SOPHIA; BETTER CIVILIZATION AROSE FROM BETTER BRAINS, BETTER IDEAS AND BETTER EMOTIONS.
LOGIC ARISES FROM EMOTION. IN PARTICULAR, THE SUPREMACY OF OUR CIVILIZATION RESTED ON BETTER BRAINS, BETTER IDEAS AND BETTER EMOTIONS, RATHER THAN ON "GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL".
Abstract: What makes civilization advance? Why did "European" civilization overwhelm the whole planet? Because of materialism and biology, say some Americans: see Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel." Others evoked the "Genie du Christianisme" (Chateaubriand). Surprising, since "Cretin" derived, long ago, from "Christian".
We suggest instead that the supremacy of "Western civilization" did not arise from materialism, biologism or cretinism, but rather from learning to become more clever, better, faster, and deeper. And that not just because of better logic and brighter ideas, but FUNDAMENTALLY because of more powerful and more refined EMOTIONS to help make the Western mind with. WE ARE MADE OF CULTURE, PART OF IT EMOTIONAL.
The "West" rose in the welcoming "MIDDLE EARTH", which slashes broadly across temperate Africa and Eurasia. The Middle Earth was, per its position, the LARGEST FORUM OF IDEAS AND EMOTIONS the planet could have, which made it foremost in elucidating the mind: HENCE its supremacy. To conceptualize it better, we name it "MEDITERRA".
Past elucidation of reason has spurned the EMOTIONAL
CALCULUS. Philosophy all too long spoke as if one could,
and should, leave emotion out of the engine of rational
creation. Still the civilization of the West itself,
when at its best (Crete, Greece, early Rome, Franks,
Middle Ages, Renaissance) was aware that EMOTION LEADS
LOGIC: the civilizational leaps forward were EMOTIONAL.
The Middle Ages was superior to the Greeks, because
its emotions were better grounded in the full human
potential. The deliberate cultivation of appropriate
emotional bases gave reason an adaptability which underlies
the Middle Earth's powerful civilizational surges. Far
from being the enemy of reason, better emotions led
to better neuromorphogenesis, better logic, better brains,
better institutions, better civilization.
THE RISE OF THE "WEST" OWES A LOT TO THE HUGE TEMPERATE
"MEDITERRA" BEING AT THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE WORLD:
A frozen European neolithic hunter was found, carrying
a technological panoply of various origins, from insulating
double boots to antibiotics. Natives of the Amazon,
5,000 years later, were not as modern. Why? Because
the immense climatic, geological and ecological variety
of Europe facilitated technology and trade, and allowed
the latter, in turn, to create a more selective environment.
Double boots are of no advantage in the Amazon, but
they provide with Alpine supremacy. In this more technologically
minded trading environment of goods and ideas European
tribes had to find an edge in further know-how to survive,
and the more they did, the more they made it so, a self
reinforcing phenomenon one should call exponentialization.
Example: Celtic civilization restricted writing to
its Brahmans, the Druids. That made Gaul more primitive
than the more literate Roman civilization. When Caesar
came, so many Celts opted for the more literate civilization,
i.e., for Rome, that they let the legions win. Enough
Celts had embraced reading to tilt the balance. In a
total war with Gaul, Rome would have been wiped out.
But the books were on the side of Rome.
If one observes Earth at a distance, and asks: "where
would an advanced technological civilization have the
highest probability to rise on that planet?" -- the
answer is obvious. The disposition of the continents
is such that civilization grew faster where it did.
Maximum civilization should be in the middle of everything,
where ideas and emotions come from all directions. The
Americas are isolated from the rest of the planet, and
each other. Most of Africa is isolated south of the
Sahara, besides being immersed, like South East Asia,
in inimical-to-communication rain forest. The other
continents are connected in one giant mass radiating
from the center: the MIDDLE EARTH. MEDITERRA. Alexander
knew its importance, he wanted to unite the MEDITERRA,
all the way to the Pacific ocean (but his army went
on strike in India). The Romans confused it with "their"
sea, the Medi(um)-Terra-nean (= Middle-Land). A lot
of what made Rome had been initiated further east, though.
The Mediterranean sea is on one side of Middle Earth,
India and China on the other, and they talked for millennia.
