News Researchers Doubt That Certain Mental Disorders Are Disorders At All


@grief - I was trying to quote your post on the "the more intelligent the more harm we cause" and I thoroughly disagree - that's I mentioned Skinner, he thought everyone is dumb and every animal is dumb and everything is dumb until proven on the contrary. In fact, often the kindest and the most compassionate people are the most intelligent and creative. The book Behave by Sapolsky asks us what would we do if we could, in fact, murder Hitler. Would we do it? Do we have a moral compass that dictates otherwise? Or would we save the course of past history and go against our own "I will never murder anything and I'm buying my meat packaged in the supermarket"? There are hundreds of psychiatrists against the normative of disordered hence diseased, there are several who are very vocal about the true illness being causing harm - in fact, they are so vocal, that in the western world you are only institutionalized if you posit a danger to yourself and others. Slowly things are clearly changing. The idea that all disorder is in fact illness, comes also from the idea that we have "mental health problems" - the syntax alone is clueless, if you have mental health, you don't have mental health problems. If you have mental problems, you don't have health. And so forth, binary thinking on that trail. But in fact, neuroscience tells us that the brain affects the whole body, and what was thought as "mind" - a little person type of Rattattouille playing strings inside the center of your brain -- is being questioned across the board. And by no means someone who drives away from compassionate and kind action, behavior, thought, feeling, can achieve any sort of real intelligence, creativity to solve real problems.

Take the issue of agriculture - agribusiness is destroying countries, multinationals are profiting ridiculous amounts for the exploitation of the "peasant" worker, but you see Bill Gates giving lectures and writing books on how Business can carry on the same with a Green name attached to it, and some variables on how to exploit a little different. It's not intelligence in my book, as I work with folks with valid structures and inventive notions that are kind and in alignment with common sense for the betterment of everyone involved - not just Wallstreet hedge funds and money makers... so intelligence is one thing, being smart while promoting aggression and violent humanity is another.

I agree that the vaccines 5g folks are not "that type of intelligent" but most of them live without access to good education, with smartphones and internet and Whatsapp groups. In fact, in Indigenous Brazillian Amazon, you had the rumor people become Alligators when they take the covid vaccine, to which the Brazillian president answered: "If you become an alligator that's your problem." So you see, different types of intelligence at play here. lol

Another thing Sapolsky speaks about is when we think of "human nature" a lot of us immediately think of something nefarious, or evil... it's something to consider, most people just want to be loved and play very hardball at that stake.

Disorder just means out of order, but something in the human predicament that can become "in order" is worth considering through multiple points of view.


I was trying to quote your post on the "the more intelligent the more harm we cause" and I thoroughly disagree
so do i. intelligent people creating technologies that a majority of people don't know how to use effectively. is not the same as saying the smarter you get the more harm you cause. as obviously that if everyone were at the same level we would not be seeing these breakdowns.

that's I mentioned Skinner, he thought everyone is dumb and every animal is dumb and everything is dumb until proven on the contrary.
which is nonsensical and wrong.

In fact, often the kindest and the most compassionate people are the most intelligent and creative.
agreed. the more intelligent you are the more compassionate you are.

The book Behave by Sapolsky asks us what would we do if we could, in fact, murder Hitler. Would we do it? Do we have a moral compass that dictates otherwise? Or would we save the course of past history and go against our own "I will never murder anything and I'm buying my meat packaged in the supermarket"?
this goes into concepts of morality and objectivity which i find interesting of their own merits. but that would take a whole other thread to parse. however, i agree that "killing is wrong all the time" is fundamentally illogical. sometimes it is not wrong. and sometimes it is. and those situations are dependant.

There are hundreds of psychiatrists against the normative of disordered hence diseased, there are several who are very vocal about the true illness being causing harm
i agree with this. but i would also go a step further and say that most major mental illnesses do have the potential of casing harm.

