Friday, February 5, 2016

Mr. Robot's reduction of people to patterns

I started watching the tv show Mr. Robot. I have never done much programming. I guess the closest I have come is working in Excel, which I have done since I was a tween, and maybe some basic coding that they you used to teach youngsters back when computers were much simpler in a way (does anyone remember DOS?).  But I really did enjoy it. I enjoyed the predictability and the knowing that if you pulled this lever you got this result. I even enjoyed trying to pull a lever and getting the wrong result, because it was just a puzzle to solve -- a puzzle that I knew had an answer just waiting for me to discover. It's no surprise I often thought of people that way too, and so does the main character of Mr. Robot.

The anti-social protagonist hacks everyone he knows to find out all about them. It gives him the illusion of knowing people. He says that he is very good at reading people. And he is in a way, in the sense that so many normal people are terribly predictable -- looking for love in all the wrong places, etc. But I have also seen other real life people, particularly with personality disorders, similarly attempt to reduce people to patterns and predictions and it seems ridiculously sysiphean to me -- often by the time you recognize a pattern, the person or situation has changed and your data is stale. Moreover, to my eyes, they are clearly less successful and accurate with it than they believe themselves to be. And so in maintaining those beliefs that (1) people can be easily reduced to knowable patterns and (2) that they have successfully reduced people to those said patterns, those types appear a little delusional to me. (I'm sure that I am the same with my delusions.)

With all of that said, I still think there is something very useful and often powerful about being able to recognize the patterns in the people around us (even if it will never give us as clear a picture of each other as we might fool ourselves into believing).

A reader gives a similar math analogy:

The environment in which I grew up was certainly governed by physical violence. This enviornment, however, had a steadily balanced input from both sides of morality/ethics: at school was the common child's play, at home was my father's emotional instability brought on from too much drink, at the gym was the overzealous, self-righteous police. Through my Grandparents, at home, I received a clearer understanding of an ethical/moral constitution for a Family man. From the gym I was able to glean between the Warrior's code of conduct (almost Nietzschiean in its focus on self-control  and discipline), and the police offered the legal ramifications of societies expectations. Through these I was able to become Nietzsche's Child, Campbell's Self Revolving Wheel, where, in his Discourse of The Three Metamorphoses, I compiled my own codes; allowing me to adapt to whatever the environment I found myself expected. For me, this was a mathematical puzzle; just as language is an algebraic formula wherein the values are interchangeable and the formula remains the same.

38 comments:

  1. I've always been the type of person that would take his toys apart and put them back together just to see how they worked and what I can modify. Sometimes I treat others the same way. However most people do this to an extent anyways and learn others patterns and ways of thinking. For example we sometimes "test the waters" to see if someone will respond well to a dirty joke or taboo subject. I'm very much the same way as you OP where I sometimes get carried away pulling levers.

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  2. I love the concept of math being a medium. Everything can be translated thru this medium. What I find true however is to arrive at a proof one must have a deeper understanding of those variables.

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  3. People are like machines, but they experience things - it is like something to be them. we assume that if we were a computer, there'd be no experience. This is very difficult for people with PDs to understand in a way that gets them to behave compassionately - other people actually have minds too.

    a thought experiment - if you lived in a world of chimps, would you have a problem emotionally with hunting them down and slowly killing them, for fun? if you ignore the fact that they have minds, this might seem entertaining/reasonable. most people don't think it would be reasonable, because they figure it would be unkind to the chimps. if you don't naturally perceive the minds of the chimps and dislike their suffering, this doesn't seem so bad - boring perhaps, or pointless, but not like a thing to be avouded for its own reasons. of course, part of being a psychopath is looking at your fellow humans as if they were only chimps, or perhaps robots made of meat.

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    1. "A machine made of meat" is a perfectly accurate description of a human, or any other organism. The problem is that normals don't see themselves this way and think they occupy some sort of special place in the universe. And yet they call me arrogant.

      -FK

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    2. FK-Other than the exception of identical twins, each of us has unique DNA and fingerprints. There never has been a "you" before, there isn't another "you" now, and there will never be another "you". Do you not think you are special???

      ~Vegas

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    3. FK-I am the only "me", who will ever occupy space in the universe as "me".

      I do not think you are arrogant...

      ~Vegas

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    4. FK-Also, many people believe they have a spirit and soul. People who believe they have a spirit, generally believe in a "higher power". I think most people believe they have souls-that is what they consider "the core" of themselves to be-their identity...

      It is different "belief systems", different "lines of thinking".

      We can understand and appreciate each other's "belief systems" and "lines of thinking", without subscribing to them...

      ~Vegas

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    5. FK-To each their own...

