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The Parasitic Mind
Evolutionary Psychologist Dr. Gad Saad says despite writing his book in a relatively short amount of time, the ideas and topics expressed have been percolating for many years.
"This book is the culmination of things I've been warning about for years," said Dr. Saad in the interview. Dr. Saad delved into Neuro-Parasitology, which examines the relationship of parasites and the brain. This field is what inspired the title.
Dr. Saad elaborated on how parasites invade the brain, "This is really out of Science Fiction because parasites that do that [parasitize brains] really are in engaging in a form of mind snatching or body snatching, because what they ultimately do is alter the hosts behaviour, causing them to act in maladaptive ways."
The medicalization of the culture war is something unique to Dr. Saad. Nobody else has seemingly introduced their expertise in this phenomenon as most analysis of culture is from a socially constructed lens.
Dr. Saad believes he can incorporate scientific or biological terms into the discussion of the culture war.
In the book, there are a number of examples to which parasites invade the brain but when interviewed, Dr. Saad focused on one in particular. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can infect humans but conventionally infects mice, and causes them to lose their fear of cats. Furthermore, it causes the mice to become sexually attracted to the urine of the cat.
As Dr. Saad studied the Neuro-Parasitology, he said "aha, I found my framework for understanding all of the lunacy that I've been talking about for years."
When Dr. Saad utilized the framework of Neuro-Parasitology into the current culture war, he coined the term, "idea pathogens." Instead of the parasitized mouse being sexually attracted to cat urine, potentially leading to its own demise, parasitized humans become attracted to illogical and dangerous ideas that lead to destructive consequences in society.
The question then was to what degree are these malicious ideas, particularly on college campuses, intended maliciously.
"The brilliance of these idea pathogens is that they actually cloak themselves in the rove of social justice and noble causes," replied Dr. Saad. He goes on to explain how similarly to how a virus manipulates your body into attacking it, so do these "idea pathogens" in regard to the adoption of them.
"I don't think many of these idea pathogens are intended to be intellectually terroristic just for the sake of destroying, but it's that in the pursuit of social justice, they end up murdering truth, and raping truth," he said.
One such example Dr. Saad gives is militant feminism. He explains how equity feminism is a great idea and just about everyone will subscribe to the idea that men and women are equal. The issue rises when militant feminism pushes the boundaries of what is objectively true.
According to Dr. Saad, the belief system of militant feminism is as explained, "In the pursuit of eradicating any institutionalized sexism, we have to reject the possibility that men and women are biologically different from each other. We have to argue that they are indistinguishable."
Dr. Saad says "no" to this assertion, stating how you can support women, while also at the same time, acknowledging biological realities. This was undoubtedly an important point as an Evolutionary Psychologist. He asserts these "idea pathogens" will not allow you to take a nuanced approach and instead push ideas to the extreme.
On The Riots
"I've been predicting for years that the end result of many of these dreadful ideas is going to be violence," Dr. Saad remarked in relation to the current mass riots occurring in the United States.
Dr. Saad used identity politics as an example of an idea pathogen and he explained his family history as Lebanese Jews being forced to free the country in the 1970s. Lebanon is seemingly plagued by identity politics as positions of power such as President, are contingent on your identity. This eventually spiraled out of control and led the country into chaos.
"Imagine 45 years later, after having escaped the middle east, I'm seeing the exact same identity politics principles being espoused in every corner," Dr. Saad said.
"Dreadful ideas will create instability in society and that's what kills me because the West was really an anomalous reality within our history because somehow it found the right set of foundational values to protest itself against what has been the standard or default throughout human history. Chaos, hierarchy, dictatorial, and we found just the right values to build beautiful societies and we are dismantling it, ourselves. It's disheartening," he concluded.
Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome and the Cure
Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome or OPS, is a syndrome which causes the subject to reject obvious realities for self assuring illusions. Similarly to the trope of the Ostrich sticking its head in the sand, OPS is self inflicted. The subject is in this case, completely ideologically possessed and unable to look at things objectively.
An example of this is the reaction to a terrorist proudly committing terrorism in the name of his religion. Dr. Saad explained how Western “thinkers” will then pontificate and claim “aha it has nothing to do with his religion, it has to do with the fact that there was a lack of art exposure in his life. It’s because there was beard bullying, it’s because of climate change.” Dr. Saad is describing OPS.
Nomological networks of cumulative evidence is how society may overcome these "idea pathogens," according to Dr. Saad. Similarly to Darwin, he believes that a collection of undeniable evidence is part of the equation. Some study may provide evidence that boys and girls innately have different interest in toys. However, is not good enough for Dr. Saad. He suggests building a framework that includes evidence from multiple fields, making it entirely impossible to deny your position.
"You cannot be parasitized by bad ideas if you got the weaponry of critical thinking, and in this case, this epistemological tool to stake your position," Dr. Saad concludes.
Activate Your Inner Honey Badger
Dr. Saad concluded with an analysis of honey badgers. He remarks how honey badgers are remarkably fierce, having the ability to scare off six grown lions, while also being a small animal. It is the fierceness of the honey badger that keeps it alive as these much larger animals are too afraid to approach it.
In this sense, Dr. Saad is asking people to activate their inner honey badger and become educated and confident in your principles.
"People say, 'well how do you survive in academia? how do you survive on social media?' well because I've made is clear long ago that I am the king of the honey badgers. If you come after me, come after me really ready to fight!"
CancelThis is a new weekly show by The Post Millennial, featuring free speech activist Angelo Isidorou. Angelo will be inviting interesting people to discuss ideas that are often not heard in the mainstream media. For the debut episode, Angelo sat down with Dr. Saad to discuss political correctness, radicalism, "idea pathogens," and honey badgers.
The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense is already a best seller on Amazon.
You can purchase The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas are Killing Common Sense on Amazon.