An interesting definition that came to me, based on personal experience whom I’d call an “adult” and whom not. Here it is:

“Somebody is an adult if he / she cares for the mental well-being people, by his / her own initiative, with responsibility and regularly / as a habit. Caring for material elements of the life of other people does not count. So basically, adults are those who exhibit parental behavior to other people. It does not matter whether these other people belong to family or not, or if they are children, teenagers, twens or whatever.”

Some days ago, Google announced on their home page a new project, the Project 10100. They collect ideas and will honor the idea that will help the most people. Practically, this means that the five best ideas are sponsored with 2 million USD on average, to be executed. So to win this contest, I though about how to help basically all the people in the world, that way taking Google’s approach to the extreme. If you have only 2 million USD for that, it’s a big task to help ALL humans, and substantially, of course … but it might be done, if we don’t cure effects, but causes of human problems. Man, I’m an utopist beyond measure today … you might smile at the ideas, it’s granted to you 😉 Here goes the idea I sent to Google’s Project 10100 some minutes ago:

10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)

As all human problems are due to misprogramming of the brain, their solution must start by managing the brain content.

11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)

Comparing “successful” times and times of society deterioration (e.g. in Germany 1955 vs. today) makes it apparent that the deterioration of values, morals, goals and maxims of action (here called: brain programming) is resp. must be the cause.

Of course, the development of societies is complex (i.e. feedback-driven), but still, result and feedback are mainly determined by brain programming.

All other problems are secondary: the world is not scarce on resources, the people in it are wasteful in handling them. And they are wasteful because they want to be (it’s determined by their values). Also, wars and hatred come initially from wrong human behavior that was determined by the programming of the brain. This programming is (for the most part) acquired through life … .

The idea is now, that we need to find the kind of brain programming where societies can build upon and where the world can survive with. If this is found, we need a scientifically proven system how to implement this in people (new and old ones). This requires intense research, as the public school system is in no way sufficient for that job.

12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

Psychologic dysfunctionality, defined as bain programming whereupon societies and the world can never flourish.

13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

The upcoming generation in the whole world, more precisely: people before their adolescence, the younger the better, because it’s easy for them to acquire correct brain programming, as new programs must not fight through a conflict with old ones to get in place. Additionally, all future generations, as the good brain programming replicates itself.

14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

Scientific research into the issue:

  1. Agree on a ISO standard what brain programming (values etc.) societies must embrace in order for the world to survive and be a good place to live.
  2. Experiment with many forms of new learning mechanisms and self-stabilizing social mechanisms that can break the feedback-determined deterioration process of societies.
  3. Introduce these values etc. into international school system.

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)

The world would be a better place to live, as all people would think in better ways and therefore also act in better ways. As the problem is here taken by its root, the positive effects will follow  automatically.

Measurement: conformance to the previously “values” ISO standard, when measuring the personality of people worldwide.

There is an ongoing discussion regarding the causes of personality disorders (according to the Wikipedia article on personality disorders). Depth psychology emphasizes childhood as the key area, psychotherapy emphasizes adolescence and the identity buildup phase, learning models and behaviorists emphasize that personality disorders are something learned. Globally, they are rather complimentary and support each other well, so that the overall impression (without any detailed knowledge) is that personality disorders develop from a complex interdependency of genetic loading and the environment.

I thought about what (simple) illustration to use for such a complex situation, and perhaps the following might serve well for some aspects: there is a solution of a substance that can crystallize. It does not crystallize however unless crystallization seed is there (e.g. some dust particles). Now I compare the crystallization seed with the genetic loading, and the solved substance with problematic aspects of the environment. The environment has, so to speak, the potential to create personality disorders in a limited number of people, by unloading its problematic aspects unto them. The people that get “struck” by the crystallizing substance are those with some genetic qualities (for example less stress resistance, which would, in a healthy world, be just a harmless side-effect of appreciable qualities like high-degree empathy). In terms of system-theory, the different
kinds of personality disorders seem to me the different self-supporting, self-stabililizing programs that are possible to run on the human brain (within a specific social environment).

The interesting thing is now: to a higher or lesser degree, every (or nearly every) person seems to have a personality disorder. If you don’t yet believe that, go through the
list in the Wikipedia article on personality disorders and find out what symptoms fit for you. At least I found myself in this list … (ICD-10 F60.6) and also friends of mine. Now this does not mean that I or any of my readers needs a therapy … the degree might be far lower than what would need a therapy (note that a society assigns therapy only to those that cannot contribute to the society in a meaningful degree any more … society does not want to help you, it wants you as a tool for its own survival). It does however mean that most people don’t reach their highest personal and social potential because they’re in the grip of their rigid, dysfunctional behavior patterns.

