[ExI] Evo-psych

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 15 14:26:33 UTC 2009

--- On Tue, 4/14/09, natasha at natasha.cc <natasha at natasha.cc> wrote:
> Quoting Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
> > --- On Tue, 4/14/09, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 6:17 AM, Dan
> >> <dan_ust at yahoo.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > --- On Mon, 4/13/09, spike <spike66 at att.net>
> >> wrote:
> >> >> The best of times were these.
> >> >
> >> > All of you have to stop falling into this
> nostalgia
> >> funk.  You're intelligent and creative enough to
> come up
> >> with new ideas and bounce them off each other.
>  Why not
> >> focus on that and transcend this depressive
> reminiscing?
> >> 
> >> I have been rereading Accelerando, which
> thoroughly mines
> >> the
> >> Extropian list of the early 90s for ideas. 
> There
> >> actually were not
> >> more than a couple of dozen ideas over a 6 year
> period of
> >> time, so one
> >> every three months would do it.
> >> 
> >> Lots of new ideas, reformulating sociology in
> terms of
> >> evolutionary
> >> psychology, cortical column simulation as in
> Conway's Life
> >> as a path
> >> to AI, and using gravity gradient "space anchors"
> as a way
> >> to counter
> >> light pressure effects on power satellites.
> >> 
> >> But these topics don't generate discussion here.
> > 
> > Let's try!  What's wrong with evolutionary
> psychology?  To me, some  of it seems like a
> rehash of earlier attempts to physicalize 
> consciousness.
> > Comments?
> ... I was just reading the first few pages of _Social
> Darwinism in American thought_ ...
> I think Keith's analysis is certainly less than
> accurate.  In fact I could mine this list easily and
> find discussion on his above-list.  Nonetheless let's
> kick it to the curb and discuss anything other than the
> OctoMom's broad, in deference to the year of Darwin.

Heck, I'd like to discuss engineering projects that could be done now on the cheap.  Recall, many years ago, I brought up the topic of flooding the East African Rift.  Granted, this won't do much to forward techno-progress; it could be done with an army of people with shovels and picks.*  But it would lead to major -- and I hope positive -- changes in the region's climate and ecology.  It'd also be a demonstration of how the planet could be easily reshaped.  (Of course, reversing flooding in that area would be much, much harder.  This is why I'd like to see the idea discussed.**)



*  All that as to be done, if I'm right here, is open it up slightly near the northern end to allow seawater to "quickly" flood the Rift.  The process would likely take years to complete.  (Current seepage is too slow to do much more than create a salt lake near the northern end.)

**  I'd also be afraid of losing a lot of fossils in the process.  I think this might be ameliorated by something like a fleet autonomous rovers that do fossil hunting in the region.  They could sample and photograph the region at close range and place the data on the web to do something like a "mechanical turk" process (i.e., like with Mars photos, people can just browse through the photos looking for interesting things, including fossils).


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