Every human being has an “Inner Pulse” which deeply connected to health and well being of this individual. This “Inner Pulse” not really susceptible to technology and scientific analysis, but clearly represents itself in unexpected medical outcomes both positive and negative. The only connection to this “Inner Pulse” could be via self-analysis and/or interaction with other humans, but it is not easily controllable.
Author defines Inner Pulse as a life force that is somehow not limited to material condition of body, but exists somewhat independently and can impact body’s survival or destruction. The Inner Pulse is responsible for unusual recoveries that seems to be medical miracles, but it also could be responsible for person succumbing to disease even if pure medical condition is not that bad.
Part One: Knowing Yow Inner Pulse
Chapter 1: Surgeons of the Mind
In this chapter author recounts history of his own fight with depression and how he recovered by finding balance between spiritual and physical world.
Chapter 2: The Pulse of Recovery
This chapter is recount of several stories about individuals who went in coma and remained in it for a long time. Sometimes recovery occurred despite seemingly medical impossibility. This caused author to look at non-regular communications channel between patient and doctor and at all kinds of out of body experiences.
Charter 3: One Patient. Manu Pulses
This is probably the most interesting part of the book. It reports case of multiple-personality patient who suffered from diabetes. The interesting part is that not all personalities had diabetes so when patient switched from one personality to another, level of sugar in the blood also changed. If true, it is an amazing example of direct influence of mind on complex bodily function completely out of conscientious control.
Chapter 4: Inner Pulse Rising
This is another story demonstrating mind’s ability to override condition of body in order to achieve some passionately required objective. In this case it was revenge. The paraplegic patient hated his former business partner who stole his money. At the end he was able temporarily override his condition, walk out of his chair and shoot his enemy. Interestingly enough he was not able to raise gun to the level to hit vital organs, so he ended up wounding his enemy in the leg before collapsing. Author sees it as sample of human ability to accumulate power of inner pulse and apply it in such a way that seems to be beyond human abilities.
Chapter 5: Radar to Die
This chapter is about opposite situation. Patients who seem to be in reasonably good medical condition have feeling that they are dying and it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. From here author goes to discussion of premonitions from Titanic passengers who missed the voyage because of it and then to experiments with electric current when brain action was recorded before current was applied. The final anecdote is about famous cat in nursing home, which came to people shortly before they died, even if nobody knew that the end is near.
Part Two: The Healing Pulse
Chapter 6: Dancing in the Dark
In this chapter another case of seemingly unexplainable illness described, but this time with pretty clear and non-spiritual explanation. The case was result of abnormal function of thyroid gland that expressed itself through hysterical behavior of patient. The correct treatment removed the problem, but the case here used to discuss an ancient obsession with demons, spirits, and exorcisms that were applied to individuals in such condition.
Chapter 7: Infection of Body, Infection of Spirit
This is another story about patient whose condition was highly influenced via mind, this time due to media hype about superbug. It turned out that superbugs are not really super and are well known in hospitals. It was not bug, but hype that was new. In short the patient condition dramatically worsened due to the hype for no real medical reason. It came back to normal after hype was over.
Chapter 8: Never Say Die
This is another story about a patient who should be dead judging by her medical condition, but nevertheless survived. This time it was author’s aunt and he believes that her survival was caused by her special psychological characteristics, especially stubbornness. He also brings in results of studies that show irrelevance of positive attitude to level of cancer survival. It seems that the only trait at least relatively relevant is will to live.
Chapter 9: Radar to Live
This time it is about a patient who felt that something wrong with him, got prove from medical science and survived with psychological help from deep reliance on religion.
Chapter 10: The Black Swan
This chapter starts with reference to Tomas Mann’s novel “Black Swan” about menopausal women who mistakenly perceived cancer related bleeding for rejuvenation. It follows with real live story about patient who was stressed and become ill as result. Eventually she was treated successfully, but not after very difficult diagnostic process. Author references book by David C. Clarke “They can’t Find Anything” dedicated to the problem of stress inflicted symptoms and expanded diagnostic tools necessary to identify such illness.
