[Paleopsych] Gwen Dyer's "War"

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Thu Jul 29 17:17:46 UTC 2004

I thought I'd pass on these remarks. I don't recall hearing about the 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 17:12:10 -0500 (CDT)
From: Brian Hurt <bhurt at spnz.org>
To: World Transhumanist Association Discussion List <wta-talk at transhumanism.org>

On Wed, 28 Jul 2004,  wrote:

> Never said I was particularly worried about it.  The precise numbers
> would be subject to investigation.  The point is that in spite of an
> increasing number of people with enough sense to behave in civilized
> ways, the number of those who don't appears to also be growing.  Why ?

I'm reading (re-reading, in one case) two interesting books on this point.
The first is "A Distant Mirror", a history of the 14th century.  The
second is Gwen Dyer's "War".  The inescapable conclusion I take away from
these two books is that twentieth century man is actually *less* violent
than fourteenth century man was (there is a still a problem in that we can
do a hell of a lot more damage today than we could in the fourteenth
century, so even a small amount of violent tendancies gets us into

Dyer even has a whole chapter on indoctrination.  Seems we humans aren't
really good killers without a whole lot of programming.  During WWII, only
about 15% of infantry soldier were actually firing their rifles during
battle.  Maybe 25% in a real heavy-duty combat.  They were willing to die-
for their country, for democracy, for their families, for their fellow
soldiers- but the vast majority really weren't willing to kill.  Basic
training then became basically a massive brain washing exercise, so when
the time came, our soldiers would actually *kill*, despite their innate
reluctance to do so.

Meanwhile, the fourteenth century was the height of chivalry- which was
about equal parts violence and adultry, both depicted graphically enough
to make hollywood blush.

If there is an argument to made here, it's that the new comers have to be
taught how to violent, hypocratic, and horny.  Because the vast majority
of them seem to prefer having their sex and violence vicariously, while
they're safe at home with the missus.

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