The Middle Earth being the center of the planet, most
discoveries, and technologies from somewhere else came
through it, and, be it just for this reason, it became
the place of maximum knowledge, and maximal thirst thereof.
Its size allowed to make the largest collaborative inventions
of the whole planet, some of which spanned the entire
expanse from Egypt to India and China, and several millennia.
The COGNITIVE ADVANTAGE of Mediterra was compounded
by lots of fertile land, lots of sun, lots of water,
ecological and geological riches and niches. This facilitated
MENTAL SPECIATION, and encouraged further the rise of
engineering and technology. The Middle Earth was the
earth's civilization engine. The Middle Earth invented
so much of civilization that the rest of the world could
be viewed as redundant. A few material technologies
came from China, but were soon transmitted west. The
connection with China was viewed as so important that
the Mongols joined the Franks in a huge war to smash
the Muslim gangsters who had cut it (11, 12 &13 C).
The evolution of crops, writing, and people deflected
the center of civilization to the extreme west. The
genius of the Greco-Romans mixed well with the somewhat
antagonistic, but complementary genius of the Celto-Germans,
resulting in a secular synthesis contrasting with encroaching
anti intellectualism in the East, which was ravaged
by fascism (and became superstitious, sexist, enslaving,
obscurantist and decadent).
"PLUS ULTRA": DOMINATION BY THE DRIVE TO TRANSCENDENCE:
Middle Earth became so alluring because of previous
efforts of Eurasiatic MINDS, and, mostly, as a mental-spiritual
caldron of cultures (e.g. Sumer was annihilated, but
its culture went north). Diamond has it the other way
around, and too close to the dung. According to him,
the cows made the civilization. Verily, civilization
made the cows. Moreover Middle Earth did not just dominate
in engineering, but in most technologies of the mind:
state, social harmony (Egypt), bicameral representative
politics, accounting (Sumer), alphabet (Mesopotamia,
Crete, Tyr), trade, democracy (Crete and Greece); psychoanalysis,
philosophy (Greece), mathematics (Egypt, Mesopotamia,
Greece, India), visionary law (Rome), morality of altruism
(Jews); modern ethics, feminism, public education as
religion (Franks), etc. When Pharaoh sent Phoenicians
around Africa, the metaculture of the "West" was in
place: going to the moon is more of the same. Civilization
became a self feeding process boosted by a better knowledge
of the mind itself. The resulting metaculture of Middle
Earth, once created, was so strong a tool and weapon
that it survived time, war, and holocausts. Charles
V's motto: "PLUS ULTRA" (More Beyond, 16 C) feels it
CLAIMING EUROPE OWED EVERYTHING TO LOCATION IS SOMEWHAT
CIRCULAR; EUROPE LEARNED TO FOCUS ON KNOW-HOW TO IMPROVE
Diamond answers the question -" why do the Whites
have so much material goods?", as a real estate agent
would: location, location, location. Diamond reflects
that the Europeans have more because they started with
more: the best plants, the best animals, the best germs,
the best metals. All of these magically found in western
Asia. To say that the better chicken came from the better
egg, or the better gun, does not add much, though. Such
conceptology reduces civilization to materialism, a
much promoted frame of mind in America (eschewing questions
endangering the American hegemonic gravy train).
Diamond's reasoning is circular, because domesticated
species are manmade. The species were in Mediterra,
because their inventor, Mediterran man, lived in Mediterra.
Man-made evolution created dog, cow, horse, pig, donkey,
sheep, chicken. Ten wild almonds make a man sick, but
selecting almond trees evolved non poisonous almonds.
And so on. In the Americas, man encountered camels,
elephants, horses and exotic giant mammals. Man, carried
away by the easy pickings of the giant American island,
as Americans seem wont to do, annihilated them all.
Bovines, pigs, agoutis and tapirs, were also found,
but not domesticated. Only llamas were. The Americans
did very well with plants though: protein on the stalk
compensated for the absence of protein on the hoof.
The same holds for minerals. As soon as the Conquistadors
got to the New World, they went mining. They ascended
right away volcanoes in Mexico to get the saltpeter
they needed for gunpowder. Ancient Sumerian records,
5,000 years old, already distinguished 155 minerals.
Fundamental assets of the "West" were about know-how,
the know-how that there is such a thing as know-how,
the PASSION for know-how, and the know-how about how
to gather more know-how. All these emotions and revelations
pertaining to know-how were so superior that they became
THE metaculture of the "West". Technical details such
as antibiotics were forgotten, but not that intelligence
overlorded it all.
