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Humanism In Dark Times

Darwin spoke about “THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” . . .

That is not what Darwin meant at all by the fittest. Evolutionary fitness is mediated by the environment the organism finds itself in. It has nothing to do with physical fitness. A smaller individual needs fewer calories to survive. In times of food scarcity his/her fitness in terms of survival is likely higher than someone that needs 3500 calories a day.

The human race is entering a very interesting time. Our planet will soon have (if it does not already) more humans than it can support. And something is going to have to change, relatively soon, or we are heading towards some future specie extinction in the animal kingdom.

Look, I think the concept of race is highly problematic, but I think race is a real phenomenon in both a biological and anthropological sense, as well as in a sociological sense. It will just be a global version of too many tribes competing for a limited resource with population growth. Competition and aggression as the sum total of the instinctual drive that controls the behavior all in the animal kingdom and influences our own actions. Animals cooperate as well as compete, and our larger brains enable humans to curtail competition in favor of cooperation.

Most of human evolution involved hunter gatherers. In modern societies, we not only live with our social group (e.g., friends, family, colleagues, enemies), but we live and interact with strangers. In the past, strangers were inherently dangerous, since they were not part of our social group. Interacting with unfamiliar people is common now.

I struggle with this concept every day. I do believe that our species has made some minimal progress, in general. As others have said, we no longer accept many of the practices and moral codes of the past that hurt minorities, LGBT persons and the disabled or poor. But in some ways I see our species devolving as technology and development take over and we become more insulated and separated from one another. By what I see every day, from the very dangerous and self-absorbed driving behavior, to narcissistic smart phone use, the obsession with stupid celebrities and the lack of interest in tete-a-tete in our HDB lifts/public space.

One of the fundamental ironies of modern life is that, despite the “external” technological sophistication of the world we have created for ourselves (smart-phones, jet travel, the internet, medical advances, etc.), our “internal” mental landscape continues to be infantilized by a culture that rewards emotionalism and bombast over reason and logic. Can anyone escape from the human condition of judging perfection on one’s own term? Only when one is willing to admit the ‘trap sand’ of self-deception is one ready to engage fruitfully in discussing ethnocentricity and racism.

Racism in Singapore isn’t localized to one single race or ethnic group. It’s everywhere on every land near and far away. There is certainly a biological component to race, but what is totally offensive is the belief that we can deduce behavioral or mental characteristics from such information. It’s true that the traditional three part division — Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid — is crude, and lacking nuance. But still, it maps fairly well to what the latest studies of the human genome tell us. [LINK]

Sorry for being wonkish:
Using software to analyze genetic data from 139 human populations, and sort those populations into a varying number of “clusters,” notes that the result for K=3 (i.e., three clusters) can be interpreted as “Sub-Saharan Africans, West, and East Eurasians.” Which is, in a rough sort of way, about the same as saying Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid! When you expand the number of clusters to 4 and 5 you separate out Native Americans and Australoids, which is about what one would expect. And for higher values of K you get groupings that would probably be recognizable to physical anthropologists from the 1950s, who were not as dumb as they are made out to be these days.

Many people from India and Pakistan are as dark-skinned as any African, yet they have thick, black, *straight* hair. What “race” are they? Such people are sometimes described as “South Asian” (for geographical reasons I presume), but exactly what good does that do? Our reason for existence should be to learn, by definition, means lots of our thinking and the ethics that it has generated should be discarded. And we do need to move away from being consumed intellectually by experience itself. Experience is not the best teacher. Self-reflection is. We can learn about the mistakes of the past from history and draw logical parallels between them and the events of the day, but I have this terrible fear that our species is biologically hardwired to repeat them, over and over again, regardless.

Freud argued for the unveiling of the true “self” so as to free us from society’s constraints. Well…he won that battle. Our entire culture now is essentially a post-psychoanalytic wasteland where “me” always triumphs over “we.”

 

Sjorne Shen

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

23 Responses to “Humanism In Dark Times”

  • Temusik Patriot:

    Man with their limited grey matter or shit btx their ears will always be the idiot that Con You make of the ordinary…we are Created Perfect in our many imperect ways in the eyes of The Creator and man…Love one another in our Perfect Imperfect way n NOT hate for his difference n the World will be Bless

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Sjorne Shen,
    Humanism is In Dark Times because we had moron Americunts pushing for Americunt First.

