Empathobesity—The Dynamics of Social Symbiosis and Parasitism

Social parasitism is a recurrent topic on this website. I tackled the question how such parasitism is unaware to those who contribute. Also the phenomenon of the evolution of a social parasite’s defense system was illustrated. In a recent article Heartiste, raised an other aspect of social parasitism. The systems theory’s well known fact that a symbiotic relationship can become parasitic (and vice versa).

This dynamics of a relationship’s mutuality, of course, is true for all relationships social included. Empathobesity is a role model. The concept describes the rise-and-fall process of Western societies by the impact of empathy.

As well as the process can be divided into rise and fall, the two phases are characterized by (1) a distribution of wealth, education, and power which translated into higher productivity and considerable ingenuity, and (2) growing inequality, declining education, and concentration of power which translates into stagnation and genuine ingenuity became replaced by just fancy but useless innovation such as ringtones. The two phases of the process even have a biological, population genetics, implication. While in the first phase the more prosperous people had more children, it is now the other way around, so even the genetic basis of ingenuity is in decline not to mention the schooling system and psychological and sociological research that supports a propaganda of educating the imbecile to become geniuses.

No doubt, this process was propelled by empathy mostly arising from Christian religious believes, and we owe those Christian ethics a great deal of our wealth and prosperity. The major question is why did the growth of prosperity came to a halt. The answer lays in the dynamics of relationships. Institutions that sprout from the grounds of Christian ethics like political parties and organizations and charities entered their parasitic stage of behavior. All these organizations have in common that they spread their political agendas by the help of creating empathy like the Christian Church did.

Thus empathobesity well characterizes this process. It is empathy that became obesity. Like obesity empathobesity results from doing in excess what is essential. If you don’t eat you starve, if you eat too much you become obese. Obesity like malnutrition is a disease, and both can kill you. The same is with empathy. It is essential to keep a society flourishing, but to much of it causes dangerous metabolic consequences.

The parasitic abuse of empathy has a long history and it has it re-birth again and again.

empathobesity

The young man on the streets of Prague creates empathy, but does he deserve it. Please take a closer look. His sneakers are as new as the ones of the bystanders and his backpack and his clothes aren’t ragged. He covers his face to not show that he is well shaved. My conclusion was he just wanted to create a feeling of empathy in visitors crossing the Carl’s bridge to pay for his vacation.

In a family, for instance, one member can force tho other into obedience by playing the sufferer. This is the trick played by men and women likewise, but only women showing such a behavior are supported by society. You can easily spot those women on facebook, for instance, by re-posting charity requests. The women don’t care the least about the poor chap who asks for help, but it is a test for her male followers who will qualify to become enslaved by her empathy trap.

But empathy parasitism is not restricted to personal relationships and personal contact like beggars. Whole institutions support on it. Charity organizations, Environmental protection groups, churches, and political parties all use to employ the human social instinct of empathy for their egoistic purposes.

A Hare Krishna parade in Prague. They would offer me a rose but in return they would have demanded my whole pocket full of money. An other type of social parasitism.

A Hare Krishna parade in Prague. They would offer me a rose but in return they would have demanded my whole pocket full of money. An other type of social parasitism.

But empathy is not the only social behavior pattern (fauceir) that is abused by social parasites. Here follow some other examples of social parasitism:

  • A security agency that creates security risks to enforce their power and influence.
  • A news agency that creates new just for a good selling headline.
  • A health organization that creates a disease to have more patients to cure.
  • A company that creates a monopoly to increase revenue.
  • A scientific community predicting a disaster, such as an epidemic, to obtain more funds.

The faces of social parasitism is manifold, and what once has been a respectable institution can become a social parasite. This is made clear by the term Empathobesity when empathy in political realms becomes an obstacle of social advancement at best but in its worst case scenario become morbid leading to death of a culture. So many culture died already. They all died because they succumbed to their specific social parasites. BTW biological organisms die the same way.

Well from a fauceir historical perspective there is nothing wrong with that. Fauceir Theory has a non-partisan view. Nobody can avert the death of an organism. That’s true for biological organisms and social organisms likewise. Death and the subsequent degradation is the prerequisite of a life circle going on. If the Roman Empire hadn’t been degraded some thousand years ago we would not have the level of culture that we enjoy in Europe today.

Thus what can be done practically, is to prevent the dying social organisms to take to much human vitims, to destroy intellectual achievements and other natural resources.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

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Easter refutation of the Messiah

The faith in a Messiah is ubiquitous. It is common in many if not all cultures. It survived till today, not only in legends and religious scripts. It is even revived in modern literature such as Dune or philosophy such as Marxism or ideology such as democracy. The idea of a Messiah evolved from prehistoric tribal behavior, showed some transformations over human history, and found its solution recently in The Bible. The Easter story in particular.

