[ExI] proposed moratorium on religion topics

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 20:48:04 UTC 2009

On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/17/09, Keith Henson wrote:
> <snip>
>>  As an EP based bet, the unrest and war started in a time of falling
>>  income per capita when future economics looked bleak.
> The trouble is that EP doesn't explain everything and doesn't fit all wars.
> According to Encyclopædia Britannica the Sri Lankan troubles
> originated right at the start of independence in 1948 with an
> unrepresentative government.victimizing a minority

And why did they start victimizing a minority at that particular time?
 Is there anything in common with this and the other cases we know

Also, once started wars and similar social unrest have a life of their
own.  In electronics terms there is a big hysteresis in the equations.
 Consider the effect of Perle Harbor.on the US population as an

>and later including
> much nepotism and corruption.

> In fact the troubles escalated at a time of economic growth.
> Quote:
> The liberalization policies succeeded initially. Stimulated by a
> substantially enhanced level of foreign aid and investment, the
> economy became buoyant, recording, up to about 1984, real growth rates
> of about 6 percent per annum. Thereafter, however, there was a marked
> deceleration of growth, caused mainly by the disruptive effects of the
> ethnic conflict on economic activity.
> ---------

Is this an aggregate for the whole country?  In other words, does it
apply to the people in the minority areas?  You have to look at the
outlook of the people who started the fighting.  It could be (and in
this case probably was) both sides who are feeling squeezed.  It is
just that the majority group can usually impose on or even wipe out
the minority.  Rwanda for example.

> Similar points apply to other situations, like the victimization of
> the Northern Ireland Catholic minority.
> Of course you have the win - win argument, that wars start because:
> 1) times are getting hard, or
> 2) times are good, but everybody is worried about future hard times.
> That covers all times, I think. You win the argument.  ;)

This model, derived from stone age evolutionary pressures, is either
true or it is not.  You can show it is not by an example of a country
that was not attacked starting a war where they had decent economic
expectations for the future.  The model didn't fit the US Civil war
until you take into account the expected loss of slaves if they stayed
in the Union.  They were, of course, correct in how much of the
economy depended on slaves.

The war in Iraq would never have been accepted by the US population
except for being actually attacked and then being lied to.  Iraq had
nothing to do with 9/11, but the US population was convinced by
politicians that they did.

Of course behavioral switches and traits evolved in stone age groups
can't be expected to work well in the modern era, but the counter of
places with low birth rates and decent economic prospects keep the war
switches off.

The other prediction is that people in war situations make stupid
decisions.  More stupid than normal that is.  Plenty of examples
there, and the reason is that the interest of a warrior and his genes
diverge.  Genes win.


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