Stochastic terrorism should be a topic of public discussion.

I was happy to see there are a lot of articles about the subject of stochastic terrorism when I did some looking. Here is one by Mhedi Hasan, After El Paso, We Can No Longer Ignore Trump’s Role in Inspiring Mass Shootings. The article defines it as,

“the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”

Trump talks about his political enemies like they are violent threats in addition to the constant lying and other disparaging things. DARVO. The chants to lock people up without any respect for cited crimes or judicial processes are incitement.

Right after the kidnapping attempt on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer we might have one on Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple. Trump is the best worst example of things right now. In this case how irrational incompetent political leaders can inspire violent acts with broad disparaging language.

Credit to Lynna in PZ’s Political Madness thread.

Feelings, emotion, and consequences of knowledge.

A feeling is a body sensation.
We feel while we do things, and we feel about things.

I often go to this paper when an opportunity to offer information about, or contrast a popular misconception of feeling and/or emotion comes up. Maps of Subjective Feelings. One specific figure is very useful.

The image from the paper is a map of body feelings reported by a group of people while they were doing or experiencing 100 things. The colors indicate presence and intensity.

I’m going to discuss the categories out of order. I’m sure plenty of people will have criticism about the categorization of individual items or whole categories, I do too. But I want to emphasize the general embodied nature of feelings independent of our ability to categorize them.

Homeostasis is your feeling of of your body’s basic system status. Oxygen, hydration, nutrition…and lack thereof. Your meat computer has wiring for the status, location and integrity of it’s parts. A related part of the nervious system is the “enteroception”, or the parts that have to do with your ability to feel your body. Incoming sensory pathways for skin, meat, bone, organs…

Illness is your feeling of infection, injury, hangover…you feel the damage, chemical driven metabolic change, and reaction to microbial invasion of yourself.

Cognition is your feelings associated with mental tasks and experiencing it as an action. I can feel the increased blood flow in my head, often in specific locations.

Unknown, look for yourself and see what you think. I’m interested in a more general point.

These first four are feelings of yourself as an object. A running biological being of 44 segments if you go by nerve pairs. An apatite mounted tube of eukaryotes.

There is a lot of individual diversity here and things like mindfulness meditation focused on your body would have the effect of increasing the resolution of your feeling of yourself, and that component of emotion.

Feeling and emotion.

Emotion, both positive and negative emotion, is a more complex thing than the mere feeling of the body.

There is a relationship between feeling and emotion. Feeling is in the body, but emotion involves feeling about objects we see, hear (words are objects), touch and experience through “exteroception”, or the parts that have to do with your sensory organs that detect objects outside of yourself. Eyes, ears, skin…

The objects we store in our minds through exteroception are associated with the enteroception feelings we were having while we stored the memory of the object. That includes our bodies as objects making three important categories of feelings:

  1. The enteroception feelings associated with our bodies as functioning objects.
  2. Our feelings about exteroceptive objects outside of ourselves. Body states recorded as we interact with objects.
  3. Our feelings about our bodies as objects. Body states recorded as we interact with ourselves as objects.

That’s how we store our sense of goodness or badness of something, or “valence” in brain science language. Exteroception gets bound to enteroception in memory which lets us have feelings about things.
We feel happy, sad, angry, or fearful about outside objects, other meat computers, ourselves.

We abstract body feelings into feelings about objects which include other meat computers. Feelings are good things, perfectly natural, basic features of consciousness. Emotions which use feelings are likewise perfectly natural basic features of consciousness.

Consequences.

There are many social attitudes and beliefs about feeling and emotion that are producing bad decisions all around us and that should be challenged to reduce irrational and illogical decision making.

As I learn about what we are and how we work I see consequences to it. Some of those consequences affect many common uses of the words feeling and emotion that aren’t consistent with reality and have political dimensions.

Note that I came to these views largely through political confrontations and so they are good for political confrontations and people should be aware of that bias.

“Being emotional”

This seems presented as a bad general category like the person is wrong because they have emotions, usually negative ones. I don’t see people disparaging emotion this way talk about what the feelings in the emotions are attached to. Quotes about the objects the feelings are attached to for example.

