On the monopoly of emotions and the chains of will

"Don't become a machine"
A publication by Wolf Stefano

Italy, 7th January 2019

Summary

1 – The human machine

  • The construction of a clone
  • The ideal characteristics of a non-machine
  • Here’s how we will proceed

2 – The origin of chemical-man

  • Is it better the body or the mind?
  • The “building” of our psychology
  • The suicide of the one’s Self
  • The Emotional Core
  • The immortality of the “chains”

3 – The visible chains

  • An overestimated addiction

4 – The invisible chains

  • The role of the global economy

5 – How does Facebook earn money?

  • The big hit of Mister X

6 – Be careful

  • The new luxury

7 – A theory about the mind

  • The “phenomenal cancer”
  • We were created for the omniscience
  • The last evolution frontier
  • Empirical confirmations of the possibility of an EC
  • Constantly in danger

8 – On language

  • EC role on intuition
  • The emotional anchors

9-Power is will?

  • They want us to stay machines
  • The resistance

10 – A call to the future generations

1 – The human machine

What if I told you that you are nothing but a machine [1]? A meticulously ordered machine, yeah, but still a machine. How would you take this statement? Probably, it doesn’t affect you at all. It could be that you “know” you are something more than a simple machine. You perceive it deep down.

One general morning, you wake up and decide what to wear to go out; you go out and, looking at the sky, you recall a happy memory of your childhood; while you are on the streets, sometimes you wonder on your own on the meaning of life. You can’t simply be a machine!

 

  • The construction of a clone

Let’s imagine building a computer so sophistically similar to you. A computer that has the ability to choose spontaneously between different options, to get access to past memories, to introspection that allows it to reflect on it self. Let’s imagine then to add to it “software modules”[2] that allow it to have communication, intelligence, creativity, phenomenal experiences [3]. Let’s imagine inserting all these components in a body identical to yours. Probably you will think “But it’s not possible to build that with the present technologies!” and I answer back “Not yet”. Technology and neurosciences are making such giant steps that it’s no more science fiction to imagine a situation like the one just described. Maye in the future it will be discovered that those results are “technologically impossible” to reach but still, nothing makes them logically impossible, in my opinion. And if something is worthy of being logically possible, then it’s required to give them the right attention. Now that this hypothetical machine completely identical to you exists, imagine transferring in it even all your “mental contents”[4]. Imagine that suddenly it pops out your spouse and tries to understand which of the two individuals, between you and your artificial clone, is the real you. Both of you will answer and behave in the same identical way. There is no objective criterion to verify who is the real you. The only difference is in the “substance”.[5]: you are a biological being, it is a silicon machine.

  • The ideal characteristics of a non-machine

Are you really sure that you aren’t a machine too? Well, if it’s logical to imagine a machine completely identical to you apart from the “substance”, then maybe we should reflect a moment on what makes us humans “non-machines”. In reality, I believe that intuitively there are some characteristics that distinguish a machine from a non-machine, even though these characteristics do not emerge in the example that we have just debated. Usually it is believed that a non-machine:

  1. It’s alive; meaning that it has a sort of self-preservation system, spontaneously developed during the centuries.
  2. It has the ability to generate [6]
  3. It has some sort of free will.
  4. It has phenomenal experiences.
  5. It’s an intelligent being.
  6. It feels emotions

Well, at first sight it seems that a human being has all these characteristics. But what about our imaginary artificial clone? It:

  1. It defines itself as a living being. Actually, how is it possible to draw a clear dividing line between life and “non-life”? Till nowour concepts on human being[7] are based on the analysis of the majority of the organisms that seems to have in common some characteristics. What right do we have to define our clone as a “non-living”? Let’s imagine that it has a survival instinct, that the silicon of which it is composed has taken some form of “vivacity” and it self-organizes itself like the biological cells. Perhaps the mere fact that it is not a product of nature gives us the right to deny his life? It is a product of a product of nature (the human being). Instead of being given birth by a biological being as we usually imagine, it was born from the whole of other means of men such as intellect, technical knowledge etc. It is convinced it is alive and we can only argue against it by reaffirming our dogmas on the definitions of life that we have created ourselves. Can this be a solution? I don’t believe so, maybe we should grant him the statute of living being.
  2. It has particular silicon particles that can generate one of its own. Again, this could be “technologically impossible”, but it still remains logically possible.
  3. It is free as much as we are. In the end, nowadays the philosophers still debate whether the human being has or not some form of free will. If this clone had all the functional capabilities of choice that we have, then what would make it less free than us?
  4. It swears it lives phenomenal experiences from inside its “body” and all of this seems impossible to prove experimentally, should we then take its word (actually what reasons would it have to lie on the existence of its subjective experiences)?
  5. It is at least as intelligent as the human being.
  6. It prove to feel emotions.

