Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It seems I often borrow from the blog Squalto’s Rant – and it is true.

Today I have co-opted the following video that he posted.  

This is the type of video that if you begin watching you must watch to the end.   The premise of the video is that human beings are moving toward empathy for all life on the earth and concern for the earth’s ecology in general.    

This is a consummation much to be desired.   Jeremy Rifkin is representative of a far left liberal thinker with a great ability to connect with his audience.   He leaves you feeling that there is hope for human empathy because of the evolutionary development of the human brain which has been stimulated by the technical advancements is communication. 

Being a cynical old fart I tend to see the down side to this argument.  Human empathy hasn’t changed much since four million years ago when Australopithecus walked across the savanna in Africa, picked up a stick, went over a hill and beat the brains out of his neighbor and fucked his female.  

We live in a tribal society and we don’t much concern ourselves for the tribes over the hill.    We seek validation from our family, our church, or racial identity or our local or national identity.  We decide which cult gratifies us the most and that is where we place our allegiance, while decrying other cults that do not stroke our ego.  

Abraham Maslow was an American professor of Psychology who defined the human hierarchy of needs.   People develop from the most basic needs of fulfillment toward the highest level of Actualization.   People can not move into a higher level until they are secure in the levels below them. 

The steps defined are:

PSYCHOLOGICAL: Breathing, food, water, waste, sleep, warmth, freedom from fear and freedom from sickness.

SAFETY: Physical security, family security, psychological security and financial security.

LOVE AND BELONGING: Friendships, family, sexual intimacy, group identity.

SELF-ESTEEM: Self respect, Respect of others. 

SELF-ACTUALIZATION: Able to embrace facts and realities, spontaneous, creative, problem solving, caring for others, morality independent of authority and judge the world objectively.  

Many people throughout the world today (including in the United States) are stuck in the SAFETY level – concerned with basic survival. 

A good majority in this country are striving to BELONG – to seek gratification through a social network.

Very few of society are secured enough to be striving in the ESTEEM level.  

And, an even smaller percentage (which must includes Jeremy Rifkin, - the producer of the video) find themselves secure enough to have reached SELD ACTUALIZATION.  

Only the people in the SELF ACTUALIZATION level have the security and ability to be truly empathetic for the human race specifically and all other living things in general. 

Add to this the high percentage of blatant human ignorance:  The IQ is represented by a Bell Curve. 

The top of the curve is declared to be 100 , with  fifty percent of the people above the curve and fifty percent below the curve.  The up side of the Bell Curve represents from high average to superior  intellect – while the down side of the curve represents from average to below average intelligence. 

The 100 IQ point shifts according to demographics of population growth.  At the present time humans on the down side of the curve are breeding at a faster rate than those on the up side; which constantly skews the intelligence quota of the human race downward. 

SELF ACTUALIZATION is not in the reach of everyone.  Empathy is a pipe dream – though a beautiful one.  But the reality is that the human race is not programmed for the gentleness that empathy would require. 

I will watch the video again: maybe a few more times – for there is much presented that stimulates the thought processes.   But in the end we live in the real world where human egocentricity has not changed much in four million years. 

the Ol’Buzzard 


  1. Well, I only made it through about 8 minutes of the video. My computer keeps losing touch.
    Anyway, I love this. I just wrote a post on the death penalty talking about how I can't understand how people are for it and empathy probably comes into play when people are taking part in death watching. I'll be back to try watching it again. Thanks!

  2. Ha! Funny that Rubye is here - I just came to your blog on her recommendation. You have much to think about here and, yes, I watched the entire video. Impressed on all counts. Love your blog – you had me from hokey-pokey.

  3. Empathy? No. Entropy, more like it.

  4. we all need to be pagans.. Christians, Jews, Muslims keep fucking it up over who's God is best.

  5. Higher levels of propagation among those lower on the bell curve will skew the scores downward? Do these people have 'inferior genes'? There are too many cases where very average or below average testing parents produce children who exceed them greatly and visa versa. What causes a trend of constant low IQ producing is almost always the result of a poor environment, including poor prenatal health and nutrition.

    Even with the realization that the less educated and lower scorers have more children, when has this been different? The poor always produced more offspring, especially in the past to grow a larger workforce to do more labor. While this trend has always existed, the IQ level is on the RISE thanks to the Fynn effect. Our environment is depending higher functioning brains and as a result, our brains are weening themselves to keep up.

    Try to stay away from the eugenicist path; it's cynical, and more importantly ... not accurate.

  6. Anonymous:
    Research shows that children of retarded parents will not necessarily be retarded or have low IQ's;but when both parents have low IQ's their off springs tend to have low IQ's. Nurture or Nature - that is a legitimate question. But, that portion of the population is expanding. Also, the IQ is charted on a bell curve so as the overall intelligence quotient skews downward so does the norm.
    the Ol'Buzzard


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."