Chapter 11: The Truth about Psychic Healing
This chapter is about psychic healing and more specifically about psychic named Desmond Darrel who contacted author and informed him that he did “reading” of author from picture on web site and found low level of functionality of author’s lungs. It was true because author at the time was recovering from respiratory virus. Such occurrences of information received from psychic coinciding with actual health condition of author made him to believe in psychics’ ability to read “inner pulse” and had at least some influence on its functioning.
Part Three: Tile Pulse of Power
Chapter 12: The Strongest Inner Pulse
This chapter is about a few individuals who verifiably achieved impossible feats with their bodies. Specifically it is about Houdini and David Blain. Author believes that these achievements are result of unusual ability to control mind-body connection by these individuals.
Chapter 13: Who Dies? Who Lives?
This is about another outstanding patient Todd Barnes, a poet, and his non-traditional cancer healer Emanuel Revici. Revici started as a regular medical doctor but then in his 60-70s turned into healer creating cocktails of unknown ingredients to treat cancer. Despite failure of the healer as demonstrated by analysis of outcome for terminal cancer patients who were treated by him, in this particular case the healer was successful and Todd lived much longer than people in this condition normally do. Author attributes it to healer’s ability to establish a special relationship with patient that dramatically improved situation. This result leads to discussion of a few books and experiments related to treatments directed at mind-body connection. As usual the formal experiment and statistics of such treatments does not show their effectiveness.
Chapter 14: Considering the Alternative
This is about alternative medicine. It references a book by R. Barker Bausel “The Snake Oil Science” which demonstrates that mechanisms of convincing in effectiveness of such treatment. As usual formal scientific analysis of outcomes fails to confirm such effectiveness.
Chapter 15: Miracles and the Inner Pulse
Another story about patient and bunch of coincidences that, in author opinion, represent small miracles sometimes related to religion. However author states that he believe that these miracles do not contradict laws of nature, but just represent our deficient understanding of “inner pulse”. At the end he provide example of famous rabbi Schneerson – the producer of many medical miracles, at least according to his worshippers, who was not able to handle his own stroke any better then regular person. The final conclusion: “Strengthening his failing inner pulse was beyond even great rabbi’s ability”.
Afterword: All in Good Time
This is quite a bit more of personal family history with references to “inner pulse” as related to medical conditions.
MY TAKE ON IT:
It is an interesting collection of medical cases demonstrating connection between mind and body. My philosophical attitude to this is simple: I do not see any separation between mind and body with mind being a specific condition of brain’s neural networks at a given moment of time. Being highly complex and time dependent this condition quite possibly could not be fully known externally any more then position and moment of particle in Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics. However even granted this impossibility, the level of knowledge in mind/body connection will certainly increase and dramatically so with advance of technology. I believe it is quite possible that future medicine would include much more treatments of body via external influencing on mind that it is conceivable now.
Capitalism is the only form of society that proved to support individual liberty and material prosperity. The movement to socialism created by state dependent layer of society: intellectuals and bureaucrats who seek to retain and increase their control over resources at the expense of people who create these resources. This movement would not only fail to deliver a higher level of prosperity promised by its leaders, but would also deprive people of liberty.
Part I: “At the end of the eighteenth century there were prevailed two notions of liberty, each of them very different from what we have in mind today referring to liberty and freedom.”
The first notion of liberty originating from Greek philosopher was notion of liberty for qualified individuals, necessarily a minority of population, who are full-rights citizens with others being they slaves or non-citizens not deserving it. This was liberty within a group (state) to define group wide decisions and actions.
Landed aristocracy as defense against royal absolutism developed the second notion of liberty – liberty of individual (aristocrat) from the king (state) or any other group.
Part II: “The pre-capitalistic system of production was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest.”
The capitalism expanded the second notion of liberty to property owners as necessary condition of managing their property in productive way and produce goods and services for everybody. It greatly increased amount of resources available, but moved them out of control of aristocracy and its clients: professional intellectuals and bureaucrats, making these two groups mortal enemies of the new method of production and society arrangements.
Part III: “What vitiates entirely the socialists’ economic critique of capitalism is their failure to grasp the sovereignty of the consumers in the market economy.”