Now it is also clear that healthy social relationships and groups have a curative effect on the personality disorders of their members (at least on mild degrees of those). And I count the relationship to God among the healthy relationships, and a healthy church among the healthy groups (which just means that their curative effect is supposedly a social effect, nothing supernatural). There are persons in my mind who indeed got (nearly) healed by long-term (~25 yrs., in one example) involvement with God and a healthy church!! Which does not mean that every relationship to God or every church is such a place. Most churches seem to be infected themselves by some kind of “group disorder”. Which is not the fault of any single person, but a fixed behavioral pattern that develops in a likewise complex interdependency (in this case, of group attributes and environment) as the personality orders do … .

Hey, I’m going to try out a new form of blogging: 10-minute posting. That is, one post must not take longer to write than 10 minutes (surprise!). Though this will affect quality, I’ll hopefully get out more of the thoughts that come to my brain … currenty, most are stored in FreeMind mindmap.

This time, it’s about intuition, inspired by a great discussion with a brother of mine, who’s currently undergoing preparation for an actor’s school. There, he had to train intuitive behavior.

So what’s intuition? Just some thoughts:

  • It seems to be the lower-level programming of the brain, comparable to “firmware” in devices of information technology. As such, it is the first thing we’d want to do, but it can be superseded by higher-level programs. Which consist, for example, out of social norms for adequate behavior or long-term goals that make us cange or hold back contraproductive short-term behavior.
  • They say, most people have forgotten how to behave intuitively, that is, “what they really want”.
  • Some (emotional) people are uncapable of analyzing their own intuitive behavior, they just “feel that something is right”. Other (analytical) people are used to observe themselves closely, so that they can assign detailed descriptions and reasons to their intuitive motivations. This might seem to others as if they cannot be intuitive at all, but that’s not the case: the threshold of analyze-ability is different.

Now it’s interesting to see that our own, intuitive behavior is, on average, of no good moral quality. ’cause of that, our society needs rules to function. The ideal case (and I believe that was the case with Jesus and in Paradise) is where intuitive behavior is congruent with socially adequate behavior. Then, no conflict between what I want and what I should arises.

If you are, by chance, not too familiar with today’s subcultures,
I’m going to confuse you now the same way I confused me yesterday. By
looking at Amy’s
Video clip “Was ist Emo?”
(“What is emo?”) on YouTube. She had this
video online before (quoted in first version of this post), and it
reached 250,000 views and approx. 3000
comments, but then she removed it and re-entered it with comments
disabled. Doesn’t matter, you may look up the comments of another of
her videos, namely “Was
wollen Emos?”
(“What do emos want?”). She posted it in response of
the comments on the “Was ist Emo?” video, but the comments there did
not get any better (at the point of writing this, there are 558,925
views and 10,359 comments). Here’s the mentioned clip:

After watching, you can go more into depth by looking up Emo in Wikipedia.
Until yesterday, I didn’t know the word, nor that this qualifies as
“life content” for some people … . And then, if you wanna get deeply
frustrated about the state of current
society, remember to read at least 500 comments on “Was
wollen Emos?”
.
There are qualified, good comments, but this applies to maybe 5%.
Ignore them. For the 95%, the choice of words alone is so outragingly
disgusting … . If words could kill by themselves, you’d find some
hundred cadaver on that web page. I’m simply bare of words … and all
this started by just going to YouTube and choosing a random promoted
video clip. What adds to this are the insanely positive comments that
can also be found there, mostly from other emos … . It’s not that
I’ve any bias regarding individual “emos”. And regarding Amy, she
combines authenticity and coolness (see here) so that I
think, yea, she has great potential (not just on YouTube as DiamondOfTears).

But, guys ‘n’ gals: emo ain’t no way of responsible life, from the
perspective of society. To me, emo and all the other style-based
subcultures seem to deal only with aesthetics, music, fashion, fun and
hatred. You cannot live on that. You cannot build a society on that.
It’s all nothing.

If the quality of comments is representative for the quality of
youth
in this country, we’re lost. The 5% clear-minded people cannot save us
from the mad once the old people died … .

