[ExI] Meta question

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 17:55:35 UTC 2016

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>

> ​> ​
>  the genes
> ​ ​
> doesn't think at all.

​Yes, and that is their greatest weakness.​

> ​> ​
> They still tend to
> ​ ​
> maximize utility over evolutionary time (or go extinct).

​Genes don't have to fund the best solution to a problem and because the
right mutation cannot be guaranteed to come when needed and because it's
too hard to change a standard once it's well established  genes almost
never find the perfect answer, they just have to be better than competing
genes.  ​

​> ​
> It's a bleak realization that evolution has wired us up this way.

​But genes aren't the end of the story, the fact that the second half of
the 20th century was dramatically less bloody than the first half is reason
for hope. ​

​> ​
> it does explain the popularity of one of the candidates this year,

​But we've never had a candidate like Donald Trump, why did we get a
trumpian candidate this year? I don't think it was genes I think it was
just a unusual confluence of circumstances. Somebody decided to run for
president who had money   (although probably not nearly as much as he
claims) and virtually 100% name recognition and showmanship skills to
peddle ideas that were decisive, dramatic and simple (but not simple in a
good way). The fact that Trump's  ideas were bad ideas and  would only make
the problems they were supposed to solve worse explains why his strongest
demographic is uneducated white men.

 John K Clark ​
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