I agree that the vaccines 5g folks are not "that type of intelligent" but most of them live without access to good education, with smartphones and internet and Whatsapp groups.
indeed. and which is precisely what i meant. they are intelligent in terms of they are capable of exercizing general intelligent behaviors. but they know less things (how to think critically. how to examine information. how to know what is true and false.) because of what ever reason that is. either they have less education. or their brains are less logical. or whatever.

and it's not "oh those stupid people. f*ck them." because those people are everywhere. the problem is systemic. mocking those people and denegrating them (which i have been known to do. it's not like i'm logical all the time either. they piss me off and trigger me most of the time.) but logically speaking that serves no purpose.

other than to fulfil my own personal emotional gratefication. the real solution needs to be systemic because we have created a systemic problem. by creating technologies that are engaged with by people who don't know enough to properly engage with them. and thus cause harm to themselves and others by failing to recognize what is true and what is false.

and that is something that all of us struggle with. astroturfing is a huge problem. and you really don't know if you're talking to a troll or a bot or whatever. because we fundamentally cannot know that unless it's confirmed. and confirming that is real hard.

Disorder just means out of order
agreed. there is nothing fundamentally anything wrong with being disordered. it is just a state that humans are sometimes in. what the "there is no disorder it's all just normal" people start to break down at. is that these are things which can cause harm. immense pain and suffering and trauma and harm. and i don't think it's appropreate to normalize that, either.

and say oh well. anyone would do that. that's fine to be. just be that forever because it's normal. i don't want to be this forever. i want to be different than this. i want to not be suffering or cause other people to suffer. i don't want my behavior and mental health problems to be accepted as ordinary. because they're not. and because for my self at least making it ordinary implies that we don't need to worry about it. or change it.

but at the same time i do under stand where people come from that there are situations of insanity that being normal might just plain be abnormal. and whether or not it is possible to have a disordered response (ptsd) to an abnormal situation (trauma) but also acknowledge that being traumetized is legitimate at the same time.

(or, in essence, that it is a disorder that is intelligible and linear. unlike other disorders where their cause and affect is not easily demonstreted.)

so i don't f*cking know. at the end of the day. none of us really know any thing.



Well, you touched a lot of topics here that in fact, my own individual research has actual answers to, in a more cognitive approach so to speak in a language we both understand.

For example, you say "they are intelligent in terms of they are capable of exercizing general intelligent behaviors." it's a completely different culture it's not about us and them or "they" at all or "those people" - it's different cultures with different levels of what in the West we deem as civilization or development, which by itself is a very difficult notion connecting to issues of colonialism and cultural appropriation. What happens is, people who live in the dense jungle who are prone to illnesses that we've built vaccines and developed antibodies for and historically speaking, a lot of "white people" took to them and decimated cultures, and who do not have the access to our type of knowledge about things but have other types of knowledge which we are clueless about - on how for example, to live extraordinarily long lives and cultivate millennia old cultures and not develop antibodies for things that we take for granted as normal to have vaccines for, such as viruses and smallpox and tetanus. To each, their own idea of intelligence, based on their own intelligence too.
These cultures thrive on storytelling, and they do not trust the white person who comes with a syringe and is prone to believe just about anything that comes on Whatsapp - if the vaccine is safe, some will believe it, if it turns you into an alligator, it's also quite plausible considering other things the white society has created. This does not mean that they "need education as we do" - it also quite the contrary means we need to start acknowledging that maybe the whole thing about being very smart and knowing a lot maybe is not so factual after all like you said at the end of your post.

The whole thing about "a mind which is ill" comes from an idea of the other which is different, and has issues we do not understand. It is not true that most major mental illnesses as you said, have the possibility of harm causing. I've worked extensively in this field and volunteered for almost a decade with people who just want to be left in peace and are suffering in silence and see no one and talk to barely anyone and are stigmatized for being "different" than what we deem as normality. If folks want to normalize that having a disordered state facing extreme levels of adversity as an emotional and mental injury - that's really the only way to go from here.

But a walk in a busy subway of a major city and the whole concept of normality goes off the window.

