Jan Cox Talk 0406

Everything in General is Dumber Than Things in Particular


The Audio Below contains Kyroots being read that the Video does not.

October 17, 1988
AKS/News Item Gallery = jcap 1988-10-14 (0406)
Condensed AKS/News Items = See Below
Summary =   See Below
Excursion / Task = See Below
Diagrams = See Below
Transcript = See Below

 0406A video grab

0406A video grab

 0406B video grab

0406B video grab


#406 Oct 17, 1988 – 1:11
Notes by TK

Kyroot to :05. 

“Life/Everything in general is dumber than it is in particular”. This seems to contradict the logic of the City—but it is not so. That everything is in general dumber than particular is one reason why men must say “we’ll do better” and always feel impelled to please the dominant; that there is always a weaker partner. Internally you are dumber in general than in particular. The brain is in general dumber or men would never feel prey to “I’ll do better”. A man who has memorized the batting averages of the Dodgers for the last 30 years but can’t figure his taxes is smarter in particular, dumber in general.

Common genetic generalities of man = dumbness in general, requiring no intelligence. Isolated particular voices periodically surface and denounce human failings, and in so doing are more intelligent than the general mainstream. The RR/Real Revolutionist has got to focus his attention to the more intelligent particulars within himself—away from the common genetic flows. Those who mechanically give up the common basic genetics—as in giving up sex for instance—do so with the “yummy 4-d symmetry” of proclaiming reasons most pure and elevated for their interference in the most primitive and base activity.

Sort of a version of “god wants me to do mud-sculpture” (rather than say, higher mathematics). The common genetic flows of ignorance cannot be raised in intelligence thru civilization and education as the ordinary believe; it can only be ignored by the RR. 

Intelligence = additional flexible neural connections not brought about by education. Such extra connections are not necessary even if they could be cultivated by education. Ordinary knowledge is based on non-flexible connections or there could be no progress, no technology. TT/This Thing, is not about tearing up ordinary inflexible connections. 

Everybody would agree that there is somebody somewhere, some when, who knows/knew more than they do; somebody with a ‘secret book’ knowledge who is therefore extraordinary and superior. But do you suppose such wise men know a ‘something’ you don’t know…or do they merely think about the same available-to-everybody reality in a different way than you do? 


For New People: considering a Real Revolutionist, do they know something different or do they just think differently?

And Kyroot Said…

In the City I heard it said that, “There is an infinite
difference between being smart, and simply making everyone else
THINK you are,” and one guy noted to himself, “May be, but if you
can do the latter, you ARE smarter than everybody else.”


The Revolution IS evolution: On the floorboard, wide open,
driven sideways, in reverse on amphetamines; always turning the


Rationality is the last refuge of intellectual minor


Anything not native to Man, carried far enough, takes on
spiritual trappings.


If anybody actually knew what they were doing, there would
be no need or room for experts.


In a radical kitchen, only a Real Revolutionist can separate
his whites from his yokes without breaking his eggs.


The organization of interests can prove to be their demise.
(Systematize it and kill it… poor little darlings.)


A chap in the City once stated, “The good thing about plans,
and talking about plans is that they don’t cost anything,” but
contraire, Pierre, they often cost EVERYTHING, that is, the
proposed project IS replaced by the talking.


A person considering a huge purchase excitedly notes that a
friend has offered to help arrange the financing, and a listener
thinks to himself, “I’m not all that sure that having someone
prepared to help you go in debt is any cause for celebration.”


In the City, even during a heavy summer rain, you should not
casually mistake kindness for a ’52 Lincoln.

This wide mouth gentleman challenged, “What could be worse
than ‘sham emotions’?” Well, if you simply consider the
alternative this is one time I believe I can leave the final
answer in YOUR hands.


During times of REAL trouble, just remember who told you


If your flour isn’t self-rising, what is?


It is said that there is this ole man near Port Said who has
a full and perfect knowledge of all events very soon after they
have occurred.


If a Revolutionist WERE to somehow “fall in love with
himself,” it would surely prove unrequited.


Don’t look back unless you’re GOING back.


Can someone force words into meaning what the speaker wishes
them to mean?, or must one discover the words proper for his
intentions? (Rhetorical reminder: When I say “words” I of
course do not mean words themselves, but that which the words
merely represent. Right?)


I heard this one City “blues singer” who just about took
such matters to their needed limits when he sang, “And sometimes
I even still think of ME.”


Hey, you can forget all about a “new fall season”; in the
City, it’s ALL re-runs.


A Real Revolutionist sometimes waits until the “last minute”
in hopes that it really is.



Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988

Document: 406,  October 17, 1988

Instead of saying, “Everything in General,” I could say that Life in general is dumber than Life is in particular. Everything — family units, nations, races of people, universities, volleyball teams — is dumber in general than it is in particular. So Life, in general, is dumber than in particular.

For the time being I am going to soften this by saying “dumb” instead of “stupid,” because I’m using the term to mean non-intelligent. I’m using “dumber” in a nonpejorative manner, so don’t take this personally. Unless, of course, you know what you’re doing. Then I don’t need to tell you how to take anything.

The idea that something in general — a person, a corporation, or Life — could be dumber than it is in particular almost belies City logic. The idea sounds irrational but is true — correct, even — and is one of the reasons why in the life of man there are always dominant figures. All binary situations — whether two people are dancing together or one person’s dancing with a group of other people, or with a whole country — there is, somewhere, a leader. This is also part of the reason we have famous (another form of dominant) people. At the 3-D level, everyone may believe that the meek will inherit the earth, but they sure won’t inherit history.

Inasmuch as Life in general is dumber than Life in particular, people are always saying, “We’ll do better.” What you’re dealing with is this:

It’s all the in-generals in Life that say, “We’ll do better.” From a certain view, the dumber in-general is attempting to please the dominant figure, to satisfy the powers that be; to meet the expectations of history and the demands of Life itself. People do not actually have to change. They just have to proclaim they will. The parts aren’t required to become more intelligent, but they are required to say they should be.

Man (and everything in general) doesn’t become more intelligent. But he continually says he must and dreams that he can. Jump “in here” and see that this is true, in you. Now look at you in general as compared to you in particular. Regardless of your general level of intelligence, if your liver was running things you wouldn’t be hitting on as many cylinders. There’s no substitute for the brain when it comes to thinking.

Some particular parts of you are more intelligent — less dumb — than you in general. The brain is smarter than the foot or the elbow. Everyone agrees that if something happens to your brain, your thinking days are limited. This is not to disparage the foot or the elbow — they have their own jobs — but they aren’t capable of taking over for the brain.

You can carry this further. Even the brain in general is dumber than the brain in particular. You know this, though you didn’t know you knew. If this were not true, you wouldn’t say to yourself, “I gotta do better.” If all of your intelligence was as smart as particular parts are, there would be no part to do better. They’d all be doing better. Everything you “know,” you’d actually know. Whenever you knew something, there wouldn’t be another part to say, “Yeah, but…” Every part would know.

Look “out there” at other people. Notice that even stupid people often have a particular area of interest and exhibit passing expertise. Maybe one guy who’s a baseball fan has memorized all the batting scores of all the famous players from the past thirty years. He might forget his anniversary and his kid’s birthday; he might not remember to file his income tax; he might always be falling down and hurting himself. But he’s got the batting scores memorized perfectly. In general, the guy is dumber than he is in that one particular part. All people are living proof that everything in general is dumber than in particular. If the rest of a person’s intelligence was as smart as some parts are, the person would not be as dumb in general. He’d be doing as well as he could.

Another way to describe this is to say that the common genetic generalities which exist in you are dumber than your apparent individual, personal areas of interest and talents. In some particular ways, you are superior to the common level of intelligence wired-up in everyone (which could also be called the common level of dumbness). Down at the basic, genetic, common level, not much intelligence is required. For example, almost no intelligence is required in order to have sex. As important a function as sex seems to be — even though the continuation of the human race depends on procreation and humans devote their lives to raising families and writing romantic poetry — it requires almost no intelligence.

I’m not implying there’s anything wrong with sex. You may have a wonderful relationship with your mate that lasts the rest of your life. But you should see that having a sexual relationship doesn’t require any special intelligence. Sex operates at the general level of genetics — of dumbness.

Similarly, there is built into the genetics of Life a national, a racial, chauvinism. This has nothing to do with you personally. You did not have to learn these feelings; they operate at close to the same genetic level as procreation. This is one unrecognized reason why certain prejudices have been widely condemned by governments and religion. All the “reasons” given for condemning prejudice are a reflection of the fact that such chauvinism is common and dumb, part of the lowest, common/dumb denominator.

From time to time, parts of Life’s body are driven to stand up and denounce chauvinistic attitudes. That’s because feeling nationalistic is as common as wanting to get laid. Notice how your heart beats faster when a parade goes by playing the national anthem, or how a painting of President So and So can bring tears to your eyes. Such feelings are not acquired from the environment. You and your kind — people — are the environment. You didn’t have to learn to have sex and nobody had to teach you to be prejudiced.

