Saturday, October 27, 2007


Martin Luther King once mused about a world where a man can be judged by the content of his soul and not the color of his skin. Rodney King once asked "Can't we all just get along?".....

It has come to me that we have been waxing poetic about a Utopian society that is fixated on getting along, merging with the un-mergeable, talking to people you don't necessarily like, not celebrating (or acknowledging) the differences of races, cultures and habits and political correctness at the expense of honesty. I'm done with the Star Trek moment folks. Put your oxygen masks on:

It is because we are "wired" differently, that the "cumbaya" moment of all of us joining hands in a chain link around the planet is never gonna happen.

Let's talk about the brain wiring according to the House of Pain, shall we?

WE can gloss it all we want, and we can espouse the virtues of being color-blind until Jesus lands in Jerusalem again, but I think the human being is naturally drawn to that which most closely resembles himself. Do you think it's an accident that most whites marry whites? most Asians marry Asians? Most Blacks marry Blacks? It is because all things being equal (and there are always the aberrations so pipe down!), we will always steer ourselves to "comfort circle" that our own kind brings. Why do gangs in prisons segregate according to race? Do you think its an accident or its written in the Warden's manual as they roll in? Nope, its as natural as going potty. As yourself this, if you were put into a room with 10 different groups of racial/cultural backgrounds, would you feel equally comfortable with all? or would you naturally have an affinity to that group which most closely mimics your ethnicity? That's not to say you would not mingle at will with others,... I'm just saying that in most cases we are drawn to those closest to our own reflection of looks, and we extrapolate from there to culture and behavior patterns. Political correctness be damned, I will say it for you. I call it innate racial preference, and in no way am I implying it is negative. It is what it is.

I was listening to Limbaugh the other day as he bellowed on the fact that ANYBODY has the ability to improve his or her life, and thrive to become a wealth-earner in America blah-blah-blah. Rush, I love ya' babe, you are as entertaining as a fart in a jacuzzi; but let me put it to you this way. That kool aid has some amount of B.S. written in its code. Sure a good percentage of the population is just lazy and if prodded with the right incentive and motivation can certainly improve their financial situation greatly. But lets not kid ourselves, not everybody is wired to excel, not everybody is wired to want more that the regular guy next door. Not everybody was meant or wired to do what it takes to buy a house. That's why there are apartments! Seriously. Not everybody is wired to compete for the best life has to give. Some folks are just not materialistic and have a socialistic ethos of living. They believe you should just have enough to live comfortably -but no more-, with a small carbon footprint, and any other economic largess spewed out by the economy should be put to use for the greater good. These people are not necessarily bad or necessarily of altruistic intentions, they are just not wired to have the BMW, the 2,800 square foot stucco home, nor the 120 gig I-Pod. They are happy living a simple life and at times look condescendingly at those (like Rush) who thrive on competition on monetary success. Let's face it, society will always have to deal with that 10% of slugs, leeches and just lazy-asses who just don't know how to care for themselves, don't care about improving their lives, and are more than happy to live off the Dole until they kick it.

And speaking of social wiring, it goes to my favorite topic, politics. Why are some people Republicans, some Democrats, some Green, some Communist/Socialists..... why? Because due to a myriad of things such as childhood influence, life experience, genetic social preferences, and conscious or unconscious choices, they wound up being of a particular mind-set to which the platform of certain parties become attractive. Example:

Some bleeding heart liberals see a Bum (Homeless wanderer to the politically correct in the room) laying on the curb and says: "Sir, this is not your fault, society has done this to you, let me take you to the shelter and get you clothing, feed you, try to get you detoxed from whatever chemical dependency you may have and I will continue doing so until I can do it no more because there is no limit to my compassion and caring" .... Liberals really live this! they are wired to give the Bum some Sushi instead of teaching him how to fish for it. How they got wired that way? who cares,... they may never see the virtues of a conservative way of thinking. It is what it is.

A Conservative or Libertarian sees a Bum laying on the the curb as says: "Sir, there is no doubt life has given you a bad cast of luck right now, or maybe this has been a self-inflicted wound on your part. Well, I am going to help you help yourself. I am not going to coddle you and feel sorry for you. Rather I am going to kick your ass with tough love and show you how to get some self-esteem so that you can become a wealth earner and a resource to society instead of being a wealth-waster and a consumer of society's resources. I am going to give you this gut string and show you how to fish, cook the fish and never have to depend on anybody again for as long as you live"..... Conservatives (at least real ones, in my view) are really wired to be independent, semi-isolationists, and fend for themselves. How they got wired that way? who cares, ... they may never see the virtues of a liberal. It is what it is.

What's my point here.... in most cases, we all love our children, our neighborhoods and our country. We just have a different idea on what is the best road to walk and map the future with..., We all have different ideas of what compassion or altruism is,... we all think we have a monopoly on "caring" or "understanding". The bottom line to me? as long as the human Ape keeps evolving along its natural course, as long as his "wiring" is as unique as his fingerprint, he will continue searching for his "niche"...continue looking out for himself and those like him, and continue spewing the ideal that they believe to all those who will listen.

Part 2 of this thread will really be fun. Its called...

Why a Divided States of America is an inevitable reality and why that is not a bad thing....


Obob said...

I really don't want us to get along. Not is a giant race war type of way. We should argue, we should debate and we should get irrate because another's views are way off base.
Since the Tower of Babel sent us in different directions, we looked for someone close to our wants and needs and procreated. Then came lawyers and Henry VIII.
My friends are my friends because of my misadventures in life. I did not seek out race, religion or ethnic make up. I never went out looking with a list
- gay, check
- black, check
- asian, check
- hispanic, check
- indian ... nope.
Affirmative action should not reflect your lifestyle. Your free will and willingness to go along with life's involuntary hiccups should decide it.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Hmmmmmmmm..I'll get back to ya on this one~!:)

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Interesting post, and I find myself agreeing with all but one point.