      ~Vegas

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    6. Unique is different than "special." There is no other car with the same VIN as mine either. Each chimp and each lab rat has its own DNA just as a human does. While I don't believe in any of that spiritual stuff, it is not what I find irritating. What I find irritating, and arrogant beyond anything that I can comprehend, is that people think this somehow makes us immune to the laws that govern the rest of the universe, and puts us in a special place, morally above it.

      -FK

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    7. Anon7:42 and FK,

      A robotics engineer once told me 'we are chemical robots. The pattern is determined.'

      Our beliefs and neural pathways do produce patterns of behaviour; this is an evolutionary design feature for efficiency and safety.

      Yet our organisms are so wonderfully capable of adaptation. The key is knowing how to change your beliefs. The benefit is a more enjoyable, more flowing experience of life. That, in my opinion, is a great benefit of being a human animal.

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    8. FK

      I agree we have no special place distinct from the rest of the universe. We emerge from it as anything else does.

      Neither do I give any special place to morality.

      What are your thoughts on morality?

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    9. FK-I completely agree, that unique is different than special. I consider myself to be "unique", rather than "special". I do not believe I am "more" or "less", than anyone or anything. I believe I am subject to the laws, that govern the rest of the universe...

      We are in agreement.:)

      ~Vegas

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    10. Morality. Sociopaths are always talking about it. They seem to be a vital part in the religious machine.

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    11. Indeed. I like what you did there.

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    12. North 1:11

      There is none. See how much morality you get from people when you start to violate their trivial and arbitrary social conventions. Watch how they come up with all sort of lies and complex narratives to explain why what was so obviously a violation of their own stated principals was justified by these very same principals. Watch how they twist the world into good vs. bad, with themselves always on the good side. Isn't is funny how what is "moral" overlaps so perfectly with what is in their interest (or their emotional perception of what is in their interest)?

      -FK

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  4. The fun in toying with people is watching them respond exactly as I expected.

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  5. I think I've asked this question before, but didn't receive a response. How does this line of thinking play into your sexuality, regarding genders? I would think that, in general, this line of thinking would call for bisexuality...

    ~Vegas

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  6. Song Of The Day:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lKBro5YkPs

    ~Vegas

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  7. The song is Creed's "What's This Life For"-it's one of the song's that give me "goosebumps".:)

    ~Vegas

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  8. Scott Stapp is a "fine specimen".:)

    ~Vegas

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  9. ...especially, when he's wet.:)

    Hey NM-Are your eyes the same color as Scott Stapp's???

    From your description, I think they are.:)

    ~Vegas

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  10. Dr, G if your peaking in , doesn't this turn you on. These erotica stories , yum. I hate how society would call me a slut for liking this. I swear we all have a deep animalistic side in us, but I'm loyal as fuck.

    https://www.wattpad.com/145351669-a-naughty-wife/page/5

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  11. Fuck society. Embrace your inner slut. Your sexuality is a source of power, unless you squander it on the unworthy. Being "loyal as fuck" means that you're judicious, and stronger than most.

    But apparently, you don't know how to post a link, because ^that one doesn't work. :P

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  12. A , it's me Super chick , i posted under scream because the story made me scream. Not sure why link won't work. I'm in Canada thou. Here's my work out song this morn.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SWd7sfV-4oY

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  13. A, this link might work, you might have to register : )

    https://www.wattpad.com/story/43994789-a-naughty-wife

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  14. I thought this was a cool quote, and thought I would share:

    "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

    -Henry David Thoreau.

    ~Vegas

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  15. Scream/Superchick-I wouldn't call you a slut. I agree, that we do all have an animalistic side. It's cool that you are loyal-that is hard to find these days...

    A-I completely agree with everything you said!!!

    PS-I've noticed that a lot of links aren't clickable, so I have just copied and pasted them into my browser, and it has worked for me so far...

    ~Vegas

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  16. Superchick-why did the story make you scream?

    ~Vegas

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    1. It was just a metaphors for orgasm , hehe :D

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  17. Superchick-I see.:) I'm glad it made you scream "in a good way".:)

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  18. Superchick and A-I'm glad you are posting!!! We need more "estrogen", on this blog.:)

    ~Vegas

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  19. Haha, yes I do come and go. I pop in every so often and stay for abit. Busy schedule lately. But nice to meet you Vegas. I'm surrounded by testosterone now, working a shift in a home and they are s fiesty bunch tonight.

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    1. It's nice to meet you too, Superchick!!! I've been here for a bit, but NM asked me to start signing with a name, and Vegas seemed FUN!!! I know if anyone can "keep all that testosterone in line", it's you!!!

      ~Vegas

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    2. Haha - they're peacefully sleeping now ~ ;)

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  20. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently that will go down in the forum's history!

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    ReplyDelete

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