Looking at Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein’s Book (2020) “A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century” (Part 1 of 16)

0001 Twenty-two thousand years ago, during the maximum of the last ice age, people roamed (along with other large mammals) in a land that bridged modern-day Siberia and Alaska.  Glaciers on the eastern (or American) side prevented humans from advancing further.  Until they didn’t.

Humans found a way around the blockade.  By ten thousand years ago, humans occupy both American continents.

0002 The Siberian-Alaskan landmass displayed one type of ecology (some would call it a frozen wasteland).  Yet, Paleolithic people migrating into the Americas adapted to a large variety of ecologies (including the tropics).

0003 How could this be so?

The authors conclude that humans are adapted to niche switching.  Humans culturally adapt to novel ecological niches by operating as both generalists and specialists.  Humans are behaviorally flexible because they can oscillate between established traditions (which the authors call, “culture”) and problem-solving (which the authors call, “consciousness”). Consequently, humans can “switch” from one niche (such as ice-laden Beringia) to another niche (such as California’s San Joachim Valley).

0004 But, I wonder, “Are not traditions (‘cultures’) specialist oriented?  The specializations may not be wildly complicated, but meaningful enough.  For example, someone who does well at running with a lance might fit in to the specialty of hunting large game.  Someone who is good at identifying mushrooms may fit into the specialty of fungi forager.  So, everyone can be a generalist problem-solver, but also work as a specialist too.

“Plus, everyone, whether lance-bearer or mushroom-gatherer, must learn their craft, and must innovate in the face of new challenges.

“So, the human gift of ‘niche-switching’ indicates that humans can find ways to make a living in every ecology.  The recent territorial expansion of anatomically modern humans into the Americas serves as an outstanding example.”

0005 Okay, then what is a “niche”?

The authors are modern biologists.  When modern biologists hear the word, “niche”, they think “ecological or environmental conditions”.  But, there is another technical definition for the word, “niche”, that expands that narrow frame.

0006 What is a “niche”?

The Darwinian paradigm can be diagrammed by following A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form (by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues).

Here is a picture.

Figure 01

The normal context of natural selection3 brings the actuality of adaptation2 into relation with the potential of ‘something’1, which biologists label “niche1.


Looking at Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein’s Book (2020) “A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century” (Part 16 of 16)

0099 Surely, there is more to Heying and Weinstein’s guidance than meets the eye.

Higher education (post-2017) resolves the intersection, by removing all the mystery.

Perhaps, the mystery dissolves into ways that administrators and their political allies rig and game the system.

When an intersection breaks down (that is, when it loses its mystery), it resolves into a two-level interscope.

0100 The following two-level interscope resolves the contradictions of expertise2.

Figure 41

0101 The actuality of postmodern (and modern) specialization2b virtually emerges from and situates school certification2aas the gateway to participation in a state-regulated system.  State-management1a channels personal motivations1a.  So, jobs1b are never satisfying, because they satisfy regulatory requirements1a and simply assume that personal motivations1aapply.

0102 At this point, I look backwards to chapter three (Ancient Bodies, Modern World) and forwards into chapter twelve (Culture and Consciousness).

Consider the following figure.

Figure 42

Can I say that culture goes with adaptation2H and consciousness goes with phenotype2V?

Figure 43

If so, then the above figure re-articulates the mystery within chapter twelve.  Chapter twelve juxtaposes culture2H and consciousness2V and plays the one off the other.  But, in reality, these two actualities pertain to a single actuality2, the Homo genus.

0103 “Homo” is Latin for “man”.  “Genus” is Latin for “general kind”.

Consider how modern wordplay has twisted the meaning, presence and message of these terms.

Then consider the value of this book, as well as Weinstein’s darkhorse podcast.

0104 Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein are professors, once adapted to the niche of higher education (pre-2017) and now adapting to the niche of podcasting (post-2017).