AFRICA AND JAPAN SHOW THAT BOWS, GERMS, AND STEEL
PALE RELATIVE TO THE BIG MENTAL TOOLS WHICH FURTHERED
Africa had its own steel technology (500 BCE, at the
latest). Visiting Europeans faced steel, and African
germs were second to none. In Africa, "Guns, Germs and
Steel" worked against the Europeans (as in Japan). So
Europeans could not colonize tropical Africa, and, sensibly,
put the natives in charge of enslaving and conquering
themselves. Still tropical Africa was a civilizational
backwater, however much bows, germs and steel, Africans
had. This shows that materialism is not, by itself,
enough to ensure the exponential civilization Europe
achieved. Materialism kept Europeans away, but did not
bring more civilization to those enjoying it: a lesson
materialists should meditate (as emperor Meiji did in
Japan). North African Egypt and (newly arrived) Carthage
were major contributors to our civilization, whereas
tropical Africa was not. Why? Carthage used elephants;
no black African society ever did. Why?
Mediterranean winters are wet and cold, people feel
like building houses and cities. There are waterways
everywhere, and the Middle Earthlings, to conduct valuable
trade, bringing distant necessities, always built better
ships (Crete). In Africa, long distance trade was not
even a possibility. Trading in the thick equatorial
forest is not as easy, besides being pointless, the
main construction material of the past being wood, which
rots in the tropics (wooden churches last 1,000 years
in Norway; the only major civilization which failed
mostly on its own, the Maya, was tropical).
Further back, though, during the neolithic period,
the Sahara was green, with open forests, and giant lakes.
Then Africa was arguably the largest subset of Middle
Earth. And, indeed, from the invention of ceramics to
the creation of tropicalized cattle, and the rise of
Egypt, the Sahara was at the forefront of civilization.
So it is indeed Africa's subsequent isolation from Middle
Earth and immersion in the green equatorial jungle which
doomed it to backwardness. Bows, germs and steel were
plenty, and plainly irrelevant.
Even worse with the Aztecs; anthropophagic philosophy
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE AMERICAN POPULATIONS (HENCE
CIVILIZATIONS) WAS OVERLORDED BY PHILOSOPHY:
The Aztec war civilization ate people industrially.
Perhaps other ways could have been found to balance
the diet, had the inclination to do so existed. Aztecs
could have just eaten more turkey and fish (as the Maya).
But the Aztecs felt no PHILOSOPHICAL need to switch
to out of their inhuman human diet, quite the opposite.
More rewarding to terrorize people. Those enmities were
their undoing. Cortez found indigenous allies, transmogrifying
his small command into a huge army, which wiped the
Millions of Incas submitted for purely philosophical
reasons that Pizarro and his 162 companions played like
the world class experts they were.
Native Americans had few germs, and no steel, making
them vulnerable to the Europeans. This explains why
they were eradicated in the north: they could be, and
they were, because, the English authorities in charge,
a group of powerful English investors and their sponsors,
DELIBERATELY DECIDED TO ERADICATE THEM. It was decided
at the highest political and PHILOSOPHICAL level. The
English "Chief Justice" called for "perpetual war against
the infidels" (1608). Later on, Anglo-American generals
ordered the distribution of blankets from smallpox infirmaries
to (friendly) Indians. No doubt they had diner with
the Devil first, and a friendly chat.
It came to the opposite in the Spanish empire: after
a fierce debate, Charles V ordered the termination of
the conquest, to stop the holocaust in the Americas
(circa 1550). This is why the Americas are not entirely
Hispanic. The difference was drastic: Native American
genes flourish in Mexico, but were eradicated a few
miles north. That difference has little to do with technology,
or germs, or steel, but has everything to do with DELIBERATE
PHILOSOPHICAL DECISIONS: a deliberate extermination
to the north (with an ongoing cover-up), and a deliberate
fraternization to the south.
