Mostly Advanced Matters
These pages are mainly for matters, subsequent to the publication of The Tyranny of Ambiguity, which remain unresolved even after that piercing investigation into human sexual behaviour, using sex differences and evolution theory as a basis.
Simon G. Sheppard
To answer an important question:
How is Procedural Analysis different to other systems of behaviour analysis?
Procedural Analysis is:
The PA system was summarized in Suppressed Science 5: Procedural Analysis (1998).
The Mental Assault is renamed back to being called the Psychic Assault, because it sounds better.
Suppose a mute and illiterate man holds up a bank. He goes to the counter, points a gun at the cashier, then gesticulates that the cashier hand over money. Before the cashier has a chance to do so however, the prospective robber has a heart attack and dies. Alternatively, the cashier is a stoic soul and simply ignores the robber, or shakes his head (this man, or someone who resembles him, has been doing this every week for the last two years).
The demand for money is a criminal attempt to impose a handle without the preliminary of a handle state, and the stoic cashier is mutating a handle to a signal in either case. Thereupon the would-be robber shrugs his shoulders and leaves.
Then a handle has been issued by signals only. Nothing has been spoken or changed hands, so there’s no marker there either. They haven’t touched each other. It might be argued that pointing a gun at someone is a pretty unambiguous indication of involvement, but the gun might really be pointed at that fly on the wall behind the cashier, and our bank robber is bog-eyed as well...
While sitting out on his back porch in Texas, a war veteran noticed a large fly crawling up his leg, over-reacted, reached for his shotgun and proceeded to blow away the fly. The wound was so severe that he bled to death before medics could reach him.
If we are to examine the interaction between the bank robber as an individual and the bank as a corporate body (i.e. individual vs. collective levels), then a marker takes place as soon as our bog-eyed bank robber sets foot inside the bank’s premises. A real bank robber acts to his individual benefit at society’s collective cost. This is criminal or corrupt behaviour, almost by definition: the individual sees his opportunity for personal gain and the collective must take measures – increase its costs – to prevent a recurrence of the crime.
Perhaps a more basic example is two people who are in the habit of exchanging nods whenever they pass. The marker – their unambiguous indication of involvement – is that they share the same territory (so are subject to similar fates if there is an earthquake, crop failure etc.). The first nod is the handle request, the response the one in reply. But that first nod might actually be a nervous tic, or some other kind of dysfunctional muscle reflex. Or the man being nodded to may be from another place entirely, and is being mistaken for someone else. This may go some way to establishing that a handle can exist without a marker. (That I am resorting to signals as handles and handle responses illustrates the difficulties this problem raises.)
Update: This problem was at last resolved. An example of a handle which does not involve a marker is the expectation (implicit handle) that one of a couple think of the other while they are apart. It is a handle, but there is no unambiguous indication of it.
The orthodox view is that it is a mechanism to promote monogamy; in considering only humans, I had thought the cause too weak for the effect, but comparisons exist with the animal world. The communal courtship of herring gulls might be the precursor to “speed dating”!
It has been suggested that the presence of maternal grandmothers confers a survival advantage to young children; Voland & Beise, 2002.
A feature associated with Malign Encouragement needs naming. Malign Encouragement (which has not, to my knowledge, been formally defined hitherto!) is encouraging an Opponent to pursue an adverse policy.
If the Protagonist also obtains benefit from the policy, there is Compound Benefit.
Example: A drug dealer giving away samples of heroin or crystal meth to someone he doesn’t like, or bears some animosity toward. Getting them addicted would be Malign Encouragement. When he later sells them the drug, perpetuating the habit, this is again Malign Encouragement, but now he profits too, conferring Compound Benefit. He benefits firstly by harming his adversary and secondly by gaining financially.
However in accordance with PA we need a sexual origin to serve as an archetype. The following, from TOA (1st ed. footnote p. 451, 2nd ed. pp. 483-4), seems inadequate as a really definitive case but will serve as a further example.
A memorable event has been shared with a female. Some time elapses, and she is met again. However when the previous occasion is mentioned she claims not to remember it.
