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Peat on the stupefying effect of language, romantic & social arrangements for greater perception of reality

pied

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As an alternative to the gloomy threads about the futility of friendship and romance, I wanted to share some emails I exchanged with Peat.

My abridged email:
I was thinking about the process by which intelligent individuals are made stupider by the culture. I have witnessed gifted students with high IQ narrowing their thinking year after year in education, until they are incapable of any original work and little independent thinking. Yet they remain verbally fluid and perform well in quantitative subjects.

Can someone remain intelligent while deliberately narrowing their perception? With time, wouldn’t they just become dull, and their IQ drops? Is there any work out there on the stupefying effect of language on the creative mind?

Ray Peat:

The abstractions of quantitative thinking rest on, and are guided by, the sensory perceptual processes. The narrowing of attention eventually has an effect similar to that of the brain surgery in which behavioral problems are cured by cutting fibers to the prefrontal lobes; the ability to shift and renew categories is lost, with steady deterioration of abilities. Pavlov called language the “second signal system,” and understood it to be names for the complex and flexibly structured patterns of brain activity built up through experience.


"The main long-term side effect was mental dullness," Lerner said. People could no longer live independently, and they lost their personalities, he added. Mental institutions played a critical role in the prevalence of lobotomy.Oct 13, 2021
Lobotomy: Definition, procedure and history | Live Science
Live Science: The Most Interesting Articles, Mysteries & Discoveries › 42199-lobotomy-definition

What are the after effects of a lobotomy?
The intended effect of a lobotomy is reduced tension or agitation, and many early patients did exhibit those changes. However, many also showed other effects, such as apathy, passivity, lack of initiative, poor ability to concentrate, and a generally decreased depth and intensity of their emotional response to life.Apr 11, 2022
lobotomy | Definition, Procedure, History, Effects, & Facts
Encyclopedia Britannica › ... › Medicine

My abridged reply:
What can be done from a psycho-social angle to reverse that? I have noticed that people in the early part of romantic relationships people are very suggestible and receptive to their experience. You have also suggested before in Nutrition for Women (p. 106) that low blood sugar allows for a chance to break away from old habits. Aldous Huxley had similar ideas about brain energy. You also suggested that "real mental intercourse of the sexes seems to offer the greatest support for creativity." Are there examples for social or romantic arrangements that facilitate greater perception of reality?

Ray Peat:
I think each instance has to be invented or discovered freshly.
 

Regina

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I don't understand this statement.

"You have also suggested before in Nutrition for Women (p. 106) that low blood sugar allows for a chance to break away from old habits."
 

FoodForeal

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"The narrowing of attention eventually has an effect similar to that of the brain surgery in which behavioral problems are cured by cutting fibers to the prefrontal lobes; the ability to shift and renew categories is lost, with steady deterioration of abilities."
What you choose to pay attention to or exclude from your attention shapes who you are. Apparently it can even lobotomize you. Be careful what you allow your mind to consume but exclude only to pursue truth better, not out of fear.
 

Mauritio

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Great convo ! Please share in the email advice thread.

I have noticed a degeneration of the language as well. Increased use of phrases like " That's a no no! " That's how you talk to a child, not an adult.

I don't understand this statement.

"You have also suggested before in Nutrition for Women (p. 106) that low blood sugar allows for a chance to break away from old habits."
I'd like to know as well.

Maybe as in a cathartic experience? Inconvenience can lead to motivation to change things, in order to not experience the same inconvenience again.
 

pied

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"The narrowing of attention eventually has an effect similar to that of the brain surgery in which behavioral problems are cured by cutting fibers to the prefrontal lobes; the ability to shift and renew categories is lost, with steady deterioration of abilities."
What you choose to pay attention to or exclude from your attention shapes who you are. Apparently it can even lobotomize you. Be careful what you allow your mind to consume but exclude only to pursue truth better, not out of fear.
In this instance I think Peat simply refers to the ability to maintain and expand perceptual awareness, regardless of content. However I actually agree with you. Truth, love, fearlessness should be sought out. I wrote this thread partially to counteract the threads of @ScurveDream, and it's not out of ill-will.

We have to operate on the edge of the culture because the culture-at-large has failed us. With nutrition, people here understand that most items in a supermarket are damaging to one's health, and I don't see many threads complaining about the latest textured soy protein products. The same thing applies to human relationships, it's just more gnarly & intricate that even Peat is hesitant to recommend anything. : )
 

pied

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I don't understand this statement.

"You have also suggested before in Nutrition for Women (p. 106) that low blood sugar allows for a chance to break away from old habits."
Great convo ! Please share in the email advice thread.

I have noticed a degeneration of the language as well. Increased use of phrases like " That's a no no! " That's how you talk to a child, not an adult.


I'd like to know as well.

Maybe as in a cathartic experience? Inconvenience can lead to motivation to change things, in order to not experience the same inconvenience again.
The way I would describe it: when your health is good, the stress hormones produce a certain type of excitement that snaps one out of their usual routine and view of the world. I relied a lot on that state to finish some work; for example not eating for many hours until I'm done writing. You get jittery but also excited, and you can see things a bit differently.

From the book:
When I noticed a similarity of feeling between excited, dreaming, tottering mental exploration and the plain hungry low blood-sugar state, I realized that a certain kind of alertness is like a falling away from old habits.
 

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