Intellectually the idea of socialism is result of poor understanding of working of capitalism, specifically of the fact that workers are also consumers and due to competition any squeeze on workers compensation comes back to workers as decrease in consumer prices. By combining all productive resources under state control, socialism substitutes sovereignty of customer with sovereignty of dictator as it was demonstrated by real live socialism implementation in all its forms either by Russian Communists or German Nazis.
Part IV: “It was different in the esoteric discussions among the inner circles of the great conspiracy. There the initiated did not dissemble their intentions concerning liberty.”
Socialists philosophically oppose liberty even if they speak about it all the time. They use the Newspeak as defined by Orwell using usual words to express completely opposite meaning of these words as they where traditionally used. They support freedom when they are not in power to propagate their ideas, but once in power, they declare that discussion is over and suppress all intellectual freedoms.
Part V: “Romantic philosophy labored under the illusion that in the early ages of history the individual was free and that the course of historical evolution deprived him of his primordial liberty.”
The romantic notion of liberty as natural condition is plainly untrue. Liberty is not possible without resources so the only time in history when big numbers of people were free even relatively is when capitalism is main mode of society. As soon as resources shifted from individual property to government control, liberty starves and dies without resources.
Part VI: “However, one does not exhaustively describe the sweeping changes that capitalism brought about in the conditions of the common man if one merely deals with the supremacy he enjoys on the market as a consumer.”
Another huge benefit of capitalism is that it allows individuals save money and direct them to whatever investment they consider the best giving them liberty to define direction of economic development in the way that benefits them most. All socialist schemas including welfare state tend to waste and misallocate resources denying individuals liberty to enjoy results of their savings.
Part VII: “The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism. It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State.”
Individualism of western society and capitalism form of production produced tremendous wealth and improvement in lives including the great expansion of individual liberty to do what individual wants to do. Any move away from capitalism into direction of either Nazi or Communist utopias would inevitably limit individual freedom and bring material decrease in quality of live.
MY TAKE ON IT:
I find it interesting that at least partial explanation of socialism attractiveness explained by poor understanding of capitalism with its competition and market prices that led to nearly worshipping attitude to such relatively insignificant feature as planning and popular believe among educated people that socialism would deliver superior economic performance. The history very convincingly demonstrated that even after complete failure of real socialism as economic system the socialist ideas morphed into ideas of big government and welfare state. The state dependent intellectuals and bureaucrats cannot anymore promote economic efficiency of big government, but they did not give up. Instead of socialism with its state monopoly on everything they now agree to leave private enterprise, but they want to control it to maximum extent via regulations and distribute produced goods and services the way they considered the most fair and efficient, mainly meaning distribution to their own benefit. I think it would be as distractive as their original ideas of full socialism, but the destruction would be slow moving disaster consistently decreasing quality of life for vast majority of people.
In order to avoid it we need to find a way to bring to capitalist side all these people who are not competitive in free market economy. Otherwise they will support welfare state despite the misery it brings to them because they do not see any real way to become competitive and without it they are afraid to loose even this miserable income they get from food stamps and such.
The equal, unalienable, and marketable rights on natural resources would make this people independent from bureaucrats and intellectuals of welfare state and make them instant property owners and supporters of capitalism.
This book is written as counterargument against people who embraced Darwin’s theory in the most primitive way possible: in the line with Hobbes’ wars of everybody against everybody else with survival of winner (fittest). The main idea of this book is that not war, but rather cooperation of everybody with everybody, which allows individual organisms to survive continuing struggle with environment for acquisition of necessary life resources. The book is filled with examples of cooperation real or perceived from all points of biological specter from ants to contemporary humans.
This book presented as illustration and justification of idea that mutual support is much more important then struggle for survival of individual. The main point is made that author could not see examples of life and death struggle between individuals while at the same time stressing environmental causes of survival’s difficulties. Eventually author comes up with “Law of Mutual Aid” stating that it is an important factor in evolution not appreciated by followers of Hobbes.
MUTUAL AID AMONG ANIMALS
These two chapters represent a long list of animals doing something together that author considers being a mutual aid. This list includes just about all animals known to biologists of XIX century from ants to lions. The examples reviewed:
• Ants and Bees
• Birds, hunting and fishing associations. Sociability. Mutual protection among small birds. Cranes, parrots.
