From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 27 Jul 2004 - 22:52:00 GMT
At 12:49 AM 27/07/04 -0700, Scott wrote:
>I've been reading Asimov's Foundation series.
>What's more realistic, the Asimovian psychohistory
>where history is predicted based on treating mobs of
>people (billions and billions) statistically) or the
>psychoanalytic kind of psychohistory that I've posted
>about not too long ago? Their is an actual field
>called psychohistory that's not Asimovian. It's
>actually kinda Freudian, with Freud's Oedipal complex
>in the Darwinian horde mumbo-jumbo a sort of inaugural
Last time I looked the "field" was one guy running a tightly moderated
But re Asimovian psychohistory . . . . .
Results 1 - 9 of about 36 for "Keith Henson" psychohistory.
>Would memetics have any truck with such a concept as
>the Seldon brand of psychohistory? If memetics is
>studying something truly analogous to genetic
>evolution how are we to predict anything to the degree
>that Seldon did? How could we predict what the future
>of genetic evolution will bring, given the stochastic
>and contingent nature of evolution? I would think the
>same would hold for cultural evolution or human
>history, be it memetic or not. There might be room for
>modest, short-term predictions, but anything more is
>verging into Nostradamus territory.
>That ought to wake Keith from his dogmatic slumber :-)
I don't think you can make detailed predictions in the memetic world. They
are too much subject to chaos.
But you *can* make predictions based on evolutionary psychology. When
current conditions activate the primitive "it's time to go to war with the
neighbors" switch, some xenophobic meme justifying war will arise. Short
ears, long ears, the holy land, state's rights, Nazis, weapons of mass
destruction--something will be amplified to fill the slot when people are
in a situation that maps into detecting looming privation/incipient
starvation and they need a meme to dehumanize the warriors over the hill.
PS. Memetics is only one of several list and news groups I post to. They
are all easy to find if you look or you can ask me.
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