I believe that you are completely correct when making the assertion that there is a certain percentage of people that will simply refuse to join the rest in drive and initiative. In management, the adage that there is always 10% that will perform below standard and will be the "problem children" exists for a reason. In my personal experience, this is about right.

We are wired differently. I am not wired for financial success, as in "he who dies with the most, wins", but I am competitive enough in the fiduciary department that I want to earn enough and accumulate enought that my children can have a decent lifestyle and I can get them through college. After that, the gravy train ends and they can fend for themselves, and I hope that I have provided the fishing lessons that they can do so. My teens have iPods, but they got them for gifts on birthdays and not "just because".

The one point of disgreement is the benign nature of the democratic party and liberals. I do not believe that they simply have a different map to get to a destination, but have a completely different destination in mind.

However, I shall remain waiting for the next in this series, presuming that your next sabbatical doesn't interupt...LOL.

How about that myspace link?

Brooke said...

Yeah, what about that link?

I think a lot more folks could use their ass kicked with tough love!

I like that kind of wiring.

American Interests said...

A most interesting post there are many who would agree with this "wiring" prescription, others may not.

Classic post modernism: Humans are fragmented, fluid, and constructed; that ones experiences lend to the construction of self.

The modernist line: We generally fixed (wired) a certain way, having a true, unified, and essential self.

The arguments are compelling either way and have academics divided. I lean toward the 'wired' theory as you name it, believing that, to whatever degree we do have a central 'true self' that remains intact throughout our lives in spite of environmental factors including, but not limited to, society’s dominant contemporary and historical permanence, institutional processes, values, ideology, culture and sub-cultures etc.

You have not mentioned but “worldview” is also most relevant to such discussions

Further reading (if you can find it): Rogers, Carl R. 1967, 'To be that self which one truly is': A therapist's view of personal goals', On Becoming a Person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy, Constable, London, pp. 163-182.

heidianne jackson said...

welcome back, tp!

ah, nature or nurture - or some combination thereof. personally i find the whole discussion moot - wired wins hands down in my opinion.

but i disagree that 10% of the population... owning my own company, i have found, through experience, the percentage to be closer to 20...

i can't wait to see part 2.

Mustang said...

Very glad to see you are back with us, TP. This is a very thought provoking article — which is what we have come to expect here at the Emporium, and the reason why you have such a devoted readership.

I think that an individual’s perceptions about what his or her needs are, and how well these needs are being met, influences how people behave — both as individuals, and as part of a group of individuals. When people are individually more comfortable around others who share common characteristics, they will either confine themselves or gravitate to those zones of comfort. We should expect less well-adjusted persons to limit there association to mirror images of them selves — even when in doing so, they are less safe, or less fulfilled as individuals. Well-adjusted persons are able to migrate toward disparate groups so far as their level of comfort is maintained — and of course by “comfort level,” I am suggesting race, ethnicity, education, income, religion, and political persuasion, all of which are interdependent.

It should not surprise anyone that black people who were raised in traditionally black neighborhoods, were raised in groups that were exclusively black, attended black churches and predominantly black schools, and toiled in predominantly black work environments have developed such political ideologies that enable them to maintain an identification with that comfort zone. In this context, the word “racist” might be true, even if superficial in explaining why people behave as they do.

What may in fact reinforce human behavior, beyond developmental considerations, is that people tend to see them selves as they perceive others see them; a mirror-image self that may affect our own sense of esteem. If most people in your group happen to think of you as intelligent, good looking, personable, and witty then it stands to reason that as an individual, you will come to accept these judgments about yourself even in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary. For me personally, there are only five living creatures in my group, three of which are dogs — so now, you can better understand my perspectives. As you suggest, behavioral wiring isn’t a bad thing — it is what it is. Like everyone else here, I am looking forward to reading about “Divided States.”

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

One thing to remeber though concerning wiring. Just like wiring a house, it is based on a diagram that meets the standards of the contractor and building codes.

Our beliefs are wired in accordance to our contractors, (parents , Grandparents. etc). But at any time in our life we have the ability through our own freedom to change that wiring.

For instance many are liberal when they are young but as they age their views because of influence education, experience etc. change to a more conservative out look on life.

Remeber sometimes even an old house has to be re-wired to keep up with the code. We as people also find ourselves re-wired to keep up with who we bcome as we grow and mature in life regardless of our age!

D.S.Harford said...

So you are saying that the human is a volitional creature; what a unique concept.

American Interests said...

Hi there, the door was open so I lurked around a tad, Re-read this wiring post and found it as interesting as the first read.

It's a good one, look forward to the follow up.

Anonymous said...

Wow, T-P, you've really outdone yourself here! A very thought provoking post which doesn't sit to well at nearly 1:00 in the morning......LOL

I think you were spot on with your post. Who I relate to most is probably not a black, gay, man from the hood. Not to sound racist, but I would have absolutely nothing in common with him. I am comfortable with friends and acquaintences (I probably spelled that wrong, but it's late, sue me) :-) that have the same beliefs and interests that I do. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this one and look forward to part 2.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

There you are!!
Wow.. that was a very deep post...


Renegade Eye said...

Your post raised questions that I think about quite a bit.

At my blog, commenters are from both the left and right. Of the commenters only three others, are from my tendency.

What is most rewarding is meeting someone like you, who is respected by both left and right.

This is a link to a blog I believe you'd like. This person is from your mold. Tell her I sent you:

Brooke said...

Happy Thanksgiving, TP!

Ms.Green said...

You've got quite an interesting space here. I've finally gotten around to adding you to my blogroll.

Keep up the insightful posts.

Paul Champagne said...

still waiting on part II