• Migrations of birds. Breeding associations. Autumn societies.
• Mammals: small number of unsociable species. Hunting associations of wolves, lions, etc. Societies of rodents; of ruminants; of monkeys.
• Mutual Aid in the struggle for life and Elimination of competition in Nature.
CHAPTER III and IV MUTUAL AID AMONG SAVAGES
The same logic that was used for congregation of animals in groups is used for primitive human societies known at the time with the same inference: individuals are not fighting each other all the time, but rather cooperate in acquisition of means of survivals. The humans obviously add a lot of complexity if compared to animals bringing in notion of ownership both individual and group over various parts of nature: territory, water, cattle, and such. Author also reviews the phenomenon of war and private property, but seems to be treating it as aberration. Examples provided: Bushmen and Hottentots, Australians, Papuans, Eskimos, and Dayak.
CHAPTERS V and VI MUTUAL AID IN THE MEDIAEVAL CITY;
Author reviews history of society development in Europe with the same objective: to stress examples of mutual aid as rejection of struggle of individual against individual. However it seems that all examples he provides apply more to the in-group cases, rather then abstract help: Towns and Guilds, Development of trade and legal system; mutually beneficial relationships between lords, towns, and peasants.
CHAPTERS VII and VIII MUTUAL AID AMONGST OURSELVES
Final two charters describe contemporary for author (end of XIX century) situation of struggle between state and village-community organizations of society. Obviously as anarchist he opposes state and loves communities and all forms of mutual aid from cooperative businesses and self-insurance groups to unions and other mutual help associations.
MY TAKE ON IT
As usual I have a difficult time to understand why people do not see the obvious fact that humans live in complex multidimensional world and themselves are complex multidimensional entities. The evolutionary theory does not suggest that individual organism survives in battle with other individual organisms of the same type. It does not even depend on scarcity of resources. All that it says is that organisms which survive long enough to pass on their genes to next generation do pass these genes to next generation with all their features whether beneficial, detrimental, or neutral, while organisms that fail to pass their genes to the next generation would not have their features represented in nature after that. From this point of view the typical notion: ”survival of the fittest” is obviously incorrect. It should be “survival of minimally fit and sufficiently reproductive”. The method of fitness fully depends on environment, which includes not only individual organism itself but also other organisms around and not necessary of the same species. In this view both cooperation with and war against other organisms are just tools that organism uses to achieve its objectives defined by its genes and environment so the infinite number of examples could be found for all tools and their variations and combinations: cooperation, aid, war, extermination, and anything else conceivable.
This is a simple book with simple and very American idea – the failure is not only an option, but inevitable event in everybody’s live and the only way to achieve anything is not to be afraid to act, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, but always learning.
1. FAILURE IS FUNDAMENTAL – How a Brain Scientist and a Psychologist Hedged Me Stop Procrastinating
It starts with experiment when a number of highly educated engineers failed to build a structure from spaghetti, while kindergarteners succeeded beautifully. The key was trial and error which kids used enthusiastically, while engineers wasted time trying to apply abstract thinking. The point is made that trial and error, or in other word failure and recovery, is a natural way to succeed. An additional point is made about external evaluation. Praise for success makes people protective of success, often by avoiding challenge. Praise for effort makes people to apply more effort. This brings in critic of high stakes testing and selection culture when failure could disable person for life. The alternative is a computer game learning structure: multiple low stakes trying with movement ahead after obtaining full command at the current level of the game.
2. THE VIRTUOUS SOCIETY – What Two Economists and an Anthropologist Can Teach Us about Free markets
This starts with Vernon Smith’s research and modeling of California energy market in 1990s. The lesson is that failure is valuable only if there is feedback. If it is disconnected like in case of user disconnected from the cost of used energy, the system fails. Moreover the success or failure of market depends on rules. Market based on rules and morality in New York works, but rule-less and amoral market in Moscow fails. The research shows that market creates rational results even from irrational behavior. Another series of experiments produced generic rule of rules: participants should communicate to discover workable rules. From anthropological research and chimps comes notion that human exceptionalism originates in ability to cooperate which enhanced by ability to communicate. The rest of the chapter dedicated to fairness of hunters versus fairness of farmers, that is fairness of returns on ones labor and fairness of sharing as insurance in unpredictable environment. As illustration the difference reviewed between American and European attitude to business failure. European attitude – failure is the end of career, American – keep trying.
