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Old 11-28-2009, 04:44 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Default Mono wiring vs. poly wiring

In an effort not to completely hijack the book recommendation thread, I'm taking this discussion to a new thread.

The discussion started here:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1096

I'm pulling my post that I consider most pertinent to this, but I suggest reading the whole thread to get the full picture.


Quote:
Of course it doesn't to you...you are not mono wired.

What one mind reads as a guide to enable you to realize something, the other mind interprets it as a potential threat. It's really quite simple that two people can interpret the same stimulus differently.

If a punch is thrown at the average person on the street it is usually seen as a pretty threatening thing that elicits a defensive response.

If a punch is thrown at a trained fighter it is viewed as a stimulus that elicits an offensive response.
Ok, as a person who works in special needs education and therapy and has a certain amount of knowledge in the area of brain wiring, I have to call bullshit on that. Sorry for the harsh words but there is nothing to suggest that a mono wired mind would see the world as differently as you claim or that something that clearly doesn't make sense only doesn't make sense to me because I'm not mono-wired (which I dispute anyway...I'm not wired either way). Yes, two people can interpret the same stimulus differently but it is a huge and unsupported leap to chalk that difference to being mono wired or poly wired. You can say that it's just how your mono mind sees things, but that would have more to do with flawed reasoning than having a mono mind.

First of all the fighting analogy you use doesn't apply to your claim because a person isn't wired as a fighter. They are trained. So if you're going to use that example, you're essentially arguing against your own "wired" argument.

Second, to chalk such differences of understanding up to wiring is a cop out. It's a way to absolve a person of the responsibility of having to take the effort to stretch and understand broader ways to view things.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:45 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
In an effort not to completely hijack the book recommendation thread, I'm taking this discussion to a new thread.

The discussion started here:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1096

I'm pulling my post that I consider most pertinent to this, but I suggest reading the whole thread to get the full picture.




Ok, as a person who works in special needs education and therapy and has a certain amount of knowledge in the area of brain wiring, I have to call bullshit on that. Sorry for the harsh words but there is nothing to suggest that a mono wired mind would see the world as differently as you claim or that something that clearly doesn't make sense only doesn't make sense to me because I'm not mono-wired (which I dispute anyway...I'm not wired either way). Yes, two people can interpret the same stimulus differently but it is a huge and unsupported leap to chalk that difference to being mono wired or poly wired. You can say that it's just how your mono mind sees things, but that would have more to do with flawed reasoning than having a mono mind.

First of all the fighting analogy you use doesn't apply to your claim because a person isn't wired as a fighter. They are trained. So if you're going to use that example, you're essentially arguing against your own "wired" argument.

Second, to chalk such differences of understanding up to wiring is a cop out. It's a way to absolve a person of the responsibility of having to take the effort to stretch and understand broader ways to view things.
Please see our previous thread Ceoli..have a good night my friend.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:00 AM
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I had a conversation last night with someone that considers themself poly and is pretty mainstream, their opinon of our poly group and those who were at it was that we were all flakey freaks. They stuck around to hear more and to find some community, but they are not big into books such as the "Ethical Slut" either...they also don't use the language or live poly in such an intellectual way... I suspect most don't. Most people don't discuss things as we do on here I suspect. they just live their lives as they need to. They are probably not as fraught with intellectual crap such as defintions as I am I sometimes wonder.

My ex girlfriend is very mono wired and also feels threatened by poly and the "Ethical Slut" book. She and I tried out non monogamy and it made her physically sick it went against her wiring so much. She is really struggling with the fact that I am again in a triad and pretty much rolls her eyes and thinks that we are the ones that are fucked in the head. I know a lot of people who think that, the whole team I work with does (I work on a team of 7 staff that supports 16 people with developmental delays and disabilities I could speak for hours about the mono and poly wiring I see in my clients! But that would not be appropriate)... They would never live as I do and have all talked about the possibility and come to that conclusion. They feel threatened by poly also.

