Re: Memetic trapping and wars.

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat 28 Jun 2003 - 14:03:17 GMT

  • Next message: Ray Recchia: "Re: Memetic trapping and wars."

    At 11:01 AM 27/06/03 -0400, Keith wrote:

    I am slightly amused by the dynamics of mailing lists. There are an amazing number of posts about matters that are non substantive or mainly driven by personality clashes. Then someone proposes to tie memetics, evolutionary psychology and economic privation due to population growth and/or climate change into a model for why wars occur and there is not a
    *single* comment. Nobody even makes the obvious application to the current situation in the Mid East.

    Maybe everyone went on vacation.

    Keith Henson

    >Since a group has to be synchronized into attacks, the mechanism where
    >privation leads to war is likely based on an evolved psychological trait
    >where xenophobic memes dehumanizing a nearby tribe propagate
    >well. Privation adjusts the gain setting on memetic propagation if you
    >will. Memes, being epidemic (exponential) in growth curves, respond in
    >very nonlinear ways to gain settings.
    >I think "memetic trapping" might describe such positive feedback
    >situations. Privation turns up the gain on xenophobic meme propagation,
    >which induces conflict, the conflict makes privation worse, keeping the
    >psychological mechanisms jammed on that strengthens the xenophobic memes
    >that in turn drive the war. There are lots of modern examples.

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