image adapted from Pixabay, CC0
“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight – brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” — Rust Cohle – character in the TV series True Detective
Three years ago, I added a third ‘law’ to the small set of ‘important things I’ve learned over the years’ and codified on this blog. The three laws are:
Pollard’s Law of Human Behaviour: Humans have evolved to do what’s personally urgent for them (the unavoidable imperatives of the moment), then to do what’s easy, and then to do what’s fun. There is never time left for things that are seen as merely important. Social, political and economic change happens only when the old generation dies and a new generation with different entrained beliefs and imperatives fills the power vacuum. We have evolved to be a collaborative and caring species, and we are all doing our best — we cannot do otherwise. We have no free will — our behaviour is entirely the product of our biological and cultural conditioning, given the ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances of each moment.
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