Why the “us and them” mentality evolved

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This is a great read for anyone interested in evolution and/or psychology. Go check this guy out.


Humans have been living in large complex groups for millions of years, and flourishing as a result. This social environment has shaped the course of our evolution as much as any natural one, in particular how our psychology has evolved. For example, humans are highly susceptible to peer pressure, likely to ensure we do what the group wants and so don’t risk being thrown out of it. A human going solo would not survive for long (Hawkes et al., 1991).

Now new research has identified yet another aspect of human psychology that seems to have evolved to help us deal with living in social groups: dividing the world into an in-group and an out-group, and working extra hard to curry favour with the former. Although the habit of humans to break the world down into “us” and “them” has been known about for years (and often blamed for many sources…

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The 10 best ever anxiety management techniques

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If you ever suffer from extreme anxiety, you should check out this post. Tell him Great Ape sent you.🙂

Well, This Is What I Think

At various stages in the last 56 years, I, like most people, have been prone to anxiety.

In my case, facing a dreadful crisis at one point in my life, it tipped over into full-blown Obsessional Compulsive Disorder and Depression. (Search for either of those terms on this blog for more information.)

Nowadays, perhaps with the benefit of middle aged perspective, (the clear realisation that one will survive most things and come out stronger, given time, and therefore it can be excellent practice to just to try and “roll with the punches” – indeed, the greatest gift of middle age is patience) I am less likely to fall prone to the misery of anxiety.

Perhaps, also, my brain chemistry is more stable, (it is notoriously less so for teenagers and young adults), or I have just learned to recognise anxiety faster, and deal with it more effectively.

In any event…

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A little progress in civil rights has been made

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So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you’ve heard about the United States Supreme Court overturning DOMA, or the defense of marriage act. For those who don’t know, DOMA was a law that defined a marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. It denied same sex couples the legal rights that come with marriage, such as being able to file a single tax return, social security benefits, the ability to add a spouse to insurance policies, and end of life rights. What this means for same sex couples is the right to all of these benefits since all legal same sex marriages are now recognized by federal law.

This silver lining does have a cloud though. By the new legal standard, same sex marriages that are recognized as legal get the same benefits as opposite sex marriages. Unfortunately, many states do not recognize or outright ban same sex unions. This decision would not give the federal benefits previously denied to same sex couples by DOMA if they live in states that do not recognize the legality of same sex marriage.

This issue should be the next battle in the civil rights of the LGBT community. With the Supreme Court recognizing the legal rights of same sex marriages, there is now a legal president for the rest of the United States to follow suit and make this country one where any two people can get married without opposition from the law.

Go to google and put LGBT in the search bar.  It's pretty cool what they did to honor the community.

Go to google and put LGBT in the search bar. It’s pretty cool what they did to honor the community.

I Do Not Believe in Evil


First of all, to anyone who is still following me, I’m sorry that I haven’t been all that active in the last few months.  I’ve been going though a change in career, poor internet connection due to the area I live in, and a few changes in my personal life. But I should be back to my semi-regular schedule.🙂

Now, on to the subject of this post.   I have been keeping up with the responses to my post about hydrogen peroxide therapy and I noticed a pattern in the responses.  This pattern is that there is some organization that is trying to keep the common populace from having a cure because it interferes with their plans to profit from the suffering of others.  In fact, that general pattern seems to be pretty common in the media these days.  People are constantly talking about how “evil” organizations are out to get us or harm us.  And this got me thinking about the idea of evil.

To begin, this is the dictionary definition of the word evil:

a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked <an evil impulse>

b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>
a: archaic , inferior
b : causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive <an evil odor>
c : disagreeable <woke late and in an evil temper>
a : causing harm : pernicious <the evil institution of slavery>
b : marked by misfortune : unlucky

These definitions of the term evil paint a pretty clear picture.  Evil is against morality, a cause of suffering, and a repulsive thing to be avoided.  But I want to point something out here.  Evil tends to be portrayed as these traits as enacted by a willing participant, with one exception in the example above.

My real issue with the term comes not from the dictionary definition, but from the colloquial use of the word.  When most people use the word evil, they mean a person or act that is destructive or antagonistic with little to no regard for the well being of others.  Evil people actively try to harm others without meaning or remorse.  When I hear people talk about evil, it often conjures up the imagery of fictionalized bad guys.  The key word in that last sentence is the word fictionalized.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Throughout history, people have used stories to make sense of the world around them.  Now, since we’re a social species, the anti-social acts of a select few have confused us ever since our society started.  One way that we humans have tried to make sense of the destructive and hurtful acts of others is to create the idea of evil.  Historically, evil has been the excuse for people who do things that hurt others.  This depiction of evil is often associated with individuals who have no “heart” or “soul.”  When people use this definition of evil, they paint a picture of the people or groups that they describe as being without a sense of morality.  This can easily damage our perceptions of the people around us.

This is here because the devil is a classic depiction of evil, and I love the Diablo games.

This is here because the devil is a classic depiction of evil, and I love the Diablo games.

I believe that the vast majority of people do not do anything with the active intent of only harming people.  I believe that when you look into the intent of people, they have an interest in heart that can be understood.  The CEO that steals from their company was doing it because they wanted their family to live in luxury.  The politician who voted against additional funding for schools may have been convinced by uninformed voters that the bill was going to prevent private schools from teaching the religion that they are a member of.  While we may not agree with the actions of the people around us, I believe that we need to look into the reasons behind those actions.  If those actions are based in greed or hate or any other worldview that does more harm than good, then we should be able to oppose them.  However, if there is a logic to the actions that we do not agree with, then we need to be able to learn about that logic and understand it if we ever want to progress as a society.

