Alexander Hellene

Please Recycle

A storm rages outside . . .

I sit and let the wind bite at my exposed skin. I am no animist nor Druid, but I feel the push and pull of the wind and the rain deep inside. I wonder to myself, Why does this storm rage? Why does water fall from pregnant clouds and why do air currents race with a heedless energy and seeming directionlessness? There are scientific explanations for these phenomena, but they are unsatisfactory and remove the mystery that our so-called primitive ancestors felt at the power of nature, a power beyond ourselves.

There are people who live in cities of glass and steel, of concrete and plastic, who profess to love nature and do whatever it takes to protect it up to and including spiking trees and setting off bombs. Yet they dwell in synthetic cages under fluorescent lights, imbibing substances made in a lab and focus-tested for maximum physical and psychological addition. How often do they go out into this nature they claim to worship, feel the elemental forces against their half-naked bodies? When thunder rumbles, do they tell themselves it’s just the sound produced by charged particles traveling faster than the speed of sound, or are they in awe of nature’s majesty?

Maybe they are.

God created nature. He also created man. Man has a duty to nature. Man also extracts what he can from this divine bounty to create tools, structures, and machines that help him solve complex problems. I for one would have a very difficult time giving up indoor plumbing and modern sanitation.

Human beings, though we feel dwarfed by the natural world, are an integral part of it.

Yet when we log in to various software platforms on the various silicon-based devices we are all addicted to, myself included, we have to prove to these machines that were are human beings after all. Little codes to enter, multi-factor authentications, and simple math problems. Click on all pictures of traffic lights or crosswalks or other constructs that help us regiment the natural ebb and flow of mystic rhythms into bland, predictable patterns. Predictability helps the world run smoothly and efficiently, yet something is lost.

Are we so simple to figure out that robots are able to replicate our actions with such unerring accuracy that we have to prove we are carbon-based lifeforms after all? And why is doing so so easy that it consists of little more than answering what is twelve minus two and please tell the rudimentary artificial intelligence we created that you know what a motorcycle is just to access the electronic mail service of your choice?

A storm rages inside . . .

There are only so many different types of humans. Live long enough among enough people and you will see different phenotypes repeat themselves in a fractal array that cannot be random. You will create your own taxonomy that goes even beyond the broad categories of Negroid, Caucasian, Mongoloid . . .

There goes a cheekbone guy . . . that waitress is a gap-toothed girl . . . ah, I went to high-school with someone who looks just like that weaselly guy with the goatee . . .  

Have you ever run into somebody who looks just like you?

For a creature so fearfully and wonderfully made, it’s not hard at times to feel a robot made out of flesh, constructed out of parts interchangeable.

Perhaps the Creator intended this. Perhaps He has a good reason for this. Maybe the fallen human mind can’t cope with infinite variety. It’s hard enough getting a dozen people to agree on where they should have lunch. It’s hard enough getting a dozen different neighboring ethnic groups to stop killing each other.

What does this say about our souls? If one believes in reincarnation, then I suppose all of this angst is pointless. But if one subscribes to the idea that each living being is a unique creation of the Almighty? What if you do not buy into the theory that souls transmigrate into different bodies after death? Where does that leave you?

We like to call some people “old souls.” It’s just an expression, but maybe there is more to it. After all, it’s not just looks that appear to be recycled, but personalities.

This cuts across race and culture, naturally, but it is undeniable that certain races and cultures feature certain characteristics more often than others. Look at America, a multicultural, polyglot open-air bazaar of a country. Leave race out of it, and you can still name a half-dozen certain personality types and temperaments off the top of your head. These will let you know with near scientific certainty what opinions these people hold on political, social, cultural, and religious issues in a matter of seconds.

If someone has blue hair, you can deduce so much about them with I would estimate 95 percent accuracy.

It’s quite amazing, and quite scary. It’s also enough to make anyone with even a modicum of self-reflection wonder if they, too, are so easily pegged by others.

Have we all existed forever since the beginning of time only to be plugged interchangeably into different bodies, or different species, based on how we acted in one life or the other? Or is it all just random? You could be a towering ancient olive tree in one life and a bug crawling on shit in the next for any reason, or for no reason at all.

This, I cannot believe.

But the repetition of physical human types? This is a circle I can’t square. The closest I can come is that there is a reason for it, I don’t know what that is, and that it ultimately doesn’t matters, since it is not the body that is eternal, but the soul.

That’s not quite enough to quell this storm, but it helps whether the tempest.

The wind howls . . .

