RE: Mechanism for wars (was transmission)

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Thu 15 May 2003 - 15:14:09 GMT

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    Keith wrote:

    <<My recent arguments about natural selection for memetic mechanisms that lead humans to wars in tight economic times didn't generate much comment. QED it must be mainstream. :-)>>

    I've been thinking about it and thought it was very interesting, so I naturally didn't reply. :)

    <<The connection to memetics is that under early privation conditions memes that dehumanize other tribes do well spreading and motivating a tribe to make war against another tribe. There is probably suppression of rational thought involved in these mechanisms because (on average) your genes do better win *or lose* and rational thoughts would certainly get in the way of doing the right thing for your genes if "the right thing" meant almost certain death. (I.e., attacking a stronger tribe.)

    Please take a careful look at the logic here. I think it is airtight and the conclusion is just stunning.>>

    Given that the best game-theoretic strategy is to go all-out win or lose, whatever unites and aligns the people will aid survival. If these UT memes trigger strong emotion that paves the way for action, it all makes sense.

    <<Fortunately we don't see this gene-selected psychological mechanism turned on in the western countries very often because (due to low birth rates) we don't see a lot of declining income per capita. But the Saudis have seen per capita income fall from 28k per person to 7k in the past generation. The rest of the Islamic world is not doing a much better.>>

    So the best way to wage the war on terrorism is to aid foreign economies?

    Richard Brodie

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