At this point, what would really make this clone a machine and us a non-machine? We don’t have a clear idea on what life really is, nor on the fact whether we have or not a free will, nor on the nature of the phenomenal experiences. We must concede it 1, 3 and 4. Only because we don’t know systems of reproduction outside of the biological ones, it doesn’t mean that point 2 won’t be acceptable. Regarding point 5, it looks so clear as well as banal to me how intelligence is based on the cognitive abilities of inference and that it’s probably the first characteristic that future computer will assume. Still, something doesn’t sound right on point 6. Just because the robot reacts on external inputs as if it “internally” felt emotions, we cannot assume that it can really feel them. I can even concede that it has all the phenomenal experiences that we have, but I don’t believe, for how much it can simulate them, that a robot (at least in this example), even infinitely sophisticated, can’t authentically feel emotions [8]. And I believe that this is the only point on which we can leverage enough to create a clear distinction between machine and non-machine. It can’t exist an emotional amchine [9]since machine + emotions = non-machine[10]. One could notice how only human beings seem to feel complex emotions. In reality, this can be said only on ourselves. I know I can feel emotions, but I cannot say if who surrounds me is nothing more than a machine that simulates emotions. In particular, I point out how all the living species apart from us can this way be defined as machines. Still, to not fall in the Solipsism, I will give for granted that, since there aren’t great structural differences between me and the other humans that surround me, the other human beings can feel the same emotions as I do[11].

  • Here’s how we will proceed

Now, if the reader shares even just in part my topic, then he will feel relieved to know that it exists a certain characteristic that can distinguish him from a machine. Still, I wouldn’t be so calm, if I were in his place. In fact, I consider that there is hard evidence on the fact that human beings are becoming more and more machines and that their “felling authentic emotions” is slowly fading. And that’s what I will discuss in this publication of mine.

To clarify as much as possible this disastrous awareness that came to me I will first reflect on how we arrived individually to be what we are in the present, trying to answer the question: What makes you yourself and not someone else? Later on, I will briefly debate for two chapters on the addictions that make us more and more “less human”. The 5th chapter is dedicated to the analysis of the implementation of media manipulation. In the 6th chapter, I will warn on our present condition of mental control and on what awaits us in the near future. The 7th and 8th chapters are respectively dedicated to cognitive and linguistic in-dept analysis. In the 9th chapter, I will outline my theory on the development of a mechanism of anti-machine defence. In the end, I conclude with the 10th chapter on the possible turn that we can take. A turn that can be decisive for the future generations. Who would like to make a quick read, I suggest lingering on the 5-6th and 9-10th chapters that respectively consist of the central nucleus of the argumentation and the analysis of its consequences.

[1] The term machine has numerous meanings and it’s often used way too generically. In this search, I will refer to the term with the meaning of “artificial system that elaborates information”.

[2] I’m imagining the construction of the “mind” of this machine as a set of functional cognitive modules. For a theory on the modularity of the human mind see Fodor (1983).

[3] With phenomenal experiences is meant the subjective vision (“from inside”) of a certain experience.

[4] Not only all your psychic faculties, but I mean a sort of “mental backup” that copies beliefs, character, memories etc.

[5] Without any metaphysical presumption, here I simply mean the raw material of which we are “made of”.

[6] Even though the reproduction is one of these “scientific requisites” for life, given the extreme relevance of this aspect, I considered it necessary to dedicate a separate point on the phenomenon of generation.

[7] based on: homeostasis, metabolism, growth, interaction, reproduction and adaptation.

[8] With this, I’m not asserting that it will never be possible to create a robot that has authentic emotions, but simply that, if we managed to do so, it wouldn’t be a robot machine anymore, but a true non-machine.

[9] Not with the meaning that it can’t simulate emotions, but that it can’t really feel them.

[10] One could object that my argumentation is built ad-hoc on a simple linguistic reformulation of the word “non-machine”, to answer to this objection I send you back to the 7th chapter in which I demonstrate that there are scientific experimentations that confirm the centrality of emotions on the human mental system.

[11] Not debating Solipsism in this search, I need to give its confutation somehow for granted. To deepen the topic of the Solipsism, see Carnap (1928).

2 – The origin of chemical-man

  • Is it better the body or the mind?

What are we essentially?[1] It could hardly exist, even in a far future, an exhaustive answer to this question, however, we could be satisfied in this place with the answer to the question “What is it that others recognize in us that makes them always judge us as the same identical person?” In a few words, we are asking ourselves why when I wake up in the morning people who know me call me with the same name and recognise the present me as a continuity of the past me? Probably, who surrounds me, recognize in me the same physical continuity. Our parents, watching us day by day, don’t consciously notice those micro-changes of our physical body, and thus they always recognize us as the same “person”[2]. However, I think that this solution works only in part. In fact, if I would unfortunately end up disfigured in a tragic accident and then, after plastic surgery, my acquaintances would see me, would they recognize me? For sure, many of them would be traumatized by seeing my sudden physical change; still, after a while, they would accept my new identity like the continuity of the identity I had before. That is because they recognise in my personality a certain continuity.

As long as the others recognise in us a psychological and physical continuity, for them we will always remember the same person. But what is more important: the physicality of the body or the totality of our psychological features? In my opinion, both have their importance, but the psychological features have greater relevance. Let’s imagine performing a brain transplant on ourselves. My brain goes on the body Y and Y’s brain goes on my body X. After the surgery, a friend of us would be more inclined to recognise us in our old body X with the brain Y or in the body Y with our brain? I think that, for how difficult that “trauma” of recognition could be, the friend would give more importance to the psychological features and recognise us in the body Y. We have simply changed body! This situation can be seen as an extreme case of the example of bodily transfiguration caused by the accident.