The female raises the costs of sex. Specifically, in this case:
By imposing costs on the male (e.g. Diminishment of Self; Time, as he ponders the problem afterwards) and simultaneously profiting from the procedure (certainly in terms of Information), the multiple payoffs obtained make it Compound Benefit. There is Compound Benefit also, by obtaining advantage for herself and for other females. That the female can act for her own advantage and simultaneously for the benefit of females generally is nothing new; it is an expression of the female Conspiracy strategy.
Compound Benefit occurs whenever payoffs accrue in multiple ways or on multiple levels (e.g. individual, collective).
When male animals fight, they usually fight for territory. They may only fight virtually, and just posture and threaten, but it is still a struggle for dominance. The loser retreats, surrendering his claim on the territory. The point is that in nature, females come with the territory. Whoever dominates the territory also mates with the females within it. In human society, the fact that females have intelligence and language only enables them to employ specious arguments to justify their actions, as in the case of the alien takeover of our territory. The laws of nature are paramount. Man cannot defy them. Or, if he does, it is only temporarily.
A contradiction exists in that while females are more sensitive to nuances of speech and manner, they are yet easier to deceive than males. This paradox was solved by something uttered by a character in the Agatha Christie novel, Ordeal by Innocence: “There’s nothing a woman won’t believe if she wants to.”
One day I looked out over an Amsterdam bridge to see several ducks happily floating along on a large slab of polystyrene. They exploited that facility with a blissful, animal ignorance – not for them the intricacies of oil drilling, petro-chemistry and manufacturing processes. They just found the floating platform, and used it. Similarly women drive around in cars, use mobile telephones and all the other accoutrements of modern technology, unaware of how those devices work, who invented them, or who developed them. To the female, unless she is continually reminded, the object is merely an item of utility, with no appreciation of its (invariably male) origins.
As as afterthought it strikes me that any psychological approach worthy of the name should be capable of explaining how women are able to manipulate men so successfully. This, to my knowledge, orthodox psychology notably fails to do.
An Update on Approaches (2007, 2014)
I am unsure whether the following should be denoted ‘Pending’ or whether I am just retracing old ground. Sometimes I get rusty on my own theory, as I must occupy myself with other matters and PA is pushed to the background. Notwithstanding, the following is likely to be instructive.
A possible contradiction arose involving Response Displacement and EBIAR. At issue is whether making approaches is the natural role of the male or the female. The female has superior verbal ability, is more capable of making “small talk,” more readily employs self-effacement, and has a more opportunistic nature than the male (all these with sound evolutionary origins). These features make her much more adept at approaching a potential mate. Yet seemingly she expects the male to adopt this role.
It was concluded in TOA, largely following observations of Response Displacement, that formerly females had approached males. Only recently had these roles been reversed, so that now she requires the male to approach her. “The female manipulates the male into doing her work.” The sight of males pushing prams readily illustrates this process.
The potential contradiction stems from observations of clumsiness by females on a couple of rare occasions when they took the lead. I think I remember spilled drinks and bumping into a table. If this is exaggerated behaviour, it would make making approaches an alien role for females, contrary to the supposition above. I am assuming in light of the female’s abilities listed that making approaches is her natural role.
There are two immediate facets to consider. Firstly, the clumsiness could be just that, and due perhaps to nervousness. If it really was EBIAR she might give a very obvious pick-up line (Approach Statement), not clumsily spill drinks. Usually EBIAR has an obvious association with the former or typical behaviour (e.g. new non-smokers becoming vehemently anti-smoking; female driving examiners being inordinately strict; females given authority applying their new power excessively).
The second aspect is that having divested her role to the male, the female may become so lazy and unpracticed that she can become incompetent even in her natural domain.
Acknowledgements for the Magritte images which illustrate some of these pages are due to Mark Harden’s Artchive, MK, CGFA and magritte.com. René Magritte disliked Freud’s system of psychoanalysis intensely and I like to think that he would have approved of this application of his work.