[extropy-chat] War Is Easy To Explain - Peace is Not

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Mar 14 06:51:48 UTC 2007

Damien writes

> At 10:44 PM 3/13/2007 -0700, Eliezer wrote:
>> Damien, I don't have a reference ready to hand, but IIRC the net chance
>> of dying of violence in a hunter-gatherer society is pretty damned high.
>>   Their warlikeness has not been exaggerated.
> That was half my point. The other half was that the equivalent now is 
> not nations but ferocious pockets of underclasses.

They might indeed make comparable fatalities per capita, seems to me.

What we would really love to have is one's chance of dying violently in
an *average* pre-literate society, even though the variance is high.
Among American Indian tribes, for example, we have the Iroquois
on one extreme and the Northwest coastal Indians on the other. 

But then, the variance for inner city youth gangs in America today may
be pretty high also.

But enough of North America---why has South America (again, per
capita) been so peaceful the last century or so?  Those countries really
used to know how to go at each other, e.g., the Lopez War in the late
1860s, in which Paraguay's population went from 1.4 million to 200,000
due to trying to take on Brazil, Argintina, and Chile simultaneously.


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