Are you a Neuro-Throwback?

Throwback

I once had a sled dog team in Northern Minnesota. It was a fairly short lived experience but the strong bond I formed with my dogs brings back powerful memories. We trained together by day exploring the Northern Wilderness, and howled at the moon by night.  When the snow begins to fall very year, I miss it.

A couple of winters ago, I attended a sled dog sprint race in the Adirondack mountains of New York. I walked around and checked out all the participants dogs as usually did and I was unimpressed. The sport of sprint racing had evolved way past its roots in indigenous arctic travel and become a thing in itself. Now, as then, it is no longer a sport for rugged huskies, but rather a competition between sleek mongrel hounds running on perfectly groomed trails. They achieve impressive speeds, but the chain between these hounds and their trapline running forebears seems to have been broken forever. These hounds can run 20 mph for 30 minutes straight, but once the race is over they need to hop right into their insulated dog boxes because they shiver in the cold

While pondering these absurdities, I was surprised to stumble upon a pair of what appeared to be wolves: They were tall and muscular like their hound competitors, but had thick, wolf-grey coats, bushy tails, pointed ears and the oblique eyes of the wolf. I was impressed. I inquired about them with the musher. He said they were ‘throw backs.’ He had their mother and father with them on the team as well, but  they were hounds. Surprised, I asked him how this could be. He responded that when he had originally got into dogs back in the eighties he started with dogs straight from the Alaska trapline – Native Village dogs, from Iditarod Musher Joe Runyan. Somehow in the course of his breeding program these genes had coalesced and the native village dog had been reconstituted.

A powerful feeling resonated through out my whole body: These dogs represented to me a symbol that has been with me throughout my whole life – that of the atavism.

**

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines atavism as a “recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination; a recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, approach, or activity; or one that manifests atavism: a throwback”.

Are you  Atavistic? Do you display neurological traits of your distant ancestors? Are you one of the 1 in 20 Americans diagnosed with ADHD? If so,  you may be interested in Thomm Hartmann’s “Hunter vs. Farmer” hypothesis.

The essence of the Hunter vs. Farmer hypothesis is that behavior associated with ADHD helps people such as hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads, and others who lead a peripatetic life. Since today’s sedentary city dwellers are recently descended from such people, natural selection may not have had time to purge the genes that cause it.

Let me construct a narrative as to just how might this have happened. For much of recent human history there has been the State. Powerful Political polities, that have effected recent human evolution. In the language of French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze, the State “over codes” everyone, and thus People aren’t self existent human beings in their own right, but cogs in a vast utilitarian machine. Those born to eccentric shapes are soon pounded into concentric shapes. It’s an extractive process akin to sculpting: People don’t become more under the influence of civilization, they become less.

Not everyone bears the yoke gladly and there are those who resist. Historically there have been wastelands on the periphery of Civilizations. Rebellious and enterprising souls, escaped slaves, criminals, religious ascetics and other misfits have taken to these areas to make lives for themselves. The Steppe areas around the Baltic Sea and Central Asia have been such a place. Nomadic cultures, organized around pastoralism (and also piracy and brigandry) formed again and again.

The neurological traits associated with ADHD that make life difficult to sit passively all day in a chair and receiving instructions are actually traits adapted for hunting and fighting: activities that obviously have no place in the modern class room.

Hartmann’s hypothesis was constructed as a more positive, alternative “myth” to give to his son who had been diagnosed with ADHD. He felt it was disempowering to for people to tell his son that he was “disordered” simply for processing information differently than his peers.

An ADHD kid in the classroom may be in a disadvantage, but in another setting requiring “combat readiness” he would be at an advantage. Self-defense expert Jeff Cooper classifies this state of combat readiness as “Condition Yellow” in his personal defense color code system.

Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.”

It’s this “continuous 360 degree radar sweep” that is the problem for certain kids in the class room. Mental health experts describe it as an “attention deficit”, but in my opinion, it is simply an older, more primitive delegation of attention that isn’t based on receiving instruction in a rote manner. This is a kind of an attention based on survival that could have been evolved in response to life on the open Savannah. This is a diffused attention that takes many factors into account simultaneously. In a class room there are other kids and windows with interesting things going on outside. The least important thing to kids like this is what someone is writing on a black board.

