Thursday, July 27, 2006


good evidence for memplex

Good evidence


Memetics and semiotics

Good evidence on my ideas about humans just happened yesterday. This will be a small story based on my own experience. I have written this story already in Czech and it can be found in the Czech forum on my blog. This English version is not a translation, just only the same idea told by me in other language.

So it happened yesterday. I was in the town and met two ladies in their 60`s. I knew on of them so still sitting in my car I started a small talk with them. It took only few minutes; but in this short time I could make out at least two typical reactions. One of them shows the hate of pedestrians against mobile people. I was accused that I drove too fast; well, in fact I stood for a while because I had no chance to make out whereto the two ladies would be heading after having made up their mind in the middle of the street.

This is not so important evidence but it shows the emotional reaction people have, no logic and no truth, just emotional reaction which should bring the person an advantage for the case something would happen, whatever the advantage might be.

The second reaction was much more complex. As I know one of the ladies I made a joke about the next school director which is really poor here in the town. Then we made several more remarks and then I was called anarchist.

I was shocked as I do not perceive myself as anarchist. The idea of being called anarchist made ma think the whole story many times over and over. Then I came to a shocking result. The ladies were right.

The matter is relatively easy but complex. Czechs like their system of order which normal people would call disorder. Just today in the TV news it was said again that the bribery in the Czech Republic was constantly increasing and is one of the largest in all European countries: The Czech type of order depends on the way how Czechs perceive authority; for a Czech authority is only such a person which is in the position to punish or cause some damage to him. Czechs recognize such a person as the highest authority. In some other cultures this kind of authority is considered primitive and applied only against primitive members of such a society.

If a person from a highly developed society observes what everything is wrong in this country and tries to improve this unpleasant state even when it implies producing criticism against the Czech number one type authority, then such a person must be perceived by Czechs as anarchist, a person disturbing the order.

The only problem is that the Czech system of order is a disaster of a disorder. Only Czechs perceive this state as order, and as I see it going on here I would say it will take several hundred years before Czechs will understand what is right and what is wrong and will behave accordingly. Unfortunately, this is valid not only for the members of lower classes of the Czech society; this is valid for the whole of the Czech society as such.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Traffic laws, fear and bribery in the Czech Republic

Czechs, their new traffic laws and bribes

This English language version of ma ideas about new traffic laws, bribery and use of fear in the Czech Republic is not a translation from my Czech version, it is a free text based upon the same ideas.

In the Czech Republic starting July 1, 2006 new traffic laws are valid. These laws are really very interesting. One of the nicest laws now in force is the size of penalty one can get. So for example, when one driver drives the Czech highway without having bought sticker and placed that on his windshield, he will be fined 500 000 crowns financial penalty.

Well, the size of the penalty means about US $ 20,000 or about 17 000€. This penalty is so high that most of the drivers would have to give the police their own car and even maybe sell their apartment of the family house to pay the rest of the fine.

There more such penalties. The reason is obvious; the Czech government wants to apply fear to make people do what the government wants. But this is exactly the definition of terrorism. It is the use of fear to make somebody to do something. So what the heck is the Czech government good for?

The answer might be striking for some westerners; the purpose of these fines is to enable bribery to the Czech policemen. It goes like this. A driver is stopped by police who will for sure find something worth severe financial punishment according to the new law. Then, the policeman has the possibility y to offer the driver a cow deal, you give me 10 or 20% of the fine and I let you go. This system will function here, actually the new traffic rules have been implemented just in order to enable the police to demand bribes from drivers and enhance their miserable pay paid by the government.

Here we can see the logic of the new rules; government does not want to pay more to the policemen so it passes such laws that the police are capable of improving their salary by offering the driver a cow deal. You give me 10 or 20% of the legal fine and I will let you go. Surely, most drivers will do that, and the police has got the money it needs and the government does not have to pays anything. Well and this is the reason why the Czech Republic is considered having the most developed bribery, because the direct governmental action, in this case passing a new law, supports bribery in this country.

Also such a huge support which the Czech government gives to the Czech police shows how much it is important for the Czech government to have strong police instead of having good Medicare or advanced educational system. If the government would have raised the salaries for the policemen it would have to increase the salaries for other state employees, such as teachers or doctors, as well.