Currently, higher education eliminates the distinction between disciplinary mastery and educational mission.  Higher education (post-2017) resolves the mystery of team activities into a rigged system of regulated specializations situating school systems that game certifications.  

The niche of podcasting keys into the evolution of team activities.  In order to join the team, one patronizes the podcast. The next step, a crucial endeavor, concerns certification.  How does one certify what another person has mastered while listening to and supporting podcasts?

This is the question that I pose at the end of this examination of Heying and Weinstein’s book.

Surely, we need guidance in answering the challenge.


Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 1 of 17)

0001 Professor Gad Saad is an expert in applying evolutionary psychology to contemporary consumer behavior.  He publishes a book, titled, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.  The cover of the book is adorned with a graphic.  A hand holds one end of a thread that goes on to become a line drawing of the human neocortex.  Is the thread going into the head?  Or, is the thread (of common sense) coming out of the head?

I suppose I have to read the book to find out.

0002 Saad gets into the push-pull operation in chapter four, titled, “Anti-Science, Anti-Reason and Illiberal Movements”.  He lists four contemporary academic beings… er… parasites: postmodernism, social constructivism, radical feminism and transgender activism.  Each movement… er… parasite is founded on a demonstrable falsehood.  Each desires to be free from reality.

For these comments, I use gender as an example.

0003 In order to diagram these statements, I consult A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  These primers, by Razie Mah, are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  They are not long.  They are very informative.

0004 A parasite feeds off a host.

The host goes with the content-level.  The parasite places content in an alternate situation.

0005 I begin with the host.  The host takes the actuality of men and women2a, which emerges from a biological distinction (which, in turn is an actuality in another nested form)1a in the normal context of an orthodox view3a.  The term, biological distinction1a, is short for the potential of sexual dimorphism, as expressed in humans1a.  Roughly, “ortho” means “right” and “dox” means “doctrine”.

Figure 01

0006 Obviously, this content-level is scientifically, reasonably and liberally situated by cognitive psychology and its companion discipline, evolutionary psychology.  Evolutionary psychologists explain the findings of cognitive psychologists in terms of natural selection and genetics: adaptations and phenotypes.

0007 The social constuctivist approach runs opposition to cognitive (and evolutionary) psychology.  The social constructivist claims to situate the orthodox view, with the possibility that biological distinctions are irrelevant.  Instead, only the human will is relevant.  Gender is a personal choice.  Gender is an act of the will.

The resulting situation-level nested form looks like this.

Figure 02

Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 16 of 17)

0110 Even weirder, what if the organizational objective2aC of the postmodern academy3aC, arising from the righteousness of radical individualism, marxist worldviews, and big government (il)liberalism1aC, is, as Dr. Saad claims, a self-deceiving parasitic syndrome?

What if the organizational objective2aC triggers susceptible individuals to identify as “oppressed”(2b)2aC because the privileges(2c)2aC of social justice(3c)2aC coincide with what one expects from participating in harmonious social circles?

0111 Wouldn’t that be freaky?

It is like drinking the Flavor-Aid.

0112 These comment bring the arguments in Dr. Gad Saad’s book into a strange revelation.

The reason why Dr. Saad is the target of animosity from colleagues in the postmodern multiversity unites with his chosen topic of expertise, evolutionary psychology.

Evolutionary psychology applies lessons about the Lebenswelt that we evolved in to our current Lebenswelt.

In doing so, it raises post-postmodern questions concerning the adaptive natures of human will(1a)2aC, systems(1b)2aC and protection(1c)2aC and their maladaptive expressions in our current Lebenswelt.

Plus, none of these topics can be discussed in the College of Social Construction.

0113 My thanks to Professor Saad for his excellent work.


Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 17 of 17)

0114 Our curent Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Cheers for an expanded range of inquiry for evolutionary psychology.

The three masterworks of Razie Mah offer a treasure trove for those interested in human evolution: The Human Niche, An Archaeology of the Fall, and How To Define the Word “Religion”.