Since the publication of Hartman’s ADHD books, these thesis has been taken up and tested by anthropologists and evolutionary biologists, and has since been shown to have a basis in neurobiology.

A cult, of sorts, has recently been formed around the DRD4 7R allele (a gene associated with exploratory behavior and ADHD) with a recent article in National Geographic .

According to a study referred to in page 57 of The Neurobiology of Criminal Behavior ,“among the high-prevalence 7r allele Yanomamo, the strutting, violent, energy they display that would land a person in hot water in Western societies has excellent fitness pay offs. Males who have killed the most in inter-village warfare have an average of three times as many wives and children as those who have killed least or not at all.”

It’s important not to look at this too simplistically, such as the idea that this one gene plays a huge role in a person’s neurology. There is no doubt that human behavior is caused by a multitude of multi-genic and environmental factors, but there does seem to be a certain human archetype of the wild adventurous nomad, that crops up again and again.

**

I first encountered Thom Hartmann’s work as an adult, and it felt like a validation. I had been diagnosed with what is now known as ADHD the late seventies and was prescribed Ritalin. I remember the first day that I took it. I was in second grade. After taking the pill, my performance improved and I was able to sit still and pay attention and get a lot more work done, but I felt like a different person and it kind of freaked me out. I didn’t want to take it any more; I refused to take it. To her credit, my mother honored my decision even though the medication seemed to have worked for me.

When I was diagnosed with learning disabilities I had kind of a sense that it wasn’t me, but rather the world that was wrong. I have some speculations as to why I thought this way: I was a pretty good reader in elementary school even though I had problems in class, obviously. despite my “disabilities” my reading habits continued throughout school, and the feeling of being normal in a world that had gone wrong only grew. Looking back, I think that this feeling had been made stronger by reading what in retrospect was some rather subversive literature; books like The Call of the Wild by Jack London and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. I read each of these books several times.

The narrator in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a Native American known as “Chief” who describes society as a machine he calls “the Combine”. This combine is embodied in the asylum and in the person of “Nurse Ratched”, a rules-bound and sadistic nurse. This metaphor was not lost on me as young pre-adolescent, but years later when I read the book as an adult, I realized that I hadn’t realized the Chief’s narration also included what appeared to be schizophrenic hallucinations. I had taken the hallucinations at face value, or maybe more as visions. What I had taken away was that this same combine that the Chief described was alive and well in the public school class room.

The Call of the Wild is about a dog that is kidnapped to be used as a sled dog during the Gold Rush in the Yukon. He goes through a series of trials where he overcomes his years of soft living in civilization and adapts to the savage life in the frozen North, which he calls “the Law of Club and Fang.” Eventually through a series of disasters and tragic events, he escapes civilization altogether and becomes a wolf.

Through these two books, and a few others, I developed a sort of philosophy of life and an identity: I was a human version of a wild animal trapped into living within modern civilization and being forced to conform. For a while, I had an idea that I somehow got all the native American blood in my family, and I nurtured this idea all through school, spending most of my free time exploring the woods and stalking animals.

When faced with the confinement of captivity, the natural urge for a wild creature, is to flee. As long as there are frontiers and wildernesses to flee into, a certain type of  human being is able to exist: cowboys, mountain men, pirates, drifters, gypsies, gamblers. All of these are expressions of the same freedom-loving archetype.

The best thing to do if you find yourself in the category is to make it work for you instead of against you.

**

Because of genes affecting dopamine reception in the prefrontal cortex, the ADHD brain is in a chronic state of under stimulation.  I find that I cope with this by day dreaming about things I find stimulating: Bigfoot, aliens, sinister government conspiracies, the apocalypse, intractable philosophical conundrums, etc. Sometimes this isn’t enough. I need to climb a mountain, cliff dive, hitchhike through the Yukon, or scale a building. I’ve got to do something exciting, because otherwise I would not be able to cope with how unbelievably boring modern life has become.

