Wednesday, January 02, 2008

of learned helplessness....

I pick up the above book from my library time and again and never cease to be amazed at looking at the sociology of life from the biological perspective. The modus operandi built into the biological fabric of most social beings are sometimes referred to as 'learned helplessness'. Animals and humans who can solve a problem remain vigorous. But mice, monkeys, dogs and people who cannot get a grip on their dilemma become victims of self-destruct built-ins. What is at work is a complex adaptive system devilishly similar to a neural net. Those individuals within the group capable of finding solutions to the problems of the moment were rewarded with dominance, desirable food, luxury lodging, and sexual privileges. The weak links in the group's neural net, the individuals who had not found a means of solving the puzzles thrown their way, were isolated and impoverished by the social system and disabled internally. Characteristics of a collective learning machine. Sounds familiar isn't it? I don't need to elaborate, do I?

Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man wrote "It has, I think, now been shewn that men and the higher animals, especially the primates, have some few instincts in common. All have the same senses, intuitions, and sensations - similar passions, affections, and emotions, even more complex ones, such as jealousy, suspicion, emulation, gratitude, and magnanimity; they practise deceit and are revengeful; they are sometimes susceptible to ridicule, and even have a sense of humour; they feel wonder and curiosity; they possess the same faculties of imitation, attention, deliberation, choice, memory, imagination, the association of ideas, and reason."

That, in a nutshell, crystallizes the kaleidoscopic events of 2007 and perhaps what to expect in 2008 too. So, I shall not bore you with my resolutions (or the lack thereof) for 2008. We are at the end of the 2nd day of 2008 and the sensational news we read and see on our TV screens (well, high-definition ones for those who can afford it) and not forgetting from the streaming videos on the PDAs or latest state-of-the-art mobile phones (ooops digital camera phones) for others, leaves us all gasping for more air. As promised, I shall refrain from specific politically skewed comments. Hmm... what a way to start a new year...quips a friend earlier this morning! I rest my case fellas! O ya...before I sign-off...teh tarik at the mamakshop at Bandar Manjalara, has gone up to RM1.20 a mug, from RM1.00 the day before. That's a 20% increase!!! hahahaha.

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