Like Simon said above, his level of stress is so high all the time that almost dying in an accident doesn't posit threat levels. That's what I mean, if there is an injured person who thinks they can die at any minute due to past terror, which is the right word, maybe calling this person a sick person is not the right or compassionate, or intelligent way to go :)


This does not mean that they "need education as we do"
every person regardless of their origin or culture or personal identity benefits from being able to tell the difference between what is true and what is false. the reasons why they have difficulties doing this are up for debate.

obviously your example is one valid reason why a person may have trouble distinguishing the difference. which does not have to do with intelligence or logic. but has to do with culture. which is another reason why people struggle to interpret their reality. yes. but i am not speaking about human intelligence.

i explicitly stated that these people have human intelligence. what they lack is knowledge. and that happens for any number of reasons.

but the crux of the matter is that some people don't know what is true. some people know less things. and that is a problem. for a lot of reasons. and that is a problem that every human being has. but it is something that is becoming more and more exploited. the more technologically advanced that we become that these issues are being highlighted in more detail.

and no matter where you're from. the more things that you know, which are variefiably true, the more successful, compassionete, less violent, and more integreted you will be.

That's what I mean, if there is an injured person who thinks they can die at any minute due to past terror, which is the right word, maybe calling this person a sick person is not the right or compassionate, or intelligent way to go :)
and having been there my self many times it is equally as irresponsible to assume that a person who is incapable of determining whether or not they are in danger. is not a risk to themselves. because they are. and we can call that whatever we like.

but the fact of reality is that they are putting them selves and potentially other people at risk. and at that point the most compassionate thing to do is to make sure that that person receives treatment and intervention.

and not to cast them on the side of the road. because there is nothing really wrong.


i don't truly know the answer to that. that if any person no matter their neurology was put through a specific set of circumstances would they develop ptsd?
If you were talking to me? That’s not what I said.

Instead of something one is born with, an acquired adaptivity “anyone” is able to shift into (anyone = all kinds of preexisting disorders & none, as opposed to everyone), the entire range personalities/skill sets?
how ever i am also not 100% convinced that after a certain point ptsd is inevetable.
It would make no sense for it to be, evolutionarily speaking. Having an entire species equally affected by a single thing quickly spells death to that species, should that single thing occur.

What I was talking about was the difference between an innate & acquired trait.

Acquired traits are curiosities, because some have very rigid parameters (genetically speaking, which makes a predisposition relatively easy to source) but many -even most, if we’re talking neurology/cognition/behavior rather than physiology/health- are far more complex. Theoretically a whole series of genetic triggers that have to be activated, in order for the trait to present. So you can take 2 people, put them through the same “thing” and have a totally different reaction take place in both of them.

PTSD does not appear to have rigid parameters, as there’s roughly a 1:5 chance than ANY individual -IE no way to tell who, not every individual- experiencing critA level traumas will go on to develop PTSD. Furthermore? There are a number of things one can do to prevent PTSD during the immediate aftermath of such an event, further reducing those numbers. It speaks to some seriously complex DNA coding, that allows some people some of the time to fundamentally alter their response to stress.

Those kinds of acquired traits? Are nearly always species-adaptive, as a “situation” had to occur countless times, to countless numbers of peoples, activating certain parts of otherwise dormant or “junk DNA”, the survivors of which then breeding with each other, creating DNA combinations with multiple activation triggers, should a “situation” meeting the requirements take place. A person might never meet those requirements, or might but then have those things mitigated, keeping the trait dormant.

so this isn't adaptive in the long run. because our lives exist as they are now. and not in caves beating each other over the head with bats. or fighting mammoths.
Well... 60,000 years of known humanity (200,000 of less well known human existence), and over 10,000 years of civilization (as defined by building cities capable of sustaining 10’s to 100’s of thousands of people in a relatively closed/sustainable system) -vs- the last century? I’d say long run wins. 😉 But even in the last century we’ve had wars, genocides, plagues, famines, and natural disasters affect hundreds of millions of people; often for decades up to their entire lives. Whole generations born into crisis.

In fact, I would posit that the only real difference between today (the last 150 years) and the past 59,850/ 199,850 years? Motorized transportation. Which allows people to fight wars year round, instead of coming home for the harvest/winter; to fly INTO (and out of) areas afflicted by ongoing crisis (war, plague, famine, natural disaster) with no gradually increasing/decreasing levels of threat and hardship. <<< That would make the downsides of things like PTSD/ASD far more noticeable as individuals are being thrust in & yanked out of vastly different normals, creating a series of hard shocks to the system; so even people who would individually make the transition cleanly given even a little bit of time, are sent reeling.

