Tweaking your feelings:
From time to time I would like to do something but I don’t feel like it.  Yes, that is an apparent contradiction.  But it’s the way we are put together.  Instead of one monolithic Personality, we have a bunch of different routines that operate us, and they are generally not all in synch.  There is the part of us that yearns for a sleek physique and another part that wants to eat like a vulture.  There is the part that wants to spend money and a part that wants to be rich.  In fact you have to wonder how anybody ever got away with the notion of a monolithic personality. 

There is a fair sized industry of writing novels.  The whole point of a novel is the personality theory.  You start out with somebody with a defined personality who wants something.  That person takes action or prepares to take action.  This results in the person having a personality change.  Then there is a big change in the person’s understanding of the situation.  Then the story plays out with the new personality.  At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.  I stopped reading novels once I figured out the pattern so I don’t have any examples in mind. 

The point of the novel is to indoctrinate you into believing in that integrated, monolithic personality in spite of all your experience to the contrary. 

So what we are battling here is the prejudice against marrying cousins.  This is a particularly bad prejudice because when it is acted out by a society the long term result is extinction.  My experience is that the prejudice is widespread, deeply seated, mostly acts outside of our awareness, and is probably biological, like the prejudice against snakes.  Most instincts are designed to keep us alive.  This one seems tooled to put us down; we have already gone past the point of no return and evolution and nature are no longer our friends. 

So it seems kind of hopeless.  But nay, there are people who handle snakes, people who parachute, people who scale cliffs, and all of these are done in defiance of instinct.  So how, if you are interested in our long term survival, do you talk yourself into it? 

Help is at hand.  (Therapist Free Therapy ECONOMIST vol. 398 no. 8723 March 5, 2011 page 85)  Yair Bar-Haim of Tel Aviv University has been trying out a computer program for major psychological problems such as anxiety and addictions.  It is a self administered process just involving sitting at a computer terminal and interacting with the computer for a few fifteen minute sessions.  That compares with hours of psychotherapy, and the results are encouraging.

Well it seems to me that if the process can work for things like that, maybe it can work for plain old prejudices. 

So if people want to, and if it turns out that curing prejudice alone is enough to restore adequate fertility, then maybe there is a way forward after all.

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