3. THE EXPERIMENTERS – Why There Are No Guarantees in Hollywood or Silicon Valley
This chapter is pretty much about the simple fact that nobody really knows future and success and/or failure often is just unpredictable. As example it reviews 2 similar stories about movies: Titanic and Waterworld. One was highly successful and another flop. Then it goes through Tetlock’s research and failure of experts to predict. Other forms of attempts to predict such as pilots and small scale experimentation also reviewed using history of welfare reform, LA school lunch menu massive change, and new Coke debacle. The main point is made at the end based on Hollywood’s methodology of screening movies on the small scale and fixing what is fixable before rolling it out. In other words: real live experimentation with errors and corrections.
4. ACCIDENTS, MISTAKES, FAILURES AND DISASTERS – What the Hospital System Can Teach Us about the Mistakes We Make
This chapter is about critical mistakes related to emergency health problems. It is based on author’s personal experience and demonstrates how mistakes are made in the situation of life and death for patients, but routine business for doctors and nurses. It also discusses how small mistakes cascade one on the top of another leading to catastrophic consequences. The big point here is that people often focus on results forgetting about process and by doing so create opening for cascading sequence of small errors growing into the big problem. The focus on a process could limit possibility of such event.
5. CRISIS – What a Bad Breakup Can Tell Us about the GM Bailout
This chapter starts with musing about failure sometimes being “the best thing that ever happened”. From there it goes to continuing normalcy of type of mistakes that people do when dramatic changes in situation are not responded with dramatic changes in behavior. Example is provided of people behavior in World trade center after attack. Some business examples also reviewed such as GM and Solindra.
6. ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM – What Gamblers Anonymous Could Have Taught Dan Rather
This chapter is about inability to see reality when individual has predefined approach. The Dan Ratner’s story of using false documentation on Bush’s desertion is a good example. It goes through typical causes of such blindness: concentrated attention to one point leads to missing another (gorilla in the basketball game), Bending the Map (one does not know where he is and does not know that he does not know), and Confirmation bias (I see only what confirms my opinion)
7. GETTING UNSTUCK – Adopting the Way of the Shark
This chapter is based on author’s personal experience of being unemployed, unloved, and frustrated. The method for recovery from all these unpleasant situations: keep moving. Keep looking for job, for love, for whatever else you need, but do not stop. Keep processes going and eventually you’ll get result. An interesting note on American exceptionalism: it is easier to fire people in America, which means lower risk of loses when hiring that results in higher level of opportunities.
8. BLAME – Blame-storming and the Moral of the Financial Crisis
This chapter is about blame allocation and human propensity to find agency everywhere whether it is there or not. It also uses a nice new term: Groupidity meaning doing stupid things because group does it. Interesting turn in regard to agency seeking is its link to control: If it is the agency who does it the agreement potentially could be achieved either through bribe, submission, threat, or whatever so it is controllable. If there is no agency, then no control is possible which is difficult to tolerate. From here author goes to search for scapegoat and death penalty debate.
9. Punishment – Why Consistency Is the Secret to Breaking Bad Behavior
From finding whom to blame it is only logical to go to discussion of how to stop or even prevent bad behavior. The method to do it found in consistency of punishment and it is reviewed based on story of program for rehabilitation of criminals with nice abbreviation HOPE that is based on inevitability and consistency of punishment.
10. FORGIVENESS – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Easy Bankruptcy (Though Not Personally)
The chapter is dedicated to role of forgiveness as it represented in American bankruptcy code in second chance opportunity. This specifically American cultural trait – availability of 2nd or even 22nd chance provides for much lower level of fear of mistake and therefore for better learning opportunity that lead better final results.
