Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama the Standalone Complex President

This is from a post I made at

If you want more information on the standalone complex basics…

It took me a bit, but I realized why Obama’s effortless glide to power was so familiar.


For starters, the expectation of Obama is phenomenal as he is attacking several inherited crisis, and not only that he seems to be living up to the hype.

Not even close. Your wishful thinking is getting in the way of your intellectual grasp of current events, and recent history not to mention human psychology and social dynamics.

The "expectation of Obama" is what can be considered a second-order standalone complex.

In a first-order standalone complex, one or more events presented to the public capture the public's imagination or weigh on their subconscious in such a way as to cause certain like minded enough individuals to attempt to follow or copycat a nonexistent original inferred by those events or ideas presented, or even specifically mentioned.

In a second-order standalone complex, the mechanism devolves to inference made from the first-order. In this case, we spent EIGHT YEARS with near saturation media coverage of Bush in a way that was radically at odds with reality. Instead of Bush as he actually was, they presented the news with positioning, slanting, and basically told the public what to think about him.

They turned George Bush the man and president into George Bush the social concept. The social concept of him they presented was nearly that of the Christian anti-christ. He was presented as larger than life in everything he did and all of it was negative. He was presented as the supreme bungler, the master liar, the ultimate puppet of Cheney, the lord of the Sith of presidents, the least competent president ever, and all that. Whenever the MSM did not infer it, they turned to the usual left-wing adversaries to give them tv and newsprint time to say it directly.

On top of this they filled the blogosphere (and how I hate that name) with their mass movement. They attempted to foment social insurrection and in testament to the public's understanding that their natures and desires are closer to conservatism than socialism, resisted such that it failed to become an overt phenomenon and became a subversive one instead.

The left's attempt at crafted populist revolt instead led to the formation of the first-order complex by creating the image of Bush that never was. However, as humans go, they tend towards dualistic thinking and the more extreme an archetype becomes the more an opposite implied archetype becomes certain.

Messiah, not messiah, Christ, anti-christ, Bush, Not Bush.

Until Bush was not up for re-election acting on the impulse to follow the standalone complex was resisted because it was not academic. Voting him out at the second election had to be balanced against those he was running against and the public was only four years into it so their resistance was high.

Bush being reelected freed the standalone complex. Bush was no longer available so whoever was going to win was going to be Not Bush. Humans as I said think in binary terms and they are associative. Bush -> Republican. Not Bush -> Democrat.

A secondary first-order standalone complex happened among the Democrats with Obama who was the unknown quantity and Hillary who was the known one. There's Hillary and Not Hillary. Obama was carefully presented as being on every side of every issue, thus giving no fixed points to rankle and annoy the Democrat primary voters. Hillary had an existing history. She was not easily faked. Obama was whatever people wanted to believe he was since they knew nothing else.

Thus we saw Obama picked by Democrats to be Not Hillary and later to be Not Bush. We elected an implied archetype, one that was implied in our own minds by the inferred one created around Bush through omnipresent meme transmission.

That is the central problem for Obama. Even if he suddenly got religion as it were and went conservative, he still is not going to be able to live up to the ideas people have of him. Obama the President and human is not Barack Obama the phenomenon. He cannot be what he does not know to be and he is so many things to so many people.

Just as with anyone who'd claim to be the messiah, the mantle and all the sociocultural baggage that goes with it always colors the perception of whoever wears the mantle. Obama is wearing a mantle primarily defined around not being Bush, and secondarily as the answer to everyone's angst over all the things they were induced to feel and think. After all, humans are just plain mortal beings. They know nothing beyond what their senses tell them. Whether they want to or not, they tend to believe what is heard in passing and overwhelmingly.

That overwhelming leftist slant of the media is the undoing as no one taking on the mantle they created can ever live up to it. They've overplayed this badly and created no exit strategy for it because they did it by accident. If this had been crafted in some Machiavellian plot, a wise architect would have left some approachable and relateable human foibles in the construction so that people would have a pause in their pursuit of belief that the Not Bush was everything Bush wasn't and nothing that Bush was.

Finally, they badly screwed up in making this personal. The archetype was Bush versus Not Bush. Not Republican versus Democrat. The public learns what is put to them inevitably. Such as personalization in politics. As Obama makes more and more mistakes which he must as I said, the disappointment in Obama for the position of Not Bush will grow. The assignment of Not Bush to Obama in the minds of the public will decline. As Bush recedes due to lack of appearance on the scene fresh in their view, the Not Bush construct will fade as well. Obama will be left as the guy in charge and have no mythical ideas about him to shield him from the cold hard reality that he is not competent much less morally worthy of the job of President of the USA.