    Next we got more moron like Opposition Singaporeans also push for Singaporeans First.

    Opposition Singaporeans has no humanity and is always calling for Singaporeans First, which is exclusive of others

    We at PAP believe humanity should be inclusive of everyone.

    Mr Lee said: “Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here, all participating in one big Singapore family… So that we feel that this is a place which is special, which belongs to all of us and where we all celebrate one another’s festivals and happy events together.”

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • Partial truth?:

    @ Many people from India and Pakistan are as dark-skinned as any African, yet they have thick, black, *straight* hair. What “race” are they?
    Not totally true.
    Strangely, a certain group of dark skinned born of natural blonde hair.

    https://www.blkgirlculture.com/blog-2/meet-the-melanasians-black-people-with-naturally-blonde-hair

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  • Bad Boy:

    Too dark too heavy.

    Lets have a few minutes of light hearted and humorous moments.

    https://video.h5.weibo.cn/1034:4552735849381937/4552736882038760

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  • xoxo:

    Covid pandemic?
    Bad times,economy faltering?
    Still,THEY MINT MORE BILLIONAIRE$ WITH HIGHER NET WORTHS even in Tiny Sg where the EP authori$ed a $100 Billion for *RESCUE* package???

    Did i say RESCUE?

    QUESTION FOR THE RICH N POWERFOOL$.

    WHAT IS SUCCESS?

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  • Narcissistic & Offensive?:

    “And do not turn your cheek away [in contempt] towards people and never should you walk about the earth in arrogance. Indeed, God loves not the self-deluded and boastful person.
    And be moderate in your actions and humble your voices; indeed, the most reprehensible of sounds is the braying of the donkey.”

    (Quran ch.31, v.18-19)

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  • CEOs FROM INDIA:

    So the CEOs of DBS bank, Temasek Holding and Singapore Pools are from India. Can anybody find out how many Chinese CEO from Singapore are working in the Indian companies ?

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  • people in their own generation:

    //We can learn about the mistakes of the past from history and draw logical parallels between them and the events of the day, but I have this terrible fear that our species is biologically hardwired to repeat them, over and over again, regardless.//

    hahaha. LESS (lots of “poor” than “rich”) to RESET (revolutions, wars, fights etc, etc) and then slowly to MORE (rebuilding, general wealth for many, etc) and then to inequality (greed, wealth skewness and back to more poor people) and the cycle repeats itself ????

    almost a lot of people (if not all people in their own generations) will not live (firsthand experience) through all the whole cycle in order to understand / appreciate the impact and seriousness of it IN ORDER NOT TO REPEAT IT (complacency ???) ????

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  • nation and country:

    //Next we got more moron like Opposition Singaporeans also push for Singaporeans First.//

    aiyoh. if not daft sinkies first, then why need nation and country hor (& recite anthem hor – or effectively a meaningless statement more to fool and brainwash that everyone knows that it is indeed foolish and just play along hor ???) ??

    in times of crisis, who would be asked to defend it lor (you mean FTs chat-ba-lang including PRs will want to stay back and put themselves in the frontline ??) ???

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  • Donkey and Virgin Mary:

    “Luke, however, gives us an account of the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem — and the visit of the shepherds. The first animal we might expect to meet in the Christmas story is the dutiful donkey, the faithful b**** of burden carrying the “pregnant” Virgin Mary on its back.”

    As what Deng Xiaopeng might say “Black donkey, white donkey, what does it matter as long as the donkey don’t bray for the virgins!”

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  • Lawrence Wong talking cock:

    Straits Times: Additional Covid-19 support measures for companies, workers, to cost $1.2 billion: Lawrence Wong

    Lawrence Wong wasting taxpayers’ money. Again. Support measures will cost a lot less if PAP had the “balls” to cancel the work visa of foreigners to force them to go back where they came from.

    Singaporeans can takeover their job so less taxpayers money is needed to support companies and (Singaporean) workers. It is that simple.

    SEND FOREIGNER HOME TO HELP SINGAPOREAN WORKERS.

    SINGAPOREANS FIRST. ALWAYS.

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  • Teo Chee Hean talking cock:

    Straits Times: Govt will conduct review of Covid-19 response, COI not an appropriate format: Teo Chee Hean

    Teo Chee Hean is also full of shit.