CRETAN CIVILIZATION METAPRINCIPLES SURVIVED DEATH
BY VOLCANO, HYPERTSUNAMIS, AND STEEL:
The first modern civilization was Crete. She traded
between the landlocked agricultural powers (Egypt, Mesopotamia,
etc.). The Cretans invented the sea going galleys (modified
into transatlantic ships by the Vikings, 3,000 years
later!) Also exchanging ideas, they were highly technological,
anti-sexist, and very rich. So rich, they could afford
After the Earth's most terrible volcanism in 25,000
years ravaged Crete and her islands, Mycenaean civilization,
in continental Greece, west of the devastating ashfall
and waves, took over (in competition with Semitic Tyr).
Then invaders armed with steel swords overwhelmed the
bronze armed Mycenaeans, and civilization collapsed
in the "Greek Dark Ages". Most men were killed.
Amazingly, by the eight century BCE, Greece reappeared
as the most advanced civilization. This shows that strong
civilizational principles have a life of their own,
and that women solidly anchor civilization. One is reminded
of what happened with Europe later on: out of the ashes,
phoenix like, civilization rose, as the brightest again,
where it had been the brightest. The culture (or its
women!) seduced and penetrated the conquerors. CIVILIZATION
IS STRONGER THAN STEEL. SUPERIOR IDEAS AND FEELINGS
The Greeks got the habit of being open to the world
from the Phoenicians and the Cretans/Myceneans. They
spread "like frogs around the pond" of the Mediterranean
AN EXAGGERATED EMOTION, IMBALANCED HATRED OF MAN FOR
MAN, DOOMED ATHENS:
From their troubled past, the Greeks inherited a chronic
disease, an emotional imbalance: OVERENTHUSIASTIC HATRED
OF MAN FOR MAN. The propensity to hatred destroyed Greek
democracy. It showed up in war of Greek against Greek,
inhuman slavery, sexism, and demented hubris.
Athenian democracy and Athenian slavery were both
operated on an industrial scale. The contradiction was
absolute. One cannot be human, and antihuman at the
same time. This drove the Greeks crazy. Slavery, especially
in the mines, was of a level of violence rarely equaled.
Slavery led to absolute hatred, of slaves to masters,
and reciprocally. Slavery led to a total devaluation
of the standards of civilization. In slave revolts,
the slaves only dreamed to enslave the masters. Philosophers
wondered if slaves were human. One cannot advance civilization
in one's head, as one comforts oneself with innocents
agonizing from the torments one inflicts on them.
People strongly object to be maximally exploited,
with ultimate violence, and often would prefer to die
in combat, if they got a chance. To prevent this chance,
maximum physical and mental forces have to be continually
applied. These exertions of an enslaving civilization
suck so much mental energy that not much is left for
its advancement. That is why Rome stagnated: it was
thoroughly organized as a slave society. Once the entire
via from Naples to Rome was ornamented with squirming
crucified slaves. The Mongols (Yuan) were less well
organized. Confronting a rebellion of their slaves,
the Chinese, they envisioned exterminating them all.
Disagreements among Mongols prevented this, and the
Violence and slavery perfused Greek civilization so
much that it tended to discrimination, and an inclination
to rush to military solutions, instead of the patient
conversations which elevate. Constant fighting weakened
Greece to the point of extinction. In the thirty years
war against Athens, fascist, racist, enslaving Sparta's
huge war fleet, paid by fascist Persia, caught on a
beach, and destroyed, the Athenian fleet, sealing Athens'
fate. Much later the Spartans would dwindle to a mere
2,000, out of a racism so intense they preferred dying
off to fraternization.
Not only did Greece self-destruct, but she encouraged
the Romans in the error of their ways.
THE EMOTION OF ROMAN FASCISM, AND ITS EXTENSION, CRETINISM,
The Roman peasants, civilized by the globe trotting
Greeks (and Asian immigrants, the dark, mysterious Etruscans),
learned to out-engineer, and out-fascize everybody.
If not, Rome may have been annihilated. Italy was crammed
with tough customers. The Romans depended upon republican
fascism for survival; they became geniuses of organization
and will, enshrined with sophisticated law. After the
Gauls occupied Rome in 390 BCE, the Romans fought them
for the next 1,000 years (and lost).
