From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 07 Sep 2003 - 16:43:58 GMT
Interesting article on the Saudis.
Humans almost certainly have a psychological tendency to go to war with
neighboring tribes when the per capita income is falling. (I.e., the game
has been eaten and they are going to starve.) Even if the attacking tribe
lost and every male was killed, females and children (who carried the same
genes) were normally absorbed by the winners.
In any case, evolution favored those who resorted to violence over those
who quietly starved.
A proposed mechanism to couple bad economic situations to wars is that
under conditions of looming privation xenophobic memes leading to wars
replicate well. This can even be seen in the US where neo-nazie movements
become more common in bad times.
Population growth rates above growth in economic productivity are highly
correlated with areas where xenophobic memes induce fighting. In this is
should be noted that the per capita income in Saudia Arabia has fallen by
about three quarters over the past generation from smaller oil income and
rapidly rising population.
Easter Island is a long ways in both time and space from the Mid East, yet
there may be a lesson in the gruesome history of that isolated place. The
American Southwest about 1250 CE is another example of privation induced
wars and population collapse. (See LeBlanc)
Unfortunately, the current US administration is utterly opposed to
population limiting steps that would improve the per capita income, though
that probably lies behind reversing the tide of violence in Northern Ireland.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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