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There’s an observation from biology that “the organism continues to do what granted it success in the past”; hence, in the family situation, if you received attention when you were ill, you will be likely, later in life, to become “ill” if you want attention—doctor! There are people who carry on behaviours right from when they were four or five into adult life because those behaviours get them what they want; it’s only if they hit a hard wall that they are forced to change (or go into some failure state). Often they talk to you like you’re “mummy” or “daddy”—for them, you are.


We saw this tendency play out with Jordan Peterson when he started to cry on camera; he automatically learned this got him a response “the crying professor, he weeps for the world” and so he integrated it, mostly unconsciously I think, into his repertoire for when he appears on screen—for all I know, even if it is no longer adaptive, he may continue it until the day he dies. This tendency is not necessarily harmful, although it can be—especially if we remain stuck in a rut at about five years old, as many do; that’s why there are so many robots about.


It’s basically a theatrical “routine” and often all people have is a “routine”—and some of these routines go back in families for decades, if not centuries. Ways to break up routines: stare at a white wall for seven hours; force yourself to eat bran flakes for every meal in a week; read a book out loud in a language you don’t know; if you’re a conservative espouse socialist views for a week and vice versa; if you’re anti-immigration, support it (and vice versa); make yourself do something that disgusts you (touch the yellow jelly). You’ll see you’re just patched from routines, and that some “friend” routines are really enemies (who was playing who?). In this way, you get distance from the routines.

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