05 February 2009

Making Zombies

Human history is full of examples of ambitious people who discovered the "back door password" into human minds. Using this key, turning human beings into zombie followers was not so difficult.
Throughout history, it seems as though individuals had the ability to sway others to follow them no matter where they [led]. In the las[t] century, both Hitler and Mussolini had the ability to bend millions of people to their fascist will.

...Scott Wiltermuth of Stanford University in California and colleagues have found that activities performed in unison, such as marching or dancing, increase loyalty to the group.

"It makes us feel as though we're part of a larger entity, so we see the group's welfare as being as important as our own," he says.

...Psychologist Jonathan Haidt at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville thinks this research helps explain why fascist leaders, amongst others, use organised marching and chanting to whip crowds into a frenzy of devotion to their cause....

...our brains are geared to mimic our peers.

"We are set up for 'auto-copy'," says Haidt.

Neurological evidence seems to back this idea. Vasily Klucharev, at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, found that the brain releases more of the reward chemical dopamine when we fall in line with the group consensus. _Source
Populist leaders who have learned the secret can seemingly come out of nowhere to control an entire population. While it appears that they have turned thinking humans into complete zombies, the true situation is more complex. The potential for zombification always existed, waiting for the proper key to fit the lock.

Far more interesting to me are the "skeptics", the "resisters". Independent thinking persons who generate their own goals and stoke their own energies to create their own lives, are the starting material for the next level. Zombies and would-be zombies are flimsy, too subject to the changing winds and tides. To create a next-level human, one must start with the best materials.

It is instructive to observe the history of the American colonies, as they evolved over time. Stubborn and strong minded persons tended to flock together and created one environment, while more pliable and group-minded persons flocked to create a different environment. As settlements of even the strongest-minded individuals evolved, natural flocking tendencies began to predominate, and the more independent persons migrated out to more open territory that required a tougher-minded sort.

There is little question but that the relative strength of independence vs. conformity lies at least partially in genetic factors. Environment no doubt plays a strong part in strengthening innate tendencies toward either group-think or independence. Executive function combined with IQ and other personality and character traits, all are both largely heritable and strongly influenced by environment. Why should zombie-potential be any different?

And perhaps we do not need to go back in history at all, to see successful examples of zombification?

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Blogger kurt9 said...

One of my friends likes to say that intelligence evolved in humans to enable people to fool each other.

Thursday, 05 February, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Very close to the truth.

Friday, 13 February, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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