MY TAKE ON IT:
I am pretty much agreed with majority of points that were made in this book. I would also like to stress something that is not necessarily obvious: there is really no other way to learn anything except for an old good trial and error method and there is no place in the world where errors have less negative impact on future opportunities then in America. This is the greatest advantage of this country comparatively with everybody else.
Humans are genetically conditioned to have moral philosophy, which defines their individual behavior and expectations they have for rules of behavior in the group because human evolution worked at two levels: individual survival and group survival. This genetic makeup defines to a large degree our thoughts and action via unconscious intuition for up to 90% with remaining 10% defined by conscious reasoning. There are 6 different dimensions of morality, which define individual’s belonging to specific ideological/political group. These are: Care / Harm, Fairness / Cheating, Loyalty / Betrayal, Authority / Subversion, Sanctity / Degradation, Liberty / Oppression. Political movements in this view are not equally effective because American Liberals are mainly one-dimensional around Care / Harm, Libertarians are one-dimensional around Liberty / Oppression, while Conservatives are multi-dimensional around all 6 dimensions. This gives conservatives advantage on the long run. The final call to everybody is to try to understand each other rather then fight because healthy society needs all these views.
This book is designed as a tour of human nature and history from point of view of moral philosophy. Its purpose is to provide a new way of thinking about religion and politics. Each part of this book reviews one key principle of moral philosophy.
PART I Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second
1. Where Does Morality Come From?
The method used to analyze people’s moral attitudes is developing a story challenging moral judgment and collect reactions of individuals to these stories.
The results led author to a new type of answer to the question of this chapter. The typical answers are either morality is innate quality (a nativist answer) or it is coming from childhood learning and socialization (an empiricist answer). The author’s answer is more sophisticated combination of typical two:
• The moral domain is varies by culture with Western culture being more narrow then non-western sociocentric cultures
• People have gut feelings especially about disgust and disrespect with moral judgment build on the top to justify these gut feelings
• Morality could not be self-constructed by children exclusively (rationalist point of view), it requires cultural guidance from adults.
The author’s proposed combination: “we born with innate righteousness, but we need cultural training to develop knowledge of what to be righteous about”.
2. The Intuitive Dog and Its Rational Tail
Here author introduces a key metaphor of this book: rider and elephant with rider being a conscious mind and elephant being an unconscious part of brain both genetically provided and developed through interactions with environment. In order to win an argument and/or effectively communicate one should talk to elephant (intuition) first and supply reasoning for rider second.
3. Elephants Rule
This chapter designed to support the main principle of moral philosophy presented in part 1: Intuitions first, reasoning second. Six areas of experimental research to support it provided:
• Brains evaluate instantly and constantly
• Social and political judgments depend on quick intuitive flashes
• Bodily states sometime influence moral judgments
• Psychopaths reason but don’t feel
• Babies feel, but do not reason
• Affective reactions are in the right place at the right time in the brain. This one relates to biological backbone of morality and ethics (E.Q.Wilson’s consilience) when something inside absolutely forbid some actions or makes a must for some other actions.
The chapter ends with another important question: why evolution selected such a complex structure when reason used on the top of intuition providing support for something that is not always the truth. The tentative answer is that it may be because truth is less important for survival then reputation so reason main role is as inner lawyer rather then inner scientist.
4. Vote for Me (Here’s Why)
Here the human behavior reviewed as mainly driven by intuition with reasoning used as politician to obtain votes of other people. Five areas of research demonstrate:
• We are obsessively, but often unconsciously concerned with what others think about us
• Conscious mind serves more as press secretary then as decision maker
• Lies and cheating used extensively and so effectively that we themselves believe them
• Reasoning uses important technics for this. When our intuition wants to believe something we as “Can I believe it?” otherwise we ask, “Must I believe it?” It is nearly always YES to first question and NO to the second.
• In moral and political matters we are more Groupish then selfish.
PART II There’s More To Morality then Harm and Fairness
5. Beyond WEIRD Morality
This chapter describes handicap of being WEIRD and unable to see things differently from regular American liberals point of view as legitimate. Author’s trip from being close minded liberal to something more pluralistic in his attitudes somehow brings him to idea that western culture is more narrow then other cultures lacking ethics of community and divinity. However the main point is that moral matrix bind people together making them blind to moral matrixes of other groups.