  • The “building” of our psychology

Now that we have established the importance of our psychology, at least for what concerns a part of “what we essentialy are”, let’s now analise how does it “develop” over the years. Up to adulthood, we are essentially the product of the education of our parents/tutors with the contribution of the people we hang out with the most. For the formation of the personality, it seems decisive the phase from 2 to 6 years of age (the so-called “second childhood”) and it’s the constant presence of the parents/tutors in this phase that make us psychologically conditioned by the parental “indoctrination”. We accumulate beliefs on beliefs, dogmas on dogmas: from the morality of the family to the rules given to us by the educational institutions. The result is to end up at the end of adolescence with a psychology built by those around us. Still, not for everything is like this.

We have some “matriarchal characters” that we display since we are babies and that seems to have formed independently from the external influences. This default character is given by a particular configuration of the neurotransmitters and hormones that, in their turn, depend on our DNA. So: different DNA = different configurations (even thought all of them are part of a certain biological range). That’s the basis of the theories on psychological types[3]. Therefore, it seems that what characterises us the deepest is the DNA and, on a superior level, the chemistry that comes from it.

We are chemistry. And that’s why I coined the term chemical-man.

“On a biological level, the biological human machine is a chemical factory similar to many others, functioning on the basis of the same chemical laws. It is regulated by tiny electrical impulses that flow through the muscular-neurological system, so the muscles and nerves”[4].

  • The suicide of the one’s Self

Actually, the psycho-pharmaceuticals used in the psychiatric therapies interfere with the neurotransmitters or with the hormones and that’s what helps the patient “heal”. “Let’s change his matriarchal character and every “bug” connected will go away!” It seems like a forced idea, but I consider it logical that the consumption of external substances, that go modify our neuro-chemical equilibrium, “kill” an older self, substituting it with a new one. It’s simply an innovative way to make the matriarchal character kill itself. So, everything that influences this “intimal” chemistry of ours is able to modify who we really are.

  • The Emotional Core

However, we do not notice the matriarchal character, we don’t have since birth a tab that shows us our optimal values of hormones and neurotransmitters, we notice, instead, what first derives macroscopically from this matriarchal character: our Emotional Core (EC). That is a mental structure that regulates every emotional response to the inputs it receives. In a few words, it is our pure and true individual character. Everything that modifies the Emotional Core, modifies our selves. The Emotional Core is what makes us non-machines able to make us feel the authentic phenomenal experiences correlated to the emotions. The psycho-pharmaceuticals interfere on the chemistry of the matriarchal character and therefore, modify our Emotional Core.

  • The immortality of the “chains”

I consider that, as long as it is modified for “reasonable” motivations (like the treatment of a psychic pathology), then it can be considered as a moral act. On the contrary, I consider highly immoral, unfair and to be condemned anything that modifies the Emotional Core for secondary purposes that pertain people external to the one involved. I call these immoral modifications “chains” since they make us slaves of something we aren’t and, in extreme cases, it is possible that the Emotional Core is altered so much that it becomes “mechanised and predictable”; that would make us move from the non-machine condition to the machine one. In the next two chapters, I will analyse the two principal types of “chains” that I have identified.

[1] To deepen the topic of the personal identity, see Parfit (1989).

[2] Not wanting to go into the details on the debate on the concept of “person”, I will give for granted the notion outlined by Frankfurt (it’s about the resumption of Locke). To deepen the topic see Frankfurt (1999)

[3] For a fist theory see Jung (1921)

[4] E.J. Gold in “The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus” (1985)

3 – The visible chains

For visible chains, I mean the synthetic or natural chemical substances that modify our Emotional Core. Usually, they are medicines or (more or less legal) drugs. Form the caffeine to the ayahuasca, from alcohol to chocolate. There are very few external substances that we take, that do not interfere with our Emotional Core. Water is one of those substances. Actually, it is able to purify from the chemical overload given by those substances toxic for our true personality. Let’s see the principal effects of the most popular visible chains:

  • Common psychotropic substances:caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The first two act as stimulants creating a short term “emotional peak” that brings to a following drop of the principal psychic faculties. After a constant consumption, our biochemistry self-regulates itself as if we usually took that substance at that certain moment [1]. This way, our faculties remain latent up to the activation with the consumption of the substance. Alcohol, instead, is able to act both as an energiser and anxiolytic and usually, it has much more unpredictable effects. Alcohol addiction is acquired slower, but it has more decisive effects on the Emotional Core.
  • Anxiolytic, antidepressants or psychostimulants acting medicines: the anxiolytics (in which it is included the cannabis) act in the short term and it is very probable that, since the first consumptions, it develops an addiction. In this case, the effect is opposite to the already mentioned stimulants. The antidepressants act at a biochemical level two weeks apart and slowly modify the equilibrium of our Emotional Core, making it transform completely. Their addiction is much rarer since they act in the long-term, but their effects are more decisive for the personality. Regarding the psychostimulants, it applies the same as the already mentioned stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.
  • Narcotic substances: here the effects for the personality are determined both in the short and in the long term.

  • An overestimated addiction

A separate case to analyze is the glucose. It should be noted that the brain has a protection system that prevents the neurons to come into contact with any undesired substance. In general, the substances reach the cerebrospinal fluid and, in other to reach the neurons, it is needed an action made by the brain to take the substances “beyond” the fluid. The reader can imagine the fluid like a river; on a side, there is the external world and on the other, the mysterious world of the brain. To prevent any contamination, the “brain world” has specific boats that transport some special passengers from one side to the other bank of the river. These “boats”[2] let only three types of passengers pass: the glucose, the oxygen and the DMT[3]. It should be noted that the brain “struggles” to eat: in order to remain protected, it plays an active role to provide itself with the necessary food. The oxygen is obtained breathing and the glucose through the nutrition, however, meanwhile it is not possible to survive without breathing for a few minutes, the nutrition is much more “elastic”. In reality, it seems possible to survive for 21 days without food[4] before that the autophagy affects the vital organs[5].