((And Thats a well understood phenomenon amongst aid workers, journalists, archeologists, etc... when you jump in and out of the 3rd world to the 1st world? Your first few weeks “home” in the first world are going to be surreal as hell, and basically? f*cked. It’s a much harder thing to study amongst soldiers & contractors/mercenaries because the culture never allows one to admit being anything less than at the top of their game at all times... to outsiders, and even one’s own people in a lot of situations. It’s understood colloquially to happen, but data sets are skewed and unreliable, from an egghead perspective.))
there is no evolutionery benefit to depression or anxiety or ptsd or anything else because it results in disordered behavior
You’re mixing up 2 very different things; Individual & Species.

Evolutionary benefit is species; what allows a species to survive/thrive.

The same traits that can make a species strong? Can be hell on both the individual themselves &/or the society in which they live.

Take anorexia & endomorphs for a second (NOT ectomorphs and endomorphs, very specifically an eating disorder and a genetic body type). Both anorexics and endomorphs survive famines and auschwitz, whilst everyone around them are dying of starvation. Why? Extremely slow/efficient metabolisms. Their bodies are used to getting the most bang for the buck -energy for living, organ maintenance and repair, comparatively rational cognition, etc.- out of every single available calorie/nutrient. It’s very evolutionarily adaptive (species) to have 2 groups of people -1 born that way, the other possessing the ability to acquire- surviving on resources so limited that it would kill most people. Indivuidally, however? You’re looking at a vast array of health issues, over the course of their -usually shortened- lives.

What’s adaptive/useful for the species and the individual? Are VERY different things.

^^^ Anecdotally, I can also give you an evolutionary use for depression, in the same vein. <<< We were working an area hit hard by famine (and the illnesses that invariably accompany starvation on a grand scale) and we were about to mark the hut/home/shed-thing we’d entered to be burned... when the man we’d thought was dead? Turned out to not only have a pulse, he GLARED at us, got out of bed, and stormed out swearing at us for disturbing him. Our translator explained he was just like that. Spent months in bed, just staring at a wall, being of no use to anyone and a burden to all, then one day waking up and being fine. Until weeks/months later he laid down again for several months. At the time? We just laughed. There’s a serious truism “You CANT kill miserable bastards! They just won’t DIE.” Later coming to understand the science better? People in major depressive cycles tend to have greatly reduced physiological needs. Their breathing is slower, their heart rates are slower, their metabolisms grind to a near halt. One -very short- step away from SciFi level “stasis”. Which is hell on earth for the poor damn miserable bastard living it, and a burden on everyone who has to take care of them, but? They ALSO live though things that kill far more healthy/vital/productive members of society. Breeding before AND after. Contributing to both the survival of the species by adding to it, and as far as their depression is genetic, ensuring their progeny will also contribute to the survival of the species.

Back to PTSD to wrap up this honking great novel...

- 1:5 possess the ability to fundamentally alter the way their brain works during life or death situations.
- More than half will return to preexisting baselines (with zero outside intervention) in 6 months or less
- Over 90% (in many reports even over 95%) able to return to baseline given some outside assistance (&/or dumb luck) over the course of a few years
- Only a teeny tiny outlier percentage ( 3-6%) “stuck” that way for life

Speaks to a VERY evolutionarily adaptive system at play.

As a subset of the population will fundamentally alter how they operate given a certain set of parameters, and then nearly all of that subset will return to baseline given the absence of those parameters. That’s adaptive as f*ck.
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I'm not sure where you're getting at here. That folks who fall into conspiracy theories are "crazy" and therefore unreliable, which is valid. Or if someone who falls for conspiracy theories lacks knowledge only, or if culture is simply dismissible without acknowledging it's importance.

For instance, the prevalence of conspiracy theories coming from the US alone has been fuel for millions of pages of gibberish in writing form. Should we discount the entirety of everyone who has fallen for one or two conspiracy theories in all our lives as inapt? Or should we value the cultural aspect of not trusting governments and going to great lengths to explain why? Or the validity of people who actually do legit research and some stuff does seem to be a conspiracy theory but it's not? All of that encompasses cultural issues or issues belonging to culture.

