Mono-Causal Explanations (was Re: Accused Killer of 3 IsLinkedtoRacist Writing (fwd))

Dace edace at
Mon Mar 6 20:08:29 PST 2000

>Bipolar affective disorder is
>probably a pretty accurate diagnosis -- at least accurate enough so that
>it should be accepted until contrary evidence shows up. But you can
>study the brain from her to eternity and you won't find out anything
>about the *content* of thoughts. That has to be social (historical).
Right, except the content of thought is mental. That's not to say we're always thinking about our minds, but that all our thoughts exist only in the mind. We may think we're thinking about "the backyard," but the thought of the backyard exists in the mind, not the backyard (and not the brain.) The content of thought is determined not simply by society and its history but by mentality and its history. We are descended from higher primates, whose great contribution to life on earth was a specialized intelligence specifically geared toward social interaction. It's in this "domain" of intelligence that consciousness appeared and ultimately yielded abstraction and language. So, consciousness originally reflected the group more than the individual who possessed it. When the self was abstracted into the ego, we identified with the tribe first and the individual second. To be "selfish" would have meant to put the tribe before your private interests (which would have been unthinkable). But as the tribe dissipates in the face of complex social order, the ego is inverted, and "self" comes to mean individual first, and group second. This reversal occurs strictly in our imagination. Nothing about the actual mind has changed. It's still primarily unconscious and collective. The idea that we each have our own separate minds is all in our minds. In our delusion, we work against our own common interests. We compete with each other, as though everyone else's defeat could be our victory. In short, capitalism. Capitalism is a product of mental conditions as much as material conditions. It's the product of ego disorder.

The history of mentality is memory. Perception and consciousness occupy time, not space (as with brains). Consciousness exists *over* time, rather than in time. It's like music. There's no music in a moment. For a melody to exist at all, it must exist across time, across many moments "simultaneously." The end of this sentence is meaningful because the beginning still exists in your consciousness when you finally get to the end. Perception of the meaning of the sentence implies the existence of the past alongside the present. This is the basis of memory. Memory is natural. It's an attribute of nature. Life is the systematic exploitation of this attribute. All living things are informed-- that is, they have minds, and do not need to be externally formed. They remember what they need to do, rather than following some mechanistic program. Computers need artificial "memory," because, lacking minds, they are stupid.

It's about mind and memory, as well as society and history.


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