Cultures, too, are subject to this phenomenon. What is American culture in the early twenty-first century? An endless spiral of revivalism and nostalgia. Replicating chunks of a relatively recent past we cannot escape because nobody can imagine a future any different, any better, than this.

The more scholarly among us like current events to the past. This is just like Ancient Rome . . . it’s 1939 all over again . . . you know who else drank water? This helps explain recurring patterns of human behavior, but pointing out similarities and recommending solutions without taking what is actually happening in the present into account does nothing to solve the very real, very deep problems we face.

I suppose this is better than likening everything that happens to Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings or The Handmaid’s Tale. Thank God for small favors.

But the fact remains that we are trapped in a bizarre Frankenstein’s monster of World War II nostalgia and 1980s geopolitical thinking and artistic aesthetics, a paradigm stuck in those two decades, with no end in sight. A culture of pastiche. Take bits of the past to make something that’s kind of like the past. It’s like a road trip without a map or an idea of where you want to go: you decide to just pull off in some pretty residential development and just do circles around the cul-de-sac for hours, driving a lot but going nowhere.

There’s a glitch in humanity’s code. The present is a broken record we cannot unskip. In the end, I shouldn’t be so surprised that robots can imitate us so convincingly. 

– Alexander

9 thoughts on “Please Recycle”

  1. Alexander,

    Hmm. I wonder if the culturally shallow, socially inept autists have partly caused this repetitive formulaic thinking because that’s how they navigate the world. Thus it’s real easy for artificial intelligence to mimic us because the programmers are basically lack complexity.

    If we had regular people programming, artificial intelligence wouldn’t be possible (or strictly limited to archetype behaviour) because human complexity would overwhelm computer programming.

    xavier

      1. Alexander,

        No. I’m not using it colloquially. I’m using the actual medical/psychological term with the understanding it’s a spectrum.

        From the long years, I’ve observed and commented about the tech scene over the years, the one who can mimic conventional (aka normie) behaviour are made the frontmen but put them in a complex social situation (testifying before the legislatures) or interviews, the condition appears. And then they speak in WHAT/IF loops with formulaic platitudes/faddish buzzwords. It’s a form of Tourette’s (autism, often comes with other learning/development disorders)

        It’s exasperating to listen to them pontificate on disinformation, etc when they’re just spouting off a combo of their single minded obsessions they’ve latched on to at the moment and the manipulators subtly implementing their agendas. It’s those Grima Wormtongues we need to expose and root out. They’re the one aggravating the techies’ condition.

        Just look at the deplatformings, proof that the techies can’t rationally explain their decisions. They can’t because it’s incoherent WHAT\IF loops with no basis in reality. None.

        Worse they violate every single natural right: audi alteram partem, the right to face the accuser, nemo judex in causa sua, nemo allegans turiptudio suam, etc, etc. and they simply can’t grasp the enormity of the affront they’ve committed and the righteous indignation they provoke.

        So they keep looping with their limited heuristics in an infinite regress: ignorance, bad faith, anti-fact conspiracies, intellectual rigidity, deliberate disinformation, liars, etc. And reinforce the looping because they presume their stubborn persistence will finally break the ignoramuses’ delusions about reality when it’s the opposite.

        As for Alexandreu post, I replied to Alaric’s comment 🙂

        xavier

        1. Xavier,

          I stand corrected then! You certainly have a much better understanding of the autism spectrum than I do, as well as the troubles those on it face when put into positions of authority. There has to be some way to square the need for talented programmers and thinkers with running an actual business. Perhaps the hoary old male socio-sexual hierarchy provides an answer: you need an alpha, a bravo, and enough deltas–all normal men–running the show to mitigate the damage the talented gammas can do.

          And I just saw your comment on Alexandru’s post. Good stuff!

          1. Alexander

            I can propose the following and you can comment.

            Mentorship. All societies had older/more experienced men guide boys or troubled men.

            So the socio sexual hierarchies part of the solution with a brotherhood. The most serious flaw of the gammas is envy. This in turn breeds resentment which causes all the toxic behaviour related to their status.

            By giving gammas a sense of worth and are valued tempered by an uncompromising commitment to living the virtues

            So we’re not putting up your sniveling resentment from envy; ask for help we’ll happily guide you mindset.

            By demanding, sharing and living virtues, the gamma’s behaviour is moderated. Unlike Vox, I think gammas can change but it takes uncompromising living the virtues within the brotherhood. In short a lifetime work in progress just slower and more tedious yet rewarding.

            Ya know slugging them from time to time and stuffing them in a locker when they become insufferably whiny because of envy.

            xavier

          2. Alexander,

            Looks like WordPress disappeared my longish response to your response.