Occasionally, in the midst of all of this boredom, something really dangerous will happen, and typically my reaction is “Suddenly something interesting is happening! Finally a break in the routine!”I will discover that my house is burning down because the gas line on my stove just broke, or I will discover that my brakes have just just gone out and now I am hurtling toward cars stopped at a light with no obvious way to stop. Internal resources become immediately available as I kick into a heightened state of awareness.  I wake up and start paying attention.

I once intervened when I witnessed a man being stomped by four gangsters. I just ran up and said “Hey, don’t kill that guy!” I threw my hands up in front of me in a conciliating gesture (which also protected my face from potential strikes) and got between them and their victim. I had just witnessed a drunk driver total their parked Cadillac. The four of them, standing outside a bar, had witnessed the the hit-and-run accident and had chased the car down, pulled the driver out and unleashed a savage beat down in retaliation.  I reasoned with them.

“Hey, this guy is clearly in the wrong, but you don’t want to be responsible for a homicide!”, I said. It gave them pause. One of the men was well over 6 feet tall, and probably over 200 lbs. He had gold rings on every finger, forming something like brass knuckles. He stopped, and then the other men followed his lead. They then decided they were making a “citizen’s arrest” and merely held the guy.  Once the situation was defused I moved on.

That’s not the type of thing you plan: You just react. I really believe that this type of neurology evolved on the Steppes. Maybe you’re a shepherd herding your sheep, and suddenly things change:  a wolf appears, or maybe a group of bandits. You have to react without a moment’s notice. Or maybe you are the Bandit: burst of sudden violent activity, interspersed with long stretches of slack time. Agriculture, and by extension, industrial occupations, involve an entirely different skill set.

Take a look at this description of a pastoralist:

Pastoralists often have the same distinct qualities of personality regardless of the region of the world in which they live. Specifically, men in a local group tend to be cooperative with each other and aggressive towards outsiders. They usually can make important economic decisions quickly and act on them independently. They have a profound emotional attachment to their animals. A pastoralist leader needs to be a man who can direct the movements of his herds and decide on an optimum strategy for using scarce resources without having to first consult others. He needs to make decisions easily and to act on them without hesitation. He needs to be able to take the initiative and to be a leader in aggressively defending his herd by expanding territory at the expense of others. He must always be realistic in his appraisal of the world. To do these things, he needs to have an attitude of self-containment, personal control, and bravery. These typical pastoralist personality traits are related to subsistence success. As a consequence, boys are encouraged to emulate them as they grow up. link:

In modern life what does this translate into? It sounds a lot like owning your own business and being your own boss. If this is who you are, then this is what you need to do.

**

In closing, let me reflect once again on these sleek selectively-bred sled dogs. They are extremely well adapted to an activity that is basically absurd: competing against other teams and running around in circles. That is the sine qua non of their existence. In modern sledding, the healthy biological traits necessary for arctic survival are culled: thick warm coats, heavy frames designed for pulling, and aggressive instincts related to dominance and territoriality. This culling continues until a docile, short-coated hound is produced.

Like the modern world of competitive dog sledding, modern life is an anomaly: It requires conformity to a way of life that quickly becomes absurd for those of us who are neurological throwbacks. Adaptive traits that were once of great survival value must be culled through behavior modification and medication, and for what purpose? To be ground down enough by Chief’s combine until you sit quietly at a desk and hope that you earn enough money to buy plastic trinkets to quickly discard and place in land fills?

 

 

 

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  • echar

    Does it have to be combat? I can think of other environments where this kind of consciousness is a boon, but does not include hurting people. For example, when I worked sales I was always on the move and could keep track of what was going on in the store.

    also as an aside, I think you may enjoy this book:

    The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      No, it doesn’t have to be combat. I mean I am not advocating a Yanomano lifestyle. But I think combat is a really intense experience. And certain people are wired for more intense experiences, which often requires a lot of mental downshifting for more mundane things. I am a fan of Jared Diamond thanks for the recommendation.

