Monday, September 24, 2018

What turns our crank and why? I try to break it down...

    From what I've gathered in readings and research as an undergrad over the years in anthropology and cultural studies (history), (as well as my own sexual sluttery with over 200 people in my day) there are three drivers I've found routinely popping up in "gratifying" human sexual experience that happen OUTSIDE PHYSICAL FEELING.
    These three I've come to know are understood psychologically and sociologically (or those we can test or poll regularly and then record) and seem to constantly be in play with each other in various (known famously) conceptualizations... ie Freudian, Maslow's hierarchies.. blah blah blah.. (mostly white institutionalized western thought which I tend to avoid using as meaningful or scientific)
   The formation of these overlapping desires I've gathered are based on my accounts of human need relating back to sexual desire and fulfillment. They're variable, but always present in some form.
These are the 3 drivers in non-physical desire I've come up with (and hope to elaborate much more about in time as a senior):

1. Novelty - (whatever/whoever's newest or weirdest or foreign/unique gets us most excited)
2. Fantasy(sexualized ideas/feelings we've built or associated in mind; coming to fruition)
3. Group Identity and group dynamism - (what identities we sexualize and/or how our groupings interact w other groupings; ie.. gender identity, concepts of family, sex as social tool)

    I find we can usually figure out what excites us all (and why) when we account for these three overlapping variables... at least as far as I've found in my own research... why? ...we're a group animal with group animal needs :) Our sexual perceptions and need to procreate are always based on others and the way we perceive others when we're talking about anything outside physiology.

Bias in Science; how does a messy species find truth?

     I had a great conversation this wk with a newer online chum.. particularly surrounding bias and systemic racism in and around research and methodology. He raised some great points about how research is largely biased, and I couldn't agree more. 
    One only has to look at current maternal death statistics to see that black women in the US are three times as likely to die post-child birth than white women, or look at the history in the US of syphilis "research" methods used on black Americans in the last century in the name of scientific advancement, or the history of eugenics, the concept of the 'one-drop' rule, or historical methods created to classify classes of humans like phrenology.
   The list of human atrocities made in the name of science had been absolutely horrendous.. including the shit-show in the White House and EPA at the moment.
     On this note, I need to talk way more (and hope to see others talk more) about systemic racism and how it creates bias and actively oppresses in science today.. it's critical.
    The point I wish to make, however, is why we so desperately need an unbiased method to interpret the world around us amongst this chaos our species repeatedly creates. We're lousy with stats, we're biased, we can't remember things well, and affluent white wealthy land owners can't seem to treat each other (or anyone we've deemed outsider ourselves) with much mutual respect.
    The gentleman I spoke with made a great point about race relations and the systemic bigotry white folks used to build this country on... and about his own struggle inside that shit-show casm as a person of color in this colonialist country. (This is critically important shit that needs to be talked about.. alot!!) But it kinda had zero percent to do with what I was trying to really talk to him about... that true empirical data is just that opposite.. it doesn't lie or work within bias. We can distort our scientific methodologies to no end, but evidence.. evidence is "pure" in that it's simply explaining reality (after we test and test and test and test and then test once more :) 
   We need to totally be down to talk race relations and politics and science ethics surrounding racism.. it's totally my bag.. and it should be yours too.. but I want to also point out that messy humans stand outside empirical reality... that reality is something beyond human bias.
     It's critical here that we discuss the literal definition and function of what the scientific method is and what it produces... and that while messy humans follow it, we find true empirical realities the more we practice it. There should always be room to talk ethics alongside science (and there has to be) but what science and science communicators are trying to get across to society is much simpler. I only wish we come to have more voices of color reaching out.... trying to convey a method of testing. ... .. and you, I, we...all know it..(you probably learned about it in grade school playing with batteries and basic household chemicals)
   It's the scientific method... one that shows what's real vs what's not, in the most basic sense.. ie, gravity, chemical reaction, the physics of light and motion... basically the stuff that explains why the world works the way it does (ie why your remote control makes things change on your TV screen, or how I'm able to talk to you across town via a soldered glass/metal/led box) .. it's understanding how we got to know these things, and then using those fundamentals to explain and research further.
  Humans can affect funding and grant processes of research, write shitty ethics for an experiment, commit genocide in the name of science.. etc, etc.. but at the end if the day, we can't stop fundamental processes.. we can't  manipulate gravity or stop the sun from coming up, or halt radioactive decay or stop fundamental particles from being atoms.. they simply are. 
    Human bias doesn't affect the rules of physics.. the numbers/the data.. the fundamental equations that make the world work. In this way, science serves us as a tool determining empirical reality. That's what I think so many who "believe" things are missing. The science/numbers don't lie.. it's just we the imperfect people who do.
     How do we account for human error? The scientific method seems like one of the only ways i've found... It simply asks for repeated data over and over and over again.. verifiable results.. it's used with methodologies that root out human error (ie statistical noise, falsified data, or liers) 
   This is why we can only be 98% sure global warming is human produced in meta-data (studies combining hundreds of other studies on subject to account for error) Yes, it's preeeettyy obvious it's occurring... but  climate data is messy.. bc humans are messy.. and so there's 2% of studies that aren't as explicit with their findings (or never directly refer to humans in their study, simply because they assume the obvious in light of their findings in climate Science after 30 years of publishing the same.
    So yeah, I guess I hope folks can understand the difference there... because belief has absolutely nothing to do with why batteries work or how magnets attract. That's science. Bias is human error, and we know it's there and how to correct for it. :) The trick going forward is... how do we stop being awful to each other and simply listen to the reality? I only hope it works to bond us in these tough times.. that science can work as a tool, instead of a political means to further oppress.