            No matter, I can rewrite it.

            There’s a way to mitigate this. I propose it and I look forward to your perspective.

            Mentorship. All societies in different times have had older/more experienced or accomplished men mentor youth and troubled men.

            Gammas need to be reassured they’re valued and they worthy enough to participate in the brotherhood. However, participation is tempered with a no nonsense, uncompromising living of the virtues with the pain and glory TOGETHER”
            In short: we won’t enable your snivelling, whiny victimhood. If you feel frustrated or lost, tell us, and we’ll suffer together but you gotta do the work too mindset

            Unlike Vox, I think gammas can be reformed but the work is more tedious but more rewarding. That means the gamma gets slugged and tossed into a locker when he becomes more insufferable with his resentment. The effeminate drama queen temper tantrum simply won’t be tolerated.

            The gamma’s most grievous flaw is envy. It originates from a very human experience: failure, or simply not have the talent/skill for a particular activity, and the understandable frustration that arises.

            Completely understandable, but this frustration combined with social and physical awkwardness can very easily metastasize into resentment. It’s the resentment born from envy: why can’t I do this? or how come it’s so easy for me while everyone else can? Further, aggravated by male unsentimental competitiveness.
            So what the gamma needs is a mentor who pulls the boy/troubled man out of the line and works on him to reassure that even if he never matches the skills of the others and that OK. The very real improvement through living the virtues, improving social/physical/moral attributes, constitutes the real triumph.

            The gamma can accept hierarchies as long as others recognize the efforts and results are valued, and the former are worthy too despite being lower on the scale. The moment there’s a real or perceived rejection or disdain of their worth, efforts or results, the gamma’s toxic behaviour appears as a defence mechanism.

            Similar to the body’s immune system overreacting to pollen, provoking an allergic reaction. It’s not to excuse or rationalize the behaviour but analyzing the underlying factors helps us find solutions.

            xavier

            1. Xavier,

              Nope, your comment was not eaten. I just did not approve it in a timely fashion.

              I think you’re on to something. Mentorship would help immensely with a lot of these gamma tendencies. True gamma reformation must come from within, however. A mentor could help, but at the organizational level, the gamma needs to be recognized, but unlike with deltas, recognition and respect isn’t enough. The best thing, I’d say, is to keep the gamma busy and keep the gamma in line. Harsh consequences for indulging in destructive gamma behavior, up to and including immediate expulsion from the group.

              These types of people can change themselves, and often a positive role model guiding them along can be enough to set them on that path. That’s the best-case scenario. Strict discipline–I don’t necessarily mean physical, but in the sense of harsh consequences–is probably the most likely.

              Good stuff, Xavier. Thanks for sharing.

              1. Alexander,

                Thanks and sorry about the double posting.

                I completely agree with you that reformation comes from within. The challenge for all of us and a fortori for the gammas is how to go about it?

                Another gamma tendency is to be a Pelgisian and overestimate his capacity to improve on his own. We all need grace and that comes through living in communities (family, friends, etc)

                I concour with your position of keeping gammas busy, but there still have to be measurable targets to keep them honest and recognize their efforts. We can’t just nod our heads and blow them off especially when it’s clear most gammas are putting in the effort.

                So mentors and deltas really need to avoid giving busywork to the gammas (bluntly, that’s for omegas and even then I’m not sure if that’s helpful, or it would just exacerbate their toxic behaviour). It has to be real work with real results, rewards and sanctions.

                Gammas, in the end, need more guidance than others. It could be because they’re weak, or lost or have undetected attachment issues (per Adam Lane Smith). I dunno but it irks me when we’re so quick to write them off. Because we guys all have gamma tendencies/quirks even the ultra chad alphas. Gammatude is a reminder of our fallen nature and the need for grace.

                I’m either brave or indiscreet to admit I have gamma tendencies but for the sake of my soul, I need to be open about it. At the same time, fighting it individually and with my communities.

                I think this is what everyday spiritual warfare is for guys, at least.

                xavier

                1. We shouldn’t really write gammas off so quickly, but there are some people who are beyond help. A person with gamma tendencies, regardless of where they fall, can be helped, and those are the ones mentorship and loving chiding can do the most good to. For the dyed-in-the-wool pure secret kings? Nah, write them off. If they don’t want to change, if they resist any efforts at helping, if they refuse to understand how their behavior is detrimental to the group and to themselves, cut ’em loose. I don’t want them around me. You can’t help those that don’t want to help themselves.

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