Conversation with a Melonhead

from here. Interesting portions excerpted below:

Melonhead said…

I finally read your links about MBTI.

My beef with Myers-Briggs is that it only produces caricatures of people and completely breaks-down with people, like me, whose “personality” is only a flexible simulation.

Back in the day, when I was a lowly intern at Super-Industrial-Conglomerate, they gave me one of these tests, and I literally couldn’t complete it because my answers to all of the questions was “both”.


Melonhead said…
It is definitely not the pyschopath’s affectless mask of humanity. I do indeed have empathy and care about some things and people very very deeply. And, it is not quite that I disregard society’s laws and conventions; it is more that I follow the laws of Nature, and Nature’s God.

The way I think about it is like this: the evolutionary process forces there to only be a few, very concrete “ends” (i.e., resource monopolization, mates, and offspring). This holds true for humans as well as for the animal kingdom.

Everything else, is a “means” – including things like extroversion and introversion.

For an example, look at Tex. Why does he want to build vaults? He wants to keep his mate and offspring alive and survive to defend (and possibly expand) his territory of resources when ITZ occurs.

For another example, look at yourself, Koanic. Why have you spent so much time developing a philosophical set of mantras? So that you have your head right to keep your mate interested in you, produce a pack of Chinese-Ashkenazi-somethingelseIcan’tremember offspring, and capture revenue from others who are interested in the same topic.

For example, look at myself. Why do I spend so much time being so melony? So that I can learn enough to capture a gigantic resource base in order to immerse my mate in comfort and produce even more offspring.

Why does Ave care about Myers-Briggs? Maybe so that she (I’m assuming gender based on the name) can better identify mates who will be good at both capturing resources and providing comfort to her and her offspring and/or better present herself to reproductively interest those potential mates.

As an aside, when viewed through this scheme, modern death-centric liberalism is a very low-cost/high-reward strategy for its promoters whereby they convince other people to willingly stop competing for mates and resources.

Also when viewed through this scheme, taxation without representation is a horrible horrible horrible evil that the Founding Fathers were right and justified for fighting (never mind that if transported to 2012, Washington’s land holdings and agricultural operations would make him one of the richest men in the USA).

Evolution doesn’t care if Rudy gets to play in the big game. Evolution only cares that the most reproductively fit pass on their genes. Luckily, if we grasp how the process works, we can game it to increase our odds of winning.

So, what is the best strategy for a very smart person? Find another very smart mate, get rich, fund the development of artificial wombs, and raise a large brood of babies in an area where they will have enough access to the levers of power that they will be able to accomplish the same thing. I only half-jokingly wonder if this is Zuckerberg’s secret strategy.


Melonhead said


You seem earnest, so here goes…

[Part 1]

There are no emotional buttons or levers or metaphorical dreamscapes.

The biological imperative (BI), as I stated above, is the individual’s drive for resources, mates, and offspring. Some people ignore their BI, others pursue it without thinking, and others consciously pursue it.

When you realize that everything else is just following it’s own BI, it is hard to get mad at even a mosquito for biting you. Of course your BI says to install mosquito magnets so that your kids don’t catch West Nile. But, both you and the mosquito are right and justified for following your BIs.

After you let all of that which does not matter to truly not matter, what you are left with is the default state of happiness that everything is born with. I’ve always been happy; it just took a while to figure out why. When I finally understood the BI as the root motivating factor for actions, I was no longer confused about what to do next.

Then, you are also left with lots of tactics and strategies for pursuing your BI. These are things like extroversion, introversion, dominance, cooperation, and pity. Note that cooperation is often a very successfully strategy and both altruism and reverse-altruism (see the “Benjamin Franklin Effect”) are both good ways to induce cooperation.

Some people like the “emotional rush” from stupid and unsafe activities like base-jumping. But, what they really like are the hormones and neurochemicals which that activity unleashes. Eating certain foods (like bananas, chili peppers, and coffee) causes the same chemical release (and is thus functionally equivalent from the body’s perspective), but is much safer and easier for the individual to regulate. One of the most personally amusing pieces of advice I ever gave someone was that instead of going out and buying fetish gear, he should first feed his gal some Sriraca sauce – it has the same neurochemical affects as BDSM and is a lot cheaper and safer.


[Part 2]

As far as I can tell, my control over my emotions is complete and I have found no limits. Once while playing sports in school, I literally broke one of my legs in half. So, I got up and tried to “walk it off”. One of my teammates saw the bones bulge-out from under my skin and heard them make an unnatural grinding sound. He choked back vomit. At that, I sat down and cooly said, “Okay. I think I need some help.” Since then, I have been less cavalier about activities, not because I was in pain or angry or anything like that, but because sitting at the doctor’s office wastes a lot of time.