The whole aspect of "those people" dismissed a whole variety of persons and individual intelligent beings who may benefit from the question as to why they feel so inflicted and injured? A lot of people who trust the flat earth theory for example, have every right to distrust science. If you log on to something like you'll find the reasons for that for sure. And if you think you know which science to trust 100%, maybe you're blindly following an assumption, which is not science. For example, we all agree there are other planets. That ascertain alone makes NASA a valid institution for some and everyday horoscopes valid for others. The folks who trust horoscopes maybe fight for free health care and subsidies for the very poor, and a lot of people who bet money on NASA don't give two craps if youve had to eat today. You can't put all eggs in one basket and call them a basket case (I'm very pleased with this pun).

That's why I said, narratives in which we trust and follow for sure sometimes pull us away from the whole complexity of the human interaction dimension out of our solitudes. The whole thing about talking to folks from the military here and understanding a perspective I hadn't seen before, although it was not a strange perspective, helped understand that when it comes to human relationships a lot of what we believe to be true sometimes it's not about us at all, but about the politics of being a human being in a very complex social system. In the simplicity of it, we all just want a good life and most of us to get along with one another.
I watched an interview recently with Dr. Dave Rabin that is mostly about using ketamine. He talks about using it as a means to reprogram these disorders and he also briefly talks about the point that that article makes, adaptation vs disorder. It was quite interesting but it's a bit long too. It's worth a watch if you've got the time though.



@Friday epigenetics is one insane amazing field of study. The whole indigenous storytelling I was speaking about early is old genuinely caring and mature medicine proposition to the quality of epigenetics. To retell the "story" in a way in which you're a victor, and all true at the same time. It's done in psychology currently and it's a very valid way to overcome serious trauma.


If you were talking to me? That’s not what I said.
hi friday, i am confused! because i do not think i was talking to you. but i might have been, because i am not always sure of what is going on sometimes, but i do think i was.... talking to sietz, and simon-

oh, i see what happened. yeah for my first post i was just posting about my own opinions of stuff. i wasn't talking to anyone at all! i just say stuff, for no reason, to play with things. sorry. it was more like, "this subject is interesting and here is what i think too! maybe that is interesting. or not." and also it could be wrong, because i am not a behavioral scientist, and i don't know stuff.

because mostly i agree with what you said! and then i just added my thing as well.

You’re mixing up 2 very different things; Individual & Species.
this is true and i mix stuff up all the time. because my brain is not good at that type of processing! so i apologize. but that was more or less what i was getting at, for what i felt like other people might be doing. that explanations of behavior on a general level, mean something on a species level, which i am not convinced that is true.

it is probably just pathological because of the definition of the word pathology-as i understand it, it means things that are dysfunctional or that don't conform. it may be useful in some cases. because the type of behavior conforms with whatever is going on in that moment. which is why it's hard for us sometimes to even see if things are abberent or not.

but it also can be destructive and harmful. like my husband. his behavior was really good at keeping us safe during the pandemic. things were clean. things were probably not infected with viruses. he understood how to wash his hands and how to wash the things that were coming in the house and how to distance himself and keep himself safe. those are all safe, sane behaviors.

but also he put himself in danger by inhaling dangerous chemicals all the time. because he has ocd. and he does things that aren't rational, also.

and then of course you get into the actual genetic traits of things that people have, which definitely is part of the conversation, but i think there is meaning in separating behavior from genetics also. because genetics do not always predetermine how people behaves. otherwise we would know how someone is going to behave just by looking at their genetic code, which we don't.

but we can determine some behavioral traits like addiction, with more probability. so it's definitely related. so i think we are pretty much saying the same thing, you obviously have more education on this topic than me, so i may be saying things that literally don't make sense! i don't know! i'm a very illogical person sometimes.

so i am sorry if i'm not making sense, or if i'm saying things that are wrong. my area of study is not behavioral. i just find behavior interesting. because i don't behave like other people do. it makes me interested to know what is normal and what isn't normal.

and also i apologize to anyone on this thread in particular that i could see i was having an emotional reaction which was mine, and which was fine, but i unfortunately behaved a bit aggressively in response to my own feelings, outwardly, which i apologize for.