Jesus Crucifixion

Jesus’ Crucifixion demonstrated that a Messiah fails even if endowed with god-like power.

Roots

The Messiah idea has its roots in prehistoric human social behavior. Humans primeval ancestors lived in compound that were lead by alpha males. Obedience to that leader was essential to that compounds competitiveness, so we may conclude if not even biologically wired there is a strong socially inherited tendency to follow a leading male. In the emerging class societies, the function of the alpha male was substituted by religious or political rulers. No wonder then that the first Messiahs in old scriptures coincided with political rulers.

Diversification

As with growing contradictions among social classes an other type of interpretation of Messiah evolved. While the ruling class still maintained the old ideology of God given ruler being the Messiah, the abused classes suffering from conflicts, suppression, and injustice began to dream of an other Messiah. A new type of ruler who would enforce their interests.

Human thinking caged

Psychologists call it cognitive inhibition. As human upbringing in a family with a strong leader reinforces humans primeval social behavior, there is a perpetual source of new Messiah stories. Some as clumsy as Dune where a single person changes the world. Some others, more realistic about human egoistic behavior, transpose the idea of a Messiah to a group of people. The working class in Marxism and a democratically elected assembly in Western ideologies. None is working for two reasons.

  1. There is no such thing as a human that wont abuse power. That holds for a single person as well as for groups of people.
  2. There is no such thing as a wise decision that all people are complacent about. Neither contradictory interests can be reconciled nor really progressive decisions can be made by mass support.

Despite the growing number of people that create ever new stories of Messiahs and scholars that invent new Messiah theories, wise people found out about its infeasibility some two thousand years ago when they wrote the story about Jesus. Jesus was meant to be a Messiah but failed. The message is clear. As Jesus failed who was capable to muster all the power of God in his favor, every human who cannot muster as much power must fail too.

Unfortunately these rational foundations of human sociology by early Christian scholars remained almost unnoticed. Too strong have been the efforts of ruler, even of the Christian churches, to disguise the original tenet. And also too strong is the desire of humans to believe in something that complies with deeply inherited feelings, however irrational it may be.

Unfortunately early sociologists did not offer a solution to the problem, but they did so for a purpose, for not creating a new Messiah, for not repeating old mistakes. Admittedly progress in society and sociology goes slowly. But what is 2k years in an evolutionary timescale?


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Is there a way to reconcile science and religion?

In an attempt to stir up emotions the height valued Journal Nature published a world view article on science and religion Sometimes science must give way to religion. As probably intended this article triggered comments that either support or debunk that idea. Here on this blog page the first and only attempt to reconcile, the fauceir stance:

The big fauceirs science and religion are related. They share a common ancestor, which is the natural religion of the hunter-gatherer society. Then sometimes in the past, they parted, each of them starting its own life and evolutionary path. While religions remained influential for millennia, the world is dominated by science today. That’s simply because evolution favors the more advanced fauceirs. Science is much more flexible and adaptable to interpret and employ natural phenomena. Science is so advanced today that it virtually exclusively guarantees our social progress in technology, economy and culture. That doesn’t mean religion is of no importance any more. On the contrary, but the evolutionary difference between science and religion is so wide and it is widening with increasing pace. To employ an analogy from biology, the difference is about the same as between fungi and mammals.

From those fauceir considerations the following conclusions can be drawn:

  1. Science and religion will coexist for ever.

  2. Science and religion will occupy different sociological (ecological) niches

  3. Competition between science and religion will never end. (Science is tempted to expel religion from their niches, and, on the other hand religion tries to re-occupy lost territory, if even parasitically. The nature article mentioned above mirrors that eternal struggle.)

For my part the fauceir concept is a good way to reconcile both sides. But that will fail, I’m sure, as fauceirs are made to defend its existence, and so the fauceir concept will not be hailed as a solution for reconciliation but rather ignored or attacked from both sides, instead.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Imprecise emotions allow to trick your sweetheart

A recent study [1] discussed on this blog page found a relationship between awe inspiring experiences and decision making. That is not absolute new, however. A similar study in the seventies similarly found an association between sexual desire and feelings of anxiety [2]. On a bridge, probably not as much anxiety arousing as this one in the picture, but height enough to feel uncomfortable, men were interviewed by an attractive women following a typical psychological questionnaire. At the end of the interview the women gave her telephone number to the male test person. Significantly more callbacks were counted from those who were asked at the height bridge compared to an ordinary bridge. Obviously the anxiety emotion, the raised heart beat for instance, caused by the bridge was interpreted as sexual attractiveness and some of the men felt it worthwhile to re-experience that emotion.

