How Concepts Versus Instances Separate Free and Unfree Minds, aka Human Nature and Healthy vs. Unhealthy Culture

(17 short paragraphs plus endnotes, Release Four 3-18-2016 copyleft Peter Voluntaryistic Walker; Release Five on it’s way because I’ve learned much more since Three and Four was to fix technicalities.)

1. Here are the best definitions I’ve yet read of human nature and culture: Human nature is the inherited regularities of development common to our species; culture is a set of ideas that cause their holders to behave alike in some way that differentiates one group from another.

2. Transhumanism aside, we as a species can impact our future generations’ human nature but to a much lesser extent our own generation’s. However we can and do manage/mismanage our generation’s human nature through culture; and by doing so we influence the next generation, who will influence their next generation, etc.

3. We as a species manage culture through memes. The idea of controlling fire spread among our ancestors and allowed them to eat more and better meat, thus enlarging future generations’ brains. Adults consuming dairy products was a meme: An idea that spreads from person to person, displaces other ideas, and sometimes changes future human nature. Prior to that meme, most human adults were lactose intolerant.

4. Memes are reason or anti-reason, and meta-memes pass or discourage new ideas/memes. The reason-meme of planets orbiting the sun was discouraged by The Inquisition unreason-meta-meme, but later encouraged by the scientific method reason-meta-meme. However, court (pseudo) intellectuals ensure new anti-reason memes abound to replace old ones. Present mainstream examples are the left-right paradigm, the cliche of not discussing religion or politics, and the scapegoating of human nature.

5. Instances and concepts are the two core building blocks of memes. In his 30 minute talk “Concepts and Instances – The Battle for Freedom” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIlOtkBhRvI, Stefan Molyneux says to control concepts is to control the world. To paraphrase in words he also uses, “Language is The Matrix” (a metaphor borrowed from the movie of the same name). This fact goes back millenniums (for instance Plato’s The Republic) because concepts versus instances is at the heart of reason and anti-reason. Instances always trump concepts in the free mind; vice versa in the domesticated human livestock (sheeple) mind.

6. An instance is tangible, aka concrete; a concept is an imperfect and intangible record, aka abstract, in the mind. It could be of an instance like “human” or of an instance grouping like “family”. An instance is a perfect representation of itself; a concept is an imperfect virtual copy based on perception. An instance is a single thing; a concept is an artificial label for that thing or a category label for a group of single things. An instance is a physically joined thing; a concept isn’t. A human is an instance; a family is a concept. Its members may be metaphorically joined, but not physically. A person with a metaphor in his or her mind can touch you, but the metaphor itself can’t because it’s only a concept. Thus instances are of the natural realm, for instance science defines human; but concepts are of the artificial realm, for instance culture defines family.

6.a. Another example is the condition of hunger versus the condition of spirituality. Hunger is an instance because it’s scientifically provable; spirituality is a concept because it’s not. The closest thing yet to it being scientifically proven is for researchers to conduct experiments and then interpret them unscientifically.

6.b. Using unprovable concepts as a reference point for personal reality is an example of placing concepts above instances. If I have three bolts of red, white, and blue cloth I have three instances of cloth. If from them I accurately cut out the pieces of a USA flag, I have about sixty more instances of cloth. If I accurately sew them together, the sixty become one instance of cloth in the form of a USA flag. If I publicly damage it or a similar flag, I stand a good chance of being beaten, arrested, or even killed as in 1930s Germany. Not because of the instance of a flag, but because of the unprovable desecration concept placed above the instance of cloth.

7. Labels are complicated because they can be concepts or instances. This makes them both a most useful and abused type of concept.

7.a. In the case of a librarian attaching a Dewey Decimal (DD) label to a book, the label is an extremely useful concrete object. Without it, finding a specific book in a metropolitan library would be the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.

7.b. The book example uses labels to accurately identify a single instance among other like instances. But the DD label also identifies the classification a book falls under, and each classification is a concept. Does a eugenics book get classified as philosophy (DD 100 series), social science (300), science (500), or ? Such complications are one reason there are college degrees in library science, and why sophists constantly present labels that classify as instances. For instance some politicians have publicly stated that accused terrorists don’t have human rights. This is the equivalent of saying that terrorists are not human, but those unskilled in critical thinking are vulnerable to overlook the illogic; that it’s standard human rights for a human to be proven guilty before sentencing, as opposed to being labelled and assassinated in one step of pseudo logic.