Quite intensely so, the ideas of behaviorism that we study and think are true in the social sciences are based on Pavlov and Skinner
Yes and no. While I do agree that Skinner was horrific, thinking of Skinner in such bad terms is quite the dominant tendency of most behaviourists, more especially amongst animal specialists. It’s true that for things going from animal behaviour to psychology/psychiatry to social sciences to general knowledge, a certain time is required but I don’t think that in the academic world Skinner perspectives are still given a lot of credit. I don’t know the field of social sciences enough to have a clear cut-vision of what’s the dominant view or at least in the majority of currents. You also quoted Sapolsky so I guess that you might already know quite a lot of the following.

However, Pavlov’s and Skinner’s methods do work, for best and worst. The conditioning and the association of cues. Albeit limited, it is very efficient. I have trained my cat with the ding dong clicker positive reinforcement technique, it looks meaningless but it works. Now I profoundly detest Skinner who is a torturer and a maniac, unempathetic, deranged mind. He’s the kind of pseudo ultra-rational guy who will put animal to starve in a room if they don’t find the right button to get out, and then concluding they’re dumb. The ironic thing being that it was his own distorted idea of what reason is that made him decide to do things that we now find profoundly irrational.

Experimentally, he didn’t place animals in situations they could even hope to solve, as they just weren’t environmentally realistic conditions for them to solve. It’s as if you asked a toddler to solve a complex puzzle for a biscuit but letting them captive in a green room their whole life. I’m forcing the trait, but really it isn’t that far from that. Chances are that kid won’t have many opportunities or even the will to understand how a Chinese puzzle works. Perhaps most important Skinner’s contribution to science is that animals aren’t just interested in food (that was his supposition) and that placing them in conditions of torture will create all sorts of very conditioned, automatic, dumb responses. Sounds familiar?

Positive or negative reinforcement might be dumb, they do work. If you want to teach something, positive reinforcement will work way better. If you want to produce avoidance and aggression, defo opt for the negative reinforcement. You can manage to extinguish sets of behaviours with negative reinforcement, but it will at the cost of having the animal (or the person) negatively affected by it if you cannot make it or them avoid the origin of the negativity, that is the environment that causes it or yourself and, by extension, a collection of elements that are predicative of the conditions where the negative experience happens.

So, while conditioning really isn’t everything about teaching, learning and psychology, it still is a very fundamental notion. The way we look at it now is however radically different than the one we did at his time. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one to think like this at all.

Quite ironically, one of biggests Skinner’s critiques was Konrad f*cking Lorenz. Lorenz, who’s been a Nazi in his time, albeit "repenting," was all about trying to understand animals in their context and even socializing with them in order to have an actual close approach to behaviours you cannot observe if you aren’t sufficiently closed. Very different from the "objectivity" stated by Pavlov, Skinner and co. Still, I find he’s quite full of projections on competitive or aggressive behaviour, I guess it’s not coming from a random place. However, just as Skinner, he’s made fundamental findings in animal psychology, very notoriously on the social behaviour of grey geese and intra-specific aggression. There is a book that did call my attention a long time ago, it’s called "Aggression: A Natural History of Evil" (what a title! that was in French though, I’m uncertain they had this translation in English).

But in general, I’d say that the characteristic Western vision of intelligence is conflated with the use of reason/abstraction. And the very term of rationality is actually foggier than what we think. In anthropology, there is one book (unfortunately still untranslated in English, La rationalité des croyances magiques (Rationality of Magical Beliefs), Pascal Sanchez) that is an anthropological review of anthropological studies on magics, beliefs, and reason. We often think of rationality as something that works. And it’s true, to an extent. Thing is, folks like Skinner also did believe that, so how come it doesn’t work or not completely, visibly? The whole stance of the book (that is around 2000 pages) is to demonstrate that magic beliefs do work, in many ways. And that, in many ways, reason acts as a mere system of beliefs, with, in its experimental disposition, has allowed to huge technical leaps. It certainly allowed to promote certain modes of thinking, such as abstraction, and excluding others. It is also a system of belief that relies very heavily, if not almost entirely, on a certain type of technology that is writing, or the externalisation of memory. It allowed to preserve knowledge in bigger quantities than what a human is capable to store. You can’t physically remind all that is the books you’ve read. But you have the remembrance of the memory. You have a path towards a knowledge. Like a sort of internal dictionary coupled with actual memories.