I don't know how much of it is wiring and how much of it societal, but does it really matter? The majority thinks this way. End of story. We just have to live our truth and get on with it instead of arguing details.... its becomes way too personal and dwells on semantics. At least for me it does.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:33 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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I don't know how much of it is wiring and how much of it societal, but does it really matter? The majority thinks this way. End of story. We just have to live our truth and get on with it instead of arguing details.... its becomes way too personal and dwells on semantics. At least for me it does.
To me, it matters when people start using wiring as an excuse to not bother to understand a point of view that may be different from their own or when wiring is used as an excuse to make assumptions about a whole population of people.

I brought this up because Mono claimed that it was his "mono wiring" that caused him to have a different understanding of basic logic and reasoning. It's not about whether people are wired mono or poly, but how much does that wiring actually affect how we see things. Scientists have been having that discussion for years and still can't come up with a definitive answer. And it's fine for people to have their own experience of that, but I'm certainly going to call it to task when it is used as a reason to make assumptions about some very basic principles of being a person. (especially saying something like a clearly illogical leap of reasoning doesn't make sense to me only because I'm not mono-wired)

As long as people continue to act as if they are two different worlds or two different species of people, it does nothing but create a great mechanism for marginalization. Honestly, a friend of mine put it best: Being poly is like being mono, except with more people. Honestly, there's really not that much of a difference, so why do we have to act like there is?
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:50 PM
Alexandra Alexandra is offline
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In posts elsewhere, I've seen Mono refer to his mono-world view as a black-and-white view of things. I thought that was odd when I read it. But then, I'm not really a black-and-white type myself, and I just put it down to differences between people.

And now I'm thinking that the whole mono - poly dynamic is actually a spectrum, with monogamy at one end and polyamory at the other. Somehow that spectrum includes all and any variations, such as polygamy, swinging etc.

I'm pretty certain that I am poly by nature, but I've been kind of suckered into the dominant normative standard way of doing things by society, family etc.

I've made a start at trying to open my long term relationship (I started a thread about it here), and so I'm finding these discussions very interesting.

I have often found myself at semantic and ideological odds with people about words and concepts such as have been listed above. And quite often, during the following discussion, friends have said something like "wow, I never thought about it that way before... that makes a lot of sense..." This kind of response makes it look as if a lot of what people think they think is in fact conditioning rather than hard-wiring.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:22 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Wiring

I think both Red & Ceoli have made valid points in this discussion. I relate to Red when she bring up (basically) "Why does it matter" because sometimes we tend to "think" ourselves into a "can't see the tree for the forest" situation. And that I agree with !
And yet Ceoli raises the important point that in trying to build broader awareness and better understanding/communication, we have to toss stuff like this on the table occasionally. Being someone with some reasonable background in brain chemistry myself and trying to stay somewhat current with developments, I also shiver a bit when I hear anyone throw out a statement about being "wired" for anything ! That's real dangerous & debatable territory.
But I do firmly believe that the ONE thing we are all "wired" for is a need for safety & security. And a second high amperage circuit there is connected to keeping things......predicable....known. We tend to resist change - be it in in our lifestyle or our thinking. It requires energy and threatens to pull us out of our "comfort" zone. We don't like that ! (most of us)
And what bigger tiger is there to threaten our security & comfy zone than having all the "values" we were raised with tossed out as bait ? But maybe - just maybe the tiger is paper ? Whether to "fight or flee" (that basic wiring) is in the end very much an individual choice. Some are braver than others. And some have found lots of paper tigers.

GS
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:54 PM
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Alexandra I see it as a bubble where it all floats around actually and we gravitate at different times to different things... at least I do.

Ceoli, I think I am getting where you are coming from. I think the problem lies in giving it all the names of "poly" and "mono". For me, I get what you are saying when I think of the feeling that is accomplished when one feels "full" as we were talking about in another thread. I feel "full" in a different way than mono. I feel "full" now that I have the men I do in my life. Mono feels full now that he has his one and only me in his life. In that respect the two definitions and wiring merge. I would not identify as mono or poly in this sense, just in "relationship."

Am I getting close to getting it?
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:28 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Ok, as a person who works in special needs education and therapy and has a certain amount of knowledge in the area of brain wiring, I have to call bullshit on that.
In terms of "hard wiring," I'll agree that's the case.