7.c. Just as it takes a high level of thinking to correctly DD label a library book, so it takes a high level of thinking to detect whether or not a label put on a person or group of people is accurate or inaccurate, true or false. For instance to label me human would be ridiculously redundant because the word human represents an instance. But do I get classified as an anarchist? Although I accept successful anarchy as an alternative to the social institution of the state, I reject it as a label because it means different things to different people. So my only chosen self-label is nonsophist philosopher, and both of those words represent very complex subjects and contexts.

8. It’s in an ultra-elite’s interest to have all others use higher level thinking for employment, but not for analyzing the ultra-elite, aka superclass, aka global over-class. Thus present mainstream culture traumatizes, dumbs-down, and coerces people from cradle to grave into accepting authority’s provided concepts. Logic remains in parts of the mainstream brain (aka the true self), but another overriding part (the false self) is incapable of thinking. Instead it processes concepts according to indoctrination, as in the above example of enforcing flag sacredness.

9. We humans keep livestock, and for an ultra-elite global tribe called the superclass, present mainstream culture enables their most profitable livestock to be us other humans. They keep us on tax ranches euphemistically called countries. The borders are virtual fences around large territories where most of us are open range livestock. The superclass discovered the rest of us to be more creative, productive, and easier to domesticate when we choose our own occupations, locations, and believe ourselves to be free. Superclass members sometimes trade us to each other via emigration  extradition, or rendition.

10. Though less common, penned and butchered human livestock are also profitable. Some of us are penned for non-victim crimes as a cloaked version of chattel slavery and to help intimidate potential nonconformists. Superclass members also sometimes disagree among themselves over borders and territory ownership, and settle such issues by using us to destroy things and pen, torture, or butcher each other and sometimes opponent superclass members.

11. Some of us resist domestication and are at a higher risk of being penned or butchered. However most resisters partially escape and a few fully escape. To be undomesticated is to be mentally free of illusion and physically free as much as possible. Some say you’re either free or not; no middle ground. But I agree with Harry Browne, who in his 1970s book Living Free in an Unfree World (you can google the .pdf and find it free) said most people are only about 30% free when they could be 70% free, and he explained how. I define freedom as the absence of illusion and initiated coercion, so I consider myself 90% illusion free and 50% physically free, for a 70% escapee rating.

12. Thus to be domesticated is to live in a world of The Establishment’s concepts rather than one’s own; a world where concepts can be false metaphors for things worth mindlessly blowing out of proportion from their original nature.

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Endnotes:

Para. 1: The human nature definition is from E. O. Wilson, although where I say “development” he says “mental development”. The culture definition is from David Deutsch with me adding about usually differentiating groups, a point from Wilson.

Para. 4: Chapter 15 from The Beginning of Infinity by Deutsch is about culture and memes; the terms memeplexes and metamemes both have articles in Wikipedia.

Para. 6:

– An energy instance is physical world energy joined into an event of physical impact due to electricity, gravity, pressure, chemical reaction, or similar forces. Energy converted into matter and vice versa (e=mc2).

– I could similarly make a USA flag out of other materials or even digitally; but the digital version would be a virtual instance.

Para. 7: Alleged terrorists, for instance the thousands of US drone strikes, not to mention the collateral damage maimings and assassinations.

Para. 8: The true self is eclectic and the false self is parochial as explained in my essay/FB Note “Problem Solving 101 Versus Man’s Inhumanity to Man”.

Para. 9:

– From the ultra-elite’s perspective, a person not working but instead receiving state “benefits” supports bigger government and is thus very cheaply paid off to be a co-parasite.

– The superclass have their own tribal culture. For instance the king of Saudi Arabia has exponentially more in common with the president the USA then he does with the average person in his country, and vice versa.

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6 Responses to How Concepts Versus Instances Separate Free and Unfree Minds, aka Human Nature and Healthy vs. Unhealthy Culture

  1. Noun

    reification (plural reifications)

    The consideration of an abstract thing as if it were concrete, or of an inanimate object as if it were living.

    The consideration of a human being as an impersonal object.

    (programming) Process that makes out of a non-computable/addressable object a computable/addressable one.

    Synonyms

    objectification

    thingification

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