But then, why do we eat every day, several times a day?

The reason is that we generate a continuous supply of glucose so that the brain eats “peacefully”. The truth is that eating so often, in most cases, is totally optional and furthermore, it can become a chain. Food is addictive and it is able to effect on our Emotional Core.

[1] Caffeine is recorded in our biological clock, modifying it. The reader can prove this on himself noting the feeling of fatigue at the time in which he usually consumes caffeine.

[2] It’s about protein.

[3] On the role of the DMT, read “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” by Strassman (2014).

[4] To deepen the topic, read “The Philosophy of Fasting” by Purinton (2013).

[5] The statistics are, in reality, subjective. The exposed data refer to the statistical average.

Exclusive video of a funny machine in action.

“Do I look like a machine?”

4 – The invisible chains

Far more dangerous and devious are the invisible chains. With this term, I refer to all those non-physical brainwashing mechanisms that modify in an “invisible” way our personality. Usually, it’s about the programmed unconscious indoctrinations.

While in the case of the visible chains we have some form of awareness of the addiction, in this case, the danger is exactly in the unawareness. Every time that you watch television you are collecting invisible chains, it happens every time you use the smartphone, every time you let yourself be convinced by an advertisement or seller.

  • The role of the global economy

The economy is mostly based on power and the difficulty of traceability of the invisible chains. We are addicted to the ideologies of the supervised mass of the mass media (the so-called mainstream thought), we are addicted to the mania of the sharing on the social networks, we are addicted on the purchase of stuff during sales. But the very immoral and dangerous thing is that all of these unconscious conditioning radically and deeply change our Emotional Core. We feel the excitement with the sharing of a post, we feel satisfaction in the purchase of any material object. Our unconscious notion of happiness revolves around external indoctrinations. And, while in the case of the visible chains it would be enough to take away the substance involved in the addiction, in this case, the process is so thin that the liberation from the invisible chains, if made too quickly, could bring to very dangerous psychic pathologies[1]. Here we are on a very delicate ground and to prove it, I’ll show in the next chapter an example of the most powerful unconscious indoctrination process of the last few decades: the marketing algorithm of Facebook.

[1] They are the so-called “defence mechanisms” by Gold in his already mentioned book.

5 – But how does Facebook earn money?

Facebook can be considered the fully-fledged father of the modern social networks. He managed in very few years to reach incredible popularity entering in the popular “culture” in a radical way. Nowadays, Mark Zuckerberg is the eighth richest man in the world. But, if Facebook is free, then how did the dear Mark earn all these billions? “With advertisements!” someone would answer. “Incorrect” I answer back. How many times have you clicked on Facebook advertisements, actually making a purchase? Very few times. The advertisements hypothesis doesn’t really hold up. That’s because its incomes are very low. The true business of Facebook is based on two sources: the selling of personal data + unconscious brainwashings. It’s not difficult to find proofs of cases in which Facebook has been paid to provide, in a completely “legal” way, data and tracking of private profiles. But the truly thorny element concerns the conditioning algorithm.

  • The big hit of Mister X

Let’s imagine being the owners of a multinational corporation, being called “Mister X” and wanting to release on the market next year a product (Y), decisive for the future of our corporation. We have asked our manager for advice and he set us a meeting with an unknown guy, a certain Mark Zuckerberg. Let’s simulate a plausible dialogue:

X: “Is it really possible to install in someone’s mind the desire to buy our product?”

Mark: “Not only it’s possible to do it, but it’s even possible to have the exact numbers.”

X:” Are you telling me that if I asked you to find me 1000 sure clients, will you find them for me?”

M: “I won’t find them, I will generate them

X: “What are you talking about?”

M: “Up to a few years ago, the communication and psychology experts would have thought I was nuts if I had affirmed that I can control the mind of the masses without them being aware.”

X: “Are you saying that this is possible today?”

M: “It’s possible and it has already been put into practice many times. They didn’t believe me when I affirmed I was able to categorise the whole humanity.”

X: “How can you put the whole humanity, composed by people so different one another, into certain preset categories?”

M: “Simple: I eliminate diversity! Through unconscious indoctrination processes, I gently accompany the mind of the people through common beliefs, in order to drastically flatten the diversity and insert those people into functional categories.”

X: “And from this, how can you generate costumers?”

M: “Once people are been reeducated in their beliefs, one just needs to find which of those categories is the one that reacts the most towards the product Y, and then, shift to their indoctrination towards the desire of buying it.” This way, you can generate advertising campaigns aiming those that have the latent desire of buying Y. And then… it’s like reawakening a sleeping shark that you have put on their brain; aggressively they will head towards the purchase. All of this has been statistically proven.”

X: “So that’s why you are so rich…Mr Zuckerberg, we have a deal!”

I admit that at the end of this dialogue, the whole can seem to be inserted in a conspiracy frame, but one just need to do the math and searches to verify that what I have expressed are didactic versions of the geniality of Facebook marketing algorithm. To verify it in a simple way, one just needs to start an advertisement campaign and see how well the Facebook categories work. Invisible chains. Here is what we are dealing with.