These are all available as electronic books.  Just search for the author’s name, Razie Mah, along with the title.

0115 A Course on the Human Niche is a series, available at smashwords and other e-book venues, containing the masterwork, a primer, and commentaries, including the following.

Comments on Clive Gamble, John Gowlett and Robin Dunbar’s Book (2014) Thinking Big

Comments on Steven Mithen’s Book (1996) The Prehistory of The Mind

Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s Book (2016) Why Only Us?

Comments on Derek Bickerton’s Book (2014) More Than Nature Needs

Any literate adult can conduct a seminar class that reads and discusses these works.

0116 Another series, titled Buttressing the Human Niche, contains comments on articles and books on the topic of human evolution.

Here is a sample.

Comments on David McNeill’s Book (2012) How Language Began

Comments on David Reich’s Book (2018) Who We Are and How We Got Here

Comments on Christ Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbols and Language”

Comments on Kim Sterelny’s Essay (2011) “From Hominins to Humans”

Comments on John Barrett and Krystalli Amilati’s Essay (2004) “Some Light on the Early Origins of Them All”

Comments on Stella Souvatzi, Adnan Baysal and Emma Baysal’s Essay (2019) “Is there Prehistory?”

These works may be purchased at smashwords and other e-book venues.  They explore topics and demonstrate the practice of association and implication.  They are ideal for throwing into an established study (or curriculum) on human evolution, in order to demonstrate the realness of triadic relations.  Triadic relations are real enough to constitute a niche.

 0117 Finally, the Razie Mah’s blog at www.raziemah.com looks at other publications.  Each “looking at” blog consists of one to twenty parts.  These may be used to spread the word, for enjoyment, discussion and erudition.

For example, the following appears in March 2021

Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution”

In May 2021

Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language”

0118 Currently, evolutionary psychology is narrowly practiced as an adjunct to cognitive psychology.  Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain findings, models and evidence from cognitive psychology in terms of natural selection in the environment of evolutionary adaptation.

Now comes the Course on the Human Niche, Buttressing of the Human Niche, and other productions by Razie Mah,proposing that the ultimate human niche is the potential of triadic relations.

Yes, humans also evolve into very many proximate niches.  But, all our proximate niches are bundled together by our ultimate niche.  Proximate niches are like the various wooden rods bound together in the ancient Roman artifact called “religio”.  This artifact serves as a metaphor for the human’s ultimate niche.  Our ultimate niche binds all adaptations into proximate niches together.

0119 Professor Gad Saad’s book takes the reader outside of a narrow and closed practice of evolutionary psychology.  However, since Saad does not know the hypothesis of the ultimate human niche, he cannot cross from complaining and demanding action to a wide-open practice of evolutionary psychology.  Thus, he cannot fully comprehend what he is encountering in postmodern academics and elsewhere.  He is moving towards a realization.  It is just around the corner.

A wide-open evolutionary psychology examines our current Lebenswelt through the lens of adaptations accrued in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

That revolution in thought begins with Razie Mah’s masterwork, The Human Niche.


Looking at David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Chapter (2021) “Why The State Has No Origin” (Part 1 of 13)

0180 If David Graeber and David Wengrow’s recent book, subtitled, A New History of Humanity, is a breakthrough in postmodern anthropology, then it is so because it displays a semitic textual structure, instead of a greek textual structure.

These two styles are discussed in An Instructor’s Guide to An Archaeology of the Fall.  Rather than eliminating possibilities in order to arrive at the most likely correct interpretation, these authors play literary tricks, coupling chapters one and twelve, A:A’, chapters two and eleven, B:B’, and chapters three through nine and chapter ten, C:C’.

