[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Tue Sep 7 17:57:43 UTC 2010

On Sat, Sep 04, 2010 at 02:25:09PM +0200, fons at kokkinizita.net wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 04, 2010 at 02:22:17AM -0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> > So, your argument against the possibility of Pop music and mass media
> > being used to control people is that the whole idea of being controlled
> > subconsciously is a misnomer?
> Not only a misnomer. It's wrong on two accounts: the mechanism used, and
> where the responsability for the result is to be placed.
> We humans constantly rationalise our actions, usually a posteriori - after
> the facts. We need to do this in order to maintain our self-esteem and
> dignity - the idea that we are doing things that make no sense to even
> ourselves is quite unsupportable for almost all of us.
> This is how marketing works: you offer a product, service, or in politics
> an opinion, *AND* provide or at least suggest a rationalisation for accep-
> ting the offer. The product can be crap, the opionion without any base, and
> the rationalisation completely bogus - if the target audience doesn't take
> the trouble to examine them critically it will work. For some people the 
> rationalisation doesn't need to be of any value at all: it can be as simple
> as some 'us vs. them' argument often used in politics, or just 'popularity'.
> So while we *do* have impulses to behave in a very sexual way, or be 
> violent, and those do indeed come from 'deep inside' and belong to the
> unconscious in the Freudian sense, it is not those that are being 
> manipulated, but in general it is the rationalisation process which
> clearly does *not* belong the the unconscious - not even if many of our
> rationalisations are in fact just excuses.
> This also means that the responsability for accepting any product and
> the rationalisation for doing so lies with those who do accept it. You
> may think, and I agree, that trying to lure people into doing certain
> things is not nice, but it is just an attempt - the final decision is
> made by the target, not by the 'manipulator'. 
> > Are you saying we can't be brain washed?
> No. Brainwashing is a completely different process, it always involves
> some form of physical restraint without wich we would not accept to
> undergo it.

It's funny reading this thread, since I've studied quite a bit of this stuff (Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology, couple of hypnosis certifications, etc).

At this point in my life, I can sum most of this up by acknowledging that humans are little more than apes with very dextrous hands.

The only "unconscious" part at play here, is that most of us are not conscious (unconscious) of the fact that we are just apes with very dextrous hands-- and very many of us are in active denial of that on a regular basis.

We have the emotional system of primates, and it drives us whether we like it or not, and whether we admit it or not. This is often-- and very easily-- manipulated by salespeople, criminals, religions, politicians, bankers, advertising, trial lawyers, military strategists, propaganda, etc., and also by the most effective police and teachers. 

Our "reasoning", language, critical thinking, moralizing, calculating, philosophizing, and in general frontal-lobe activity, is a recent and thin layer slapped atop of millions of years of reptilian, mammalian, simian, etc evolution. Agriculture, civilization, and written history are only some 10,000 years old, whereas modern humans are some 200,000 years old, and even that is a blink of an eye compared to our mammalian and earlier reptilian histories.

Why do humans do inexplicable things? Well, would it be explicable if they were apes, monkeys, or dogs? Then there's yer answer.


More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list