Minority parts of Life’s body question chauvinism (and they are more intelligent when they question it). Life doesn’t need those parts to be in-generals yet. So those particulars keep popping up and shouting, “We’ve got to put an end to prejudice!” They don’t know why they say that; they don’t understand why, but prejudice is dumb, looked at from the position of the particulars rather than from the view of things in general. In general, Life still needs national, racial, and sexual prejudice. Prejudice is a form of protection of genetic territory. Life still needs groups over here, separate from groups over there, and chauvinism promotes what for Life is a healthy diversity.

I refer you back to what I said at the beginning: Everything in general is dumber than things in particular. This is not a theory. Just look at you — you’re not an anomaly. Everybody understands this about themselves and thinks, “If I could just be as smart all the time as I am sometimes.” On the other hand, if you were as dumb all the time as you can be some of the time, you’d be dead by now. Everybody knows that — though they don’t KNOW it.

To pursue This Thing, you must turn your primary energy to what is potentially profitable. At the City level, you don’t have to abandon the in general part of you, which includes such things as sex. You can’t abandon that part of you completely, even if you wanted to. But you also cannot profitably devote your primary energy and attention to that, or take common genetic generalities personally.

In-generals are always going to exist, or you should hope they do. If not for in-generals, every dance would be an equally balanced tango, leading to ultimate entropy, and everything would die. People are wired up to believe, “I should do better, I can do better.” But there is no reason for you to believe that the general genetic level of dumbness can easily be raised to a higher level in you or in other people. There is no reason for you to spend your energy on the general level.

Ordinary people believe that the nature of society, the purpose of art, religion, and culture, is to raise this general level of intelligence (which I’ve called level of dumbness). On the other hand, once you see this can’t be done, you no longer have to be a critic of Life. You have to see that nothing is wrong before you believe nothing can be fixed. Or, as Kyroot once said, “Nothing is wrong until you believe it’s wrong.”

Another version of that is, “Nothing needs fixing until somebody tells you it needs to be fixed.” You weren’t born believing everything is broken. Yet, as soon as you’re told something’s broken, you immediately agree. When somebody points out, “Something’s definitely wrong, we have to do better,” you agree. Some people agree, then forget about it. Other people agree and then have what’s scientifically referred to as a conniption fit — they become critics, teachers, ministers, or your maiden aunt.

Life makes everybody agree — once. The agreement goes under many guises, but what it amounts to is Life sneaking in and saying, “This is a hell of a mess, ain’t it?” All you have to do is agree — once is enough — and you’re done for. You can’t take it back. That’s one reason people pray and one reason they get madder as they get older. What most people are trying to do is call Life back in for a talk and some renegotiation: “Whatever that was you told me that time, I’m not so sure it’s true.” “I think I agreed too quickly.” “Could you repeat what you told me, I’m not sure I heard you right.”

Once you agree something’s broken, you are put in the right kind of balance: one part is weaker, one part is stronger in the dance with yourself. You live your life with one leg shorter than the other, and you run in circles. The living, walking-around, right before your eyes proof of this is everybody. Everybody says, “We’ll do better.”

Let me give you a new working definition of intelligence. Intelligence is additional neural connections that are flexible. And the situation of everything in general being dumber than it is in particular does not meet that definition. All of you should know this by now. What I mean by new intelligence would be a kind of reversal of the process and would require additional neural connections.

New intelligence is not brought about by education — or by any particular means. New intelligence is what This is about — what these meetings are about — making you laugh at things that used to frighten you, at things you used to cry about, and .paanything else. But there is not an ordinary way to produce new neural connections — they’re not necessary.

What if I could tell you how to make some new neural connections somewhere? The ordinary response to that would be, “So what?” It’s almost impossible, under ordinary conditions, to change your mind, or even to see any reason to change your mind. Even if you could convince a City person that there’s a way to make new connections, they’d have no need to. Who cares if your car can go 400 miles per hour, as long as it gets you to work? Also notice that ordinary people — including you — would hear “make new connections,” as being the same as “add more facts, get more education.” And it’s not the same. The part of you that is in-general dumb doesn’t like me saying that, because that part believes it can do better if it just gets more education.

Education does not lead to new neural connections that are flexible. This doesn’t belie the enjoyable use of continually attempting something new, learning something you’ve never learned before. At the general level, I’d suggest most strongly that you continue to do this. Try a new sport, learn a language — that will produce lateral expansion, but not new flexible neural connections. If education did produce such flexible connections, you might study Spanish and end up speaking Albanian, or gibberish.

At Line level what would apparently be new information will not produce “intelligence,” by this new definition. By the City definition, learning something new is making a neural connection. Even if that’s so, the connections produced are not flexible.

