[ExI] note from a foaf in japan

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 15:07:00 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:00 AM,   Kelly Anderson
<kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM, Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it> wrote:
>> Il 22/03/2011 0.46, spike ha scritto:
>>> I don't know this person, but will pass along this anyway:
>> The mail is interesting.
>> Do we had talked about the genetics and the cultural parts of this
>> behavior?
> It seems unlikely to me that humans are genetically diverse enough to
> account for highly social behavior in the face of disaster as a
> genetic issue. It seems much more likely to be a 100% cultural issue.

I would not discount the genetic angle.  I know it is not politically
correct, but consider the differences between wild and tame foxes that
came about in only 20 generations (with much of it in 8).  It depends
on a consistent selection criteria.  If you have not read Gregory
Clark's work, you should.

> The difference between behavior in New Orleans and Sendai must be
> almost entirely cultural. The attitude in New Orleans seemed to have
> been the end result of decades of socialism at work in the inner city.

North Korea has seen decades of socialism to an extent far more severe
than New Orleans.  So did East Germany.

I suspect several thousand years of farming in north temperate zones
worked some fairly serious changes in the genetics of the populations,
changes that a few decades of cultural variations don't erase.

>> What are the difference in behavior between Sendai (Japan) and Bam
>> (Iran) or Indonesia, Italy, Chile and China or New Orleans (US)?

You might include Haiti.  Re China:

"But these advantages cumulated in China over millennia
perhaps explain why it is no real surprise that China, despite nearly
a generation of extreme forms of Communism between 1949 and
1978, emerged unchanged as a society individualist and capitalist
to its core. The effects of the thousands of years of operation of a
society under the selective pressures of the Malthusian regime
could not be uprooted by utopian dreamers."  (Clark)

>> If we were able to select/create genetic traits and teach cultural
>> traits, what would we teach and select?
> I think we would want to select for diversity.

Clark makes a case that impulse control has been intensely selected in
stable societies along with literacy and numeracy.


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