[ExI] Is the USA doing too much to prevent COVID-19?

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun May 3 21:08:07 UTC 2020

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:


> But other than that I can't think of any stone age
traits that could be extrapolated to explain why one state was blue and
another was red.

Economics.  Every one of the states that went red had a population
that was facing a bleak economic future, unlike the blue states.  Not
bleak in absolute terms, but humans respond to relative stimulations.
For a long list of reasons, the average life prospects in those
populations were not as good as they had been for their parents.

People in the stone age facing a resource crisis (or a looming one)
would fight with neighbors. At the individual level, going to war was
irrational, but at the gene level, it was not.  So if conditions
called for war, the tribe members have the psychological traits to
find an irrational leader attractive.

You do need to be careful in extrapolating evolved stone age
psychological traits to the present day, though one example.
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Capture-bonding is obvious.

I would also say that it is clear from history that people under
stress from falling income per capita switch on the same mechanisms
that stone age peoples did for a resource crisis.  These include
spreading xenophobic memes and supporting irrational leaders.

Assuming the above analysis is correct, does anything jump out at you
as to how to prevent what happened in the red states?


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