[extropy-chat] Hating versus Loving

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Dec 19 07:11:56 UTC 2006

At 10:35 PM 12/18/2006 -0800, you wrote:
>Keith had written
> >> The mismatch between the EEA and later environments can be an utter
> >> disaster.  One such disaster depopulated almost all of the Colorado 
> plateau
> >> of corn farmers.  (Their response to war was to concentrate and move into
> >> forts, but that put too much of their farm land out of reach, which kept
> >> them in privation, which kept them in wars . . . .)
> >
> >> In one case, the southwest corn farmers, it killed almost the entire
> >> population.  See Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest by 
> Steven A.
> >> Leblanc.  Privation put them into war mode, the response they made of
> >> moving into forts forced them to abandon much of their farmland.  That 
> kept
> >> them in war mode till 23 of 27 groups died.  The few who were left were
> >> still in war mode when the Spanish arrived hundreds of years later.
>And his point---very well taken---is that it was the *genes* of the corn
>farmers that put them in this unfortunately situation.

Right.  Genes (for psychological traits) that evolved in a hunter gatherer 
EEA were lethal to almost all of the Southwest corn farmers.

>I failed to credit
>this when I noted that there really wasn't anything wonderful or clever
>that they could do about their situation (in all likelihood) that they hadn't
>already thought of.

I very much doubt anyone at the time had the slightest insight into how 
they were trapped.

>Of course, it *would* have been great for them if more
>of them could have simultaneously understood their peril, and perhaps
>banded together and conquered the rest.  But sometimes it just happens
>that at least one party is not willing to compromise.

I don't have the military knowledge to figure out why things collapsed so 
badly.  To me it is amazing that people lived in those places at all much 
less had the energy to duke it out with each other.

>Speaking of which, it's about time that the Americans tried negotiating
>with Iran and Syria, don't you think?   :-)   I wonder why they didn't
>try negotiating first!

I actually don't see any point in talking to Iran and Syria.  Withdrawing 
to Kurdish country and pulling out through Turkey might work.  Wait a few 
years and the US would probably be welcomed back (assuming things get a lot 
worse after we leave).

Keith Henson

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