The reality is that we are always emotional.

“Unemotional”

The reverse problem is that there is no such thing as “unemotional”. At what time is a person cut off of past enteroception associated with object memory? You don’t stop feeling good and bad about the objects stored in memory.

“Emotional argument”

This is considered a bad thing but all arguments are emotional. I think this is about avoiding what people feel emotional about.

“Feels before reals”

No, “enteroception feels are connected to exteroceptive reals through memory”.

“Emotions X is bad”

General portrayals of emotions and feelings as bad things not only don’t make sense, they are certainly harmful when it comes to understanding and control of yourself as a meat computer, a biological being that binds feeling to objects in memory. I want control all of my feelings as information and tools. This goes for blanket complaints of people feeling offended too.

It gets complicated with things like hate, I’ll admit that up front. But we don’t choose the hate. The hate is bound into the memory. It’s a natural response so I’m more interested in what to do with the hate, fear, disgust, as well as the positive emotions and their associated feelings.

Solutions and Possibilities

A better understanding of how we function when it comes to feeling and emotion is useful on a personal and a social level. In my experience it’s useful when it comes to politically aggressive people because you can redirect to the feelings they are reacting to, and often obfuscating and disparaging about.

It seems simplistic but asking or demanding to see what a bigots feelings are attached to also makes the job of demonstrating the bigotry easier. I like to practice interrogating bigoted disparaging claims. It’s irrational. It’s going to run into an error.

I welcome other observations because this is a social challenge with many pieces and I have one perspective.

You should know what is happening in Portland.

Crip Dike is in Portland. They’re participating in the protests and sharing their experiences. You can learn more about the different groups involved, and what it’s like to be tear gassed in a continuing series of posts as events occur.

Start with What do you need to know about the Portland protests?

It’s important see what people actually there are experiencing.

A long and shameful tradition.

Recently at Pharyngula a commentator mentioned something related to a political problem I’ve been thinking about. The political problem is the attempts to call covid 19 by names related to China or Wuhan and probably other versions.

They pointed out how people from one country would name a disease after another country and specifically the “the French disease”, syphilis. After some searching I found this.

Brief History of Syphilis.

Introduction, second paragraph.

From the very beginning, syphilis has been a stigmatized, disgraceful disease; each country whose population was affected by the infection blamed the neighboring (and sometimes enemy) countries for the outbreak. So, the inhabitants of today’s Italy, Germany and United Kingdom named syphilis ‘the French disease’, the French named it ‘the Neapolitan disease’, the Russians assigned the name of ‘Polish disease’, the Polish called it ‘the German disease’, The Danish, the Portuguese and the inhabitants of Northern Africa named it ‘the Spanish/Castilian disease’ and the Turks coined the term ‘Christian disease’. Moreover, in Northern India, the Muslims blamed the Hindu for the outbreak of the affliction. However, the Hindu blamed the Muslims and in the end everyone blamed the Europeans [46].

Anyone who wants to name a disease after a country, region, ethnicity, race and similar are bigots. This is social dominance behavior for no good reason. Racism and other bigotries.

Another version could be naming pranks and irresponsible behavior after other races. When I was a kid a prank some kids did involving knocking on someone’s door and running away was called “n%$$#& knocking”. Knocking someone out by pushing on their neck was called a “Chinese knockout”.

It’s unacceptable. It’s a discriminatory irrational insult and for what? I honestly want to know and I’m going to look for the reason so I can do something with it. Racist, nationalist and similar solidarity is one answer. In addition to desire to make a percieved adversary feel insulted.

I seen people insist that it’s acceptable because that’s where it started. That changes nothing. That’s an excuse to keep doing something insulting. I’ll keep calling it racist, bigoted. Coronavirus for the kind of virus and covid 19 for the specific example.

Finally I’ve considered and rejected calling it something like “the Trump virus” (reflect their behavior back on them). I’ve got the same instincts but I want them attached to better things. I may use that as an example of something that is similarly useless and counterproductive dominance behavior in place of relevant personal characteristics to attach negative feelings to.