This would cost too much money which the government does have but is not willing to pay because it would decrease the amount of money for the government itself.

The next part of this new traffic rule system is the fear. Czech government specializes in applying fear. Well, the definition of terrorism says it is the use of fear in order to make people do what the terrorists want. Well, well, what a coincidence.



some more quotes on fear

"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark."
---- Francis Bacon

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear."
--- H.P. Lovecraft

"In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly."
---- Coleridge

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
--- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

"A man who has been in danger,
When he comes out of it forgets his fears,
And sometimes he forgets his promises."
---- Euripides - Iphigenia in Tauris (414-12 BC)

"He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That puts it not unto the touch
To win or lose it all"
---- James Graham - Marquis of Montrose

"I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cool'd
To hear a night shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in't. I have supp'd full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,Cannot once start me."
---- Will - Macbeth

"Being frightened is an experience you can't buy."
---- Anthony Price - Sion Crossing (1984)

"What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope."
---- Publilius Syrus - Moral Sayings (1st C B.C.)

"Solitude scares me. It makes me think about love, death, and war. I need distraction from anxious, black thoughts."
---- Brigitte Bardot

"Why are we scared to die? Do any of us remember being scared when we were born?"---- Trevor Kay

"A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice."
---- Edgar Watson Howe - Country Town Sayings (1911)

Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it."
---- Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944)




The ideas about terrorism and fear briught me to try and find something about fear in the internet. There is a lot about fear and pain.

Let´s have the first look at these quotes,

or read them here, I have copied them for you.

Perhaps the most famous fear quote of all time:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear it'self - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."---- FDR - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

"One of the things which danger does to you after a time is -, well, to kill emotion. I don't think I shall ever feel anything again except fear. None of us can hate anymore - or love."---- Graham Greene - The Confidential Agent (1939)

"What are fears but voices airy?Whispering harm where harm is not.And deluding the unwaryTill the fatal bolt is shot!"---- Wordsworth

"Fear - jealousy - money - revenge - and protecting someone you love."---- Frederick Knott - Max Halliday, listing the five important motives for murder, Dial M for Murder (1952)

"What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within,Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,Still losing when I saw myself to win!"---- Will - Sonnets

"Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake."---- Edgar Wallace - The Clue of the Twisted Candle (1916)

"- Tush! Tush! Fear little boys with bugs."---- Will - The Taming of the Shrew

"All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required."---- Dave Barry

"Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid. What sane man is not?"---- Luciano Pavarotti

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is."---- German Proverb

Tuesday, July 11, 2006




I have experienced plenty of cases in real life, not in scientific laboratory which creates the base fort he following flow of ideas. The question is how do people behave when exposed to some authority and why do they behave that way. My experiences go mostly with Czechs, in the years 1990 to 2006.

Many years ago I let one Czech construction company to construct my house. At that time I still behaved to Czechs as to westerners. If there was something wrong on the building site I tried to solve the problem the friendly way. Mostly I earned just bad words for that. Several years later I had my hotel repaired by another Czech constructing company. This time it was me who used dirty words, and the result was that the workers really did work.

My next experience goes with the children at Czech schools. The whole story got repeated. When I was good to the children they mostly did no t obey. When I started to punish them they started to obey.

I have plenty other experiences showing the same behavioral pattern. If approached friendly, some people react unfriendly, if the same sort of people is approached in a hard way they usually do what they are told.

Another experience which I have is that I have heard several parents telling their kids they will get it the hard way when going to school. This sentence was used many times and always when Czech parents did not know how to make their children obey.

This type of behavior had been really strange to me and it took me long time to find out what is that all about. The solution is incredibly simple. It is the pure question of how people perceive authority.

Most Czechs I have met perceive authority only through fear. Someone who does not scream at them, does not threaten them with whatever kind of punishment, is not perceived as authority. Quite opposite, if somebody approaches this type of people in a friendly way he is mostly perceived as a weak person.

