We are crazy. As a people, North American society is borderline
psychotic because of the restrictions we place upon ourselves.
Don't have sex until marriage. Break it anyways. Tell the guys
when you finally got with that girl you've been trying to sleep
with. Brag about it. Let your friends live vicariously through you. Make
it something dirty, something you can't talk about in public.
Sex is something thats been going on for longer than just
your parents. It's not like the generation of people that exist
today just suddenly popped into existence because reality was
bored one day. No, people have been 'making whoopee' since
time immemorial. Sorry, kids, but your parents had to do it at
least once. More if you've got siblings. So if it's been going on
for that long, why do most people look at it like it's a bad thing?
Like something you really can't talk about openly? Because it's
deemed to be against some religion? Let's examine that for a
Suppose, in the case of the ancient Hebrews, that you're
a slave race. Why do you think these people were so valuable
to the Egyptians? Probably because a lack of taboo's about
procreating led to a race that the people could breed like cattle.
Honestly, if everyone thought that sex was just something you
could do, then there'd be a lot of babies running around.
So when you're finally freed, and you can run around in
a desert for forty years and just live as free people, what do you
do? For one, you make a lot of babies. In tribal societies,
parents with a lot of children have a better chance of someone
taking care of them when their older. So you have a lot of kids
as kind of an insurance policy. There's one problem though.
You live in a f--king desert. How do you feed these people?
Something has to be done.
So one day, this guy named Moses, who instigated the
whole leaving Egypt thing, takes off into the wilderness and
disappears for a while. When he comes back, his beard's a hell
of a lot longer, and he's got stone tablets he says he's been
given by some guy called God. I could use the actual Jewish
name, but I'm really not trying to pick on the Jews here and that
could be misconstrued as offensive. Either way, this guy says
that everyone has to live by these tablets, after forty years of
being free. Thats more than a full generation of people,
suddenly having the rules of society thrust upon them. And
when Moses can't get them to listen, he shatters the tablets.
Whoops, we pissed him off. Everyone of the older generation
who still thank the guy for saving them think that we should all
show a little gratitude. After all if it weren't for him we'd still be
building pyramids. So everyone decides to humor him. Or their
forced into it by being labelled 'an unsavory element' in the
tribe. After all, if this God fella is everything Moses says he is,
and he was responsible for us getting freed, we really should
give these rules a shot. But what's this? One of them says you
can only have sex with someone you marry? Damn. There goes
my Friday night. So it begins.
You can only have sex with someone you're permanently attached to, therefore any kids
running around are the responsibility of two people. If you're
gonna have a lot of kids, you gotta make sure you take good
care of them. And kids? Make sure you honor your parents.
These people took care of you growing up.
Could it have been that Moses, during his time on the mountain, came to the realization
that people weren't going to stop having sex. That there'd
always be people having babies because it's something that
people do. But by doing this, he's made sure that if you make
a baby, you have to take care of it. And he's also kinda paved
the way for people to make sure that their kids take care of
them. Phew, population problem solved. After all, people who
can only have sex with each other stand a greater chance of
having a lots of kids. And if you can't have sex with someone
else while your wife is pregnant, then guys won't be knocking
up every girl they see. Thus, it works out that for two people
lawfully married, the max amount of children you can produce
each year is one and a third, or one every nine months. And to
be honest, I'd bet most girls wouldn't want to go through that
every nine months, so they'd begin to exercise a larger measure
of control over their men. Sex becomes something planned.
Right there, it's ceased to be a natural function, and become
something else. Something new. A part of 'society'. A system
of rules and regulations set down telling you how to act. And
this was the beginning of it. Lets look at these rules starting with rule four through ten
The Ten Commandments
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
The fourth rule is part of what we've already explained.
Gotta control that population problem. Ok, check got that taken
care of. Rule five makes sense just because if anyone could kill
anyone else without reprecussion, everyone would be killing
people, because the moment tempers flared someone would
die. Hey, there's no law against it. Sure, so and so's brother
might try to kill me, he liked that guy, but I think I could take
him. That works fine if everyone's pumping out babies. Who
cares if someone kicks off. There's plenty more where he came
from. But wait, that doesn't work anymore. Either way, put in it's
proper context, it's easy to see why someone would want to
make sure people knew that rampant carnage is a bad thing.
Rule seven just brings us back to the one baby every nine
months idea. Sorry guys, I know she looks good, but you're
attached to someone else.
Rule eight ties back to rule six, mostly due to the fact that
if someone stole something important from you, you'd probably
want to kill him. So lets eliminate these problems both at the
same time. We're even going to make stealing, which is the only
real major thing we can imagine a crime to be in that tribal
society .They're not committing corporate fraud here, people.
It's something that's not just against one person, but against the
whole tribe. And if you're not allowed to lie about something
like that, then you can't. Period. Hence rule nine. And rule ten
just ties everything into a nice neat package. If you're not
allowed to covet anything someone 'owns' you're not going to
steal it, or kill for it, or sleep with it. 'Nuff said.
Now that was a mouthful. Honestly, it almost looks like a
recursive computer program. Just keeps referencing back to
itself. The thing is, for a group of people thats trying to get
themselves stable and productive, rules four through ten
probably make sense. But what about rules one, two and three?
Well, to carry on the computer analogy, they're the while loop
of the program. To be a member of the tribe, you have to follow
Moses' rules. And in the case of rules one through three, once
Moses is gone, you have to follow God's rules, which are above
Moses. And their pretty simple. Easy to remember, relatively
easy to follow when the alternative is death in the desert, and
easy to teach to your kids. Right there, you've got a repeating
social program. Unfortunately, its one that doesn't evolve on it's
own. Someone has to come along and say something 'In the
name of God.' Stuff like that gets more and more difficult as
time goes on. Look at Jesus. He said there was a problem with
the program and look what happened to him. Nailed to a hunk
of wood. Nothing glorious about it. No earth-shattering unholy
wail as the 'Son of God' dies. Just a man dying nailed to a
cross for saying that people just have to be good to each other.
I think Moses screwed up. I don't think he thought that one
through. He began his life as an Egyptian. It was only after he
found out he was Hebrew that he 'found God', and even then he
says it was a burning bush talking to him. Someone said that to
me today I would have thought they were on something. But
instead, because Moses is educated and used to commanding
people, the Hebrews believed him. Hey, we've been waiting for
a Saviour, and this guy say's he's it. Screw the pyramids, I'm
getting out of here. And from that point on things go quickly
downhill. Moses let things get out of hand. He freed his people,
but then couldn't control them. So he took their 'God', the only
god of a slave race that can't afford to have more than one and
he perverted it. Rather than leave God as a higher being, he
makes it into a being which strikes deals, or covenants. Listen,
I saved you, so now you worship me and follow these rules. Got
that? Good. I'm sure thats the farthest thing from what the
Hebrew's thought was going on when they left Egypt, but if
thats what it takes, then I guess we've all got to in line.
And there you have it. Only of the worlds oldest social
programs, and possibly the world's first social algorithm. All
wrapped up in one nice little ten step package. How much of
what we've done since then has been based on these ideas?