6 – Be careful

Reconnecting to the second source of income of Facebook (the selling and traceability of data from private profiles), I can’t not talk about Google and Amazon cases. Google, after being outclassed by the marketing algorithm of Facebook, keeps earning billions from the selling of information to “commercial partners”. In most cases, these partners are governmental secret services. The Internet is a Google domain. When you do a search, you do it on Google; if you have to save pictures or documents, you use Drive (another service by Google); if you need to surf the net, you use Chrome (still Google); but most of all: Google has enormous power on smartphones Its primary operating system (Android) is an unimaginable source of information.

 

  • The new luxury

Yes: privacy is an optional extra, on the contrary, it’s a luxury. And this situation is only meant to worsen. In fact, they are arriving voice first devices like Alexa and Google Home that will track, during the following years, even more data from our Android smartphones. In the next two years, 70% of the global population will have a voice first device at home. An audio spy that continuously tracks every conversation made at home. The reader can see with his own eyes with which insistence Amazon and Google advertisement will make brainwashing campaigns for the monopoly of this new market. Later, the war will move on the operating systems on cars, to later end on the wearable micro-devices. The reader must be aware in the midst of what war he is in. Think about this: you are the bargaining chip in this information war.

7 – A theory about the mind

It has now come the time to end the analysis of future speculations and market dynamics, to now verify the scientific data on which the exposed theory is based on: what makes a human a non-machine is the possession of the Emotional Core. In addition, the Emotional Core should be free from the visible and the invisible chains[1]. I will call this theory MET or “Machine Emotional Theory“.

“Beliefs are like breath: you realize you’ve had them only once you don’t have them anymore.”

Stephen Wolf

Come affermava il poeta Valéry: “I nostri cervelli servono a produrre un futuro”. Credo infatti che la causa per cui l’evoluzione abbia all’improvviso introdotto nelle macchine organiche (tutti gli animali) un Emotional Core sia stato il suo incredibile potere di prevedere eventi futuri con delle intuizioni mai viste prima nel mondo naturale. Huron afferma “The brain is an anticipation machine and emotions are “motivational amplifiers” that encourage organisms to pursue behaviours that are normally adaptive, and to avoid behaviours that are normally maladaptive”[2] (il cervello è una macchina anticipatoria e le emozioni sono “amplificatori motivazionali” che incoraggiano gli organismi a ricercare credenze che sono normalmente adatti, e ad evitare credenze che sono normalmente disadatte).

  • Il “tumore fenomenico”

Il nostro Emotional Core, rispondendo emozionalmente, ci permette di generare le credenze più adatte alla nostra sopravvivenza. In questo senso un Emotional Core inibito sarebbe un “tumore fenomenico” per la specie umana. Significherebbe infatti rendere vani gli sforzi della natura nel donarci uno strumento così tanto potente. Possiamo definire la credenza come un “affidamento a un fatto sul mondo”. Se ho una data credenza, di fronte ad un input agisco con un determinato output. Le credenze sono alla base di ogni comportamento. Nel modello cognitivo JITSA (Just-In-Time Spreading Activation) gli stimoli esterni ci arrivano dagli schemi di concetti pertinenti basati su probabilità passate dell’evento; in questo modo, abbiamo un’anticipazione di ciò che può accadere nelle sue alternative più probabili (tutto ciò avverrebbe così velocemente che a noi sembra essere arrivata in mente semplicemente un’unica idea).

  • Siamo generati per l’onniscienza

In sintesi: di fronte ad una situazione, il nostro cervello elaborerebbe la reazione in base a cosa sia più probabile che accada. E questo concetto di probabilità si basa interamente sulle credenze generate dal nostro Emotional Core. In questo modo il cervello attiverebbe le giuste aree e prevedrebbe le giuste cause. Se cancellassimo ogni catena mentale e accumulassimo solo credenze esatte, il nostro cervello diverrebbe un demone di La-Place; un essere in grado di prevedere qualsiasi evento. Il nostro Emotional Core sembra stato progettato per prevedere e, in questo senso, ogni catena, ogni dipendenza, diverrebbe un ostacolo al vero potere dell’onniscienza che sembra situato in potenziale nel nostro cervello. Come giustamente afferma Dennett: “The emotions are rational, but the system is a heuristic driver of behaviour that operates on incomplete information; so we must accept that emotions will fail us in some ways, such as overreation and addictions, that are irresolvable”[3] (Le emozioni sono razionali, ma il sistema è un conduttore euristico di credenza che opera su informazioni incomplete; dunque dobbiamo accettare che le emozioni ci faranno sbagliare in qualche modo, ad esempio con una reazione eccessiva e con dipendenze, che sono irrisolvibili).

Ogni nostra tipologia di errore deriva da informazioni incomplete, da credenze errate, da catene dell’Emotional Core. È essenziale agire su ciò per essere davvero noi stessi. Sempre Dennett definisce magistralmente così una credenza: “A cognitive behaviour is a mental function: an intentional (in the casual sense of the term) change of intentional (in the philosopher’s sense of the term) states. It restricts the possible future states of the neural dynamics” (Una credenza cognitiva è una funzione mentale: un cambiamento intenzionale (nel senso causale) cambia stati intenzionali (nel senso filosofico del termine). Essa restringe i possibili stati futuri della dinamica neuronale). La visione di restringimento delle dinamiche neuronali è il miglior modo per vedere come agisce empiricamente una credenza.