This shows what Czechs need to perceive someone as authority to be obeyed. Only persons who can threaten with punishment are perceived as authority. Persons who try to get performance out of Czech people using the friendly way mostly will have no good responds.

So, fear seems to be the most important feature in Czech system of recognizing who is and who is not an authority. It seems to me really strange that Czechs recognize only that single type of authority, the type which is equipped with the ability to punish. Czechs usually do not recognize any other type of authority.

There must be reason for this single type of authority adored by Czechs. I believe it is the way how Czechs have been domesticated. In their whole history they had had someone else ruling over them, until 1990.

Just a small return to fear: right now some kind of smart IT Alec has sent me a virus and makes me afraid of loosing my data on my pc and offers me a super antivirus program to buy which will help me to get rid of this virus. This is again a primitive use of fear in order to boost up sales of some kind of miserable program. So the fear is misused by nearly all people against all other people.

Also kidnapping, high-jacking etc are only different forms of applying fear to achieve one’s goal. As I have stated already before even governments use fear in order to bring their own people to a state of complete obedience and respect to them as authority. This system is severely inhuman in the terms of moral and human quality. It is indeed human when we realize that it is us, people, humans, who “invented” this system.

After this small excurse into types and forms of activities “producing “fear I want to come back to authority. In order to be recognized as authority and respected as such, authority must be linked with power. There are several types of power and might. Different authors will most probably use a different set up of types of power.

One of them, beyond any doubt, is the power of knowledge. Knowledge itself does not make the authority. It can become authority when joined with positive human traits like help, passing the knowledge further, or with bad traits, like preparedness to cheat using the knowledge.

The next type of authority is e.g. the assigned authority, such as directors and teachers have. This type of authority is mostly linked with the possibility of a sort of punishment. Nowadays such a punishment is not slaps or any other kind of beating, but with the possibility of destroying the person’s life by not enabling the person access to money. This threat functions really good. As nowadays a person without money is expelled of the society, which represents a good threat through fear of loosing social contacts.

If this is really so much highly used system of making people do what somebody else wants, there must be some background to it. I would assume that this background is the type of people we are, mostly simple, lazy, egoistic etc. In dealing with such people very often the only thing to make them behave properly is fear, and the threat which creates the fear.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Readings on terrorism again

I have found a good text on terrorism by Noam Chomsky in internet, and here is the link to that page, for those who are willing to read original text and not only my own writings

The definition of terrorism by US Army handbook quated by Noam Chomsky, is pretty much the same as the definition by Arie Kruglanski quated by me in my previous post on terrorism here in my blog.

I found there a new and an interesting word "WANTON", the meanig of this word including audio pronunciation can be found here

Thursday, July 06, 2006



Terrorism from the point of view of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary sociology, memetics, semiotics, epigenetics etc

In German magazine on psychology, called “Psychologie Heute”, (Psychology today), May 2006, , Prof. Arie Kruglanski answers questions asked by PH. The basic topic is terrorism and how America’s research centers, in this case so called “excellence center”, works on “hacking” the reason for terrorism.

The absolutely basic idea of Arie Kruglanski is actually his definition of terrorism: “terrorism is the usage of fear in order to achieve goals”.

This definition only says what kind of method terrorism uses to achieve its goals. The more important question is why terrorism is used. And even here Prof. Kruglanski has pretty good answers. He says that people decide to use terrorism when for them there appears no other way how to pursue their goals, and when they get used to see terrorism as a means for achieving their goals.

This is absolutely correct but not completely. We must ask question: why not all of people use terrorism but only relatively few. The answer might be really shocking and it concerns our, human upbringing, or “human domestication” as some call that. Mostly we are forced to do something or not to do something, like going to school and not killing our neighbor because of fear; most of people behave like that. Some others can feel for themselves what is right and what is wrong and do not need threatening by punishment.
The next question is why it is so that some people must be brought up by fear and some not. I think the answer is still hidden to us because we know too little about genes and about epigenetics. I myself believe that epigenetics or extremely closely related science which we have not even started yet and we know no name for it, will in the future bring the answers to these questions.

It is the question of how the outside world, the “signals” from the outside world are processed in humans, in human brains, and what results it brings. I believe that the outside world signals may cause absolutely opposite reactions or results in behavior when they come to just only slightly different setup of genes or epigenetics.