Alexander Luria has studied back in his time the cognitive impact of the knowledge of writing, and it’s absolutely massive. It throws people in an entirely different world, cognitively, with quite a clear effect of no-return. There is the world before and after learning to read and write. And with computational systems and network thinking, there is even more of this externalisation of memory not only on the form of semantics, words and numbers, but on the form of more or less raw data, very structured information such as videos, sounds, and so and on. This also probably will come with its cognitive changes, and I think we’re already seeing it at work in many aspects. 40 years ago people were used to remember an insane amount of phone numbers, addresses, geographic directions. Now it’s much less. It’s not dumber. It’s just different, and actually adaptive to the fact this type of information is now externalized to your phone or computed.

Now if language and abstract thinking are pretty recent, the limbic system, that is the one at play in disorders such PTSD, is much more deeply seated and therefore, less prone to quick adaptations. What has worked for millions of years is less likely to change than what has worked for only a few thousands. PTSD exists in animals rather distant from us. So the mechanisms exist since VERY, very long. On this, it’s quite the proof it’s very adaptive on a species scale on a very long run.

Sorry if I’m slow to develop I hope this all isn’t very boring or repeating what everyone already knows. But if we want to resolve whether or not PTSD or depression are adaptive, the thing is that we no longer are in the conditions that would create the disorder from a behaviourally adaptive point of view, and, in mirror, be susceptible to respond well to the collections of behaviours linked to these disorders. What I found very surprising with a study that I mentioned in my journal but that I don’t manage to find anymore, is that depression was adaptive in contexts where actual fast responses are bad. Sometimes, not to move or not moving fast is the best thing you can do. There are many situations where that does happen, even for a long time. Where being rather disinterested in your peers or in your environment is adaptive. We had situations like that. And they can be very long, so the set off of a tipping point where the disorder goes from acute to chronic isn’t that absurd. That study just wanted to show that depression was possible to genetically inherit through stress factors on the parents only, but it had the collateral effect that the mice in question did actually perform better than healthy peers at performing cognitive tasks in unfamiliar environment. Because they didn’t give a f*ck about it, to shorten it quickly. But they also were less combative and did surrender quicker to nice tests such as being trapped in a puddle of water they couldn’t get out and would end up drowning.

There is also another effect in evolution that we often forget to take into account is that evolution is not necessarily optimal. It depends only on passing genes. And genes don’t care if you’re feeling awful They’re genes. Evolution, is evolution. Nature, nature. It’s not doing something to do something. It’s not animated by the desire of optimization or anything. It’s not animated at all. Basically, everything you see, although by many aspects amazing in complexity and structure, has no reason to be (here is our word again). You can’t expect evolution to give something entirely adaptive in any sense. Even if you come back in times where our social structure and non-artificial environment very probably would be more "receptive" to what we call disorders now.

On this, I remember reading quite a lot of texts from the Middle Ages and it’s completely striking to see how many things familiar to us as disordered, mad, bad, uncivilized are simply spoken as to be a norm—with magnitudes. When you read Tristan and Isolde or Melusine, f*cking hell you can tell these folks were emotionally dysregulated as hell and many gruesome details are juxtaposed to day to day stuff with perfect tranquility. Or simply, knowing that they can die at any moment because the environment is largely more hostile and aggressive than what ours is. They still do comment that X character or person really is off the grid to the point of madness (psychosis seems to be the level to be reached to be considered crazy), but anything before the point of losing contact with reality seems to be at the very least, quite okay. And here in the context of a Western type of civilization. Violence was just ubiquitous. It’s wasn’t an information. In a culture like this, PTSD and personality disorders (A, B and C by the way), again depending on the magnitude, or even DID if you think about it, aren’t that maladaptive. In Brazil, where violence in the streets is such that everyone you know has been robbed or physically assaulted at least one in their life, you really can tell that people are far more nervous and are scanning the streets visually all the time. You just have to. There is stuff that is super normalized in levels of aggression and fear. I don’t think it should, but it is.