      • echar

        I understand. I wish more people would view things as a gift, instead of an impediment. I have not read that book yet, it’s my next read. I found it recently, and felt inspired to share it after reading what you wrote here. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Thad McKraken

    Great post Ted. I think about this kind of stuff often. Being a man is so odd. Why the hell do I watch basketball like a crack head? Also, it’s been sort of shown to me recently that my weed and porn addictions aren’t necessarily great things, but just the most effective ways I’ve found to fit into our bull shit culture. One was fairly specific, like, you know you’re sex obsession comes pretty much solely because you work boring ass day jobs right? Noted.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Yeah, boring jobs and porn accessibly 24/7 kind of go together. Makes you think, eh?

  • emperorreagan

    I spent the better part of a school year in as close to a cage as the teacher could manage – my 5th grade teacher brought in a cubicle divider, shoved my desk right up by the chalk board, and sectioned me off from the rest of the class. Hadn’t thought about that in a long time, until I read this piece. Very nice piece.

  • emperorreagan

    I spent the better part of a school year in as close to a cage as the teacher could manage – my 5th grade teacher brought in a cubicle divider, shoved my desk right up by the chalk board, and sectioned me off from the rest of the class. Hadn’t thought about that in a long time, until I read this piece. Very nice piece.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      That sux, man! I can relate. Glad you liked it.

  • BuzzCoastin

    I don’t think you’re a throwback
    if you object to the experience of throwback edumacation
    I might take it as far as
    if you DON’T have ADHD you’re a throwback
    to the original breed that was domesticated by edumaction

  • BuzzCoastin

    I don’t think you’re a throwback
    if you object to the experience of throwback edumacation
    I might take it as far as
    if you DON’T have ADHD you’re a throwback
    to the original breed that was domesticated by edumaction

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Yeah, that’ a “McLuhanesque” way of looking at it!

  • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

    Insightful and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing it. The idea that this worldview is hardwired in the human genome is encouraging. The combine’s approach to controlling this ‘problem’ reminds me a lot of its handling of ‘weeds’. Pummel it into submission with chemicals. I wonder if you have to have one of those divergent mindsets to realize the total futility of all that windmill tilting. Oh well, the weeds will waver in the wind eons after the last cornstalk is overshadowed.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Hey, thanks. Glad you liked it. Under concrete everywhere weeds are waiting to bloom!

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    thanks for the support guys, been at work all afternoon and evening.

  • jnana

    I never had ADHD or anything but was definitely not able to be confined in society. I decided to drop out in 11th grade realizing I want to make my own way in life, even if it was tough, or rather especially if it would be tough. I remember thinking that I wanted to drop out to protect my future self from selling out, kinda like Oddysseus putting beeswax in his ears to protect his future self from the Sirens’ deception.
    I became enamored of the hobo lifestyle and hung out with hobos, getting drunk with them on the railroad tracks. That’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. Fortunately, I had a mother who trusted in her son’s decision-making ability, although I’m sure she experienced some regret that I didn’t become” successful”. But, if she does it goes away every time I come home and tell her the stories of where I bin and what I sawed, what beauty I experienced and what wisdom I gained that I never coulda had if I made my focus being successful. It’s amazing how I often I hear,” don’t you want a wife and kids, a nice home to come back to, MONEY and all the comfort and security it buys?” and I think, “nope”, there’s a joy and freedom I have that few would understand but those that do, understand its value and have supported me in my pursuits. And those that don’t understand, never will. Likewise, I can’t understand them. Or maybe I do, because some mornings I feel soft and afraid of what life has to give me next and wouldn’t it be easier to just get plugged into something. But if I ever obeyed that impulse I’d feel like I cheated my self. “it’s TOO GODDAMN EASY!!!!” is what i’d probably say.