Figure 24

0182 The semitic structure is A:B:C:C’:B’:A’.  In Comments on David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Book (2021) The Dawn of Everything (by Razie Mah, available and smashwords and other e-book venues), the work is discussed in the pattern A:A’, B:B’ and C:C’.  Notably, the bulk of the book covers the last layer, C:C’, and balances seven chapters (three through nine, C) against one chapter (ten, C’).  Chapter ten is twice as long as any other chapter.

0183 Plus, chapter ten stands on its own, allowing me to place an examination in Razie Mah’s blog, with the title Looking at David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Chapter (2021) “Why The State Has No Origin”.  If the reader first encounters the blog, the commentary is available.  If the reader first purchases the commentary, then the reader can call the blog to the attention of others.


Looking at David Graeber and David Wengrow’s Chapter (2021) “Why The State Has No Origin”(Part 13 of 13)

0255 Graeber and Wengrow’s exploration of the dawn of everything ends with a cruel joke.

The “state”2b, as defined by social science, cannot indirectly emerge from (and situate) righteousness1aC, while, at the same time, manifesting the characteristics of “domination”2a.

So, how is the contemporary left’s dream of achieving the virtues of liberty, equality and fraternity through the apparatus of the state2b going to work?

Thus ends the third layer, C:C’, of the author’s wide-ranging exercise in the semitic textual style.  The Dawn of Everythingis contemporary postmodern social science at its finest.  The authors start by searching for the origins of social inequality.  They end with the promise of a new history of humanity.

These authors do not know what they do not know.  But they do suspect this…

0256 …A new history of the world awaits.  There is a new way to describe the dawn of everything, where “everything” corresponds to “our current Lebenswelt”.

Yet, their explorations play out as a dark joke, almost as cruel as the joke that, long ago, a talking serpent plays on a naive young woman.

My thanks to the authors.  My condolences as well, on more than one level.

These comments provide views that dramatically re-present the vistas intimated in David Graeber and David Wengrow’s book.  Welcome to a new age of understanding: The Age of Triadic Relations.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 1 of 5)

0001 A chapter on Derrida appears in Michael Millerman’s Book (2020) Beginning with Heidegger: Strauss, Rorty, Derrida and Dugin and the Philosophical Constitution of the Political (Arktos Press), pages 135-166.  This fourth chapter considers the writings of the French Jacques Derrida (1930-2004 AD) concerning the German Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

Millerman’s book consists of a long introduction, followed by chapters on Martin Heidegger, Leo Strauss, Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida and Alexander Dugin.  The latter chapters discuss what the other philosophers say about Heidegger.  The method sounds like a doctoral dissertation.

My interest, of course, is to associate features of the arguments to purely relational structures, such as the category-based nested form or the Greimas square.

0002 Here, I look only at chapter four entitled, “Derrida”.  Derrida comments on Heidegger in two notable incidents. First, Heidegger is mentioned in an essay comparing deconstruction to negative theology.  Second, Derrida writes an essay entitled, “Heidegger’s Ear”.

Millerman approaches the first incident with caution, asking (more or less), “Is it possible to see how Derrida locates himself in a different place than Heidegger?”

Locates himself?

In slang, the question is, “Where is he coming from?”

0003 Where is Derrida coming from?

The first incident of note is an essay by Derrida in a book, Derrida and Negative Theology, edited by Harold Coward and Toby Froshay (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992). The title of the essay is “How To Avoid Speaking: Denials”.  Here, Derrida responds to claims that deconstruction resembles negative theology.  He says no.  Apophatic mysticism is hyperessential.  Deconstruction is all about the machinations of language.

0004 Hyperessential?

In order to appreciate this comment in terms of purely relational structures.  I associate the above accusation and responseto Peirce’s category of secondness, the realm of actuality.  The category of secondness contains two contiguous real elements.  For Aristotle’s hylomorphe, the two real elements are matter and form.  I label the contiguity, [substance].  The nomenclature is matter [substance] form.

For apophatic mysticism, the form is the human, as a vessel, having emptied “himself” of all matters.