On "Organic" Food and Practice...

    "Organic" food, as industry folks refer to it, is a belief system based on something called a naturalism bias; it's built on the assumption that chemicals mixed synthetically are inherently worse than chemicals "not mixed synthetically".. even though they're often the exact same chemical soup, regardless. Chemicals are chemicals are chemicals. Everything in existence is a soup of chemicals. The Organic lobby is a multi-billion dollar industry that spends a lot of money telling us these "natural chemicals" are somehow inherently superior to "not natural" chemicals.
     The bias is confronted when we accept nature as inherently unhealthy; (for every healthy green food growing in the ground there's also a generally toxic counterpart.. from rhubarb greens to cashew pods to poison ivy) Nature wants to nourish you, but mostly it wants to kill you. The continued investment and lobby in "organic industry" becomes problematic when only affluent and food secure people practice it, as is done. "Organic" farming practices are often less efficient and generally more carbon intensive than conventional, which matters when 1 in 7 human beings are still food insecure today (who collectively can't pay higher prices for organic) and we aim to reach 9 billion by around 2052.
    If something exists, it's natural. Chemistry is natural. Labs are natural. Mixing chemicals in them is natural. Things made "synthetically" possible by labs are natural, because they exist in our natural world. Luckily, by mixing chemicals ourselves (and the genes chemicals bond to create) we can better test their inherent risks to us, and we do. "Organic food" development has no such safety testing standard. In comparison, a patent for a a seed made using genetic engineering takes nearly 7-10 years of rigorous testing and field trials and millions of dollars to get through safety standards and eventually onto the market.
     It's critical to understand that there is nothing natural about any of our foods, "organic" or not... we've selectively bred all the foods we eat over thousands and thousands of years to resemble crazy mutants we just so happen to find delicious... there are no giant tomatoes, broccoli, bananas or corn that occur naturally.. these were all created by us by editing genomes through selectively crossing species, picking for desired traits, various forms of mutagenesis, and others. If anything is "unnatural," it's arguably our ability to exploit plant seedlings in agriculture in the first place. It's time to get used to the idea that everything that exists in our natural world is, indeed, natural.