Saturday, 24 March 2012

Genes versus Antinatalism

Genes quest for immortality and status. I officially don't, but because of these devious little miscreants I essentially do. Yes, suicide is numero uno on my bucket list. But why then am I writing a blog, and writing pretty often I might add? Status. Immortality. The quest not just to raise my present mood, but to raise the ability of my genes to spread themselves - more blogging means more status, which means more opportunity to impregnate females, and a better environment for said children to be raised in so they grow up to have as many suffer-machines as possible. This is disgusting to me, but the fact that blogging almost breaks through (ALMOST) my Great Wall of Anhedonia means that I am destined to do it mostly everyday.

Your genes were the blueprint for everything that is you. The only times you can violate their will (or rather, evolution's millions of years of work rooting out genes that don't spread themselves) are when there are glitches in the system. Pleasure is a good way to tell you you're doing something right. But when you take drugs, you are not doing something right at all. You're just fooling a (double-stranded) long polynucleotide chain. Which shouldn't be hard, I might add, except that you are actually made out of that same chain manufacturing proteins. So it is something of a miracle (which don't happen, ever) that you can 'act' against your genes at all. And as I've said, since miracles never actually happen (just low probability events), it is not the case that you can go against the 'intentions' of your genes at all. You can't. Everything you do that is not in the best interests of your genetic lineage is simply a result of numerous glitches created by (a society and (b memes. I view the fact that there are an awful lot of glitches about as simply a result of the death of human evolution (the less successful no longer weeded out due to medical care, our culture means having children with those with genetic diseases or who are physically weak is not wrong, but maybe even heroic), and how evolution works on far larger timescales usually than the initial autocatalytic event of human invention and tribal society conglomeration into truly massive 'societies'. The fact that memes - initially allowed by genes despite how truly glitchy things could become by using them (must raise fitness in some other way unknown to estnihil) - can work in ways so unbelievably against genetic fitness means that, not that we can 'act' against our genes, but rather we ARE against our genes' best wishes in some way. And the best example of this is this very community - by refusing not to have any (more) children, we are not in any way acting to propagate our genetic material, and our suffering.

But why does natural selection not weed out all these glitches - not just in humans, but in nature as well (animals often get high off of drugs for example, and some are known to masturbate I think)? It does. But only when that glitch reduces the ability to procreate or pass fitness onto genetic offspring by a significantly large amount. So antinatalists are definitely selected for, but since we are not born this way, we probably won't die out any time soon. But drug use and masturbation probably AREN'T simply because the time wasted on these pursuits does not decrease genetic fitness by much, and changing things would be far too hard to do (changing the entire pleasure system, or in the case of humans, changing the entire meme system). They may even make things worse initially, which as you may know from Richard Dawkins books, does not weed out glitches (like our reversed optical nerves leading to a blindspot), simply because going back would result in initial decreased fitness, meaning being at a disadvantage, frequency change in alleles, bla bla bla, I'm not going into detail on this one, this is not an evolutionary theory blog.

So be proud of your glitches. They probably make you happier than evolution would have actually intended - superstimuli (e.g. television, music), masturbation, fetishes, and psychotropic drugs. Remember too, that the reason you are an antinatalist is because of a major glitch in the memetic nature of the human mind. Genes 10^100 : Antinatalism 1. We have won the battle for now (though genes are winning the war).

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