For deconstruction, I follow Ferdinand de Saussure’s (1857-1913 AD) definition of language as two arbitrarily related systems of differences, the spoken word (parole) and the corresponding thought (langue).  Parole corresponds to matter.  Langue corresponds to form.  [Arbitrary relation] serves as the contiguity.

0005 Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0006 Essence is substantiated form.

Derrida claims that negative theology is hyperessential.  This makes sense because the essence, {[emptiness] vessel2f}, has no corresponding esse_ce (a play on the Latin term, esse, representing [matter2m [substantiating]}.  As soon as matter appears in the slot, —-2m, then the contiguity becomes very difficult (if not impossible) to maintain, and something passes into the vessel, against all mystical admonishments saying, “Keep the vessel2f empty.”

Here is a picture of how esse_ce and essence play out in the realm of actuality2 for hylomorphism, apophatic mysticism and deconstruction.

Figure 02

Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 2 of 5)

0007 Derrida claims that apophatic mysticism… and also deconstruction?… is like a secret.  Secrets have the character of actuality.  A secret contains information known only to us.  There are two real elements, depending on the normal context, such as the speaker and the hearer, everyone else and us, the whispered statement and the information it carries, and so on.  That means the substance changes with normal context.

Here is a picture of a secret entering into the slot for actuality2 in a category-based nested form.

Figure 03

0008 For deconstruction, a secret2 occurs in the normal context of speech-alone talk3.  An utterance is parole2m.  The information that it carries is langue2f.  Langue2f and the information2f are rapidly and intuitively constructed.  Meaning, presence and message1 spontaneously come to mind.  So, the secret requires a certain conspiracy.  Each party must speak the same mother tongue.  If the parties do not speak the same tongue, then they cannot whisper a secret to one another.

Of course, deconstruction knows how to shake the wheels of any secret2 just enough that the possibilities inherent in meaning, presence and message1 begin to… um… go out of whack.  The conceptual apparatus1 breaks down.

That is the game that Derrida plays.

0009 Here is how deconstruction considers secrets.

Figure 04

0010 For apophatic mysticism, a secret2 is like a gift given from one to another.  The gift extends a trust.  The recipient is not to betray the giver.  So, the normal context of the secret is a pact3.  A pact3 binds one person to another.

Theologically, the pact3 is between the Creator and the created.  Preparation is necessary.  The preparation ensures that the adept knows that “he” is an empty vessel, a creature, who cannot create “himself”.  Indeed, the adept has already received the gift of natural life.  Now, the goal is to receive the gift of supernatural abundance.

0011 And, what is supernatural abundance?

Well, superabundance is all about the potential of ‘meaning, presence and message’1, but not in a way that is vulnerable to Derrida’s deconstruction.  How so?  The apparatus1 is not conceptual.  The apparatus1 is inceptual.  And, this is where Heidegger comes in.  Heidegger’s philosophy promotes inceptual thought, along the same lines as apophatic mysticism.  That means, the normal context3 and the potential1 are outside of explicit abstraction and its conceptual apparatuses.

Figure 05

A secret contains information known only to us.


Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Derrida” (Part 3 of 5)

0012 Derrida says that deconstruction is not the same as negative theology.

Millerman isolates three themes that Derrida uses to characterize apophatic mysticism.  These are (A) hyperessentialism, (B) presentation and (C) spatialization.

So far, I associate (A) hyperessentialism to the essence of the actuality2 of negative theology.

I associate (B) presentation with the esse_ce of the actuality2 of negative theology.

The two states of apophatic mysticism represent preparation for and reception of a secret, defined as information known only to us, the Creator and the created.   Later, Millerman discusses Heidegger’s term, Walten, defined as a space of strife and accord.  One nested form contains two, disparate, actualities.

Perhaps, Walten looks like this.