  • jnana

    I never had ADHD or anything but was definitely not able to be confined in society. I decided to drop out in 11th grade realizing I want to make my own way in life, even if it was tough, or rather especially if it would be tough. I remember thinking that I wanted to drop out to protect my future self from selling out, kinda like Oddysseus putting beeswax in his ears to protect his future self from the Sirens’ deception.
    I became enamored of the hobo lifestyle and hung out with hobos, getting drunk with them on the railroad tracks. That’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. Fortunately, I had a mother who trusted in her son’s decision-making ability, although I’m sure she experienced some regret that I didn’t become” successful”. But, if she does it goes away every time I come home and tell her the stories of where I bin and what I sawed, what beauty I experienced and what wisdom I gained that I never coulda had if I made my focus being successful. It’s amazing how I often I hear,” don’t you want a wife and kids, a nice home to come back to, MONEY and all the comfort and security it buys?” and I think, “nope”, there’s a joy and freedom I have that few would understand but those that do, understand its value and have supported me in my pursuits. And those that don’t understand, never will. Likewise, I can’t understand them. Or maybe I do, because some mornings I feel soft and afraid of what life has to give me next and wouldn’t it be easier to just get plugged into something. But if I ever obeyed that impulse I’d feel like I cheated my self. “it’s TOO GODDAMN EASY!!!!” is what i’d probably say.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Your comment made me think of the song “Big Rock Candy mountain” I once sang that song with some travellers.

      • jnana

        do you know the real inspiration behind that song?
        it was a parody of the legends of the hobo life older hobos would tell young hobo prospects to try to get them to come along w/ them. the older hobos were seekin kids to come along w/ them because they were homosexuals, and also the kids could make more money panhandling. in return the old hobo would show the kid the ropes and protect him from other hobos. the writer of “big rock candy mountain”, harry mcclintock said he had to fight off a few hobos when he was young nd explained how he wrote the song. I can’t remember where I read that, though, but I believe it.

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          Well I sang it with a hot biracial hippy chick, so its not gay…Lol!

  • discusthrower

    people have so many abilities, but we do not always get to practice and develop them. Many people are terrified to draw, dance, sing, do math, etc.
    I would rather be a pariah who can whip up some bizarre ideas, and have tons of fun…by myself.
    I wonder how much of human behavior is cultural, habitual, etc, and how much is genetic. People should feel free to exercise themselves though and not be satisfied by the low quality content that tv and movies crank out. But, in many ways it is better to be that hairless dog in our society… or even the degenerate kind of hairless dog.
    …reminds me of that baby in “Eraserhead” though..

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      John Taylor Gatto has a lot of good stuff about how to bring out creativity in school. Self directed learners etc.

    • Matt Staggs

      Some of us might have been shamans, Skalds, tale-tellers, soothsayers and magicians in the pre-industrial world. Of course, some of us would be dead from smallpox or seeping, infected wounds, too, so….

  • Bruteloop

    Truly excellent post. A joy to read on a grey morning in old London town.

    Interestingly, I think some of the traits you describe are ironically rather valuable, to a point, in a corporate environment. Until I was 35 I ‘worked’ almost solely in jobs that were on the fringes of what would be considered acceptable or the mainstream. Doorman/bouncer for instance…at a time when these things were far less regulated. Jobs that would actually make me quite a lot of money cash in hand while also affording me some form of excitement, think-on-my-feet confrontation and consequent adrenaline rush as well as a lot of my own time to do what I wished. However, as can be almost inevitable, things began to drift across the line towards criminality. Not least because everything was becoming ‘legitimised’ and marshalled. Those of us who preferred life rather more free form were pushed towards, for me, a somewhat unwelcome decision. Since I had also recently met a partner who disapproved of the sources of my income I decided to ‘knuckle down’.

    I took a corporate job at the very bottom of the ladder. This meant a drastic reduction in my finances and my being surrounded by people easily 10 years younger than me.

    Luckily it was a young company (corporately) led by a triumvirate of elderly mavericks. I was promoted on ability. My appearance ( I rode a bike so went to meetings on the bike and sat in them in leathers etc) played into their ‘outlaw’ image in that market and because I had not been taught to fear for my corporate future/mortgage etc I was the one who said the things others thought but were afraid to say in meetings and I was willing to take on projects that were risky. I was also in a position to alter working conditions so no poor bastard would have to start on the wages I did or have so few employment rights. Again I was lucky the people who owned the company were so open.

    One recently chose assisted suicide because he had Alzheimer’s. This seems to me indicative of his approach to his life. Bless you John.

    I worked my balls off but loved it. Over 10 years I rose through the company ending on a big, juicy salary. The company, because of encouraging that in others, had grown hugely. It was very successful.