When one considers that we also "wire" our brains by building synaptic pathways via education and training, then one can discuss "wiring" in that fashion and how it affects prehension. If one has firmly-established neural pathways associated with relationships, then different understandings of relationships do go against that "wiring."

Now, as we can change that sort of "wiring" and reprogram our brains, then it certainly doesn't doom us to a lifetime of being unable to grasp a different viewpoint or experience. The question is one of finding where the "hard wiring" leaves off and the "soft wiring" begins.

There are folks for whom a single, lifelong pairing is the only thing they're comfortable with. Others are only comfortable with a series of exclusive pairings. Others with a strong pairing and some dalliances on the side. Others with two or three pairings at a time. And so on. I suspect there is a spectrum of proclivities due to nature, and then a bunch of modification possible due to nurture.

So, I see it a good thing to discuss the differences in outlook. I don't see it as very useful to think that people are locked into a single outlook from the outset and unto eternity--though it's certainly possible in some cases. I expect most of us have a good deal of flexibility possible in our behaviors and outlooks because we can reprogram our brains in lots of ways, which would make discussions of viewpoints highly contextual.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
I also shiver a bit when I hear anyone throw out a statement about being "wired" for anything ! That's real dangerous & debatable territory.

GS
Hi GS,

I have a tendency to react swiftly when people question my own "wiring" and I think I understand that a bit more through your comments.
For me specifically, because I am the only one who knows what I feel, there is a frustration in repeatedly trying to convey the black and whiteness of it all LOL!

When the idea of wiring is questioned I think I probably experience the same emotions as someone who comes out to their parents as gay and they respond with "you don't have to be gay, you just think you are, you aren't really gay". I personally believe that there are men wired to love other men and women wired to love other women. I think there are also people wired to love pansexually.

I accept the concept of wiring because I live it. Just like I accept that a man's spirit can be encased in a woman's body although I don't think science has figured that out yet? I have a basic need for people around me to accept that…not understand that, just accept it. Perhaps I am the only “wired” mono person in the world..who knows?

Thank you for the insights.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:32 AM
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I'm not taking issue with whether people are wired mono or wired poly. I certainly agree that people have inclinations one way or another and there is a balance that's different for each person between their wiring and their conditioning. What I'm taking issue with is holding that wiring responsible for other characteristics and views that have *nothing* whatsoever to do with being mono or poly.

In the original thread, Mono claimed that his mono brain was making him read a book differently than poly brained people. I called that into question, saying that it has nothing to do with a mono vs. poly mind. He then sort of contradicted himself with this (the contradiction lies in the fact that he was talking about how poly people rejected a book he supported, but is actually describing in this how his mono wiring encourages him to reject things):

Quote:
I think it has everything to do with wiring. Of course mono minds don't want to swallow open ideas....that is undeniable....we're mono wired...we don't want to open up because we have no need to. "We - don't - want - to". I admit it; it has no appeal to me, no greater sense of learning or mind expanding qualities, no more evolved concept. I don't see it as a world sweeping movement or the next stage of evolution in social dynamics. I merely see it as something that some people want and are capable of.
I see nothing wrong with it. I see only people being themselves.
This is not a mono/poly issue. This is an open minded/closed minded issue. (and no, one is not always better than the other)

The fact is that there is a far greater variation that exists within any given poly population and any given mono population than exists between the two groups.

In other words, poly people are far more different from each other than they are different from mono people and mono people are far more different from each other than they are different from poly people.

So I simply don't buy it when someone says that their mono nature is what makes them black and white. It's a person's black and white nature that makes them so. A person's mono nature means that they fall in love with one person at a time. And a mono nature is certainly not the thing that is going to make a person read a book differently from a poly person.

It is important for me to take this to task because any time we use fictitious reasons to create divides or to try to create different "species" of people we're actually putting whole groups of people down. That flawed reasoning is the very same reasoning that fuels sexism, racism, discrimination against gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered people and all sorts of other acts of discrimination in society.
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