[ExI] EP in 10 Easy Steps
hkhenson at rogers.com
Sat Oct 6 00:13:12 UTC 2007
At 03:30 PM 10/5/2007, Jeff Davis wrote:
>So many seemingly intelligent, seemingly normal folks have fallen for
>the "911 Truth" hoohah. Incredible! So, I've returned to the question
>"What in the human animal makes this "brain/behavioral disease"
>possible?" My jumping-off-point is tribalism and the peer
>pressure/echo chamber of the mob, but I want more substance. I would
>like to hear from the EP folk
I guess I am the resident EP guy, though if there are others, please speak up.
You are right about "tribalism and the peer pressure/echo chamber of
the mob" but you need to go back even further and think about the
genes that built humans with such traits.
The basic theory of EP is that if humans have a behavioral trait
today it is the result of selection (ultimately of genes) in the EEA.
So you need rephrase such questions into how the trait you are
thinking about could have made a difference in the reproductive
success of our ancestors. You need to watch out for the trait being
a side effect of something that was under selection pressure (like
drug addiction being a side effect of chemical social brain reward mechanisms).
I have seen people make a case (in, for example, _Human Inference_ by
Nesbitt and Ross) that making good enough decisions fast was a
positively selected trait. Jumping to the conclusion that a bush
shaking was due to a bear wasn't a bad idea when there were bears in
the bushes. That extended to hearing from someone else there was a
bear in the cave or the next valley. This could be corrected by
looking to see if the bear had moved on.
Now if something like this is an evolved behavior trait in humans, it
isn't hard to see how vivid and memorable stories (memes) of bears
[class dangerous] could spread among people and how it would be hard
to correct them, especially when part of the meme is "don't trust the
authorities," and you don't have any personal way to see the bear has
left the cave.
Belief in these sorts of stories isn't likely to threaten your
survival or reproductive success even today. All it's likely to do
is downgrade your reputation among a statistically insignificant pool
PS One of the persistent stories I have read about is that the feds
didn't investigate to find who was behind the well known speculation
of AA and UAL stock in the days before 9/11 (and won't let it be
privately investigated either). I have no way to verify this
story. My own experience with the government has not been good as
you are well aware. I don't think our leaders are that competent
enough to run 9/11 as an operation.
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