Strength and weakness

Remember rage, remember strength, glory and victory, remember the rush of blood as you defeat your fear and exult in pure, unadulterated anger. Stand atop the crushed body of your kill and roar to the heavens of your absolute strength over your enemy.

We are absurd creatures most of the time. With one instinct telling us to go this way and explore, and another telling us to rip the freaks head off. There is a very particular reason human history (well, and now) is chock full of meaty, and horrific, violence, the brain, and our evolved past. Our brain is a chemist with a perchance for urges and fears, all chemically induced, desires and emotions that bring us into conflict with each other in an elaborate dance of neurons.

We are programmed to defend territory, mates, and food.

But we are bold, passionate, loving, and kind. We show tenderness to those weaker than us. We are charitable, and forgiving, and all the beautiful things in the world.

We are programmed to form communities, to show tenderness for defenceless babies so as to protect them.

I’m not trying to suggest that the entire human experience is out of our hands, a hidden background process that dictates our every move. But it is from a particular perspective, and it puts doubt into the idea of free will. What saves us from this automatic process is our sentience, for the purpose of this discussion, our will. “You’ve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There’s an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.” – Dune. We are complex creatures, capable of immense feats of emotion led conquest and art. But where is the line between pre-programmed evolutionary responses and the human quality we all so think we are?

It’s much closer to the animal than man; that’s for damned sure. While it’s still incredibly controversial in our society to think that our choices aren’t free will, but programming, it doesn’t make the perspective less valid. Some don’t believe it, and there is science that defines ‘a’ line, but there is science that defines a different line.

We are strong and frail creatures, merciful and merciless, with a wizard hidden behind the robe pulling the levers of our perceptions.

This is not a strictly augmentation post; it is the opening process to the next post where I will talk about how our brain fails us, and how the universe might be a closed book to us.

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