The Financial Reward and Favorable Electability of a Persona that Ills, Endorses, and Enables (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 153)

My first boss out of veterinary school was a man that I looked to for admiration, respect, leadership, skill, and inspiration. I was hungry to begin my career as an associate veterinarian under his tutelage. At the time, I believed the profession to be saturated by exceptional professionals who prioritized empathy, exceptional knowledge and skill, integrity, and honor towards everything and everyone. I believed that the reward of money would follow those attributes naturally, secondarily, and in a balanced truthful fashion. It did not take long to discover how wrong such a premise had been. It was like that point in time when you finally figure out that your parents are not invincible, that they don’t know everything in the world, that they never did, and that in many ways, they are as damaged and confused as you are in your own childhood misperceptions.

I learned quickly how he polished the image of his ineptitude with insincere charming bullshit spewed towards anyone who would listen, towards anyone susceptible to his tactics of entertaining deception. I learned how much he loved to manipulate clients into spending massive amounts of money for unnecessary diagnostics and treatments when he did not care or even have a clue about the reality of the case. I learned how he lied to everyone about everything; his wife, his associate, his peers, his staff, and his clients. His relentless pursuit, his unquestionable priority, was selling without conscience, without validity, almost always absent of a fair exchange over a service or skill of objective need. Being a veterinarian seemed to mean nothing to him beyond serving as a mask of respectable authority and having a license to ill. I honestly don’t remember him ever doing the right thing even once when he knew that he could get away with doing less. I witnessed overt malpractice and unethical manipulation of clients on a number of occasions, but fearing unemployment, the associated possibility of being blacklisted by him in the veterinary community, and quickly realizing that in truth, maybe there were more of his character types in our profession than mine, I was frozen in indecision, and thus controlled by the fear of him for a time. The truth was also apparent to many of the staff, but like myself, most were also caught in the employer fear trap. To be fair, I suppose others liked his tactics and the emboldening sense that they felt from carrying out his passive-aggressive manipulation and revenue depletion of others. There are always those minions who prefer such a destabilized approach to their interactions with others.

This man became a very successful businessman and eventually was elected President of my state Veterinary Medical Association. He deserves those accolades. They should be acknowledged, but what should also be acknowledged is that you should hope he never tried to diagnose or treat your pet for anything. He spoke bullshit and sappy charm to all of his clients and most of them ate it up. It was/is almost like most people really want(ed) the bullshit, the show, the song and dance. They just want to be entertained and have their assumptions and beliefs, no matter how far fetched or off the mark they might be, endorsed and enabled. It makes me sick to even think about the insanity of it all for too long. I still can’t fathom how the system became so broken that it props up people of that nature to become financially successful and to become esteemed as elected leaders who supposedly have everyone’s best interest at heart. Such a system leaves all of the “patients” under the care of an incompetent doctor of malicious intent whether those patients know it or not.

Cribb          January 20, 2017

Cojones Grandes (Love vs Sex 239)

Moderate body-size dimorphism isn’t the only anatomical suggestion of promiscuity in our species. The ratio of testicular volume to overall body mass can be used to read the degree of sperm competition in any species. Jared Diamond considers the theory of testis size to be “one of the triumphs of modern physical anthropology.” Like most great ideas, the theory of testis size is simple: species that copulate more often need larger testes, and species in which several males routinely copulate with one ovulating female need even bigger testes.

If a species has cojones grandes, you can bet that males have frequent ejaculations with females that sleep around. Where the females save it for Mr. Right, the males have smaller testes, relative to their overall body mass. The correlation of slutty females with big balled males appears to apply not only to humans and other primates, but to many other mammals, as well as to birds, butterflies, reptiles, and fish.

In gorillas’, winner-take-all approach to mating, males compete to see who gets all the booty, as it were. So, although an adult silverback gorilla weighs in at about four hundred pounds, his penis is just over an inch long, at full mast, and his testicles are the size of kidney beans, though you’d have trouble finding them, as they’re safely tucked up inside his body. A one-hundred-pound bonobo has a penis three times as long as the gorilla’s and testicles the size of chicken eggs. The extra-large, AAA type. In bonobos, since everybody gets some sugar, the competition takes place on the level of the sperm cell, not at the level of the individual male. Still, although almost all bonobos are having sex, given the realities of biological reproduction, each baby bonobo, still has only one biological father.

So the game’s still the same—getting one’s genes into the future—but the field of play is different. With harem-based polygynous systems like the gorilla’s, individual males fight it out before any sex takes place. In sperm competition, the cells fight in there so males don’t have to fight out here. Instead, males can relax around one another, allowing larger group sizes, enhancing cooperation, and avoiding disruption of the social dynamic. This helps explain why no primate living in multimale social groups is monogamous. It just would not work.

As always, natural selection targets the relevant organs and systems for adaptation. Through the generations, male gorillas evolved impressive muscles for their reproductive struggle, while their relatively unimportant genitals dwindled down to the bare minimum needed for uncontested fertilization. Conversely, male chimps, bonobos, and humans had less need for oversized muscles for fighting but evolved larger, more powerful testicles and, in the case of humans, a much more interesting penis.

We can almost hear some of our readers thinking, “But my testicles aren’t the size of chicken eggs!” No, they’re not. But we’re guessing they’re not tiny kidney beans tucked up inside your abdomen, either. Humans fall in the middle ground between gorillas and bonobos on the testicular volume/body-mass scale. Those who argue that our species has been sexually monogamous for millions of years point out that human testicles are smaller than those of chimps and bonobos. Those who challenge this narrative (like us, for example) note that human testicular ratios are far beyond those of the polygynous gorilla or the monogamous gibbon.

