Sunday, December 03, 2006

Love

Love, romantic love – the thing, i don’t understand (until now).

I understand brood care: Protection of the offspring. I understand Sex: Learning of the Race. I understand courtship: Males charging, females submitting because of the Control of the Gene.

Everything you can see in animals.

Like spite and altruism, love – between man and woman – can’t be found in chimps. They are good mothers and sometimes even male chimps care for some lonely youngsters, but they are not really well known as the romantic lovers, because to multiply you don’t need love. Rape does it “as well” as the brute domination of females of many lower species (or human cultures) show.

But i remember dogs – the difference between sympathy and sex. I guess it was Konrad Lorenz observing an undying friendship between a male and a female dog, living together all the time...

as long as there wasn’t the time of rut. Then the female had to obey the law of the gene and to mate with the man choosed by the genes. But afterwards – she came back.

And of course...

i remember Konrad Lorenz and his graylag gooses, i remember parrots who are told to live together forever and who deeply mourn about the loss of the other – both really intelligent birds.

And there is the fact of the most intelligent birds (crows and ravens), some more intelligent as three-year-old human children – who are monogamous.

With brains just as big as nuts crows are able to use traffic lights – to open nuts. Do you know that? The Crow puts a nut on a crosswalk during the red phase, hops away at yellow and comes back at red to eat the nut, opened by the cars during the green phase.

Wow – i love that. It’s an absolutely great demonstration of how active processing works.

And it’s a great demonstration that intelligence doesn’t depend on big brains but (i bet) on the ability of brains to develop and maintain standing waves, for which it may be more important to be well intertwined (remember the bigger brains of the Neandertal people?) So it might be that birds living in a 3D-world simply are more apt to understand dynamics (information) than apes and their successors.

And the social intelligence of gooses, parrots, crows and raven shows something like love – love between man and woman.

So it seems as if this special kind of love has something to do with high intelligence and social behavior, supported by the fact, that the hominid males are (as far as i know) the only male mammals able to live in social groups and that spite and altruism, the emotions to protect justice and therefore the wellbeing of the group, are a “late invention” of hominids, (nearly) not to be seen before the human species.

Fine.

But why love? What’s the evolutionary advantage of romantic love, of a love between man and woman for a whole life?

An advantage, temporary monogamy wouldn’t provide?

Is it just because of the high intelligence of active processing, based on individual experience and so creating unique individuals with individual demands and individual needs and individual wishes, so that a bottom-up creation of a lasting couple is as special as the individuals themselves?

But where’s the evolutionary advantage of lasting couples?

The education of children? No, not really plausible. Yes, human children are all “premature births” because of the big brain, they have to be educated and protected for many years. But as Bachofen suggested: to care for the children you don’t need fathers, mother-brothers do the job as well – and brothers never divorce. Would fit very well to the observation that humankind didn’t know about fatherhood before agriculture and livestock breeding. So why should male persons care for children without a reason to do so? Look at those men of our days able to repudiate a child they had pretended to “love” for years – as soon as they learn that the genes of the child are not “made” by themselves.

Triggered love? IF Genes of the child are from me THEN switch on “love” ELSE switch off “love”?

That’s not the true meaning of love.

No, actually, mother-brothers are the better social choice for mothers who just want to care for their children.

Next try: Mothers. They have to love because it is the payment of Mother Nature for the brood care. Why? Because brute force doesn’t work together with high intelligence. Remember the pleasure principle? So it might be that the pattern of love in women isn’t quite precise and therefore able to include male adults – but why should male adults love them back? Ever watched pubescent boys treating their mothers, ever thought about the reasons for initiation rites, the social “cutting the cord”? No, this ansatz doesn’t work either.

Philemon and Baucis.

So where’s the evolutionary advantage of an everlasting love?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Barnita said...

Aaah Again - bear with me - humor me - the last post and this one too - just makes me want to 'talk' to you and the others. I love you guys....my best friends.....I am online all day, but have no time to write for you guys or to respond to your writings anymore....but I love you guys all the same. And I've only just discovered my capacity for loving. I've only just realized that I have a lot of love in my heart that ought to be shared. And so I'm trying. I'm bringing my love into the real world....letting flesh and bones people know that I'm there for them, telling them that no matter how alone they are, I'm there for them. I'm letting old friends and new ones talk to me, to unburden themselves...and sometimes I get very angry that so many good people have to deal with so much pain but mostly I just listen because thats all I can do for them. And then I tell them that I love them and give them a hug and kiss. I hope it makes them feel better. Some have told me it does.