Do you sense that doing This requires an amount of non-rigidity that is frightening to the old, in-town, conservative, hard, rigid connections that make you as apparently sane as you are? Your old connections feel that by pursuing This, you might be walking into spaghetti land. Your brain might turn into damp pasta if you don’t watch out.

I may expand this, or turn it inside out, but this is a suitable definition of intelligence for the time being: new, flexible neural connections. And “flexible” is not a matter of degree — the connections that form the normal basis of your thinking are not flexible. The way you think ordinarily is not flexible — not because you had a strict upbringing or are narrow-minded, but because inflexibility is the nature of the human brain’s structure.

Ordinary neural connections are not flexible. That’s the way the brain has to be — it’s not a mistake. If human intelligence were flexible, you would not be able to use logic or put periods at the ends of sentences. In order to do the things Life wants man to do, utilizing the apparent “out there,” ordinary intelligence must be structured a certain way. You have to be non-flexible or else once you got your degree in accounting and got a job, you’d sit at your desk writing “2 + 2 = 5.” You’d be a flexible thinker. You’d also be unemployed.

Remember, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the way you think. You’re never going to do away with your nervous system. You have to have inflexible underpinnings or you would be insane. There have been people in history — mystics, prophets — who did shake their neural underpinnings. Most of them said two or three things that were astounding, then sat under a tree for 40 years. Many people who believe they’re interested in strange activities are fascinated by stories of such prophets and how weird they were. But to function in the City, you have to have inflexible underpinnings. And the new neural connections I’m talking about do not undo those basic connections.

Life needs it all. How else can you account for there being 32 flavors of ice cream and one is vanilla? There’s a place in Life for a wise man who’s almost incapable of functioning at the ordinary level. But that’s not what This Activity is about. This is not about tearing out your underpinnings. A revolutionist is still as sane as anyone at that level. AND he has new neural connections that are flexible. So don’t let your nervous system protest, when I say you can’t change your mind, that you’re becoming more liberal than you used to be. You just have to be able to See — take this as a rule — that the neural connections in everybody are inflexible, and go on from there.

Asking a person to abandon his ordinary, inflexible neural connections is like asking him to commit suicide. You can’t build a house on a foundation of peanut butter — there have to be stable underpinnings to any structure. So people aren’t going to “snap out of it.” They’re not going to suddenly wise up and stop being inflexible.

Sometimes it seems as if people can overcome prejudice — as if you can appeal to a person’s better nature. Sometimes you can. In such cases, you’re dealing with a manifestation of “Everything in general is dumber than things in particular.” You could probably even take somebody like Hitler or Attila aside, on a good day, and ask him, “Do you realize what you’re doing is morally wrong?” And somewhere — in particular, not in general — he’d probably admit, “Yeah, I guess so.” Then he’d turn away and say, “Kill that man there!”

One more thing. Everyone in the City agrees that somewhere, somehow, there has to be either a group or a person who knows more than they do. Even you believed that, else why come here? People everywhere believe in what I’ve called the “Secret Book Syndrome.” Almost everybody on the planet believes there have been people in the past — if not presently — who were in some way superior — people who knew Something.

Now ask yourself: If there was a living person who fit the definition of a Real Revolutionist, would that person actually know something you don’t know? At first, every nervous system will answer, “Yes.” But Consider: Would they actually know something — some stuff, some noun — you don’t know? Or would the difference be that they would think about the ordinary stuff in a different way than you do.

This is not a trick question. You may believe, for example, that I know things you don’t know. Or is it just that I think about what everybody else knows differently? Are you sure that famous wise men in the past knew something — some secret? What if they only thought about everything differently? (This takes all the low-rent glamour and sheen off metaphysics, doesn’t it?)

You all thought you were going to do This to find out stuff you don’t know. Well, do you know stuff now you didn’t know before meeting me? What new things do you know? Have I ever told you anything you couldn’t verify? What secret have you got now that you didn’t have before? Is it actually a new piece of stuff — something new — or just thinking differently about what everyone else sees?

When people talk about somebody knowing something, the “something” they think of is just this side of being a tangible, physical packet of stuff. “This guy knew Something. Here I am l00 years later and I can read the words he wrote and get chills. The guy knew something, I’m telling you.” I’m not saying he didn’t, but what? The feeling is that he had new information — some secret. But what if that person who “knew more” simply had a new and different view of all the ordinary old stuff everybody knows?

I think we’ll stop here. This is certainly going to give us all a lot to think about — but it kind of takes all the low-rent glamour and sheen off metaphysics, doesn’t it?