Gregory Bateson in his Steps to an Ecology of Mind discussed a unique feature of the human species that he believed is responsible for our destructive behavior. Humans are able to visualize a future, splitting time, and then focus on the steps necessary to achieve a specific future. In addition, with humans, steps imagined and achieved on the way toward a future don’t have to be examined for their repercussions on other people or other aspects of the environment.

Competitors are encouraged to “stay focused.” Shutting out the world achieves goals. Bateson might suggest that this ability to shut out the world also destroys it.

This blog describes a hypothetical proto society characterized by dance-and-song-driven rituals and a population selecting neotenous features in our species over time. We lived in dreamtime. We communicated by gesture. Both cerebral hemispheres were the same size, the corpus callosum brain bridge was still wide, we did not split time and children did not know who their fathers were. We were random-handed, left and right-handed half the time.

There were changes, changes described in this work. The result was society stopped selecting exclusively for aesthetics and started selecting for those adept at spoken language, splitting time and telling stories. The right cerebral hemisphere grew smaller, the corpus callosum became thinner and dreams retreated to the time we spend asleep. While awake, imagination flourished with an ability to manipulate time. Consciousness was now split with two hemispheres allied but in poor communication. Instead of each individual being unconsciously part of a larger whole, each was now consciously divided.

Thesis and antithesis. The synthesis is what we face today. How does each individual become consciously part of the larger whole?

I am coming to the conclusion that this is not so much a spiritual or religious question as much as it is social and biological. As a species, we are in the process of making the transition to a form of consciousness that features a far higher number of interconnections in space and time than has been the case before the emergence of the social networking technologies. Observing the ways the young are using the new technologies and how they encourage the invention of even newer technologies that enhance the destruction of traditional ideas of space and time, I conclude that we are deep into a social/biological transition.

Our world is becoming characterized by massive interconnection with individuals, each a hub in a universe of incoming and outgoing information. To some degree, this mitigates the destructive capabilities of the split-brain, split-time human. We are each becoming experts in consultation with an increasing capacity to embrace the connotations of repercussion. We are developing an intuition or understanding that our ability to split time can create unintended consequences. Society is technologically and socially addressing the destruction we have wrought. Still, to transcend the dissociative plague that Bateson describes requires more than just technology.

In addition to evolving as a society, our biology is transforming. There has been a return of matrifocal values that include horizontal interconnection and the original matrifocal neurological structures. The numbers of left-handers have been increasing along with the numbers of neurological conditions characterized by both cerebral hemispheres being the same size with a wide corpus callosum. These are the members of the self described neurodiversity movement. Autistic and Asperger’s individuals are stating that they are not subjects of a disorder, but members of a new order. I would suggest that the representatives of the neurodiversity movement embody the re-emergence of matrifocal proto society, in a context where their strengths and intimacy with nondifferentiation can become the guide and balance to the modern split.

What does the neurological synthesis look like? I’m not exactly sure. I suspect it has something to do with what we’re observing in Scandinavia, though visually the new humans may look a lot more like the Obamas. Left-handed, lanky synthesizers are in our future. Speciation is not easy to predict.


Comments

This entry was posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009 at 7:04 am and is filed under Future, Myth/Story, Neoteny, Neurodiversity, Ouroboros, Society, Unconscious, Web. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
6 Comments so far

  1. Heresiarch on April 19, 2009 11:58 am

    Andrew, you might get a kick out of an illustration I scanned and posted on my blog.

    It’s a rendering of x-treme neoteny, with speciation implied.

    http://starlarvae.blogspot.com/2009/04/cyberfetus-matrix.html

  2. Ian K Pennack on June 9, 2009 8:39 pm

    Cerebral speciation is a concept of mine that suggests that the left-handed male achieved a continuum of isolative speciation events, -forming the entire Hominid lineage resulting in Mankind. The recombinatory mechanisms began to rise in frequency during the mammalian period rising more sharply in primates and the hominids. The left-handed male possesses greater inter-hemispheric connectivity. The axons concerned are fine and variation between individual phenotypes can vary by hundreds of millions. The right-handed male, the right-handed female and the left-handed female’s brains are all seriously pruned of the finest axons before and closely after birth. The left-handed male’s brain does not suffer this extensive dieback of the corpus callosum. The recombinatory mechanisms evolved to transfer fitness from the male to the female. A reversal of recombination brought about the evolutionary innovation of brain laterality. The brain could benefit in survival by recombining the two sexes traits, but via the evolutionary introduction of a second male within the progeny of one specie. The left-handed, right hemisphere dominant male evolved to recombine maternal traits. The left-handed male on average is less competitive, possesses a lower testosterone level. Evolution does not favour right-handedness, evolution found and favoured complexity over competitive action in the formulation of the Hominid lineage. Neotony is a reaction to extreme dimorphism of the sexes. The male, especially intra-sexually competes until violence overtakes every other life survival strategy. The only off swicth the male possesses is extinction. Harem species only exist in a few niches. Neotony gets rid of excess traits that lead to extinction. Ian K Pennack.

    Research material quoted upon request.

    To my knowledge, i am the only person in the world forwarding a concept regarding the left-handed male as the speciation male of the Hominid lineage.

  3. heresiarch on June 13, 2009 7:47 am

    Left handed males less competitive? I believe that a disproportionate number of U. S. presidents have been lefties. Odd that lust for power would correlate with low competitiveness.

  4. Elyat on March 29, 2011 5:46 am

    @heresiarch

    Perhaps lust for power was not a prime motivator for presidential candidates. Some people are motivated to lead by their aptness at bringing people together, their ability to lessen conflict and mediate between disparate groups.

    Also, U.S. presidents is such a tiny survey sample it couldn’t be said to reflect on the attitudes of lefties as a whole.

    PS: I’m here because I personally identify with some of traits and trends being described and have had similar thoughts about them and yet I’ve never been diagnosed as Autism spectrum (as far as I know… I would get government handouts if I was, yeah?) or being left-handed (haha.) So there must be exceptions to the rule both ways.

  5. Heresiarch on March 29, 2011 7:29 pm

    There’s a difference between presidential and local politics. The higher the political office, the more beholden is the office holder to his/her financial backers and the less free to act.

    my comments on the larger issues raised on this site at http://starlarvae.blogspot.com/2009/10/autism-aspergers-neurodiversity.html

  6. Oxytocin on February 3, 2012 5:44 pm

    Oxytocin…

    […]Speciation | Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human evolution, social transformation, left organizing and internet activism – how they all connect[…]…

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