  • L’ultima frontiera evolutiva

Il potere dell’Emotional Core sarebbe tanto importante quanto la sopravvivenza delle specie. Gopnik mostra infatti i paragoni con la sessualità: “Again, the analogy to sexual drives should be obvious. Nature ensures that we do something that will be good for us (or at least our genes) in the long run, by making it fun (or at least compelling) in the short-run” (Ancora una volta l’analogia su conduttori sessuali dovrebbe essere ovvia. La natura si assicura che noi facciamo qualcosa che sarà buono per noi (o almeno per la nostra specie) a lungo termine, rendendo questa cosa divertente (o almeno avvincente) nel breve termine). L’implementazione dell’Emotional Core sembra essere stata, sotto questo punto di vista, uno degli ultimi passi decisivi per l’evoluzione. Grazie ad esso, noi siamo l’ultima frontiera dell’evoluzione. Ed essendo gli unici esseri biologici ad avercelo così complesso si comprende la profonda differenza tra noi e il resto delle specie viventi. Potrebbe seguire un’analisi sui caratteri unici della specie umana correlandoli all’Emotional Core, ma per non inserire una digressione all’interno di un’altra digressione andrò dritto al punto.[4]

  • Conferme empiriche sulla possibilità di un EC

La tripartizione della mente umana (cognizione, motivazione ed emozione) esposta da numerosi scienziati cognitivi sembra dover dare un maggior rilievo alla parte emozionale e riconoscerla come un nucleo da cui derivano le altre due parti. Questo nucleo agirebbe attraverso processi computazionali discreti (come conferma il rumore neuronale di fondo di circa cento picometri[5]) generando delle credenze. Esse a loro volta sono un pilastro portante per ciò che concerne la nostra identità psicologica. Sempre Dennett sembra darmi ragione in 2 punti; egli afferma: “We submit that the epistemic emotions[6] do not simply encourage us to use our reasoning; they control it. […] Higher cognition in its many forms- what it means to think like a human- is simply that chasing of the pleasures and the avoidance of the pains that are supplied by this eclectic group of cognitive, but of course ultimately neurobiological, emotions” (Noi affermiamo che le emozioni epistemiche non ci incoraggiano semplicemente ad usare la nostra ragione; esse la controllano. […] La cognizione superiore nelle sue molteplici forme – cosa significa pensare come un essere umano- è semplicemente il perseguire i piaceri e l’evitare i dolori che sono forniti da questo eclettico gruppo di emozioni cognitive, ma certamente in fin dei conti biologiche).

  • Continuamente a rischio

Se la MET fosse esatta, ciò significherebbe non solo che le ricerche su una IA[7] forte dovrebbero prendere una piega differente (basandosi su un Emotional Core a computazione[8]), ma che ciò che siamo realmente nel profondo è ogni giorno a rischio. Le continue catene visibili ed invisibili sono delle pugnalate che infliggiamo a ciò che siamo realmente.

Viene spontaneo chiedersi: “Per quanto ancora le modificazioni dell’Emotional Core saranno reversibili?”. Che la MET sia esatta o meno, sarebbe sempre meglio essere autentici e difendere la propria integrità, sia questa dovuta a catene che modificano l’Emotional Core o a qualsiasi altro fenomeno. Resta tuttavia innegabile che le dipendenze e gli indottrinamenti sembrano farci prendere delle azioni che “non derivano da noi”. Come ciò sia tecnicamente possibile lo si vedrà nel corso del prossimo capitolo.

[1] Altrimenti si ha a che fare semplicemente con l’Emotional Core di un’altra persona, con un’altra personalità che non è la nostra autentica.

[2] Huron “Sweet anticipation – Music and the psychology of expectation” (2006)

[3] Per tutte le citazioni rimanenti del capitolo si guardi Hurley, Dennett e Adams “Inside Jokes: using humor to reverse-engineer the mind” (2013)

[4] Basta notare come sia davvero difficile l’esistenza di un carattere specifico della specie umana che non coinvolga credenze, emozioni o altro che può scaturire da un Emotional core.

[5] 10-12

[6] Per emozioni epistemiche si intendono le emozioni che concernono le credenze.

[7] Intelligenza Artificiale

[8] È la direzione che sembra prendere il ramo dell’Affective computing.

8 – On the language

Have you ever wondered about the importance of words with which we express ourselves every day? Behind the use of a word, it hides a deeply rooted belief. The lexicon we use every day can say many things about our psychology. Every profession has its own semantic niche: a mainly technical lexicon that can better give authenticity to the role played. The same goes for the teenager’s slang. In the Fodorain representation words codify mental concepts that are elements of a language of thought (system of representation). They give access to:

  • lexical properties of the term associated with the concept.
  • Logical content (role of meaning postulates);
  • Encyclopedic information on the entities that fell in the extention of the concept.

It seems that the words give us a partial access to those beliefs installed in our minds by the Emotional Core. To reconnect the linguistic to the MET, Fodor[1] comes again in our aid; he affirm that the cognitive systems are divided in modular inputs and non-modular central systems that control the entire decisional process. Let’s imagine, for example, two friends meeting on the street and having the following conversation:

A: “Where is C?”

B: “He stayed at home.”

Even thought B hasn’t specified in which house did C stay, our mind makes us realize that it’s his house (C’s home!). All of this may seem banal, but still there are deep studies on how our brain is able to draw inferences on what it’s not explicitly said in a statement. In this case, our brain made a pragmatic interpretation. It forced itself to match B’s answer with what it’s more “truthful”.