I do not think I have a paucity of passion, but how do you measure that? I used to be an award winning artist and have been a published author and poet. Those are all things for which you conventionally require “passion”. And, I love very deeply, but what is love other than a rules-based cooperation in which both parties aids the other in pursuing the other’s BI? Note that pursuing your BI isn’t even conventionally satisfying because other people and creatures pursuing their BIs constantly create new situations for you to react to in order to maintain your current BI’s state; and there are always other things you can be doing to improve the state of your BI. The BI is merely a guide for what to do whenever it is that you want to do something rather than not do anything.

And, I am not 100% sure what you mean by “animal charisma” because it can have a few definitions. As a baby, strangers would go up to my parents and give them money for me. Wildlife congregate wherever I happen to be living at the time. Songbirds land on my hands and butterflies alight on my clothes. Birds of prey keep my yard and woods free of vermin (it weirds out my parents that hawks, falcons, ravens, and eagles flock to me). Cats and dogs leave their owners to come sit by me. Other people’s children run over and give me hugs (this one weirded out my wife for a while). Gay men have hit on me. Lesbians have tried to seduce me. Straight women have unblinkingly asked me to father their children in front of my wife. My wife’s friends nag their husbands with the phrase, “What Would Melonhead Do?” Priests have asked me to teach them about the Bible. Professors have asked me to teach them about science. Several owners have asked me to run their businesses. Homeless people give me advice. I even had a potential mugger end up offering me money. For a long time it was confusing to be treated as some kind of saint or genius or stud, but then I realized that it was because I was naturally good at pursuing my BI. All of those animals and people seem to pick-up on that and try to get my help as a result.

So, I just work on my BI and let everything else go. It is simple and elegant and effective.

my reply

Thanks Melonhead. I will suggest that he implement your Koanic framework.

[The melonhead at our forum] already found something very similar to be compelling – my koan “Why: True Need”. I imagine his heart identity would then be something like, “Adamic (BI)”, with Adamic being identity and (BI) being core desire. I am not sure many other koans are needed; I suppose that’s up to him.

I can tell that there is a great deal of peace and sound adjustment in your psyche. What you’ve described fits well with the emulation engine I’ve developed for melonhead consciousness – it elaborates the space tremendously.

I think there is a clear difference in lived experience, in that for us, certain drives like altruism are primary, whereas for you, the logo-space is primary, and the personality fabric is a malleable secondary sphere. While this does not diminish the reality of the fabric, it is nonetheless a significant difference in kind.

For a Neanderthal, the commitments to home, altruism and honesty are not chosen, but merely discovered via self knowledge and affirmed to achieve happiness. They are primary psychic features.

Thus I think a melonhead has far more flexibility in how he chooses to be.

Here are my four emulation modes:

melonhead upper back of head, calculating/logos space
neanderthal lower back of head, mad dreamer
cro mag close set eyes, frontal region, feeling of “stupid”, gregarious extroverted emoting
psychopath – heartless spider

heart test – draw heart shape from chin to eyes, if feels like a plane, may be a psychopath. Partly microexpression based, partly physiognomy.

Conclusions – melonheads are far more formidable and less intrinsically evil than I had initially understood. It would seem they are properly understood as the Adamic race.

Incidentally, the new Prometheus movie is worth a watch. SPOILERS AHEAD. It is set in the Alien universe. The Prometheans exhibit classic Neanderthal Amud features. They reached a decision to wipe out humanity 2000 years ago, with the crucifixion of Christ, but an accident at the WMD facility wiped out the overseeing committee before the expedition could be sent. The living Promethean at the end is a biomechanically enhanced soldier. The one at the beginning dissolves himself to kickstart evolution by supplying DNA. The anti-life goo is the primitive compound, while the alien eggs in the cargo bay of Alien I are a derived form. The Prometheans are guardians and Platonic idealists of life, cosmic gardeners. The living Promethean initially accepts the Laurence of Arabia android as a worthy son – the hand on the head gesture – until he realizes with a snarl that he is a soulless robot. Offended by this abomination and the contemptible nature of the other humans present, he attacks, and immediately proceeds to carry out Earth’s termination sentence. The Predators also fit neatly into this universe, as cloakers who avoid Promethean rule and use anti-life derived Aliens for their own K-selected social ends.

The classic segment where the Promethean plays a small flute to activate his starship console is straight outta Neanderthal archaeology. The ritual suicide to kickstart planetary life shows the religious reverence the Prometheans hold for life.