Roman fascism got carried away. Rome annihilated Carthage
and Greek democracies (146 BCE). A conspiracy of plutocrats
took power, by waging wars overseas. The super rich
came to own Rome, and fought each other for control
of the civilized world. Military fascism fully took
over (with the African born Severus, ~ 200 CE). Finally
the near barbarians (Constantine) and their allies the
Christians established a fascist theocracy imitated
since (Islam), but never equaled. The Christians "warred
against the philosophers", burned books, closed schools,
and invented the crime of being "pro choice" (= heresy),
punishable by fire (~ 380 CE). Hitler burned his enemies
in secret, but not so "Christianism", for the next 12
centuries. Civilization collapsed into the Dark Ages.
ANTI INTELLECTUALISM, AN EMOTION, CAUSED THE DARK
As Hitler told his comrades, it would be most pleasing
to kill all intellectuals, "but we need them". The Roman
Christian fascists did not know as much as Hitler did,
and hated artists, scientists and intellectuals much
more. They killed them all. Rome was decapitated. Not
surprisingly, as befits a headless chicken, further
demented decisions allowed the Visigoths to invade.
The Greek Dark Ages had been caused by externalities:
volcano, war, and steel. The volcanic calamity had durably
weakened Crete, the steel armed Dorian invasion gave
the coup de grace. The second Dark Ages were caused
ENTIRELY by ONE master cause: the BELLIGERENCE AND FASCISM
OF THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD, AND ITS CONSEQUENTIAL DECAPITATION
BY CRETINISM (Buddhism would similarly mollify the Mongols,
but with more justifications). The Christians destroyed
intelligence. But greater intelligence is what had allowed
the supremacy of Greco-Roman civilization. Once again,
the contradiction was absolute. The Greco-Roman system,
born in one ethical contradiction (slavery v. civilization)
died in a related, but worse, ethical contradiction
(goodness v. fascist cretinism). Jesus said nothing
about either slaves or intellectuals and did not anticipate
his followers would make his Caesar Tiberius look good.
Christianism went from: "Render therefore unto Caesar..."
(Matthews 22;21) to "Render yourself into Caesar..."
. Christ should have anticipated the problem, as a paragon
of morality. Christianism overcompensated for the hatred
and cruelty of the Greco-Roman civilization with fanatical
HOW THE FRANKS BURIED THE GRECO-ROMANO-CHRISTIAN EMOTIONAL
Clovis, son of a Merovingian king cum Roman imperator,
himself Roman general of Consular rank, a pagan, negotiated
with the Catholic bishops of the Gallo-Roman aristocracy,
the establishment of a new civilization, Europe, on
a more intelligent and human basis than either unreconstructed
Christians or racist Goths would have it. The Franks,
inspired by Troy, shattered the Greco-Roman emotional
world picture. The Franks were not sexist, to start
with. They put women in power (4 great queens in 150
years), and abolished slavery (under queen Bathilde
~ 650 CE). They legislated that religious establishments
had to teach the public, starting the European educational
system (solving religion v. education). In all this,
the Franks fought and domesticated the church (not just
Christian, but also Islamic, the later whining it met
with a "Wall of Steel"). The church had killed Socrates.
Armed with a SUPERIOR SENSE OF CIVILIZATION characterized
by individualism, criticism, and the love of change,
the armies of the Franks succeeded where Rome had miserably
failed, conquering all of Germany to the Oder (take
that, Augustus!). The Franks' world picture was emotionally
more advanced and balanced than that of the Greeks (or
anti-intellectual Christians/Mahometans). Great philosophers
became imperial advisors. Now it was going to be machines,
not slaves, Mr. Aristotle. And there would be schools,
and queens, and ideas, and no more slaves, and freedom
of thought, Messrs. Jesus and Mohammed. The new ethical
interdictions imposed in the Merovingian and Caroligian
empires of the Franks both forced and allowed technological
progress, and made it a social and economic necessity,
because they forbade running societies where most people
were enslaved, or shrunk. Within three centuries, European
energy usage per person was the highest anywhere, or
ever. European ascendency never abated since.
WAR, TERMINATOR OF CIVILIZATION, A NEXUS OF EMOTIONS:
The collapse of sophisticated civilizations is mostly
caused by war. This is the simplest, oldest of truths,
but still the truth. It could be invasion by aliens,
or internal war of a class exploiting the rest of society
(sometimes a combination of both, though, creates a
new civilization: India). Rome used war to invade and
decerebrate Greece; finally it devoured itself in a
Christian orgy of violence. One man, a man of character,
Gengis Khan, wiped out several advanced civilizations.