By the way, a small technical note: if
you want to archive YouTube videos on your hard disk, e.g. to keep them
from disappearing as Amy’s first “Was ist Emo?” video did, you can use
the Linux program
youtube-dl. It’s in the Ubuntu archives, probably in multiverse. Issue
this command:

youtube-dl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV9nghiNnBU -o YouTube.WhatIsEmo.flv


Start date: 2008-05-16
Post date: 2008-05-17
Version date: 2008-05-29 (for last meaningful change)

Lately, I got an idea for a new, meaningful definition of [human]
identity and personality:

Identity
is, in an abstract sense, the set of differences
by which one instance differs from its type. For example, an
off-the-shelf car gets an
identity by tuning modifications, by its number plate, its history of
owners, the things that are currently inside the car etc.. Likewise,
for humans this means: special body attributes, brain content, and
personal history. As each human being has these, each has an own
identity.

Personality
is a composite attribute of a human’s identity that can be summarized
as “well-developed individuality”. A human being has this attribute if
his or her identity meets a certain set of abstract conditions. These
conditions deal with: having an independent, free, highly indivividual
or even unique lifestyle, style of behavior, style of thinking. This
needs not to be globally unique, but unique compared to the social
setting where this personality developed. So, personality is the degree
of independence from the imprinting by one’s social environment.

From the observations about identity, there follows an interesting
image of humanity:

What differs one man from another in
the moment of comparison
is a set of bodily differences and a
set of differences in the programming of the brain. The programming of
the brain can be called, in an abstracted sense, the human spirit.
Because both body and spirit contribute to human identity, man is not
simply “a spirit in a machine”, but rather an integrated, highly
complex system of material and non-material (i.e. informational)
components.

This integration is illustrated by the large amount that the feeling
of our body contributes to our current mood and to our character. This
is mostly subconscious, but can be detected by discussing the topic.
You’ll see, for example, that many differences between men and women
can be traced to bodily differences: women have 15% less muscles and
are somewhat smaller, so it’s just meaningful that they call more often
for help, as they got accustomed to that when needing help for bearing
things etc.. Not to speak of the differences in hormonal system etc.,
and their effects. I’d really like to see a detailed comparison of all
the bodily differences and all their psychological and social effects.
That would contribute a vast amount to cross-gender understanding!

Having said this about bodily differences, the spiritual differences
seem to be even greater. Because most body attributes cannot vary much,
the boundaries are determined by human DNA. But brain programming is
completely free (at least in theory). Here, everything is possible. In
practice, the differences are much smaller than they could be, because
social imprinting tries to establish some boundaries. But when trying
to become stronger personalities (see above), the differences increase,
and through this, social intercourse gets more interesting.

Which would be another contribution to the search for life, me
thinks.


Start date: 2008-04-29
Post date: 2008-04-29
Version date:  2008-04-29 (for last meaningful change)

To say that people “change [in character]” is a widespread
verbalization that we all understand. Saturday it deemed on me that
this is correct as a phenomenological verbalization, but not from a
psychological viewpoint. This difference has consequences for everyday
life. Let me explain:

To “change” in character would imply that we forget some of our
former character attributes. But character attributes are the best
learned attributes of our personality, else they would not be called
“character”. They’re stored in long-term memory and therefore safe from
forgetting. We can never lose any of our character attributes, from a
psychological viewpoint!

What seems to be a change is rather the addition of something new:
we may acquire new character attributes and start acting according to
them instead of according to the old ones. This is a change,
phenomenologically, but learning, psychologically. The old attributes
are still there, but latently, non-active. They’re overdriven by new
attributes, probably because we like the new ones better.

This thought says practically: if you want to “change” in character,
you need to learn. And for learning, you need to know something you
don’t and experience something you didn’t. This is called “new”
knowledge and experiences — so to “change” in character, extend your
knowledge and / or exchange your circumstances.

And from a Christian viewpoint, the interpretation would be as
follows: Christians contain all their character attributes from the
time when they were not Christians. These are called “flesh” or
“fleshly” sometimes. To be a “new creation” means or should mean that
these attributes are no longer active (at least, they should not be).
The inactivation is effectuated by “learning new attributes”
(sanctification), but foremost by “being given new attributes for free”
(as that’s the effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit).


Start date: 2008-04-28
Post date: 2008-04-28
Version date: 2008-04-28 (for last meaningful change)