The cognitive mind.

The cognitive mind. Trapped in the bubble of cognitive perception, by the limits of cognitive behaviour.


It is widely held (or assumed) that the cognitive capacities of the individual are all encompassing. This assumes that total awareness and competent decision making capabilities will allow that individual total control of context.


This hypothesis assumes otherwise. It proposes that cognitive capacity allows humans to “adjust to context”. Said another way, the greater part of human biology and behaviour is subliminal (“subconscious” in the Freudian thesis) or inherent, intuitive etc. By extension, the cognitive capability can be applicable only where is it is possible for behaviour to be modified. This may not be infinitely extensile.


In comparison and to an extent in contrast, the behaviour of other social animals can be compared with respect to their latitude for “conscious, cognitive” capacity to modify behaviour. Thus the honey bee has very little capacity – if any – to modify its social behaviour. On the other hand, the honey bee does have the capacity to alter its behaviour outside the confines of the social structure (hive) within which it lives. One example is its capacity to modify its nectar seeking behaviour in terms of various informative input devices. One of these is the understanding of messages transmitted to it by the incoming bee. This has been well demonstrated by various changes of flight pattern, wing beat and similar.


Bees may well have other “cognitive” decision making capacity based on olfactory, visual or empirical information. One would expect that in order to enhance the efficiency of search (and by extension the disclosure of that information to others). Another possible informative information source could be that of external physical threat to the bee. Here a wide variety of inputs might be expected (even if not proven). Geographic and meteorological information as well as threats from other animal species (and this should include threats from other hives or swarms).


Another “decision making facility” might be the capability of assessing the size of any given hive, and the necessity for swarming.


Do parallel human decisions emulate this social animal?


The likelihood is high. Humans have the capacity to do is extend their “contextual informatics” exceptionally widely, perhaps more so than any other species. Therefore the human capacity to control its relationship, as a species, with the environment will probably exceed that of any other species.


Returning to the concept of “decision making capacity” this has been encompassed into Christian doctrine. Christianity makes a strong contrast with the doctrines of other “religious” social groupings. An example of this is the, by now familiar, behaviour of the “white widow”, as an example of Muslim doctrine. This woman made the conscious decision that she would procreate with a male of restricted qualification. According to her he would be probably black and committed to the aggressive promotion of Muslim doctrine. She appears to have been able to abandon all other qualities of physical attraction or more intricate social compatibility. Said another way, she was able to allow the instinctive and intuitive to dominate. This was by conscious decision. She had limited, apparently intentionally, her cognitive capacity to a restricted number of parameters.


If this thesis is accepted one might then query the other end of the cognitive spectrum. Is it possible to “over complicate” decision making processes? Is it possible to override so much of the intuitive and inherent as to jeopardize the individual’s relationship with context? This might well be the case. It is possible then to debate whether man’s cognitive capacities can produce destructive effects on the “broad brush” of human inter-relationship with the greater environment. Is the destruction of the environment by “cognitive, intellectual, creative, scientific, financial and other expressions of contrived behaviour ultimately counter-productive? Can it be argued that political behaviour, assumptively based on the interests of the population, but more probably based on the interests of individual politicians and supported by the belief of “rational, intellectual and cerebral” behaviour, might be fatally destructive?


In the western world political behaviour has lured humans away from self reliance into patterns of extraction from the environment.


In a conversation with the bee keeper recently the behaviour of the bee was emphatically compared with “communism”. In support of this argument the inability of the bee – at least within the context of the hive – to modify its behaviour in any way was compared (somewhat gullibly) with “communism”. Extending from that was the implication that “communism” must be accepted as a fundamental feature of animal social behaviour. This, in theory, would thus support the precept of the desirability of totalitarian control of the human.


This denial of the flexible capacity of the individual human, to successfully adapt to the environment, and by extension jeopardise survival has been threatened by massive political doctrine. The “nanny states” can be held responsible for a diminishing of survival characteristics inherent in the individual human.


The explanation for this is complex. At least part of this has been the political agenda of persuading individuals that they need the “maternal influence” of totalitarian politicians. This is well expressed in the “health and safety” regulations of (at least) Western Europe. However the adverse effect has been to markedly reduce self reliance and simultaneously increase the concept of “somebody else’s fault”. This has been eagerly developed by the legal profession, and now represents the basis of an enormous industry. The extension has grown beyond the lawyer to the insurance industry, bureaucratic complexity, enforcement agencies and very much further. What effect this has on human “contentment” can also be debated.


Legislation as the effect of reducing capacity to adjust, said another way, reduces cognition. But we know that intuitively: rules change humans into clockwork soldiers.


The more the restrictions on behaviour, so the more the cognitive latitude is reduced towards automatism.


About jp

Orthopaedic Surgeon
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