[ExI] Meta question

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 14:01:39 UTC 2016

I still have problems with word definitions:  if 'irrational' behavior
works better than 'rational' behavior, then it is rational.  Perhaps we
need to define rational as well as irrational.

It simply makes no sense to me to say'it is rational to act irrationally'.
This is oxymoronic.

bill w

On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>

> 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
> way.
> Keith
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