Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Brain & Violence

I don’t know if violence is increasing or the media is doing more broadcasting about it. I sure seem to hear more about it and wish I understood what is happening. Any ideas?

There are likely a combination of factors that play into violence, including epigenetics, cellular memory, addictive behaviors related to mind-altering substances, the impact of electronics, the violence seen in many movies and TV programs, and so on. Your question did remind me of a quote attributed to Howard Bloom that may have a bearing on it and does provide some “food for thought.”

One generation’s metaphors become another generation’s realities. A generation without violence needs violent metaphors to exercise the animals in the brain—the instinctual equipment that is languishing unused in the cerebral storehouse. So, in the 1970s and 1980s, bands like AC/DC wrote songs like ‘shoot to kill.’ These songs entertain a generation to which real bloodshed is mere fantasy. But the next generation imprints on the metaphors and turns them into realities. So, in the 90s we have mass shootings by kids who take the previous generation’s fantasies as blueprints for action.”

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