Mental Hygiene

I’ve seen this mentioned a few times and it’s very interesting. Healthy habits of thought? I’m not sure quite how to fully define such a thing. I’ve been trying to think of a collection of examples to post about though.

One is something I want to call “therapeutic social isolation” which involves spending time processing things by myself. Processing by yourself and processing around other people are going to feel different and that’s likely to be a good difference to feel. Maybe we have an instinct for such social isolation if we get “overloaded”.

Another thing which is like a version of the first is if I feel particularly intense about a piece of writing, even a text, I do a draft and come back later. Later can be an hour, the next morning, a couple of days… I can’t say how long it takes to move an experience from short to long term memory but a night of sleep can be useful in seeing if you still feel the same.

I’m sure there are many things that can be included in something like mental hygiene. I’m not sure what it looks like as a fleshed out concept but that’s a start.

Expressing disgust and fear on facebook.

I posted this link to facebook a few days ago. I’m trying to remember the feelingThe department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children. Furthermore, in every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the subject was African American. This disparity, in combination with the decision to deploy canines in circumstances with a seemingly low objective threat, suggests that race may play an impermissible role in officers’ decisions to deploy canines.s. What prompted this?

It was text accompanying an article I shared from The Root, Minnesota Corrections Officers File Lawsuit Claiming All Non-White Officers Were Barred From Guarding Derek Chauvin

It’s so blatant. The distrust in black people. The discrimination and prejudice. I wonder how many get ignored on a regular basis?

Not just police. I mention criminal justice system a lot for a reason.
And I mention other bigotry in the criminal justice system officials occasionally to reinforce the fact that it’s a system broken on multiple dimensions (but not so much as to take from antiracist momentum, the sexism and ableism support the fact of bigotry in our criminal justice system).

I when there is no example present I try to use “criminal justice system” at least half of the time when critisizing the country because that includes the police. The current social focus is racism and if people deny it’s systemic it’s useful to point to multiple bigotries in support of the current example.

I just finished the first episode of Behind the Police, by the creators of the Behind the Bastards podcast and they mention that 100% of police dog bites involved black people in the justice department report in the ferguson missouri police department.

The department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children. Furthermore, in every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the subject was African American. This disparity, in combination with the decision to deploy canines in circumstances with a seemingly low objective threat, suggests that race may play an impermissible role in officers’ decisions to deploy canines.

It’s blatant and we didn’t talk about it as a nation.

Interrogation of claims.

The word interrogation has a negative vibe because of things like police behavior, torture, and other legitimate abuses that deserve attention. But I see interrogation as a tool and a solution to our current political problems. There’s too much bullshit and bullshitters aren’t willing to back up said bullshit. Questioning, “grilling”, and other synonyms and euphimisms.

That is one of my primary political behaviors. An unapologetic willingness to interrogate the claims of people making strong, disparaging, and other claims. I want the behavior to be picked up. I want people on every political side to feel the pressure to back their shit up. It takes practice and mistakes will happen but that doesn’t stop me.

My failed country and culture really doesn’t like criticism like interrogation pointed in certain places. Places like ones in-group which switches from party to country depending on context. I don’t accept that natural behavior that feels negative is wrong just because it feels negative. It has a good and bad use like everything else.

The instincts in me smell prey, privilege sensitivity worthy of political pressure.

It’s in the whining about “civility” as if minority groups got that from history. It’s in “I/ authority/celebrity have the right to an opinion” bleating, as if my intrusive questions aren’t also speech. It’s in the claims that being negative won’t change anything, if so why was it used on minorities and why does the sensitive have to police it’s use?

So I took the tool for myself and I’m refusing to stop using it. The tourette syndrome is very much a benefit here. Keep in mind that you don’t want them to simply have an opportunity to air awful views. You want quotes, citations, sources, video time points and quotes, and especially the reasoning and logic between the claims and the sources. They will do work or they will be made to look like unreliable people.