 That is good news for all those who want someone to fall in love. Simply choose a bridge or something else awe inspiring enough to arouse your sweetheart’s emotions, put on a lovely smile, and your sweetheart is likely to believe he or she is in love with you. I recall that Niagara Falls are a preferred honeymoon destination. Probably for the same reason.

 The question is what all this has to do with fauceir theory. The answer: it is a typical example of imprecision. Emotions are psychological fauceirs that are slaves to our rationality fauceirs. As such, they are likely to do things that are from the outset adapted to the most common situations of our animal or primeval ancestors, that we would not always sanction rationally.

 Most exciting to me however was the following quote from the blog mentioned above.

 … it seems to me that atheists have a great appetite for awe-inspiring stories – in particular, stories about great scientific and engineering feats. Could this in part be a facet of life that in other circumstances could be filled by religion?

 That is sheer fauceirology. Of course, atheism is some kind of religion. Of course, it has to fill the same emotional gaps as any other religion; if not all atheists would become distressed. In some people atheism ensues more rational thinking. In those I would agree that atheism is more evolutionary advanced (in its fauceirological sense). Some atheists however seek refuge in demonism which cannot be considered as a higher level of evolution.

 1.

Rudd, M., Vohs, K. D. & Aaker, J. Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being. Psychol Sci (2012).doi:10.1177/0956797612438731

 2.

Dutton, D. G. & Aron, A. P. Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 30, 510–517 (1974).


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Neutral vs. Natural Evolution

This is a comment to a post in the Skeptic Wonder Blog that in turn refers to a Nature article. The article tackles the evolution of protein interaction and the post tries to define a broader scope to it, even including bureaucracy which is fine with me.

All resides with evolutionary progress, so fiercely denied by evolutionary watchdogs in their capacity of editors of prestigious evolutionary journals and scientific meetings. True evolutionary scientists since Darwin and before appreciate progress as an essential part of evolution, and they claim that progress occurs naturally without interference of a divine hand.

Next the term neutral as the term fitness are fauceir dependent. These terms depend on your vantage point. As almost all evolutionary biologists are DNA heredity fixed, many evolutionary changes, even progress is neutral to that system of heredity. For instance, while we discuss evolution this means progress to evolutionary theory (hopefully) but has absolutely no effect on my and your reproductive success :-))

Fauceirology abstracts the world into a system of nested fauceirs, evolutionary units, that have their own agendas. Hence progress in one of these nested fauceirs can be neutral or even disadvantageous to an other. That depends on the fauceir hierarchy. Let’s give an example from the Bible. (Those rather militant atheist may wonder why the Bible can be quoted to substantiate evolution, but evolution embraces everything even religion.)

I used the same example in an earlier post already. It is the story about Joseph and his brothers, so elaborately illustrated by Thomas Mann in his novel. This story may serve as an allegory for what happened to these complex protein molecules described in the Nature paper. The two brothers of Joseph’s were not as bright as him. In fact, they were rather jerks. (Remember the resemblance to misfolded proteins.) Still these two brother were successful in outdoing Joseph as they combined their forces. As they throw him for starvation into a dried out well, they won the competition for their father’s heritage. It would have had a bearing on reproductive fitness if they had wiped him out. They didn’t. Not in that example. Though their interaction was a success in respect their own well-being it was neutral.

Same ‘neutral’ evolutionary examples can be found throughout the realm of biology even among different species. These interactions can be temporary forming mating couples or packs or persistent forming symbioses.

Emoticon is an language example. The world is full of them.

What is the general rule the take home message concerning neutrality of evolution.

Neutrality and Progress is a question of fauceir perspective.

I’m amazed how much evidence in support of fauceir theory has accumulated over the last couple of years. This Nature acticle is only one and many wait to be covered here.

Concluding this post, I’d like to relate the message from Nature 2004 when Mato tried to publish his Fauceir Theory

Nature, 27.10.2004

Thank you for offering us your paper entitled “An evolved concept of evolution: A generalized theory of evolution extending from physics to societies provides more insight into specifics.”, which we must decline on editorial grounds. Unfortunately, we are not persuaded that the proposed article will be of sufficiently immediate interest to our readership to justify publication in any section of the journal.

I am sorry that on this occasion we cannot be more encouraging.

… the developments are encouraging though.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

The Regulation of Human Fecundity

Humans are social being not mere biological subjects. Humans consist of a complex structure of nested fauceirs. Each of them is controlled by its master fauceir that mainly reduces the innate proliferation rate.

Nested Fauceir Structure

The first fauceir that we going to consider are unicellular organisms, which exhibit the highest proliferation rate: one cell division every 10 minutes in some bacteria (Prokaryotes). Unicellular Eukaryotes still show an extraordinarily height proliferation rate of 7 cell divisions per day (Paramecium).

