[ExI] Meta was LA Times: Unlimited space for untold sorrow

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Wed Feb 6 17:20:59 UTC 2008

At 07:15 AM 2/6/2008, Lee wrote:


>I'm still a little confused about the focus, here, though.  You
>help by writing "[This is about] coming to grips with the realities
>of our communities: how they succeed, how they fail...".
>But first, those are probably not *your* communities. They
>certainly aren't mine (the part of town I live in is middle middle
>class, and is very peaceful).  Second, those communities contain
>many many thousands of people, and the deaths of a few hundred
>are indeed demographically and economically insignificant. In
>other words, do (the rest of) the people living there believe that
>their communities are sinking?   I don't think that they are
>sinking in any real historical, demographic, or economic sense.

That's not exactly true.  Gang related killings happen frequently 
enough in some neighborhoods to make a serious impact.

This is all on a gradient from your peaceful middle middle to places 
where 60% of the males die violently.

After reading Clark's work, I can't be sure what fraction of these 
effects are environmental and what fraction is genetic.  In "EP, 
memes and the origin of war" I assumed it was all environmental but 
it could be that some of it is that past genetic selection has biased 
some people to be less impulsive and violent and to hold down the 
number of children they have.  There are certainly groups in the 
world where the genetic advantage lies with the killers, if not now 
then in the recent past.  See the section on violence 
here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanomami

I wonder how long it would take in a middle middle neighborhood from 
the food supply failing to cannibalism?


An interesting effect of female infanticide in a no birth control, 
Malthusian society is that it increases the life span (not counting 
the dead female infants).  The math behind this weird statement is air tight.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list