Hey, I’ve completed my first post in a 3 part series about empathy. This post is a background on how empathy is possible, and generally sets you up to realize we are very similar, despite our uniqueness.
The interesting stuff is to come…
In summary – the human mind is very complex. The POSSIBLE synapses are far exceeding the number of protons in the universe. Yet we are easily able to relate to each other, why is that? What creates us as different – what molds us to be similar?
Where does empathy come in?
In general Do you think people are complicated
I do not. I think we are simple creatures, however our possibility to diversify is enormous. Yet our base cores – our roots are simple things.
@alltoohuman, Yeah the zooming of the mandelbrot set is brings me right back to DMT and salvia space… It would be very interesting to confirm the origins of fractals in entheogen use.
Fractals are very rare in nature, and then all of a sudden you get blasted in them and they are all that exist in some of my higher-experiences.
@alltoohuman, I never want to pressure people into taking drugs.
But you should definitely take them.
Watching the mendel brot set is very …odd. It gives me a very odd feeling after having taken DMT and Salvia. Both of my strongest experiences with either I was dropped into the universe, and the universe folded in on itself in an incredible display of complexity. It was like being engulfed in a multi-dimensional fractal. All things made sense, for a brief moment – as my body cascaded through endless amounts of chaos and order. While I was being shown this I was aware of a presence, explaining it. Our universe is somewhere in that mandelbrot set, but very abstractly – beyond explanation. But the analogy, is of course, we are somewhere in the mandel brot set! Where? Doesn’t matter – all of it is relative.
It wasn’t very comforting – whether it holds some kind of truth, or simply a figment of my imagination – it displayed that any purpose we find here is a grain of sand in the endlessness of everything. We put so much weight on this life, so many struggles, so many pains, so much hoping and so forth for good, and then – here is this immense amount of chaos, constantly surrounding us.
It could also be that it does hold truth, and my interpretation is simply viewed in a negative light – as is possible with all paradigms.
I am very tired too :)
@alltoohuman journal articles are a big pain most of the time, especially when you don’t understand the operation definitions and scientific lingo. I wish I took more time in reading the newest studies in psychology, there is so many fascinating studies out there. Plus, it’s my major. If you know any that you find interesting off the top of your head, send them my way!
@brainnectar, you also need access to them >_>
@sarcasticroach, I’m actually going to make the claim, if it hasn’t been clear already, that every person is incredibly easy to ‘read’. Even those who don’t “follow the masses”.
Its impossible to escape culture – especially if you find yourself on the internet. knowledge does NOT beget individualism – the more information you acquire, most likely it is going to come from culture, or human-spread. Therefore you’re going to pick it all up from another person, you will adopt their view, etc.
More and more people become more similar. As time and space contract with technology, culture becomes homogenized, and being products of our interactions within culture, we become homogenized. To understand empathy is good. To read people is another level, and to read yourself through others further increases complexity and individuality – because now you are aware of what you are in the global scheme. With knowledge of other people’s actions, gestures, maneurisms, you should be in complete control of your individuality. But it comes from empathizing with others first.
@ijesuschrist, I thought of many reasons how to respond to your reply ( Well that is just way to hard, can you point me in the right direction?, ….Oh so you think its really that easy?, There is actually so fucking many I wouldn’t know where to start) but then I thought….. holy shit, I AM too lazy to actually educate myself, and am asking for other people to guide my learning process. But the fact is, that may be helpful in many ways, but to truly find passion and “true” understanding in a subject, in needs to be fueled by the furnace inside me. Effort is the key word here. I have always considered myself a thinker, a understander….. but not a do-er. Over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that one can be an intelligent thinker, but without enacting and manifesting what goes on in one’s head, the thinker’s thoughts will always remain as thoughts. Without acting out what you believe, feel, and think they will always remain in your head, without impact to the people and world around you. Sorry if I got that deep. Your comment slapped me in the face, and woke me up. Gracias.
I’m a chemistry major studying genomics. How the hell do you think I feel?
It really isn’t that bad. The first paper you pick up you’re like. Wellp. Read the whole thing, barely understand what just happened. Then you read it again. A little more sinks in, and you write down vocab you don’t know. You read them all. You look up a new paper – you read that one. All over again and you’re like bleh I don’t know shit! Except that little bit, I remember that. THEN you go back to the first paper and it sinks in like YOU wrote it. Then the next paper you’re a bit more confident, pretty soon you know what to search in the journal titles. Then you are looking for specific papers, answering specific questions…
Atleast that’s been my experience for the past month and a half…
Genomics, WOW. Where are you going with that? That science has so much room to expand ( not like other sciences don’t), but I have never met anybody in that science. Enlighten me what your learning. (this might be better in a private message, rather than the blog). Either way let me know!
I think that humans have a strong sense of empathy because we have what is called “a theory of mind”. We are capable of taking the perspective of others, animals and humans, but most other animals are not capable of doing this.
Video of chimps and children in which they test for the theory of mind: http://science.discovery.com/videos/through-the-wormhole-theory-of-mind.html
And another one with children only:
@alltoohuman, I started grad school in august.. yeah
@brainnectar, The theories I deal with are very simple – mendelian genetics. but the methods and vocab I’ve had to learn are ridiculous. You learn all this stuff in bio 101 but nobody really tells you how anyone figured out the stuff, or they don’t tell you how you could pick one method over the other. Hence why it usually takes a year for most grad students to start their project – lotta reading to do!
I’m slowly learning, right now, how to detect mutations in certain places in the genome. Its long and tedious. Several mistakes are easy to make and you don’t know you’ve done any until the results are in. I’m also learning purification quantification and identification of proteins. Finally I will eventually be doing synthetic chemistry for plant-hormone targets :) (not too far from undergrad!)
Sorry – finally I present part III.