 

In multicellular organisms cell division is more or less tightly controlled by the master fauceir that contains and governs these cells. Control mechanisms include cytokines, hormones, and various mechanisms of DNA silencing that occur during development. Developmental processes ensure cell specialization into tissues and organs, and only specialized reproductive organs are allowed to participate in reproduction. Hormones control these reproductive organs. While male germ cells (sperms) still are abundantly produced there is only a limited number of female reproductive cells (ovum) that mature during lifetime, and maturation is tightly controlled by hormone cycles. By all these mechanisms, the control at the level of the muticellular organisms significantly reduces reproduction rate. On average, a woman prepares 250 eggs for insemination during a lifetime. Mammals are vastly outnumbered in this respect by fish. Still, a female salmon can produce 35,000 eggs and a male salmon the huge number of 100 billion sperms per year, which is minute compared to the reproduction rate of unicellular organisms. If a unicellular organism exhibits only one cell division per day it would have produced this incredible number of progeny.

 

 

N(2^365,digits=10) = 7.515336265e109

 

Reproduction is further controlled by behavior constraints. Behavioral mechanism that control reproduction include: (1) the aversion of having sex observed in males and females during lactation and early child care, (2) females carefully selecting their mating partners, and (3) infanticide. The data given for Gorillas allow to calculate an average of 8 children per female during lifetime.

 

N(((30+50)/2-(13+11)/2)/3.5,digits=10) = 8.000000000

 

But we know that even in the most reproductive societies such an average number is not achieved. The average fertility rate in Niger is 7.1. Although I personally know families that had up to 14 children, these are rare exceptions. The average fertility rate is further down regulated by social control mechanisms. By the way, even in these few families with more than 10 children the women had been sterilized by law. (Don’t ask me which law it was.) These figures, however, demonstrate that even in societies as fecund as the Amish there are still constraints that limit the number of children per women. These constraints are doubtlessly more effective in atheist settings. Given parsimony, these constraints most likely effect behavior the closest sub-fauceir. Social fauceirs did so for centuries. Contraceptives that affect the maturation of female germ cells are rather a recent innovation in controlling human reproduction.

 

Which are the behavior patterns used by societies to control human reproduction will be investigated in a next blog entry. In this respect, the study of religious communities provides insight how innate behavioral patterns are exploited.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Why the Oneida Community Dissolved

The Oneida Community was a religious commune that existed from 1848 til 1881 in Oneida, New York. This community practiced complex marriage whose aim was to control human breeding. Doctors’ handwritten medical records now made available for research by the Kinsey institute prove that the breeding system was real and meticulous.

As demonstrated before, religions and religious communes might be considered fauceirs (here and here). Applying evolutionary rules, religious communes might be considered as individuals and the set of all such communes as the population. Communes propagate if they show better fitness than their competitors. The fitness of a community nowadays is mainly defined by the fecundity of its members. It was not always that way. In the period of early Christendom missionary work played the dominating role because of two reasons Christians have been persecuted and killed and there were lot of people still not under such a strong religious control. This picture changed with time, as the competitive religions evolved a missionary defense system compatible to our immune system. For the reason that most people are capable to fend off religious intrusions, Blume pointed out that mass conversions are rather an exception. In recent history the success of a religion is determined solely by the fecundity of its members and the capability to effectively indoctrinate the children with their parents’ faith. Not surprisingly then are the facts

  1. that the world’s dominating, hence most successful, religions dislike birth control, and
  2. that communities that successfully proliferate show the highest rate of increase.

However, knowing this rule does not answer the question why the Oneida community dissolved. On the contrary, the Oneida community launched an active breeding system, encouraging its members to proliferate. They practiced eugenics that should have assured an increasing number of outstanding members. Despite of all that they dissolved, or should I better say because of all that. There is an other fauceir rule that explains the dissolution of that community (which had been outlined before.)

A social fauceir can be stabilized by stereotyping its members,

And the reversal of that rule is also true. A human society becomes unstable and even dissolves if its members become capable enough to leave the stereotype.

From that rule follows that each human society that encourage its members to become more capable is digging its own grave. This is not only the case with the Oneida community, but also the recent Tunisian Revolution that started years after the government launched a huge program to advance education.

Well I admit fauceir theory develops ultimate causes of a historic process only. The immediate causes why the Oneida Community dissolved are quite different. But even these causes that were mainly conflicts between the older and the younger generations support the ultimate cause that more favorable properties of the engineered new generation cause conflicts with the existing old-fashioned rules of the society.

By contrast to what social leaders want to make us believe, the dissolution of a social fauceir is not a catastrophic event. On the contrary, if the dissolution takes place because of reasons of improvement, the members usually form new even more successful social fauceirs.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.