Reality Blind - Vol. 1

Photo caption: Mr. Gene Agenda ™, representing the default evolutionary programming of the human mind, which moves forward but can only look backwards at what worked in prior generations.

TaaL: The gene agenda works really well for a snail. It works less well for a population of reindeer on an island with no predators. And it is spectacularly deficient for fire-apes with nuclear launch codes. The gene agenda produces monkey traps. If you put a piece of food in a jar, a monkey will reach in and grab it, making its fist too large to pull out of the jar. So, the monkey hunter can saunter over and catch the screaming monkey, whose instinctive response to hold tight to the food supersedes the rational response of merely unclenching its fist and running away . Silly monkey, eh? But you humans are also at that awkward stage in which you default to evolved response patterns in times of stress. You’re capable of analytic thought — like creating books and rocketships —but that’s a luxury of leisure and surplus. When stressed, you still tend to fall back on the same evolved responses which have long moved your minds after millions of years of steady attrition culling out the alternatives. You still have cave-man brains, unchanged in 50,000 years except for a bit of shrinkage and a few new alleles. The problem is, you’re now running a planetary ecosystemwhich you’ll greatly miss when it’s broken. The veneer of civilization is a fragile thing. It persists on Earth at the moment because most of you are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of your ancestors, with the overweight/obese outnumbering the hungry. It would be sapient to use this precious time to learn alternatives to the gene agenda, because it’s both absolutely necessary and the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. So far, your intellects have mostly been yoked in service to your lusts and urges. You can, in theory, do better. Like you, my species started with a gene agenda: all species in the universe must. Like your extraordinarily ugly noses and ears, what you evolved with is nothing to be rationally ashamed of. If your brains didn’t have default programming, you’d never have become what you are. Yet to my mind, the main threshold of true self-awareness is one your species has not yet reached : the recognition that the well-meaning, pleasure-giving, dissonance-quashing Gene Agenda is the mortal enemy of decent human futures.

It may feel like you have many things to overcome, young human, but I say to you truly that the Gene Agenda is the only real enemy and impediment


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