[extropy-chat] Side note (was Are vaccinations useless?)

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Mar 20 14:37:52 UTC 2006

At 09:41 PM 3/19/2006 -0500, Jeff wrote:


>* Side note: Given that Robin is consistently sharp and rational in
>areas in which I am fit to make a judgment, and considered so by so
>many other seemingly intelligent folks, in areas in which I am not
>expert and he is, such as health economics, I have no rational choice
>but to give his claims about health economics more weight than my own.
>Frankly, I'm amazed so many people with no claim to even moderate
>competence in any health economics, public health, or related areas,
>have been so dismissive of Robin here.

Almost ten years now, I developed an interest in psychological traits our 
ancestors acquired during their long evolution as hunter gatherers.  My 
paper on the subject has been linked a lot if not read: Results 1 - 10 of 
about 481,000 for sex drugs cults "Keith Henson"

That paper described "capture-bonding" and made the case that while this 
psychological trait was only turned on full in cases such as Patty Hearst, 
Elizabeth Smart and the original Stockholm bank robbery (from which 
Stockholm syndrome gets it name), the mechanism accounts for a lot more, 
basic training, hazing, battered wife syndrome, and hard to explain sex 
practices such as B&D and SM (to name a few).

I wrote a follow up paper (so far unpublished) where I made the case that 
humans have a psychological trait to go non-rational that is switched on by 
either needing to go to war because of a resource crunch or when their 
tribe is attacked.

In a report early this year Dr. Drew Westen using fMRI identified the brain 
structures and circuits involved in "partisan mode" which I feel is along 
the continuum to full blown warrior-insane.  (After all, politics is just 
war by other means.)

So:  When you see people going Mau Mau on Robin's ass, you are seeing the 
partial activation of brain circuits for war mode right out of our bloody 
hunter gatherer past.

At least that's the way I see it.

Keith Henson

PS.  It also leads to an odd function for religions.  In this view, 
religions are seen as "seed war memes."

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