Figure 06

0013 That leaves (C) spatialization be visualized.

Millerman notes that Derrida goes out of his way to avoid spatializing metaphors.  Derrida’s avoidance is so obvious that Millerman starts his chapter with a question, asking (more or less), “Is it possible to see how Derrida locates himself in a different place than Heidegger?”

The spatialization of apophatic mysticism is obvious.  The adept becomes an vessel that is consciously emptied of all matters, in preparation for a gift from the Creator.  That gift, at first, is like a secret, known only to the Creator and the adept.  So it is very important for the adept not to be fooled by just anything that enters the vessel that is “himself”.  The adept must ask the gift, “Where are you coming from?”

0014 So, why does Derrida avoid spatial metaphors?

After all, if spoken language consists of two arbitrarily related systems of differences, then it seems that there would be plenty of opportunity for spatial metaphors.  For example, I may say that deconstruction destabilizes cognitive spaces.  What are these “cognitive spaces”?  They are placeholders in systems of differences.

0015 Spoken words have two ways of being.

In the first way, a definition3 brings a spoken word2 into relation with the possibilities inherent in meaning, presence and message1.

In the second way, an uttered word (parole) occupies a position in a system of differences.  This fact forces the corresponding thought (langue) to occupy a position in a system of differences.

A question arises, “Is there a purely relational structure that spatializes word-positions in a linguistic system of differences?”

The answer must rely on the first way, even though it is not the same as the first way.

The Greimas square is a purely relational structure that satisfies the prerequisites of the second way, while relying on the first way.

0016 Here is a picture of the Greimas square.

Figure 07

What are the rules?

The spoken word under consideration is (A) the focal term.

B contrasts with A.

C contradicts B and implicates A.

D contrasts with C, contradicts A and implicates B.

I use the terms “complements” and “implicates” interchangeably.

I also confound the terms, “contradicts”, “speaks against” and “stands against”.

0017 I know from the previous discussion that deconstruction and negative theology share the word, “secret”.  A secret is information known only to us.  Each tradition focuses on different features of what a secret is.

So “secret” can be a focal word (A)

0018 For deconstruction, an utterance (B) contrasts with secret (A).  

Figure 08

I find it strange to think of an utterance as a style of conspiracy.  But it is.  Only people who speak the same tongue can whisper secrets to one another.  The information (C) speaks against the whisper (B).  If asked, a person sharing a secret will tell others, “I was only whispering.”  The information (C) is filled with concepts that express explicit abstractions.

0018 Explicit abstractions?

A Primer on Explicit and Implicit Abstraction, by Razie Mah, is available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  I think that, for the purposes of this blog, I can boil down that discussion into the following.  “Concepts” associate to explicit abstraction.  “Incepts” associate to implicit abstraction.  Explicit abstraction requires speech-alone talk.  Implicit abstraction characterizes hand and hand-speech talk.  Explicit abstraction is evolutionarily recent.  Implicit abstraction in evolutionarily ancient.

0019 So, here is the last item in Derrida’s Greimas square for the word, “secret”.

A conceptual apparatus (D) contrasts with the information of the secret (C), speaks against the secret itself (A) (because it exists before the secret) and complements the utterance (B), in the same way that langue [implicates] parole.

0020 For Heidegger, a pact (B) contrasts with the secret (A), which is really a gift from the Creator.

Figure 09

Awareness of the presence of a gift (C) in an incept (C).  Perhaps, it is a feeling, a motivaction, an insight, or whatever spoken word that one wants to use.  The awareness (C) stands against the pact (B) and complements the gift delivered by a messenger (A).  Finally, the incept (C) congeals into a conviction (D), a meaning, presence and message, that may or may not be articulated in speech-alone talk.

0021 The conviction (D) contrasts with the incept (C).  It (D) speaks against the secret (A, the gift) because every human vessel is flawed in our current Lebenswelt.  It (D) implicates the pact (B) that comes through an angel to the one who has be waiting.