Re: On the origin of .... war

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Tue Sep 18 2001 - 11:37:49 BST

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    Vincent Campbell wrote:
    > <An interesting question here is: if we recognise that
    > > instinctive responses are often "rational", should we always avoid
    > > instinctive responses and instead analyse every situation, or trust
    > > our instincts, act first and think later -- or, if neither of these,
    > > then how do we decide whether to go with our feelings or not in any
    > > given situation?>
    > >
    > Yeah, a difficult question indeed. It depends, I suppose, if
    > there's any time in a situation to do more than react instinctively. If
    > there's no time, then instinct will always win out even if it's not actually
    > the best strategy. If there is time to think about the initial, gut
    > response before acting, then there's time to try and judge the best course
    > of action. How we do this though, I don't necessarily know.

    I like to think of this like an artificial life simulation - when the
    'question' is asked you start evolving a response (a population of
    responses), and whenever you have to know the answer you just sample the
    fittest available. If there is zero time you get the stuff that's in
    there 'instinctively', otherwise you get a more refined response (the
    population(s) climb(s) the complex fitness landscape a bit higher). If
    however you have no concept of the thing, or equally bad alternatives
    with no clear out, you freeze, waiting for an idea to come along, which
    of course it doesn't because you don't relax to think for a long enough

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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