I'm also spending a lot of time with old friends at this place called Orkut....making a few new ones....but mostly just old friends...from day school and from boarding school and from college and old party people disillussioned by the clamp down on all our scenes. Recreation is a crime that has landed my friends in the worst prison in Mumbai. And getting embroiled with Indian cops is the worse fate imaginable. So all I can do is listen to my friends and bring them some warmth and hope their tough day is now a bit lighter. Very few people I know are happy. Its always the same story - deaths, illnesses, finances, abuse, over worked, jobless, childless, sadness, broken hearts, trouble with the law, divoreces et al.

With strangers its tougher - I'm sitting with street kids and buying them milk, feeding them greens and telling them about the life they can have if they join this or that school for street kids. I'm lending a hand here and there, doing the littlest, teeniest things imaginable because I can't watch silently anymore. And the net does not reach the people who need help the most.

So many of us just need someone to talk to. Even the homeless. So many just need someone to point them in the right direction. SO many people just need hugs :)

Work is overwhelming, neverending and flexishift has ruined all my concepts of working fixed hours....I don't know how or when a working day went from a minimum of 8 hours to a minimum of 12 hours. Family is another bitter sweet issue.

When I'm all worn out from work and family and my world. When I have no more strength to meet real people in the real world, I find comfort in wandering over to your blogs and reading what you have to say. Over a cup of coffee and a big fat doobie, I sit back and watch my like minded friends converse. Its very real now. So I sit on the sidelines and hear you all through. ANd you always make sense. A lot more than sense....and I feel alright. I feel almost normal for thinking the thoughts I do and feeling the way I do. Thorn-tree is open almost all day on my desktop...keeping me company through the day at work and home - I should make it my homepage. hmmm - thats a thought. SOmetimes I wander off to BSReport or to UT's place. And then I come over here. Visiting my friends. Doing the rounds. Even though I'm quite...please don't forget me - I'm listening to every word you say. Most all my comfort comes from you guys and the fact that you care enough about our world, the people in it, mother nature and everything I want to protect. But I'm so very tired.

And Again! I heard some jazz from Germany last evening- Wolfgang Haffner and his band - they were really rather good. Full on!

3:31 AM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

hi barnita,

so glad to see you back - sorry, that i do reply so late, but i thought i had posted something like "welcome home" on your blog, but can't find the words any more

actually i feared you had stopped blogging because of all the troubles you had. But then you really amazed me with your description of your vacation - and the conclusions you seem to have drawn from it. Was so glad to read that - glad that your mother's better, that your Daddy cares for her, that you seem to be so optimistic (hope, i understood you right)

and because i know that love is the right way but also the most, very most exhausting way - and i can feel this strenght in your comment here, too - but also feel something like fatigue, i'm a little worried

working life in India seems to be even harder than here, so it seems to me that simple life is exhausting enough

so i worry about you, barnita - please be careful with yourself. Don't overstrain yourself please, humans are strong, very strong - but they can't carry the whole world

take care of you, yes?

6:01 AM, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Barnita! It's absolutely glorious to "see" you again and read your words above -- you are a treasure (and an inspiration), and have indeed been sorely missed! ==== Again: You DID know that *Riverbend* is no longer "missing", and has been blogging very sporadically [last entry November 5], right? I just took a peek out there, and was delighted to see that's she's apparently okay, although she's obviously very, very sad in general. Would that I had a "magic wand" to make all this misery go "Poof!"

4:26 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger JasonJ said...

Again,
To be 'on topic', I must say that, while I would freely admit it seems far-fetched for romantic love to be an evolutionary advantage, about as far-fetched as say crystalizations forming the chemical bonds that bore the recursive organic chemical compounds, which further formed the basis of adenine, guanine, cytocine, and thiamine. Sound kinda familiar? I believe where we always go wrong when posing this question is the level we pose it at. Do we wish to speak of the proximate cause or the ultimate cause of the action. Love is an emotion, an irrational emotion at that, just as every other one would appear to be at some level or another. To understand an approximation of what I mean we need to talk about a related topic.

Have we ever spoken of heterophenomenology? I believe we have. I borrow this terminology from Dennett. Essentially, what we are speaking of is information processing going on at multiply levels. To further borrow from Dennett, let me paraphrase his example from "Consciousness Explained". Suppose you are an antropologist who through some unexplainable chance of luck discover some yet undiscovered tribe of aboriginals who worship a god named FENOMAN. Obviously this is a closed society and you are dying to study these people, but given the secret nature of this elusive group you have no chance being an outsider. What are we to do? Now suppose, like all crafty scientists we decide to prod and pry by 'pretending' to follow their customs and practices, following their religion and learning about FENOMAN, and in effect becoming a FENOMAN scholar.