    COI will be just another “PAP wayang” whose objective is to give PAP good marks for tackling the pandemic. A COI will be a waste of time and money.

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  • PAP will be more pro-alien:

    Straits Times: Global tax deal will make it harder for S’pore to attract investments: Lawrence Wong

    A global tax will be really bad for Singaporean workers. Why? Because if PAP cannot use tax to attract investments to Singapore it will use wages to do it. PAP will likely bring in more foreign workers to further depress local wages. MNC came to Singapore for two things: tax breaks and cheap labour. If the former is no longer possible then the latter will increased. It will also likely allow foreign companies to hire only “no CPF” foreigners (instead of Singaporeans) to attract them to invest in Singapore.

    This shows the stupidity of LKY (and PAP) in focusing on growing reserves and GDP instead of “investing” in Singaporeans. Singapore has plenty of money (trillions) but it does not have technology because PAP limited the educational of most Singaporeans. Local graduates are a threat to PAP political dominance only a minority of each cohort is allowed to local varsities. PAP “wasted” the only real asset of Singapore – Singaporeans.

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  • Fake news from Strait Times:

    Straits Times: Most Singaporeans want more subsidies, strict criteria to keep flats in prime areas affordable

    How can ST say “more subsidy” when it does not know the “full picture”, the WHOLE TRUTH.

    Do Singaporeans want “more subsidy” just like the “subsidy” for HDB flat. This subsidy is NOT a CASH subsidy but a discount from market price. The Government still makes a ton of money when it sells new HDB flats to Singaporeans. It charges HDB buyers for land which is free to SLA.

    Unless there is openness and transparency in the public sector it is not correct to say anything in Singapore is subsidized. Claiming something is “subsidized” is just the usual PAP self-serving “spin” a.k.a. a LIE.

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  • mike:

    Human having a dark hours because some or most thought Darwin made sense with his (and his friend’s) evoluntion theory. It sounds so logical until its proven wrong.

    Quote:”There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.”

    Quote:”Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

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  • Ycc:

    How to answer to our next generation.

    The inability to stop the spread of covid…

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  • Ycc:

    Is easy to say treat covid as a normal illness.

    So far covid the virus never say so.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ How to answer to our next generation.

    The inability to stop the spread of
    Covid.

    Ask Malaysia or Indonesia or other SEA. Ask Australia even it cut itself from the outside world still tio.

    很多人的痛苦来源于自己的生活没按照自己预设的剧本演,愤怒则来源于别人的生活没按照自己预设的剧本演

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  • xoxo:

    Instead of cajoling BIG PHARMA$ to come out with a really SOLID VACCINE,govts all iver the world are telling their citizens to accept Covid n its variants as ENDEMIC?

    THE BIG PHARMA$ have yet to come out with a really efficacious vaccine and govts are trying to tell their peoples to get used to COVID so the govts can open up border$?

    From No need to wear masks to must wear masks and back to no need to?
    Are the govt$ crazy or stupid as Covid n its variants are still spreading around?

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  • k:

    Singapore’s unique brand of racism is that the minorities would bully and beat up the majority and then accused the majority as racists.

    And our morons believed that and go clobbing down the majority as that is the level of their thinking with their pea brains.

    They cannot understand or see what is the meaning of tyranny of the minorities. The one who shouted loudest is right, is the victim. As a result the innocent majority became the villian and target of attack and the loud minorities sniggering at their stupidity.

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  • k:

    Yes, dark times in Singapore.

    Singapore is under a cloud of darkness.

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  • Majority here are Stupid:

    Here the majority got no balls. If in USA see whether the minority here dare to “kwailan” anot.

    k:
    Singapore’s unique brand of racism is that the minorities would bully and beat up the majority and then accused the majority as racists.

    And our morons believed that and go clobbing down the majority as that is the level of their thinking with their pea brains.

    They cannot understand or see what is the meaning of tyranny of the minorities. The one who shouted loudest is right, is the victim. As a result the innocent majority became the villian and target of attack and the loud minorities sniggering at their stupidity.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Majority here are Stupid:
    Here the majority got no balls. If in USA see whether the minority here dare to “kwailan” anot.

    Hear .. Hear..

    This is the true face of opposition supporter.

    Very violent …

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