  • I interrogate the negative feelings of bigots and their disparaging characterizations and claims. From transphobes to racists if what they say was really real or important they would back their shit up. I don’t even accept that trans people as a set are like the group they were assigned to at birth. If “it’s biology” you can fucking show it and back your fear up.
  • I interrogate the rape culture that appears when an accusation is made from the right (Caroline Ford) and the left (Tara Reade).
  • I interrogate the claims of forced-birthers, if they really were trying to help someone they’d cooperate.
  • I interrogate the claims that mental illness is involved in some act that someone is bothered by such as a mass shooting, or a rape accusation. Those people will show the abstract diagnostic criteria and concrete examples to match.
  • I interrogate the claims about the need for civility since they seem unevenly applied. With the election of Trump I don’t really think this country cares about civility.
  • I interrogate the idea that this is a good country, or that we’re good people. Good people don’t cover up and make excuses for torture. Good people don’t make concentration camps for migrant children. Good people don’t care about things more than people, failed fellow citizens.
  • I interrogate the narratives around the value of the unstable magical token generator, the stock market. An expression of things being more valuable than people, it hurts people not even invested in it.
  • I interrogate the support of the military in confronting protestors, such a fellow citizen should be ready with a constitutional justification to avoid being a failed fellow citizen.

And that’s just one form of criticism. Society should get used to it because rather than it being a bad thing, it should be evenly distributed and available for all. Trump and not-Trump both made to show where they got that bullshit from and why anyone should think it’s real.

Reciprocity and social contracts.

I’m including this in another post, but I think it’s useful and I’m using it now. It’s rhetoric that I’ve settled on and seems useful.
“A riot is a kind of protest, it’s reciprocal behavior in a culture where there’s a broken social contract relative to the criminal justice system.”

Martin Luther King Jr. is the inspiration. I just like to have more than one way of saying something and I really like the usefulness of “social contract” here.

I am antifa.

I am antifa.
It’s not an organization although some antifascists organise. It’s like being an environmentalist, or antibigot, people choose to be that independent of any authority.

So this looks like the natural evolution of the irrational fear of antifa.

Oh really Donald? Based on what reasons would you be doing that you enormous fucking ignorant incompetent? What could possibly be making you think that ANTIFASCISTS are a problem?

It noticed that as usual you’ve shown no reason or logic for this Donald. It’s just another wild desperate grasping at something the political right in the usa considers a problem, and never feels like they have to explain.

Fuck that.

Note: I saw PZ doing it and it’s a good idea.

 

Don’t pretend you care about riots America.

Property damage and violence associated with mass events isn’t something this culture actually cares about from what I can see. If that was the case we’d be shutting up the police every time they damaged things while doing their jobs and ignoring them as we obsessed over broken windows and doors.

You care that it’s black people protesting. You care that it’s black people who have hit a limit in what they are willing to take. You’d do the same if it was other non-white groups. You’d do the same with other groups too America. But not with the people who are used to having power.

If we cared about property damage and violence we would be hyperfocused on any damage associated with the people protesting virus related limits on association and ignoring their message. We would have been endlessly focused on the damage done by the Bundy inspired invasion of a national park and ignored their whining about having to pay for public land resource use.

We would be calling every sports-fan related excess that results in property damage and violence a riot.

And I’m sure you could find some people doing the above but it’s not that widespread. It’s when black people protest about getting murdered and some hit understandable limits that we collectively hyperfocus on any nearby violence and conflate it with the protest. Americans are disgusting and nausea inducing people.

Looks like bigoted discrimination to me. Separating out black people as a group to ignore the protests of if there’s any violence happening nearby. It doesn’t even have to be their violence. We’re too racist as a country to make distinctions.

So fucking what if there’s violence and property damage? If I see anyone respond to a protest with an attention shift to violence that’s a cause for me to interrogate the urge. The reasons for protest are about violence, and I consider that attention shift caring about things more than people, or making excuses for primary violence that reasonably trigger rage.

If someone is worried about their life or the lives of their loved ones and you shift to property damage you are showing me what your priorities are. You’re showing me what kind of a person you are. I’ve no reason to think you won’t care about things more than me.

And if you ignore the murder that pushes communities to violent displays that signal they won’t just take such abuse, I think you’d do the same to me. Shut the fuck up and listen to the protestors. Shut the fuck up and fix the racism in our institutions.