Chapter 1: A Good Place To Start

November 1, 2017

Ideas, vision, and courage

“If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision, and courage. These things are rarely produced by committees. Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.” – Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. / Decline of Heroes

If you’re ready, willing, and able to find out why it takes so much courage (and so little intelligence) to grasp a breakthrough that eludes scientists, a good place to start is with a basic understanding of dopamine and the links between the manipulative brain chemical and Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Dopamine Primer

“A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason.” – Thomas Carlyle

When it comes to neurotransmitters, there are so many real and imagined complications, experts argue that only trained professionals are capable of understanding how dopamine manipulates behavior. Dopamine for DIMwits will help you understand how nothing could be further from the truth and why delusional types, hiding behind credentials and conceits, don’t know, or want to know, the real and only reason. And that reason is because everything everyone believes, refuses to believe, do, and/or avoid comes down to protecting and triggering dopamine flow, including the experts inability to grasp how their need to pretend they know better involves triggering gratuitous dopamine while their need to protect dopamine flow keeps them from admitting what they don’t want to know.

The ultimate “Wonder Drug”

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” – Thomas H. Huxley

The more scientists learn about dopamine, the more they wonder what else there is to discover. Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter and hormone connected to a surprising array of neurological functions: cognition, learning, attention, memory, desire, pleasure, punishment, reward, motivation, sleep, mood, behavior, and voluntary movement. Dopamine is released when we experience stress. It is involved in impulsiveness, hyperactivity, emotional reactions, lactation, and mother-child relationships. In insects, it helps form aversive memories.

It is also signaled when we fulfill the basic survival needs. Every time we experience sex or food, we are rewarded by a shot of dopamine. Dopamine is so powerful that it is even released when we simply expect a reward, think about sex, or sniff a favorite food. It is the oil that keeps our brain’s survival system running. Evolutionarily speaking, dopamine is very old with a long history of successfully encouraging countless invertebrates and vertebrates to behave in ways that support survival and procreation.

The time-tested physical and psychological triggers delivering dopamine  are called sensors, receptors, nerve endings, taste buds, nipples, genitals, instincts, feelings, memories, fantasies, and emotions, starting with fears. This primitive system has worked for millions of years and is responsible for getting Homo sapiens into the 21st century. It continues to work with creatures who lack the ability to comprehend how brain chemicals foster life-sustaining behaviors.

Dopamine dysfunction

“One disadvantage of having a little intelligence is that one can invent myths out of his own imagination, and come to believe them. Wild animals, lacking imagination, almost never do disastrously stupid things out of false perceptions of the world about them. But humans create artificial disasters for themselves when their ideology makes them unable to perceive where their own self-interest lies.” – E. T. Jaynes

The one species these proven triggers are failing is the only species gifted with the capacity to understand how brain chemicals manipulate behaviors. That species is ours. And the reason is our dopaminergic system was rendered dysfunctional somewhere along the evolutionary path.

Dopamine dysfunction has been linked to several pathological disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychoses involving delusions and paranoia, and every acknowledged behavioral and drug addiction. What it hasn’t been linked to are a handful of common, destructive, unacknowledged addictions DIMwits pretend are admirable traits, acceptable habits, respectable customs, hallowed traditions, and revered religions.

Unacknowledged addictions

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.” – Carl Jung

Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, especially under natural conditions.

Ethologists break down behaviors to proximate causation and ultimate causation.

For example, addictions to heroin, nicotine, and gambling are proximate causations whereas addiction to dopamine is the ultimate causation. By focusing on dopamine as the ultimate causation and one of the most powerful, most seductive, most addictive drugs known to man, it’s possible to demonstrate how any thought, belief, or behavior that triggers dopamine can be perverted into a proximate addictive causation.

For the time being, let’s shift from the one ultimate causation to the many proximate causations, since the concept of dopamine addiction sounds a little abstract. After all, it’s a neurotransmitter — a brain chemical — that is naturally produced in our bodies.

Following the dopamine

“We must move in our recovery from one addiction to another for two major reasons: first, we have not recognized and treated the underlying addictive process, and second, we have not accurately isolated and focused upon the specific addictions.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Once you view behavior in terms of dopamine flow, words such as preferences, likes, dislikes, cravings, aversions, good, evil, greed, depravity, neurosis, psychosis, and sin take on a single meaning. Anything that makes you smile, piques an interest, or turns you on is a dopamine trigger. Every time you say or think sexy, ugly, turn on, turn off, enticing, disgusting, exciting, frightening, love it, hate it, can’t get enough, get it away from me, tell me more, or change the subject you’re describing dopamine flow.

That voice in the back of your head whispering, “Just a little.” or screaming, “Don’t walk, run!” is dopamine talking. The need to appear right, smart, important, and special, as well as the fear of rejection, are also about maintaining dopamine flow.

Follow the dopamine and you’ll understand why ill-informed voters vote for failed candidates again and again rather than admit they made a mistake the first time. You’ll see why, how, and that dopamine is behind everything we do and think, including our attempts to deny addictions by ignoring, minimizing, or denying dopamine addiction’s significance.

Make no mistake about it, the blind commitment to unacknowledged dopamine-induced addictions is THE greatest threat to our species’ survival.

Dopamine keeps scientists churning out research linking dopamine to everything except their unacknowledged addictions.

The denial caused by dopamine dysfunction is so powerful, seemingly rational and honest researchers are incapable of admitting they too, along with everyone else, are irrational and dishonest dopamine addicts.

Because there is only one addiction, and it’s to the neurotransmitter dopamine, the key symptoms for seemingly unrelated addictions are strikingly similar: self-deception, denial, and an affinity for groups of like-mindless DIMwits where members share a blatant disregard for the damage their addictions cause, along with intransigent commitments to continue, indulge, supply, support, defend, rationalize, and protect irrational dopamine-triggering behaviors from rational, objective, threatening information and individuals.

Which brings us to the most common and destructive dopamine-induced addictions afflicting our species, including millions of derelict scientists, Abraham Maslow’s deficiency needs.


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