So, is the scrotum half-empty or half-full?

Sex at Dawn

Ryan and Jethá          2010

 

 

The Town of Roseto (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 152)

In the early 1960s, a physician named Stewart Wolf heard about a town of Italian immigrants and their descendants in northeast Pennsylvania where heart disease was practically unknown. Wolf decided to take a closer look at the town, Roseto. He found that almost no one under the age of fifty-five showed symptoms of heart disease. Men over sixty-five suffered about half the number of heart problems expected of average Americans. The overall death rate in Roseto was about one-third below the national averages.

After concluding research that carefully excluded factors such as exercise, diet, and regional variables like pollution levels, Wolf and sociologist John Bruhn concluded that the major factor keeping folks in Roseto healthier longer was the nature of the community itself. They noted that most households held three generations, that older folks commanded great respect, and that the community disdained any display of wealth, showing a “fear of ostentation derived from an ancient belief among Italian villagers relating to maloccio (the evil eye). Children,” Wolf wrote, “were taught that any display of wealth or superiority over a neighbor would bring bad luck.”

Noting that Roseto’s egalitarian social bonds were already breaking down in the mid-1960s, Wolf and Bruhn predicted that within a generation, the town’s mortality rates would start to shift upward. In follow-up studies they conducted 25 years later, they reported, “The most striking social change was a widespread rejection of a long standing taboo against ostentation,” and that “sharing, once typical of Roseto, had given way to competition.” Rates of both heart disease and stroke had doubled in a generation.

Among foragers, where property is shared , poverty tends to be a non-issue. In his classic book Stone Age Economics, anthropologist Marshall Sahlins explains that “the world’s most primative people have few possessions, but they are not poor. Poverty is not a certain small amount of goods, nor is it just a relation between means and ends; above all it is a relation between people. Poverty is a social status. As such it is the invention of civilization.” Socrates made the same point 2,400 years ago: “He is richest who is content with least, for contentment is the wealth of nature.”

Sex at Dawn

Ryan and Jethá          2010

Dunbar’s Number and the Bonding of Reciprocal Exchange (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 151)

Pretext Cribb Comment: I performed some minor editing and paraphrased a portion of the first paragraph. The credit of content remains attributable to the authors. The principle of Dunbar’s Number and the ramifications of understanding such in relation to behavioral dynamics cannot be understated. This knowledge and observation is prime reasoning to argue against centralization (communism, fascism, democracy, corporatism, and whatever other forms). It explains the most common and probable nature of corruption in the human psyche regarding relationships and interactions. Turning humans and universal empathy into perceived “Its” which deserve only apathy or worst, monstrously destabilizes all of the perceived, as well as all of the perceivers. It clearcuts humanity and the autocorrection of natural law. One wonders if such a behavioral change is not meant to promote war, killing, and carnage amongst people in some attempt to prevent overpopulation and the exponential loss of our true inherent humanity.

Cribb          2017

What allows chain-linked tragedies in “communities” or “groupings” of people is the absence of local (direct) personal shame. Auto-correction or natural correction of personal/individual behavior within a group occurs much more readily in small scale communities where no one can escape public scrutiny and judgement. Such tragedies become inevitable only when the group size exceeds our species’ capacity for keeping track of one another, a point that’s come to be known as Dunbar’s number. In primate communities, size definitely matters.

Noticing the importance of grooming behavior in social primates, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar plotted overall group size against the neocortical development of the brain. Using the correlation, he predicted that humans start losing track of who’s doing what to whom when group size hits about 150 individuals. In Dunbar’s words, “The limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained.” Other anthropologists had arrived at the same number by observing that when group sizes grew much beyond that, they tend to split into two smaller groups. Writing several years before Dunbar’s paper was published in 1992, Marvin Harris noted, “With 50 people per band or 150 per village, everybody knew everybody else intimately, so that the bonding of reciprocal exchange could hold people together. People gave with the expectation of taking and took with the expectation of giving.” Recent authors, including Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling The Tipping Point, have popularized the idea of 150 being a limit to organically functioning groups.

Having evolved in small, intimate bands where everybody knows our name, human beings aren’t very good at dealing with the dubious freedoms conferred by anonymity. When communities grow beyond the point where every individual has at least a passing acquaintance with everyone else, our behavior changes, our choices shift, and our sense of the possible and of the acceptable grows ever more abstract.

The same argument can be made concerning the tragic misunderstanding of human nature that underlies communism: community ownership doesn’t work in large-scale societies where people operate in anonymity. In The Power of Scale, anthropologist John Bodley wrote: “The size of human societies and cultures matters because larger societies will naturally have more concentrated social power. Larger societies will be less democratic than smaller societies, and they will have an unequal distribution of risks and rewards.” Right, because the bigger the society is, the less functional shame becomes. When the Berlin Wall came down, jubilant capitalists announced that the essential flaw of communism had been its failure to account for human nature. Well, yes and no. Marx’s fatal error was his failure to appreciate the importance of context. Human nature functions in one way in the context of intimate, interdependent societies, but set loose in anonymity, we become a different creature. Neither beast is more nor less human.

Sex at Dawn

Ryan and Jethá          2010