 

  • EC role on intuition

What interests us is Sperber[2] who affirmed that in the pragmatic interpretations (like in the previous example), our cognitive system doesn’t actually make a calculation, it uses physiological levels of future cognitive events (patterns of chemical/electrical activity on specific areas). Then, “calculation” for interpretation is a cognitive phenomenon that happens through non-cognitive mechanisms. The Emotional Core seems to be an excellent candidate as a not purely cognitive mechanism. In particular, I am saying that the intuition (the most typical ability of the human species as well as irony) comes from the existence of an Emotional Core.

“Kabbalists believed that we are the cause all the things that happen in the world: thoughts generate words, words generate actions, actions generate emotions and the emotions represent the energy that moves the world.”

Raffaele Tovazzi

  • The emotional anchors

After having speculated on the possible correlations between the MET and the human language, let’s see how the invisible chains act on the Emotional Core through the language. Sperber affirms that when we have in front of us a speaker S, our brain can enter in three different interpretative strategies:

  1. Naive optimism: it happens when we assume that S is benevolent and competent;
  2. Cautious optimism: if we believe that S is benevolent, but not necessarily competent;
  3. Sophisticated comprehension: if we believe that S is neither necessarily benevolent nor necessarily competent.

Generalizing: when we speak with a friend or an intimate relative we act following 1; when we are in front of an acquaintance we act following 2; when we are in front of a stranger we act following 3.

Think about advertisements. The speaker should be recognized by our brain as an unknown person; indeed, we don’t know who has done that ad and actually, we know that, whoever he is, his intent is exactly to modify our beliefs and take us to a sort of addiction of the external will (assuming one purchases the product on the ad). The advertisements, basing themselves on the leverage effect of the emotional mental anchors (connecting emotions with the purchase of a product) and on the repetitions of the spot in the short and long term, they take our brain to behave following 1. This way, the advertisement bypasses every mental filter and has full power to influence the Emotional Core. In an even faster way, the advertisements on social networks take advantage of the emotions that we feel by looking at the contents of other people. This way, one connects unconsciously the speaker S of the commercial with the “friend” that published the content. This takes our mind directly in mode 1 and, again, the invisible chains are inserted.

[1] To deepen see Bianchi in “Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione” (2009).

[2] Sperber and Wilson in “Relevance. communication and cognition” (1986).

9 – Power is will?

“What brings problems is not what we don’t know, but what we are sure we know but it’s wrong.”

Mark Twain

As long as we don’t know something there is always a remedy, the true problem begins when we have installed in our mind a wrong belief. Indeed, to disassemble beliefs is not an easy process. Socrates tried to do it through his dialectic method based on questions, still nowadays who has the greatest influence on people seems to want everything but disassemble beliefs. We have seen how the majority of the world economy revolves around the objective of manipulating our beliefs and acting directly on our Emotional Core[1]. We briefly travelled on the crawl spaces of a probable mind theory (the MET) and we arrived at the confirms of the linguistics theories.

  • They want us to stay machines

We can now go back to the initial statement. In fact, I affirmed that a certain manipulation of the Emotional Core would bring its “superior” abilities to inhibition, reducing them to a very predictable mechanism. Facebook predicts statistically how many customers will be generated. The predictability is all based on this inhibition of the Emotional Core. In this case, human beings would become true machines. In fact, if machine + emotions= non-machine, then humans non-machines – Emotional Core = machines (namely, predictable mechanical customers).

  • The resistance

I believe the will to be an ability that only a non-machine owns. And to remain a non-machine it’s necessary an intrinsic power of resistance to chains. That’s what I affirm when I say that “power is will”. And it’s only this power of resistance of ours that gives us access to the ability to “will”. Only after our reaffirmation as non-machine, we could transform this will in a sort of practical power. A non-machine that has reached the “power is will” will, therefore, be able to act according to the “Will is Power”. Since it seems very utopian to act on the generation of the invisible chains (that depends on a “power” by now way too strong and affirmed, essential for the global economy), we have to act on two fronts :

  1. Get rid of the visible chains: acting first of all on the addiction to drugs abolishing coffee, medicines [2], alcohol and experimenting for at least 4 days a fast [3] of only water to purify one’s self from the toxins in the system and eliminate the unconscious addiction to glucose. Furthermore, it will be necessary to act on the other visible chains that have a more psychological character, but that remain largely determined by us. As I affirm (in a more “mystic” way) in my novel.[4] it will be necessary to fight the haughtiness with humility, the greed with charity, the lust with love, the envy with joy, the gluttony with harmony, the rage with caution and the sloth with hope.
  2. Act on the visible chains: it will be necessary, at first, a period of purification from social networks[5], television and common opinions, through a period of loneliness and meditation in which create barriers of consciousness for the external conditioning. In order to do so, it will be necessary, first of all, to empty out from every belief and rebuild your “interior palace” following the authenticity of your Emotional Core and, only after that, you can study the methods of media indoctrinations (the PNL for example) to become immune and use them with for moral purposes.

That’s the only way to avoid falling in the condition of machines.[6]

[1] I suggest watching the animated movie “Inside out” under the gaze of a possible hint on the existence of an Emotional Core.

[2] Only after having had the approval of the doctor.

[3] I refer to the already mentioned book of Purinton.