War wiped out the American civilizations. Sometimes
exploiters take on the world, ultimately to be annihilated
in the backlash: the Assyrians, Athens, Aztecs and Nazis
are good examples.
Where does war come from? Man has been the top predator
for millions of years; male chimpanzees will fight to
death any male stranger, but the question is what psycho-logy
turns man in a war machine? Well, hatred and its associates.
Of course, one needs power to deliver one's hatred,
and so, it is rather the product of hatred with power
which comes out as war.
Power though, is not just a matter of steel, but mostly
of mind. So is hatred. The former has to do with ideas,
the later with emotion.
POWER, IN HUMANS OR CIVILIZATION, IS MOSTLY THAT OF
Crete was powerful, not because she could move vast
armies, but because she was welcome in Egypt, and many
other places. Everybody felt admiration and friendliness
towards Crete. Crete was powerful because she set her
mind to develop more advanced technology both in equipment
and in social organization. Cretan power still inhabits
us. The French republic, following the Franks, still
proudly exhibit the Cretans' symbol of power, the double
To get this ultimate power, a civilization needs ideas
nobody had before. How do they arise? How come just
a few people, such as the Athenians between Solon and
Aristotle, came up with so many ideas our civilization
is made of? The contemporaneous Persian superpower made
no lasting contribution to thinking. Persia was 1,000
larger than Athens in population and riches. And a million
times smaller in ideas. Why? Many Greek philosophers
insisted on the importance of discourse (logos). They
insisted too much. Greek civilization was not just about
ideas. It was also about what gives rise to ideas.
EMOTION, OR THE OTHER SIDE OF REASON WHICH MADE THE
GREEKS SO CLEVER:
The Greeks relished the highest emotional states,
they reveled in excitement. The Dionysian side of the
Greeks counterbalanced their Apollo side (Dionysus was
the rambunctious ("wine-sex") God who relished the turbulence
of the senses; Apollo expressed himself with the order,
reason, balance: all the refined esthetics, the mathematics,
the elevated logic). The vast Greek emotional panoply
was directly related to their mental superiority: the
Greeks extracted wisdom therefrom. It was not just that
they gave birth to tragedy (i.e., psychoanalysis). Greek
minds were emotionally motivated and leveraged. There
was even more: THE DEEPEST GREEK REASON WAS THE CHILD
OF THE DEEPEST EMOTIONS. To understand this major twist,
one needs a theory on how the mind entangles logic and
EMOTIONS MAKE THE LOGICAL SYSTEM:
What is logic? "Logos" means discourse in Greek. The
logos should encompass discourses not just of words,
but of gestures, acts and facts: any stream of related
neurology. Logic is incarnated (literally!) by neuronal
connections, locally linear, as digital data ("action
potentials") are sent from synapse to synapse. From
this generalized definition, any logic is like an electric
stream, going down the valley of inevitability. Like
a stream of water on earth, going down a valley. But
what forces made earth's land? Landscapes are sculpted
by the forces of hydrology, but they are dominated by
geophysical forces, some of which of a completely different
nature. Continental plates foam up, congeal, and then
collide, causing overlaps, mountain ranges, and the
bubbling at great depths of volatile elements whose
eruptions change the earth's climate. Water plays a
crucial role in geophysics, through (thin and plastic!)
oceanic plates and as a lubricant and high explosive,
BUT it is NOT the main engine of geological creation.
That, obviously, is heat.
Logic, like water on earth's surface, flows around,
sculpting the mental landscape. But it is not any more
the full story than water is the full story of earth's
landscaping. Deep down a completely different system
is at work, capable of giant upheavals, whereas logic
per se is incapable of them. Just like geophysics underlies
the world of streams, something else underlies the world
of logic. Emotion. The evidence for this is multiple:
ALL IS SAID, BECAUSE THERE ARE EMOTIONS, AND THEY
a) Metamathematics shows any logical system is incomplete:
ultimately, mathematics is directed by taste (i.e.,
emotion). Logic makes mathematics locally competent.
Taste makes it valuable.
b) Neural networks adapt with usage. But what created
the networks to start with? What if existing networks
are hopelessly irrelevant? How to build a network from
scratch (as adult humans do when they learn a totally
new task)? What are the geophysics of the mind?
c) Neurology is only half the brain. Glial cells make
the other half, a system which networks chemically and
directs dentritic growth through astrocytal activity.
