had succesfully or that we have associated with succes and safety. These statements are very vanilla and nothing new, but how much freedom do we have to divert from our programming, our repertoire of behaviour which can be quite limited.
In fact our lives when young for a large part turn around the illusion we will make a unique impression on the world with our behaviour, we will not be like everybody else. We are unique this is undeniable, but we allow ourselves to be programmed by media constantly. This is in part because we experience constant mild anxiety over the lack of real support for our lives we own.
People that live in city appartments know in their bones that there’s nothing to eat unless they get food or money from someone. Even with a big home and garden most people don’t dream of getting rid of such dependencies. Owning land and living of it is not highly regarded. We thus have to trust employers and pensions, abstractions, promises. The tough thing is to distrust the same suits you have seen since you where born. Us ‘Humanibots’ need a change in what they base their behaviour on to change their behaviour.
Now there are plenty of people that analyze the world, and they do not look at the exterior of a politician or functionary. They look at what they expose to the public and judge that, and either bond or abandon themselves based on that. The average humanibot however has not developed an ability to distinquish, lacks as strong rational basis for behaviour and is prone to fall for what is directly observable. Our brain immitates what we try to understand, so if the influence is impressive we quickly internalize it.
Humanibots are also hindered by the effects of emotions. Emotions are the ‘soundtrack’ under our experience, they can induce learning and forgetting. Intense emotions can make us forget what came before. Emotional experiences are existential, they take precedence over whatever we are involved in. They signify a change in our environment, our dependencies. Our minds are (usually) changed by our emotional states, and anger is one of them. When anger is aroused we forget what came before. We also spend our ‘anger budget’. It is harder for us to remember what we ourselves thought would be good for us if we have been angry about some distraction.
What the current economy tries to do is keep us in that place where we consume all our (financial) resources and accept the absolute minimum security. The news cycle is full of fear and cause for anger, perferably both not related to anything real. The real information, the observables of what other people do in our system of control (government), is available but the minds of many are to preoccupied with simple easy to understand things that they don’t register.
One would have to investigate how reliable people are in certain circumstances, and then how dangerous they are. This is the rub. A Humanibot that is comfortable and misinformed in a way that does not hurt him/her can be very dangerous. We see that now with the Corona epidemic. I go to a laundromat place and the owner of it does not care about Corona. He comes up close to me when he starts the machine, seemingly conscious of the risk but not caring. He was misinformed, and he is dangerous to society. There is no law to persuade him to behave otherwise (except perhaps a mask wearing law).
We have a director of our dutch airport Schiphol that worked for Shell for years as its CEO. He sounds really nice and sane, but his leadership is insane if you consider the danger of emissions. He hopes to maximize air travel and believes in lies that are hard to recognize as such. Other people with less discriminative minds will listen to him, his timbre and manner of speaking and recognize a honest hard working deserving man trying to save his company. He creates a bond. People support him.
Inside the head of this man lives another reason to say what he does, it is the desire to profit at all cost, the desire to deliver cashflow for his previous environment, Shell, and a desire for himself to appear high status and in control. His mind is sane, but he doesn’t show that side of himself. What he exposes is his insanity, and this is copied by people because they can’t recognize it while they can recognize his humanity.
Now imagine you where standing in a road with 12 people, chained together. 6 of you had earplugs in and headphones on and given smartphones with a good movie to pass the time. 6 of you where just standing around without anything. Then from behind you hear a big truck honking its horn to warn you to get off the road. You look around and the truck is moving fast, no sign of slowing down. Would you disrub the peace of the six mesmerized by their screens, not hearing a thing? What if they protest and reject your calls to move off the road? What if they fight you?