Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Republican Brain

The Republican Brain is characterized as follows.

This brain controls body functions required for sustaining life, such as heart rate, breathing, balance and body temperature.

It is reliable, but tends to be cold, rigid and compulsive.

Behaviour relating to survival of the species, such as sexual behaviour, is instinctive and responses are automatic.

One of these instinctive reactions is to handle survival via the flight or fight response.

It is responsible for species-typical instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays. 

It is hierarchical, obsessive, authoritarian and aggressive, with paranoid tendencies.

When acting from these instincts, action is informed by neither though nor feeling.

Territory is acquired by force and defended. Might is right.

It does not learn from mistakes.

This, of course, is a description of the functions of the cerebral cortex, also known as the reptile brain.  This is the most primitive region of the human brain.  As evolution progressed, the limbic region, common to all mammals, was added. It enables learning, emotion, and the ability to make value judgments.  Higher on the evolutionary scale, primates, including humans, have another added region, the cerebral  neocortex.  It enables language, abstract thought, imagination and consciousness.

It is not that Rethugs are totally devoid of limbic and  neocortex functions; they are, after all, more or less human.  Rather, it is the utter dominance of the cerebral cortex over the other two brain segments - in situations that matter the most - that impels me to refer to them as LIZARD PEOPLE.

And I do this based simply on empirical observation, without in any way invoking ancient Sumerian mythology, weird conspiracy theories, or, most emphatically, any combination of the two.

This post was inspired by my comment at Johnathon Bernstein's Blog, and results from a total inability this day to do anything even remotely constructive.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Couves, commenting before and after me at Bernstein's, we learn that Donald Rumsfeld had a point-blank opportunity under direct questioning to deny that he is a lizard, and he wouldn't do it.  This is around the 3 minute mark at the link.  Make of it what you will.  Of course, my mind was made up before I received this new gem of knowledge.


Reptilian vs Mamillian Brain



The Arthurian said...

Talk about wasting a day, I watched Transformers 3 this afternoon.

It occurs to me that the people you call Rethugs could perhaps be denominated Decepticans.

That would make the other party either Demobots or Autocrats, I'm not sure which.

Jazzbumpa said...

Well played, sir!

Certain Dems might be autocrats, and some could be bots, of a sort.

But when you see the herding-cats nature of the Dems, as opposed to the (until recently, anyway) lock-step opposition to anything resembling progress by the Decepticans, it suggests another name might be in order.

BTW, the absolute most reptilian seem to be the tea party.


BadTux said...

One thing about the reptile brain -- it is, by definition, sociopathic, because all of the things that make non-sociopaths -- charity, empathy, a desire for a better society and so forth -- are governed by higher order part of the brain.

Which also brings to mind the fact that corporations can be described the same way -- the rules that govern the behavior of corporations are built into the legal system in a way that isn't far different from the rules you describe for the lizard brain.

-- Badtux the Non-lizard Penguin (duh!).

BadTux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Octopus said...

Cephalo-Festivus (i.e. what y’all call Christmas) is a time of year to contemplate the meaning of life. This may come as a shock to many of you, but cephalopods do not worship Cthulhu – only readers of H. P. Lovecraft do that. We prefer the Tetragrammaton, ‘WAHU,’ pronounced “wah-hoo,” which has nothing to do with holy mackerel or monkfish. Sometimes, we attend the Universal Universalist Church of CD, pronounced ‘cod,’ which has nothing to do with pious carp. Most cephalopods are free thinkers.

This week in The Times of India science section, there was report on spiders, specifically why female spiders nibble off the heads of males. It prolongs copulation and ensures insemination. Not so odd, I thought. Among human beings, there are close correlations between sex and headless males.

For black widows, cannibalism results in healthier babies, since head-munching the male transfers nutritional benefits to the offspring. Not so odd, I thought. How many human males lose their heads raising teenagers.

Cephalopods also experience a close correspondence between Eros and Thanatos, since propagation of the species is our last undertaking in life. After we find a mate and exchange wows, Mr. and Mrs. Octopus irrigate and nurture the clutch without rest or food until we drop from exhaustion – falling easy prey to predators. It’s an inglorious and ignominious end to an otherwise sublime and contemplative life.

Nevertheless, I consider myself fortunate. At least our young come into this world fully programmed to survive without intervention from the parents. It means no encumbrances such as life insurance policies, mortgages, retirement annuities, or college savings plans.

My human friends tell me, they have spent a lifetime saving for retirement and their children’s education. Yet, their IRAs, 401Ks, 529s, and homes are all underwater.

Underwater is natural for a cephalopod but apparently bad news for a human being.

Jazzbumpa said...

Octopus -

Totally off topic, but still a fascinating view of the Cephalopod brain - the equally enlightening digression into arthropod head jobs not withstanding.

I'm a squid enthusiast, myself; but will always welcome you here with open tentacles.