[ExI] "Animal-monitoring modules"?

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 04:15:14 UTC 2007

I am also more familiar with a minivan's normal behavior than an
elephant.  If the situation were reversed, I would imagine that
familiarity with elephants would lead to an expectation of their
behavior that would attenuate the fear response compared to the
initial fright incurred by seeing the ruthless beast of minivan
senselessly trample one of my tribe members and not even bother to eat

I think the point here is that understanding lets us model behavior
and reinforce that model to make predictions.  As long as the
confidence in the prediction is high enough, the threat value tends to
go down.  I believe this includes animals.  In that case, however, a
high amount of model reinforcement is required to reliably predict
that a particular dog is not going to bite because its tail is

Perhaps we can minimize the threat of social systems if we had better
models for understanding them?

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