Are You a Zombie Sex Machine?
There is a theory that at least 40% of daily activity is based on habit. It may be even higher, say up to 70% when we are locked into boring, repetitive activity that involves regular blocks of time like the daily commute to work, whether by train or if driving to work.
As noted in the previous blog with regard to the Predator technique, I want to reprise the question of whether the readers has ever had the shock of “waking up” in a meeting and suddenly realising that you cannot specifically remember this morning’s journey to work in any specific detail? You ate breakfast, and got out the door but the rest of it is a just blur. Where did it all go, or more interestingly: where did you and your attention go in that period?
It’s not too disturbing if you commute by train and can afford to “switch-off” but if you commute by car up to 2-4 hours a day, and you are aware of the danger of inattentive or erratic drivers on multi-lane highways who shift lanes without indication, oblivious of the other drivers occupying lanes and of course, not including those texting, shaving or applying make-up, then this insight into your own Zombie behavior can be a serious shock that may lead to you wondering what else you may be regularly doing unconsciously in other contexts. Perhaps the real “war” is not for talent but for attention.
Back in May 2013, the tragic death of April Jones by Mark Bridger led to serious calls for internet search companies to block pornographic sites featuring child pornography on the basis that such sites serve to fuel the fantasies of paedophiles who then attempt to duplicate and enact similar atrocities on helpless victims. The superior power of visual imagery to the written word can be similarly demonstrated when training young soldiers how to use weapons safely. All weapons instructors know that whatever you do, never show a young soldier how NOT to do something. Under pressure, the visual, imitative memory will tend to recall the demonstrated “mistake” and duplicate it with catastrophic effects.
So if you want safety, only show trainees or vulnerable students the correct method. This explains why the entertaining but futile Visual Arts management videos had such little impact. The excellent comedic writing plus former Monty Python John Cleese focused on getting things wrong and then demonstrating how to put them right, but people tended to remember the mistakes and found recalling the solutions problematic.
This tendency to recall visual demonstrations regardless of social context (or current reality) is significant if we look at the traditional narrative of organizations attempting to influence young people’s sex lives by demanding more sex education for children and young adults, with an increased emphasis upon the practical in the hope that by education will lead to responsible behaviour. A similar Zombie preventive approach to the abuse of knives by children in South London would be to institute lessons in knife-fighting techniques in the hope that such knowledge would reduce deaths. At the very least such an investment would probably lead to greater investment in knives and more deaths. But the fights might last longer. At present the mis-use of sex education outside of a stable relationship context (especially when adolescents may themselves be the product of decontextualized sexual activities outside of stable relationships) can only lead to children getting better at sexual activity but ironically more unhappy, which leads to more sex, self-disgust and more unhappiness and so on.
So, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and a lot of knowledge can be even more dangerous when it’s decontextualized and visual and available on the internet and available to adolescents whose brains are only beginning to mature and when insurance companies know that adolescents can tend to be dangerous drivers because young, male drivers tend to make dangerous decisions because that’s the way their brains are currently wired.
It’s at such times that you begin to realise that internet porn businesses and international jihadists know more about how to influence young people to adopt negative Zombie behaviours than moral and educational philosophers. Someone, somewhere wants you to be a dangerous Zombie and is willing to use the internet to do it.