    Then they were bought out by a larger company, the top 3 retired on their riches (can’t blame ‘em…one was 70) and it all started to go South. For a start, they started treating people like shit. It quickly became a punishment culture.
    There was no need any more for maverick thinking or risk. There was a need for number crunching report writing drones. There was no need for fast response thinking. That had all been done.

    Everything had a ‘package’ that could be applied to it. Algorithms replaced adrenaline. Profit replaced trust.

    My days were numbered and I was disgusted besides.

    I jumped ship.

    I had never wanted to be a part of the corporate world. I am grateful for the relatively brief experience of it but now live a life entirely apart from it again.

    But I know through contacts that everything is always getting locked down that much more (obviously, as with the banks this can be a good thing) which will guarantee increased productivity and revenue until early burn out of employees who are then discarded and replaced, discarded and replaced until the company itself is driven into the ground.

    Once you choose to see anything as a resource, person or land, you essentially make a pact with destruction.

    When it has all been driven to the brink and over it will be those you describe above who begin to build again.

    We can only hope it is the ones who don’t see their fellows as the herd and act accordingly.

    Apologies for tangential rant. Caffeine and hope can do that.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      I think there is a lot of wisdom in your observations. Some people have said Richard Branson has this type of mindset. Another author, following Thom Hartman’s lead, wrote a book filled with how you can make the qualities associated with ADHD work for you in business: http://www.davincimethod.com/

      I also, in a more negative way see a lot of this idea in Thorstein Veblen’s book “Theory of the Liesure class” which is basically how the upper class has a lot in it of Barbarian culture from the Steppes. Blogger Venkat at Ribbonfarm has an interesting post about this:

      http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/03/10/the-return-of-the-barbarian/

      I tend to play the devil’s advocate, so in the comments I brought up a lot of counterpoints, but I think Venkat has a lkot of good points about corporate structure. Often the people at the top are mavericks and not “company men” the company men come later and often take over when the founders have checked out.

  • geminihigh

    In today’s pc world kids don’t get to read Jack London in school anymore. Besides the obvious reasons that the concepts of survival of the fittest has been trumped in school by “everyone is equal and a winner”, plus London’s belief in white people being the supreme race (then again whitey had guns, the rest had spears, so can you really blame him?), I’ve long felt that the message of books like “Call of the Wild” and “the Sea Wolf” nail home the point that civilization has caused man’s natural attributes to atrophy, thus not allowing humans to reach their full potential. As someone with ADHD and a ramped up nervous system I’ve felt at times completely defective within the confines of society to the point of suicidal ideation, while at other times vastly superior to those who don’t have ADHD in the sense that I am always “combat ready” (or “code yellow”, which is a pretty good way of describing it, thanks Ted for introducing me to this term) I wish I had joined the military for this reason alone. Its probably where I would have thrived, yet paradoxically, there is a lot of authoritarian structure in a soldier’s life. I truly believe this is why so many people are planning, and ultimately hoping for a societal collapse/apocalypse scenario. Its the ultimate opportunity to hit the reset button and achieve equilibrium, and for people like me to come into there own. The natural order will be restored and the fetters of civilization dissolve. Plus you could end up taking people who gave you shit in the world before the collapse as slaves or offing them, but I digress.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Jack London, had a lot of weird, also contradictory, ideas. For example he was a socialist who also believed in survival of the fittest. I think he eventually overcame his racism, I remember reading that somewhere, I can’t remember the exact reference but I think it had to do with him traveling and experiencing other cultures.

      I think what it is with people with this type of neurology, of blunted dopamine reception in the prefrontal cortex, is that you can just as easily compete at a high level at things as you can crash and burn and end in disaster. Its probably just as common in prisons and drug treatment centers, as it is among pro-athletes, actors, musicians, artists, inventors, etc. I don’t mean its “easy” for anyone to compete at a high level, I just mean that there are many people that have turned these qualities to their favor.

      Thom Hartmann provides many examples in his books.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.plissken.39 Robert Plissken

    Sounds like we’re talking about Zed (Sean Connery) from the movie, Zardoz. Have another look at that film…

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.plissken.39 Robert Plissken

    Sounds like we’re talking about Zed (Sean Connery) from the movie, Zardoz. Have another look at that film…

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