From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat 20 Dec 2003 - 17:51:21 GMT

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    "Evolutionary psychology is betting that psychological adaptations have to be just as domain specific as physiological adaptations. Information processing appears to be an excellent model for the general class of problems solved by psychological mechanisms. In the field of information processing, no one has invented a computer program that solves all problems. Each information processing problem requires specialized software to solve that problem. Spreadsheets are different from word processors are different from video games. Similarly, vision is different from hearing is different from pain is different from smell is different from sexual desire is different from navigation. In short, transformations of information are just as specialized as any other physical transformation and require equally specialized mechanisms to complete the task. Thus, psychological adaptations are as likely to be as domain specific as any other adaptation."

    To give examples from ideas of mine, the psychological mechanism evoked by being captured is specific to that situation and unrelated to the mechanisms for obtaining status. (Both are mechanisms for spreading certain classes of memes.)

    This kind of material relates in three ways to this group. Anyone doing AI work needs know how natural intelligences came about. Second, anyone working on improving humans needs to know what they are starting with. Third, it may be of considerable utility in creating a more cooperative group if people had insight into why they act the way they do.

    The rest of the FAQ is here:

    Keith Henson

    Xposted to the memetics and virus lists

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