Ok, on one level you could become a well respected scholar in this community but on another level you do not really subscribe to these beliefs outside of the lost tribe's context. This would be the heterophenomenological level. We have to admit that all thought processes occur on multiple levels of consciousness/unconsciousness. It is this type of recursive phenomenon that I am speaking of. Our brains are not perfectly, continuously flowing, infinately connected organs which are some unseen extension of an ethereal 'mind'. What we now know of 'mind' is that there is no place where the 'I' lives in our brains. The thought processes that occur happen in different, connected modules that, while normally operate well together, still perform separate tasks that they have evolved interdependently to be efficient at solving. The "I" is really an heterophenomenological myth that we create to unify some sense of self. I understand that this would appear to be a paradox and I will admit that this is one of the most highly debated subjects in cognitive science. "I" will not pretend to have all the answers but I will asy that everything I have read forces me to believe the validity of the idea.

So back to irrational love. We humans are complicated organisms. In the end our ultimate motive remains the replication of our genes. Whether it turns out that Dawkins and Dennett are right and the genes were holding us as slaves or Gould and Lewontin were more correct in their interpretation of Darwin that the organism is still the level, the only level of selection that nature allows; we are still guided by our pre-programmed need to produce offspring and see to it that those offspring have the necessary talents and opportunities to produce offspring. This is an ultimate cause situation. Does this mean, at the heterophenomenological level that we must acknowledge this as the divine raison d'etre? Of course not, we have the 'gift' of free will. We can choose or not choose to have children. We can choose or not choose to raise them if we decide to have them. We just have choices. As humans we are not just mindless zombies. We are more than a product of the chemical reactions that unconsciously control less endowed organisms. On the ultimate level, what happens in our brains is a seemingly random firing of synapses by neurochemical electrical reactions, but on the heterophenomenological level I am sitting here, typing to my dear friend, watching football on TV, thinking about what I am to make for dinner tonight, thinking of the other comments shared by other friends I have come to think of fondly who have also posted here, and trying to explain how irrational emotions have an evolutionary advantage that would cause their propagation via a Baldwin type of effect that would cause them to dominate our senses. This all is not inconsistent with what Evolution has evolved to become. If it would prove to be more advantagous for males to be involved in the rearing of their offspring and the release of endorphins aids in the process of cementing the father/child bond, then this can be a basis for the chemical process behind the emotion. If females prefer to mate with males that are more or less monogamous and help in rearing their offspring they will seek males with this trait and males that carry gene complexes that propogate these tendencies while producing female offspring that prefer this tendency and male offspring that exhibit that trait. This is consistent with evolutionary theory as well. It does not, however, mean that we need to focus on these activities on the conscious level. We, irrational, beauty loving, human beings that we are are free, free to adore beauty, to love and hate one another on the level of consciousness that we inhabit.

So what I know is this. The more we learn about who we are and how we got here; the more we begin to discard our gods and demons. Science has taught us to question magic and ask how it works. While those who are too narrow minded to accept the truths science shows us will quip 'all is lost, there is nothing worth living for', I say this: "Life is an even more amazing phenomenon without the aid of gods and demons. The shear improbability of life occuring ex nihilo is the most beautiful occurrence that the universe or alternately multiverse could offer an outside spectator. Our existence here in the age of our universe is but like the burst of fireworks in the celebration of existence. Our entire history is nothing but a brilliant flash but from afar it is still an amazing spectacle to observe.

3:29 PM, December 10, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

hi jason,

fine, to see you again (did you receive my email?)

about as far-fetched as say crystalizations forming the chemical bonds that bore the recursive organic chemical compounds, which further formed the basis of adenine, guanine, cytocine, and thiamine. Sound kinda familiar?

yes ;-)

those far-fetched ideas you get as soon as you understand the predominantly dynamic nature of information - time is the origin, not space - that's the reason, why intelligence has problems to understand universe forever - because you only can handle stable states - the everchanging dynamics isn't representable

Ok, on one level you could become a well respected scholar in this community but on another level you do not really subscribe to these beliefs outside of the lost tribe's context. This would be the heterophenomenological level.

Schrödinger's Katze - the observer is always part of the observed system

The thought processes that occur happen in different, connected modules that, while normally operate well together, still perform separate tasks that they have evolved interdependently to be efficient at solving.

right

you can see it in the representation of objects in the brain - it's a superposition of the images of the senses - smells, colors, sounds, touches

What we now know of 'mind' is that there is no place where the 'I' lives in our brains.

