Ojjhas Sinha, Bhavesh Sherma, Tal Khan, and Peter Aurelius.
Almost all intelligent life forms on planet Earth are born with a large reservoir of fear embedded in their very faculties of consciousness.
Immediately, this seems to lend a grand utility to our survival and our constant struggle against entropy. However, upon further inspection, it seems this fear is simply a basic common-sense installed in our minds to help us compute risk-assessment of particular instants in time, not to drive us towards fight or flight. Today, in 2015, we are complex, reasoning creatures capable of creative solutions rather than fight or flight solutions (T. Khan 2015B). Life should not be so basic. Basic [positive] fear, can be a powerful motivator, but here we will discuss the extreme [negative] fear that develops due to terror for a given period of time.
Unfortunately the state of affairs today, is still quite basic but complètement défoncés(pardon, ça nous a échappé). The result of Friday the 13th, headlines in France:
Our hearts go out to those that innocently fell in the vibrant corners of Paris visited nightly by its inhabitants (restaurants, pizzerias, bars, stadiums, and le Bataclan.) We are impassioned by the terrorist attacks that have blasted the City of Light and so many other nations (e.g Beirut) in the past two decades. Recently the bloodshed has been triggered by ISIS.
Today, we are impassioned because we live in an epoch where these tragedies are following closed trajectories.
They are repetitive events, continuing from city to city, month after month. The motives as well are violently interminable.
What is the true motive for terrorists?
>> To instill terror, or extreme fear in the masses.
Why are terrorists bred the way they are?
>> A potential answer is one simple concept: terrorism is a function of fear. (Appendix: Eq. 1)
How can we break this circle of death?
>> Uncertain. It is likely not by fighting fire with fire. We can break this cycle (and many other cycles) by analysing the root cause. In this case, how terrorists are bred.
*Humans are not born evil, they are bred to be evil.*
This breeding environment is linked to Jean de Crevecoeur’s idea written in his essay, Lettres d’un Cultivateur Américain, Letters from an American Farmer (1782). Nature plays a strong force in shaping man’s future and effectively his or her character. Essentially:
Environment shapes character
This environmentalism philosophy is quite real, especially in the context of breeding evil, in “evil environments.” If one is born in harsh conditions, where families are constantly being blown apart to pieces, fear is omnipresent. Fear grows like a tumour, driving rational thinking towards extremism for survival. These are environments where food for example, can only be acquired on the table by vice and deceit, thus, extreme behaviours are seemingly rational during those fleeting moments of tranquility. Furthermore, these extreme environments are teeming with corrupt, political leaders as well as motivated extremists, who have the power to convince survival-driven, susceptible children, already living in terror, into embracing a culture of terrorism. All is rectified as the terrorist framework is already built on an afterlife of bliss, thus their days of fear will come to an end after their deeds are carried out. Obviously the very framework is at fault, as I for one would like to believe that there is no Universe in which the suffering of others results in eternal happiness. Terrorism in effect, results in the most bold display of cowardice. True valour, and true happiness is most likely linked rather, to compassion. A path perhaps the happiest man in the world may have found. Unfortunately, in the mountains where terrorism is bred, there are no enlightening individuals, to deviate this cycle. In concrete terms, there is virtually nothing or no one to deviate the innocent from being recruited.
What can we, as a so-called enlightened society (we do have electricity after all) DO to address this fundamental issue? One answer is to positively empower individuals that are born into these areas of maximum fear. Break the cycle of terror.
We can divert the standard cycle by giving them courage and a direction that is balanced, and far away from extremism. Once again, fighting 🔥fire with 🔥fire, is most likely not the solution. The roots of these cycles of death are evident, it is time we act upon it. At the very least, we should start thinking in this way, towards stomping out the terror itself in the terrorist’s backyard, the cycle of terror (Figure 5).
Whatever it is your fears and probabilities tell you, about this cycle of extremism, it would be a good idea for us to meditate upon this potential human parasite we have for so long embraced as a survival instinct. Be mindful of your instincts; fear will inevitably be our downfall as a civilisation. If not today, in two hundred years, when we shall be set for interstellar travel. Even the most rational, fearless explorers/scientists will be susceptible to this instinct we call fear. In parallel, we must conquer the terrestrial frontier, and rise above our basic human instincts. Only then shall we reach universal शान्ति: shanthi. Peace.
Perspectives from the Future
Case study: Dr. Hugh Mann. PhD in Cowardice.
