[ExI] Racist foxes

Henry Rivera hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Tue Apr 5 10:31:35 UTC 2011

A number of points in Mirco's argument have face validity, but they oversimplify the dynamics at work. As a psychologist, I must interject some data he has not factored in to this discussion. I'm not suggesting a resolution to the discussion; I just want to demonstrate that it is more complicated when we are dealing with humans. Human selection processes in recent generations have likely been significantly influenced by non-rational cultural factors such as these: 

Microaggressions: people often internalize racists beliefs and behave accordingly without conscious awareness or intent of being racist. The proposition that human "races" exist is a social construct; there are variable human phenotypes for hair color and texture as well as skin color. Some variations/mutations will confer advantages over time, but the discrete categories we try to group them in at a particular moment in time are not robust. Thus it is difficult to make sense of microaggressions as being genetically driven. Seehttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=microaggressions+&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C22&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

Implicit biases: these are prevalent and largely outside of conscious awareness. Decisions about, for example, who to breed with are influence by such biases which we are not even aware of, and I'd suggest these are not genetically driven biases. Do some Implicit Association Tests athttps://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ to discover biases you may hold that you are not conscious of.

Psychology of oppression and social change: those in positions of power create rules that perpetuate their power and facilitate the continued oppression of those who might threaten their power. People with traits more different from those in positions of power are systematically oppressed more aggressively. Consider that law enforcement (police) are instruments of the oppressors. Much on this topic has been published:http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=psychology+oppression+&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C22&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

Lastly,  human societal status and education (intelligence increase), at least in recent generations, has had significant influence from factors beyond one's genetic predisposition. I submit it is self-evident that access to information and literacy, for example is a relatively new advantage available to the non-elites.Tim Leary wrote much about this is Chaos and Cyber Culture (http://www.scribd.com/doc/35954417/Timothy-Leary-Chaos-Cyber-Culture). Here's a quote to give you a flavor: "CHILDHOOD'S END? It seems clear that we are facing one of those genetic cross-roads that have occurred so frequently in the history of primates. The members of the human gene pool who form symbiotic links with solid-state computers will be characterized by extremely high individual intelligence and will settle in geographic niches that encourage individual access to knowledge-information-processing software. New associations of individuals linked by computers will surely emerge. Information nets will encourage a swift, free inter- change among individuals. Feedback peripherals will dramatically expand the mode of exchange from keyboard punching to neuro- physiological interaction. The key word is, of course, "interaction." The intoxicating power of interactive software is that it eliminates dependence on the enormous bureaucracy of knowledge professionals that flourished in the industrial age. In the factory culture, guilds and unions and associations of knowledge-workers jealously monopolized the flow of information. Educators, teachers, professors, consultants, psychotherapists, librarians, managers, journalists, editors, writers, labor unions, medical groups all such roles are now threatened."

None of these factors carry weight among the tame and aggressive foxes but are very relevant to human interaction (and thus selection).

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20110405/d1f0f874/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list