that's not that weird

because we can't see our memory in our brains - my bet is, our memory is based on standing waves, that explains the growing and retreat of synapses to support the waves - it would fit to the "high tech"-neurons, where signals "jump" not to waste time (myelin - without myelin the signal is transported in an electrochemical way - too slow)

did you ever try to understand interference? As physicist that's basic knowledge - it's fantastic

nearly like magic - sometimes waves disappear to nothing and sometimes they explode, often truly looks like random behavior

that's the nature of the universe - information is nothing else than "standing waves" therefore creating the "look of stability" which confuses all the people, so that even the greatest minds tell us that time is an invention of the human mind - the wish is father of their thoughts because they all know that they never can understand time - not WAD - information processing systems are per construction based on the stable parts of the information

sorry to digress - coming back to the Ego - it is a necessary element of high level active information processing, a controller and monitoring system. As you've said "happen in different, connected modules" - this must be put together and the interaction must be controlled - high intelligence is always a multihierarchical system and as the butterfly-parable shows, little mistakes grow to storms in such systems - therefore you MUST control the process

and because the system depends on standing waves, the controller has to handle standing waves - so you might never be able to find a "point" where this controller system will be "stabilized", because it is not a "forced" system like TV or radio - it has to be flexible, sensible towards the current situation, so only rules and the rule-handlers can be stable - not the "results" - so if you try to intervene you have to do it in the "rules engine", not in the results - if you try to "fix a point" in the results, you risk to damage the whole dynamics - you risk to destroy. That's one of the things waves teach you

so - the "I" is not a myth - it's just a tool, based on physics - wait some time, let people learn more about SOA and they will create at least the first steps to give computer systems something like that

not a myth

In the end our ultimate motive remains the replication of our genes.

the gene is overestimated - again, the problem of the lack of knowledge about information

simple comparison: OF MICE AND MEN
"On a letter-by-letter basis, the genes are 85 percent the same...
Human beings, in turn, carry the genes for growing a tail but apparently lack the ancient instructions -- lost in 75 million years of evolution -- for completing the process."

keyword? information - "carry the genes - but lack the instructions" - metadatas (genes) are worthless without the engine - that's one point

next point is another simple question: where is the obvious difference between men and mice?

our brain - the amount and construction of our neurons - so yes, the genes (including the engine which is species dependent: see difference mule vs. hinny) are important

but the brain - including the Ego - is made to learn and to act independently - so the more stupid people are, the more they act "according to plan", but the higher the intelligence, the greater the freedom - that's WAD, how and why it is constructed

we are still guided by our pre-programmed need

yes - a perfect wording to describe the situation: "guided"

On the ultimate level, what happens in our brains is a seemingly random firing of synapses by neurochemical electrical reactions

;-)

again, perfect wording - to describe our problem of "catching" the interference of the (building of) standing waves in our brains without knowing the dynamics or at least the amount of interacting waves ;-)

It does not, however, mean that we need to focus on these activities on the conscious level. We, irrational, beauty loving, human beings that we are are free, free to adore beauty, to love and hate one another on the level of consciousness that we inhabit.

sure - but emotions and feelings are something like the surface of the standing waves - to manage the dynamics you have to control them and this simply means that you need a representation - and these representations we "feel". We feel joy when something is good for us and anger or pain if something is bad for us - perfect programming of self-reliable objects (Lustprinzip)

so the trace of physics is everywhere - we are free in our decisions - simply because randomness exists, because the universe is NOT deterministic, even not in a large part (remember dark matter or dark energy?) - but we will never be free of physics

The more we learn about who we are and how we got here; the more we begin to discard our gods and demons.

where to subscribe?

actually, gods are born by humankind because of the fear high intelligence creates inevitably - because the more you understand the more you see your own limits and the power of the universe - as Kirkegaard said: the less mind, the less fear

Life is an even more amazing phenomenon without the aid of gods and demons. The shear improbability of life occuring ex nihilo is the most beautiful occurrence that the universe or alternately multiverse could offer an outside spectator.

improbability - needs to be only existent in an infinite universe - our known world is rapidly diminishing - first humankind thought that they would be "the world", than the earth diminished and the sun seemed to be the center - then the sun diminished and the black holes of the galaxies got into the middle - and now even this is nearly nothing regarding dark matter and energy - regarding the quantum noise, the base of our universe, where information is only a small part - only the part of the interaction which is structured as standing waves - as we "feel" happiness and luck as stabilized forms of interacting standing waves, the universe "feels" stars and planets and galaxies as stabilized forms of interacting standing waves (information)

improbable - yes - there is only an infinitesimal tendency in the quantum noice to prefer states - and this infinitesimal tendency creates the course of time, creates differences in the everlasting action - creates limits and borders - creates waves - creates standing waves - creates proto-information and information and quarks and particles and systems and molecules and stars and life

it's a miracle

so the last words of you i want to copy just because they are great and need to be repeated:

Our existence here in the age of our universe is but like the burst of fireworks in the celebration of existence. Our entire history is nothing but a brilliant flash but from afar it is still an amazing spectacle to observe.

12:49 AM, December 11, 2006  

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