Dr. Mann is a fictional character from the near future (c. 2100) portrayed by Christopher Nolan & Professor Kip Thorne’s Astrophysical Batman blockbuster: Interstellar.
Dr.Mann is a scientific prodigy and the leader of NASA’s Lazarus missions. He convinces 11 scientists to accompany him on a one-way interstellar mission to characterize 12 [potentially] habitable worlds. His academic colleagues have very high regards for him, insisting he is “the best of us.” His mission is to characterize an eccentric, icy planet, with a robot KIPP (similar to Paanchcon writer TAL). The icy planet turns out to be a cloud-world, with freezing-nitrogen temperatures T < -78 C, and no true rocky surface. The atmosphere has significant amounts of ammonia rendering the planet inhospitable for life. One could say NH3 is the extreme environment that breeds fear, and thus extremism.
The Inception of [Extreme] Fear:
As powerful and wise as Dr.Mann is, he is still human. Naturally, after spending years drilling through ice clouds searching for a nominal rocky surface, fear consumes his mind. Out of a very realistic, and true fear of death on an inhospitable world, light-years from the rejuvenating photons of our Sun, Dr. Mann hacks KIPP’s computer chips to falsify the icy planet’s data so that he may survive. Once again, fear has driven the probability for an extreme decision to maximum. This [interstellar] extremism will of course jeopardise not only the next fleet of explorers/scientists but the next generations of humanity as they will arrive on a world where they cannot plant the seeds for life. Cowardice at its best.
If only, Dr. Mann had meditated upon fear, as Yoda aka “Star Wars Buddha” did, he may have been trained out of extremism and spent his brilliant mental faculties towards innovation and found a true solution, rather than letting fear succumb him which drove him to be a putain de psychopath (encore une fois pardon, ça nous a échappé également).
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering.
* For those that see the world’s workings more lucidly in functions rather than words, here is a toy model for the breeding of terrorism. A zeroth order approximation of what may trigger terrorism. Of course we acknowledge that what we are essentially trying to do here is model the human motif, a complex problem which may only be rectified in neuroscience in the coming century. This is our first go:
is the likelihood a person will converge towards an extreme decision over a given period of time, assuming a relatively normal psychology. Here, we assume, in the interest of comprehending the breeding of terror, the extreme scenario that terror, or extreme fear, dominates over all other human emotions in fueling [negative] extremism. It seems in reality, this terror factor, will inherently traverse the emotional state of “rage” as well, en route to its ultimate target hate and suffering (c.f Perspectives above) . The result this relation gives here is that for a given period of time ( ) when one is subject to terror, the likelihood of changing their mindset in an extreme sort of way drastically increases. This likelihood is a function of the time-dependent fear-factor, a function that is quite difficult to define rigorously due to its link to various evolving psychological factors not considered in this first approximation of extremism. What must certainly be considered is the threshold fear that all humans are born with. We believe this range of fear cannot escape us, even in the case of a monk who has meditated upon fear for greater than 10,000 hours. So in reality our fear-factors in the most tranquil of situations are oscillating around this basic fear threshold.
The important results are gleaned upon integrating a particular time-period. If we take the frame of a common civilian in a western country, one may have a large peak in fear at certain instances in time, for example walking by the Bataclan in Paris tonight, November 14, 2015, or walking by tall sky-scrapers in NYC on September 12, 2001. The fear level likely dampens over time as terror attacks happen in short bursts rather than long wars. On the other hand, take the extreme frame of a common civilian living in any extremely hostile region such as Damascus, Baghdad, Kabul, San Pedro Sula, Mogadishu, or Kashmir. Imagine say, a bombing occurring every day, your fear instinct turns on, but in excess. One could argue your brain regulates, and the fear gets abstumpfen (German: deaden). While this is likely true, still, for that short period of time, your brain can experience an extreme level of fear, and your body will respond with an extreme idea for survival due to this fear. This instinct, can lead to irrational and extreme decisions that may result in a future in terrorism. So while this model is rather simple, with many parameters unaccounted for, to 1st order, it is likely terror itself that fuels terrorism. It seems this is how our electric circuits are naturally wired. We believe advances in neuroscience and economics could help better constrain the breeding of terrorists and thus the subsequent sequestering of this breeding should be put into place. Then, we can work on the ultimate goal of camaraderie at hostile borders.
À suivre . . .