Since the emotional system is greatly chemical, it is
not much of a jump to suspect it directs neuromorphology
through those astrocytes.
d) The emotional environment tweaks all the neuronal
machinery, and even creates it. Rat brains in a Zen
environment lose synaptic density, a kitten not exposed
to light does not learn to see, a poor emotional environment
does not allow to grow a full monkey brain. Some emotions
secreted in the brain even kill neurons, and are perhaps
used like a road construction crew uses high explosives
(stress has its uses!).
Because of the multitude of molecules of emotion,
the brain acts as a powerful, high dimensional chemical
computer, which rewards, powers and guides logical intelligence.
The emotional computer incites and directs the growth
of the logical computer. Emotional intelligence builds
up logical intelligence.
HIGH EMOTIONS BRING HIGH THOUGHTS, SO THOSE WHO CANNOT
EMOTE CANNOT THINK AS WELL:
The emotional system is our DEUS EX-MACHINA. Logical
systems make the machine. Spread out connections in
the logical systems are called ideas, they overconnect
with each other as discourses (we just crushed Platonism).
The emotional machinery stands outside, with a dim mind
of its own, DIRECTING neuromorphogenesis.
The emotional system is the DIVINITY AT THE CORE OF
THINKING. Its extremely highly dimensionality makes
it more mysterious than old fashion gods and oracles.
Simple animals, such as mollusks, have a neurology,
but no emotional system to speak of (no astrocytes!).
This shows the EMOTIONAL SYSTEM IS AN ADVANCED (BIO)LOGICAL
FEATURE. NO EMOTION, NO ADVANCED BRAIN. The Buddhists,
the Puritans, and Descartes had it all wrong: less is
not more, we need emotions to generate logic.
Passionless Confucianism and Buddhism made the East
lethargic. By viewing high emotional states as ill advised,
Buddhism and Confucianism discouraged new paradigms,
i.e., new neural networks. THEY SAT AND SANK, BUT DID
NOT THINK. Because there is NO REASON WITHOUT EMOTION,
AND NO CIVILIZATION WITHOUT REASON, this resulted in
little updating of civilization in the East. Institutions
empowering advanced emotions did not rise. Local potentates
loved it, though. So did various nomads and invaders
who occupied China for centuries.
The Meiji, Maoist and Vietnamese revolutions adopted
more passionate, hence more clever philosophies: direct,
hard-core, Western European imports. Middle Earth is
going worldwide. It remains to empower the new emotions
through deep institutions.
Conclusion; EMOTION BUILDS REASON, HENCE PHILOSOPHY,
The exponentialization of technology is overwhelming
our intelligence. It would not take too many nuclear
bombs for a really bad day, but, still, we keep on doing
too little, too late about it. Because we don't fear
enough. We have to boost drastically our emotions so
they can direct us to the appropriate logic, hence the
proper institutions for civilization.
It happened before. Towering self confidence, an emotion,
allowed the Franks to throw away the gravest emotional
mistakes of 1,600 years of Greco-Romano-Christian civilization.
The Franks, not coincidentally, claimed to descend from
Troy, which, 1,600 years before, fought the Greeks'
sexist imperialistic barbarity. The Franks brandished
Troy like Copernicus was going to brandish Aristarchus
of Samos: they found inspiration in a prestigious precedent
in civilization. What was Christ in all this? Little,
besides justifying faith in love and the salvation of
advancing morality, another emotion to feed the emotional
frenzy of the West! CIVILIZATION IS NOT JUST ABOUT REPRESSING
EMOTION. JUST THE OPPOSITE. CIVILIZATION IS INTELLIGENCE
ITSELF, INSTITUTIONALIZED, RATIONAL, HENCE EMOTIONAL.
The foundations of civilization compute with emotions
in individuals and institutions. Better foundations
means better emotional computing. We know how good the
emotional computing is by the logic it grows, until
we, or our institutions, can imagine, or see its consequences,
and judge them. To think right, we must feel right.
We are not just "Guns, Germs, and Steel." Never have
been: it's our minds who ruled, not our guns and germs.
We don't need more "Guns, Germs and Steel". This was
the savagery we left behind. We are about Brains, Words,
and Emotions. And we need more of them, right away.
It is a matter of survival, not choice.
Patrice Ayme', May 2005.