6. Taste Buds of the Righteous Mind
This chapter is based on metaphor of morality as taste with narrow morality being bland and tasteless as food without salt and spices. It also discusses 5 foundations of morality and their role in evolutionary fitness of individual and groups. These are:
• Care / Harm
• Fairness / Cheating
• Loyalty / Betrayal
• Authority / Subversion
• Sanctity / Degradation
7.The Moral Foundations of Politics
This chapter is a more detailed review of 5 foundations with textual and visual examples of polar attitudes for each of them in American attitude to politics.
8. The Conservative Advantage
This chapter reviews data on comparative intensity of appreciation of value for different parameters and finds out that liberals are mainly two dimensional people putting high value on Care and Fairness and low value on other 3 parameters, while conservatives are multidimensional putting high value on all 5 parameters. Another interesting discovery is that that there is different understanding of the same values. For example Fairness is based on equal shares for liberals, but on proportionality of returns to inputs for conservatives.
This chapter also provides an evidence for deficiency of 5 parameters of Moral Foundations Theory and argues for necessity to add one more dimension: Liberty / Oppression.
PART III Morality Binds and Blinds
The Central Metaphor of this part: We are 90% Chimp and 10% Bee.
9. Why Are We So Groupish?
This chapter is about going back to Darwin and it considers human evolution as a dual process: individual and group evolution when some part of genome about 90% relates to individual survival and another 10% to group survival. The related science is presented in four exhibits:
A: Major transitions produce superorganisms such as groups or societies
B: Shared intentionality generates moral matrices. It means individuals in the group collaborate, divide labor, and develop norms to achieve common objectives
C: Genes and Culture coevolve. In other words the cultural evolution occurs in individual’s gene, which support or restrict survival of individual in whatever culture he/she happens to be.
D: Evolution can be fast so 30-40 generations produce significant difference. For humans 40 generations would be less then 1000 years.
10. The Hive Switch
It is about innate joy of being part of collective such as marching troop. A switch to hive mode could make even individualistic person enjoy being a part of collective. Oxytocin and mirror neurons could be a bio mechanism supporting this happy cog mode. The inference is that we are Human Duplexes who live mainly in self-sustainment mode, but from time to time under special circumstances we are conditioned to switch to hive mode when overriding objective is group sustainment mode all the way to self-sacrifice if needed.
11. Religion Is a Team Sport
This chapter reviews religions as method of individual adaptation that increases chances of group survival. From here comes definition of moral systems:
Moral systems are interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate self-interest and make cooperative societies possible.
12. Can’t We All Disagree More Constructively?
This chapter provides political analysis of America society along moral dimensions that are valued differently by main participants in political game liberals, conservatives, and libertarians. The point is made that all groups are necessary and provide healthy counterweight to each other. The final inference is that all groups should tolerate and listen to each other to avoid blind promotion of their cause.
MY TAKE ON IT:
I am fully agreed with and appreciate main points of this book. However I see problem of infighting a bit different then author. He sees it as honest disagreement between individuals with different genetic makeup, upbringing, and experience all of which want prosperity of society as whole. I do not think that it is completely true regardless of what people tell to themselves and others. I see world as divided between individuals who have deep internal need to control others via coercion and individuals who can live without such control over other or even feel repulsion to having it. The Coercives typically support big government regardless either it is big in suppressing economic freedoms or intellectual freedoms, or lifestyles or whatever. The big issue of our time is not to find way to accommodate Coercives either in form of American liberals hell bound to coerce people into their government healthcare, regulation, and ideological believes; or in form of Islamic mullahs hell bound to coerce people into their religion. In both cases accommodation is impossible except in form of submission. The only way is to win is by depriving Coercives of any ability to use coercion. In case of American liberals it is probably possible to achieve via democratic elections by making electorate more supportive of free market by creating unalienable property rights and making everybody effective participants in market exchange. In case of mullahs I think the war is inevitable and it is already going on for some 40 years ever since mullahs pushed out secular powers in Muslim world. In both cases only decisive action would stop coercion. In both cases lack of decisive action would lead to continuing pain and suffering for years to come.