I would like to explain this upon an easy to grasp example, it might be really distant example but I think it shows exactly what I mean. Imagine many glasses filled with fluids of different colors, white, red, yellow, blue black etc. Now let’s assume that these glasses with differently colored fluids stand for the different setup of genes and epigenetic information. Now, imagine further that I will take another glass with only black fluid in it, and pure in each single glass only three drops of black color. What will happen? Well, some, mostly light colors will get darker; some darker colors will get also darker, but not so much. The darkest colors will seemingly get absolutely not influenced by adding few more drops of black color.

To make the case even more complicated, we must understand that, different people are differently exposed to this “black color” and therefore they do react really differently.

Based upon my readings I would assume that all nearly all the people use fear in order to achieve their goals. Take just parents when their children do not obey them they will be told if they do not obey they will be punished.

This can be seen even with the adult persons. Criminal law is nothing else than a set of rules of basic human behavior and punishments to be executed if the rules are not followed. Children sometimes are threatened to be punished by their parents if their school grades are too poor. Again it is the fear which the parents do use to make their children learn.

The absolute majority of people perceive fear as a regular mean or method which might be applied in order to achieve the person’s goals. Parents do that, police do that, politicians do it among themselves.

The next question is why do we use fear as a method of achieving our goals? Well, the answer seems not so difficult. We might also ask at first at the theoretical level, why some method is used rather than the other in achieving some goals. Cars are now used for getting from one place to another much more than walking fast or even running. Here, the answer is obvious: it is a better method. Ok, so the next question, why do we assume one method better than the next one?

This answer is not so simple anymore. In order to perceive one method better than the other, we usually do some weighing of pluses and minuses, pros and cons of the method. So no method must be absolutely without mistakes, it only must be viewed as more convenient than the other methods.

What makes a method convenient? It might be its relative ease of use, or relatively high level of success which it promises, maybe even based upon past experiences, the speed of achieving the goal. It can be applied because other people agree with this method, even when the do not use it themselves. That means I will be awarded sympathy when I use a certain method. There are most probably many more aspects why we prefer one method to the other.

Let’s go back to fear again. Why do so many people use fear in order to pursue their goals? Because the method is relatively save to use, and based upon experience it shows high rates of success. Intimidation, that is use of threats, is pretty common in human societies. Why is this method perceived as relatively safe? As nearly everybody is afraid of something. Most of us are afraid of dying, many others are afraid of any kind of pain.

The fear of dying might be explained as a reaction of genes, as an attempt to maintain the ability to reproduce oneself. The fear of pain seems easier to explain. Everybody is afraid of pain, as pain is unpleasant signal, showing that something is wrong. Originally, it is a helpful device to protect the body for damage. But the pain used disconnected with its original purpose is no help at all, only pain and it hurts.

Here we come to another important point of human existence in a group, the need for approval. Whatever we do, we need to know that whatever we have done was ok. We go to our friends and discuss with them our ideas, our activities and look for approval. It really does not matter at what level we do it, we all, look for approval. It might be looking for approval for our existence. Professors seek approval for their theories, simple men look for approval in pubs, and women look for approval too, with their female friends or at the hairdresser’s.

So even terrorists look for approval with their activities, and they need to get the approval from the wide population. The easiest thing to do is use religion as a means of such approval, which always was the most secure way of getting approval for killing. Just recall the crusades or any other historical excuses for war. It has been mostly religion, and even nowadays religion serves as a good and fertile soil for terrorism. But not because of the religion or terrorism itself, it is because of religion connects people and people are easier to be persuaded that something is good when it is link to something which is generally understood as good, and religion is such thing.

In a village, for example, if everybody knows that a woman betrayed her husband, it is necessary for her to seek approval and level up her position, mostly by complaining about her husband, and saying how excellent her lover is compared to her husband. By this she increases her “market value” in human society and her position in hierarchy of the society she is living in.

When two men have some severe argument which even goes “handy” at the end, they will mostly look for approval of their fight among their friends.

We all need approval for our activities, even politicians and terrorists, too.

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