[ExI] Meta question

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 01:57:39 UTC 2016

On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 5:59 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 , Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The point, perhaps inadequately stated, is that evolution has wired up
>> humans to behave irrationally in circumstances where acting
>> irrationally has benefited the genes over a long time.
> The only reason I like science and rationality in general is that it works,
> but if irrational behavior works better than rational behavior then why be
> rational?

In the past, at times where humans had run into the ecological limit,
it was rational from _the viewpoint of human genes_ for humans to act
irrationally and from the evidence of history, stupidly.  Even from
the gene's viewpoint, getting humans to act irrationally is not a good
strategy most of the time.  Acting irrationally or stupidly and
following irrational leaders is a *conditional* behavior, turned on by
anticipation of a bleak future.

Unfortunately, a substantial fraction of the people in the word
anticipate a bleak future.

Sadly, irrational, even stupid behavior, is what we can expect.

Is it possible to break out of this mode?  I don't know, but it seems
unlikely if we don't understand how humans came to be wired up this


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