Below is the script (and the audio with expanded commentary is still uploading):
It can be fascinating to observe the contrast between those who are humbly open to learning and those who anxiously or arrogantly avoid learning. For a small child, is natural to eventually notice patterns and thus form expectations based on those patterns. However, there will inevitably be observations that clearly contrast with prior expectations. That can lead to confusion, then curiosity, independent investigation and finally discovery and clarity.
So, in the case of a small child, there is a simple correction to make. They just update or discard the expectation in favor of what has been directly observed. In other words the child is open to learning, even eager!But what happens to the child when they are sent to participate in rituals designed to program them with expectations that are not based on their own observations? Because of the intense social pressure of those rituals, the child will experience anxiety. The rituals reward conformity and discourage independent investigation. The child’s anxiety is a sign of their natural curiosity and their interest in independent investigation, which the rituals train them to suppress, to sacrifice.The student memorizes the ideas that are presented. Then, the student is rewarded for repeating for a test the unexamined ideas. Excessive amounts of inquiry can be extremely disruptive to the ritual and will be discouraged, at first gently.Rather than directly forbidding inquiry, many rituals simply forbid any talking at all by the students. The official conducting the ritual will insist that students raise their hand and wait to be called on before talking. The only talking that the official will permit is talking that promotes the purposes of the ritual. In that way, there is no need for an explicit prohibition of inquiry, critical thinking, and independent investigation.So, what is the predictable effect of years of participation in these indoctrination rituals? The student learns to avoid critical thinking. The students learns to expect rewards for memorizing unexamined ideas and then blindly repeating them. The student even learns to label their programmed ideas, which they have never independently investigated (or even seriously questioned), with labels like “science.”If the student is exposed to direct observations that conflict with the programmed curriculum (their expectations, doctrines, and dogmas), then the student could experience confusion. However, because of the years of social rituals in which conformity was celebrated and curiosity was restricted, when an advanced student experiences confusion, they are anxious about independent investigation. They do not want to be punished or harassed or ridiculed. Even if they are not in a classroom and there is no one around at all, they still have the habit of anxiety in relation to independent investigation. They still operate in a way that is designed to avoid punishments for disrupting the social indoctrination rituals.They are still anxious about being recognized by others as confused. They are still suppressing their natural urge for independent investigation. They are still avoiding punishment. They are concerned that if others recognize their confusion, and other people may take advantage of them or even just criticize them or condemn them.So, In order to avoid being punished for Experiencing confusion, they avoid any behaviors that could be interpreted as signs of experiencing confusion. The specific behaviors that they avoid are independent investigation and critical thinking.Not only do they anxiously avoid learning, but their programmed anxiety often leads to arrogance. Not only do they avoid correcting their confusion (or even just admitting their confusion), but they also justify harassing others who value clarity, accuracy, and independent investigation. They throw tantrums to distract from their own confusion and to passionately condemn others for seeking to develop clarity and Correct the old, programmed expectations by updating expectations Match with direct observations and actual experience.The mainstream zealot will condemn observations that do not match with their sacred expectations. Typically, the zealot will attempt to reform reality to match their sacred expectations. Although that can be quite exhausting and fruitless, it can also be wildly popular. The amount of desperation for the zealots determines the amount of passion and hysteria in their reforms.Groups of zealots form to encourage each other to pursue the heroism of their chosen set of perfectionist reforms. Competing groups oppose each other and the antagonism escalates.There are even groups of anti-zealotry zealots. While they do not pursue any particular reforms to social systems, they gather together and congratulate each other for their condemnations of mainstream zealotry. Further, by gathering together in a group and expressing their repulsion toward arrogance and hysteria and anxiety, they can benefit. They can overcome their inhibitions about voicing their curiosity, their experiences, and their observations.Will there be friction and competitiveness amongst these anti-zealotry zealots? Until they come to respect zealotry, some friction is inevitable.Why can it take so long before they respect zealotry? They have been so zealous in their condemnation of zealotry because of concern for avoiding social harassment. They practice social harassment habitually in an attempt to avoid being socially harassed.They are still anxious about being harassed for displaying curiosity and revealing their own experiences. In short, they are avoiding their own experiences by obsessing over heroically condemning the zealotry of others.
However, in a group of anti-zealotry Zealots, The zealotry of their anti-zealotry can quickly lose momentum and dissolve. Rather than avoiding the simplicity of their own experience of anxiety (by launching into communications designed to repulse mainstream zealots), those same methods for avoiding anxiety can result in calm recognition of anxiety and a respect for anxiety.If even one participant displays respect for anxiety, then the programmed habits of condemning anxiety can be welcomed (neither glorified nor vilified, neither celebrated nor condemned). When the experience of anxiety is welcomed, the typical stress of social interaction is disrupted.In addition to respecting anxiety, there can be displays of respect for The experience of confusion. Also, Condemnation can be respected. Zealotry can be respected. Arrogance can be respected.Calm alertness can be respected. Independent investigation can be respected. Curiosity can be respected. Social rituals for the indoctrinating of children (and the suppressing of curiosity) can be respected.We can respect the relaxed process of updating expectations to match with observations. We can also respect the distressed process of resisting and condemning any observations that do not match with programmed expectations.