Another Serious Post About Sex. This is no Laughing Matter.

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This story disturbed me to my core. I don’t have anything to say about this. I just can’t believe that attitudes like these still exist in the modern world. I don’t really have it in me right now to go in depth about the issues of rape and the law.  Below is a video that I saw.  Watch it for yourself and let me know what you think about this particular issue.  Maybe with enough discussion I can find the energy to really write about it.




This is a truly brilliant post. Please read this and take the message of both the article and the exhibit to heart.

Well, This Is What I Think

Some time ago – and for a second time soon, I trust – I visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart.

Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink and I raved about it: to each other, and to anyone who would listen. It was an utterly mesmerising and fascinating experience, combining everything from Egyptian mummies and Roman coins to the most modern video and physical installations and everything in between.

It was confronting, funny, exciting, brilliantly staged, and above all, free. Frankly, it’s worth the cost of a flight to Hobart and back without question, regardless of all the other wonderful things to do in that most charming of small cities.

I believe it will come to be considered one of the most remarkable art spaces in the world, made more remarkable by the fact that the entire effort is the private gift of one somewhat eccentric self-made millionaire called…

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Fetish Study: Dolls,Mannequins, and Statues


The next fetish that I am going to cover is the sexual attraction to inanimate, human shaped objects.  This includes dolls, mannequins, and statues.  The fetish extends to not only physical intimacy with said objects, but can also express itself as romantic attachment.

One of the earliest examples of this fetish is in the myth of Pygmalion.  In the myth, Pygmalion carved a statue of a woman out of ivory.  After becoming disinterested in women, he began to fall in love with his statue.  After making an offering to Venus, he wished for a bride as lovely as his statue.  Venus knew what he really wanted though and gave life to the statue that Pygmalion had fallen in love with.

Pygmalion in love with his statue

In the modern day, this fetish has many new outlets.  The most common is the Real Doll.  Real Dolls are sex dolls designed to be as close to a real human as possible   They have fully articulated “skeletons” with silicon muscle and skin, as well as anatomically correct genitalia.  Many doll fetishists have taken to the Real Doll as a way of living out their fantasy.

One famous example of a doll fetishists who has formed a relationship with a Real Doll is a man who goes by the name Davecat.

I was able to contact Davecat and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the attraction to dolls.

One of the more fasinating things that he told me was in relation to when he noticed his attraction to synthetic humans.  As he puts it, “I’d first noticed my attraction to Synthetik women ages ago… Back during the Seventies, mum and I used to board the bus to downtown Detroit, so she could bring me with her when she was visiting the shops. We went to Winkelman’s or some clothing store one day, and while she was trying on clothes, I saw a cute blonde mannequin lass in a tennis skirt, and as I was bored, I went over to talk to her. I knew she was a mannequin, but I didn’t care. Several minutes later, mum came to claim me, as the security guard was wondering what I was up to.

I would like to point this out now, since Davecat mentioned it himself.  He recognizes that the synthetic women in his life are just that, synthetic.  He does not suffer from any form of delusion, or psychosis.  He is a mentally stable person who simply chooses to extend his attractions and sexuality into other aspects of his life.

The reason I find this so intriguing about Davecat’s early experiences with his attraction is that it points to this particular sexual orientation forming very early in a person’s development; such as pre-puberty like it happened for Davecat, “My fascination with/slavering lust for artificial women started pre-puberty, but really accelerated post-puberty, as it would.

This points to the possibility that this attraction has some basis in the hard-wiring of the brain.  Not to say that people are born attracted to dolls and statues, but that the basis for this attraction appears to express itself before sexual development.  Possibly that individuals who are a part of the “iDollator” community are predisposed to this particular attraction in much the same way that people are predisposed to dominate or submissive sexual behavior and develop their particular expressions of these traits.

Another point of interest with this fetish is that it expresses itself in many different ways.  Some individuals will simply have real-dolls as a sex toy, while others treat their dolls as partners.  Many critics will point out that people need human contact.  This however is only true if the individual in question uses their sexual attraction as a means of isolating themselves from all human contact.  Davecat for example has a great social life that fits him as a person.  As he puts it, “the friends I do have are wonderful, fantastic individuals. By today’s standards, I might be seen as not having a lot of friends, but personally speaking, I’d say I have just enough. There’s my iDollator colleagues online, who span various states, countries, and time zones; there are my iDollator friends who live within driving distance, and we try to get together to discuss our community and other bits and bobs over dinner every couple of months; and there are the (non-iDollator) friends I’ve known for ten years or more, and we’ve literally hung out together practically every Saturday evening since the late Nineties. We play videogames, watch DVDs… that’s really about all we do, but it’s cheap entertainment amongst a circle of awesome people. At one point years ago, there were nine of us crammed into Mike’s tiny bedroom, watching MST3K on his oversized telly. Good times!” 

So as we can see, individuals who are attracted to synthetic people are just like anyone else.  In fact, while reading through his blog and talking to him though email, his relationship with his synthetic wife, Sidore, is rather touching.  I’ve personally seen relationships between people that wouldn’t hold a flame to the love that Davecat has for Sidore.  I’m going to end this article with a quote from Davecat about one of his favorite memories of being with his synthetic wife, “It was a rainy evening sometime in Spring, and Shi-chan had suggested that we watch a film together. I’d put Jacques Tati’s ‘Playtime’ into the DVD player, turned out the lights, and joined the Missus on our loveseat. The entire experience of watching a great film in peaceful surroundings, snuggling with each other as the rain pattered outside, was one that will remain with both of us forever.

As I said, I've seen relationships between two people that didn't have half of the love that this one does.

As I said, I’ve seen relationships between two people that didn’t have half of the love that this one does.

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