In chaotic contexts, things that are typical of these disorders do work. Now evidently one can argue that a chaotic context is abnormal in itself, but if an entire species cannot resist to something abnormal, then we’re screwed. A species can sacrifice many individuals and even entire generations.

And even in a civilization scale. Aggression, colonization, imperialism, violence, slavery, coercion, manipulation, lack of empathy, all this works very well on a whole to divide and conquer and multiply. Now, it doesn’t mean it’s indifferent, or that it always works, or that it works on an individual scale.

Also you can totally land on evolutionary outcomes that are very suboptimal for an entire species, while never being critical enough to have the trait extinct. Of this I always think of babirusa pigs that have their teeth growing all their life to the point of slowly killing them by pressing against their face. It just doesn’t go fast enough to kill them young, and that’s enough.

So there might well be all sorts of behaviours and characteristics that are pretty bad for the individual and/or the group but are nonetheless selected in because not selected out quickly enough. And this not only with genes. With culture too. So while all our shit can work to this extent, it might just be a dead end. Or not. Difficult to know.

So, knowing if something "makes sense" in terms of evolution (and evolution doesn’t make sense) is actually quite distinct of knowing if it’s good or bad, desirable or not.

Good and bad are moral judgements partially based on empathy but that also influence it. Over all, more or less the only thing you can use to decide is the factor of suffering, even more than the one of happiness. It produces suffering? Bad. It doesn’t? Okay. Produces happiness, and suffering? Then bad, too. Having happiness at the cost of suffering isn’t right. Having happiness in a cooperative way that makes more happiness and also in the long term and as far as we know, then good.

Quite simple. But with larger scales and growing complexity it quickly becomes mind-bogging. On this, we clearly aren’t cognitively equipped to deal. Getting along all well as good as we can is technically a hellish problem.

So I guess at the end of this very long exposé (sorry for its length I got a bit set off as it was a big part of my dissertation topic), what I mean is that if something used to be adaptive or even can individually be, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to change. And that what we call "rational" might not be as stable or… rational as we think. Again, it’s difficult to know what we generally mean by reason as it isn’t really much of a precise term. Empiricism? Heuristics? Logic? Cause? Adaption? Optimal adaption? Intelligence? Reason covers all of this and yet it has its special flavour.

Sorry I just ended up writing a novel so I cross posted with a lot of people. I’m trying not to be too repetitious with what has already been said.

archeology keeps bumping itself with astrology
? Just curious.


archeology keeps bumping itself with astrology
? Just curious.
<laughing> I’m relatively certain @Sietz ((correct me if I’m wrong!)) is referencing “post-processional” “archeologists” ... who have decided that archeology shouldn’t be a science that deals in facts but should make up STORIES!!! about “what” things are, and “why” people did them, even though there is noooooooo way on the planet to know the what’s & why’s without the people there, themselves, to ask.

Post-processional “archeologists” are worse than historians at just making shit up, (historians at least have first person documentation, by and large, even if it’s as biased & likely to incorrect as Herodotus).

- Archeology = Science
- History = Social Science (IE open to interpretation, and heavily influenced)
- Post Processional “Archeology” = Crystal Balls, Fortune Tellers, Dime Novels, & Astrology. IE Who the f*ck knows how accurate/inaccurate it is, as it’s entirely based on 1 persons imagination of what “might” be. >.<

Fortunately? The charlatanism of post-processionalists is a teeny-tiny subset of Archological schools of thought. Unsurprisingly/unfortunately it snuck into academia when people were dropping a lot of acid. (LSD).

Don’t get me wrong... it’s perfectly NATURAL for scientists to get all starry-eyed and “Ooooh! I wonder why....?” and speculate over countless possibilities & pints at the pub (anthropologists as a species drink too much). But that’s speculation. Not science. Only PostProcessionalists are Victorian Minded* enough to go around proclaiming their imagination has the same substantive value as fact.

((Victorians went all around the world defacing & declaring cultures to BE this, that, or the other; entirely certain of themselves and their ideas, no matter how many people from those selfsame cultures told them “No. that’s not what this is, or what that means, why we do A, how we do B, etc.” The penises in Pompeii being removed, just one example amongst literally thousands.))