Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pavlovian Conditioning

The basics of classical conditioning, or as it is also known Pavlovian conditioning, are quite simple: you link two stimuli together to produce a new learned response. That’s it! I know, scary simple, scary effective, and efficiently carried out if you can find a powerful enough stimulus to link together with another.

As powerful stimuli go, fear of death is up there, perhaps in the top three, if not number one with a bullet. If you boil down the human drive to its most basic, the essence, if you will, of human nature, everyone is driven by one of three things. You are either driven by love, by fear, or by hate. Of course, there are subcategories to all of these, and each branches out to almost infinite extremes, but for the most part, nitpicking the drivers of any one person to the root source is something left to psychologists and head shrinks. Basically, overly qualified simpletons who insist that the reason you can’t love another human being stems from little Bobby knocking your lollipop out of your hand when you were three.

For the sake of this exercise, we’re not going to dig deep; we’re just going to assign our actions and reactions to one of three baskets. Were my actions and reactions driven by love, were they driven by hate or were they driven by fear?

An odd thing, isn’t it, that some seven billion people have been classically conditioned within the span of a few weeks by linking the fear of death with the hope for survival, if and only if you obey without question every dot and tittle of power-drunk mayors and governors, even if their proclamations make no reasonable sense.

Even while the entire narrative is unraveling, even while the projected fatalities continue to shrink daily, having gone from a projected death toll of 2.2 million to a now projected death toll of 65,000, (as of this morning 60,000), the grip continues to tighten, and local constabularies are making more and more outlandish demands.

It doesn’t matter that it’s not anywhere as bad as projected. It doesn’t matter that every supposed specialist got it woefully wrong. If you want to live, you must continue to obey. Don’t think, just comply! If you don’t comply, well, you’re a bad citizen who wants to see death and destruction.

Did you forget those pictures of the coffins from Italy that was a freeze frame from a movie? Did you forget the pictures of the overwhelmed hospitals in certain American cities that turned out to be pictures of Italian hospitals? How dare you question anything in a time of crisis? How dare you!

I have a few concerns regarding the fact that we have been so easily conditioned. My first concern is that now that they know how easy it is to control everyone, what’s to stop them from repeating this over and over again, with more and more stringent orders?

All it takes is making people afraid. Afraid enough that some of them are ending their lives for fear of potentially having this virus, then telling them the only solution is to be a shut-in for the rest of their lives. Your only hope for survival is to be dependent on the government for whatever crumbs Nancy and Chuck, and all the rest of the ne’er-do-wells allow to slip through their greedy fingers.

My second concern is that once this blows over, once the panic subsides, and like every other virus that has made its way through the planet this one also dies out, having known the euphoric nature of absolute power, many of these bureaucrats and paper pushers will be reticent and hesitant to give it up.

Going from wearing a polyester shirt and a clip-on tie, stuck in a cubicle, with a picture of your pet cat to having the lives of others in your sweaty palm, and making proclamations as to who can and cannot continue to earn a living, who will be ruined and who will survive once this is done, is such a dramatic change, going back to the cubicle is a fate worse than death.

When you give impotent people power, they will always abuse the power they’ve been given. When you try to rescind the power you give to the impotent because they’ve abused it, they will always fight you tooth and nail to retain it.

Don’t even get me started on neighbors tattling on neighbors for clearing their throat, or having a cough. If this is all it took to do away with our freedoms, shred the constitution, and suspend individual rights, we never deserved any of them in the first place. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Steve Hollander said...

Wow! Very intense but spot on. Look forward to your posts.