[4] See: https://www.youcanprint.it/fiction-generale/origin-cronache-di-un-angelo-caduto-9788892644656.html

[5] I suggest looking at the project “Lightphone”, it could be helpful for the digital detox. For more information: https://www.thelightphone.com/

[6] For more practical advice and for a more “spiritual” deepening see the already mentioned Gold.

10 – A call to the future generations

“When the time comes for egg laying, the wasp Sphex builds a burrow for the purpose and seeks a cricket which she stings in such a way as to paralyze but not kill it. She drags the cricket into the burrow, lays her eggs alongside, closes the burrow, then flies away, never to return. In due course, the eggs hatch and the wasp grubs feed off the paralyzed cricket, which has not decayed, having been kept in the wasp equivalent of a deep-freeze. To the human mind, such an elaborately organized and seemingly purposeful routine conveys a convincing flavour of logic and thoughtfulness — until more details are examined. For example, the wasp’s routine is to bring the paralyzed cricket to the burrow, leave it on the threshold, go inside to see that all is well, emerge, and then drag the cricket in. If, while the wasp is inside making her preliminary inspection, the cricket is moved a few inches away, the wasp, on emerging from the burrow, will bring the cricket back to the threshold, but not inside, and will then repeat the preparatory procedure of entering the burrow to see that everything is all right. If again the cricket is removed a few inches while the wasp is inside, once again the wasp will move the cricket up to the threshold and re-enter the burrow for a final check. The wasp never thinks of pulling the cricket straight in. On one occasion this procedure was repeated forty times, always with the same result.”[1]

The wasp Sphex seems at first sight, a very intelligent being, a non-machine like many other much less complex animals. Still, testing it, we discover the sad limits of the mechanism of its “mind”. For how complex it could appear at first glance, in the end, the wasp Sphex remains a biological machine.

And what if humans were in the same condition? Wasps don’t realize they are machines, only an external being with “superior” abilities can observe in an experimental way the procedural mechanism. the same way, we human beings could never realize we are fascinatingly complex machines.

According to the Machine Emotional Theory that I presented, the human being has as birthright an Emotional Core that excludes him from the machine world. Still, some people try in every way to inhibit our non-machine abilities. To think is one these “magical” abilities. If we want to be our authentic self, we have to be free thinkers. We need to have the courage to travel through the steps of purifications from the invisible chains. Only then, we could be filled with true light coming from ourselves, with beliefs generated by that mysterious Emotional Core that makes us so unique as well as responsible for this wonderful planet that we must safeguard.

The visible and invisible chains will be more and more on the loose in the next generations, both for the spread of drugs and for the always growing innovations in the field of the media indoctrination. I, alone with this publication, cannot change the world. Still, I believe the ideas to be the most contagious virus of humanity. In this publication, I expressed an idea. A call for the next generations to recognize the light that hides inside of them. A call to courage, to resistance, to action, to mediation, to think radical by daring to act more. The Branco Bianco is ready to welcome anyone who wants to actively take part in the world. Because it’s together that we can make a difference; it’s together that we can change the world.

Wolf Steven

 

[1] Wooldridge in “The machinery of the brain” (1963); extract from https://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/13139017/2012_Keijzer_Sphex_story.pdf (page 3/30).

Coming soon from Wolf Stefano

"On Mankind's Slavery"
Leaf through the footprints

The Blank Page

We have changed the paper sheet with the digital one. Ready to be turned off in a moment and get lost forever.

The day in which the man contradicted himself

Our perception is based on duality: something is or isn’t. Aristotle named this logical principle “principle of non-contradiction” and we humans have put it as the foundation for our building of knowledge. We shiver, then, because the duality, as we logically conceive it, has come to its extinction. A short juvenile essay written for a contest of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa that gives a sparkle of light on a scientific theory on the concept of “soul”.

I think

I feel that our soul is something so marvelously complex.
Beware of the attempt to understand it, it can be a complex and exciting voyage already on its own. Love and hate, black and white that coexist in the entity of the man.

Burning Flame

As a child, you are so carefree that you are able to express yourself in such a free and authentic way as never again. Here is a drawing of my childhood that retraces the memories of the past by illustrating the flame that shines inside each of us!

Are Chinese all the same?

But do “Chinese” all really look the same? Is there any scientific study at the base of this stereotype?
Which social phenomena can be at the base of the homogenization of beauty standards? Let’s discover it together!

On the monopoly of emotions and the chains of will

We are at war. An invisible war for the control of our emotions. Our authentic personality is unconsciously chained every day by our selves. The first defence weapon is conscience. Here it is, enclosed in a synthetic Italian research, everything you need to know on how to avoid staying machines before it’s too late.

Untitled poetry for unrequited love

Love sometimes tears the title even to a poem. And it remains there, inert, hoping to be brought back to life by an unknown reader. Discover the emotion and resurrect the lost love.

Jesus: the first modern coach in the history of mankind

The figure of the coach seems to have become a trend, but where does it arise from? What are the parallelisms with the Socratic method? And again: is there any connection between Socrates and Jesus? Did the last one really exist?

On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

Recent researches have brought to light that 60% of the world’s population has had a déjà-vu at least once in their lives. But what lies behind this strange phenomenon? For the first time in Italy, here it is a complete and exhaustive research about it. Will you be ready to face this path to the “Truth”?

The thought from the road

A reflection on the nature of evil

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